Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Tracking and tracing

In the war against the coronavirus, many stories are told of heroes and heroines fighting for humanity. The Fundy Post, a blog of record, will serve to tell the lesser-known stories of entitled pricks who are concerned only with themselves. Here, for a start, are some reactions to a report in the New York Times: "Last week, doctors on Long Island in New York started treating Covid-19 patients with estrogen in an effort to increase their immune systems, and next week, physicians in Los Angeles will start treating male patients with another hormone that is predominantly found in women, progesterone, which has anti-inflammatory properties and can potentially prevent harmful overreactions of the immune system."


Sunday, April 19, 2020

Caveat vendor

Someone in Palmerston North attempted to sell a guitar on TradeMe, unaware that one of his neighbours is a man who will not take no for an answer. This could be the start of a horror film. They Are Out There could be its title.

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Friendly reminder

Many bearded men on Twitter issue friendly reminders, seemingly at random, to ensure we remain fully aware of something terribly important to them. Often these men are called Tyler. Here is one. 

Tyler want to remind us that white privilege exists and is not up for debate. White people have privilege. This is  so important  that he turns on the caps lock and writes PERIODT, a spelling  appropriated from black culture.

Right on, Tyler.

But then, in comes Tim, with a reminder about two other privileges, straight/passing and male. Tyler cannot tell Tim to bog off and write his own friendly reminder, because that might appear homophobic, or transphobic. So Tyler falls in line, and Tim parades his privileges.

But then in comes Nicky, who asks difficult questions. And I come in, just for the fun. Tyler sees an opportunity to parade his virtue, so at the end of the day everybody is happy in a very real sense.

The Tyla Gang:

Friday, April 17, 2020


Coleman is, apparently, all things to all men. According to Martin Williams, who wrote the liner notes for this album, his playing "will effect the whole character of jazz music profoundly and pervasively". An advertisement for a concert he is participating in refers to him as "the new alto saxophone sensation”. A jazz disc jockey calls him the "most talked-about musician in town". And in the "Goings On About Town" section of The New Yorker, he is "Ornette Coleman and his perhaps mortally wounded alto saxophone.
I will be more than happy to leave technical discussion of Coleman's music to Williams' liner notes, for he seems to have a much better grasp of the situation than I.  
The instrumentation of this group will suggest the Gerry Mulligan Quartet, but the only point of similarity is that Coleman's musicians have taken harmonic advantage of the absence of a piano, while Mulligan's thought in such a harmonically conventional way that the piano might as well have been there all along. 
In reference to the various quotations above, it will be interesting to see what happens to the career of the first new prophet to appear since the publicity machinery of jazz has gotten itself in full swing. Coleman's is an authentic attempt, and the initial praise for it came from musicians. Now it seems, everyone else has climbed aboard for what may be a long, long ride.
What I hear from this group (Coleman, alto sax; Don Cherry, trumpet; Charlie Haden, bass; and Billy Higgins, drums) is almost completely different on fast and slow numbers. The uptempo selections are nerve-shattering unrealized fragments, departing, it would seem, from Charlie Parker at the time of KoKo. On slower numbers, Coleman, who sounds much like the late Ernie Henry, is capable of composing strange melody lines that stick naggingly in the mind for days, and, on his solos, playing isolated phrases that have an instantly affecting beauty.

American Record Guide 
Vol 26, 1959, 339

Thursday, April 16, 2020

'St Disgustin’s', the charladies called it

Notes taken from Nicholas Taylor ’s "Sir Albert Richardson: A Classic Case of Edwardianism”, in  Alastair Service’s  Edwardian Architecture and Its Origins (London: Architectural Press, 1975).
445 His myth, as the obituary notices sedulously repeated, was that he had been 'The Last of the Georgians.' He was no such thing. His love of fast cars and (in his early days) of long-distance bicycling, his crowded accumulation of high quality bric-a-brac, his experienced courting of the world of big business, his outrageous use of the verbal pun, his rotund oratory, his smoking of equally rotund cigars - these were the essence of an Edwardian 'card,' a dining club man par excellence.
I was fortunate in spending two Saturday afternoons with him in 1963 (aetatis suae 83) and, at the first of these in particular, his generosity and enthusiasm and remarkable memory were in full spate.

446 J. Alfred Gotch had already published his Growth of Early English Renaissance Architecture ("A student asked, 'Have you got Gotch's Growth?" The bookseller answered, 'God help me, I hope not’.") [Here, Richardson has confused Gotch’s Early Renaissance Architecture in England with his Growth of the English House, combining them into a single title]

447-8 Richardson admired this church and also Pearson's St Augustine, Kilburn ("It was very High Church - 'St Disgustin’s', the charladies called it") because they displayed a 'classical' handling of the Gothic.

448 Moreover, [Leonard] Stokes had turned to a severe stripped classicism for domestic work, after his marriage in 1898 to Miss Gaine, daughter of the general manager of the National Telephone Company, had brought him a rich harvest of telephone exchanges.

Stokes sat in an end room making sketches and sending them down to be drawn out. His pupils and assistants ('Damned Colonials' and 'Damned Scotsmen' were his two main descriptive labels) frequently felt the whip of his tongue ("One day he was swearing at the top of his voice - and the ceiling of the office fell in. He fell on his knees, prayed and crossed himself, gave cheques to all the assistants - and was worse the next morning.") The assistants used to retreat to the lavatory, where they read the Daily Mail until their master shouted for them.
The freedom from Gothic detail that led to the 'free architecture' of Lethaby and Voysey had led simultaneously, and much less satisfactorily, to the development of a relaxed, undisciplined English Baroque manner by architects who had been trained as Goths, but who had large regular practices in the City where clients demanded representational grandeur.

449 Then there was Aston Webb, yet another ex-Goth and an ambitious competition-winner ("He was the fox, the sneak, worked for himself entirely and against others").

451 Selfridges admittedly alarmed students by its vulgarity ("'Don't you be so Selfridge,' we said" muttered Richardson).

456 In the '20s, alas, most of these leaders lost their way somewhere between bypass Tudor and jazz modern.

Richardson’s home, Avenue House in Ampthill, Bedfordshire.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Praise indeed

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Neil Young and Crazy Horse: