It is possible that I will be in you, fair city, on the eve of one of the 26th, the 27th, or the 28th. Maybe a few of your select citizens wish to meet up? lmk.
E. Messily writes: I hate them so much. But this will probably work really well for them.
Heebie's take: There have been a number of complaints of sexual misconduct by Uber drivers. While Uber has not done anything to address that, it is a mere temporal accident that makes it seem like these new guidelines for riders - like "no flirting" - are a response to allegations of sexual assault. We are absolutely against rape, but couldn't the passengers stop asking for it?Comments (134)
#1 band releasing series of madrigal pop concept albums about Charlemagne's (real!!!) unfortunate brother.
first album is still best but Diurnal Animals on this one is good
This is the album!
I'm gonna be straight with you all: the "madrigal" content, and the "medieval" content also, is pretty weak here, IMHO. It's basically just whimpster chamber pop. The tag says "pre-baroque" but it's exactly what is meant by "baroque" when that is applied to pop groups. Maybe the earlier albums are better, as C.S. suggests (answer: yes)? I feel that the promise of this band (as I understand it) is better fulfilled by Gryphon, complete with KRUMMHORN, or Gentle Giant despite its being possibly the weirdest band ever, EVEN WEIRDER than Magma. Or, I dunno, Circulus.
Anyway, Carloman. It's fine! Submit guest posts to me and I will abuse you, too!Comments (16)
Viscount Palmerston writes: So, I have this friend, call him Disraeli, who has never been on the internet in his life. He lives in a small town in southern England, so there is connectivity available; he is extremely intelligent (we met at school when I was 13); he has a little money from god knows where. But he is abnormally suspicious of the outside world, and frightened of it, too.
Until his early thirties he was an alcoholic to the best of his considerable ability. I was out of the country then, but a succession of health scares had him cutting down to a bottle, and the two thirds of a bottle and finally no whisky at all every day. Since then he's hardly drunk and never to my knowledge binged. All of his old drinking chums died in their forties.
He has not been employed since he was 25. After that, he was supported for a while by his gf, (the virginity is purely cyberspatial) who was a barmaid in the pub his father owned. A lovely woman who in her late twenties developed strange tinglings, and then stumblings, which turned out to be a progressive demyelinating disease, not MS, but very similar in its effects. Disraeli looked after her with unflagging devotion and thoughtfulness through all the terrible progress of the disease, all the way to its end. For much of this time, since we live in topless enlightened Europe, he was paid by the state to be her carer.
By the time of her death, 13 years ago, the couple had been rehoused in an end-terrace bungalow where he still lives. It's in the servants' quarters of the village: the bits that look like the houses Saruman put up in The Shire. Think Sebastian Flyte as gatekeeper in a monastery.
For a while after her death, his friends thought he would come back to the world. He had been a semi-pro guitarist, a talented writer (he passed the exam that gets you into university with distinction in English literature, even though he had breakfasted on a bottle of wine before taking it. He worked in the pub instead of going on, though) and just about the wittiest man I have ever known. For about a year after his gf's death a clearly very dedicated therapist tried to get him to emerge to the world. She failed. Within about eighteen months his mother had settled near enough to him to be a problem (she was another alcoholic) and far enough away that getting to her on public transport would take up all of a day. So looking after her consumed all his energies for another ten years, providing endless excuses why he couldn't do anything else.
He had some books (he has an informed fondness for Victorian decadent poets) but essentially no music. He listened to the radio endlessly and bought music wank magazines like guitar player, with back copies piled three or four feet high behind his bed, but he didn't play anything. I'd ring him every six weeks or so and he could talk for twenty minutes at a time about such topics as the rig John Cipollina used when recording with the Man Band that time when he was so stoned and out of tune they had to rerecord the whole thing when he had flown back to California.
Two years ago his mother finally died. Three people attended her cremation: Me , Disraeli, and an old girlfriend of mine who takes an interest in him. Later, another schoolfriend arrived. That was it. Teh rest of us got rapidly drunk afterwards. Since then he has not left the village except to walk to a neighboring town once a day to shop or go to the library. He refuses all invitations to come and stay with friends, from behind impregnable fortifications of hypochondria -- his leg, his eyes, his incontinence, his liver have all at different times prevented him from taking a bus or accepting a lift. Our mutual schoolfriend passed on a good guitar, which he has apparently been playing more seriously again.
Three weeks ago I decided to give him for his 63rd birthday an old smartphone and a pair of speakers, with a tiny bluetooth amplifier to link them up. He'd said he needed a new phone anyway (the old one of course had been as dumb as a phone can be). With pains and patience I got them all hooked up. I asked him to name the most obscure blues artist he knew. Using my own phone, I showed him Youtube and the hideous strains soon filled his (only) room. The deal went down.
I got him to order a sim with a data plan, despite his conviction that giving his bank card to anyone over the internet would result in instant penury. He fretted for days about the terms and conditions of the contract: safely back at home I suggested that he walk into the local library and print them out on a terminal there. I might more safely have suggested he fellate some stranger's dog outside Waitrose. "I've never used a computer in my life and I'm not going to start now!" he replied in outrage.
However, the sim arrived. He put it in. He discovered Youtube. Last time I called, two days ago, he was complaining that sometimes it had the wrong versions of songs he wanted. Also, he had been up till four that morning, and now he had a blister on his finger. Already, he complains that the screen is too small. [duh]. So. I have a ten year old mac mini lying around. I can put on a screen and keyboard and fix it up as an internet terminal with a linux distro and a wifi antenna. But have I done a terrible thing? Will he be found like a Korean gamer, a mummified, emaciated corpse at the keyboard when finally the cops break down the door?
In the meantime, what should I put on his bookmarks?
Heebie's take: What a fun task! It's our own blank slate, and we can control all his first impressions. Does he like fashion blogs?