Sleb opera

Apr. 14th, 2012 05:18 pm
chickenfeet: (ratboy)
Irwin Schrött, Uruguyan baritone and partner of Anna Netrebko, is running a Twitter competition asking which celebrity one would like to take to which opera.  My entries so far:

The Pope to Verdi's Don Carlos
James and Rupert Murdoch to Menotti's The Telephone

chickenfeet: (bull)
David Lodge claims, in Author, Author, that Queer Theorists purport to have identified an extended metaphor for anal fisting in Henry James' introduction to the revised New York edition of his works. I would be fascinated to read a description of anal fisting in the rather orotund style of the late Mr. James. I lack the dexterity to write sentences of over one hundred words so the challenge is all yours...

(nods to [livejournal.com profile] dyddgu who inspired the thought).
chickenfeet: (penguin)
chickenfeet: (blouses)
A biography of famous French philosopher Georges Dupont from Rowan Atkinson and Richard Curtis c.1978 (25MB).
chickenfeet: (bears)
The cricinfo commentary team are obviously getting very bored as the Easter Bunny jokes have started. I

1. What do you get if you pour boiling water down a rabbit hole?

2. Why don't rabbits play cricket?

Boom boom! )
chickenfeet: (Default)
The windchill is forecast to go to -35 tonight. Both of us have to go out this evening. This raises the key question of who gets to wear the Barney coat.

more )
chickenfeet: (Default)
This was interesting. There were lots of good answers. Some of them were even right. On quite a few your answers were at least as good as any I might have come up with.

The highest scorer unsurprisingly was [livejournal.com profile] pigsnout000 who is therefore disqualified. The star (virtual) prize goes to [livejournal.com profile] a_d_medievalist with approximately 71 points. She wins a (virtual) tour of Southport as soon as the (all too real) air traffic controllers go on strike again.

Stuff )
chickenfeet: (penguin)
There's a convo going on chez [livejournal.com profile] oursin about an article in the Observer Food Monthly entitled "A Girl's Guide to Eating and Drinking" which not unsurprisingly is being relentlessly cod slapped by hordes of non-sexist foodies.

The whole thing reminded me of an old comic strip by Reiser on a related topic which I have scanned. It's below the cut because, entirely predictably, it's exceedingly vulgar, probably NSFW and, worst of all, in French. You have been warned.

Sous les pavés, la plage )
chickenfeet: (mohan)
It seems reasonable in the light of devolution and so I present the following little scene.

Three representatives of the Scottish junta are in the local branch of Monarchs'R'Us.

Sales Person: We have several rather exquisite maharajahs. Very colourful. They come with a free state elephant.

SP: I do see your point gentlemen. Perhaps Scotland just isn't ready for a state elephant. It'll be one the minor german princelings then I expect. Solidly built. Very reliable, Can't go wrong with a German.

SP: You'll be wanting a Protestant I take it? Yes! Well then I have just the thing. The Grand Duke of Mecklenberg-Strelitz. Impeccably Protestant and guaranteed to work in a cold damp climate.

SP: Yes gentlemen, as luck would have it, the Grand Duke is in fact the only German we offer who isn't related to your current lot.

SP: Well the name is a little, how can one put it, Teutonic. Tends to happen with Germans. Still, I'll have a word with my herald. See if we can't come up with something.

Enter Herald. They confer.

SP: How about Mountmuckle? Has a nice Scottish ring and not in the least German?

SP: Excellent! Will that be cash or charge gentlemen?
chickenfeet: (scotland)
Being a meditation on the relative obscurity of Hereward the Wake.

I have come to the conclusion that there is a fundamental difference in how the English define a "national hero" compared to the other inhabitants of the British isles.

The first essential is success. The success should be spectacular and involve lots of dead Frenchmen. At a pinch Germans will do. This is the second hero criterion, credible opposition. Scots, Welsh, Irish etc don't count. Like in the Six Nations, victory is expected. Winning against the S/W/I may be cause for mild satisfaction. Losing to them makes you a big girl's blouse.

Now we turn to the S/W/I. Here there are also two criteria for national herodom. The first is that you must not achieve anything of lasting value (in the case of the Irish you don't even have to try though I think you get a bonus if you do). But the crucial qualification is that to be a SWI hero you have to be executed, preferably horribly and preferably by the English. (The Scots though allow execution by other Scots).

Now to flesh out the paradigm with examples. The quintessential English hero is Nelson. He won against proper opposition (even if the French were handicapped by the Spanish), he killed lots of them and he gets bonus points for being killed romantically in the process.

The typical Scots hero is William Wallace who didn't do anything much except get executed in the approved manner. Montrose is a good example of being a national hero despite only ever fighting other Scots and getting executed by them.

The typical Irish hero is Kevin Barry. They still sing songs about the little shit whose only claim to fame is that he shot a policeman in the back and was dragged screaming to the gallows.

The Welsh are a bit harder to pin down as it's been so long since they have had any heroes but the various Llywellyns and Glyndwrs were a bit like Welsh three quarters. Brilliant in a flashy way for about five minutes then completely disappearing from sight or getting cut up by the English.

Thus we see that Hereward never had a chance. If he'd been Welsh he'd probably be on the back of a commemorative 5p piece or something.
chickenfeet: (history)
I was reading an article about how onerous US visa requirements have become for most visitors. The article in question dealt with the Hallé cancelling a US tour because they calculated that it would cost ₤45,000 to get the necessary visas. One is, of course, used to silliness from the Department of Homeland Paranoia but shutting out European tourists, cultural groups, journalists and so on seems to do little to reduce the risk of another bomb attack on the USA. And then I got it. In the dialect of Merkan spoken in Bush's White House "terrorist" and "tourist" are virtual homophones. Silly us for not catching on to the "War on Tourism".
chickenfeet: (fart)
I felt that this didn't deserve to be relegated to a comment on [livejournal.com profile] tanuja's LJ so I bring you the definitive list of rude place names.
chickenfeet: (death)
We haven't played this for a while so here's the call for player for another round of Humiliation - the movie.

For those who weren't around last time or have forgotten, Humiliation is a game created by David Lodge in his novel of academic life, Changing Places. Players have to name a book (or in our case a movie) that they have not read. They then score one point for each person who has read it. In the original, an English lecturer wins but has his career blighted by admitting to not having read Hamlet, hence the name of the game.

So what you have to do is comment with the name of a movie that you have not seen but you imagine lots of others will have seen. I'll then make up a poll for the voting. It's more fun if you pick something that has not already been taken by someone else.

ETA: Nominations close 0900 EST 17 March 2006

ETA2: If you want to play, pick a movie. Don't comment with some non unique set theoretic proposition of the "anything that has either hobbits or werewolves but not both in it" variety.

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