Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Dirty politics; Err . .Corruption; New words; St Vladimir; Chaucer; Fake art; & The Yanky Guide

The Spanish President had a chance to make a statement when he appointed the latest spokesperson for his governing PP party. So what did he do? He gave us the man who has the filthiest temper and the dirtiest language of all MPs. True to form, the latter promptly announced that the new left-wing party, Podemos, was "covered in dirt, not to say crap".

Talking of idiotic loose cannons . . . It was good to see North Korea getting some of its own medicine, whoever was responsible for its internet shut-down.

Corruption 1: The latest high-profile politician is resign in the face of financial skullduggery is the mayoress of Alicante.

Corruption 2: The Catalan opera singer, Montserrat Caballé, has agreed to remit €250,000 to the Tax Office, which is half of what she's said to have fiddled. She's also got a 2 month prison sentence but won't serve it as anything below 2 years doesn't count in Spain. You might ask why such sentences are imposed.

Corruption 3: Evidence is growing of collusion between the ex-king, his long-term German girlfriend and his son-in-law, the husband of in-the-dock Princess Cristina. There must be a book in here somewhere. Especially if they find the key documents which have suddenly gone missing.

An orang-utan ('jungle-man') in an Argentinean zoo has been declared a 'non-human person' in order to secure her freedom. I wonder if this works the other way, allowing some people to be declared apes. Possibly the new spokesman of the Spanish PP party.

2 more anglicisms:
1. Una crisma: An Xmas card.
2. Un clapping: A medical practice performed on people who need phlegm expressed from their tubes.

And a new word for me - Normcure: A unisex fashion trend characterized by unpretentious, average-looking clothing.
 A rebellion against hipsterdom, I guess.

I've just listened to a few minutes of a bizarre program on Moscow's RT channel. Essentially it was a paean of praise to Vladimir Putin, possibly not being aired for the first time. For this is a BBC report from early November which cites the same subject and the same players.

As you might have guessed, I try to read a page of Chaucer a day. Very hard at first, it does get easier as you begin to recognise words similar to their modern equivalents and words which are just spelled differently. Spelt, for example. Anyway, I've been patiently waiting for the first line which is exactly the same now as it was in the 14th century. And here it is:-
But now he is in prison in a cave

Penultimately, this is Roger Scruton's final podcast on the fakery of modern art, in which he lands his last hatchet blows on its rotting corpse. A sampler: Utter trash accumulates in our our museums, largely because it has a price. You can't own a novel or a symphony like you can own a work of Damien Hirst. They have no price. As a result, there are far fewer fake symphonies and novels.

Right on cue, I read this comment on this year's Turner Prize competition: It was the worst ever. The annual award this year cast its visitors into a black hole of interminable video pieces. Audiences spent more time than might reasonably be expected standing about in darkened rooms feeling decidedly unenlightened.

Finally . . . The next bit of THE 1942 GUIDE FOR YANKS ON THE ODD LIMEYS

Don't Be A Show Off.

The British dislike bragging and showing off. American wages and soldier's pay are the highest in the world. When your pay day comes, it would be sound practice to learn to spend your money according to British standards. They consider you highly paid. They won't think any better of you for throwing money around; they are more likely to think that you haven't learnt the common-sense virtues of thrift. The British "Tommy" is apt to be specially touchy about the difference between his wages and yours. Keep this in mind. Use common sense and don't rub him the wrong way.

You will find many things in Britain physically different from similar things in America. But there are also important similarities – our common speech, our common law, and our ideals of religious freedom were all brought from Britain when the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock. Our ideas about political liberties are British and parts of our own bill of rights were borrowed from the great charters of British liberty.

Remember that in America you like people to conduct themselves as we do, and to respect the same things. Try to do the same for the British and respect the things they treasure.

The British Are Tough.

Don't be mislead by the British tendency to be soft spoken and polite. If they need to be, they can be plenty tough. The English language didn't spread across the oceans and over the mountains and jungles and swamps of the world because these people were panty-waists.

Sixty thousand British civilians – men women and children – have died under bombs, and yet the morale of the British is unbreakable and high. A nation doesn't come through that, if it doesn't have plain, common guts. The British are tough, strong people and good allies.

You won't be able to tell the British much about "taking it". They are not particularly interested in taking it ant more. They are far more interested in getting together in solid friendship with us, so that we can all start dishing it out to Hitler.

PS: My daughter has just told me there'll be 45 people at tonight's dinner next door. From experience, I know this will go on from 9pm to 5am tomorrow morning. She's thinking of sleeping elsewhere. Spanish lack of consideration at its worst.

1 comment:

Perry said...

Josh has produced a cartoon that underlines the mendacity of UK politicians who have cascaded fuel poverty on hundreds & thousands, but feel they deserve their rumps to be cosseted. Bring on the tumbrils.

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