Sunday 8 May 2022

The Sunday Ishmael 8/5/2022

So - the local elections - the politicians got in again. The Conservatives took a beating. Labour failed to convince the upNortherners. Do Not Take Eddie for Granted Davey is smiling his sly smile. Is Boris Bovvered? Hell, no. Not until his chaotic party manages to produce a credible alternative to satisfy the racist misogynists. And what happens in the local elections is just a reflection of the dissatisfaction, anger, nay fury of the electorate mid term and has nothing to do with whether anyone will take a punt on Labour again. Or the Dog Shooters. In the proper elections. That's what Dominic Raab said this morning on the Sophie Show. Or something like that. He's not worried, anyway. And he's not going to slag off Sir Keir for being a curry eater and beer drinker, just because Tories eat cheese and drink wine. Nope, Dom is focusing on The Eckonomy, stupid, the Cost of Living and Real People's Real Worries. Whatever they are.
As for Stormont, we need mr mongoose to give us a summary. Broad brushstrokes - Sin Fein (that's the pretend respectable political arm of the murderous IRA, with a cosy and reassuring female presence) is now the majority party in the devolved administration of Northern Ireland  and they will take up the business of governing, thus undercutting the DUP's (Democratic Unionist Party - the murderous Protestant lot) strike action in protest about the Northern Ireland Protocol, which was a fudge arrived at to prevent a border being imposed between Eire and Northern Ireland, in order to facilitate Britain exiting from Europe. Eire being a foreign country and a member state of Europe, the DUP see the Protocol as an insidious creepy way to unify Eire and Northern Ireland and bring the whole island into Europe. They are probably right. Basically, I don't care as long as nobody starts blowing stuff up again, torturing and killing people.
Poor old Sophie had a dreadful crew on her show this morning. The very, very worst was Steve Coogan, publicising his appalling Partridge creation. The next very worst was Do Not Take Eddie for Granted Davey, who was pretty damn pleased with himself as the electorate seems to have forgiven his party's murderous past. Then we had Lisa Nandy, Shadow Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, Labour MP for Wigan  since 2010, doing a boring and repetitive apologia for Sir Beer and Curry, chortling about looking forward to getting into Gove's office and sorting out his little messes and not, absolutely not, being drawn on which Northern female might become Party Leader once Sir Beer and Curry has been hung, drawn and evicted. 
Why do Labour Totties refuse to look like serious, grown up politicians? 
Lisa needs to get a bigger suit and a haircut, 
Growler really, really needs to buy some longer skirts, 
and as for Gloria de Piero, in her slapper red dress, who read out some news headlines for Sophe, whilst flashing her Deep, Dark Growler of Doom at the camera operative, 
one can only be grateful that she is no longer in the House to distract our Boris. No, she is now a presenter on GBNews. I tried to watch GBN, but was immediately confronted and appalled by the transformation of Neil Oliver. Now there's a man who really needs a script, flattering camera angles and multiple takes to make any kind of sense.
Remember him? Described by mr ishmael as "The grinning, hairy, Jock hobgoblin, Neil Oliver, whining his way around the Coast or through mediaeval Scotland, like a Kosher Billy Connolly."
Rock-God archaeologist staring moodily into the past.
 He has now, for some unfathomable reason, been given his own show on GBN, where he mumbles his way through interviews and opinion pieces, displaying his Old Testament beard and scarf. He seems to have developed a scarf fetish.
Or has something gone horribly wrong with his neck? Has he grown a few additional chins, dewlaps, or turkey neck? 
Given the aging demographic of the nation, maybe it is time to re-introduce the ruff
 or wimple. Wrap up all the extra neck and tie it in a knot on top of one's head, then drape something over that. 
Or pop on a beanie hat.

Whilst South on my hols, taking advantage of the English habit of afternoon tea which does not involve haggis, black pudding and chips followed by homebakes I spotted on the menu: frangipane tart with seasonal berries.
Intriguing, I thought. Seasonal berries. In March. In Yorkshire. What horticultural miracle could this be? So I asked the waitress what were the seasonal berries? She thought for a moment, then pronounced triumphantly: Rhubarb

Did you see Davina McCall's Myth, Menopause, Mind, Magic,Sex, Me on a bicycle with a great big placard?
 You missed it? What a shame. You'll be able to catch up with it on the i-thing or it will be repeated for the next few hundred years. You may remember Davina for her sterling work as a Garnier Brand Ambassador - that is she advertises box dyes for home use:

Looks like she is now promoting Big Pharma's medicalisation of the Menopause. There's big money to be made from convincing women that they are suffering from a deficiency disease that causes brain fog, night sweats, hot flushes, anxiety, loss of libido and, ultimately, Alzheimer's. And that Big Pharma has the solution in the form of oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone, clinically packaged, expensive and addictive. Still won't make you young, fertile and desirable, though, however many patches you slap on. And the damn artificial hormones are polluting the environment as they seep into the water table through menopausal women's pee. We have previously mentioned here the hermaphrodite fish swimming around sewage outlet pipes. And the strange phenomenon of young men going bald.
Yes, like all women who are lucky enough to survive long enough to get there, I had a menopause of my own to manage. Here are my recommendations: supplement with Agnus Castus during the peri-menopause. Then switch to black cohosh or red clover with a vitamin supplement. And read Germaine Greer's The Change: Women, Ageing, and the Menopause  Greer describes the myths about menopause: "Frightening females is fun", she wrote in 2002. "Women were frightened into using hormone replacement therapy by dire predictions of crumbling bones, heart disease, loss of libido, depression, despair, disease and death if they let nature take its course." She added that scaring women is "big business and hugely profitable".
 Take that, Davina.
She's got a great face, though, Davina, one of those hard, bony, intellectual, androgynous faces. Like Suranne Jones. Who is ont 'telly again in series two of Gentleman Jack. Compulsory viewing for me of course - my weekly blue remembered hills fix.  Just a reminder, from mr ishmael, of how much he loathed it. It hasn't changed - 

mrs ishmael played in Shibden Hall as a child, living just across the road from it in Halifax.  We must, therefore, here in the manse, endure each weekly broadcast of  Gentleman Jack. 
I say we but when it's on I go and sit in the garden conservatory and watch the sea; even so, I  can hear the thwacks and thumps and screams as one savage beating after another is administered to some poor peasant or tenant, followed by the slurps and sighs and moans of lesbian sex between the participants. 

Based very loosely on the massive, encoded diary of Ann Lister, which we have on the shelves*, here,  the show portrays the bravery of an 1830's polymath manlady stepping-in to run the Yorkshire family estate and doing it just like Annie Oakley, better'n  any Goddamned male sonofabitch.
 Interspersed with an irritatingly jaunty and risque SteeleyeSpanesque folkrock soundtrack,  Lister's and her protagonists' scripts are laughably, impossibly cogent, concise and eloquent; the costumes, make-up and props outrageously anachronistic and the outdoor settings so romantically bucolic that they might've been painted by John Constable. No business like showbusiness. 
Introduced by a breathless, pouting BBC announcer, Gentleman Jack is sadism and titillation, extravagantly produced, overacted and overblown;
if that's what you like  just google lesbian porn and you'll find something altogether more agreeable. 
Anne Lister of Shibden Hall

*Anne Lister's  journals contain more than four million words, around a sixth of them in a code based on the Greek alphabet, which she called “crypthand.”  After her death in the Caucasus Mountains in Georgia in 1840, Ann Walker, having arranged for Lister’s body to be embalmed and returned to the north of England for burial,  concealed the 26 diary volumes behind a panel in the walls of Shibden Hall. They stayed there until the late nineteenth century, when one of the inheritors of the hall, with an antiquarian friend, began to publish extracts from the uncoded sections and to decode the crypthand passages. Their discovery that   the journals contained what they called “an intimate account of homosexual practices between Miss Lister and her many ‘friends’”  horrified the two men, and they replaced the books in their hiding place. The hall became a public museum in 1934, and Lister’s papers, including a key to the code, became public property.


Honest Not Invent and Vent Stack - anthologies of the work of mr ishmael and stanislav, the young Polish plumber - can be purchased  from Amazon or from Lulu. 


Lulu Link for Vent Stack:

 Lulu Link for Honest, Not Invent

Link for Paper Back

At checkout, try PROWRITINGAID15, WELCOME15 or TREAT15 in the coupon box, which  takes 15% off the price before postage.  If this code has expired by the time you reach this point, try a google search for " voucher code" and see what comes up.
So far, so good.




Anonymous said...

Coming so soon after the Ginger Growler post, I most fervently pray that these box dyes of which you speak are not what some of us might fear. Would the sainted Davina stoop so low?


mrs ishmael said...

Calm yourself, editor mr verge. Davina is Sporty. Aero-Dynamic swimwear and all that.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, mrs ish, I stand corrected.

In other news, the new Doctor Who will be played by a Scot from Rwanda whose name anagrams to "I wag at cunt". I wouldn't know where to begin. Woof.


Mike said...

I read Boris has just pledged 1.5B from the UK's emergency reserve fund to Ukraine to protect European security.

There are so many non-sequiturs and illogicalities in the brief statement I can't get me poor 'ead around it.

God only knows where that money will end up - but it won't be Ukraine.

Mike said...

For anyone with any lingering thoughts about defeating Russia:

At least half a million in the Immortal Regiment yesterday, remembering 27-32 million killed.

mongoose said...

I am not sure, mrs i, that I can add usefully to your summary of what the growlers of NI are up to. I am one of that ancient tribe of western Ireland who lapped up the Holy Roman schtick with our mother's milk and chomped down the Republican/nationalist religion with our Friday fish. I am, as they say, deplorable and irredeemable but I do know a villain when I see one and every bastard I have ever encountered with a Sinn Fein badge has been a growling bastard for sure. SF are just gangsters really. pretend nationalists, pretend solialists, just filth for the most part. I v much doubt that the new lady is any improvment whatsoever.

The mechanics of a united Ireland are even less well understood that the mechanics of an independent Scotland. Both adventures would hugely impoverish both nations. I rather suspect a lot of Orange folk would flee the North and feck off back to Glasgow where they so richly deserve to reap the triple whirlwinds of misery, poverty and an early death.

I told you about Starmer, didn't i? Don't say I never warned you!

Mike said...

Correction to my estimate: officially over 1 million.

Mike said...

Big turnout in Belarus also:

I'm not 100% sure but I believe this is at the site of the Brest garrison, where a major heroic battle was fought against the Germans at the beginning of the invasion. Belarus has a formidable army, which trains with the Russian forces, and would be all in, in any war with NATO and Russia. They would take N Poland.

inmate said...

God bless America, a film, everything mr Ishmael told us about cruelty TV. Mr Ishmael’s words put on the Silver screen.

Divorced, fired and possibly terminally ill, Frank has nothing left to live for. But instead of taking his own life, he buys a gun…
I don’t think he would have agreed with Frank’s solution, but certainly Frank’s motive.

mongoose said...

The NY Times seems to have seen sense and has produced an at least partially even-handed appraisal of what's happened in Ukraine. The problem begins to come around to - how many men does Ukraine have left to offer to MBV's mincer?

mrs ishmael said...

Apologies for absence, ishmaelites - its been a tough week at work - oops, we're not supposed to say tough, or overworked - the preferred term is "busy". So, it has been a tough week at work, and I'm suffering from a touch of long covid, so I've been a neglectful blog host.
I loved your idea, mr mongoose, of the Orange folk transporting themselves to Glasgow - they will boost the Unionist opposition to the SNP. I have to confess that my opposition to Scottish independence is motivated by self-interest - I live far, far away from the nationalist motivators of poverty, drug abuse and sectarianism of the Central Belt - 327 miles, further than Birmingham to Glasgow, and I can see only personal disadvantage should Mrs Fish break up the Union.
I'm really chuffed, though, mongoose my dear, that you thought my summary of the Irish agenda passes muster.

mrs ishmael said...

Thank you for your film recommendation, mr inmate - I looked up "God Bless America" on Wiki, and it needs adding to my "to watch" list. "A darkly comic polemic on modern culture, God Bless America is uneven and somewhat thin, but the ideas behind this revenge fulfillment journey have primal appeal."

mrs ishmael said...

You are quite right, mr mike, the 9th May Victory Day parade should make any objective observer pause and do some serious thinking about the Ukrainian-Russian conflict. From the outset, we have advocated here for Zelenskyy to come to terms with Russia and for the NATO nations to stop egging him on - what we say makes no difference whatsoever to the outcome, of course, but we can share our concerns here without being vilified. Honestly, I'm scared to speak for fear of being accused of having no compassion for those hurt or dispossessed by the conflict. Of course I have compassion for the people caught up in this, or any other conflict - which is exactly why I believe Zelenskyy needs to sue for peace. He'll be looking for reparations from Russia and a personal amnesty, but there's no recompense for those who have died on both sides. That's it - their one and only life, their precious life, gone, over, ended untimely by leaders to whom the lives of the soldiery mean less than nothing. Told you I watched "Oh, What a Lovely War" at an impressionable age.