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Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Come fools and philosophers

Message from old Oxford mucker with results of a donnish Dylanesque competition. Rather funny, just for its Englishness.

Yonks back as grimey Eng Lit undergrads, we never missed an oration by star lecturer Christopher Ricks. Had I known then that he was such a Bob Dylan fan, I'd've orchestrated a casual crossing of paths when I was toting my Santos Beirão guitar ... but I digress.

By way of celebration of the election of the Prof as Professor of Poetry at Oxford, my buds held a comp for a suitable song, with passable results:

I was heading for the campus
In my, luxury machine
It was full of dictionaries
You know just what I mean
The outlaw and the cardinal
With Rose the Choctaw Gypsy Queen
I let them get inside
We drove up to the college
That looked just like a jail
I asked the warden where to park
She said 'follow that whale'
Then they led me to the podium
He said 'we’re gonna doctor you'
And I just said 'adios'.

Come fools and philosophers wherever you are-
You all suffer by stretching your logic too far.
Stop thinking, chill out, and go to a bar.
There you'll find some commons sense lurking
Or follow academia's star,
For at least it's better than working.

To lecture just read some text word for word
to hung-over students who give you the bird
then do some research that's completely absurd
and of course there’s occasional marking.
A few students might even manage a Third,
but at least it’s better than working.

Oh, professors draw their pensions
Head down a dreaming spire.
I’d ask them what their chatter was
And how come they all retire,
But their conversation wanders
And it tangles up my thought
To see a senior common room
So deep in vintage port.
Oh, mama, can this really be the end
To be punting down the Cherwell
With the Oxford blues again?

Drunk after lunch

- now they tell us ...

This is exactly what I've been saying - and railing against - for years.

Control Room

Nineteen months after the actual invasion of Baghdad, and in the final week of electioneering, it was not easy to watch this remarkable Al-Jazeera documentary, knowing what we all know now. The contents alone are powerful, now evoking tears, now bringing a surge of bile to the gullet.

How even to walk the same earth as this bunch whose moral compasses have so long pointed south that the next self-serving sound bite is all that matters?

Some recollections:. Naturally, the skilled editing results in a certain manipulation of the emotions, but how dispute the actual pictures? Or the easy mendacity of those who never thought to hear and see their dishonesty caught on print?

Towards the end, as the press corps are packing up, comes a fierce and sudden rain squall, soaking equipment and scampering reporters alike, clearing the air in an almost laughable cliché of cleansing, admonitory tears.


Curses, grrr, foiled, etc.

I'd rather been fancying *moi-même* as El Grumpo de Livres.

Faugh! It's what I've been all these years, anyway.

Rancid Pips bleat: It's not like the dude isn't like totally channeling me ....

Cute Links

I'm asked, don't I have a weblog for all these cute links I send along?

"These" meaning the wondrous and life-saving guide to T-shirt folding from Mark Hurst's incomparable Good Experience, freely subscribable to here.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Dear Limey assholes

How very very funny.

Seems that the busy-body 'Grauniad' launched Operation Clark County to help *British* readers have a nosey-parker say by writing to undecided voters in Ohio.

In the first three days, more than 11,000 Brits requested addresses.

Here are some of the hilarious and rightfully indignant "reactions" to this arrogant project.

Friday, October 22, 2004

Cry Babies

(versus Halloween Wets)

Who shall cast the first stone?

Hapless Boris Johnson - editor of the Speccie - speaks out against the recent pathetic blub-fest by some uncharacteristically drippy Liverpudlians.

I don't know why Johnson thinks he used outdated stereotypes - if anything, it's the stiff upper-lipped son of Albion that's outdated and the garment-renting 'let it all hang out' drip who now represents us. Makes one blush for ones country.

And I'll tell you when this American-style public mewling and emoting began: 17 June 1998, when Boston-based babysitter Louise Woodward beat the murderess rap and was allowed to fly home. TV viewers round the world were treated to the pathetic spectacle of grown Britishers - northerners, to boot, not even pooftah southerners - losing all control and flinging their arms round each other in the sort of bawling spectacle more expected from soccer players or a pack of continentals.

But who are we to mock? The good teachers of Puyallup also set a fine example of maturity and common sense: no Halloween knees-ups this year; don't want to offend any real witches out there ....

This sort of craven nonsense joins the 'Freedom Fries' file and will be gleefully reported round the world. You read it here first.

Friday, October 15, 2004

World on Fire

Chanteuse supreme, the seriously beautiful Sarah McLachlan - rather a good video.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

I give up

... how's it done?

O'Reilly Suit

Please tell me that oaf O'Reilly, he of the shifty eyes and visage ravaged by porcine bloat; please tell me he has come at least something of cropper ....

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Celtic comings (and goings)

First, bravo those Irish rebels giving the 'V'-sign to the smoking ban. Is it still the good old 'V' - or have we all degenerated into using the appalling American middle finger?

Silly habit, anyway. A killing one, allowing a neat segue:

Obit for the splendid Pete McCarthy:
Farewell, then, to the author of The Road to McCarthy and McCarthy's Bar.
I always liked the tale about PM tracing the real boozers to a theme park 'fake' bar.

Very Small Amoebas

Detouring via Union Street, I come across The Triple Door and see to my incredulity that none other than the debris of The Incredible String Band is playing *next* Tuesday, Oct 13, as ever is.

I buy a ticket from a lad who doesn't have much difficulty finding me one, then scurry home and wrench Minnie Driver from the playlist to fling on The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter.

Do we all look so ancient and washed out?

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

25 Toughest Interview Questions

For looking into and over and askance at ... I've met them all before, prepared for them and been utterly routed each time ... and tremble to make their renewed acquaintance.

Best Brit Flick of All Time

I'm as surprised as you: Michael Caine's Get Carter voted tops by Total Film mag readers. Not that I disagree - specially after that parody by Sly Stallone.

"Gritty 1971 movie sees Caine as a London gangster seeking revenge for the death of his brother in Newcastle’s underworld."

Last say for the Grauniad.

Peter Paul and Mary

or PP and M, as all we adoring folkies called them back in the 60s.

And none more adored - or even lusted after - than the statuesque Mary Travers, with her blond tresses and chiseled features.

Last night, idly running through the TV channels, I came across some KCTS tribute to them, including shots of them now - both the men balding and a little stooped but recognisable as their originals. But Mary ... I let out a howl of despair and horror. Oh my Lord - who *was* that tank-like bloated creature?

How could I even think that of the lady over whose LP pics I had drooled and yearned? And only 66?

I tried to find some current photo to support my cruel comments but, while P and P seem to have no problem with current portraits, mary and her management wisely resistricts the press photos to the earlier years.

But ugh - they seem to have a tour planned for 2005: someone must fore-warn the fans lest their audible gasps send our Mary wobbling from the stage in tears.

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