Saturday, May 24, 2003

A recent commenter - (our only one of late in fact) - cast nasturtiums on the works of the great Jane Austen: Soapies with ivy. Like Blogger itself, this caused boynton temporary pause, as she could not at first recall which of JA's novels featured a heroine of that name. A bit of googling and searching her own shelves however soon
cleared the matter up.

Ivy Bonnet is the heroine of Jane Austen's obscure and unfinished manuscript Class and Class-mobility recently adapted for TV by the BBC. It tells the story of the progressively impoverished Bonnet clan who have been forced to relocate first from the gatehouse of their former Estate, to the gamekeeper’s cottage, making way for a succession of distant male heirs. Now the pending arrival of their curate cousin- obscurely-removed means that unless either Ivy or her sister Pedestal can quickly secure his hand in marriage they will have to once again move, this time from the Gamekeeper's Cottage to the Stables. There are no out-buildings left.
Meanwhile the village is abuzz with the sudden return of Admiral FitzSeizure to his country Estate, as he is somehow strangely single. In the televised version of C&C
The ball at Mantlepiece Park forms the central motif, as Ivy adeptly turns down proposals from a dozen suitors while maintaining the strict regulated form of the
Dance. Her bosom, already described a “generous” is upgraded by the flattering line of the Regency Gown to “promiscuous”. It is here too that Pedestal makes the famous observation:
“Do you not wish, Ivy, that we could be born 200 years hence, so our fortunes did not rely so heavily on securing the first available curate?”
“Indeed,” (Ivy replies) " for then I could be an aviatrix or perhaps a forensic psychiatrist…But what fun we should also have to forego – like making endless sport of our suitors.” This banter has secured C&C a place in academia as critics puzzle over the irony or not inherent in the proto-feminist lament.
Miraculously for the Bonnets, the curate cousin is single with a GSOH and after she dispatches a Sonata adequately on the zither at a soiree, it's apparent that an understanding is forming between Pedestal and her cousin. But calamity strikes as the party daringly walk into the village, and Pedestal (in a display lacking sufficient class and mobility) suddenly breaks into a skip and trips on a pebble, falling to the ground. It is Ivy's cool and pointing ways in this emergency that finally seduces the Admiral into desiring a dependable first-aid companion of his own, and he proposes to her in the front cupboard of the Gamekeeper's cottage.
Radically for Jane Austen, Ivy turns him down:
“I’m afraid Sir, through long-term disappointment I seem to have acquired the chronic condition of declining happiness when it is finally offered, and it is now my deepest wish to be nothing more or less than a congenial companion to my ageing whatnot…”
Readers and critics alike have long speculated on what may have transpired in the final unwritten chapters.

Friday, May 23, 2003

Because The Pause that Refreshes keeps Pausing.
These Rules for Writers (via J Walk) make boynton feel very nervous in a fine china sort of way. She's sure she's broken them all, possibly in the same sentence. Just tote up the damage for us thank you, and put it on the slate.

Like the beatles, Jane Austen always charts well in the top of the pops polls. Of course we would always vote for Jane, as would these fellow admirers...On the same site, an excellent gathering of detractors, or women "clueless on the matter of JA." Fortunately we know Jane will have the last laugh. And for laughter, boynton may have also nominated Stevie Smith's The Holiday ( one of the op-shop Bulky Space killers she bought last year) for its funny pathos, and poetic mirth.

Thursday, May 22, 2003

You are not very reliable but people like you anyway because you are so easygoing and fun to be with. And cute, too.
You just don't have a lot of guts up hills. And you seem to have stalled on us

Which Blogging Tool/ VW Are You?

If you are reading this you must be keen or lucky or know your way around blogger well enough to know to hit refresh three times before giving up. Thanks to Tony T, who connected the two disparate elements, of the People's car and the People's blog, or Bug and Blogger ( a curse well known in the blogosphere) It seems that Blogger has snuck the Bug in for a service, perhaps the whole engine needs replacing. Who knows. Luckily boynton is rather automotively illiterate so will not be able to go all metaphorical here and link to various puns in lieu of content, which is just as well really as she suspects that any link would be a one way ticket. So don't go here to see the sort of sign that Vdub drivers used to reluctantly heed on highways past, even if there may be some greater politcal analogy to be drawn. And don't go here either to see the sort of sign that would be preferable to the great white void. Bloggage may have to go linkless or show much more prudent use of the basic currency of the web than before. Expect some long posts about labradors.

Wednesday, May 21, 2003

Most VW owners who know anything about Beetles understand that something was different about 1967 Beetles
Like Feature number 6. Rear apron and deck lid - one year only.
More gratuitous pun fun with the beetles. Or is it so coincidental? Perhaps like Paul Carter’s place names, there is method in the madness of puns and namesakes, even if it’s just irony or poetry. Two cultural artefacts, icons of the twentieth century, whose respective mutations reflect societal (gear) shifts? In fact the VW beetle has been described as the car of the 20th century: a lens through which the whole cultural and political history of the century came into focus, from Nazism to the Sixties counterculture, the Cold War, to today’s global manufacturing (more).
Perhaps everyone has a beetle story, from the days when there was more flower than power.
But a confession: were Boynton to ever get car clucky (in an ideal utopian world) she would opt for the new beetle, which probably shows that the nostalgic spin worked (as opposed to the internet interactive? Marketing involved) She was around when they were universal and proud of it, the great anti-car statement. The Boyntons had an old grey “volksie” that could quite happily (or unhappily) accommodate many boyntons and their labradors and luggage, although maybe all 8 boyntons together would be pushing it even with us younger kids taking up our underling position in the “well” (where we often used to hide). It was the beloved car that used to herald its arrival a mile away, and shame those beatle-loving sisters with its motor-mower engine putt-putting up to the school gates in the presence of quieter vehicles, with their hush of posh. It was the car that ran over boynton’s young foot, when she greeted her mother along the running board one day, and the car where doors would fly open in mid-street. The car which passed in turn to the three eldest boynton girls on their P plates, before settling under a Kilsyth cyprus tree with the bones of dogs and ducks and dolls resting underneath. A Beetle gathering moss. Perhaps it was also the marvellous maroon VW toy car that her brother was given one Christmas. And then of course boynton’s first boyfriend drove a white volksie, that he had substantially re-fitted and whose name was (content edited to protect the innocent) – so again that familiar sound winding its way down our driveway, an obscure object indeed. Nostalgia gains momentum.

Tuesday, May 20, 2003

A teaser for tomorrow...

and your also a lennon beatle
The social cost of blogging? (via Anil Dash)The proliferation of personal bloggers has led to a new social anxiety: the fear of getting blogged...
Luckily boynton doesn't overly stray into the dreaded confessional, (or even the journal) - pseudonyms or not.
Jonathan Van Gieson, a 29-year-old theatrical producer from Brooklyn who sometimes writes about friends on his site... said he gave his friends pseudonyms "to toe the line between simple harmless betrayal of trust and nasty actionable libel"...."My close friends are used to having their lives plundered," he said.. Boynton is used to having friends and family both make the disclaimer that this bit of dialogue or that scene is not for public use, and then at other times virtuallly pitch a scenario or tag line as good dramatic fodder. Luckily for all, lifting stuff "as is" rarely works. And we won't go down that perilous path in blogging either. Boynton would like to say though that both her neighbours do in fact sing well - that when she said they sounded "off key" she meant "deliberately atonal". Lullabies and nursery rhymes sound remarkably good at full punk.

Monday, May 19, 2003

From Lullaby to Gonorrhea... Apologies for obscurity here, but like playing charades, boynton is trying to subtly point at this word-trivia collection...(via J walk) for the sake of her own pub trivia team, so as not to give the game away .To invoke another most-beautiful-word contender: ... Hush...
A new album of lost Beatles songs...Well actually just those ‘other’ Lennon-McCartney songs divvied out by Brian to lesser mortals. (via Pop Culture Junk Mail)

More newly discovered beetles here (via the Solipsistic Gazette)
"We live in the age of beetles," claims a group of scientists devoted to the study of this diverse and abundant insect family. (Boynton wonders if we now live in an age where insects indeed dominate, and when people hear beetles they again think insects before four motley lads from Liverpool or even V-dubs. You say you want a revolution?...) But which Beatle would be the Winged Ant the Slime Mold, or even the Pleasing Fungus Beetle?

update...beware Beetle damage (via Plep)

Sunday, May 18, 2003

boynton has been staying in one of the spare empty rooms at Nora's, some six k away but may as well be the country for its quiet calm. No street noise, no nocturnal car revving, no sirens, no neighbourly warble ( both of boynton's neighbours indulge in regular bursts of maternal singing to young offspring, off-key, loudly). This morning she woke to the best sound in the world? - rain on a tin roof (although this sound file Extremely Heavy Rain Pound Tin Roof, Overflow In Gutter Hits Part Of Tin Roof, Mic'd at Open Window sounds more like a war zone).
Yesterday she was priviliged to be in the company of a couple of bona fide house-for-sale inspectors, so glimpsed inside some of the nearby facades. She alone fell in love with a classic 50's house, with original wooden fittings, pedestal basins, lino and lights, but whose large block condemns it - whose very depth is now regarded as wasted space. "Use your imagination" is the standard multiple dwelling sales pitch, a mercantile imagination - STCA (subject to council approval). Boynton uses hers and sees the room restored with some heritage artifacts - it would never look as hip as this - since most of her stuff falls into the eclectic/shabby chic/whimsical genre and unlike a few of the purists she knows, she never shies away from the chipped, the Non-tested or the "As Is" opportune find. (in fact most of her collection - like life itself - is "As Is")
This is a wonderful small pocket of cream brick and clinker post-war suburban villas that Robin Boyd may have condemned for their common old shows of featurism. Out walking last night it certainly seemed to boynton that every second house screamed squiggles - and she was perfectly under .02. Whether it's the lure of nostalgia or the pure suburban-recidivist instinct, boynton has lately renewed her affection (in a Howard Arkley kind of way) for these non-descript, non-architect designed, non-cosmopolitan squiggly streets