Home » Uncategorized » Dog Days: Fat ladies, and an Editorial reminder

Dog Days: Fat ladies, and an Editorial reminder

The editor writes (for it is he):

The BogPo is a living, breathing bio-journalistic entity responding in a fast-paced and contemporary way to rapidly moving world events. New material is being added continuously to old Posts, old material reviewed, revised and sometimes translated to new Posts; football notes and Postscripta added, interesting words coming and going, hither and yon, until each Post positively groans with content, like my old school chum, Boris Johnson after an agreeable lunch.

You  may set eyeballs on any of the Posts on this, muh bogl, over a period of many days with confidence of finding the latest updates. No Post is ever set in Postcrete; no Like button need be pushed until the, as it were, fat lady sings; as fat ladies are wont to do, given how few of them entertain the ambition to reach the topmost rung of musical directors.

Having made that particular analogy, I now propose to put myself on extended garden leave until the inevitable shitstorm of ‘women tweeting dangerously’ abates.

E. von-und-zu B., ‘Das Öperahaus’, Boglheim-am-Rhein, De. ©2016

 

The United Kingdom Instability Party

I suppose it is a bit fatuous to suggest that politicians could or should ever be brought to book for misrepresentation of anything other than their expenses and constituency accounts.

In a recent Appeal Court ruling it was, for instance, decided that it was okay to slightly misrepresent the facts on which you have based an insurance claim, provided the claim itself is valid.

It was called ‘collateral lying’.

‘Collateral lying’ is pretty much what all politicians have done throughout political history. It’s the inevitable consequence of having to provide ‘pie-in-the-sky’, with ‘jam tomorrow’ as dessert for the yearning masses.

Voters would simply not know what to do, if politicians were not in some sense lying to them about most matters of public policy. Candidates are required to lie extensively about the shameful past record of their opponents, and to lie more about what they plan to do themselves when in office; how a newer, pinker, fluffier world will come into being.

I’m not sure, however, that I’ve ever come across a case before, where a new political party built on a mass movement driven by disaffection with the status quo has, in only three years:

  • terrified the government of the day to the point where a stupid, hasty and disastrous plebiscite has wrecked both the economy and the nation’s standing in the world;
  • put its candidates up for election on a platform of root-and-branch reform of the political landscape;
  • won a substantial number of local authority seats, and then:
  • its founder and incessantly yarping mouthpiece has owned up to several ‘collateral lies’ and resigned to spend more time making money, while the party organisation has…
  • immediately evaporated in a welter of procedural wrangling and top-level resignations, as it…
  • struggles to elect a new ‘leader’ from among what one senior officer describes broadly as a squabbling bunch of obscure ‘megalomaniacs’.

In other words, a party that has obtained votes and seats and spent public money and caused global chaos entirely under the false pretence that it was ever a serious political entity.

This seems to me to go rather beyond ‘collateral lying’ to outright misrepresentation.

Do we expect UKIP to apologise and call for a re-run of elections in those areas where it has gained local authority seats at the expense of the other parties?

Not really. That wouldn’t be politics.

 

Climate Change

Ho hum, call me an anti-semite if you must, but I find there is something distasteful about the way Rabbi Mervis and leading Jewish lobbyists are ganging up to protest that the distinguished and cute-looking human rights lawyer, Shami Chakrabarti QC, OBE should not be awarded the life peerage everyone else (other than racists and anti-human-rights campaigners) believes she deserves.

Their objection arises from a hastily convened inquiry she chaired into accusations that the historically vehemently anti-racist Labour party has fallen into the clutches of some foul anti-semitic conspiracy, which she found it has broadly not.

Her conclusion did not agree with their wish to believe, based on a silly joke tweeted two years ago by Ms Naz Shah, who is now a Labour MP, that it has; although they have not actually held a similar inquiry themselves.

What leaves the nasty taste in the mouth is the implicit accusation that Ms Chakrabarti is herself an anti-semite because she did not bias the findings of her report in their favour. These people will not hesitate to throw any disgusting slur that suits their pro-Israel agenda.

Victim ideology tends to ignore wider issues, such as the obvious fact that anti-everythingism is on the rise; hence Brexit, Trump, Angela’s brick, etc.

In the present climate it is clearly impossible for anyone to say anything, so maybe we should all just shut up and get out more?

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Don’t go away, there’s bound to be more to come! And there’s more now on the previous Post than you realised! Stuff about Trump….

The Boglington Post: great holiday reading for the absent mind!

 

BTW: please stop telling me to remove my adblocker, web people! I know you need money, so do I, but please understand: you are selling my eyeballs to your clients under false pretences. I NEVER BUY ANYTHING FROM UNSOLICITED ADS! So it is a waste of their money advertising to me.

 

Tempting Fate is not always the best idea #1

The first thing I hope I wouldn’t do is mistake the noises for fireworks.

While almost every incident produces witnesses who say they thought at first the shots were someone letting off firecrackers (why? How often does that happen?), the event in Nice involving at first no live fire but a lorry driven into and over a crowd happened during a fireworks display, whereafter a witness duly reported ‘hearing shots’.

Clearly, confusion kills. It is best to be certain: but I suspect fear of embarrassment prevents many people from taking cover, possibly unnecessarily, at the first sign of trouble – after which, it may be too late. The answer is to move with purpose and dignity, but to get the hell out of any potential harm’s way as quickly as you can.

Waiting for my transfer at Lille station, I invent for myself an intellectual exercise called ‘what if?’

The game involves working out where you would find immediate cover at the first sound of firing; which concourse furniture could you get behind, or under, that looks potentially bullet-hardened and blast-proof; where all the nearest exits are, and is there a further means of escape beyond them, or would you be fatally trapped in a sealed branch of Prêt à Manger?

The crowd, of course, is anxiously scanned for likely nut-jobs.

My reverie – I had an hour to wait before the ludicrous chaos of the security screening hall, with its illuminated signs reminding us, as if your average terrorist needed reminding, that guns, bullets and hand-grenades were not to be taken on board the train (nothing about axes, or sharpened laptops) – drifted into areas of architectural design.

I imagined future terminuses and malls being designed to frustrate the gunmen, with hollowed-out support pillars providing shelter behind rotating steel doors; steel-lined benches that could be flipped over to create barricades; trapdoors that would tip down automatically for people to slide beneath the floor level and escape through crawl-tunnels; geometrically variable spaces with walls that would swing outwards and provide screening; smoke pots, and knockout-gas vents.

It all began to seem quite jolly, like an episode of I’m a Celebrity with live ammunition. The teenage soldiers roaming the station in pairs, nervous fingers on the triggers of their H&K semi-automatics, safety catches off, eyes darting around like frightened rabbits, only added to the atmosphere of danger. (Is there a maximum height restriction in the Belgian army? We should be told.)

Tired of being a suspect, I humped my bags up the escalator and went and sat in the relative safety of the street, next to the taxi-rank, where the worst of it was the procession of junkies and abandoned refugees wheedling for spare change.

Is there anywhere more soulless than the environs of Lille station, I wonder? Its total disconnection from human culture, hope, beauty and imagination might indeed be its best defence against the nihilists.

 

Tempting Fate is not always the best idea #2

Jazz singing weeks in France include the threat, or the opportunity depending on the size of your ego, of getting up on stage and singing with a band to whomever may be in the room, who is not having explosively hilarious fun at the adjacent bar (that’ll be the tutors, then.)

I’ve taken to extending my own nightly appearances with small announcements, testing the water as a stand-up in the mould of the late Ronnie Scott, club owner and moderate saxophonist, whose wonderfully off-colour jokes were sometimes more of an attraction than the acts.

On one such appearance last Wednesday, I wisecracked: ‘So, this song is dedicated to all you elderly gentlemen out there suffering from prostatic hyperplasia. It’s called Didn’t We(e)!’

I was anticipating a slow ripple effect, which gratifyingly took hold even of some of the younger members of the audience, and then as the uncertain laughter turned to groans, I launched cavalierly into Jim Webb’s 1969 classic pæan of love and loss – my speciality genre.

It’s five a.m., and I am leaning blear-eyed across the toilet bowl, desperately trying to push out a few drops of urine to relieve the pressure on my bladder, leaking blowily from my anal sphincter, wishing my kidneys would find water on Mars. Instead, they are still grinding painfully through the lees of half a gallon of cheap winebox Merlot.

Taking a double-dose of Tamsulosin, I return to bed, and up again five minutes later for more torment. This goes on until it is time to get up and head for breakfast. Every minor dribble piddled is a triumph, for which relief I bless the merciful God I don’t believe in.

At last I begin to feel drained and find half an hour’s sleep. Breakfast can wait – the coffee will be cold anyway.

And then before you know it, I am making apologies every few minutes to my tutor and fellow students and rushing off repeatedly to the loo, undoing my fly buttons surreptitiously as an urgent precaution on the way, with barely time to wrestle my little spigot out before I am pissing floods everywhere, my pants stinking of stale wine.

‘This song is dedicated to all you elderly gentlemen…’

Fuck comedy. Just fuck it.

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