Sunday, February 28, 2010

[Gordon] Brown said: "Olive oil production provides an essential part of the West Bank economy. In buying this oil, British shoppers wil be helping the farmers of Palestine to make a living."

It seems that Brown was just warning British shoppers that buying Zaytoun Olive Oil would help Palestinian farmers, not suggesting that they buy it. That's the conclusion I draw from the UK Borders Agency's refusal to allow three Palestinian farmers entry into the country to promote their product at a Fairtade fair.

Anyone who disapproves of this restriction of trade and interference in the free movement of goods in the global economy can express their opposition here.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Hull's bid to become UK City of Culture in 2013 has been kicked into touch. Maybe I should add a "Dog Bites Man" tag to this piece of news, as it was predictable, a very safe bet. Most of the people I know wouldn't be aware of either the bid or the object of the bid. "City of Culture", what the hell is that? Well is not about culture, that's for certain. It's about making money, attracting the refined pound. None of the loot would trickle down to the hoi polloi, though no doubt there would be a big bill at the end of it all which would be settled on the council taxpayers of the city. That's how these things work.
Meanwhile, in the comments section of the local paper, the bigots are at work. 'Chavs', single mothers, fat people, immigrants, illiterate kids; this, in their narrow little minds is the composition of the inhabitants of Hull. That's why we never win anything. I think these keyboard whingers need a label. Everyone who uses the word 'chav' becomes in my book a ptochophobe (neologism, copyright me). One thing is certain, judging by their written comments they'll never be able to spell that. Is there a correlation between bigotry and bad spelling? Perhaps some research could be undertaken.

One particular fanatic is dedicating his labours to convincing us ignorant Hull folks that one of the remaining competitors is called 'Londonderry', not 'Derry'. I seem to recall that the city became Derry officially after its administration was wrested from the grasp of a gerrymandering minority - but really, who cares? The employees of the BBC have clearly been ordered always to use 'Londonderry'. 'Derry' like 'EXTREME right' and 'Loyalist terrorist' is one of those taboo terms. That's the main reason I prefer 'Derry'.
The city was founded by immigrants who named it for London. It was later burnt down by the MacDevitts who became known thereafter as 'Burnderries' to Ulster protestants. These last still sing of guarding DERRY's walls. And they used to insist on foreigners calling the city Londonderry while they called it Derry.
Similarly, we have to suffer fools who want us to give our town its full due and call it Kingston upon Hull, when everybody prefers Hull.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

'Tellingly, he admits that the character he played in The Big Lebowski remains the one that's closest to his heart. This shambling, genial slacker likes smoking weed and going bowling and dislikes responsibility and the hard grind of the nine-to-five. The actor, who rarely revisits his old movies, will always make an exception for the Coen brothers' comedy. "It's just such a great movie, you know? Each time it comes on TV, I think 'Oh OK, I'll just watch a few scenes. I'll wait until [John] Turturro licks the bowling ball and then I'll turn it off'. But I never do. Lebowski, man. That's the one that hooks me."'

Me too, Dude, me too.

Friday, February 19, 2010

From my local paper -
"Hundreds of jobs could be created if plans for a multi-million pound power station in east Hull gets the go-ahead."
Let me translate -
Hundreds of jobs won't be created if plans ... etc.
I've complained before about this hyperbole. "Up to ten thousand jobs", and down to no jobs. But it's always the PR person's sales patter that Hull's disinformation sheet prints.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

I object to the canonisation of the execrable Philip Larkin, and am appalled to learn that someone intends to pay for a statue of this individual to be erected in Hull. He was a poet; how many poets are commemorated with a statue in Hull?
I am not prejudiced against poets in the collective, in fact I admire many of the craft. But we should take care in our choice of whom we celebrate and raise above the rest.
I remember reading, in a biography of Larkin, a nasty little quatrain he penned for private distribution. It advocated the deportation of non-white immigrants, and, I think, the shooting of trade unionists, certainly some excessive treatment.

"I find the 'state of the nation' quite terrifying. In 10 years’ time we shall all be cowering under our beds as hordes of blacks steal anything they can lay their hands on." Philip Larkin

"We don’t go to Test matches now, too many fucking niggers about." ibid.

"anti-intellectual, racist, sexist, and rotten with class-consciousness." Dr. Germaine Greer on Larkin

Larkin was born in Coventry (or somewhere in the Midlands), the son of a prominent member of the British Union of Fascists. "They fuck you up your mum and dad" is his most famous line of poetry. Maybe he was harking back to his formative years.
Let Coventry commemorate him; or if Hull must be saddled with a statue of this horrible man, locate it in the university grounds out of sight of the people he despised (oh, I'm forgetting, he despised students too).

A friend of mine was a mature student at Hull University when Larkin was head librarian and introduced a new rule. Certain books, usually the most expensive and, apparently some more salacious, were removed from the shelves. The catalogue card for these works was marked with an X to inform the would-be borrower to apply at the issuing desk for a copy. These X-es were written in pencil, so my mate spent every lunchtime pencilling X-es on the books most in demand. He may have been joined by sympathisers in his labours, because the new system soon ground to a halt and the books were returned to the shelves.
People 1, élitist censors 0.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

This morning I heard a newsreader pronounce the word nuclear as 'nucular'. Why do they do that? If you can say 'clear' you can say 'nuclear'. Is it a fashion? Like the new pronunciation of good as 'gyid' or 'gyed'. What are these media types up to? Do they have bets on whether they can effect a change in the pronunciation of particular words?
Whoever bet that he or she could get broadcasters to pronounce 'to' as 'teh' won that bet. Now they are all going 'teh eat', 'teh Iraq', the annoying twats.
There is also a tendency for middle class types on the telly and radio to pronounce 'sort of' as 'sudduf' and 'kind of' as 'canna'. Why? We Hull proles have always said 'caanda' for 'kind of', but we didn't go to public schools. That's our dialect, our right, not an affectation. I don't know, maybe it's what they call 'Estuarian', the distorted imitation of prole-speak adopted by the trendy middle class.
Finally, 'Sco'lun' for Scotland; every weatherperson has adopted this version. Again it has always been our way to drop the T and say Sco'land, but that lot used to pronounce the T. What has changed?

Thursday, February 04, 2010

I see that the UK's number one war criminal has received a £1 million payoff for his complicity in Israeli war crimes. Or, put another way, he ' ... received the Dan David prize from Tel Aviv University as the "laureate for the present time ­dimension in the field of leadership".' Exactly what those last eleven words mean is beyond my grasp.
So Blair can add another million to the millions he's stacking up as he makes his parasitical way round the world like a one-man plague of locusts.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

In 2006 "Terry was asked about fidelity. 'I've never cheated on her or anything like that,' he declared. 'I never would. I can look you in the eye and tell you. There's been stories out there that I've cheated on her but I certainly haven't ... I'm a loyal person, that goes with my girlfriend as well as with Chelsea.'"
(From the current "Private Eye")

Chelsea have proclaimed their unconditional support for their investment, but they'd better watch out, he's as loyal to the club as he is to his missus.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Support Snotty Terry, with the same support he gave José Mourinho.

Monday, February 01, 2010

A stroke of luck - I'm killing time in Whitefriargate while the missus shops elsewhere. I go in that record store I don't really like and, EUREKA! The complete works of Jean Vigo on DVD for twelve quid. That plus another DVD of biographical material, including interviews with people who knew and worked with the little fellow.
I always wanted my own copy of "Zéro de Conduite", but now I've copped the lot. Pure gold. I prefer "Zéro ..." to "L'Atalante", but that seems to be a minority verdict. Maybe now I'll be able to pick out Jacques Prévert among the wedding party in L'Atalante. I've seen it, I think, three times, but I still haven't clocked him.
I didn't know until now that the boy Vigo was present when Jaurès was assassinated. I always thought Jaurès was shot while addressing an open air meeting, but no. He was sitting in a café and Vigo and his dad were there too. Then the old man gets topped in prison by a screw. Vigo claimed to know the name of his father's killer.

My copy of "Halliwell's Filmgoer's Companion" claims that Jean Vigo's real surname was Almereyda. Not so, that was his father's pen name, an anagram of "Y a la merde", "there is shit". There was, and the anarchist journalist knew about too much of it to be allowed to live.