If You Can’t Say Anything Nice…

… then at least say it differently.

The Chaps do admit to a continuing love affair with language —

“a continuing love affair with language;the sound of their own voices” — fixed that for you, you’re welcome

Have it your own way. Couple that with a love of the pithy insult — yes, this definitely reflects our feelings.

and you’ll understand how our interest was piqued by a recent tweet from The Canary. Apart from being rude enough to call the UK Foreign Secretary ‘a bag of gas

No argument from this quarter

and illustrating it thusly

it prompted one David Simon (he of “The Wire“) to retweet with a most delightful addition — a preamble describing Boris as a “Low-bottom taintsniff.” Witness a literary lion in action! We love it.

The Other Chap may perhaps recall a gift of a wall chart of Shakespearian insults?

itself giving rise to a rather nice mug.

Perhaps we should offer it as some sort of prize for something?

We did. I won.

If Trump Wants A Grand Parade…

Then a grand parade, by golly, he should have.

Of course, in a version suitably sized to the attendance at his inauguration, and tailored to both his musical taste and knowledge of military technology. The Chaps are happy to offer a preview.

So, a grand-ish parade, then.

At best…

No, no need to thank us. Our pleasure.

You can read the original story here.

Did you note the marching on that Naval chief?

Certainly did. Cadet Bone Spurs could probably do as well.

Well, if it were not for him being who he is…

Sizing Up The Opposition

 My nuclear button is bigger than your nuclear button

Yes, it’s come to this. Diplomacy, reality-show-host style.

In the end, and we do mean ‘The End’, isn’t the “my missile is bigger than your missile” debate pretty irrelevant?

Yes – if not proof absolute that ‘size really does not matter’.

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!

Speaking of Artisanal Obsession …

Enthusiasm is one thing …

… but not everything.

There is a, er, downside to going too far. Here’s one graphic artist who might like to rethink it — if it’s not too late …


too late, somethings just can’t be unseen …

Going with a similar theme …

… of course you are …


But the real downside of these obsessions may be the (apparently-unstoppable) process they herald  — one all too familiar to residents (often former residents) of London, Seattle, San Francisco…


This Chap, for one, can’t be arsed with artisanal cheeses, cereal and the like. Just give us livable neighborhoods.

Sorry, re the cereal … anywhere “offering a cornucopia” of anything needs to be derided.