Adventures in Language: April Fool Day

April Fool

I hope you were agreeably fooled. The Today Prrogramme, which I wake up to in the morning, gave it all away for most of the papers. Including my beloved Guardian. As it turned out, this year’s joke is ingenius rather than so subtle you’d be scratching your to find it.

The idea of Guardian Goggles, with apps to ensure loyal Guardianistas can go through life being fed only information that embodies a liberal bias, is brilliant. Oddly enough, this tendency was demonstrated in a thread on the BBC zombie series, In the Flesh. I had been disappointed in the first episode, but heartened to find the second was better. This is my comment:

I watched the first episode and didn’t think much of it. Like Kieren, all too pallid, passive, and sensitive. Second episode is much better, with some real oomph. I like Amy for dragging him off for a day trip, and the introduction of Rick is putting the cat among the pigeons. That vicar is a bad lot.

I don’t want politically correct allegory, I want entertainment that also manages to tell the truth about human relationships, as Being Human did. In the Flesh is shaping up nicely, and I’m looking forward to watching the last episode.

A poster who’s been on cif since 2004 replied thusly:

Reference to “PC” is usually shorthand for not liking the minority under discussion. But you can read the Rotters as any marginalised community you wish.

This was irritating, since I do support most of the values espoused by the Guardian, and I fired off a couple of snippy replies:

Now that is the problem with taking a perfectly good phrase and assuming an inherent bias. Not in my case. I just don’t wish to be lectured.

Come think of it, your comment is the perfect illustration of the April Fool joke in today’s paper.

Many of the things that are correct (in my view) are also politically correct, in the sense that there’s a broad consensus in their favour. Unfortunately, some people who don’t share those views use the expression to suggest a conspiracy to hide facts from the public, or a form of indoctrination. I don’t see why my use of the expression should be curtailed simply because others abuse it. As a result of that abuse, there’s now a knee-jerk liberal reaction, which is as absurd as the original mis-use of the expression.

But enough of that. It’s not often I have a kind word for the Daily Mail, but credit where it’s due. I did like their April Fool article about a toilet roll in Fifty Shades of Grey, to tie in with the novel. A neat way of saying the novel is shit. The comments below the story are particularly amusing, not just the ones that don’t get the joke. This endearingly offf-topic reply wins the Beautiful Railway Bridge prize for providing too much information.

Whilst I appreciate that Poundshop loo roll is OK for you, I personally find that with my bowel complaint that there is such a thing as loo roll that is too cheap. For example, it may not have the softness or absorbancy, so you end up using twice as much. So it can be a false economy. I agree that Aloe Vera impregnated stuff is just a marketing gimmick though.

Of course, the whole story could be true…

A Weekend in Hell: Boredom and Blackouts

Fallen Pylon

Scotland bore the brunt of the vile Siberian weather sweeping off the steppes this weekend.  Power went out mid-afternoon on Friday, and I blithely thought they would get it get all sorted out in a few hours.. So, as my lovely heat escaped, and it became unbearable to stay awake, I decided to hibernate. Woke up on Saturday, expecting a cheerful red light on the bedside radio. No such luck, but I got up anyway, wrapped in all the layers of clothing I had, and walked up, down, and around the flat in an effort to stop the blood congealing in my veins. Back to bed not long after, since that was the only practical way of keeping warm. Woke up on Sunday – ditto – except that instead of walking about indoors, I walked into town to see what was happening. Surprisingly, Tesco had power and was open, so I dived in for warmth and something to eat. The place was packed with panic buyers, stocking up as if the end of the world was imminent. My flat was positively balmy after the wind chill outside, enough to rip your face off, and I stayed comfortable enough to read for a while before retreating back to bed. Then, about 5:30, that beautiful red light on the bedside radio!

A horrible experience. I had enough to eat, but no way of making hot food or drink, and I fantasised about wrapping my hands round a steaming mug of strong tea.

Thing is, you can only sleep so much, and then it becomes like a fever dream of tossing and turning, interspersed with actual vivid dreams. Too cold to read, difficult to think because the cold numbs your mind as well as your body, so no consolation in mental distraction. That and the equally mind-numbing boredom.  “Know thyself,” the philosophers say, well I’ve about had it up to here with me.

It used to be that we had the skills and technology to get through extreme weather like this. Most people had proper fireplaces, you could chop wood to keep warm, cook a hot meal, brew up some tea, stay warm. Now we’re so addicted to centralised technology that we’ve become infantilised. Who now has a working fireplace? We can only hope they will somehow fix things so we can keep on living. That adds up to a lot of power in the hands of those who deal in energy and infrastructure, and while we lead better lives, the hidden cost is independence.  I’m grateful to them in weather like this, but the deal looks a bit dodgy from this perspective.


Dancers among us  chicquero photography - dance Luke_McCollum_Dancers_Among_Usdancers among us  chicquero photography - dance Jacob_Jill_Santa_Monica_Dancers_Among_UsDancers-Among-Us- chicquero photography - dance at-Joe-Coffee-Kile-Hotchkiss33dancers among us  chicquero photography - dance Angelica_Generosa41dancers among us  chicquero photography - dance Aisha_Mitchell_1dancers among us  chicquero photography - dance Evan_Ruggiero_Sloane_Kettering_Dancers_Among_Us78Dancers among us  chicquero photography - dance Evgeniya_Chernukhina_Philadelphia_Dancers_Among_USdancers among us  chicquero photography - dance Claire_Conaty_Dancers-Among-_Us_SeattleDancers among us  chicquero photography - dance Ezra-Thomson-in-Seattle-Dancers-Among-Usdancers among us  chicquero photography - dance Jason_MacdonaldDancers among us  chicquero photography - dance Jacob_Jonas_Jill_Wilson_Dancers_Among_Us76dancers among us  chicquero photography - dance Kara_Lozanovski_Dancers_Among_Us_IndianaDancers among us  chicquero photography - dance Kayla_Radomski_on_Venice_Beach_Dancers_Among_Us33dancers among us  chicquero photography - dance Aisha_Mitchell_2dancers among us  chicquero photography - dance Michael_Jagger_Evita_Arce_Times_Squaredancers among us  chicquero photography - dance Ricardo_Rhodes_Sarasota_Dancers_Among_UsDancers among us  chicquero photography - dance Pablo_Sanchez_Dancers_Among_Us_Madison_GAdancers among us  chicquero photography - dance Rockefeller_Center_NYCDancers_Among_Us  chicquero photography - dance _Grand_Central_Station_Orlando_Martinez_SarahSadie_Newett-Dancers_Among_Us_ chicquero photography - dance AstoriaDancers_Among_Us_ chicquero photography - dance Jamila_Glass_Joshua_TreeDancers_Among_Us_ chicquero photography - dance Sun_Chong_Washington_DCDancers-Among-Us  chicquero photography - dance -Lincon-Center-Parisa-KhobdehDancers-Among-Us  chicquero photography - dance -Bryant-Park-B-boy-Gentl-Minsung-KimDancers-Among-Us  chicquero photography - dance -Stone-Street-Michelle-JoyDancers-Among-Us- chicquero photography - dance as-Marilyn-Monroe-Jennifer-JonesDancers-Among-Us- chicquero photography - dance A-Train-Lisa-ColeDancers-Among-Us- chicquero photography - dance at-Half_Moon_Bay-Brendan-BarthelDancers-Among-Us- chicquero photography - dance at-Playland-Eric-BourneDancers-Among-Us- chicquero photography - dance at-Macys-Annmaria-MazziniDancers-Among-Us- chicquero photography - dance at-the-Painted-Ladies-Brendan-Barthel-and-Kaitlyn-EbertDancers-Among-Us- chicquero photography - dance at-Princeton-University-Trisha-WolfDancers-Among-Us- chicquero photography - dance birdwatching-at-Stanford-University-Ryan-Smith-and-Wendy-ReinDancers-Among-Us- chicquero photography - dance Christmas-in-Rockefeller-Center-Vanessa-Valecillos-and-Nicholas-VilleneuveDancers-Among-Us- chicquero photography - dance in-Atlanta-Abby-McDowellDancers-Among-Us- chicquero photography - dance in_Las-Vegas-Joseph_Rivera-and-Shelia-Burford_Dancers-Among-Us- chicquero photography - dance in-Atlanta-Tomas-PantoDancers-Among-Us- chicquero photography - dance in-Baltimore-Rachel-BellDancers-Among-Us- chicquero photography - dance in-Central-Park-John-HeginbothamDancers-Among-Us- chicquero photography - dance in-Carnegie-Deli-Tenealle-FarragherDancers-Among-Us- chicquero photography - dance in-Chicago-Angela_Dice-and-Demetrius-McClendonDancers-Among-Us- chicquero photography - dance in-Chicago-at_Graceland-Cemetery-Chloe-CradeDancers-Among-Us- chicquero photography - dance in-Chicago-Erin-RyeDancers-Among-Us- chicquero photography - dance in-Chicago-Kara-LozanovskiDancers-Among-Us- chicquero photography - dance in-Columbus-Circle-Michelle-FleetDancers-Among-Us- chicquero photography - dance in-Dover-Marc-KranzDancers-Among-Us- chicquero photography - dance in-Fish-Restaraunt-Robert-Kleinendorst-Annmaria-Mazzini59Dancers-Among-Us- chicquero photography - dance in-Grand-Central-Station-Jake-SzczypekDancers-Among-Us- chicquero photography - dance in-Ft-Tryon-Park-Adrienne-HayesDancers-Among-Us- chicquero photography - dance in-Harlem-Eran-BuggeDancers-Among-Us- chicquero photography - dance in-Ft-Tryon-Park-Evgeniya-ChernukhinaDancers-Among-Us- chicquero photography - dance in-Harlem-Michael-McBrideDancers-Among-Us- chicquero photography - dance in-Illinois-Katherine-ScarnechiaDancers-Among-Us- chicquero photography - dance in-Lincoln-Center-Jermaine-TerryDancers-Among-Us- chicquero photography - dance in-Madison-GA-Jacob-Bush-and-Claire-StallmanDancers-Among-Us- chicquero photography - dance in-Miami-Sarah-BravermanDancers-Among-Us- chicquero photography - dance in-Maryland-Rachel-Bell19Dancers-Among-Us- chicquero photography - dance in-Montreal-Alyssa-DesamaisDancers-Among-Us- chicquero photography - dance in-Nyack-Betsy-CevaDancers-Among-Us- chicquero photography - dance in-NY-Public-Library-Michelle-Fleet91Dancers-Among-Us- chicquero photography - dance in-Philadelphia-Miles-YeungDancers-Among-Us- chicquero photography - dance in-San-Francisco-Jamielyn-Duggan33Dancers-Among-Us- chicquero photography - dance in-San-Francisco-Dudley-FloresDancers-Among-Us- chicquero photography - dance in-San-Francisco-Sharon-GallagherDancers-Among-Us- chicquero photography - dance in-Sarasota-Danielle-Brown62Dancers-Among-Us- chicquero photography - dance in-Times-Square-Jeffrey-SmithDancers-Among-Us- chicquero photography - dance in-San-Francisco-_Brendan-Barthel-and-Victor-TalledosDancers-Among-Us- chicquero photography - dance in-Times-Square-Jennifer-JonesDancers-Among-Us- chicquero photography - dance in-Washington-Square-Jorge-TorresDancers-Among-Us- chicquero photography - dance in-Washington-Heights-Tenealle-FarragherDancers-Among-Us- chicquero photography - dance in-Westchester-Dayla-PerkinsDancers-Among-Us- chicquero photography - dance Minetta-Lane-NYC-Alex-WongDancers-Among-Us- chicquero photography - dance NYC-Subway-Allison-JonesDancers-Among-Us- chicquero photography - dance on-5th-Avenue-Michael-McBride-and-Ellenore-ScottDancers-Among-Us- chicquero photography - dance on-Broadway-MIkey-CusumanoDancers-Among-Us- chicquero photography - dance on-the-Highline-Karin-Ellis-WentzDancers-Among-Us- chicquero photography - dance skinnydipping-in-Chicago-Marissa-HortonDancers-Among-Us- chicquero photography - dance sleeping-in-Chicago-Kara-LozanovskiDancers-Among-Us- chicquero photography - dance VIP-Heliport-Marcella-GuarinoDancers-Among-Us- chicquero photography - dance Wellesley-College-Louise-Layman3237Dancers-Among-Us- chicquero photography - dance Yankee-Stadium-Parisa-KhobdehDancers-Among-Us- chicquero photography - dance on-Madison-Avenue-Arianna-Bickle

Dancers-Among-Us- chicquero photography - dance in-Time-Warner-Marielis-Garcia

“The inspiration for this book came to me one afternoon as I watched my son, Hudson, playing with his toy bus. I was trying to keep pace with his three-year-old mind as he got deeper and deeper into a fantasy involving nothing more than a yellow plastic box and armless figurines. At least that’s what I saw. He saw frantic commuters rushing to catch the 77 local bus to Australia. He jumped in place, mouth open and slapping his knees, joyously reacting to a world I couldn’t see, but one powerfully present for him.”

“What happens to this enthusiasm, this ability to be wholly present in the moment? Why are these pure moments of passion so often replaced with cynicism, boredom, and indifference? As I played with my son, I thought about creating photographs that would show the world as if through his eyes. The people in the images…

View original post 280 more words


Karen Knorr photography - Animals Chicquero - exodus bird

Karen Knorr was born in Frankfurt am Main, Germany and was raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico in the 1960s. She finished her education in Paris and London. Karen has taught, exhibited and lectured internationally, including at Tate Britain, Tate Modern, The University of Westminster, Goldsmiths, Harvard and The Art Institute of Chicago. She studied at the University of Westminster in the mid-1970s, exhibiting photography that addressed debates in cultural studies and film theory concerning the ‘politics of representation’ practices which emerged during the late 1970s qnd early 1980s. She is currently Professor of Photography at the University for the Creative Arts in Farnham, Surrey.

Since her life changing journey to Rajasthan, India in 2008, Karen Knorr’s work is now exploring Rajput and Mughal cultural heritage and its relationship to questions of feminine subjectivity and animality. India Song, a series of carefully crafted photographs explores the past and its…

View original post 267 more words