Tuesday, 27 March 2012
Monday, 26 March 2012
|The non-mysogynist Monty Don.|
‘How about this, I’ve got a five bedroom villa slightly more your budget, set back a little bit from the sea front. How do you feel about that?’
‘Ain’t exactly West Coast. I dunno man. How’s that goin’ down in my rhymes?’
‘Yes, I thought you could do, erm, instead of “I’m from the West Coast”, something like “I’m from the hinterland, Boasting stunning sea views, Just a five minute walk from the beach”…’
Rappers are often accused of demeaning women. They use the term ‘hoe’, but so does Monty Don and no-one calls him a misogynist. It’s one rule for one person… Another term is ‘bitch’. “And I’ve got bitches,” Snoop Dogg might say, but no-one stops and thinks to sympathise with him. He’s trying to find a nice girl he can bring back to his mother, but all he manages to attract are these ladies with a temperament, these… well, bitches. Girls, he means, like Joan Collins in Dynasty (see clip, below). How often do you see the rapper trying to be serious about singing a song while all these girls are wiggling their bottoms near his face? It’s disrespecting and we all know how important it is for rappers to be respected. You want to say ‘Come on Snoop Dogg, you’re better than that’.
Tuesday, 20 March 2012
Sunday, 18 March 2012
Verbal stammerers are easy enough to interpret. For instance, when a stammering school headmaster says, ‘You’re going to get the cocaine,’ we anticipate a dose of corporal punishment more than we do a drugs push. But what about people who develop a stammer communicating with sign language? In signing, the word ‘coat’ is got over with the action of hefting a coat over the shoulders (although how you then finesse that to say ‘jacket’ or ‘jerkin’ is of interest, or yet to be pioneered). The signing stammerer will however put on many coats. The message is ambiguous. His audience will be left wondering: ‘Am I communicating with a stammerer or somebody with a circulatory problem?’
Broadening out slightly from this observation, we ask ourselves should we need to rewrite history? And why? Revisit footage of Adolf Hitler delivering his haunting speeches and we see why. In Hitler, we recognise a stammering signer. We realise that the hand signals he makes, he repeats several times over (see clip). Revisionists will say that the hard-of-hearing attending his rallies would have been quite sympathetic towards the Nazi leader, commonly remarking: ‘I haven’t a clue what he’s saying, but that Fuhrer’s got himself a terrible stammer’.
That bloke who wrote the screenplay to the ‘King’s Speech’ must be thinking there’s a sequel in the offering. ‘The Fuhrer’s Speech’. The kaiser’s therapist trying all sorts to shape up his subject for public speaking. The verbal stammerer will be encouraged to speak with a potato in their mouth, downgrading to something like a crisp as their speech improves. And similarly – ‘Mein Fuhrer, you must try again zis times wiz a potato in your hand,’ the therapist urges, attempting to apply the potato thing to the stammering signer’s problem. That doesn’t work and Adolf is urged to lift increasingly heavier loads of potatoes, until that is, he is asked to curl a 56 pound bag… He cracks. ‘Do you realise vot message this sends out to our foe, psychologically, on a propaganda level? Do you even know who ve are fighting?’ he barks at the feckless therapist. ‘Nein, nein, nein… I refuse to elevate King Edwards!’
Tuesday, 13 March 2012
Sunday, 11 March 2012
|'Is it 5 to 1 already?' a phrase much heard by delivery men.|
When we have something delivered to our home, we are promised its delivery between 8 and 1 on the basis that we take the time off work and wait in for it. Then it arrives at 5 to 1. The cynical will say why don’t we go about our work and just make sure we’re in to receive in that five minute window between 5 to 1, and 1 o’clock, because that’s when delivery men turn up in reality? But the fact is, the delivery companies don’t because they hate to feel that they have wasted your time. By delivering at the far end of the spectrum, they can say it really was worth staying in that last five minutes of the five hour possibility, because if you’d waited and gone out at 5 to 1, they would have come, you would be out and you would have waited in all that time for nothing.
It could be suggested to the delivery man that he could feasibly make more than one delivery per day. Say, one at 8, one at 9, one at 10 and so on. A pattern emerges. But, that concept simply misses the point. ‘If I were to do that, only one person would receive their delivery between 5 to 1 and 1 o’clock’, what is expected, yay, demanded,’ the deliverer will reason. ‘And I can’t be in two places at once.’
In all of this we shouldn’t be so self-centred. We should try to understand the world of the delivery man. A useful insight can be gained if we record him reserving a restaurant table:
‘’Ello, mate. Can I book a table… for two, lunchtime?’ he asks on the phone.
‘Certainly. What time would sir prefer?’
‘Between 8 and 1 o’clock.’
‘Uh, sir, you want me to reserve a table from 8 in the morning…? That is for five hours.’
‘What planet do you live on mate?’ says the delivery man, slightly irate. ‘We’ll be there at 5 to bloody 1.’
Tuesday, 6 March 2012
Sunday, 4 March 2012
|'Oi! 'ope you washed yer 'ands,' a Cockney will ask of a Merchant Banker offering to shake hands.|
Bankers are terribly misunderstood. It’s not surprising that they misbehave when we consider that they are confined to gated communities. This is what people do if they are put behind bars. They become institutionalised. They live cheek-by-jowl with other bankers, learning from each other how to do things like claim tax credits when they haven’t paid tax in the first place, how to restructure debt and refuse to lend to other people. So that when they get out and into the office, they fall into learnt patterns of behaviour.
We can just imagine how they’re brought up. ‘Did you tidy your room?’ asks a parent.
‘No. If anything it’s messier,’ answers the latent baker.
‘Not good, Stephen. There’s only one thing for it. I’m going to have to raise your pocket money.’
Not everything is as it seems with bankers, either. We tend to hold onto this perception of executives driving top of the range cars. But, how often have we seen Royal Bank of Scotland boss Stephen Hester having to go around on a horse? A horse, in this day and age? And he’s never allowed to go home until he’s killed a fox.
Some people will suggest that fraudulent bankers should be locked up. ‘They should lock them up and throw away the key,’ some hardliners will say, but perhaps their comment would be more appropriately phrased: ‘They should lock them up and throw away the PIN number.’ Incriminated bankers have nothing in common with blue-collar criminals. They wear suits all the time, not just when they have to look respectable when their court case comes up. And the blue-collars are frequently up for common theft. Common theft – they don’t have the class, the imagination to call it ‘breaking a code of conduct’. The bankers don’t thieve. By avoiding tax, they take the money out of the public purse, not as the common criminal who extracts it from private purses.
Whatever is said about the big finance cheeses, you can’t argue with them when they say, If you don’t pay me top dollar, I will simply skip the country, go somewhere else and lose somebody else their money.