Sunday, July 29, 2012

Official: Vladimir Putin doesn't like punk songs. And there was MS, a sweet, sweet girl who I was too stupid to appreciate. And in some obscure way Evelyn Waugh lives!

Pussy Riot are a Russian feminist punk band. So far, so unimaginative. On a scale of 0 to 10 of original names, Punk Riot don’t even register. But they are interesting in another respect. Pussy Riot is made up of up to ten members, of which three young women - Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alekhina, and Ekaterina Samutsevich – are due in court tomorrow (July 30) and if things don’t go well for them, they each face up to seven

Well, in British eyes not a lot. Their crime lasted less than a minute and consisted in entering Moscow’s Russian Orthodox cathedral of Christ the Saviour wearing neon-coloured headbands and bursting into song. This was, according to the Russian authorities, a lewd ‘punk prayer’ called ‘Our Lady, Chase Putin Out’, Russia’s president not being flavour of the month with many of his country’s more Westernised citizens. But, it has to be said, many others, especially those doing OK under the current regime, aren’t that bothered. On the face of it, of course, official reaction to Pussy Riot’s action is not encouraging. The official line is that they are blasphemous, which a devout Russian Orthodox believer might well claim. But that doesn’t really wash does it?

Russia (and China’s) support for Assad and his regime is widely believed to come down to the principle of self-preservation: if it is allowed to happen in Syria, they ask themselves, could we be next. Well, actually, not they couldn’t, given that the ‘opposition’ in Syria is not one coherent body, but is made up (according to my reading – need I remind readers that I am not on the Foreign Office reading list for internal confidential papers, so in the main I am merely repeating what I have gathered from the media, mainly the more or less impartial BBC. But I rather think that on balance arresting – and keeping in jail since the incident last February – does not bode well for anyone in Russia who wants a more democratic system, which all things considered is a rather lame conclusion. Russia’s real problem is that however much many of its citizens do want a more democratic system, it is not something which can be instituted overnight.

All that Western bollocks about ‘free and fair elections’ is all very well, my establishing a true democracy would entail a fundamental realignment in Russian thinking. They have no history of democracy. They went from Tsarism to Communism to more or less a non-Communist one-party state because the those nominally Communist in charge realised the economy was going tits-up under the old system and a new one was needed. They now have it, but it’s still just one man and his supporters in charge. The most vital change would be an independent – let me stress that word again: independent – judiciary. And that they haven’t got. You can have all the ‘free and fair elections’ in the world but if your judges do the state’s bidding it is all very silly indeed. I came across the story in the latest edition of The Economist and you can read it here.

Interestingly, there were 14 comments appended to it, and the first points out that it’s all very well for the West to get on its high horse, but there are several things which can also get you up before the judges here in Britain, for example calling someone a ‘nigger’, disparaging ‘queers’ and generally fulminating against various other groups. My instincts tell me that the objection is invalid, though off-hand I can’t yet day why, especially as I believe that we in the West are very guilty of an awful lot of hypocritical double-think. I’ll keep an eye out for further reports on Pussy Riot and pontificate a little more at a future date. Mayne Putin’s taste in music tend more to the conventional and he doesn’t have that much time for feminist punk songs

. . .

I haven’t given up on my plan to detail my romantic history, but it has already hit a snag. My idea was to give a chronological account, but on reflection it already seems to have gone slightly awry. When I wrote about SH, the lass who dropped copious tabs of acid while carrying Ian Hunter’s child, but not only seems not to have been affected by it but went on to do a Phd at Lancaster University (Lancaster? Now there’s a surprise), I might have got the timing mixed up. When we moved in together in the little urban cottage in Taits Lane (although as I pointed out we were merely sharing a house rather than living together), that was at the beginning of my third year at Dundee University and she was starting her second. Maybe I didn’t make that clear. I think I pointed out that by the time I had split up with young SH – for which read she called time, not me – I didn’t ‘go out’(such a quaint phrase) with anyone else for the rest of that year and that was when the pattern was established in which I would lose my heart and be desolate when it all came to naught, then would treat the next girl rather badly.

As far as I remember my next ‘relationship’ – and sorry for the inverted commas, but they do seem rather appropriate under the circumstances in as far as I am sure I wasn’t the only young thing on the block who had no idea what a mature relationship was and how to conduct one. Mature was not a word one might associate me with for many years to come, but in mitigation I can honestly say I was not the only one.I have wracked my brain and as far as I can remember my next relationship – i.e. the next time I went out with a girl full-time –was with MS. And MS was one of the sweetest girls on God’s earth. She fell for me hook, line and sinker but I was, unfortunately, in ‘don’t get involved mode’. Not only that, but for some reason or another I ‘jacked her in’, although I can’t for the life of me remember why, and she was heartbroken.

MS was a dark-haired girl from Bath. She was quiet and had a good sense of humour. She shared a two-bedroom flat with two other girls on the further reaches of Dundee, and one of whom was going out with one of my flatmates. So he and I would go around there, but as I was the only one to stay the night and MS and I got the single bedroom, he always had to spend an hour or so walking home again to our flat in the centre of Dundee. That never put him in a good mood. And I’m ashamed to say that although I can still picture MS and shall repeat that in the ranks of sweet-natured women she took a prime position, I did not appreciate it or her. I trust she finally met a more worthy man than me and went on to have a happy life.

. . .

I can’t but spend just a few minutes extolling the virtues of this Lenovo and especially it’s keyboard. It is a lovely machine. Might not be a Mac, but then who cares? I don’t. Since my entry in which I detailed my long list of laptops, I have put the 10in eMachine netbook on eBay and have reconciled myself to selling at a loss. The first time I listed it, I stipulated a buy-it-now price of £150. In the event, the highest bid was only £128 and I didn’t sell it. So then I listed it again with a buy-it-now of £130. This time it only got as far as £98. Now I have simply listed it, and I don’t know what I’ll get for it. One thing is certain though: it cost me £179.99 and I won’t get that. As for the Acer, a useful machine for someone, I was also going to list that, but have held off as I am in two minds whether or not to sell it. I can think of no reason why I should keep it, but …

. . .

It’s one of those when there are two of us doing the early turn, but as it’s a Monday there is not as much to do as usual, so I’ve fallen back on that old – and pretty boring – standby of surfing the net and trying to think up websites which might, just might, be halfway interesting. There are fewer than you might think. So I googled the name Evelyn Waugh, one of my favourite writers, in fact, my only favourite writer, and came across The Evelyn Waugh Society , which sounded reasonably interesting.

Unfortunately, there is not really a lot going on, just snippets of news and announcements. Then I noticed ‘EW forums’, and decided to take a look, wondering what info about Waugh might be interesting people out there. But that, too, was a disappointment: the forums were divided into ‘Forum Announcements, Comments & Questions’, ‘The Author’, ‘The Books: Fiction’, ‘The Books: Non-fiction’, ‘Short Stories, Essays, Article & Reviews’, ‘Diaries & Letter’, ‘Adaptations: Film, Television Radio & Stage’, ‘Miscellaneous’ and ‘The Society’.

Between them, those nine sections have so far – and I don’t know when exactly the society was formed or the website set up, but ‘internal evidence’ means it was at least 141 days ago – attracted a rather less than grand total of 36 topics and 46 posts. Of those sections , ‘The Books: Fiction’, ‘The Books: Non-fiction’, ‘Short Stories, Essays, Article & Reviews’, ‘Diaries & Letter’ and ‘The Society’ have so far not attracted a single post. Most popular by far – comparatively – was ‘Forum Announcements, Comments & Questions’. It has attracted 29 topics and 36 posts, so I decided to take a look. What I found would have tickled Waugh pink. He would, I’m very sure, have laughed his head off. For the net being the net and fools and idiots casting about for business being the name of the game, the topics, apart from a routine announcement that the ‘Evelyn forums are now live!’ (their exclamation mark, not mine), so far consist of:

Die Enstehung von Android
If there is no wind woods will win the good weather to match charm faded decreases
British open by the third round woods hold: JiuSanZhi bird before two bogies
Discovering Android
Tablet PSc – Arten und ihre Vorteile Exploring
No-Hassle Plans In Car Transport
Thoughts on Standard Elements In Cool Story Bro Clothes
The Alternatives For Important Requirements in No No Hair Removal
No-Fuss No No Hair Removal Tricks – Where You Can Go
Finding Simple Ideas Of Floor
Vital Aspects For Safelink Wireless
Fundamental Components Of No No Hair Removal
Men’s Professional Challenge second round of Cao a leading Fredric two behind
2012 the McAllen Cup Golf Tour SauHainingEagle’s Nest Station is a complete pars
and finally
May cases match All-Star golf team fell apart more than 40 stars participating.

Just thought I would share that with you and with Evelyn himself if spirits do exist and he takes a look in from time to time. No, I don’t know what it all means either, except perhaps that someone with some new technique for removing hair is hoping for extra business.
(From left) Ekaterina Samutsevich, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alekhina. ©Natalia Kolesnikova/AFP/Getty
years in jail. Given that a spot of bad driving which involves the accidental death of someone else can earn a drive –if things go really badly – a similar spell in jail here in Britain, you must ask yourself what terrible thing these fillies have done.

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