Some Rough Music …

its hour come round again …*

The Chaps, aware as we are of a long cultural heritage,  were impressed to see this account of a recent protest. The organizers’ call was “Get in the streets with us! March with us. Bring pots, pans, drums, whistles anything noisey!” Among many other responses, this one was recorded in Tucson, Arizona, protesting an appearance by Steve Bannon.



Yes, the Chaps’ interest was piqued partly by the topic and the person protested, but significantly by the style of the protest — specifically, a community using cacophonous noise and chanting to show its disapproval of unacceptable behavior, and to shame someone for it.  (Note the actual cries of “Shame!”)

Whether they realized it or not, the protestors were continuing a very long and honored tradition. This type of popular protest goes by many names, and goes back a long way. “Charivari” seems to be the oldest recorded name.

Depiction of charivari, early 14th century (from the Roman de Fauvel) — Wikipedia

The origin of the word charivari is likely from the Vulgar Latin caribaria, plural of caribarium, already referring to the custom of rattling kitchenware with an iron rod, itself probably from the Greek καρηβαρία (karēbaría), literally “heaviness in the head” but also used to mean “headache”, from κάρα “head” and βαρύς “heavy”.

Wikipedia

In England it was often termed “rough music,” or “Skimmington ride,” and in the United States, “Shivaree.”

Hudibras Encounters The Skimmington, by William Hogarth

[A] folk custom in which the community gives a noisy, discordant mock serenade, frequently with pounding on pots and pans, also known as rough music. The loud, public ritual evolved to a form of social coercion, for instance, to force an as-yet-unmarried couple to wed… To “ride such a person skimmington” involved exposing them or their effigy to ridicule on a cart, or on the back of a horse or donkey. Some accounts describe the participants as carrying ladles and spoons with which to beat each other, at least in the case of skimmingtons prompted by marital discord.

Wikipedia

It is even possible the “Skimmington Ride” developed into the great old American custom of “Running out of town on a rail.” After all …

During a rough music performance, the victim could be displayed upon a pole or donkey… Charivari was sometimes called “riding the ‘stang“, when the target was a man who had been subject to scolding, beating, or other abuse from his wife. The man was made to “ride the ‘stang”, which meant that he was placed backwards on a horse, mule or ladder and paraded through town to be mocked, while people banged pots and pans.

… and here’s the purported US version, from George Clooney’s “O Brother Where Art Thou”:

Pretty close, we’d say. And how happy the Chaps are to see such an appropriate revival of the old customs.

One last side note — or, as the Chaps like to say, “And Another Thing…”

Le Charivari was the name given to a French satirical magazine first published in 1832. Its British counterpart, established in 1841, was entitled Punch, or The London Charivari.

So the great tradition of robust British satire — often scabrous, scatological, and even vicious, and including Monty Python and Spitting Image, even through to the Chaps themselves — owes its existence to a Middle Ages form of folk protest. A proud and venerable heritage indeed.

*P.S: Yes, we probably should apologize to Yeats.

When the other chap says ‘probably’, this chap thinks he means we absolutely should.

Generally true. But notice that while the word “should” was used, we actually did not. Take that, Yeats!

Donny’s Big Day Out

The Chaps do admire a sharp wit (of course!)–

so we were delighted when this little gem wafted to us via Twitter today

But it also triggered a memory, and some digging back into the vaults, for this delightful little sequence

Getting ready for a big day!
Walking with Uncle Abe!
What I did today!
Night Night!

all the above from the wonderful Sad and Useless.

But as Vox pointed out, we should really be grateful he is such a pathetic figure:

The good news, such as it is, is that Trump’s 10 months on the job have revealed that he lacks the focus, the persistence, the strategic sense, to become the strongman he dreams of being. We have elected an authoritarian, but an apparently incompetent one. That is the bit of luck on which we are gambling our political system.

Not at all a pleasant thought.

Tales of Topographic Notions (II)

In which some feathers may get ruffled, politely

It’s a wonderful world, then…


Space GIFs - Find & Share on GIPHY

 

 

 

.. and one appreciated by many more than just the Chaps. Well, when we say “appreciated”…

But, although fascinating, it becomes a little tricky putting it on paper. Visually, that is. Not that there have not been attempts, with Mercator’s Projection probably the best known.

But Mercator is problematic — not perhaps to 16th century European colonials, happy to see England in its rightful and dominant size and place, but …

It’s been widely used for centuries, including today in various forms by Google Maps and many other online services. This map preserves directional bearing, presenting rhumbs (imaginary lines that cut all meridians at the same angle) as straight lines, thus making it a useful tool for navigation.

Despite its benefits, the Mercator projection drastically distorts the size and shape of objects approaching the poles. This may be the reason people have no idea how big some places really are

Business Insider

Tissot’s indicatrix, a geometric equation used to show distortion on maps, explains the problems with Mercator — Business Insider

But all the other attempts look horribly distorted too, and at least we’re used to Mercator. Even if it does make Greenland look the size of Africa, for example. (You could fit 14 Greenlands in the real Africa.)

But now enter Tokyo-based architect and artist Hajime Narukawa and his AuthaGraph map. Quite fascinating. It seems if you take the sphere of the earth and project it onto an inflated tetra… Or to look at it another way, if you flatten the earth’s 96… Well, here’s the diagram.

Simple, yes? Until you see the product, which you may find — odd. But very accurate, insists Narukawa, who is a man on a mission.

According to Narukawa, his map means a lot more than just a faithful cartographical representation of our planet. Because Earth is now facing down issues like climate change and contentious territorial sea claims, Narukawa believes that the planet needs to look at itself in a new light — a view that perceives the interests of our planet first and its countries second.

Business Insider

The Chaps could not say fairer than that.

No we couldn’t – and lest you think the chaps are out there on yet another meaningless tangent – know that the Boston Public School system are already on the ‘abandon Mercator trajectory‘ … now we just need to pop over there and let them know about Narukawa san … this is new.

The Madness Of King Donald

This chap noted that something crazy is goin on …

I guess that’s why they pay you the big bucks Sherlock

Well, yes, there is that – but then it is a bit different, specifically …

President Trump’s sad and crazy Afghanistan adventurism

Even this Chap, no historian he, knows that throughout history, rulers under threat at home have declared war abroad.

Great Movie – Wag The Dog. Doesn’t it seem so quaint and ‘pre history’ that a movie, although baked in satire, was all about the US going to war to cover up a sex scandal (I seem to recall that there was this chap Clinton that inspired it … but that’s another thing altogether.) Reminder, it is only twenty years ago that the movie was released.

But here is the thing. The ‘dossier’ which we started talking about a year ago … was published by Buzzfeed in January … and provided a source of such relentless humor as ‘even his showers are golden’ – was the subject just yesterday of a 10 hour session between the CEO of the company that did the work and Senate Judicuary investigators. The showers bit bearly got a mention – because it contains far, far worse stuff.

We’re going to war you say …. ?

… cough – may I continue?

Sorry. Yes. Do.
… wanders away … stage left … muttering to self.

But this one flies in the face not just of sanity …

… but history. We Brits should know, and we can only look on in horror. Continue reading “The Madness Of King Donald”

‘Our’ ‘Great’ ‘Leader’

This Chap notice something in the news this morning

I mean we kinda know it already …  but when you see the photographs – it does ram it home.

The ‘G19’ Assembling For The Climate Accord Photo Shoot
Speaks For Itself
Update : July 9th 2017
Working Together