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Thursday, August 31, 2006

Munch's Scream Recovered

Munch's Scream recovered by Norwegian police; described as in 'worryingly good spirits' after two years of enforced nightclubbing, drug-taking and chilling out by sadistically well-adjusted kidnappers; specialist counsellors called in, prognosis for return to suicidal existential angst 'guardedly optimistic.'

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Daytime TV

From last Sunday's Observer:

'Daytime TV is great because being annoyed is really helpful for writing a sketch,' says [David Peep Show] Mitchell. 'You don't have to watch much daytime television to get annoyed, mainly with yourself for watching it.' [Robert Peep Show] Webb agrees: 'And the adverts in between daytime television! You know, the debt relief thing: "Being fucked by a hundred tiny cocks? Join us and get fucked by one big cock!"'

Saturday, August 26, 2006


Listening to 'Nettie Moore' on Dylan's Modern Times and thinking of the line from Baudelaire's Recueillement that Hamm quotes in Endgame. The sleeve calls it 'Nettie Moore' at least, though I suspect, if I'm hearing Dylan's catarrhal drawl rightly, that Nettie is in fact a Nellie.

Baudelaire: Tu réclamais le Soir; il descend; le voici

Dylan: Today I'll stand in faith and raise The voice of praise The sun is strong, I'm standing in the light I wish to God that it were night

Rearending J.H. Prynne

Gordon Burn on poetry goings-on in Sparty Lea, Northumberland, 1967: 'One thing at least is beyond dispute: after the Cambridge Marxist-obscurantist poet Jeremy Prynne told the Newcastle poet Tom Pickard to keep his young son quiet during a reading, Pickard went outside and smashed his Land Rover into Prynne's half-timbered Morris Oxford saloon. "I reckon it was about here," Pickard, who still lives locally, said last week. [...] "I drove to the top of the hill, went down into second, slammed on the brakes and sledged into him."

Friday, August 25, 2006

Blight, Mildew, and Smut

Question. What is the World?
Answer. The earth we live on.
Q. Who made it?
A. The great and good God.
Q. Are there not many things in it you would like to know about?
A. Yes, very much.
Q. Pray, then, what is bread made of?
A. Flour.
Q. What is flour?
A. Wheat ground into powder by the miller.
Q. What injury is wheat liable to?
A. To three kinds of diseases, called blight, mildew, and smut.

from The Child's Guide to Knowledge, 1892

The Victorians. Didn't hang around, did they. From God to blight, mildew, and smut in eight lines (dig that third comma, by the way).

The New Solar System

Disgruntled Pluto not returning calls, reported on collision course with International Astronomical Union (Earth)'s head office; carves swear word in ring of Saturn as it passes; in other news, fellow dwarf planet 2003 UB313 named after ancient Greek god of spam email addresses.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Pluto No Longer a Planet

Pluto demoted from planet status; other eight members of solar system cite constant 'staying out late', 'refusal to tidy up room'; 'I can change, I can beat this,' says Pluto; former planet's agent reports interest from Alpha Centauri and Cassiopeia galaxies but no firm offers as yet; retired schoolteacher Venetia Burney Phair loses status as only living person to have named a planet, gained in 2002 on death of her sister Hetty, who named the earth in 1928 after accidentally discovering it by pointing her telescope the wrong way.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

First Left After the Strip Joint, Straight On for Three Blocks and a Right by the Diner

My site meter tells me someone was directed to this blog by asking Google for the 'mental hospital closest to Bugtussle Kentucky.'

The Wicker Man

Anticipated poor critical harvest for globally pre-panned Wicker Man remake leads actors to burn Wicker Man remake star Nicholas Cage in ritual sacrifice to god of Wicker Man remake critical harvests.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Exploding Dell Batteries/Microsoft's Mr Paperclip Announce Strategic Merger

Hi, you seem to be writing a shitty first novel that will take you three years before being rejected by everyone you send it to/a pointless PhD thesis on the semiotics of Friends/an even more pointless (ha ha) blog. Shall I allow you to proceed with your criminal folly or initialise battery explosion now?

Sunday, August 20, 2006


I'm having severe problems with Blogger at the moment: it won't display my posts properly, won't save my edits, and showed my first two attempts at this here post as blanks. It's a real pain in the ass.

Cossyvan Shagers/Romanes Eunt Domus/Things You Learn About Abroad at the Barber's

Things You Learn About Abroad at the Barber’s:

That you spend the second week of your holiday looking forward to coming back.

That Majorca isn't in Europe. That’s why you can bring duty-free back from there.

That it’s good to know that Southern Ireland has ‘calmed down since… then.’

I was going to go there once but...

That the French are never any good after lunch.

That Kurds learning to drive in England like to practise on the right, since that’s where they drive over there.

That if you learn Russian, my uncle was in the navy, the alphabet is the hardest part, after that it's real simple.

That the misspelled graffito round the corner, ‘Cossyvan shagers go home’, is indeed, now that you mention it, ambiguous as to whether it means Kosovans doing the shagging or people shagging them, who, if local, are simply being asked to get an early night, or if not local, to feck off back to Doncaster or Goole.

After a week of this I got the sack. It seemed people weren’t as interested in the advice I was doling out as I’d hoped.

What's this? Romanes eunt domus? Some people called Romanes they go to the house?

Dylan's Modern Times

Dylan tribute site rates wait for Modern Times (released 28 August) ‘fourth-best countdown to a Dylan release of all time.’

Friday, August 18, 2006

The Emotions Are Not Skilled Workers

Lenin on emotion: ‘The emotions are not skilled workers.’

On professors: ‘Hang more professors.’

Monday, August 14, 2006

The Guardianship of the Muses

“Coleridge wrote lots of criticism. Yet he remarked on how the critic rose as the author sank, noting the ‘curious fact’ that if the critic finds a passage or poem which he considers particularly worthless, he is sure to reproduce it in his review, thus wasting far more paper than the author did, since the print run of most periodicals is far larger than that of a book of poetry, ‘in some, and those the most prominent instances, as ten thousand to five hundred.’ The intellectual claims of the individuals he had in mind to ‘the guardianship of the Muses’ struck Coleridge as ‘analogous to the physical qualifications which adapt their oriental brethren for the superintendence of the Harem.’ In a less cutting analogy he added: ‘Thus it is said, that St Nepomuc was installed the guardian of bridges, because he had fallen over one, and sunk out of sight.’” (D.J. Enright, Interplay)

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Loser Wins

Slavoj Žižek writes to the LRB on the Lebanese war, reminding us of Brecht's Caucasian Chalk Circle, 'in which a biological mother and a stepmother are in dispute over a child and appeal to a judge. The judge takes a bit of chalk and draws a circle, then he places the baby in the middle and tells the two women that the first to pull the child out of the circle will get him. When the stepmother sees that the child is being hurt, she lets him go and, of course, the judge gives her custody, claiming that she has displayed true maternal love. One should imagine Jerusalem along these lines: whoever truly loves Jerusalem would let it go rather than see it torn apart.'

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Bang! Big Bang! Big Bloody Bang!

Plot to blow up planes over Atlantic ocean foiled, terrorists vow no let-up in attacks until contested Jewish-settled, predominantly Muslim strip of mid-Atlantic ocean liberated.

Britain on Terror Alert

Britiain reported 'reeling' at today's uncovering of a plot to make millions of citizens queue in noisy, over-priced airport departure lounges surrounded by noisy, horrible people before being stuffed into noisy, horrible budget airline flights and shouted at to buy scratch cards by underpaid, harassed-looking Polish stewardesses, with no possible escape short of a terrorist attack warning and the cancellation of the flight so we can all go home, order a nice Chinese takeaway, and watch The Bill instead.


People Who Are Things (cont.)

Somewhere in his diary, Pepys describes one of the Earls of Sandwich comparing an acquaintance who had impregnated his maid then married to her to a man who 'would shit in his hat then clap it on his head.'

This was the same earl who preferred to eat at the gambling table rather than adjourn for dinner. It was during one of these sessions that he asked his servant to bring him 'a selection of cold meats placed between two buttered slices of bread,' contributing the laborious and circumlocutory phrase to the English language for which he is remembered more than three centuries later.

People Who Are Things

Albert R. 'Cubby' Broccoli, long-time producer of James Bond films, put his aversion to retirement down to a fear of 'becoming a vegetable.'

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

The Mel Gibson Test

Mel Gibson adds: 'And cyclists. Them too, they're to blame.'

Now click on comments to see if you've passed 'the Mel Gibson test'.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Mel Gibson's Cry for Help

Mel Gibson asks for help following his drunken anti-Semitic rant to a police officer: ‘Please help me get rid of the Jews, gays, feminists, liberals, Muslims, hippies, abortionists, freemasons and Protestants everywhere ruining it for the rest of us.’