Tuesday, 29 September 2009


Regular readers of WR will know of my fondness for the old photographs blog Shorpy (link to left). Much excitement has been caused at Shorpy following the posting of this photograph of a striking looking young woman. The photograph dates from about 1900. One commenter announced that he was going straight back to work on his time travel machine as another put a damper on the excitement by pointing out that she would be about 130 now.
The photograph has a title, namely Thisbe. What did this mean? I confess I didn't know and some researches were in order. It turns out that the title refers to Thisbe and Pyramus, a Roman myth. Let Ovid take up the story: 'Pyramus was the most beautiful youth, and Thisbe the loveliest maiden, of all the East lived in Babylon'. We are in Romeo and Juliet territory here. They livewd next door to each other but their respective parents were at odds and would not allow them to marry. Ovid again: 'they conversed by signs and glances, and the fire burned more intensely for being covered up. In the wall that parted the two houses there was a crack, caused by some fault in the structure. No one had remarked it before, but the lovers discovered it. What will not love discover! It afforded a passage to the voice; and tender messages used to pass backward and forward through the gap'. They arranged to meet at the tomb of Ninus (a mythical Persian King) and the first to arrive was to await the other at the foot of a white mulberry tree.
Thisbe arrived first, but upon seeing a lioness with a mouth bloody from a recent kill, she ran away leaving her veil behind. The lioness drank from a nearby fountain, then by chance mutilated the veil. When Pyramus arrived, he was horrified at the sight of Thisbe's veil and, assuming that a fierce beast had killed her, killed himself, by thrusting a sword into his groin, and in turn splashing blood on the white mulberry leaves and turning them dark. Thisbe returned, eager to tell Pyramus what had happened to her, but she found Pyramus' dead body under the shade of the mulberry tree and after a brief period of mourning, stabbed herself with the same sword. In the end, the gods listened to Thisbe's lament, and forever change the colour of the mulberry fruits into the stained colour to honour the forbidden love.
So, an ancient myth and a no doubt long dead young woman. Eheu Fugaces.

Monday, 28 September 2009

A bit of yer law...

Here is some law on WR! More specifically, here is a drunk lawyer running amok in a Las Vegas Courtroom. The Judge had him breathalysed and then - as Americans are fond of doing - declared a mistrial.


Hat Tip to Legally UnBound. The second clip is not law - but comes from the legal blog of the daddy of them all - Charon QC. It is from the Ukranian equivalent of Britain's Got Talent.This young woman actually does have talent. Take a few minutes just to relax and admire what she does with sand.

Friday, 25 September 2009


Have any of you noticed, as I have, the remarkable resemblance between the young Tony Blair and Mad magazine's Alfred E Neuman? I wonder if by any chance they are related. For the avoidance of doubt (as we say in the trade) Neuman is the sensible looking one at the bottom.

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Blackadder and random musings

I always thought Blackadder was a made up name to give a suitably villainous flavour to Rowan Atkinson's eponymous character. But no! It is a real name and there is a Dame Elizabeth Blackadder, an artist and member of the Royal Academy. Above is her Still life with Mirror and Japanese Print. It's her birthday today so happy birthday to you in the extravagantly improbable event that your Dameness reads this!
Talking of birthdays, Bruce Springsteen was 60 yesterday. Good job he shows no sign of acting his age.
The Lib Dem conference was hardly a storming success. This is, in my opinion. because they flip flop (to use the Americanism) in confusing patterns as exemplified by their faintly silly leader blethering on about 'savage cuts' (isn't this the party of Beveridge and Keynes?) and then something called 'progressive austerity'. Huh?
Reverting to Blackadder, the last few minutes of the final episode ever achieve what comedy rarely ever manages: to be genuinely moving. Here they are...

Monday, 21 September 2009

I'm saying absolutely nothing...

...except it just had to be Exit 69. Hat Tip to JoJo. Found the Clinton/Monica Squirrel pic as you see...

Sunday, 20 September 2009

The ideal brain tonic

I'll have a crate! Hat Tip to Daisy

Friday, 18 September 2009

something for the weekend...

I've been too busy for serious blogging of late - or at least that's my excuse. As part of the never ending stream of things/people/songs that come to mind, here is the late Max Wall. For the unintiated, he was a British comedian - sort of the last of the music hall acts - seriously bizarre and seriously funny. The Monty Python Ministry of Silly Walks derives from him. He died in 1990 aged 82 after falling over as he was leaving Simpson's Restaurant in central London and fracturing his skull.

And what's more the rubber duck pic is not photoshopped - it's for real! Hat Tip to cute overload http://cuteoverload.com/

Warholised squirrel

That's enough squirrels Ed. Okay one more... Make that two. Annoyingly I can't find the one of crasher being embraced by Clinton a la Monica Lewinsky. 'I did not have sexual relations with that - um - squirrel...'

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

It's that squirrel again

Crashing the Cluny Museum Paris this time...

Monday, 14 September 2009

Urination corner (as it were)

This is Pastor Steven L Anderson of the Faithful Word Baptist Church. Pastor Anderson has strong views as to how men should urinate. Any suggestion that Pastor Anderson is barking mad is of course to be deprecated.

Sunday, 13 September 2009

A tomato that looks like a duck and more nazis

Continuing the assault on the high intellectual tone for which this blog has hitherto been noted (no sniggering at the back) here is a tomato that looks like a duck. The resemblance, I am sure you will agree, is striking. Hat Tip to this peanut looks like a duck.com via popbitch. Memo to self: act your age man, stop looking at popbitch!

I know I promised no more nazis for a while. I lied. Here is another gem from Albert Hall Productions entitled Hitler Practises his Chat Up Lines. Warning: not office safe. Okay, it's downright filthy but had me in tears of laughter. Blush.

Saturday, 12 September 2009

raccoon in a box

Here is a raccoon in a box looking shifty. Probably hiding Crasher Squirrel in there. And here's a ballsed up headline from the Daily Express - No! I don't want to think about that sort of thing either and what's more No! I don't know which is Ant and which is Dec. Hat Tip to Popbitch for this mindless rubbish...

keep on truckin'

Busy weekend so only a shorty today. When I have more time, I'm planning on a longer posting or series of postings on underground comics. Just for a little taster here is Robert Crumb's Keep on Truckin'. I read somewhere that some copyright lawyers (let it never be said that this blog does not address matters of law) pointed out to him that this pic was used so often in violation of copyright that if he sued, he could make - to borrow a phrase - 'seriously offensive' money.
His reply? Words to the effect of 'nah, can't be bothered'.
Much credit to him for that.
Oh by the way - the Curious Black Cat - to whom Hat Tip mentioned the council who changed the name of Spotted Dick in their canteen to Spotted Richard in a comment on the great Haribo copulating citrus fruit shock horror story. It's actually true. It was Flintshire County Council. A spokesperson helpfully explained that this was done following 'unwelcome and childish comments'

A spotted Richard

Friday, 11 September 2009

Paedogeddon strikes again

The picture above is a Rabbit Public Service - how to spot a paedophile. They look like that! Actually - with Hat Tip to Shorpy (link to left) the pic is of the 'Woodberry Forest Gym Team' circa 1910 but why let reality get in the way of a good bonkers conspiracy theory. I wanted to post the wonderful Brass Eye Paedogeddon but unfortunately the Brass Eye clips on YouTube have had embedding disabled.

The cause of this outbreak of laboured sarcasm is the latest example of how when paedophilia comes up as a topic, the powers that be lose all reason and start lashing out with insane and objectionable measures. The latest measures, while no doubt doing nothing to deter or even inconvenience genuine paedophiles, attack the balance between rulers and ruled in a purposeless and illiberal in equal measure way. The nub of the 'Vetting and Barring Scheme' - to come into force next month - is that parents who regularly ferry groups of children on behalf of sports or social clubs will have to undergo criminal record checks - or face fines of up to £5,000. Apparently, 11.3 million people in England, Wales and Northern Ireland are expected to have to register under the scheme.

I should perhaps declare an interest as for a number of years when they were younger I used to drive my sons and their mates to weekend cricket and football. Now I would have to register in order to do this. I hasten to say i have nothing to hide but what proportionate good is done by this? The measure seems clunkily bossy and paranoid and unlikely to do any or at most much good in equal measure. The measure will do harm in that it will deter people from volunteering. Some children - for example those of single parents on low incomes - need this kind of support and are much less likely to get it if this kind of obstacle is thrown up. Registration is needed for 'activities involving children' just once if the contact is overnight. This would seem to criminalise the parents of children who invite their friends over for a sleepover if it is in the context of a club or whatever should they not be in possession of the relevant documentation. Also, what kind of world is created in the minds of children if they are to see every adult as some potential paedophile?

Shout 'paedophile' and destroy all reason.

Have the Dead with Deal to soothe the troubled brow...

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

And what can Haribo be thinking of?


Crasher Squirrel

The little creature known as Crasher Squirrel (see 17th August - the original was taken at a place called Lake Minnewanka - no, I am not making this up!) is now all over everywhere through the miracle of photoshopping. Here he is with Lincoln (nice hat squirrel!) The little fellow must be knocking on a bit - here he is making friends with Putin. There is inevitably one of him with Hitler but as nazis are banned for now, it's not going up.

Monday, 7 September 2009

And while on the subject of the BBC...

I just can't help myself today. Hat Tip to Liberal Conspiracy.

While on the subject of nazis...

You may have noticed the endless stream of Downfall parodies on YouTube. Well it's no more Mr Nice Guy and Hitler finally declares war on Hitler Parodies...

That's enough Nazis. Ed.

Hat Tip to b3ta.com

Nazi Scum Time

Is the BBC run by complete pillocks? Okay, the answer is plainly 'yes' but further exposition is required. It is presently again contemplating its much vaunted 'impartiality'. The last time the BBC's 'impartiality' got a walk around the park was back in January when, in common with Sky (prop: its would-be nemesis James Murdoch), it refused to carry the Disasters Emergency Committee appeal for Gaza, complete with a flurry of hand wringing as regards its 'impartiality' - which presumably extends to imapartiality as between the victimisers and the victimised. But I digress.

The BBC has been pondering whether to invite the BNP - or more particularly its gruesome gargoyle (and very poor advert for the excellence of 'indigenous Caucasians' in BNPspeak - see above), of a leader on to Question Time. It's our old friend 'impartiality' again and the BNP is now represented at European Parliament, Greater London Assembly and County Council level, the argument goes. The interests of impartiality require the BNP on Question Time.

Oh yeah?

Ah but - I can hear the cry - what about democracy? However repulsive the BNP may be, it is a registered, lawful political party with an elected presence. But the BNP is in no sense a 'normal' party. It chooses which of its assorted elected members' constituents it sees fit to represent. The choice is of course made on the basis of race. And that is quite apart from the track record for acts of violence and holocaust denial on the part of many of its prominent members. No doubt many of its rank and file members are 'merely' bigots, buffoons and general losers but let there be no doubt as to the nature of its leadership. Nazi scum with a superficial public relations gloss are still nazi scum. So what to do? No doubt whatever the outcome, the BNP will garner huge amounts of publicity. The Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats have already said that they will debate with the BNP. Labour has done its usual jellyfish impersonation. Having previously had a policy not to share a platform with the BNP, they have caved in instantly, with the caveat that no-one should be forced to debate with the BNP. Subject to that, they intend tio put a cabinet minister out.

What to do? I would grudgingly concede that the BNP are entitled to free speech. Up until their freedom of speech impinges on the freedoms of other people. I would not wish for them to be able to claim some spurious martyrdom, No doubt the BBC will put Griffin on Question Time and no doubt there will be riots outside, and possibly inside the TV studio. No doubt the mainstream political parties will put up panelists to share the platform with him.

What should be done, then? Rather like the bishop who told a would-be convert that he was obliged to believe in hell but not that anyone was in it, if the BNP are entitled to free speech then no-one is obliged to listen to them. The remaining three or so members of the Labour Party could start by seeking to reverse the party's spineless capitulation on not sharing a platform with the BNP. It would be nice - if improbable - if other mainstream parties took the same position and refused to share a platform. No doubt some bottom feeders could also be found to turn up but if it was apparent that no-one but the bottom feeders would play ball with the new BBC exercise in 'impartiality' then the exercise would be, and be seen to be, a busted flush.

Unfortunately, this will not happen.

On a more cheerful note, have some more Fleetwood Mac. This is from their 2009 tour - Go Your Own Way - note the video and audio quality.

Saturday, 5 September 2009

Keith Waterhouse and Stevie Nicks

The death of Keith Waterhouse at the age of 80 (nice headline in The Times - 'Wit's End' ) put me in mind of his book - which I confess I have never read - Billy Liar - and its film adaptation, which I most certainly have seen. Above is a trailer for the film, directed by John Schlesinger. Anyone who has never seen it and gets a chance to do so should make a point of not missing it. It is a real period piece, set in northern England in the late 1950s but introduces such a delicious element of surrealism from the demented, and mendacious, mind of the principal character that time and place are overridden in crazed - and very funny - fantasy. The backdrop, northern England at the fag end of the industrial era, brings back half remembered images from my childhood and the actors are a combination of the even then venerable (Wilfred Pickles and Finlay Currie even) and the then new and young: Tom Courtenay, Julie Christie, Leonard Rossiter and Rodney Bewes. Do yourself a favour - check it out.

Wholly unconnected - here is Fleetwood Mac in Stevie Nicks with knobs on mode and Rhiannon. Stevie Nicks did induce great excitement among gentlemen of a certain age. I have to confess I do see why. She's 61 now by the way...