Friday, November 30, 2007
Thursday, November 29, 2007
The same, alas, cannot be said for the people cited in this clip (one or two of whom deserve an 'Unsuitable Role Models' post of their own at some point).
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Monday, November 26, 2007
One of my great comedy idols was the wonderful Irish raconteur Dave Allen, who had a late-night TV series on BBC1 throughout most of my '70s childhood (it was one of those late-night treats that I really shouldn't have been able to witness at such a tender age; but my parents very soon abandoned any attempt to enforce an early bedtime for me). It was revived in the late '80s/early '90s, but I didn't see many of those later shows. It's the mid-70s 'golden age' that I hark back to in my mind.
Dave's trademark was that he always delivered his jokes and stories while sitting on a stool or a nice comfy swivel-chair (no sense in working up a lather over it!). Ah yes, and the fact that he drank (although one suspects it was only ginger ale, rather than whiskey, as he liked to kid people it was) and smoked throughout his performance. (It wouldn't be allowed today, of course - although I grew up adoring the man, yet was never once tempted by his example to adopt smoking, as 'cool'.)
Also, he had a fantastic voice - you felt you could listen to him for hours. And you might sometimes have to: he was a master of the "shaggy dog story" - the joke that becomes so elaborately protracted that the point of it becomes the manner of its telling rather than the eventual punchline.
Although I suppose most of his material was quite mild by contemporary standards, it was pretty risqué stuff for an 8 or 10-year-old! He always had a twinkle of subversive wickedness in his eye, and there was quite an exhilarating undercurrent of irreverence throughout (particularly with regard to religion: although he had been brought up a Catholic, he liked to strike an atheistic pose in his monologues, and was notorious for his ongoing series of skits featuring the Pope,.... and he signed off every show with the mischievous, mockingly conciliatory line: "Good night.... and may your god go with you.")
I've been meaning to give him a shout on here since he came up in discussion over on Froogville a few months back. There's a lot of his stuff posted by fans on YouTube now. This little story is one of his classics....
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Friday, November 23, 2007
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
He is, as I said the other day, incorrigible.
Monday, November 19, 2007
Friday, November 16, 2007
"He was just a boy who couldn't say 'No'."
Tempting invitations spurned.
A sick man indeed!
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Now, I can't prove this, as such - since YouTube doesn't appear to have the TV version anywhere. The 'Bruces' sketch about the Australian philosophy teachers is there, several times over; but it doesn't include this song (which, as far as I recall, came at the end of the skit..... but perhaps I'm wrong on that? Was there a separate episode with the Bruces in which the song occurred??).
However, you can hear the original, with the benefit of captioned lyrics, and illustrations of the philosophers mentioned, in the animation below. Enjoy! And, for those of you who didn't have the benefits of a '70s childhood, catch up!
Monday, November 12, 2007
René Descartes (1596-1650)
[According to Monty Python]
This variation would in Latin be "Bibo, ergo sum".
Sunday, November 11, 2007
Friday, November 09, 2007
Thursday, November 08, 2007
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
Poll - Likeliest Causes of Froog's Girlfriend Famine
Too old: 24%
Too nice: 89%
Too fussy: 58%
Intimidatingly intelligent: 23%
Too poor: 67%
Too spiritual: 48%
Lousy in bed: 11%
Spend too much time hanging out with my friends: 35%
Drink too much: 8%
(Refer to comment above.)
Work too hard: 7%
Spend too much time online: 18%
Too set in my ways: 12%
Monday, November 05, 2007
Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959)
Sunday, November 04, 2007
A tavern by the sea
A distant glimmer,
A beacon spitting light
Into the black face of the night.
Everything is brine and yearning.
Winds with waves on their backs
Make tremble the tavern
Which is an anchored ship.
Love, passionate and brutal,
Amidst the bare knives
And the abandon
Of a prostitute's embrace.
Bottles, glasses, bottles....
Oh, the thirst of a sailor!
Tattooings pricked on skin
Proclaim the pain and the bravado
Of escapades in foreign ports.
Men of every race,
Men without homeland or name
- Just men of the sea,
With voices of salt and wind,
And ships in their unclouded eyes.
Boredom and Regret appear,
Chewing on aged pipes....
Appear and then depart,
Staggering home with a drunk.
Cards, tables and chairs,
Bottles, glasses, bottles,
And the tavern-keeper's face
Stirring up ancient quarrels.
And everything is full of sin
And everything is full of sleep
And everything is full of the sea.
Aguinaldo Fonseca (1922- )
Update: The Practically-Perfect-In-Every-Way OMG has very promptly answered my challenge to root out the original of this. In fact, she managed to find a Spanish version, as well as the original Portuguese. They are now available to read in the comments below. Do check them out.
Oddly enough, this translator omitted two lines (after the verselet about embracing the prostitute): "Despair spirals in the air/ In dense coils of smoke."
Saturday, November 03, 2007
Why the massive splurge this last month?
Well, amongst the factors, I think, were...
1) It's the first time in 4 or 5 months that I've spent the whole month in Beijing, rather than having to travel hither and yon.
2) I've had a fairly light month at work.
3) I've had completely uninterrupted Internet access (also something of a rarity here).
4) Subconsciously, I probably felt I had a bit of a 'backlog' to clear out of my teeming brain, after attempting to shut the blogs down for a while back there in September.
I do apologise. I think this really is too much; I fear it becomes a burden on you, my readers. It's certainly quite an imposition on me! It is sobering - shaming - to reflect that in my 14 months as a blogger I have now churned out well over 300,000 words. That's a novel! 2 or 3 short novels!! I feel I should probably try to spend a bit less time wittering on here, and a bit more trying to write something of substance.
Ah yes, the figures:
On Froogville, 72 posts and just over 20,000 words.
On the Barstool, 38 posts (including the post of posts, which you must all read and comment on) and 14,000 words.
Visitor figures much the same as always, although we have had a few novel commenters recently. Thanks for stopping by.