Saturday, August 17, 2013

Nothing like a dame

Reaction to my previous post, about Richard Cooper MA, has been mixed. One gentle reader said something to the effect of "you post nothing for weeks and then you write a post about another post by someone you don't know about something of no interest to you and which happens to be a year old." That much is true, but my point was that Mr Cooper's post is still very popular and is tweeted often, as a quick look at Topsy shows. In retrospect, I was rather unfair on Mr Cooper. By doing the hard yards and producing a thoroughly-researched post, he has kept its relevancy: people refer to it as the authority on Graham Linehan and Steven Moffat as tweeters. If that is your thing, Mr Cooper's post is the place to go.

But then the strange yet inevitable happened: Giovanni Tiso PhD decided it was all about him. It turns out that he was one among the hordes who tweeted Mr Cooper's post and, by a process of ratiocination that defies gravity, concluded that I must have been talking about him when I wrote:
Script writers and Guardian columnists face the wrath of 29 years-old Richard Cooper,a budding writer with a degree in English and American Literature and an MA in Dickens and Victorian Culture, both from the University of Kent. He is taken seriously only by several pantomime dames on Internet.
No, nor me. Dr Tiso believe he is one of those dames. I really do not see how he got here from there. But judge for yourself, gentle reader. You can read Dr Tiso's thoughts on the matter, and the reactions of several other tweeters, here. I did not participate in the discussion; my spies did not tell me about it until several days after the fact. Even had I known, I would not have interrupted. Rather, I would have sat down on a grassy tussock and observed from a distance. Even served cold, this conversation is richly enjoyable to its subject.

I do, though, have a few questions to ask. Have I called the Dr a "pantomime dame" in the past? And
have I said the same of Dr Dentith? I only ask because I have no record of having used that term about either of them. I may be wrong; Dr Tiso does have a PhD in Memory, so perhaps he knows better, but I have no recollection of such. I would hate to repeat myself. The only use of the phrase I have made on this blog is that time I referred to Pantomime Dame Jenny Shipley. But that was a play on words, because she is a dame.

How could one construe this comment as homophobic?  Pantomime dames are roles; preposterous women played by men in such a way that is obvious they are such. Usually the players are well-known comedians, so the reality of the matter - that this is all false and those are falsies - is obvious. What on earth does that have to do with homosexuality? Perhaps Dr Tiso saw Cinderella and believed the ugly sisters to be women and now thinks I am calling him a woman. I think Dr Tiso should get out more often.

In any case, why is Dr Dentith involved in all this? Are they members of a support group (Doctors without Frocks, perhaps) comprised of Phuds who have been mocked by me?

And when Dr Dentith says "it's a term he's used in the past and will likely use again in the future, probably with reference to this series of tweets," is he not being a bit presumptuous? I might refuse to use the term again, just to prove him wrong. I might have retired the phrase already, or I might revive it. Who knows what I shall do?  Still, I find myself trying to remember when I said the term in relation to either Dr or both. Please excuse me, I must check my email, and then my privilege. Enjoy this while I am away:

And we're back. It seems I did once use the phrase in an email with reference to members of the Socialist Workers Party, who I also described as neither socialists nor workers, just middle-class authoritarians. I resisted the temptation to mention their donkey jackets and their mockney accents, which I think showed considerable restraint on my part.

My privilege is coming along nicely, I thought you should know.

Does Dr Dentith really think I have a vendetta against him? What a dear boy; in any case, does it not take two to make a vendetta? "It's not really a feud when only one side is participating," he says. Well no: I am here on this grassy knoll, taking notes. It is a rum feeling being an observer to a feud of one side, especially when that side claims me as their opponent and predicts that I will become involved. If only they had called, I might have considered joining in, just for the fun of it. Perhaps, once my my thesis is done and I have my PhD, I could become one of the academic Pauls with whom Dr Dentith imagines he has an argument, alongside Dr Paul Moon and Dr Paul Buchanan.

In the meantime, what is the sound of one side feuding?

Anyway, that is enough questions. I was disappointed that nobody who read my previous posts asked "who is that girl in the photograph?" I suppose you already knew, but in case you were too shy to ask, she is Valerie and she is the protagonists of a delightful Czech film from 1970, Valerie and her Week of Wonders. You can read about it on Wikipedia, if only for the joy of reading the sentence "She is walking on a bank watching lesbians at play in a natural waterfall." What games do lesbians play? After considering your answer, you can watch scenes from the film and listen to this beautiful song by Broadcast. And, before you ask, the photo above is from a film, but I cannot remember which one. It might have been Kamikaze Girls. I expect I found it on Sub-Machine Gun.


Son of Dad said...

Cast your mind back to the Hand Mirror debacle of 2011. You described the ludicrous and perpetually affronted Octavia Spitfire and her chums-in-dudgeon Queen of Thorns and Scar as 'pantomime dames'. This took place in an exchange with the equally preposterous Boganette.

Paul said...

Thank you. I had quite forgotten.

Good times.

Unknown said...
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