Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Shangri La - in one sense or the other...

The rabbit has been raiding plan.59, the archive of 50s stuff, again. I say 50s, this is from the section headed 'interiors' but dates back to 1949. It is headed television party. I quite like the idea of a television party but this one just seems to consist of slurping beer (a rabbit approved activity) and watching sport on tv (another rabbit approved activity save that the sport appears to be basketball - a mind numbingly uninteresting activity in the rabbit's opinion).

The rabbit's jaw rather sagged at this one. Vinyl asbestos! Easy to clean! Stain resistant! So long wearing! Contains an element that may cause a long, lingering death!


A 1949 advert for Mullins steel kitchens. What exactly is going on here remains obscure.

This is an ad for Jones ovens from 1956. The caption smugly announces 'how an industry's imagination captured the hearts of women'

Erm... Quite so. It's an oven.

This is from 1956. The caption reads ' "Sundae" basement solves everyday problems'. No doubt but just how violent is that pink? The rabbit ends with a clip prompted by Hank's Dreams (link to left) where Hank posted a compilation album cover from the early 1960s. One of the tracks was the Shangri-Las Remember - Walkin' in the Sand. One commenter on YouTube said they jump started his adolescence. No doubt.

And with a hop, skip and a jump we have the Angels with My Boyfriend's Back. There's some sort of connection operating in the rabbit mind here...

Meanwhile wimply sundered - sorry simply wondered claims to be in correspondence with 'Dave' - a prime minister - it's worth a snoop!

Monday, 28 June 2010

The Montana Testicle Festival

The ever diligent Mahal draws the rabbit's attention to the Montana Testicle Festival - expressing some doubt as to whether on not he had stumbled across an ingenious hoax. Nope! It's all for real! Testicles? Yum! (allegedly). People go for holidays there. And it's not at all like Skegness.

It claims to be the world's largest testicle festival. What competition it may have for this accolade remains obscure. Its motto is 'I had a ball at the Testicle Festival' I suppose no-one should be surprised at this. What do 15,000+ poor loons, sorry aficionados gather to eat? Erm - bull testicles - also known as Rocky Mountain oysters (the rabbit actually knew this already - don't ask why). The testicle festival website helpfully explains 'the membrane is peeled, marinated in beer, breaded four times, and deep fried to result in what appears to be a fat breaded pork tenderloin'. With veins I gather. An uplifting thought the veins.

You can't bring children or booze (the latter prohiobition is so that they can sell you theirs). Once there activities are not confined to tucking in to bull's bollocks. There is a lot of drinking going on - probably to get rid of the taste of the bull's bollocks or - more likely - because these people are drunks.

Here a typical Montana Whatsit Festival drunk tries to work out what those lumps on the young lady's chest are. More seriously, why her nipples are coyly covered in black rectangles and his are not is a mystery to the rabbit. In fact a black rectangle covering him completely would be a good move.

Classy, I'm sure you'll agree. Always nice to see people entering into the spirit of things.

And for the single man, the chances of meeting some attractive female company would appear to be.... I'm sorry, I can't keep this up.

Oh and they have wet tee shirt contests, But don't bother with the tee shirt. So if that's where you fancy for your summer holiday then fair play to you. I'd sooner go to Skegness - if absolutely forced to choose one or the other. I think.

Friday, 25 June 2010

Skegness is so bracing (allegedly)

The rabbit hopped off to Skegness today. It was for work and he was not best pleased not least because Skegness is the back end of beyond and a round journey of over 6 hours by train but that's another story. It was the first time the rabbit has been to Skegness since he was 17. He had a lot more fun on his first visit but that's another story too - and certainly not one to be repeated here.

At the risk of howls of outrage cascading on the rabbit's head from the Lincolnshire coast, Skegness is a joke sort of place. For the unitiated, it is an English seaside resort of a certain type. 'Classy' is not a word to be associated with it but I must say it seemed to be looking in pretty good nick in a brash sort of way. If it's beer and beach and fish and chips you want then Skegness is the place for you. It is no coincidence that the first ever Butlins (overseas readers - don't ask!) was opened just outside Skegness. It is also noticeable that a lot of elderly people seem to have have retired there, presumably for the sea air. I have never in my life seen so many mobility scooters - erm - scooting up and down the pavements. The rabbit had fish and chips on the front for lunch and bloody good they were too. The fact the weather was absolutely on the money: hot dry and sunny no doubt helped the relatively favourable impression. I even in an ironic moment bought a fridge magnet with a picture of an owl and the caption 'Skegness is a hoot'. I told the young Polish women selling this tat that I am English and therefore do irony. She looked somewhat bemused. I don't knock tat, I should say. Tat can be ironic. Ironic is good.

I mention the sea air. Skegness rose to fame from being an obscure nineteenth century fishing village - but one blessed with a fine sandy beach - to a holiday resort on the strength of an advertising poster - The Jolly Fisherman - by an artist called John Halsall with its caption 'Skegness is SO bracing' became one of the best-known advertising posters ever. Skegness Town Council reports, a touch smugly 'The Jolly Fisherman is probably the most famous holiday advertisement ever drawn. It has been circulated hundreds of times in almost every newspaper in the land, and the dancing salt has been imitated by thousands of visitors. John Hassall drew the picture in 1908. It had been commissioned by the Great Northern Railway Company and for this masterpiece he received twelve guineas'. He died penniless in 1948, aged 80. Here is Beau Bo D'Or's take on the Jolly Fisherman (complete with starfish) intruding on Jack Vettriano's The Singing Butler .

Just to show that not everyone found themselves braced by Skegness, here is a story from 1913...


Nottingham Man Tries To Poison Himself in the Train.

At Highgate, London, last Wednesday, Harry Hart, 38, grocer and beer dealer, of Montfort street, Nottingham, was charged with attempting to commit suicide by taking laudanum whilst travelling on the Great Northern Railway between Skegness and Finsbury Park.Defendant, it was said, had been staying at Skegness for the benefit of his health. On his arrest he said he did not get better. He bought twopennyworth of laudanumm boarded a train at Skegness, and on the way to London drank the poison. He added: 'I thought I should have been dead by the time I reached London'.

At the first hearing of the case he said he did not see the folly and wickedness of his act. He then complained that his head was so bad, and was remanded to Brixton Prison.Now he promised the magistrate that he would not do such a thing again, and was handed over to his friends.

While on the subject of irony (well sort of), this amused. Hat Tip to Phil.

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Lazy blogger -Dave and Mr Ed

Here is a stage version of the infamous Cheech and Chong Dave sketch. All together now - 'Dave's not here man!' Plus 'Mr Ed' confusing a poor elderly gent.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Jon Venables

With the usual apology for dragging law into things, the rabbit confesses himself somewhat troubled as regards what is happening in the Jon Venables case. For overseas readers, Jon Venables (above following arrest as follows) and another boy called Robert Thompson when aged 10 abducted and killed a two year old named James Bulger in 1993. The abduction was partly caught on cctv and makes chilling viewing. There was understandable shock and horror that children could do such a wicked thing. They were above the age of criminal responsibility and were tried and convicted of murder. Controversially, they were released on licence in 2001 and given new identities. To the outrage of the gutter press - which wanted their heads on a plate - they were given the benefit of anonymity orders which attract criminal sanctions for breach.

Thompson seems to have disappeared into obscurity. So did Venables until recently. He was arrested on child pornography charges and recalled to prison. He is now 27. The nature of the charges were not in the public arena until queen's counsel instructed by the DPP applied to Mr Justice Bean to have injunctions prohibiting the nature of the charges being reported lifted. He was successful and then read out the chargesin open court. They are very specific as to the number of images (a) possessed and (b) 'distributed'. Venables is to attend a plea and case management hearing at the Old Bailey via prison videolink on the 23rd July. Some questions arise.

Do the powers that be seriously propose to try him at the Bailey - a murder and terrorism factory where such a case as his would stick out like a sore thumb?

Under what name is he to be prosecuted? Jon Venables? (a touch prejudicial). His current identity? Thus destroying it and necessitating a third identity when he is eventually let out again as surely he will be.

If the latter, what are the chances of a jury working out that the person being tried before them for 57 indecent images and distributing 7 of them is actually Venables? Clue: high.

I have no idea what his pleas will be. If they are 'guilty' then all of this is academic save in relation to consequences in prison given his notoriety, the nature of the current offences and the publicity generated making him a prime candidate for being identified.

If however he pleads 'not guilty' then I can't see how he will get a fair trial. None of this detracts from the horror of what he did as a 10 year old. It's really about what the Americans call due process. Why did the DPP apply to have the injunction discharged at this stage? Running scared of the press and feeling they have to be tossed a bone?

Monday, 21 June 2010

Wimblebore and bowing...

I think everyone has one sport that they are not merely indifferent to but view with a real sense of hostility. For the rabbit, it's tennis. Happily, apart from Wimbledon fortnight this buttock clenchingly uninteresting activity barely shows on the radar in the British media. However, once Wimblebore kicks off (as it were) saturation coverage of events in SW19 make substantial parts of television, radio and newspapers a no go area for any sensible person for two weeks. One tiresome media set piece to be wheeleed out every year is how far the latest great British hopeful will go. The usual answer is 'not very'. This year there is no English competitor in the men's singles. Yup. We're that bad.

There is however one British competiotor in the men's singles who is apparently rather good at this pointless activity. He is called Andy Murray and he is a Scot. He dug a huge hole for himself at the time of the last (football) World Cup by saying that his preferred winner was 'anyone but England'. He said this was a joke but it was not well received south of the border. Arsey Scot! Thought the population of England. Thus when Murray does well he is British, when he loses he is a Scots git. He is never going to persuade the population of England to love him.

So what? I hear you cry.

Well the latest piece of manufactured outrage is that Murray has not committed himself to bowing to the Queen at Wimbledon. Apparently she is showing up to Wimblebore for the first time in 33 years (not that I blame her for skipping it). The right wing press is all of a lather, laying heavy emphasis on his Scottishness. Bowing is now apparently optional and our man is at least so far studiedly noncommital on the topic. Cue a lot of manufactured indignation.

For what it may be worth, the rabbit has no particular difficulty with ceremonial unlike many of similar general persuasion. It does no harm and can add to the gaiety of nations. In particular the rabbit has no problem with the idea of bowing at someone who bows back. This shows - okay in a quaint and archaic way - an equality of respect. The Queen doesn't bow back. It's an unequal subject to monarch thing. On this basis, if the republican rabbit were Murray he wouldn't bow to the Queen either. Nothing personal...
Below by remarkable coincidence is an etching of the execution of Charles I. Which was a touch personal.

Sunday, 20 June 2010

More scary kids and the lovely Victoria....

Picking up where I left off yesterday, here is some more 1950s advertising artwork. Actually it's the dad who looks scarier here, as if he has just barbecued diced bits of some elderly relative. The rest of the family appear to be colluding eagerly in this, though. It dates from 1952 and is simply headed 'cooking outdoors?'

It's more the caption than the image above that troubles me here. It dates from 1954 and is captioned 'dry ice rings the bell with industry too'. I'm left wondering what on earth they were putting in those lollipops, particularly as the boy at the front looks as if he is about to go into a Munch's The Scream number.

And as for this disgusting display of greed..... It won't be him who clears up the mess for sure.

The rabbit has to admit to having a no doubt hopeless long distance crush on Victoria Coren. This even runs to watching her BBC4 quiz show because she presents it. How sad is that? This morning in her Observer column she muses on single people. The problem with single people, she pronounces, is that they are too picky, They should lower their standards. If she cares to practice what she preaches, I can assure her of my availability.
A bit of googling reveals that I appear to have competition, however. A very substantial sector of the male population of the British Isles seem to have a huge thing about her. And some of the stuff they put up on the internet about her - well it's not dreadful stuff or at least the stuff I've seen isn't - but the rabbit does raise an eyebrow. I did have to laugh at the bloke who wrote a poem about how he'd make a pact with the devil to have her lose to him at strip poker. As a seriously clever woman, she's very good at poker, though so this may be a touch over-ambitious.
Aren't men sad? Here is Victoria on the etymology of stilettos. What's not to love about her?

Saturday, 19 June 2010

Scary kids and naff logos - plus Kaz.

Mahal - an indefatigable provider of material for the rabbit - draws attention to a website with rich potential for blogplunder - plan - described as the museum and gift shop of mid-century illustration. I know I'm going to be back for more. As a sign of quality, it links with Shorpy (linki to left), a personal fave. One page, from which these images are taken, is headed Demonic Tots and and Deeply Disturbing Cuisine - the child above does look like living proof of demonic possession. What is being spread on her bread? Is it really jam or more likely the pulverised entrails of her latest victim? Be afraid, be very afraid.

This isn't much better. Junior Cannibal of the Year 1958 about to feast on a slice of her victim's leg? 'Would you like some mustard with that, Miss Lecter?'

Bloody hell! Quite apart from the disgusting display of greed, have a look at that boy's teeth! Coo-eeee!!!! Maven!!! Your talents are urgently needed.

Mahal also draws my attention to a website called Bored Panda - described as 'the only magazine for pandas' - this being the only magazine for pandas does not surprise me as (a) there aren't many pandas and (b) so far as I know they can't read. Among other goodies, it has the worst 15 logo fails ever. Below is one of them - I've posted this before when it first came out - it's one of those things that makes you proud to be British. It's the Office for Government Commerce logo. It looks okay until you turn it on its side.

More seriously top blogger Kaz has broken a long period of silence with the sad news that she is struggling with ovarian cancer. If you have had previous contact with her - or even if you haven't - pop over and offer a message of support. The more the merrier!

Friday, 18 June 2010

Something for the weekend...

The character of Jules Winfield from Pulp Fiction came to mind for some reason or the other. Quality or what? I wouldn't mess with him. Plus here are a couple of David Hockney paintings from recent years where our man has revisited his Yorkshire roots, paintbrush in hand. Unsurprisingly, the colours are less exuberant than his Californian stuff.

Cut trees in Woldgate (2008)

Something or the other...

Our man in front of Bigger Trees Near Warter (2007). I like Hockney. I can recognise a fellow member of the Yorkshire awkward squad when I see one. This last picture isn't a recent Yorkshire landscape. It's from 1977 and is of a couple of elderly Yorkshire persons - his parents. It's full of warmth and affection. I like.

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Why the World Cup is rubbish (so far anyway)

The rabbit has touched on this already as regards the quality of the games (or lack thereof). I have seen little subsequently to change my mind that we are witnessing one paced, negative, fearful football - fear of losing paralyses everything else. Even Brazil struggled to put on much of a show against the might of - erm - North Korea. Okay they won 2-1 in the end but with a lot of dross en route.

Complaining that the World Cup is excessively commercialised is about as pointless as complaining Christmas is overly commercialised. In both cases it seems to be the main point. Dodgy lagers and dodgy tabloid newspapers huddle together and incite the punters to Spend! Spend! Spend!

Carling lager (for overseas readers think diluted chilled horse piss) advertise their wares in drossy tabloid newspapers thus enhancing revenues for drossy tabloid newspapers who convince their readers it is their patriotic duty to hoover away a lot of nasty beer in front of the tv while the matches are on. This is a way of demonstrating their patriotism. As is hanging a load of Cross of St George flags out of their windows, preferably emblazoned with the word 'ENGLAND' across the horizontal bar by way of explanation for the terminally hard of thinking. Or alternatively including the legend The Sun strategically placed on the national flag. The rabbit pauses to beat his head against the wall.

Meanwhile, the patriots dutifully head down Tescos (God help us 'official supermarket' of the Wortd Cup or England team or something) and load up their car boots with Carling horse piss and drive off with a brace of small Cross of St George flags attached to their vehicles.

The rabbit mentions this having read a bizarre story from the current World Cup. There is a Dutch beer called Bavaria. Don't ask me why a Dutch beer is so named but it is. The naughty Dutch brewery did what is apparently known as ambush marketing. Thirty-six Dutch women were arrested after the Netherlands-Denmark match. Why? Hooligan acts? Invading the pitch? Danish pastry abuse? Nope. Arrested under the Contravention of Merchandise Marks Act (sic). They wore nothing to identify the above mentioned beer. They were dressed in plain orange - the Dutch national colour, allegedly paid for the brewery who have not paid Danegeld to FIFA.

'We view ambush marketing in a very serious light and we urge people not to embark on these ambush campaigns', blethered some idiot copper.


Have they really nothing better to do? For example reducing the jaw droppingly high South African murder rate

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Purity Test

With Hat Tip to Unique Stephen, here is a purity test. Go on. You know you want to. I scored a sexually- erm - you know - of 69. I kid you not. Memo to UK readers: a hickey is apparently a lovebite sort of thing...

Monday, 14 June 2010

Dirty boy! Dirty girl!

Hat Tip to jailhouselawyer for this excursion to the wilder shores of Planet Bizarre. The above young person is named Nguarh Alit. He is 18 and is from Bali. He was recently caught naked and - erm - positioned behind a cow. Somewhat curiously, he admitted having been - double erm - slipping the cow a length but claimed that he had misapprehended that the cow was a young and beautiful woman who had seduced him with flattering comments.

There is of course a lot of that sort of thing about.

So as to cleanse the village from this unpleasantness, it was necessary for Alit to 'marry' the cow.

As one does.

No doubt overcome by the emotion of the occasion, our hero passed out during the - treble erm - wedding ceremony and it is not clear whether he actually got to say 'I do'. Part of the ceremony involved drowning the new Mrs Alit - which will teach it to go around pretending to be a young and beautiful woman and seducing young and impressionable humans.

Albeit subject to a lot of rabbit editorialising - all of the above is true.

A few random musings from the rabbit:

The World Cup - Whisper it not but a lot of it is pretty boring - negative one paced games between teams paranoid about losing. Emile Heskey is a donkey. It's all very well going on about how he only scores a goal every other century but he creates a lot of opportunities for his strike partners by his physical presence. England scored one goal on Saturday, and that by a midfielder in the fourth minute and unconnected with anything Heskey was doing at the time. How many fewer would England have scored had Emile Donkey not been so busy with the other lot's defenders?

Least interesting headline of the day: Sarah Brown is to write an 'intimate' portrayal of life at No 10. Can't wait. Honest.

Something Jeanette Winterson said I totally agree with: 'I like individuality, eccentricity, self-determination. The things the free market is supposed to deliver and never does'. Very true that.

Stella Duffy has written a fictionalised account of the life of the Roman Empress Theodora drawing heavily on the Historia Arcana of Procopius. The narrative is of the later-to-be Empress as a child prostitute and general erotomaniac. One 'quote' that caught the rabbit's eye was that she regretted that God had only provided her with three orifices for pleasure! Dirty Girl! Just how many do - okay did - you want? Theodora, who is apparently a saint of the Syrian Orthodox church has her defenders springing up in indignant rebuttal. The debate hots up. Here is a pic of our heroine.

Friday, 11 June 2010

'Buff' Hoon

It has to be said that, despite visceral Toryphobia, there are certain prominent members of the previous dispensation that the rabbit will not miss one one little bit. Prominent among these is Geoff 'Buff' Hoon - estwhile secretary of state for defence and one of the biggest dickheads ever to draw breath (it's good this blogging, you can forget normal constraints and just come out with it).

Hoon achieved notoriety some months ago when along with retiring Labour big bugs Patricia Hewitt and Stephen Byers he was caught trying to blag a £3,000 a day gig as a lobbyist. Oink! This is contrary by the rules by the way and 'Buff' was distraught at the affront to his diignity arising out of learning of his suspension from the Labour Party on the television news.

The suspicion arose that the suspension was revenge for the most hopeless coup attempt in history by 'Buff' and Hewitt when they tried to oust Brown at the beginning of the year with the support of absolutely no-one at all. I mean, you'd really take a lot of notice of this pair, wouldn't you? well of course...

Now 'Buff' has appeared before the inquiry into the death of an Iraqi, Baha Mousa in his capacity as former secretary of state for defence. Mousa died after sustaining 93 injuries while being detained by soldiers from the former Queen's Lancashire regiment in southern Iraq in September 2003 on Hoon's watch.

The inquiry had seen video footage of a British soldier verbally abusing Iraqi detainees. This footage is hugely in the public arena. It has inevitably even been on YouTube. These events happened on Hoon's watch as Defence Secretary. Hoon pitches up at the inquiry. Not unreasonably, counsel to the inquiry assumes that Hoon has seen the footage.

'Nope' says Hoon. 'Never seen that'.

Counsel to the inquiry expresses some surprise.

Then Hoon raises a concern as to the genuineness of the footage.

It is explained to this prize pillock that theer is no doubt as to the authenticity of this footage.

Happily Hoon is now out of the House of Commons and political life. One can only declare one's pleasure. On a cheerier note, Laci the Chinese Crested (link to left) tips the rabbit off that Banksy may have been caught at it. Follow the link and have a good weekend. the rabbit is hopping off to London Town. Have some more Howling Wolf as a parting shot - Spoonful to be exact.

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Howling Wolf

100 years old today! Happy Birthday Your Wolfness in the extravagantly improbable event that you read this! Below is - stolen from Hank's Dreams to which Hat Tip (link to left) - is proof that there was a time when irony was unknown.

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Some ornithological stuff.....

Trust this clarifies matters. Hat Tip to Prisoners Families Voices via jailhouselawyer (link to left)

Here is Beau Bo D'Or's (link thattaway <-) take on the appalling Mark Regev - Israel's answer to Comical Ali. I commented on his blog that to describe this man as an asshole is an insult to an innocuous and functional orifice.

The above is from sonia-belle, a blog that regularly has the rabbit open mouthed with amazement (warning: lots of - ahem - adult stuff). Her point is that following cabinet approval of the French draft law banning the full face veil in public places, these women would be committing a criminal offence.

Erm, Quite so.

While on the subject of matters anatomical the item below was formerly attached to the rest of an ox. No, I don't know how you cook it either. Hat Tip to Dr Heckle (link where links are to be found).

Saturday, 5 June 2010

Banksy in America

Regular readers will know of the rabbit's fondness for graffiti artist Banksy. Our man has been active in the US as well as in England and indeed the West Bank. Here are a few of his American goodies.

Los Angeles.

New York - another graffiti artist, KH1 by 'name' has graffited over Banksy's graffiti! Tsk!

Los Angeles again. I particularly like that one.

Chinatown, San Francisco

The above is nothing to do with Banksy, I say hastily. Like the good cricket anorak I am, I tuned in to Test Match Special this morning. Whose plummy tones do I hear? Henry Blofeld, of course! What is the first thing he says? What else but 'my dear old thing'? The man is an endless delight. For the uninitiated, he is supposed to be a cricket commentator. His commentaries do touch on the match but he is also notorious for launching off on to whatever random matters come into his mind. This morning his breakfast was the first topic under discussion. Then he was commentating in tandem with Phil Tufnell. I would pay to listen to that. Then he suddenly started to hold forth about kippers.

One of the glorious sounds of the English summer...

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Sorry to be serious again...

...but this deserves wider circulation.

Poor deluded man...

This poor unfortunate man is called Michael Gove. He thinks he is Education Secretary and has taken to announcing that he is abolishing things - for example the General Teaching Council. As you can see from his expression he is plainly a disturbed individual and is now happily behind bars. However, should he escape do not approach him. He will bore you to death if he can. Just nod politely and move on briskly...

I mentioned David Hockney's Mr and Mrs Clark and Percy (1970) in a comment to the great, glorious and correct Sarcastic Bastard and was reminded that I rather like it. Here it is as Backy's agent is complaining about overexposure and so he/she is having a rest today.