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Fun and games in Auld Reekie

That's Edinburgh, by the way.

Rather late in the day I have discovered that "Edinburgh council thinks that Al Gore's film [An Inconvenient Truth] is so important that it is arranging for every high school to have a screening of the film" (source).

The sheer number of levels on which this is wrong might take a while to compile, but for starters the film is hardly a neutral, opinion free documentary, there will be a cost to the council whether it block books cinemas or hires the reels, there will be lost lesson time or else the dragooning of pupils into attending out of hours etc etc. What was the council thinking? I am appalled.
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Blogger Peter Hitchens said... 10:14 am

I do hope you have written to the editor of the telegraph to tell him how appaled you are.  

Blogger Rigger Mortice said... 11:05 am

I'm appalled too.
Is that al gore the former VP.
whats it about?  

Blogger Croydonian said... 11:06 am

I don't think 'Disgusted of Croydon' has the right ring to it  

Blogger Croydonian said... 11:33 am

RM - it is indeed Al 'Spotted Owl' Gore. The film is about global warming etc etc.

Meanwhile, a truly awesome Onion Parody of campaign speeches: 'Visiting Gore Calls Pennsylvania 'A Hellhole'', including such gems as "Raising his voice and pointing at the crowd, Gore continued: "During this presidential campaign, I have had the opportunity to criss-cross this great land. At each stop along the way, I have been deeply touched by the courage and conviction of the American people. But, holy crap, you people are craven, gutless cowards. I haven't the slightest clue what base and hideous interests of yours I could possibly defend as your next president. I do not even vaguely know what drives you subhuman pig-men, but I am sure I don't want to know."  

Blogger Peter Hitchens said... 12:06 pm

I have just been virtually eveicted from a virtual village ,and it bothered me.
Now I know my life is truly tragic  

Blogger istanbultory said... 12:57 pm

Peter Hitchens. Explain yourself, sir. Eviction???
As for Al Gore, "inventing" the internet wasn't enough for him. Next, he'll be telling us he discovered global warming. And God only hope us if a cure for AIDS is found while Al is still alive. Indeed, Gore is possibly the only real competitor Emily has in the "irritatingly self-righteous, chosen by God to rule" politician category.  

Anonymous Verity said... 2:57 pm

I hate Al "Hanging Chads" Gore. Absolutely loathe him first,for being a whiney poor loser. I mean, he LOST, and the spoiled twerp just couldn't accept it.

Remember when he conceded the election? And then he got this hanging chads idea, and rescinded his concession? How bad a sport is that? And when he called Mr Bush to tell him he'd changed his mind and felt that he was the actual winner, and Mr Bush said in astonishment, "You mean you're rescinding your concession?" and Gore responded (and this is my all-time favourite), "Well, there's no reason to be so snippy about it."

Major asshole. Mr Bush has degrees from both Harvard and Yale, and Gore has a degree from one of them. I can't remember which one, but Mr Bush's grade averages were way higher than those of Mr World Saviour.

Also, while I'm on a roll, to people who say, "Oh, Bush's father bought his grades for him" - which shows deep ignorance of the Ivy Leagues, but we'll let that pass - then why didn't Gore's family buy some good grades for him? Didn't they like him? The Gores are as rich as the Bushes. Not many people know that. And at least the Bushes' money comes from oil, which is useful to the human race. The family of Mr Self-Righteous-Saviour-of-The-World got their money from TOBACCO!!!!!!!!!!  

Blogger Croydonian said... 3:07 pm

I've been pointing out the grades story to the 'Bush is a moron' tendency for ages... Likewise that Nixon really did have an election stolen from him by Kennedy but he accepted it for the good of the Republic.

I suppose the one thing in Gore's favour is that he is related to Gore Vidal, from whom I have stolen many of my favourite aphorisms. A quick snoop around has thrown out a new favourite:

"The four most beautiful words in our common language: I told you so".  

Anonymous verity said... 4:12 pm

Gore Vidal is one of the wittiest and most able practitioners of the English language and I love reading his work, and listening to him being interviewed.

BUT, he is another bonkers leftie. We shouldn't forget that. I can't remember what the actual family connection with St World Saviour of The Hanging Chads, but Al Gore had a grandfather who was a well-known senator. His name, oddly enough, was Senator Gore. What so many British people who are so ready to run off at the mouth don't know is, this is an old, very rich leftie family who have been vouchsafed by a divine entity with the knowledge of how the human race should develop. They have been chosen, because of their intrinsic wonderfulness, as the messengers. That is why so many of them, including St Al of The Hanging Chads, are so messianic.

The thing about Mr Bush and other old money Republicans is, they don't think the rest of the world should credit them with some divine insight.

I hate them all.  

Anonymous verity said... 4:23 pm

Also, Gore Vidal hates his own country, which he always refers to with bitter irony as "the land of the free".

I would nominate another southerner, though, as the greatest Anglophone playwright of the 20th Century - Tennessee Williams.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 4:29 pm

I knew Gore Vidal was not exactly 'one of us' on the weltanschauung front but thank you for the details.

I am somewhat behind on my 20th C playwrights, but do have a grave weakness for the works of David Mamet, although I only know film versions of his work. I can just about forgive him anything, including his input at the Huff Post, for having penned 'Glengarry Glenross' and 'House of Games', inter alia.  

Anonymous verity said... 5:09 pm

Gore Vidal has lived in Italy for the last 40 years and only returns to the US to go on TV and sneer at the United States, which he does most eloquently, but he is full of malice.

Don't know David Mamet, but Tennessee is head and shoulders above Arthur Miller and all the rest of the so-called greats of the last century. What a way with words. Has any curtain line ever surpassed that of A Streetcar Named Desire? The drink ravaged Blanche DuBois says: "Ah have always depended on the kindness of strangers". What a killer!

He was a great friend of Gore Vidal, BTW, but I think it was because they were two famous writers from the South. They probably didn't like each other very much. Vidal did the screenplays for some of his plays,though.

If David Mamet is writing for the Huffpost, that must mean he's nominally alive, making him a writer of the 21st Century. Tennessee died in 1983.  

Blogger Peter Hitchens said... 5:57 pm

The best ever "gore vidalism"
bitchy ,vicious and true.

It is not enough to succeed. Others must fail.  

Anonymous verity said... 6:00 pm

I'd forgotten that one. For a lefty, he has a surprising grasp of reality.

I just can't hate him because he is so articulate and so frankly malicious ... and so patrician with it.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 6:03 pm

And along the same lines (from memory),

"When a friend of mine succeeds, something inside me dies"

"We can't all be heroes. Someone has to stand on the sidelines and clap".

V - Vis a vis Williams etc, I guess I'm living in the past...  

Anonymous verity said... 6:04 pm

You probably didn't see it in Britain, but around 20 years ago, Gore Vidal was debating fellow articulate patrician, but right wing, William Buckley Jr on TV and it almost came to blows. The compere was saying, "Gentlemen, gentlemen!" and Buckley drawled that Vidal a "lefty pinko queer" and wow! Katy bar the door! I can't remember what Vidal called Buckley, but anyway, they shut the show off and played music or something.  

Anonymous verity said... 6:05 pm

Croydonian - But the past is another country.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 6:08 pm

V - Buckley vs Vidal - a battle of wits in the true sense. I will go dig...  

Blogger Croydonian said... 6:13 pm

Ta da - The Golden Rivet

(The Vidal / Buckley debate, available as streaming video).  

Blogger Peter Hitchens said... 6:22 pm

Theres nowt so cutting as a posh American.  

Blogger Peter Hitchens said... 6:27 pm

I have always enjoyed speculating just how the American accent was formed, particularly eastern sea board accents, I have an acquaintance in Connecticut and he speaks like a stereotypical Kennedy. I presume that those eastern patrician accents must be pretty close to how the early settlers spoke. Australians probably speak as they do as their forefathers were cockneys.  

Anonymous verity said... 6:46 pm

Yes, patrician N Easterners do know how to slice 'n' dice with words. And all done with such calm good manners.

peter h - the people who formed America as far as writing the Constitution and Bill of Rights go, were patrician British, as were a lot of the other old families in the original 13 states. Both the Constitution and the Bill of Rights are stunning pieces of rationally thought out educated writing. However, there were plenty of people from the masses who decided to try their hands and, with incredible bravery, said goodbye to their families, possibly forever, and sailed off on a gruelling three months sea journey in vile conditions to a new country they had only heard of. No photos in those days. They say America's an optimistic country because that's where all the optimists went.

These were people who just knew, if only they could get an opportunity, they could make it work somehow.

There are also thousands of Irish, and I think the American accent is very akin to the Irish accent.  

Blogger Peter Hitchens said... 6:51 pm

Verity Im not that "tick", I had worked out that "American" was Irish (+:
And I do have a little knowledge of American history and the constitution in its current form and how it came into being.
My favourite amendment is the second one.  

Anonymous verity said... 7:28 pm

But a lot of the NE sounds almost English. And there are places in the mid-West where they speak with Swedish accents. I wonder why the Irish accent, albeit it in a smoothed out form, caught on? I thought Ronald Reagan had quite a strong Irish accent although again, with the edges off.

I'm guessing that the Second Amendment is something along the lines of: The government shall not infringe the right of the people to keep and bear arms ...?  

Blogger Croydonian said... 7:34 pm

I rather like the First and Fifth amendments meself.

And from whence came the Southern drawl?  

Blogger Peter Hitchens said... 7:56 pm

"And from whence came the Southern drawl? "
La belle France of course  

Anonymous verity said... 7:59 pm

I don't know why I couldn't watch. I could only get sound. I knew about this debate because I had seen some film of it on TV, so I know that clips exist. It's much more fun when you watch these two witty, very clever men who loathe another trying to best one another in cutting remarks. William Buckley is wonderful, but Gore Vidal is no slouch.

I think the Southern accent is most English, but poured out like molasses. When it's not too thick, I think it is rather fetching. In fact, I think I'll get one.

Another thing to remember is, the original settlers, who came over in the early 1600s, while Shakespeare was still writing, spoke the English of the day, obviously. We would barely understand those accents today. But a lot of them have been preserved, to some extent, in the United States.

Just as Ozzie accents probably reflect the Cockney accents of the time - not today's Cockney.  

Blogger Peter Hitchens said... 8:03 pm

the irish accent is catchy,having spent 9 years living with a paddy (female)and mixing with her family , I know how easy it is to slip into an Irish accent without even being aware that you are doing so.
I will also never forget the shock when I heard my girlfriends family using the "F" word all the time (Feck).  

Blogger Peter Hitchens said... 8:05 pm

I have a friend in Alabama who has the best sayings.
"crazier than a run over squirrel" stuff like that.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 8:35 pm

PH - well may-erde ay-lors

V - might be worth downloading this. A small (2mb) download, it plays just about everything, and doesn't presume to take over you hard drive.

Back on accents, I do a tolerable Russian accent (quite an easy one really), and a number of former Ms Croydonians have been much taken with it.

Southernisms are great, eh? Here's a fave: 'Busier than a cat covering up shit on a lino floor."  

Anonymous Anonymous said... 10:41 am

Convicts to Oz went from all over. Surely there was unlikely to have been a common accent there. Where did the troops come from? They would have all been recruited in the same locality. The accent in Gorlston and Yarmouth is the same as Australian. Is there a possible connection? I have to admit it is a bit tenuous. The regimental numbers don't equate with Norfolk particularly but then recruiting was not always conducted within county borders.

This reminds me. Liverpool was trying to make tourist money out of telling us that black slaves were chained, ready for export to the States, to large iron rings set into the structure of warehouses, there. I think the oldest is Gladstone Dock which was built (obviously) long after UK started leading the fight against slavery. For sailing ships, Gold Coast/UK/USA would have been the wrong way round - nonsensical - and the rings were there to chain enormous bales of tobacco (from the States), to make it difficult to steal them. I recall this as Liverpool was just a fishing village until it became a port of exit for (white) convicts being transported to USA, and later, Oz. Maybe they found some rings from that period but on which dock?  

Blogger Croydonian said... 11:17 am

Anon, thanks for the input. Robert Hughes' 'The Fatal Shore' is a very worthwhile read on the transportations. I'm fond of quoting the tale that convicts would beg to be hanged rather than be sent to Botany Bay...

Vis a vis the 'pool and the slave trade, the process involved three journeys:

1. The outward passage from Europe to Africa carrying manufactured goods.
2. The middle passage from Africa to the Americas or the Caribbean carrying African captives and other 'commodities’.
3. The homeward passage carrying sugar, tobacco, rum, rice, cotton and other goods back to Europe.

(source )  

Anonymous verity said... 1:31 pm

Croydonian, thanks for the suggestion, but it's only for Windows 2000 and XP and I'm still clunking away on 98. No one has told me why I should change, other than they are loaded with a bunch of stuff I wouldn't use.  

Blogger dearieme said... 2:09 pm

We used to be marched off from school to the cinema just before Christmas to watch some silly fairy story. The only difference would seem to be that we were at primary school.  

Blogger dearieme said... 2:15 pm

Verity, if you believe that the Gore family fortune came from tobacco, you may care to google "Armand Hammer": you'll find that much of it came from an oil tycoon who must be one of the foulest Americans of the 20th Century.  

Anonymous verity said... 2:32 pm

Yes, dearieme. Gore is known mainly for his family's vast tobacco holdings going back several generations and because tobacco is now demonised and Al is such a goody-two-shoes. But they've made even more money from Occidental Petroleum. I don't know how anyone can take this man seriously on his own terms.

Also, he owns a vast fortune in Google shares.

Yes, Armand Hammer was a nasty piece of work, but he did say this: "When I work 14 hours a day seven days a week, I seem to get lucky."  

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