Salvage operation

This is a home for posts censored elsewhere for no good reason.

January 11, 2009: we’re moving on to the second instalment of this extremely popular section of acciaccature, so please post your censored bits ‘n’ bobs in our extension.

Annals of Guardian Censorship: the Evidence (part 2)

December 4, 2008

As a fairly regular reader of the online Guardian, I often chortle over John Crace’s elegant eviscerations of the books of the famous. When I want to re-read one of them, I can call it up on the Guardian’s site in microseconds (via Google, not GU’s witless search tool.)

By contrast, I can never count on being able to take a second look at a comment by Desmond Swords, one of the wildest, nimblest — often acute and provocative — below-the-line critics to visit this newspaper’s books blog. It might be there two days after he’s posted it. Just as often, it’s been deleted by the Guardian’s fanatical but curiously inconsistent censors in less than sixty minutes.

Any objective reader would find it hard to understand the vastly different treatment meted out to them. Des’s unpaid contributions – written to blogging standards — are rough, unedited and pounded out at top speed; John’s are polished by experts in grammar and vernissage at the paper that employs him. But try as I might, I can’t see them as so essentially dissimilar that the thoughts of only one hugely entertaining scribbler should be vaporised.

For comparison, here’s an extract from John’s recent column impersonating Nigella Lawson, and two censored posts by Des – impenetrably disguised as BobGraves — taking issue with a Guardian journalist’s claim that writing on computers has killed off the stream-of-consciousness novel. I can’t say exactly why, but I don’t believe that this young writer lacks a sense of humour – and would be extremely surprised if she didn’t laugh till she cried, reading Des’s first attack on her – which is followed by an apology eleven minutes later that makes it clear that he has nothing against her, personally. He calls her ‘thick’ – but uses the identical word to describe himself. He’s certainly rude, but there’s a venerable tradition of deliberately trangressive Anglo-Irish humour into which his tirades fit impeccably.

Both men are satirising the work of younger female writers — and also attacking their privileged lives. Des’s objections to Alison Flood’s argument are shared by the very first person to comment after him. So why couldn’t the Guardian have turned a blind eye — simply let BobGraves speak his piece – just like John Crace?

* John Crace
* The Guardian, Tuesday October 14 2008

I’ll be honest. I never thought I’d write a Christmas book. But then my publisher called to gossip about the credit crunch. “What’s that got to do with me?” I yawned, stretching out on my chaise longue.

“Nothing, sweetie,” she said. “It’s us here at Chatto I’m worried about. We’re desperate for a Christmas bestseller to help us make budget . . .”

[. . .]

“OK, darling, you’ve twisted my arm,” I cooed. “But there are a few ground rules. My Christmas isn’t some kind of austerity family hold-back affair. I want to be able to forget the sad, grey little faces of all my neighbours who have lost their jobs at Lehman Brothers and luxuriate in guilt-free greed and over-indulgence.”

“That’s perfect, Gelly Baby,” she laughed. “Just the kind of pointless consumerism Christmas publishing is all about. Getting people to buy expensive crap that never gets read.”

So where to start? How about with a feeble pun about how we always call Prosecco “Prozacco” at casa mia? [...]

BobGraves
Dec 02 08, 7:33pm

Please forgive me for being a thick Flood, but I do not follow the logic of claiming the PC has largely led to the death of stream of consciousness novels.

I do not detect any support for your claim. The only direct quote you invoke from this pill popping drinker, is that he wrote On The Road fast, because the road is fast. You then tell us of how another writer writes by hand (which would negate Kerouac’s method, surely?) – then how one with alzies is suffering cognition difficulties, and this is the sum total of the intellectual genius advocating a cast-iron right on Guardianista reality.

I’m not being funny, but why are you here?

I know there is no chance of you responding, because you represent the Jacqui Smith school of intellectuals. No obvious talent hiding behind some tin pot plastic reality in which you do not deign to engage with the suzzie norms who post far more eloquent and intelligently than you do.
What is your job description? I mean, I cannot recall reading anything by you that has any intellectual depth. You try and make out you’re dead literary, as though your mind is some rare space in which the plebs just don’t get the supremely superior order of your mental machinations, bemoaning the dumbing down of Literature, and yet you yourself are an integral part of the problem you espouse.

I have no problem with you appearing here, but if you actually engaged with the posters, instead of forming the vixens coven with the laughbly inedpt Armistead and the others stirring the pot in cold silence, imitating the male aspect, acting out the fantasy that you are an important cog in the bloomsbury mafia, instead of what you are, a joke withno talent.

You advocate freedom of speech and the right of artists, and yet your security commando patrollers who enforce the censoring of this site, like Smith and her jack boot stazi – nowt to do with you, the erosion of free speech.

Kerouac, the outsider, the bloke who upset people and didn’t give a monkeys who thought what, was excluded and truned down by people like you when he lived, don’t make us laugh Flood, you have no interest in anything other than acting out this ridiculous queen by fix rubbish, and if a real 21C poetic voice came from the beat ethos, of not giving a fig for the mafias you are part of coz yer can’t get on by talent, what would happen, d’yer fink, ficko?

BobGraves
Dec 02 08, 7:44pm

oops, typo, scuzzie, not suzzie.

Sorry to be blunt flood, I am not really having a go at you personally, just using you as a textual construct, as a placebo and exemplar for everything that is shoddy and wriong with this blog, especially since the changes came and it collapsed into being a purely commerical outfit in which the below line commentators are the guardians and lovers of the literate flame, with you lot just being paid gobs selling *stuff*, and so nowt personal, i don’t even now you, this is an intellectual exercise and *Flood*, the placebo on which to focus the ire about how unfairly i have been treated here as an intellectual. You being the rep of all that’s inept and wrong.

It was a cheap shot to say you have no talent, as you clearly have a talent for doing whatever it is that got you here pontificating.

But the essential point is, you lot talk and talk, and when put to the test by the people you claim to be on thinking terms with, the clever ones, you kick them out the gaffe and professionally exclude them, just because they have more talent.

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dvjm
Dec 02 08, 8:01pm

I rather agree with Bob Graves but he is veering a little off topic – albeit in an impressively lucid fashion – so let me turn to the column’s rather dubious thesis. [continues . . . http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/booksblog/2008/dec/02/jack-kerouac-on-the-road-manuscript ]

The Annals of Guardian Censorship: the Evidence (part 1)

November 16, 2008

Example of a post recently deleted by The Guardian, illustrating the point I am making in The Guardian’s books blog: they do prate of freedom, but . . .

Apologies for the missing apostrophes — which were eaten by software glitches on that site:

wordnerd7
Oct 26 08, 9:36am

3potato4,

Shame indeed.

Without bloggers commenting and writing poems, GUs advertising revenue would shrivel up. . . Yet they are doubly indebted to us. It isnt just that we arent being paid for our support, the Guardian is stuffing our machines full of information-gathering software on behalf of market research and advertising companies (at least 6 at present, according to my security software), and so routinely invades our privacy.

Shouldnt we be entitled to know why posts are being removed? A couple of weeks ago, GU removed my quotations of a brilliant review from the NYT to support Margaret Drabbles complaint about the dumbing down of publishing. I made no personal attack on anyone. There were no copyright issues, since that newspaper offers free access to that review. . . Yet when I complained about this here, the mods did no more than email me to say that they couldnt discuss moderation policy in public.

I am sure I am not the only person who remembers the Sarah Crown promise of openness and transparency about moderation and editing policies in the early summer of last year.

thebeardedlady and I have also been complaining about earlier deletions of posts without any indication or record of their disappearance. The complaints are then being deleted — . . . and bloggers are beginning to discuss this surreptitious censorship by GU in gatherings elsewhere.

I dont know if anyone else saw the Cif blog two or three weeks ago about Chinese authorities banning performances of Western classical music written for the Church. Someone in the thread said that there has been no official announcement on the subject. People planning or staging these concerts are merely silenced with a telephone call from someone powerful. . . Decidedly creepy, yes, but none of that seems quite so far from home any more.
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84 responses to “Salvage operation

  1. 3p4

    (your earlier post accidentally got deleted: I hope that this restores it — wordnerd7@ acciaccature)

    • 3p4
    November 16, 2008 at 7:38 am • Edit

    we scored a pretty good crop of deletions today,,
    i did expect all my boycott exhortations to vanish
    but it wasnt important that they did not cos everyone ignored them anyway,,i have always
    thought that the one really big muscle the public/consumer has to flex in this day and digital age is the instant referendum and threat of being sent into commercial coventry,,one day a focal figure will emerge i hope,,

  2. wordnerd7

    (restoring my earlier post, also deleted by accident)

    • wordnerd7
    November 16, 2008 at 9:02 am • Edit

    === one day a focal figure will emerge i hope,, ===

    But for the moment, the focal figure is us, yes? — I mean, everyone unhappy with this curious policy.

  3. 3p4

    was accused the other day of being excessively fond of the lyric voice in poetry””

    wordy,, que est difference of “accused of” and
    “appraised as” and “judged to be” and “defined as”

    lexical stewed prunes,,

  4. 3p4

    But for the moment, the focal figure is us, yes? — I mean, everyone unhappy with this curious policy.

    actually no,,i am quite ok with it,,in spite of my
    starting a big kerfuffle on billy’s thread about
    PA a week or so ago,,sorry willum :),,see i have been engaging with “cif” the entity not cif the content,,(something i clumsely refered to as disecting posters,, yuch,,my bad,,careless words,,)
    and “cif “the entity is not as single brained and internally coherent as i we one might assume,,
    without coordination there cant really be a plot or
    hidden agenda,,there can be a lot of nonsensical and or arbitary and or contradictory paradoxical
    klein bottles of mobious chips,,but not creepy,,

    did you try the specific moderation email address ?
    what did you say ,,what did they say ? ?

  5. 3p4

    PA is of course practisingartist just as some people will see him as ovidyeats and others as burscough and others as desword(n+1),,depending on when you first entered the blog,,in fact one night there was an exchange in which des claimed to have had more names than anyone else and i advised him that there was a poster down the hall (who always posts “dialogue from the cynic” said the anorak”)
    who had more names a month than des could in a lifetime,,strrraaaaaaaangely enough ,,both our posts,,,,
    vanished

  6. 3p4

    oops,,and by cif i mean GU,, sorry,,cif was the door where i first entered the arena/auditorium/classroom/toilet/AA meeting
    we know and love as Guardian UNLIMITED,,

  7. 3p4

    this wordy,,is my favourite deletion of all time’,,

    i once made a post which was deleted from a george soros thread,,not one about him,,but one written by him,,it read, and i reproduce it here in its entirety,,

    “even if we all spoke with one voice,,we would still all hear with different ears ”

    deleted,,:)

  8. wordnerd7

    === i once made a post which was deleted from a george soros thread,,[. . .]
    “even if we all spoke with one voice,,we would still all hear with different ears ”===

    Astonishing. And you still have room in your heart for the snippers. :) . . . Was there something about the context that might have made it offensive?

  9. 3p4

    guilt by association,,responding to a lunatic,,

    familiar ? ?

    still have room in your heart for the snippers”

    i did get a post reinstated once,,plus i prefer to control my emotional engagement with the forum
    which i cant do if i dont let go,, taking eight months off and returning to familiar scenarios and dialogues made my reactive much calmer second time around,,there is a deep difference twixt acting loudly and reacting badly,,they look the same,,they sound different,, and the catharsis
    possible via a forum such as this is part of converting looking into hearing,,thanks

  10. wordnerd7

    Guilt or tarring by association, 3p4?

    Very good to know that you’ve found a chance for catharsis here. This might make your eyes pop, as it did mine:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/nov/17/censorship-internet?commentpage=1

  11. 3p4

    there is a lot like this over the last couple of days
    mods have been heavy handed everywhere,, i know exactly how he feels,,

    filf
    Nov 27 08, 10:51am (about 19 hours ago)
    Moderation. Again.

    In the abortion debate – I responded to the first comment – which I felt was deliberately provocative.

    My comment was removed – and shown as moderated. The offending comment was completely zapped.

    As a result – the first comment in the debate is mine, moderated and gives the impression that I have charged in and made an offensive comment. No indication that I was responding to someone else.

    I tried pointing out that this was inconsistent (complete zapping v deletion) and unfair – and this too was moderated.

    So. What is the criteria for complete removal against moderation
    —————————————–
    SwiftyBoy
    Nov 27 08, 12:07pm (about 18 hours ago)
    @mods:

    AAAARGH! My post was a JOKE!!! Cath’s article was light-hearted and, in line with kizbot’s post, I was hoping this was going to be a fun Thursday diversion (lots of silly sexism nonsense from both POVs etc).

    Stop ruining it with heavy-handed humourless bloody moderating. Please.

    (20 recommends)

  12. wordnerd7

    THANK YOU for this, @3p4, & for your other fine posts I haven’t been able to answer (see reply to Sean M, moments ago.) . . Surely such ludicrous stifling will be fine grist for some academic mill, soon — could mean tenure for someone in the branch of psychology concerned with the management of correctional facilities? . . . Imagine a _liberal_ newspaper supplying most of the data! [shakes head wonderingly]

  13. 3p4

    THANK YOU for this, @3p4, & for your other fine posts I haven’t been able to answer

    re answers no sweat no rush no expectations

    re THANK YOU,, i can have terrible anorak compulsions for trivia ,which is what the above
    is,,i will add them as i see them if you wish,,

    like cath elliots thread,, 9 deleted in the first hour,replies that go on all through the thread,,??

  14. 3p4

    lordsummerisle
    Nov 28 08, 6:23pm (about 11 hours ago)
    Priceless! thebookseller’s comment that is an Editor’s Pick proudly listed on the CIF front page has been removed by a moderator.
    It’s true!
    Time to hit the bottle. Real life is getting too weird for me. G’dnight all!

  15. wordnerd7

    @3p4, Thanks for that comment from @lordsummerisle, which I’m presuming was also deleted — ?

    The Department of Silly Walks moderation at Gu is so ridiculous, now, that it’s getting boring. . . except for delicious in-jokes, like finding just this, and knowing that it could only be .. . :) . . . :

    ===BanFili
    Nov 29 08, 5:25pm (about 14 hours ago)
    This comment has been removed by a moderator. Replies may also be deleted. ===

    BanFili: would you please consider putting that censored post here? I’d love to know what it said.

  16. wordnerd7

    This is where I’ve put The Annals of Guardian Censorship: the Evidence (part 2)
    December 4, 2008

  17. Why not turn a blind eye? Indeed – as stated earlier the GU are creating a rod for their own backs by their behaviour.

    I do think there’s a risk of martyrdom being created as well which I never find healthy for any of the parties involved.

    But is Alison Flood privileged? How so? Is she the daughter of the blog editor? Isn’t she just another writer who’s been offered a chance to write something and has had the nous to grab that opportunity. I can’t see anything wrong with that even if I might disagree with what she has to say, even if I might be dissappointed that she doesn’t come below line to engage with the comments.

  18. wordnerd7

    @alarming, thankee, I’ll click and look in my next surfing break . . . This is only a quick reply about:

    === But is Alison Flood privileged? How so? Is she the daughter of the blog editor? Isn’t she just another writer who’s been offered a chance to write something and has had the nous to grab that opportunity. ===

    Anyone whose education and ability have given her a chance to work at a place like The Guardian is privileged (and though I try to avoid autobiography, I suppose this is the place to say that I’ve had done something like that myself, more than once.) . . . The point is that it’s all relative . . . @Des is also privileged — in relation to someone who didn’t grow up in a family that loved language and art, as I’ve gathered he did. He’s also obviously had people who have noted and praised the spark in his poems and screeds along the way, and he has a computer and knows more about the finer points of publishing on the net than I do . . .

    I’m no more enthusiastic about martyrs than you are. I just thought it might be interesting to consider whether what John C and Des are doing is really all that different.

    And about Alison Flood, . . . I could be gravely mistaken, but I’ve had a persistent feeling that she’s been trying to write mini-exposes of what’s wrong with commercial publishing and is being blocked. . . by a more senior editor.

    Remember that it was she who reported Margaret Drabble’s complaint about the dumbing-down of the book business — even though this message had to be sugarcoated in a rather silly debate about two book covers. Anyone coming late to this discussion might want to see what I said about her here: http://acacciatura.wordpress.com/2008/11/16/the-guardians-books-blog-they-do-prate-of-freedom-but/

  19. wordnerd7

    === Anyone whose education and ability have given her a chance ===

    I forgot to add, to those two, the most important of all factors, . . . in the end . . . LUCK..

  20. 3p4

    PetraMB
    Dec 05 08, 5:55pm (about 14 hours ago)
    Peter,
    I can’t fathom why the mods took out your substantive and well-thought through comment”‘

    petraMB was the author of the blog where this happened,,

  21. wordnerd7

    @alarming . . . I clicked . . . :) . . .!!! . . . On behalf of everyone too far away to get to one of your shows, _thank you_ for putting up the Compost Mentis video. Lots more to say about my site visit, and I will, in a bit.

    @3p4: another staggering example. Terribly sad that we can’t see what Peter said. Someone needs to give @petraMB and other Cif-ers the link for this shelter for abused posts.

  22. Wonderful idea; the shelter one.

  23. BaronCharlus

    Hi Wordn,

    Not sure I should bother you with this but they’re moderating up a storm over on Poster Poems. I’ve saved a few of those most likely to be cut (many already have been) if you want them. Although, as the topic is limericks, I’m not sure you’ll find the content too elevating.

    It’s not exactly the lady Chatterly trial.

    Also need to catch up on everyone’s posts here. Hope all’s well!

  24. wordnerd7

    @BaronC, welcome back after your thankfully brief sabbatical! . . . If not too much trouble, would you please paste them all in here and then perhaps we can all discuss what to do about them? . . .

    I take your point about the Lady Chatterley trial. . . I’m a little worried about confusing the debate about eg., the Guardian censoring or failing to support critics of the dumbing-down of publishing — eg., Margaret Drabble — with fights about the right to post obscene poetry.

    But if that’s scatalogical verse written with wit and verve, then it’s art that those Uzi-happy mods are messing with . . .

    Please will anyone who feels like it post a link to this web page for Cif-ers or any other GU bloggers who might need somewhere to go?

  25. wordnerd7

    For anyone new to this site: in my last comment in this thread, my mention of the Guardian’s lack of interest in fighting the excessive commercialisation of publishing is discussed here:

    http://acacciatura.wordpress.com/2008/11/21/since-when-was-a-newspaper-a-mercantilist-tool/

  26. BaronCharlus


    [ The sample of censored comments in the post removed from this spot – a collection of bawdy limericks – has been making some visitors to the site extremely uncomfortable. Since the poster, BaronCharlus, is among them – he changed his mind for reasons not difficult to understand – I’ve saved a copy of it and will email it on request. I’d expect most of those who want a look to be researchers studying censorship by The Guardian, and on other newspaper sites. . . I am not deleting comments referring to the limericks: some (not mine) are much too entertaining to deserve the chop, and I'm sure that most readers, particularly those reared on undiluted Chaucer, can easily imagine their own substitutes. ------ wordnerd7, December 18, 2008 ]

  27. wordnerd7

    Indeed, @BaronC, I did ask for a chance to see what you were referring to . . . thank you. Does anyone agree with the GU mods that these limericks went beyond the pale? . . . I find them, er, . . . most enlightening . . . yes, I’m sure that’s the word. . . . :)

  28. wordnerd7

    The new Maurice Girodias . . .
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maurice_Girodias . . .
    such a curious fate for a wordnerd!

  29. I think some of the limericks were cut for merely being in another language. They were some of the better ones!

    Gaewindsorters is/was Des or if not then someone’s done their homework . His 20 odd line limerick both re-defined the form and told us all off in no uncertain terms.

    But the blog overall conforms to my general experience of limericks. When they first appear – what a refreshingly daft thing they are – then they irritate you – then they irritate you immensely – then you see something else in them. The last page or two have some interesting and different twists to the form. And throughout the spectre of filth breaks surface from time to time.

  30. wordnerd7

    Hmm, . . . almost no comrades seem interested in discussing these particular bits of salvage.

    @BaronC, I haven’t had time to struggle with yours – with the help of online language translators or otherwise. But I will.

    Anything else looks like small children trying out what I used to call ‘bad words’ when I was one myself. . . or like fine material for the sexologists I mentioned here . . . http://acacciatura.wordpress.com/2008/12/02/sex-in-the-literary-blogosphere/… Vy oh vy, I imagine one asking – ze identical copulatory contortion mentioned repeatedly by zis same blogger, wiz both ze genders as targets? (see a certain contributor to cynicalstevesdoggerelblog.) : )

  31. BaronCharlus

    Wordn,

    a) ‘almost no comrades seem interested in discussing these particular bits of salvage.’

    &

    b) ‘haven’t had time to struggle with yours’

    Well, to (a) I’m not surprised. They, unlike myself, should be commended for their dignified silence. And (b), please don’t bother. I’m rather ashamed of myself. It’s enough to say that ‘pik’ and ‘lik’ mean what you probably think they do and ‘blauwe walvis’ means blue whale.

    I will now re-read your McRum letter for third time. A splendid piece of ordnance.

    @Alarming,

    I love your idea of the Spectre of Filth. A future puppetry project, perhaps?

  32. elcalifornio

    well, not sure how “political” it was, but one of my posts on McCrum’s Cabal article was cut out; presumably this was because I was replying to another post that also appears to have been cut.

    Was the Mod slightly drunk, waving its shears around?

  33. elcalifornio

    actually, my paranoia got the best of me. it appears the comment I thought was removed was actually on another blog. one arm through the coat sleeve as we speak…

    (though, I have been modded in the past and greatly appreciate this venue)

  34. wordnerd7

    Welcome @elcalifornio! . . . Long live the Bear Flag Republic! . . . : ) . . .I’ll answer as soon as I can, this being the maddest of mad days . . .

  35. BaronCharlus

    I’m not sure of the ethics of posting others’ moderated comments up here without their consent. Atf was having another go at a music/lit thread and I saved her comments before they were deleted but I’m really not sure it does anyone any favours for them to be seen – atf or those mocking and taking the bait (I write as one foolishly hooked in the past).

    I’m against censorship but reading those comments and responses has me quite depressed. Wordn, what’s your guidance on this? I feel like a snoop for having saved them at all.

  36. seanmurray

    In all seriousness I find atf’s anti-hipster posts among the most refreshing on the net. I was going to say so at GU but it would just have been deleted.

    About the ethics: maybe wordy could say at the top of the page that posts will be taken down if the author objects.

  37. atf is an interesting case in point. Our “discussion” on the rap blog a month or so back has mainly bitten the dust. In it she accused me of all sorts of things – all of them untrue and some quite unpleasantly untrue but in her narrow field ( and I think it’s fair to say it is narrow ) there are always interesting observations. To be honest I think she shot herself massively in the foot with what she wrote but I’m not in favour of her being binned.

  38. 3P4

    JessicaReed
    16 Dec 08, 12:58pm
    Staff writer
    Hi MartynInEurope,
    Please bare with us, we’re working on the Steve Bell commenting thing…
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    3potato4
    17 Dec 08, 5:44am
    This comment has been removed by a moderator. Replies may also be deleted.

    3potato4
    17 Dec 08, 5:46am
    oops,, Jess,,i mean Jessica,,oops
    sorry

    it said “Please bare with us/,,losing the kit are we jenn ?
    hope this has some bearing,, “

  39. wordnerd7

    Oh oh oh . . . . [wordnerd holding sides, gasping]

    THANK YOU @3p4: a treasure for the ages . . . I can only look at the blog in brief snatches, at present & it was bliss to find this contribution. . . How do they get the mods into such a humourless state? Keep them tied to desks and starving, like fighter pit bulls?

  40. wordnerd7

    @elcal, I’m sure I know which (spot-on) post of yours you meant – on the other blog, though it would fit impeccably on RMcC’s — and checked that it was still there. . . I’d made a copy, in case it didn’t last. . . .Perhaps the discussions of GU deleting comments critical of commercial publishing are having some effect. The censors have also (mostly) stopped wiping out posts leaving no record that they were ever made.

    === one arm through the coat sleeve as we speak… ===
    ;) . . . we could never have enough throwaway lines like that, . . . only one reason for being really pleased to have you here.

    @BaronC, @Alarming, @Sean . . . your reactions are an unexpected boon. I’m groping towards a framework for decisions on permanent additions to this censorship museum. I’d prefer to do this collaboratively – since I think we can work like a self-organising system . . . without going all Animal Farm and behaving just like the GU mods in a different guise.

    @alarming uses the word ‘filth’ decisively. @BC is singing Je Ne Regrette Rien in reverse — in soft, agonised tones . . . and @SeanM’s mind happens to be running on a track running very close to mine, in considering a solution.

    As for me, I really have been studying the obscene verses like laboratory specimens, and will happily leave anything like them on display for a day or two – for the matchless insight they give us into the minds of our comrades. . . Personally, I’m far more interested in instances of blog moderators’ deletions of legitimate disagreement or criticism – like my post about the commercialisation of publishing a few weeks ago. Though I have only pasted that single comment on the subject into this section of the site (see The Annals of Guardian Censorship: the Evidence (part 1) – above) at least two others making the same points in the same week were wiped out by the same hands. . . . @ISA, that means it’s hard to agree with the suggestion that some young and inexperienced GU mod had a twitchy trigger finger.

    . . . Anyway, will everyone please look (upthread) at what I’ve done with @BaronC’s original _deposit_ — borrowing from the inimitable Ovid/PracticingArtist/Des lexicon. . .

    Which reminds me — @Des, if you are reading here. I tried posting a comment on your site last night but the comment box appeared to have vanished. . . And . . .on @Suzan’s site, I’ve had warnings of a ‘clickjacking’ attempt from my security software – twice, over the last week — when I’ve tried to post. Someone might have planted malicious code on her blog – or my sentinel could be crying wolf: dunno.

  41. Hi Wordy,
    I’m writing you this from Kuala Lumpur today. I have actually just seen your blog by chance and didn’t realise that bit about the malicious code. Better not to take the risk.
    Des’s blog looks alright. Its just under ‘comment moderation’ but I think he is feeling slightly depressed and in this mood, is considering closing his blog for good. I’m worried he may actually do it.

    rgds

  42. Hi Wordy,

    Just sent you a comment here but it didn’t show. Do you see it besides this one, anywhere?

  43. wordnerd7

    @alarming said about @anytimefrances,

    === I’m not in favour of her being binned. ===

    And on the same subject, @BaronC:

    === Atf was having another go at a music/lit thread and I saved her comments before they were deleted but I’m really not sure it does anyone any favours for them to be seen – atf or those mocking and taking the bait
    ===

    @alarming, @Sean and @BaronC . . and @Des, when (if) you reappear:

    If any of you are in touch with her by email, please ask her to read this post – which confirms that she’s a trillion miles from paranoid in her complaints about the refusal of civic authorities in more than one place to crack down on noise pollution.

    At dinner the other night, I listened to a lawyer who does a lot of pro bono work talking about a visit from a prospective client, a retired waiter in the same city from which I pasted in a newspaper link for @atf about two months ago.

    The ex-waiter lives in a district whose first stage of gentrification brought in a night club. Though its soundproofing is substantial, the people who live above the club and even in the building next door feel the vibrations from the music all night long. The dancing makes the interior too hot, so the windows are often open – defeating the whole point of the insulation.

    About three or four years ago, the job of responding to noise complaints was reassigned from the police to the city’s entertainment commission. This means that when, in the middle of the night, angry neighbours of the club phone the cops to complain about sound emerging from opened windows, they refuse to act.

    Since tourism is almost certainly the most profitable business in this city, and since tourists like nightclubs, the entertainment commission is playing deaf to the complainers. . . . As many of the residents in this district are very poor, living off welfare . . . and struggling with substance abuse of various sorts, . . the cynical investors in the club have been silencing the most susceptible neighbours with gifts they can easily sell for drug or booze money. . . Imagine what this is doing to someone with small savings, who cannot easily move away – like the retired waiter — who finds the music intolerable, but has virtually no support in his protests.

    The lawyer I was listening to is talking to other lawyers about the possibility of a class-action suit. . . The bribes could make it impossible to round up enough litigants.

    . . . so @BaronC, if you don’t think that displaying her vanishing posts would help, I’ll respect your judgement, of course . . .

  44. wordnerd the problem does go the other way too in cities. Up here in Manchester planners have built flats in the city centre to encourage a sort of boho lifestyle trading on a romantic view of the Factory Records image. One block was developed right next to a lovely little nightclub which books bands and has done for years. After about 6 months the complaints started coming in about noise after hours and eventually the club was closed down.

    Similarly there was a big arena built in order to accomodate outdoor events, theatre, dance etc. The council then built blocks of flats right next to it – the arena is now unsuitable and can only be used for special occasions.

    I write this not to continue a war of attrition with atf ( heaven forbid :)! ) but to add to the discussion.

  45. wordnerd7

    === wordnerd the problem does go the other way too in cities. ===

    You make that point beautifully — other people have made it (less well) in the case I’ve mentioned. The pro-nightclub people say that it’s the only business drawing in the prosperous middle-class — which has also been helping to make the area far more safe at night . . . Perhaps this is an argument that could only be decided with a referendum. I’m afraid I’d vote against it: why should poorer people tortured by noise pollution have fewer defences against it, when they might need them more? . . . Someone with no money who can’t afford to go out much can still be happy reading or listening to music — in the right environment. . . I say, move the nightclubs, arenas, etc., further from people.

  46. The problem is when the club or the arena have been there long before the flats as in the cases I mentioned. If they are built later then there are plenty of good reasons for complaint.

    But now the arena which used to put on a variety of events is largely unused and becomes another nail in the coffin of public amenities. If it was unused because no-one actually wanted it then I would have no sympathy but it’s unused because it can’t be used.

    We were working in Spain last October and this wouldn’t even be a consideration there. An unbelievably noisy country with city centres recognised as being where that noise takes place.

  47. wordnerd7

    @alarming: yes I do see what you mean . . . It’s because there are such good arguments pro and agin that I think a referendum is the only solution. . . In a planned city, conflicts like this could be avoided – but that’s like Esperanto, a cure no one really wants, which would never ‘take’.

  48. wordnerd7

    Oh and @alarming, I spent a short break at GU and found that you let the punishment fit the crime — pasted in exactly the same reply to a Buy, buy, Christmas books! blog as you did last year . . . Now _that’s_ what I call inspired.

  49. wordnerd am not quite following your last comment and what it relates to. Am increasingly aware that I only post about 5 comments which are cunningly re-arranged to appear to be new and fresh. Am I beginning to contradict myself as well? Oh lord. Sorry this reads like a telegram by the way

  50. wordnerd7

    @alarming, I meant this : ) one:

    === ETAYLOR

    17 Dec 08, 10:22am

    I have a tradition with my next brother up of buying him unreadable, obscure books. A collection of X-rays of dislocated shoulder blades with accompanying medical notes went down well as did the Memoirs of China’s agricultural attache vol. 5. Mind you he sent me a collection of business motivational haikus on year. ===

    . .. Not like a telegram at all and you write more than your share of extra-thoughtful posts. . . Your commenting pattern also stands out for independence. In considering what @ISA — whose middle name could easily be TooGenerous — has said about this site in another thread ( http://acacciatura.wordpress.com/2008/12/16/an-open-letter-to-a-literary-gatekeeper/#comment-446 ) . .. it has occurred to me that we’re collecting the least tribal and most unpredictable bloggers here.

    On GU and a couple of other blogs I know there are small gangs who will rush up to a fence reliably and bark-bark-bark in unison at perceived outsiders, or above- or below-the-liners who’ve offended someone in their group . . . But you and @ISA/Phil . . . @Des . . . @Suzan . . . @3p4 . . . @BaronC . . . . . . @elcal — by no means a complete list — specialise in including newcomers, eccentrics, equally value some comrades who can’t stand each other . . . and are as happy to agree or disagree with bloggers you find stimulating.

    That might be why @ISA feels at home here — as I do myself, which isn’t necessarily a foregone conclusion, I’ve noticed. There _have_ been cases of people running away from their own sites and commenters . .. really.

  51. 3P4

    it has occurred to me that we’re collecting the least tribal””

    eennhh (pull the lips back tight at the corners and humm the vowel e in the septum,,adjust to sonority,, its that buzzer noise like on a game show when there is a wrong answer)

    the least tribal wont bother,, the tribal value is the giving and sharing empathetic, caring ,participating,, do you remember i claimed there are two words that solve all oxymoronic paradoxs man perceived in man by man ?,,and remember i said creative is one of them ? no one actually said oh whats the other one,,its tribal,, thanks for asking,,

    the qualities perceived in this place (accaccthingy) are result of balance BETWEEN the GENETIC prompts to be on the one hand TRIBAL (long term: collective: safety in numbers: dont rock the boat: make calendars and looms: accept: revere ) and on the other hand be CREATIVE (short term: individual: he who travels fastest,,try the new, make arrows,,probe: test: attack: cynic )

    left hand right hand hunter farmer,,BALANCE balance balance,oh yeah i seem to recall i mentioned god along with this stuff,,
    god is creative ,religion is tribal,,
    NO INDIVIDUAL is able to deny the “other side” both these conflicting human urges and instincts are within everyone,,looks like deep “hidden’ contradiction to me,,,
    just the tool needed to unravel that “inner” current of interaction that results in oxydox,,oxymoron paradox

    your new word for the day OXYDOX,, (the flavour and personality of societies and newspaper headlines and cultural values everywhere and appearing to be getting worse and seemingly depressingly ubiquitous through out history)

    OXYDOX scratches mirror neurons badly and totally messes up the quality and value of reflections,,which creates a lot more oxydox,,
    words appears to function as a mirror cleaning agent but while it (words)temporarily removes scratches, the substrate upon which the reflective membrane is deposited
    is warped, and so , while the reflection of the person beside you is crystal clear and all warts are visible,,or dimples,,the short fat person stood next to you is actually very tall and slender,,

    On GU and a couple of other blogs I know there are small gangs who will rush up to a fence reliably and bark-bark-bark in unison at perceived outsiders, or above- or below-the-liners who’ve offended someone in their group””””””””””””
    this is not tribal this is creative,,but the rule is you cant have the one without the other so i will use a metaphor,, an essential human device for comfortably combining TWO sides of an equation so as to present the OPPORTUNITY for BALANCE and the metaphor is

    tribal car creative destination,,

    i strongly believe tribal values are peaceful and uplifting and this aggression and hostility is from the creative side,, this is very very
    important to my my personal view view,,and to whatever i may say as a continuation of this gathering,,

    tribal cannot find a new truth,,creative cannot use the same truth twice
    tribal cannot lie,, , creative can not see a problem with untruth

    ,,i strongly believe tribal values are peaceful and uplifting
    ,,i strongly believe tribal values are peaceful and uplifting
    ,,i strongly believe tribal values are peaceful and uplifting
    ,,i strongly believe tribal values( ergo) must be peaceful and uplifting

    because they dont work otherwise,,duh !!

  52. 3P4

    it has occurred to me that we’re collecting the least tribal””

    eennhh (pull the lips back tight at the corners and humm the vowel e in the septum,,adjust to sonority,, its that buzzer noise like on a game show when there is a wrong answer)

    the least tribal wont bother,, the tribal value is the giving and sharing empathetic caring participating,, do you remember i claimed there are two words that solve all oxymoronic paradoxs man perceived in man by man ?,,and remember i said creative is one of them ? no one actually said oh whats the other one,,its tribal,, thanks for asking,,

    the qualities perceived in this place (accaccthingy) are result of balance BETWEEN the GENETIC prompts to be on the one hand TRIBAL (long term: collective:
    safety in numbers: dont rock the boat: make calendars and looms: accept: revere ) and on the other hand be CREATIVE (short term: individual: he who travels fastest,,try the new make arrows,,probe: test: attack: cynic )

    left hand right hand hunter farmer,,BALANCE balance balance,oh yeah i seem to recall i mentioned god along with this stuff,,god is creative,religion is tribal,,
    NO INDIVIDUAL is able to deny the “other side” both these conflicting human urges and instincts are within everyone,,looks like deep “hidden’ contradiction to me
    just the tool needed to unravel that “inner” current of interaction that results in oxydox,,oxymoron paradox

    your new word for the day OXYDOX,, (the flavour and personality of societies and newspaper headlines and cultural values everywhere and appearing to be getting worse and seemingly depressingly ubiquitous through out history)

    OXYDOX scratches mirror neurons badly and totally messes up the quality and value of reflections,,which creates a lot more oxydox,,
    alcohol appears to function as a mirror cleaning agent but while it temporarily removes scratches, the substrate upon which the reflective membrane is deposited
    is warped, and so , while the reflection of the person beside you is crystal clear and all warts are visible,,or dimples,,the short fat person stood next to you is actually very tall and slender,,

    On GU and a couple of other blogs I know there are small gangs who will rush up to a fence reliably and bark-bark-bark in unison at perceived outsiders, or above- or below-the-liners who’ve offended someone in their group””””””””””””
    this is not tribal this is creative,,but the rule is you cant have the one without the other so i will use a metaphor,, an essential human device for comfortably combining TWO sides of an equation so as to present the OPPORTUNITY for BALANCE and the metaphor is

    tribal car creative destination,,

    i strongly believe tribal values are peaceful and uplifting and this aggresion and hostility is from the creative side,, this is very very
    important to my my personal view view,,and to whatever i may say as a continuation of this gathering,,

    tribal cannot accept new truths,, creative can not use the same truth twice
    tribal cannot lie,,creative can not see a moral problem,,

    ,,i strongly believe tribal values are peaceful and uplifting
    ,,i strongly believe tribal values are peaceful and uplifting
    ,,i strongly believe tribal values are peaceful and uplifting
    ,,i strongly believe tribal values( ergo) must be peaceful and uplifting

    because otherwise they dont work,,duh !

  53. wordnerd7

    Ah, I scented something unusually good coming this way after that ‘test’ post. . . I have to cram twice as much as I would ordinarily into the last few hours of today, so won’t be able to reply properly until later. . .

    But there’s delectable food for thought in what you’ve said, starting with,

    === its that buzzer noise like on a game show when there is a wrong answer) ===

    So good for a nerd’s ego, @3p4 , how _would_ I manage without you?

    === the least tribal wont bother,, the tribal value is the giving and sharing empathetic caring participating,, ===

    How anyone sees the word ‘tribal’ would have a lot to do with autobiography — yes? A childhood with repeated uprootings might make a person into a perennial outsider, and to someone like that, ‘tribe’ would also have rather unpleasant connotations, and might have practicvally no good ones . . . I can immediately agree with your setting it in opposition to creativity — or so it seemed in a first quick read. . . Lovely stuff . . .

  54. 3P4

    How anyone sees the word ‘tribal’ would have a lot to do with autobiography — yes

    eennhh,,

    its not personal ,,its a term in an equation ,,see longuers

  55. wordnerd7

    @3p4,

    Impossible to sort out our terms – eg., the differences between our definitions of ‘tribal’ — with all the seasonal demands on our time. I suspect that your idea of the tribe is what I’d call ‘community’ or ‘society’ – and allows for some degree of choice about belonging. Blood ties or at least common customs and culture are central to my use of the word: no choice at all – you’re either in or out.

    You said in your Long Posts comment:

    === the great divide ran between the tribal and the
    creative. and still does, ===

    . . . Since we’ve done no semantic sorting-out I can only guess at what you’re saying there. I think I agree – but then you also said that the collective fence-rushing to make good on ‘all for one and one for all,’ which you call ‘tribal,’ is consistent with creativity. . . And there, I’m afraid, you lost me.

    A few weeks ago, blogging elsewhere, we were with comrades discussing Nabokov’s idea of great creators being soloists (can’t paste in the precise quotation now but will later). They don’t run in packs. He also said:

    === I do not know if it has ever been noted before that one of the main characteristics of life is discreteness. Unless a film of flesh envelops us, we die. Man exists only insofar as he is separated from his surroundings. The cranium is a space traveller’s helmet. . . Stay inside or you perish. Death is divestment, death is communion. It may be wonderful to mix with the landscape, but to do so is the end of the tender ego. ===

    Typical Nabokovian provocation, wonderful stuff . . . he was a great adept of the windup . . . What I think he’s really expressing is creative artists’ need to protect their distinctive vision. . . And I think that’s right. . . Community life serves craftspeople (practitioners of traditional crafts) well; artists not at all.

    . . . But we got into this because I said that some bloggers behaved tribally. I meant that they attack people they put on their list of enemies like packs of coyotes: yi. . . .yip . . . yip . . . yip . . . yip . . YOWWWWWWWW . . . yip . . . YIP! . . . : ) . . . Highly entertaining. . . And I don’t think believe that any of them have ever posted on this blog – or will.

  56. 3P4

    Since we’ve done no semantic sorting-out”””””””””

    actually thats all i am attempting at present,, and for only two terms
    creative ,,and,, tribal..

    we do need to establish semantics,,although i think my ape man story
    makes it clear what i mean,,but not what you hear,,what do you hear

    . . . Since we’ve done no semantic sorting-out I can only guess at what you’re saying there. I think I agree – but then you also said that the collective fence-rushing to make good on ‘all for one and one for all,’ which you call ‘tribal,’ is consistent with creativity. . .

    no i said creative is responsible for the hostility,,the destination,,i said the vehicle was tribal,,the joining together,,

    both elements are present in everything,, but they have opposite (complimentary) value structures,,without seperating them or (as is the case,,deliberately exchanging them ) the affairs of man become oxydox

    sorry i should have said three words,,semantics of three words

    take all the time you like to reply,,

    many small posts make light work,, can see better with light on,,

  57. Communities not serving art hmmmmmm.
    Certainly they have a talent for running them out of town but in non-Western societies the artists can be very closely tied to their communities – the Aborigines and Balinese spring to mind. Similarly communities that put on carnivals ( Brazil, Trinidad ) feature lovely artistic work. Then we have societies that feature choirs and music.

    I don’t think that a novel or a painting could be created in such conditions ( although it seems to be with the rock paintings of Southern Africa and the Aborigines ) but there is considerable transformative art in the examples cited above.

    Of course I have such a promiscuous attitude as to what art can be so I would say that wouldn’t I?

  58. wordnerd7

    . . . well, this time I did anticipate your view, @alarming — I guessed that you’d agree with @3p4. . . but having read your post twice, I don’t think we’re far apart.

    I had a flash of remembering, and went to a bookcase — and suspect that neither of you would have any quarrel with this:

    === Martin Seligman proposes the tentative solutions from himself and his colleagues. One ‘frightening possibility is that we will rashly surrender the sweet freedom that individualism brings, giving up personal control and concern for the self in order to shed depression and attain meaning. The twentieth century is riddled with disastrous examples of societies that have done just this to cure their ills. The current yearning for fundamentalist religion both in America and throughout the world appears to be such a temptation.’ The flight into cults, which was so prominent, particularly on the west coast, is another example.

    But Seligman proposes a ‘more hopeful possibility: a balance between individualism, with its perilous freedoms, and commitment to the common good, which should lower depression as well as make life meaningful.’

    Individualism and Our Age of Narcissism. — Rollo May essay, c. 1991. ===

  59. wordnerd7

    . . . The trouble is, balance is always desperately hard to achieve in real life . . .

  60. wordnerd7

    === the least tribal wont bother,, ===

    @3p4 . . . are you sure, not even to show off? . . . Comrades who swish in to make a comment that looks like talking to themselves, then swish out . . . and never reply to what anyone else says?

  61. 3P4

    The Need for and Benefit of an Agreed Vocabulary

    Purposeful positive prose prevents poorly
    poised putative pronouncements procuring presumptive perceptions.
    Preliminary parse precautions permit prescriptive prostylizing

    now i have to go,,,,,

    since i ,,like alarming have made a living solely as an artist for more than thirty years,,i would really like to have a good discussion here and i think its gotto start with semantics and our own patois,,”‘mirror neurons”‘ is an asbo lute awful term,, but oxydox is really cool,,tribal and creative need to be rebranded so as to not carry to much u,,,,,,to carry as little unshared baggage as possible ,,,,

    we could also use a –

    “This is a home for posts censored elsewhere for no good reason.”

    -better description of “this house proposes that art,,blah blah cabbage shred verbage thread,,

    promiscuous,,tribal :) (accepting)

  62. 3P4

    that smiley face is a f*ckin* abomineffingation ,,sulks,,i want a colon close bracket,,that yellow smiley is creative but it sure aint art

  63. Of course in those societies who appear to have a more communal role for its artists it would be extremely intersting to know whether there are artists who create in a more solitary fashion as they tend to do here in the West.

    As a complete aside are you aware of the coffin makers of West Africa? Mainly in Ghana I think. If the deceased was a fisherman the coffin would be a huge fish and so on. There are cars, lions,woodwork tools, folded newspapers, cocoa pods, shellfish. Beautifully bespoke poetic images.

    Unfortunately I don’t have a good internet link but well worth a google or two. Thames and Hudson put out a book a few years ago “Going into Darkness” by Thierry Secretan.

  64. 3P4

    This house proposes that Participants in this Debate construct a Shared set of Tools by means of defining a Few as yet Unspecified terms so as to have a Reasonable Belief that these Tools have the same Meaning ,the same Use and the same Effect for all Participants and Further, that the Possession of these Tools may Further their Artistic Skills in the Construction of The Human Narrative both Personal and Universal.

    nuttin heavy ya dig ?

  65. 3P4

    Beautifully bespoke poetic images.

    the essence of art ,,

    As a complete aside are you aware of the old italian guy who worked on the road crew for thirty years and brushes the wet concrete so as to shape a side walk,,with a huge bristle brush on a long handle,,some might call it a broom,,(philistines)

    are we sounding in tune ?

  66. BaronCharlus

    Interesting conversation, which is starting to form some coherency for me. I think…

    I take choice cuts from both sides of the debate turkey. To hear of the ‘tribal’ and ‘creative’ from you 3p4, is a minor eureka moment for me. Following years of favouring the mystical (see my – on the surface – frivolous poem posted over on Wordn’s most recent thread for personal history) I found those beliefs fading and myself rather bereft. When challenged by an esoterically-minded friend to produce alternatives I found that God, for me, had become the creative impulse; the extraordinary ability to invent, explode, venerate – and even finally worship as real – the imagined. This encapsulated, for me at least, my powerful feelings for what I must call the ‘spiritual’ without forcing belief in systems I could no longer countenance as being of anything other than human – biological, evolutionary – origin. Does this fit in? I place all imaginative thought – from science to private experiences of the divine – as human activation of the creative in all its glorious and vile incarnations. Deep breath…

    However…

    I’m with Alarming on the ability of communities to generate their own art, a collaborative use of the ‘creative’. Would extend this to the West to include US Sacred Harp Singing.

    As I’ve said elsewhere, I believe these conflicts (tribal-creative, commercial-artistic, etc) are of necessity insoluble and great work is sparked into being by the friction between opposing forces. That yin-yang ain’t ever going grey.

  67. wordnerd7

    @BaronC and @3p4 . . . excellent vitamins in those posts and I’ll reply as soon as I can . . .

  68. wordnerd7

    @Hazlitt who, like @Sean, may well have disappeared into Christmas early – gathering more than the bear necessities and alas, too busy to bare with us, this week (see the last censored post in this thread) — . . . said something beautifully, higher up:

    === Have given birth to more blushing flowers unseen than a florist on the other side of Mars ………. ===

    . . . and though I couldn’t resist teasing him and @3p4 for being cryptic in one exchange, I prefer allusive to expository or anything resembling academic writing about poetry and the visual arts – from those who have a knack for it. It’s like explaining a poem with a poem or a dance, song or drawing; answering a koan with a koan.

    @BaronC, . . . that word ‘tribal’ is still all wrong. I hate what the politicians have done with the more accurate ‘community’ and ‘social’ . . . so ‘the collective,’ though not pretty, either, might have to serve as a substitute, for me (until someone thinks of something better).

    In @3p4’s inimitable way,

    === This house proposes that Participants in this Debate construct a Shared set of Tools by means of defining a Few as yet Unspecified terms so as to have a Reasonable Belief that these Tools have the same Meaning [. . .].

    nuttin heavy ya dig ? ===

    . . . The spirit of nuttin’ heavy rules out introducing religion into the discussion for me, Baron, until I have some serious leisure time – though it’s a rich vein, and of the greatest importance. I’d be thrilled to read you and anyone else getting into it over the next few days, when my appearance are liable to be erratic.

    But this, I hope, fits the tone @3p4 suggests. . .

    Many years ago, a couple who lived near me somewhere in the wilds took me on a wood-gathering expedition. We were all famished after we’d made a neat pile of logs beside my house, so I made a lightning supper, the first I ever cooked for them. It couldn’t have been more basic – the end of a scrumptious smelly ham and bits of dried mushrooms became a sauce, and I re-heated some lentils made the night before. The husband, who was an artist-millworker – he specialised in wonderfully strange, minimalist wood carvings – had a second and a third helping. But the wife pushed her food around on her plate and looked uncomfortable. Her manner was soft but also pleasantly direct — so, without too much trouble, I got her to explain that the problem was that I’d used ‘too many ‘erbs’. This was said in a strangely constrained manner, as if she were politely suggesting I’d nearly poisoned her. . . I was amazed, since I’d only used garlic and a small sprig of rosemary in the sauce – and thyme was, well, just thyme. . . The husband wanted me to write down the recipes for him – but it was clear that they didn’t have any of the ingredients.

    The reason why I’m not actually veering away from our subject is that she wasn’t just the local postmistress but a leading community organiser. . . and I found the difference between her and her mate emblematic of the cultural split in our minuscule toytown. Anyone at the interesting end of craft work – or original enough to deserve being called an artist – was open to every sort of new experience, keen to adopt remotely interesting new people in town as friends, and all-round adventurous. Pillars of the community and government workers were immaculate illustrations of the word ‘conservative,’ in every sense – obsessed with social standing and hierarchy, . . . and closed-minded.

    But they represent the ‘collective’ to me – as in @3p4’s accurate opposition of (what he calls) ‘tribal’ to the ‘creative.’ . . . In thinking of what he said, it occurred to me that scholars and critics writing about the arts are in the ridiculous position of the collective presuming to explain the creative. Can’t be done, in my experience – except by an extraordinarily rare few.

    . . . I haven’t got to the good questions @alarming and @BaronC have been discussing – about art produced collectively. . . This should really be in the long post pen, where I might have to move the whole of this conversation, when I have time. . . Doesn’t belong in Salvage, as someone said …

  69. To return back to the noise abatement thread above and thus cunningly avoid having to respond to 3p4’s call for a defined set of terms ( in truth I think I’d need to write a book to answer that and even then I’m not sure what it would entail ).

    City centres should be democratic spaces where the population can express itself – be it a parade by a football team ( we get a lot of them up here as Man. Utd win everything ) to an arts festival to a protest. They don’t happen every day so they are not impinging overly on those who take the ( for want of a better description ) atf approach. Obviously I have a vested interest in saying such things but I take the view that if I’m allowed to do something then everyone else should be as well and city/town centres seem the most neutral spaces for that to take place. Does anyone move to a city centre for peace and quiet?

    Trouble is that city centres are becoming privatised so that such events as described above need to apply to the owners of streets and spaces in order to put on something. Those owners are not answerable to anyone and can veto permission on the basis of some extremely tenuous decisions. The police as well overprice themselves in order to police events and if they say they need 300 officers to keep order there is no argument to be had ( even though in many cases the numbers they decide are necessary are way over the top.)

    Here in Manchester they became very taken with the idea of a 24 hour city based I think on councillors going to places like Barcelona or Madrid. Trouble is they failed to realise that events and cultural life in those cities are very subsidised by the councils and instead tried to create that situation on a commercial basis alone. So beer companies and bars took hold of the reins and now for anyone over the age of 35 Manchester City Centre after 10 at night resembles a painting by Breughel if you’re lucky and if you’re unlucky a painting by Bosch.

    All by way of saying I think we need to seperate the public arena/outdoor event from the night-club which keeps the locals awake. 2 very different things.

  70. 3P4

    WAFFLE AND PREAMBLE

    over the age of 35 Manchester City Centre after 10 at night resembles a painting by Breughel if you’re lucky and if you’re unlucky a painting by Bosch.”’

    ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,a description to inspire carravagio and cellini,,who were notorious chavs,, thugs and bovver boyz

    in truth I think I’d need to write a book to answer that and even then I’m not sure what it would entail “””””””””

    the antithesis of useful,,what we need is fewer descriptions using less words..

    all human behaviour is powered by hard wiring
    do we agree ?

    the wiring has polarity,,it is either (our new collectively designed word part #1)
    or it is (our new collectively designed word part #2 )

    the contradiction (negation) of these two directions by each other results in disfunction (oxydox)
    the synergy (amplification) of these two directions by each other results in (new word # 3)

    old words( from my mouth),,to become new words collectively
    #1 creative,,, which is now for this thread (undecided)
    #2 tribal,,,,,,,,,,which is now for this thread (undecided)
    #3good,,,which is now for this thread,,,,,,,,(undecided)
    #4 bad,,,which is now for this thread,,,,,,,,,(OXYDOX)

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

  71. 3P4

    NITTY GRITTY

    All human behaviour is powered by hard wiring.( GENETIC)

    do we agree ?

    PLEASE LIMIT INITIAL RESPONSE TO ONE WORD,, and anyone who says “maybe”
    can sod off,, Colon Close Bracket

  72. wordnerd7

    @3p4, . . . I’d want to add ‘religion’ and ‘art’ (as opposed to ‘craft’) to your list of terms in desperate need of defining. . . With hardly anyone blogging anywhere, I think it unlikely that we’re going to get any help . . .

    === Purposeful positive prose prevents poorly
    poised putative pronouncements procuring presumptive perceptions.
    Preliminary parse precautions permit prescriptive prostylizing ===

    Why only 3 p’s in your name, then? Completely unnecessary restraint, if you ask me . . . But I did enjoy your p. . .p … piling up — and forgot to say so earlier.

    Your question:

    === All human behaviour is powered by hard wiring.( GENETIC)

    do we agree ? ===

    Of course not. How much fun would that be?

  73. wordnerd7

    Yes, @alarming . . .

    === All by way of saying I think we need to seperate the public arena/outdoor event from the night-club which keeps the locals awake. 2 very different things. ===

    . . . now if only I could remember which comrade introduced the Manchester arena into the nightclub discussion . . . ; )

  74. 3P4

    desperate need ,,sigh

    Of course not//,,it was a very clumsy post in retrospect,,i can see it could put some people off,,

    want to add //,,the first two terms i see as tools to investigate all the other words,,

    With hardly anyone blogging // seasonal,,no rush,,a thread on this plane grows like vegetation,,michelles brambles,,now is the winter,,

    more later,,

  75. wordnerd7

    === ,,it was a very clumsy post in retrospect,,i can see it could put some people off,, ===

    Didn’t put me off at all — it’s just that, like @alarming-in-Holland, I thought I’d have to write a small book for an answer . . . As for the people, they have other things to do this week . . . Not laughing at your giant pudding-making project any more. Thought I’d get away with ordering one in the post but it was delivered to the wrong address and the parcel deliverer refused to guarantee that the mistake would be corrected in time. . . asked: ‘May I know what the contents of the package are, ___?’ wn: ‘A pudding. The most important part of the feast.’ Parcel person: ‘What is a pudding?’ . . . As they say, you can’t make it up. :) A crab apple crumble might have to do instead.

  76. I enjoyed reading your thoughts 3P4.

  77. 3P4

    hi suzan,,have you read the “rock on a stick” on the long posts thread,,will you offer thoughts on the “tribal/creative”definitions ?

  78. Hi 3P4,

    I did glance at your comment in the long posts category and did read you on this thread rather quickly. The reason for my silence is that I was constantly on the go and to have provided even the slightest opinion would have required serious reflection. It would only have been fair to all of you. However, I will be back in Dublin on Dec 26th and promise to give you my thoughts sometime this weekend, 3P4.

    regards

  79. wordnerd7

    @Suzan, don’t worry . . . we have all been telling @3p4 in different ways that he is a brutal taskmaster. . . $%&*$#) ! . . . :) . . .

    @3p4, maybe the most we can ask of people in this hurry-hurry-hurry medium is for their associations — eg., : ‘What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear “tribal” in relation to “creative”?’ — or perhaps just each of those words on their own. . . That’s all I could manage, after all.

  80. Oh sorry, I meant to say, “It wouldn’t have been fair on all of you.”

    @Wordy: “What’s the first thing that comes to mind….”

    As an offhand, when I hear tribal in relation to creative, I’m thinking, cave drawings, murals, grandiose paintings, finger arching/shaping, drums and some sensual sashaying about the place in grass skirts, singing, dancing, acting, storytelling & the like. :-)
    I think of stories narrated in an oral way.
    I see pictures. The splendour of Africa & Egyptian archaelogy.
    (I mean, the first things that come to mind…) :-)

  81. wordnerd7

    In close agreement with @alarming and @3p4, then,@Suzan . . . so the next question is, do you consider the kinds of tribal art you’ve listed more or less creative than a Damian Hirst side of beef in a glass case? . . . Or, in the hope of luring @ISA into this discussion, The White Tiger?

    We took off on this tangent with objections to my remarking that we were collecting the ‘least tribal’ GU comrades in this spot. I wasn’t thinking of creativity so much as independence.

  82. Now back from Amsterdam where Xmas is done in a much more sober, less frenzied manner. The city is at its best in winter.

    As regards the Hirst/tribal art creative discussion I think it depends. 2 different examples.

    Something like a Rio de Janeiro samba school has very tight guidelines that the music must conform to ( musical structures of a samba, lyrical content ), the drummers are told what to play, the parade designers have 5 or 6 different elements that have to be there ( floats, banner wavers, parade costumes etc. ) yet someone writes the tunes, a designer creates an overall image which is developed throughout the individual elements and to get a good feel for the rhythm ( played by about 300 drummers ) takes a lot of effort plus knowledge of how that size of sound needs to be controlled within a large space.

    For me the Rio carnival is all far too Las Vegas in look but there are some fantastically well-developed and interesting images within it. Often with a very subversive political aim – the carnival being an opportunity for communities to assert the fact that they are there.

    Have a look ( if it’s possible on the net ) at the Ghanaian coffin makers. Their aesthetic is entirely controlled by what the deceased person did in life but what they make is both poetic and beautiful.

    How different are they to artists like Hirst ( who I found very strong when he started but who has since retreated into attention-seeking ) who very much make work for collectors? Or Anthony Gormley who makes work using and with large groups of diverse people – his crowd of thousands of tiny clay people ( I’m not keen on him but that one was lovely ).

    The distinctions can blur in the visual arts – I think its more clear in a solitary activity like writing

  83. Censored at the humourless Guardian a few minutes ago — a tragedy mentioned here:

    Eremon
    08 Jan 09, 5:43am (about 2 hours ago)

    First of all, I would like to congratulate everybody here and say, well done, and thank you very much for sharing your thoughts on mister Brophy’s poem.

    Peace be unto you all.

    Thank you very much atf, your thoughts have generated some very powerful responses and what struck me about them, overall, looking at the ratio of concentration upon the piece in hand, is that you address what it is you find affecting you in the poem, whereas myself and others, seem less able to articulate exactly what it is about the language we find either working or not. Parisa, perhaps if you try to expand on your observation, that the poem *reflects a truth* by trying to write and clarify that Truth instead of focussing on the reaction of atf, this will release a positive energy, and lead to a sense of poetic fulfillment, by seeking the centre of your own thoughts.

    The temptation to disagree with others who express views not in accordance with our own, is a very powerful motivating factor on the blogs, and I have been at fault myself, numerous times in the past, causing disequilibrium and radiating negative energies, because of Pride and Envy, Sloth and other sins, which though not major, in the sense of being on black-ops for the CIA in SE Asia, running contraband and undermining elected democracies, or plotting against the Higher consciousness, do run against the greater path of world good. What’s known in the karmic arena as a test of enlcosure and disclosure, due to arrive when the Myana long calander alignment with the sun, our own planet and the centre of the Milky Way occurs, and there is a ten thousand fold release of electromagnetic consciousness as we face the crossroads in the dead centre of the cosmic womb.

    Brophy of course, knows all about this, as all metaphysical practioners revealing what’s beyond the veil of human awareness, learn when starting out on the road of Prophecy: the highest form of poetic dabbling of course. And of course, what is above is beneath and what is beneath is above, and what we see outside of us, in the one collective human system, is merely a reflection of what is happening within us, as a species of bio-electrical circuitary, sentient and communicating in ways and on levels, only now with the extra terrestial technologies back-engineered in Groom Lake and Area 51, (that Obama will be be making full disclosure on) which were pulled out of New Mexico in 1947 – can we really demystify and talk of the reality of life today.

    Kevin of course, knows all this, because he and I are as one, as Caoimhin, the saint who set uyp Glendalough in Wicklow, where I and a few close pals, will be visiting on Monday for a meditation session and where I hope to deprogramme the physical and return to the state of pure light, to help heal the discord of the universal unbelief. And though what is happening here in class, is only a very minor microcosm of the wider collective awareness humanity has, still, I feel there is some part a contemporary mystic can play, to bring harmony and humilty once again, before the equinox in three years time, when the shift between carbon based and free energy occurs in the telepthic energies which only come round, once every 26,000 years.

    Peace from the Galactic Fderation of Light and Eternal Love.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/booksblog/2009/jan/05/poem-week-kevin-brophy-painters?showallcomments=true

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