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Girls, I love the things they know, love the things they show

  Thu 17th November 2011

To the Girls' Grammar School. I'm helping organise this thing where some PhDers talk about our research. It's called the New Ideas Festival, which is a bit unnerving as I never feel I have any new ideas. I went there to meet the Head of Sixth Form. The observation of door-opening etiquette and how even 12- and 13-year old girls looked behind themselves before releasing a door.

On a noticeboard, they'd printed all our talk titles and their précis (whatever the plural of précis is). The girls have had to sign up to whatever talk they find most interesting. I suppressed any expression of my delight in seeing that my talk is amongst the most popular.

My title is "'Why are you listening to that din?' Avant-garde music and social identity." Then, next to the title, they have your précis, which in my case is

When I was a teenager, listening to what my Dad called "way out" music on Radio Three, he used to sometimes yell at me up the stairs, "Turn that racket off! Why are you listening to that din?" It's a good question and one which needs an answer. This talk discusses my attempts to find out why people ever get into "difficult", non-chart music, and what, if anything, this says about them.

Heady with relief over a meeting I'd been worried about, I went to the Sun. In a relationship that was going down a cul-de-sac, a man said to a woman, after a shallowness of colleagues had departed, "You work in Marketing. You talk bullshit all day. And all you can think of to say is 'I'm a student'?"


An email arrived this morning that revealed that made me punch the air. After forty-seven years of living, I will finally be in the same room with the gorgeous and talented Jill Saward. My much danced-to Shakatak are playing Birmingham on 1st February.

Here's a link to a live version of Nightbirds. If by some inexplicable lapse of taste nine minutes of jazz-funk in a 1982 stylee is beyond you, just wind forward to 5.10 and tell me honestly that that is not one of the sexiest things you can watch a woman do.

5 comments

wind forward to 5.10 and tell me honestly that that is not one of the sexiest things you can watch a woman do.”
Nope. Doing something with taking her clothes off would definitely be an improvement. Spanking some drumskins ain’t doin’ it. Maybe your dreams involve some sort of spanking, but surely not this.

Sixth Form girls? I hope for the sake of your reputation and for a refusal to do jail time , that you had a chaperone.. They tend to be a liitle frsky.

Sun 20th November 2011 @ 05:32
Comment from: [Member]

Yes, point taken - desire is a very subjective thing. It’s just the rhythms, and she’s good looking and has a very sexy smile, and I’d love to be in those hands… anyway, I can have a good ogle at Ms Saward in February.

I used to teach at the Girls Grammar many years ago when I was in my twenties. It was bit difficult then because you know, what’s ten years? But miraculously, I survived and left with a good reference.


Sun 20th November 2011 @ 08:55
Comment from: nursemyra [Visitor]

“A shallowness of colleagues"? Not a collective noun I’m familiar with but I like it.

Sun 20th November 2011 @ 11:38
Comment from: [Member]

I sat there with my paper and my pint, eavesdropping. It looked like an unenviably boring afternoon for them.

At one point some boss type woman came over and says to them “We’re just going to have a little open networking session now if you’d like to come through.” I silently thanked the God of Hellfire that my life never features “open networking", involving name badges.

Sun 20th November 2011 @ 11:45

I’m so glad that my only foray into marketing ended in such abject failure that my boss threatened me with the bastinado if I ever went near our advertising agency again.

I also went into the Comet Hall of Fame when I told our Marketing Manager to go fuck himself when he insisted that the 5:30 morning run around the loch (in Scotland, in December) was an obligatory team-building enterprise.
He was somewhat taken aback.
Especially when I reinforced my statement by adding that I hadn’t done it in the Army where we learned to kill people, so I didn’t see the need to do it to sell fucking washing machines.

Mon 21st November 2011 @ 08:53


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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?
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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.
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One good thing about being a Marxist is that you don't have to pretend to like work.
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The working man is a fucking loser.
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The Comfort of Strangers

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

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