October 18th, 2005

smiling, pandababy

the ledge returns

I just finished the new Ross O'Carroll-Kelly book and my God, it's hilarious. As Ross's adventures appear weekly in the publication which employed me for five years, I used to follow them avidly, but I stopped reading the paper once I stopped working for it, so I am quite behind the times. Which means the book was all new to me. And it's wonderfully, hysterically funny, and fearfully spot-on. Ross has discovered that he has a secret skanger love-child called Ronan, who speaks like Ronnie Drew and whose every utterance made me laugh aloud. Usually I hate phonetic depictions of working-class speech, but not when the posh southside accent is skewered so magnificently too (and as someone who shamefully shares Ross's "mushy t's", even though I pronouce the word "right" as "rysh" not "roysh", I suppose my own middle-class northside accent is in there too). Which is the case here. And the rendering of Ronan's words of wisdom is so accurate (which is seldom the case in patronising working-class phonetically-written dialect) that it's impossible to resent them. Anyway, strongly recommended to everyone who doesn't like thick-necked rugby players, and possibly even those who do.

In other news, it's the middle of the day and it's so dark I have the lights on. And it's raining. Was it just yesterday that Patsington and I went on a jolly walk through the sunny park (and the new wild bit of woodland at the back of it which is now open to the public), marvelling at the gorgeous Autumn weather and the myriad colours of the Autumnal foliage? It's hard to believe now, looking out at the gloom. Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, my arse. Or even orse.
fat pony like thunder

in der bordell wo unsere heimat war

It's not every day that the BBC airs a programme on the exact same subject as my BA dissertation, but it happened this afternoon. And I got very cross because I thought the points being made were really boring and ignored lots of both texts, with which, despite not having read them for a decade, I appeared to be more familiar than the contributors. And so of course I started snarking at the radio in an unbearably pompous manner. But seriously, my thesis could have been summed up in one line - "John Gay satirised the individuals but not the institutions and political systems; Brecht satirised the institutions and political systems but not the individuals" - and this point, which seemed pretty obvious to a 21 year old, was not made once. Radio 4's blurb is about as insightful as the programme:
The Threepenny Opera by Kurt Weill is a simple story of 18th century life in London's Soho - or so it would seem.

No, so it wouldn't seem, because (a) it's set at the turn of the 20th century and (b) it's filled with songs with titles like "The Ballad of Sexual Dependency" and "Song of the Insufficiency of Human Endeavour", which hardly indicates a simple tale of London life. I expect better of you, BBC!

But I still love you anyway, because BBC7 is airing the original Radio 4 series of the Mighty Boosh, and you can hear it here (just scroll down).

And back to Brecht - I hear Nellie McKay is going to play Polly Peachum in a Broadway production of The Threepenny Opera! Not that I need much of an excuse to go to America, and if I did it would be to visit the new bride and also see Pandababy, but even if I hated leaving the country I would be tempted to go to New York just to see that.
smiling, pandababy

pandababy rules the world

I adore Pandababy and everything, but even I think that they're going a bit overboard on the ould National Zoo website with today's Panda Report headline:
Tai Shan, Ambassador for Friendship and Conservation

Although, if you think about it, it's a rather sweet idea - Pandababy touring the world, just, like, bringing nations together with the power of his cuteness.
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