Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Thoughts of Poddington

My infamous Why the Scottish Hate the English post really is the gift that keeps on giving, in terms of random comments. I sometimes delete the overt filth, but even so there are now 90 on there, mostly rabid anti-English or anti-Scottish rants. However, over the last few weeks one 'Poddington' has been conducting an extraordinary Beckettian monologue, or perhaps dialogue with himself.

Sample passages:

...The greatest battle I ever heard was the Norse vs the Saxons - I believe, at Essex.Hence, where the great merits of both people was truly established, i.e. the Norse for their bravery and the Saxons for their loyalty.Look at Germany too, they were different peoples not so long back. However, they became one and now they are doing rather well. They seem happy together, yet, I do not live there so I do not know if they have the friction that we have.Yet, let me not forget, I am not an expert on the numbers of Norse and Saxons and so forth in all the great battles. However, what did they do in the end? The royal lines married and there by brought peace and an interlinking of the two peoples.There has been some wars in Britain and Ireland, above are just the tip of the ice berg as the term goes.

...I apologize for my style, grammar, and spelling on piece above. To be blunt, I was absolutely knackered and I did not know whether or not, this site only gave you a certain time-frame in which to contribute.Oh, furthermore, not to cause offence with the term "Dummies," in the sense of folk that simply have additional needs - slight or severe. It is actually quite outdated now; however, it was a common term when I was child. Yet, again, not used much because such a term can break hearts can it not? Poddington

...Look upon Europe as Tesco and split apart as little corner shops. Which is it that gets the finer deal at the wholesalers...? Correct - Tesco.

..Hooliganism seems to have died now in England. That was simply the hardcore guys getting the rest into trouble.It was still a total disgrace mind.Now I am finished. Poddington.

Right,This is the last piece I will write.Where to start...

...I am going to write another two pieces.

...Is it true... Smooth looking men are in fairy-tales and rugged looking men are in the communities of the real world, with all its harshness and troubles.For, they do not quite fit into the smooth type do they? I cannot imagine them walking into a bar and asking for a Rose wine.Yet, please take this in jest if you do like a glass of Rose wine.

....My writings seem not so good to me... I have not reviewed the latest ones, I am firing from the hip, as the term goes. I get the feeling that they are a little rough and rugged. I feel that way. Hopefully, you will be able to see that I have tried to write from a humble disposition. I will admit though, that I am tired of all the problems that we face through being different peoples and the history that we have. However, I believe our history is a success story when you really look into things.

...Like I say though, I am not an expert on many of things I have written and I think in the future I will pass contributing.So, take my writings with a pinch of salt; however, I am only off by a tad if anything.

...One thing many folk in the UK do not realize is that Scottish Whiskey has been one of Britain's biggest exports for more years than I know, i.e. a serious number of years, possibly one hundred. It is staggering one way or the other.Poddington

It is well worth popping over to marvel at the ongoing work that is The Thoughts of Poddington. You will learn about the mysterious 'Man from Cleveland', the quality of Australian iron ore and the noble Irish-Norse race. Go down to the bottom of the comments and work your way up - somehow it's even better in reverse order.

Monday, August 22, 2011

The many odd, meaningless things that people say

In today's Times a snarky columnist called Sathnam Sanghera rightly takes ex-Blur bassist turned Cotswold cheese-maker Alex James (yes really) to task for saying: "the people who used to spend money on Blur records now buy cheese at the weekends". It is indeed a strikingly bizarre statement meaning, what? That cheese and music purchases are mutually exclusive? That Blur fans are particularly cheese-loving compared to those who prefer other 1990s bands? That they spend all weekend buying cheese to the exclusion of other leisure activities, such as listening to music?

Now Alex James is a thundering plonker, but in fact people make similarly baffling statements in public all the time. A little further on in the paper David Seidler, writer of the excellent The King's Speech, says this:

"I believe certain written works produce a polarising effect. Seldom do you find someone who equally adores Tolstoy and Dostoevsky. In children's literature it's Alice in Wonderland or The Wind in the Willows. I was always a Willows lad, preferring naughty Mr Toad in his shiny motor car to a silly white bunny who can't keep track of the time. You can tell what sort of little boy I was."

Say what? Leaving aside the Tolstoy/Dostoevsky 'polarisation', is it really the case that you'll rarely find any child fond of both Alice and Wind in the Willows? If so, I must have been one of the lucky few. And is "a silly white bunny who can't keep track of the time" the salient feature of Alice for many readers? And can I tell what sort of little boy David Seidler was from any of this? No I can't, except perhaps the sort of little boy to make exceedingly strange statements.

But of course these weird non-sequiturs, presented as generally-recognised truths, litter all conversation everywhere, only in everyday life we are too polite and, frankly, time-pressed to continually interrupt others' flow by asking "Sorry, but what the hell are you talking about?"

University Challenge Drinking Game

My University Challenge Drinking Game, originally published during my stint on Mr Appleyard's blog a few years back, gets an airing on the Sabotage Times.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

In praise of meaningless words

I'm back on music duty on The Dabbler, with 'nonsense' tracks from Cocteau Twins, the Australian Pink Floyd, Sigur Ros and Underworld.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

More Sid Waddell

And another old Dabbler article at the Sabotage Times (where, apparently, I look like a psychopath).

This time the great Sid Waddell. The subs seem to have lost all the italics in which I encased the Waddellisms, which makes for a suitably disorienting read.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

More Shane MacGowan

My Dabbler piece about Shane MacGowan appears today in a slightly amended form at the Sabotage Times. The eds there have retitled it 'Shane MacGowan: Champion Boozer and Lyrical Genius'. That wouldn't have been my choice as I don't like talking about alcoholism, a disease, in celebratory terms like 'champion', but hopefully the article still makes that point.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

It's not often...

... you review a TV programme and the series producer himself comes along and gives you a bollocking. But it has just happened to me.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Harman v Gove

My God, did anyone see Harriet Harman's disgraceful performance on Newsnight tonight? Michael Gove nearly exploded, which I must say showed a remarkable degree of self-control on his part. I think I would have throttled her. You can watch it (from 32m 37s) here.

Meanwhile I Dabble here on the London riots, Great Thinkers and the Beeb.

Friday, August 05, 2011

Flashman, Balls and Telly

Thanks to all you brothers and sisters in bloggery who commented on my Flashman post at the Sabotage Times - much appreciated.

I've been brushing up on George MacDonald Fraser for a longer, less laddish piece which will hopefully be published in another organ, and in Flashman and the Angel of the Lord I came across this description of a politician: "[He] was your complete politico, with the pudding face of a bad tempered baby..." Well of course the image of Ed Balls was instantly conjured - could there be a more perfect encapsulation?

Meanwhile, I post a very funny video of Telly Savalas pretending he loves Birmingham, over at the Dabbler.