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Anti-social

  Mon 4th November 2013

Middle daughter is round, working on her audition speech. We adjudge the evening cold enough to put a fire in, and I set her to snapping some canes that someone gave me for kindling. The fire spits and glows and it's hard to stop fiddling with it, until trying to scene-shift an escaped piece of coal starts burning the backs of our fingers.


In the LRB of 22nd November 2012, Adam Mars-Jones quotes from David Halperin's book How To Be Gay, which he is reviewing.

[T]he social function of romantic love is to be anti-social, to represent a private, spontaneous, anarchic rebellion against the order of society. Love is the one socially conventional emotion that is conventionally defined as being opposed to social conventions. Falling in love is thus the most conformist method of being an individual. Conversely, falling in love is the most original and spontaneous way to conform, perhaps the only way of conforming to social demands that will never make you look like a conformist.

I still believe everything I said to Trina; but to launch into an unnecessary and superfluous exposition of my uninteresting sociological views, as a riposte to her over-reacting (in my opinion) to me forgetting a phone call, was a foolish and unfeeling escalation of our tiff. Back in front of the now-calmer fire, I mentally compose what I want to say before picking up the phone.

I apologise for not ringing her when I said I would. There is no way I can dress it up: Ned found a twenty pound note on the floor outside the corner shop, bought it home joyfully, and we all set off down the pub.

"You know it's not easy for me at the moment. I'm poorly and my Mum's driving me up the wall. I just wanted to talk to you. You always go on about being spontaneous, and then when you ring me in the afternoon to say you'll ring me in the evening, and you don't... It was a bad day for you to forget."

It was thoughtless of me, I tell her, not even thinking to stop for a minute to tell her we were going out on our gifted riches. We develop our rapprochement over several more minutes. I didn't withdraw anything I'd said, but was very grateful of her generosity in accepting my honest apologies.

We're both going sober in November, me, simply for financial reasons, her more for her health, so we'll celebrate our reconciliation tomorrow with tomato juice and a dash of Worcestershire sauce, and pretend it's a Bloody Mary.


There was a wobbly moment with the Moldovans last night. I heard an irritating sound coming out of their room. It was bore-ing, and had all the subtle depth of character of a sine wave. I bent my head round my door to see what was going on. Yes, it was Celine Dion.

7 comments

Comment from: furtheron [Visitor]

Celine Dion!!!! Evict them forthwith! ;-)

Mon 4th November 2013 @ 07:03
Comment from: Chef [Visitor]

It’s all a cover to prevent you from hearing them sharpening their knives!!
Nicolae Ceaușescu’s last statement to his wife Elena just before they kicked his door in was: “Is it me, or can I hear that awfie fecking Celine Dion coming fae downstairs again?”

*looks at daisyfae* *nods*

Mon 4th November 2013 @ 09:59
Comment from: [Member]

it’s only a matter of time before they break out the ABBA. if you hear “dancing queen"… RUN!

Mon 4th November 2013 @ 13:57
Comment from: [Member]

Furtheron: They’re on probation. I was girding my loins for a bit of brightly-coloured Eastern European sub-Eurovision dance-pop, but I wasn’t prepared for The Queen of Bland.

Chef: It’s a clever choice. Celine Dion’s high notes resemble metal being swished against a rusty steel.

Daisyfae: Well, ABBA had their moments. All of which should now be long past.

Mon 4th November 2013 @ 15:00
Comment from: lx [Visitor]

Visiting via Herr Mago.

Could have been worse: Justin Bieber!

Mon 4th November 2013 @ 18:21

I enjoy the ebb and flow of your relationship. She’ll be in terrible trouble if you meet someone else.

Was it Celine Dion’s new album. New York is littered with posters announcing it. Don’t judge. Some people enjoy opera.

Tue 5th November 2013 @ 04:58
Comment from: [Member]

LX: Hello! Herr Mago is an excellent Mitteleuropean, and Mittelblogger too. To the best of my knowledge I have never heard a note of Mr Beiber and can’t say I have much curiosity about him.

EoPS: Yes, she’d be more upset than me. I’m a bit more unfeeling than her I suppose.

I’m not going to show the slightest interest in the Moldovans’ Celine Dion records. That way lies ruin.

Tue 5th November 2013 @ 07:19


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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.
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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

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