Sunday, August 23, 2020

Readers Write


Not a Readers Write, instead a Wife’s Conversation . . .

After Kate read the story of how TV star Suzanne Somers had been boned by the networks suits for seeking pay parity with her male co-stars, what they termed “hanging a nun in the marketplace” to make an example of her, we chatted about whether the situation still exists. 

Both of us believe it does.

Kate reminded me that the lead star of The Crown, Seasons 1 and 2, Claire Foy, was being paid less than the actor who played Prince Phillip, Matt Smith.  A producer said Smith had been paid more than Foy because Smith was better known after having done a six-year stint as the star of Doctor Who.  That did not impress Smith, who insisted on equal pay if he was to continue.  Netflix agreed and did, although Season 3 saw a new Queen and a new Prince Philip

The Yay for the Day goes to Matt Smith

By the way, the controversy prompted Netflix to review cast salaries across all its productions, both in-house and third-party. According to Netflix content chief Ted Satandos: “We were able to find a couple of other ones we were able to adjust.”  He did not say which shows and performers.

Netflix also gets a Yay for the Day.


Another BTW:

For those who love The Crown (and who doesn’t), Season 4 is being release by Netflix on 15 November, 2020.

The fourth season introduces Lady Diana Spencer and is set during Margaret Thatcher's premiership, and introduce Prince William and Prince Harry.  Events depicted include Michael Fagan's break-in to Buckingham Palace, the Princess of Wales's appearance at the Barnado's Champion Children Awards and her 1989 flight on Concorde. 

There is a wealth of Royal Family events since then:
Charles and Di affairs
their divorce
Charles and Camilla (“I want to live inside your trousers”, and that he was unlucky enough to come back as her tampon, to be thrown down the lavatory)
Diana and James Hewitt, James Gilbey, Oliver Hoare, Will Carling, Hasnat Khan, Dodi Fayed
Her death and the effect on Britain (wait, that’s already been done in the film The Queen)
William and Kate
Harry and Megan

The writers must be either rubbing their hands in glee or wondering whether it is worth recreating when you can simply watch the real thing.

That’s why the end of Bohemian Rhapsody didn’t work for me: the Live Aid concert was indistinguishable from the original, so why not just watch the original.


Whilst on family contributions, son Thomas sent me an amazing video of a couple of guys playing the Harry Potter theme on a washing machine and dryer.  Yes, you heard that right, here is the link to the clip:

Here is the story that goes with that item:

 "Definitely not a waste of five hours," author JK Rowling joked, retweeting a video made by Kurt Schneider and Jason Pitts of the duo performing the Harry Potter movies' theme tune with a washing machine and tumble dryer. The video starts with Schneider, dressed up to resemble Harry Potter, with a Gryffindor scarf and thick framed glasses, pressing a series of buttons that match the opening seconds of the theme music note for note.  As the video progresses, Pitts then provides a beat using the dryer door. At the time of writing, the video had more than 1.1 million views on Twitter alone. Throughout the 33-second clip, the pace gradually picks up and the duo are almost note perfect, recreating the famous piece of music with their household appliances. At the end of the video, Schneider's Potter crawls away to a cupboard under the stairs, wearing a cape, a detail that will be appreciated by Harry Potter fans, as a tribute to where the young wizard used to sleep before he moved to Hogwarts.


Kara O sent me a comment in respect of Edward Lear’s The Owl and the Pussycat, not about the lines that I thought would attract some comment –

"O lovely Pussy! O Pussy, my love,
What a beautiful Pussy you are”

or even:

“They sailed away, for a year and a day,
To the land where the Bong-Tree grows” –

but in respect of Lear’s neologism “runcible”.

Kara doesn’t waste words, saying simply in her email”

The Pobble Who Has No Toes - featuring a 'Runcible Cat with crimson whiskers!'runcible goose, runcible wall

Thank you, Kara.

Some runcible comments:

The Pobble Who Has No Toes is another of Lear’s nonsense poems, here is a sample:

The Pobble swam fast and well,
And when boats or ships came near him,
He tinkledy-blinkledy-winkled a bell,
So that all the world could hear him.
And all the Sailors and Admirals cried,
When they saw him nearing the further side -
"He has gone to fish for his Aunt Jobiska's
Runcible Cat with crimson whiskers!"

From Wikipedia:

"Runcible" is a nonsense word invented by Edward Lear. The word appears (as an adjective) several times in his works, most famously as the "runcible spoon" used by the Owl and the Pussycat.  The word "runcible" was apparently one of Lear's favourite inventions, appearing in several of his works in reference to a number of different objects. In his verse self-portrait, The Self-Portrait of the Laureate of Nonsense, it is noted that "he weareth a runcible hat".  Other poems include mention of a "runcible cat",  a "runcible goose" (in the sense of "silly person"), and a "runcible wall". Another mention of this piece of cutlery appears in Edward Lear's alphabetical illustrations Twenty-Six Nonsense Rhymes and Pictures. Its entry for 'D' reads The Dolomphious Duck,who caught Spotted Frogs for her dinnerwith a Runcible Spoon Lear often illustrated his own poems, and he drew a picture of the "dolomphious duck" holding in its beak a round-bowled spoon containing a frog.
 Lear does not appear to have had any firm idea of what the word "runcible" means. His whimsical nonsense verse celebrates words primarily for their sound


By the way:

I mentioned in the earlier post about Lear that the marriage of the Owl and the Pussycat was not just mixed but inter-species.

There is an unfinished sequel.

Portions of an unfinished sequel, "The Children of the Owl and the Pussy-cat" were published first posthumously, during 1938. The children are part fowl and part cat, and love to eat mice.  The family live by places with strange names. The Cat dies, falling from a tall tree, making the Owl become a single parent. The death causes the Owl great sadness. The money is all spent, but the Owl still sings to the original guitar.


Still on Lear . . . 

Dorothy Parker once said of the poetry of Edgar Guest:
 "I'd rather flunk my Wassermann test than read a poem by Edgar Guest."

The Wassermann test was a test for syphilis.

Let me add my own contribution in respect of Lear’s poetry:
 “I’d rather have poison poured in my ear than read a poem by Edward Lear.”


Brett B sent me an email referring to my posting of the lyrics of St James Infirmary.  Part of those lyrics include the verse:

There are sixteen cold black horses,
Hitched to her rubber tired hack;
There are seven women goin’ to that graveyard,
And only six of ’em are coming back.

Brett’s email reads:

Are you sure the line is"There are sixteen cold black horses" ?I've always heard it as sixteen coal-black horses.

Thanks, Brett, I agree that your version makes more sense.


An email from Wayne B in respect of the 5 x 5 Songs post:

More please - love this stuff very much Wayne b

Thanks Wayne. There will be.


From Steve M:

Absolutely loved the European tree of the year segment today Otto. Thanks you.

Thanks you as well, Steve.


Another email from Brett B in response to a Funny Friday joke:

The joke about the couple not wanting children reminds me of one that I heard black comedian D.L. Hughly do about 20 years ago:"I love my wife; she's given me three wonderful kids, 17, 15, and 13.She surprised me last week when she said she was thinking about having another child.I said 'Why? I'm just now starting to like the ones we have.'" Cheers. Brett

Thanks, Brett.


I received an email from Tim B in response to my citing Godwin’s Law in response to people in Victoria comparing Covid restrictions as being akin to Nazi Germany.  As part of the background to Godwin’s Law (that the longer an internet discussion goes on, the greater the likelihood that someone will invoke Nazi Germany and Hitler) I mentioned that Godwin has stated that genuine comparisons are exempt, including comparing Donald Trump to Hitler.  Godwin’s intention in formulating his law was to show that playing the Hitler card in a debate or discussion trivialises the Holocaust.

Tim writes:

Hi Otto, Hope you and your family are doing well.  Concerning Mike Godwin and Godwin’s law, I think that maybe he is not as thoughtful or aware of history as he needs to be.  To refer or compare Trump to Hitler is indeed to trivialize the Holocaust.  Obviously, he has not read the history of the Holocaust and knows nothing about the refugee camps that Obama set up.  Shame on him, and having a mother with scars from German shrapnel and a father that twice escaped the Germans I’m sure you agree.  One only need to read Elie Wiesel, “Auschwitz” to understand the horrors of the Holocaust. Tim B

Thanks, Tim.


An email from Enid C in respect of the post on Thoughts and Memories:
 Dear Otto, Your blog yesterday had me laughing in the morning. A good way to start the day. I did pass on to my long time friend as I could almost hear her voice in one of them! Kind regards Enid

Thanks Enid, always nice to get feedback


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