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Des (Des)
Username: Des

Registered: 06-2008
Posted From: 86.171.167.11
Posted on Sunday, November 22, 2009 - 12:14 pm:   

Gary Fry said elsewhere: I think Simon's point about the accessibility of artists in the (e)latter-day and its mediation on the way we perceive their work is a good one, and probably worth starting a new thread about.
======================================

Thinkig aloud ... writers (and other celebrities) - through the internet or reality TV etc. - have lost their iconicity. They have gained a common touch or accessibility. Which may be a good thing on one level. Bu it colours their work. Diminishes it? Makes it more fabricatory, from the psychological point of view of a reader seeking a suspension of disbelief. Another reason to go the Nemonymous way?? Thanks to Simon Strantzas for raising this point.
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 82.12.231.18
Posted on Sunday, November 22, 2009 - 12:47 pm:   

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YWyCCJ6B2WE
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 81.96.240.106
Posted on Sunday, November 22, 2009 - 12:50 pm:   

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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 82.12.231.18
Posted on Sunday, November 22, 2009 - 12:56 pm:   

I love that scene in IRIS in which Judi Dench and Jim Broadbent are shopping in Tesco's.
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Alexicon (Alexicon)
Username: Alexicon

Registered: 10-2009
Posted From: 88.106.9.198
Posted on Sunday, November 22, 2009 - 01:23 pm:   

Develop this further please,Des,using examples if possible.I need your thoughts to be more accessible - and this a serious request.

Are you implying that all culture is demeaned by universal accessibility? Do those of average talent dilute and demean what was once enjoyed by privileged elitists?

Proceed further please,Des,once you've formulated your thoughts into more crystalline chunks. It's an interesting subject.
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Des (Des)
Username: Des

Registered: 06-2008
Posted From: 86.171.167.11
Posted on Sunday, November 22, 2009 - 01:37 pm:   

Well, Alexicon, I did say I was thinking aloud.
I'm not making a value judgement. As I said, there may be a good side to a common touch or accessibility as gifted by the internet.

It's just the works themselves can become more easily coloured by the perceived personality of the author. Made more fabricated by humans, rather than forged in fiction heaven. I think it is true to say that a work should stand on its own becuase it *is* on its own (left in that state by its author). There are many mistakes of impugned intention and/or denigration of the author's internet personality etc. that can take much interpretative value from the work. What it can *give* to it is often misleading.

Therefore, in tune with a long-held literary theory (The Intentional Fallacy), I created Nemonymous in 2001 to give at least one opportunity (in theory!) to side-step these dangers *if* any author should wish to do so. Even on its relatively small scale, it has generated much provocation of thought in this field.
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Hubert (Hubert)
Username: Hubert

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 78.22.228.92
Posted on Sunday, November 22, 2009 - 02:04 pm:   

I think this double-edgedness of the internet is what freedom is all about: on the one hand, endless possibilities for everyone (not least for the talented without the proper connections etc.), on the other hand a necessity of eternal vigilance.
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Des (Des)
Username: Des

Registered: 06-2008
Posted From: 86.171.167.11
Posted on Sunday, November 22, 2009 - 02:20 pm:   

I agree with Hubert's point above. But I'm not sure everyone here has a phlegmatic view of the internet.
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Alexicon (Alexicon)
Username: Alexicon

Registered: 10-2009
Posted From: 88.106.9.198
Posted on Sunday, November 22, 2009 - 02:31 pm:   

Yes,Des. Makes sense. I posted on another thread that I have an anthology containing the works of Ramsey C. and Gary Bushell. I know Bushell is perceived as,well...not much. But when I eventually read his piece,I'll attempt to do so without prejudice.

I'm speculating aloud now - and on a tangent. Supposing you or I were offered 50K to ghost a Katie Price novel. Would we study the Katie P.personality and the target readership and bang out a workmanlike novel to suit? Or would we subtly weave something of ourselves into the framework in an attempt to raise the consciousness of Katie's readers? Sorry - a bit of deluded self-aggrandizement there,but you know what I mean.

I suppose the solution is to adhere strictly to the KP novel brief,pocket the cash, and give one's 'consciousness-raising' work away for nothing.

Just idle speculation,Des. My problem is,I have too much of the common touch.
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 82.12.231.18
Posted on Sunday, November 22, 2009 - 03:00 pm:   

>>>Would we study the Katie P.personality

Not bad a fee, then. 25K a minute.
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Alexicon (Alexicon)
Username: Alexicon

Registered: 10-2009
Posted From: 88.106.9.198
Posted on Sunday, November 22, 2009 - 03:07 pm:   

Another erudite contribution from the moderator.
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Des (Des)
Username: Des

Registered: 06-2008
Posted From: 86.171.167.11
Posted on Sunday, November 22, 2009 - 03:12 pm:   

My brain would need to develop large breasts.
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Alexicon (Alexicon)
Username: Alexicon

Registered: 10-2009
Posted From: 88.106.9.198
Posted on Sunday, November 22, 2009 - 03:14 pm:   

...And another one from Des.
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Alexicon (Alexicon)
Username: Alexicon

Registered: 10-2009
Posted From: 88.106.9.198
Posted on Sunday, November 22, 2009 - 03:58 pm:   

It is essential that each who hear my words in this dark and unenlightened place should be freed from the burden of imagination and seek the holy Common Touch. Heed well my words and henceforth shall Aston-Martins come unto ye.

Book of Alex. Ch.6.Vs 9
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Des (Des)
Username: Des

Registered: 06-2008
Posted From: 86.171.167.11
Posted on Sunday, November 22, 2009 - 05:06 pm:   

The Common Touch, when Jungian, is the ultimate self-pleasuring.
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Simon Strantzas (Nomis)
Username: Nomis

Registered: 09-2008
Posted From: 74.198.12.14
Posted on Sunday, November 22, 2009 - 05:12 pm:   

I must admit I miss the days, sometimes, where I didn't know about the daily minutiae of my favourite authors lives. I suppose I enjoy imagining grand lifestyles rather than a bloke who does his laundry and groceries on Saturday because on Sunday he has to go visit the in-laws (and he's a bit grumpy because he just scratched the new car). I like the idea that my heroes are bigger than me, and that getting close to them is virtually impossible. Did anyone here write a letter to an author they liked the work of? An actual in-the-postbox letter? Do you recall the thrill of receiving the reply? Is it the same today with email and Twitter and Facebook? I don't think it is. Something's lost.

True, with the loss comes something new, and the intimacy brings lots of advantages, but I don't know if, for me, any of those advantages outweighs the loss of stars from my eyes.
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Des (Des)
Username: Des

Registered: 06-2008
Posted From: 86.171.167.11
Posted on Sunday, November 22, 2009 - 05:22 pm:   

That was exactly what I was trying to say, Simon, stemming from your original comment on the other thread. (And then relating it to Nemonymous).
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Hubert (Hubert)
Username: Hubert

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 78.22.228.92
Posted on Sunday, November 22, 2009 - 05:53 pm:   

An actual in-the-postbox letter? Do you recall the thrill of receiving the reply?

I still have an original letter from ye Landlord from around the time of Nazareth Hill. Needless to say I framed it; it's on top of one of my main bookshelves.

I have corresponded, on and off, with ST Joshi (numerous lengthy epistles from a valued friend), Scott Briggs, Perry Grayson, Ken Faig, the Michauds from Necronomicon Press, Eddy Bertin, Hubert Lampo and a few others. Writing a decent letter takes an amount of effort, but yes it was fun at the time.
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Karim Ghahwagi (Karim)
Username: Karim

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 80.163.28.149
Posted on Sunday, November 22, 2009 - 06:01 pm:   

I thought it was a very interesting experiment to experience the fiction in Nemonymous Two without having any preconceived notions or foreknowledge of who the authors were. I was completely bowled over by a number of stories and I was pleased to discover that some of the stories were by authors who hadn't had that much, if any, previous fiction published. I did find myself however, concentrating slightly more on the structure of the anthology itself, how one story related to the next one, and how it tied in to the collection as a whole. A certain formalist approach, I suppose, but this is just as relevant to a collection for example, by a single author. It was also interesting to make notes and engage with the story during its initial reading. You were actively asking questions as you went along. On the other hand certain rhythms were obviously interrupted, but this was very little, as I was still 'within the influence' or sphere of the narrative space and the world of the story as I was making notes and thinking.

Finally on the notion of authorship, we do develop a certain relationship to the work of the writer we have been following for a certain period of time, and there are therefore these additional 'gifts', I suppose you could call them, to the reader who has followed the author's development etc- in a sense the reading is in some sort of dialogue with the author's previous work, and that is also rewarding.

On the notion of accessibility, as Simon mentions above, I do agree to some extent, but the demystification (if any) also lets us know that some of our heroes are human after all, and that is just as inspiring, and fills one with no less awe when they produce wonderful work, even if they go out to buy groceries on Saturdays. And Simon, I just read your wonderful story 'Under the Overpass' which was rich with feeling and dread, both subtle and terrifying. One of the best stories I've read this year. See Simon, the internet, my letter to you would have taken a week to arrive, and I saved some on postage, and I didn't have to slog down to the mail box.
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Simon Strantzas (Nomis)
Username: Nomis

Registered: 09-2008
Posted From: 74.198.12.14
Posted on Sunday, November 22, 2009 - 07:20 pm:   

I still expect you to send me a stamp, though.
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Carolinec (Carolinec)
Username: Carolinec

Registered: 06-2009
Posted From: 82.38.75.85
Posted on Sunday, November 22, 2009 - 08:39 pm:   

Hmmm, this is an interesting thread.

I see myself as a bit of a nerdy fan-girl. I mean, I collect autographs and signed books, I go to conventions, and enjoy "getting close" to my favourite writers, artists, actors, etc. For me, I think it enhances the experience of enjoying their work.

OK, here's an example. Yesterday, I went to a Bryan Talbot talk, bought a copy of Grandville which he signed and did a drawing in for me - lovely! I now have the pleasure of reading that book, enjoying the hand-drawn sketch inside, and knowing all about the inspiration behind his creation of the book. All that will enhance the reading experience for me.

By contrast, I actually bought the book (signed but not drawn in) from Forbidden Planet when it first came out last month - just in case I didn't manage to get to see him to get an in-person signed copy. That copy's now promised to someone else for a tenner because the one that means most to me, and the one I'll be reading and keeping, is the one I got yesterday.

So, definite proof I'm a nerd, but that has ADDED to my experience with the book, not diminished it.

On a less nerdy note, I think this accessibility is helpful and educational. As Karim said above, it makes us realise our heros are human after all - and perhaps even we could aspire to write and get things published when we see these "ordinary joes" do it too?
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Carolinec (Carolinec)
Username: Carolinec

Registered: 06-2009
Posted From: 82.38.75.85
Posted on Sunday, November 22, 2009 - 08:48 pm:   

On a similar note, but maybe off on a little tangent, I know some people who will collect autographs from ANYBODY who's famous, without actually even knowing who they are. I've been amazed to see people on autograph forums saying that they grabbed some celeb for an autograph outside a theatre or whatever, but can anyone identify it for them. I've even seen people have photos taken of themselves with a "mystery celeb" and then ask if anyone knows who it is!

That seems quite strange to me - wanting to get close to a celeb simply because of their celebrity status, without any interest in them or their work whatsoever.

Maybe that's the extreme, and damaging, side of this accessibility issue?

Anyway, I'm rabbiting on about autographs - I'm sure you don't want to hear about that. Er, anyone want to see my autograph collection ....?
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Des (Des)
Username: Des

Registered: 06-2008
Posted From: 86.171.167.11
Posted on Sunday, November 22, 2009 - 08:52 pm:   

I think a signature on a book can give a special aura to that book, I agree. I have many signed books. But I don't think that fact detracts from some of the argued points above.
It is an open question.
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Simon Strantzas (Nomis)
Username: Nomis

Registered: 09-2008
Posted From: 99.227.90.149
Posted on Sunday, November 22, 2009 - 09:12 pm:   

I think things like signings, autographs, etc., are different that what's being discussed. No one (at least not me) is arguing that artists should be hidden, rather that meeting your hero at a signing is different than reading about your hero's daily exploits walking the dog.
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Carolinec (Carolinec)
Username: Carolinec

Registered: 06-2009
Posted From: 82.38.75.85
Posted on Sunday, November 22, 2009 - 09:15 pm:   

Yes, but to lean my comments more towards the point I think you're getting at Des, what I'm saying is that accessibility to authors and so on definitely ENHANCES the experience of their work for me. And the internet, of course, makes for even more accessibility - hence the reason we're all here, as admirers of Ramsey's work, on his message board.

I don't see a negative side to it at all.
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Carolinec (Carolinec)
Username: Carolinec

Registered: 06-2009
Posted From: 82.38.75.85
Posted on Sunday, November 22, 2009 - 09:17 pm:   

Ooops, I was responding to Des' point at the same time you were posting, Simon.
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Hubert (Hubert)
Username: Hubert

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 78.22.228.92
Posted on Sunday, November 22, 2009 - 09:28 pm:   

I did enjoy my very brief chat with Sprague de Camp. Didn't have time to say much more than that I'd read his Lovecraft biography many, many times and still found it eminently readible. He was absolutely delighted.

My brief encounter with Robert Bloch was one of those moments. I'm usually quite talkative, but there I was, alone in this very long and very empty hotel corridor, when suddenly one of the doors to my right opens and out steps the man. I was speechless - here was the author of all those stories I admired so. He smiled at me, probably expecting some sort of fannish behaviour on my part, but all I could mumble was "Looks like it's going to be another sweltering day, Mr Bloch, Sir." He did sign my copy of Unholy Trinity for me, later that evening.
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Des (Des)
Username: Des

Registered: 06-2008
Posted From: 86.171.167.11
Posted on Sunday, November 22, 2009 - 10:04 pm:   

what I'm saying is that accessibility to authors and so on definitely ENHANCES the experience of their work for me. And the internet, of course, makes for even more accessibility
==========================
Well, one can't argue with personal attitudes like that, Caroline, and with Hubert's accounts of meeting his 'heroes'.
Perhaps I am wrong to lean more on one side of this question than the other.
Logically, however, if not emotively, a book is presumably meant to stand on its own simply because it *does* stand on its own.
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Carolinec (Carolinec)
Username: Carolinec

Registered: 06-2009
Posted From: 82.38.75.85
Posted on Sunday, November 22, 2009 - 10:18 pm:   

No, you're not wrong, Des. But neither am I! I mean, we both have different views on it - but that's no problem. Anyway, I'm not going to argue with you when you are, in fact, one of my heros!

I see what you're saying here:
"Logically, however, if not emotively, a book is presumably meant to stand on its own simply because it *does* stand on its own."

Going back to my example of Bryan Talbot's Grandville, it's the same book - whether I know of the inspiration behind it or not. But knowing the background to it makes it all the more interesting TO ME. But that's just my personal feelings about it.

Thinking back to the other thread which spawned this one - where we're saying should we bother with a book if we dislike the author - there is certainly an argument that it might be best NOT to know anything about the writer/artist in some cases, but just to look at the work on merit alone. Yes, I can see that viewpoint too.
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Des (Des)
Username: Des

Registered: 06-2008
Posted From: 86.171.167.11
Posted on Sunday, November 22, 2009 - 10:22 pm:   

That last para, Caroline, brings us back to what I was saying about Nemonymous.
And thanks for what else you said. :-)
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Alexicon (Alexicon)
Username: Alexicon

Registered: 10-2009
Posted From: 88.106.95.141
Posted on Monday, November 23, 2009 - 03:52 am:   

Bit rushed earlier - misinterpreted the thread somewhat.

I mistakenly thought we were talking about accessiblity re an author's work rather than the person behind that work. The 'common touch' as applied to the work means it can be accessed(IMHO)easily by thousands of ordinary folk. Not QUITE the lowest
common denominator,for that author can craftily use his/her 'common' voice to provoke some thought,as well as entertain.

I don't quite get Caroline's fangirl fascination with the person behind the fiction,but if it gives her a buzz,then that's a positive.Whether the author she fixates upon,say at a book signing, gets a buzz from her is another matter: there may be multiples of like-minded Carolines waiting in the queue behind her. Autograph her book and keep smiling,I guess.Broaden the smile if she buys 2 copies. Make some small talk if it's 3. If it's 6 copies,well...compliment her corsetry.(lol C.)

IMHO,the work is all that matters,which is why Nemonymous is important: meritorious material unaccompanied by the pomp of personality. Keep right on with it,Des.
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Des (Des)
Username: Des

Registered: 06-2008
Posted From: 86.171.167.11
Posted on Monday, November 23, 2009 - 09:26 am:   

IMHO,the work is all that matters,which is why Nemonymous is important: meritorious material unaccompanied by the pomp of personality. Keep right on with it,Des.
=============
Thanks, Alexicon. But Nemo does have the disadvantage of bearing the pomp of what personality I myself wield. However, that is only on the internet. The mags and books themselves do not credit me. :-)
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Karim Ghahwagi (Karim)
Username: Karim

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 193.89.189.24
Posted on Monday, November 23, 2009 - 11:40 am:   

Simon : 'I still expect you to send me a stamp, though.'
_____
Simon, I thought the box of severed animal heads I sent you the last time was sufficient, when you sent me your personal address. I'll see what I can rummage up from the cellar this time.
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Simon Strantzas (Nomis)
Username: Nomis

Registered: 09-2008
Posted From: 99.227.90.149
Posted on Monday, November 23, 2009 - 12:54 pm:   

I finished eating those ages ago.
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Alexicon (Alexicon)
Username: Alexicon

Registered: 10-2009
Posted From: 88.106.48.162
Posted on Monday, November 23, 2009 - 01:12 pm:   

Des,the pomp of personality (internet) is justifiable in this case: you are the facilitator - thus worthy of public acclaim for that role. You are,in fact,a Personality,though hopefully without the Pomp.
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Carolinec (Carolinec)
Username: Carolinec

Registered: 06-2009
Posted From: 82.38.75.85
Posted on Monday, November 23, 2009 - 04:44 pm:   

>>I don't quite get Caroline's fangirl fascination with the person behind the fiction,but if it gives her a buzz,then that's a positive.Whether the author she fixates upon,say at a book signing, gets a buzz from her is another matter: there may be multiples of like-minded Carolines waiting in the queue behind her. Autograph her book and keep smiling,I guess.Broaden the smile if she buys 2 copies. Make some small talk if it's 3. If it's 6 copies,well...compliment her corsetry.(lol C.)<<


That's because you're not a fangirl/boy, Alex.

But I'm quite sure the author/artist/actor/etc doesn't get any buzz from me!

It's just this nerdy fascination with the famous that I have.

But, thinking a bit more deeply about this again, yes, there is something in the fact that if you like someone (as a person, separate from their work) because they're nice to you (eg. smiling and chatting at a con), then you're going to feel more inclined to buy their work than if they aren't nice towards you, or keep their distance, or whatever. I guess the cynical could say it's all a marketing ploy?
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Alexicon (Alexicon)
Username: Alexicon

Registered: 10-2009
Posted From: 88.106.119.107
Posted on Monday, November 23, 2009 - 05:44 pm:   

Caroline - I'm willing to bet that any author of integrity would get a serious buzz from chatting with you, as well as indulging in some raucous,mutual laughter about life's limitations and absurdities.

You're probably aware that acceptable stand-ins are available for around 25 per hour. So at WHC in March,be aware that the person you're chatting with may not be who they say they are. The opposite applies: be nice to the Royal Albion bar and security staff: there could be one or two reticent authors-as-observers embedded in their ranks.

Now that Des has been dubbed a Personality,will that title make you more wary of approaching him in person? I hope not. I worry a little,lest his current Personality status burgeons into full-blown Celebrity. Then,as much as one would like to meet him,battling with his minders to receive merely a cynical quip and a signed photograph would simply be too tiresome. As a committed fangirl,Caroline,would you still be prepared to make the effort?
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Carolinec (Carolinec)
Username: Carolinec

Registered: 06-2009
Posted From: 82.38.75.85
Posted on Monday, November 23, 2009 - 05:50 pm:   

Alex - you're a terrible tease!

By the way, I think I've finally figured out who you actually are (I'm always the last to know). Beware, at WHC it might be YOU I'm fixated on!
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Alexicon (Alexicon)
Username: Alexicon

Registered: 10-2009
Posted From: 88.106.119.107
Posted on Monday, November 23, 2009 - 05:59 pm:   

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Des (Des)
Username: Des

Registered: 06-2008
Posted From: 86.171.167.11
Posted on Monday, November 23, 2009 - 06:03 pm:   

By the way, I think I've finally figured out who you actually are
==============
I haven't, Caroline! Can you tell me off-line?
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Carolinec (Carolinec)
Username: Carolinec

Registered: 06-2009
Posted From: 82.38.75.85
Posted on Monday, November 23, 2009 - 06:26 pm:   

>>By the way, I think I've finally figured out who you actually are
==============
I haven't, Caroline! Can you tell me off-line?<<

Er, not sure I should Des. I've just done a little bit of research on who I think Alexicon might be and I'm not so sure now - I'm probably wrong!

I was asked by PM by someone on another forum whether I'd figured it out yet (someone who knows), and the message which came back when I said "no" was that Alexicon will make him/herself known to me when they feel the time is right. I think the same will apply to you Des! In fact, he/she is much more likely to make themselves known to you if they want to, as they will know who you are. I could be any old fangirl after all!

Sorry, Des, but my lips are sealed. Alex - email Des and tell him who you are .. please!
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Alexicon (Alexicon)
Username: Alexicon

Registered: 10-2009
Posted From: 88.106.119.107
Posted on Monday, November 23, 2009 - 06:46 pm:   

Des - you're an incorrigible rogue! One moment,you're preaching the Gospel of Anonymity; the next you're gasbagging over the fence with Caroline.

A couple of old gossips from Neighbour Intelligence.
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Des (Des)
Username: Des

Registered: 06-2008
Posted From: 86.171.167.11
Posted on Monday, November 23, 2009 - 07:17 pm:   

I respect your decision, Caoline. :-)
As to me gasbagging over the fence, Alexicon, I agree I am my own worst enemy. Gossipmongering into the sunset of my days.
And I only popped out to get my short-shorts off the line.
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Des (Des)
Username: Des

Registered: 06-2008
Posted From: 86.171.167.11
Posted on Monday, November 23, 2009 - 07:56 pm:   

BTW, Alexicon, this is the 'Gospel of Anonymity', as you put it:

The Two Ways of Anonymity

(one) The most common way - to say something you don't want to be known as saying, i.e. for *devious* purposes (which could be spite, nepotism, insult, cruelty, dubious joke etc etc.) -- or publishing pornography, or issuing a Valentine's card, or hiding one's identity to avoid reputation depletion etc.

(two) A way that is hardly ever used - to make an artistic statement (within the philosophy of Aesthetics), such as Nemonymity,
(i) whereby the fiction author wants some objective view of his work to be made without his name getting in the way -- and I, as an editor, equally don't want it to get in the way when I consider his submission for publication and
(ii) as an experiment in fiction anthology presentation as a new gestalt reading experience (i.e. stories written independently and remaining separate yet somehow more 'together') and
(iii) leading to a brainstorming approach to reviews and critical appreciation and
(iv) bringing fiction nearer to the artist-naming (late-labelling) approach of other arts such as fine arts, architecture, music etc. (instead of having the name on the spine, on the title page and, often, on the top of each alternate page throughout the book) and
(v) trying to bring fiction more easily to an interstitial or between/cross-genre optimum.

I think it true to say that (one) above brings anonymity into disrepute, a cross which Nemonymous has to bear.
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.170.178.4
Posted on Tuesday, November 24, 2009 - 03:41 pm:   

Des - I can't read anything by someone I know. Books for me need to almost feel 'dug up', a form of treasure. I need absolute mystery to surround them.
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.170.178.4
Posted on Tuesday, November 24, 2009 - 03:41 pm:   

Unless they're dead. Ideally, actually.
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Weber_gregston (Weber_gregston)
Username: Weber_gregston

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 194.176.105.56
Posted on Tuesday, November 24, 2009 - 03:47 pm:   

So if all the published writers on this board start popping their clogs, we know that Tony has decided to get started on his TBR pile?
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.170.178.4
Posted on Tuesday, November 24, 2009 - 03:51 pm:   

I've my plans.
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Alexicon (Alexicon)
Username: Alexicon

Registered: 10-2009
Posted From: 88.106.27.117
Posted on Tuesday, November 24, 2009 - 04:17 pm:   

Tony: a fascinating viewpoint. Do you mean 'someone you know' personally? Or someone you know 'of'?

If the latter,you would then be reading material by,say, RCMB members ONLY when disseminated through Nemonymous.

Des: re your 'Gospel of Anonymity': Section 2,para (1) has some validity and is pertinent.

Section 1? Well,here's an addition which is applicable to the 'person' rather than the 'work'.
Try this - and it may be a meatgrinder of a sentence:

'Artisan writer with mediocre skills in this genre,wishes,ANONYMOUSLY, to listen to,and occasionally participate in,the conversations of skilled writers and aficionados. Purpose: self-improvement - and perhaps a little fun.

How's that?
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Des (Des)
Username: Des

Registered: 06-2008
Posted From: 86.171.167.11
Posted on Tuesday, November 24, 2009 - 04:45 pm:   

'Artisan writer with mediocre skills in this genre,wishes,ANONYMOUSLY, to listen to,and occasionally participate in,the conversations of skilled writers and aficionados. Purpose: self-improvement - and perhaps a little fun.

=========================

Brilliant, I'll stick it in. Section 1 is suddenly looking less 'devious'.
Another possible addition to 1 - anonymity in war: reistance movements, undercover work etc. etc.
any more?
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Alexicon (Alexicon)
Username: Alexicon

Registered: 10-2009
Posted From: 88.106.27.117
Posted on Tuesday, November 24, 2009 - 05:29 pm:   

Des - we could be approaching consensus!

Another...screaming for insertion in section 1:

Ghost writing.The toughest game in town.
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Des (Des)
Username: Des

Registered: 06-2008
Posted From: 86.171.167.11
Posted on Tuesday, November 24, 2009 - 05:58 pm:   

Alexicon,
Masterstroke!!
Never thought about that before.
I wonder if you personally do any ghost writing?
des
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Alexicon (Alexicon)
Username: Alexicon

Registered: 10-2009
Posted From: 88.106.27.117
Posted on Tuesday, November 24, 2009 - 06:15 pm:   

Fraid so,Des - which is why I don't have the temerity to compare my work with that of other RCMB members. You see,I'm a reader too and when I see their published works,I think, 'Why can't I achieve that?' Horses for courses,I guess.

It's interesting.
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Des (Des)
Username: Des

Registered: 06-2008
Posted From: 86.171.167.11
Posted on Tuesday, November 24, 2009 - 07:33 pm:   

Thanks to Alexicon, I've revised my 'Two Ways' above and formalised it here:
http://weirdmonger.blog-city.com/the_two_ways_of_anonymity_revised.htm
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Stevenw (Stevenw)
Username: Stevenw

Registered: 10-2009
Posted From: 80.47.24.73
Posted on Tuesday, November 24, 2009 - 11:01 pm:   

This is an interesting thread. I can't add much to it except to say I got to know about the private life of a well-known genre author (nobody on here) and I now find it difficult to read his books.

Sometimes it's better not to know.
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Weber_gregston (Weber_gregston)
Username: Weber_gregston

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 194.176.105.56
Posted on Wednesday, November 25, 2009 - 02:55 pm:   

It's like films. I remember watching and really enjoying Clownhouse a long time ago. When you know that the director was sexually abusing the young boy in the lead role, it severely colours the film and I don't think I would enjoy watching it again
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Stephen Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Wednesday, November 25, 2009 - 04:48 pm:   

The ultimate example of this has to be 'Triumph Of The Will' by Leni Riefenstahl.

I haven't seen it but by all accounts it is one of the towering cinematic achievements of the 20th Century - and all in praise of Hitler & the Third Reich.

Discuss...
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 213.122.107.13
Posted on Wednesday, November 25, 2009 - 04:52 pm:   

Stephen! Who is the author?
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Huw (Huw)
Username: Huw

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 218.168.186.226
Posted on Wednesday, November 25, 2009 - 06:15 pm:   

Tony, Riefenstahl was a German filmmaker and photographer who was often criticised for her films on nationalistic subjects such as the Nuremberg rally of the Nazi party and the Berlin Olympics. In her later years she was a keen underwater photographer and filmmaker. Her film The Blue Light was a favourite of Aickman, who defended her against hostile British press. She died just a few years ago.
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Huw (Huw)
Username: Huw

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 218.168.186.226
Posted on Wednesday, November 25, 2009 - 06:18 pm:   

D'oh! I see now you meant someone else, Tony (I think.... blast this insomnia!).
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Alexicon (Alexicon)
Username: Alexicon

Registered: 10-2009
Posted From: 88.106.123.85
Posted on Thursday, November 26, 2009 - 12:40 am:   

Stephen - when you see Riefenstal's 'Triumph of the Will' a couple of times,you realise what unsubtle,melodramatic,sycophantic,pretentious garbage it actually is. It's ersatz film-making ideally suited to portentous propaganda.

If you like those risible,simple-minded,'heroic' Soviet and Nazi public propaganda posters of the 1930s,then this a film for you. IMHO,anyone watching it at the time -other than a brain-dead fanatic - would have had a similar opinion.
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Stephen Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Thursday, November 26, 2009 - 03:37 pm:   

I haven't seen it Alex and go only by the movie's reputation among cinema critics.

Needless to say I share your sentiments entirely!
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Richard_gavin (Richard_gavin)
Username: Richard_gavin

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 65.110.174.71
Posted on Friday, November 27, 2009 - 12:04 pm:   

Regarding iconicity: I do think writers and artists have forfeited their stature. Unfortunately, many gave this up to feed a kind of Attention Defecit Disorder (a condition for people who cannot get enough attention lavished on themselves). Not to sound overly negative, but I think a lot of these obsessive bloggers live in a self-important vacuum, whether they are famous or not. It's a little pretentious to feel that "their public" waits on tenterhooks for the next update on their tulip bed.

Unless you are either a) a friend or relation to this person, or b) an obsessed fan, chances are you won't care. The online diary is a symptom of our culture's obsession with being noticed. It doesn't matter whether anyone does anything of worth, just please god Look At Me!

The thing is, writers often *do* have creations of worth: their body of work.

It's not that I believe writers or artists live in ivory towers, but if they are constantly turning out the contents of their lives online, when will they take the time with withdraw from the world slightly so that they can reflect and allow their stories to percolate? Small doses of solitude are essential to creativity, I think. One can't be in the public eye 24/7 and still be creative. Writers often need to pull the public face from their skulls and give voice to their unpleasant phantoms through their fiction or poems.

If people find learning all these little details interesting or inspring ("Hey! Big Name Author X uses the same toothpaste as me! We're kindred spirits!"), more power to them. But I do believe that writers and artists cultivate...not a *persona* per se, but a purer outgrowth of themselves with their work. Their work is (or should be) a nice assimilation of all these little details and some more reflective themes all blended into a narrative. In other words, it places many different aspects of life into a more meaningful context.

Lastly, I think *select* details about an author's life being made public are far more important than a daily blog. Look at Ramsey's essays in Ramsey Campbell, Probably. These are the elements of his childhood and adult life that made an impact on him and he in turn shared them with us. I think this kind of information is far more valauble, not because it's cherrypicking from life to make one's self sound more interesting, but because it is the author saying "Here are some important moments from my life."
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Des (Des)
Username: Des

Registered: 06-2008
Posted From: 86.153.239.224
Posted on Friday, November 27, 2009 - 01:06 pm:   

Beautiful post, Richard, and oh so true!
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Richard_gavin (Richard_gavin)
Username: Richard_gavin

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 65.110.174.71
Posted on Friday, November 27, 2009 - 01:21 pm:   

Thanks, Des.

Of course the line "take the time with withdraw" should read "take the time *to* withdraw."

Ugh, it's too early in the morning here...
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Alexicon (Alexicon)
Username: Alexicon

Registered: 10-2009
Posted From: 88.106.85.77
Posted on Friday, November 27, 2009 - 01:40 pm:   

Yes,Des,I second that. First class post,Richard.

I find RCMB intriguing because I hear the 'voices' of like-minded folk (not JUST writers) discussing a variety of subjects. And within those posts fragments of their everyday lives are revealed.

Fragments are all you need to construct a satisfying - although not necessarily accurate - assessment of the person 'speaking'. Full-on blogs somehow destroy that tantalizing imagery.
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 213.219.8.243
Posted on Friday, November 27, 2009 - 01:40 pm:   

I wonder what colour underpants Martin Amis is wearing.
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Allybird (Allybird)
Username: Allybird

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 80.47.125.246
Posted on Friday, November 27, 2009 - 01:53 pm:   

And does he have the day of the week written on them?
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Alexicon (Alexicon)
Username: Alexicon

Registered: 10-2009
Posted From: 88.106.85.77
Posted on Friday, November 27, 2009 - 02:03 pm:   

Yo,Stephen. You have to watch that film at least twice to hopefully concur with my comments.

I liken the technical acclaim it received to the construction of IEDs.

The Academy of Booby Traps and Roadside Bomb Sciences are so..oo impressed by the latest,sophisticated detonator trigger that they heap praise upon the designer, and perhaps,in some sand scoured hellhole,he's guest of honour at an awards ceremony.

Watch it if you can,mate. BTW,you're off-thread.
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Alexicon (Alexicon)
Username: Alexicon

Registered: 10-2009
Posted From: 88.106.85.77
Posted on Friday, November 27, 2009 - 02:06 pm:   

Homo-eroticism from Zed and Ally.

All noted.
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 213.219.8.243
Posted on Friday, November 27, 2009 - 02:09 pm:   

I believe Amis has the words "Girl Bait" written on his undercrackers.
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Alexicon (Alexicon)
Username: Alexicon

Registered: 10-2009
Posted From: 88.106.85.77
Posted on Friday, November 27, 2009 - 02:20 pm:   

Just spoken to Martin about Zed and Ally. He says,"Ignore them,Alex. YOU know I don't wear underpants."

Thus,the thread deteriorates...
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Allybird (Allybird)
Username: Allybird

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 80.47.125.246
Posted on Friday, November 27, 2009 - 02:38 pm:   

No. It's Zed who doesn't wear underpants...fits in with his 'free spirit' image :>).

Actually my colleagues at the Moss Side and Hulme Housing Department used to call me 'wild child' so....mmm ...that isn't a fragment - is it?
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Alexicon (Alexicon)
Username: Alexicon

Registered: 10-2009
Posted From: 88.106.85.77
Posted on Friday, November 27, 2009 - 02:41 pm:   

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Allybird (Allybird)
Username: Allybird

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 80.47.125.246
Posted on Friday, November 27, 2009 - 02:42 pm:   

Alex - threads always meander on the board or 'develop' or 'degenerate.' Part and parcel of it all and no problem, really.
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Allybird (Allybird)
Username: Allybird

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 80.47.125.246
Posted on Friday, November 27, 2009 - 02:45 pm:   

No. Desist with the funny eyes...I'm only joking :>) Well, about anything to do with underwear.
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Alexicon (Alexicon)
Username: Alexicon

Registered: 10-2009
Posted From: 88.106.85.77
Posted on Friday, November 27, 2009 - 02:57 pm:   

There,Ally - that's what I mean.

You offer 'wild child' together with Moss Side and Hulme Housing Department. Almost oxymoronic.

You conjure a vision of some out-of-control school-leaver running amok in the office: swearing,sitting craftily on the photocopier,hurling paperclips at senior clerks,writing "BUM" on policy documents,etc.

I bloody love it.
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Allybird (Allybird)
Username: Allybird

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 80.47.125.246
Posted on Friday, November 27, 2009 - 03:13 pm:   

I was the manager :>(
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Stephen Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Friday, November 27, 2009 - 03:15 pm:   

Just checked and it was the 'Clownhouse' comment and controversy surrounding the film brought 'Triumph Of The Will' to my mind.

I wouldn't go out of my way to watch either, however, I thoroughly enjoyed both 'Jeepers Creepers' movies. The most memorable monster of recent years imo.

Erm, I think I'm wandering again.
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Carolinec (Carolinec)
Username: Carolinec

Registered: 06-2009
Posted From: 82.38.75.85
Posted on Friday, November 27, 2009 - 03:17 pm:   

I've known managers who behave the way Alex describes too, Ally!
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Carolinec (Carolinec)
Username: Carolinec

Registered: 06-2009
Posted From: 82.38.75.85
Posted on Friday, November 27, 2009 - 03:19 pm:   

Oooops, sorry. Crossed posts with Stephen. That's what I like about this board - we end up with several different conversations going on at the same time .. on the same thread!
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Alexicon (Alexicon)
Username: Alexicon

Registered: 10-2009
Posted From: 88.106.85.77
Posted on Friday, November 27, 2009 - 03:33 pm:   

Yes, Caroline - and it's why hundreds of people remained homeless in Moss Side whilst Ally was Manager. Hooligans boozing and running wild in the offices as starving,ragged families queued in the snow outside...

Stephen: Funny about Jeepers Creepers...it was that fabulous Chevy van that did it for me.
Again,see TOTW if you can.
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Stephen Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Friday, November 27, 2009 - 04:48 pm:   

If it gets shown on the telly I will but I really can't see our local independent cinema screening it - might attract the wrong kind of crowd lol.
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Seanmcd (Seanmcd)
Username: Seanmcd

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 86.151.243.114
Posted on Friday, November 27, 2009 - 09:23 pm:   

I watched TOTW on Youtube. Pure nazi propaganda. Couldn't see anything meritorious in the film at all myself, technical or otherwise. The robotic repetitiveness of the speeches became tedious after 5mins. The storm troopers remind one of the vacant glazed looks of George Romero's zombies. Also quite terrifying to see all those young smiling kids thrusting out their right arms. Wonder which hell hole battlefield they ended up in? Well, one became the current Pope. Lol ??
If anything, this film now serves as a stark reminder/warning of the power of propaganda as a means of mass hypnosis. It had the power to enable one man to convince his nation of their superiority and their 'right' to go to war. We have the red top tabloids and 'Fox' news doing the same job today. 'Weapons of mass destruction' indeed Tony and George. Me ? Call Tony and George undemocratic? Or worse, nazi's ? never...
Triumph of the Will? No! Triumph of propaganda? yes! And many current despisers of democracy have been watching this ugly little film very closely indeed. Repetition, repetition, repetition, repetition and the lie becomes the accepted truth.
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Stephen Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 82.17.255.28
Posted on Saturday, November 28, 2009 - 10:18 am:   

So it's on Youtube!
Thanks for that Sean... I still feel myself baulking at the prospect of sitting down to watch it though. If ever the full power of cinema was utilised for evil it was then <gulp>.

Maybe if I watch Chaplin's 'The Great Dictator' immediately after as an antidote?!
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Alexicon (Alexicon)
Username: Alexicon

Registered: 10-2009
Posted From: 88.106.118.166
Posted on Saturday, November 28, 2009 - 12:36 pm:   

You get the full demented heartlessness of TOTW on a big screen. The acclaimed techno-crap - overhead camera work,tricksy focus-pulling,etc. - was state-of-the-art in the mid-thirties,but would have been imminently unveiled by other film makers across the world anyway.

With Hitler as 'Executive Producer',I guess money and access to whatever facilities Riefenstal desired gave her the edge.

Worth remembering that when 'Bismark' was built,that was state-of-the-art too.
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Alexicon (Alexicon)
Username: Alexicon

Registered: 10-2009
Posted From: 88.106.118.166
Posted on Saturday, November 28, 2009 - 12:45 pm:   

Er...Stephen,when you watch it,try turning the sound off,and play George Formby tunes as a soundtrack instead.

Might put the film into its proper perspective.
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Allybird (Allybird)
Username: Allybird

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 80.47.50.55
Posted on Saturday, November 28, 2009 - 12:46 pm:   

At the housing office - many memories including helping to sort out the mess after a gas explosion in Hulme (why did the police want to push me through the door to check for tenants) after they had battered it down I'll never know....attending fires... as for the ragged families in the snow, yes...we rehoused a few of those:>) And as for finding dead tenants who had been there for a few weeks? The carpenter sometimes went in to check them out before me... he knew that the memories would haunt me forever.

Wild for us...was the office going out on Friday night now and then to get rid of it out of our heads :>)
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Alexicon (Alexicon)
Username: Alexicon

Registered: 10-2009
Posted From: 88.106.118.166
Posted on Saturday, November 28, 2009 - 01:05 pm:   

Good morning Ally! Now I know damned well you're trying to elicit a response,but I refuse to corrupt this thread for your amusement. It's like the cat booting the mouse around to see if its still twitching. Stop it!

On a more serious note. How do I start a new thread on this board? I tried a couple of times but access was denied,which indicates discrimination. You Ally,as one of the board's Sultanas,are well placed to consult a Sultan about it on my behalf.
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Allybird (Allybird)
Username: Allybird

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 80.47.50.55
Posted on Saturday, November 28, 2009 - 01:30 pm:   

Mmmm - that is the first time I've been called a Sultana :>) The Sultans will be able to help as they will be reading posts but I do have the mods email addresses if you want to email me through my website (always an excuse for a chat). Stick Allyson Bird in search and the email address is in there. I'm not the American journo of the same name though.
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Alexicon (Alexicon)
Username: Alexicon

Registered: 10-2009
Posted From: 88.106.118.166
Posted on Saturday, November 28, 2009 - 01:51 pm:   

Thanks for that,Ally. I thought access might've been denied purely because I was trying to thread-start in the early hours,when the Sultans were off-guard,slumbering in their bloated silken tents.

It was only an innocent Christmas thread,but you know what those old Sultans are like...watchful and suspicious.
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Carolinec (Carolinec)
Username: Carolinec

Registered: 06-2009
Posted From: 82.38.75.85
Posted on Saturday, November 28, 2009 - 07:11 pm:   

Did you manage to get access to start a new thread, Alex? You have to scroll right down to the bottom of the long list of threads in order to click the "start new thread" link. I'm surprised if you can post in other threads but not start a new one - your username and password should allow you to do both. But if you email Gary (Fry), he'll be able to sort you out on that score.
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Alexicon (Alexicon)
Username: Alexicon

Registered: 10-2009
Posted From: 88.106.104.42
Posted on Sunday, November 29, 2009 - 03:52 am:   

Thanks Caroline. Never been down the list that far. I was going to FAQ and clicking on the 'new thread' link there. Confusing,that.

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