Archive | November 2006

The Ashes of Poetry

Further to yesterday’s post on the English poet in residence for the Ashes tour, the Sidelined mob have taken up the challenge and Rafe Champion has been appointed poet/blogger in residence for the Australians. He has committed to one poem for each day of each test, to match the expected output of English poet David Fine.

Gentlemen, take up your pens.

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Inspired women

The Guardian has a wonderful little piece that features five writers talking about the people, places and things that have inspired them. I am particularly fond of Michele Hanson’s story:

When I was 10 I was inspired by our vet, Miss Hilary. Here was the first woman I had ever seen wearing chap’s clothes. Fabulous. No horrid curls and sets, no frocks, no puff sleeves. Miss Hilary wore a shirt and tie, a waistcoat, a hacking jacket, jodphurs, riding boots and Brylcreem. She gave me a greyhound’s skull for my birthday, she told my mother off for telling me off, she was scared of nothing, not blood, not snot, not wild boars, not death, not even Mr Clanfield the fierce chicken farmer. She bred pugs and she drank whisky. Naturally, she made me want to be a vet. Looking back, I think she was secretly in love with my mother, and probably even braver than I had originally thought. In the early 50s, it was bold and outrageous to go around dressed like that in Ruislip. One could be shunned, screamed, spat and sneered at. Neither I, nor my mother, seemed to know what a lesbian was in those days, so my mother suggested Miss Hilary have a blow-wave, to give her hair body. Even then, Miss Hilary remained calm. What an achievement.

“I speak of bats, balls and wickets”

Visit the sport section of any second-hand bookshop and you will no doubt notice that crickket seems to inspire print like no other sport. Aside from the endless biogs and autobiogs, there’s the sheer weight of statistics in cricket that has spawned it’s own mini-genre within that of cricket writing. It’s a game for trainspotters.

Now you can add poetry to the mix. A poet in residence has been appointed for the upcoming Ashes series. David Fine will write a poem for each day of each of the five Tests.

Twenty-five poems – one for each day’s play of the five-Test series – will be published at the close of play on a dedicated website at ashespoetry.net. Fine, dressed in a T-shirt bearing the legend “I speak of bats, balls and wickets”, will be discussing poetry with the England team’s most fervent supporters – the Barmy Army – and writing a series of “poetical-anthropological” essays.

I can’t wait. No, really, I mean it!

Oh f**k it

I may have temporarily left the world of web work but I have not forgotten the acute embarrassment that can ensue from particularly public cock-ups. And let’s face it, when you work on the web, most of what you do is public and people are never backward in coming forward to tell you what flavour of f**wit you are for doing something they think should be done another way.

So it is with great pleasure that I give you PC World’s 13 most embarrassing web moments (and knowing that I have committed nowhere near as big an embarrassment as these babies).

8. I’m Not Dead Yet!

It’s common practice for major media outlets to prepare obituaries in advance–known in the news biz as “pre-bits”–for luminaries who seem as if they might croak soon. But in 2001 some intrepid Web spelunkers discovered that CNN’s obituaries for some famous but not-quite-dead folks were publicly accessible. Obits for the likes of Fidel Castro, Dick Cheney, and Nelson Mandela were widely disseminated before CNN.com caught wind and, much chagrined, yanked the pages.

Running the world

Jarvis Cocker has made his own way while Pulp is on indefinite hiatus. I was wondering if he would do this and I found, by happy accident, that he has an album out. True to form, there is a track called ‘Running the world’ which doesn’t appear in the iTunes listing for the album but I believe is a ‘hidden’ track. It’s not much musically but I’ve been listening to it because it makes me say ‘f**k yeah!’ and basically, that’s enough for me. And none of those other preening b**ches are going to say it.

It’s not poetry, but don’t go over the fold if you have an aversion to the C-word.

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Carnival of the InfoSciences #59

For any librarians (or other interested parties) who read Stack, the latest Carnival of the InfoSciences is up and running at The Shifted Librarian.

We recruit

Now the Right has realised it was right about the Left it can also be revealed that recruitment starts early.