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In which I face Guardianist comments

  Sat 18th June 2011

5pm, in Wetherspoons, minding my own business, reading the paper. The man behind me says "What are you reading?"

Oh fuck, here we go. I'm about to have a Tired Dad episode.

The paper.
Which one?
The Guardian.
What, the London Guardian?
No, the Manchester Guardian.
Where did you buy that?

It was getting out of hand, and I let go a stage whispered "For fuck's sake" to preface an annoyed "Just up there", and resolved to ignore anything else.

"Bloody middle class, middle class", I heard him muttering. It went on in that distinct Northern tone of inverse snobbery for a few minutes, until I silently gathered my middle class things and my middle class paper to find a seat at the opposite end of the pub. At which point he introduced an overdue note of humour.

"You going? Can I get you a taxi to Waitrose?"

Back from France, re-enthused about the language, I send an email to a local language school enquiring about intensive French courses. A five day course costs £1500. I replied saying that £1500 is "way beyond my budget", hoping that she'd come back with details of the Asda-grade EconoFrench course they're reluctant to advertise, but no.

Instead, I'm downloading an immersive course called French in Action, which, as well as being free, has the added attraction of using a well-known motivational technique for some language learners by "focusing on Mireille's legs, or breasts when she isn't wearing a bra".

I am a Twitter sensation! Or slight itch anyway. Fiddling about with my LinkedIn profile during a PhD avoidance session, I pressed something, I know not what, and it sent invites to everyone in my address book. A friend of mine mentioned it on Twitter and it was retweeted at least six times.

It was less fun than it sounds: I got a couple of snotty emails from people I hardly know who have obviously operated all computer programs perfectly since birth, and was temporarily banned from the local freecycling group.

An overdue mention goes to Unbearable, who has been involved in producing a beautiful looking handmade book which combines some Springsteen lyrics for Thunder Road with Nick Hornby's essay about it; which "annihilated a great friendship".


Hey, thanks for the link! I was wondering who was responsible for the sudden tsunami of orders.

I found LinkedIn to be an invaluable tool when job hunting but I have rejected Twitter. I opened an account two years ago and abandoned it almost immediately. I don’t have a Facebook account, either. It’s the devil’s playground!

Sun 19th June 2011 @ 20:15
Comment from: [Member]

You are exaggeratedly kind, Unbearable.

Twitter. I had an account for two weeks. You say things, no-one replies. I can talk to myself for free (and do).

Facebook put me in touch with people from a superseded past, as if technological possibility was superior to elective affinities. It gave me a theatre for my clever dickishness, which should be controlled, not encouraged.

Sun 19th June 2011 @ 20:32

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looby, n.; pl. loobies. A lout; an awkward, stupid, clownish person

M / 60 / Bristol, "the most beautiful, interesting and distinguished city in England" -- John Betjeman [1961, source eludes me].

"Looby is a left-wing intellectual who is obsessed with a) women's clothes and b) tits." -- Joy of Bex.

WLTM literate woman, 40-65. Must have nice tits, a PhD, and an mdma factory in the shed, although the first on its own will do in the short term.

There are plenty of bastards who drink moderately. Of course, I don't consider them to be people. They are not our comrades.
Sergei Korovin, quoted in Pavel Krusanov, The Blue Book of the Alcoholic

I am here to change my life. I am here to force myself to change my life.
Chinese man I met during Freshers Week at Lancaster University, 2008

The more democratised art becomes, the more we recognise in it our own mediocrity.
James Meek

Tell me, why is it that even when we are enjoying music, for instance, or a beautiful evening, or a conversation in agreeable company, it all seems no more than a hint of some infinite felicity existing apart somewhere, rather than actual happiness – such, I mean, as we ourselves can really possess?
Turgenev, Fathers and Sons

I hate the iPod; I hate the idea that music is such a personal thing that you can just stick some earplugs in your ears and have an experience with music. Music is a social phenomenon.
Jeremy Wagner

La vie poetique has its pleasures, and readings--ideally a long way from home--are one of them. I can pretend to be George Szirtes.
George Szirtes

Using words well is a social virtue. Use 'fortuitous' once more to mean 'fortunate' and you move an English word another step towards the dustbin. If your mistake took hold, no-one who valued clarity would be able to use the word again.
John Whale

One good thing about being a Marxist is that you don't have to pretend to like work.
Terry Eagleton, What Is A Novel?, Lancaster University, 1 Feb 2010

The working man is a fucking loser.
Mick, The Golden Lion, Lancaster, 21 Mar 2011

The Comfort of Strangers

23.1.16: Big clearout of the defunct and dormant and dull
16.1.19: Further pruning

If your comment box looks like this, I'm afraid I sometimes can't be bothered with all that palarver just to leave a comment.

63 mago
Another Angry Voice
the asshat lounge
Clutter From The Gutter
Eryl Shields Ink
Exile on Pain Street
Fat Man On A Keyboard
gairnet provides: press of blll defunct, but retained for its quality
George Szirtes ditto
Infomaniac [NSFW]
The Joy of Bex
Laudator Temporis Acti
Leeds's Singing Organ-Grinder
The Most Difficult Thing Ever
Strange Flowers
Trailer Park Refugee
Wonky Words

"Just sit still and listen" - woman to teenage girl at Elliott Carter weekend, London 2006

Bristol New Music
Desiring Progress Collection of links only
The Rambler
Resonance FM
Sequenza 21
Sound and Music
Talking Musicology defunct, but retained

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