A musical metaphor is developed

In this blog posting, someone called Judge Ellis is quoted saying, somewhere in America, some time recently or not so recently, in connection with something Trump-related, this:

“You don’t really care about Mr. Manafort’s bank fraud – what you really care about is what information Mr Manafort could give you that would reflect on Mr. Trump or lead to his prosecution or impeachment.

“This vernacular to ‘sing’ is what prosecutors use. What you’ve got to be careful of is that they may not only sing, they may compose.”

Good expression. Never heard it before, although it must have been around for decades.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

Jamie Hannah’s new video

Jamie Hannah is a friend of GodDaughter2, as a result of him having spent a year at the Royal College of Music, going from being a good countertenor to a rather better countertenor. But now he’s giving the pop star thing a go. Judging by his latest video, I reckon the plan just might work.

I’ve heard Jamie Hannah in action twice before, once live and once in the form of a recording. In terms of performing savvy and persistence and general attitude; he seemed to be going about it the right way, but the actual sounds he was making didn’t sound to me that distinctive. Any friend of GodDaughter2 is a friend of mine. But not having anything sufficiently positive to say about Jamie’s work, I kept quiet about it here.

As you can see, that has now changed: If this new video is anything to go by, Jamie is now making much more use his strength; which is his very distinctive countertenor voice.

And, although I know nothing of the technicalities of such things; the production side – the sheer sound of the musical backing and the general ambience – sounds to me like it has taken a big step in the right direction. Whatever he is now doing, I hope Jamie Hannah keeps at it.

Judging by a lot of the comments at YouTube, it would appear that a certain Boy George feels similarly.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

The Boxing Day posting

And here, as promised yesterday, are the other dozen of the Christmassy (Google reckons it’s double ss at the end there rather than the single s I used to name the photos) photos that I was gathering together yesterday. They, like the previous lot, are shown in chronological order, the first one being from 2015 to now, the most recent from earlier this month:

I used half a dozen of these two dozen photos to concoct a Merry Christmas photo-posting at Samizdata, in the small hours of this morning, what with there having been nothing there yesterday, until I did that. And then faked the timing. Just like I often do here.

Which means that, for the last week, I have not only done something for here, every day, but have done something there, every day. More on the thinking behind this sudden burst of Samzdating here, some time soon, maybe, I promise nothing.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

Taxis with adverts in the dark

For reasons too complicated and undignified to elaborate upon, I have been sitting at home, waiting for one sofa to be taken away and for another sofa to be delivered, preferably in that order. This has caused me to be stuck indoors throughout most of the daylight hours of the last week or so, which is why I have posted only photos from the archives, rather than any photos taken more recently.

But, I have been able to get out after sofa-moving hours, which I take to end by about 6pm at the latest. And during the hours of darkness I have reminded myself that whereas most things do not photo well in the dark, taxis with adverts on them look quite good. Not as good as they do in bright sunshine, but still quite good.

Here is a clutch of taxis with adverts in the dark, taken during the last twelve months, but mostly more like during the last two or three months:

The seventh (3.1) of these twelve advertises Huawei, who have been in the news lately, for being a front for Chinese state skulduggery. Other than that one, these are just regular adverts, on taxis. I particularly like the one for The Phantom of the Opera.

But they keep changing, and I’m thinking that my next taxi advert posting might come from me going back to when I first started noticing taxi adverts, and photoing them.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

Dominic Frisby sings a right wing song

I just watched Dominic Frisby, accompanying himself on the ukulele, singing a right wing comic song, recorded live at something called Comedy Unleashed.

I watched it on Facebook. Here is a link. Does that work? Does it work only if you are on Facebook? Does it work only if you are on Facebook and a “friend” of Dominic Frisby?

I have just suggested that this video be stuck up at Samizdata. If that happens, I’ll add a link to that here.

Anyway, whether you get to see this video or not, it did make me think about that mythical beast that keeps on being talked about as something that exists or could exist, but which is now so seldom actually sighted. I’m talking about right wing comedy. In Britain.

What distinguishes Dominic Frisby from what you’d think a right wing comedian would be like is that he is so nice. When he does comedy, at the usual comedy places, and as he has been doing it for years, he clearly fits in. He is part of it all. He likes – or does a damn good job of pretending that he likes – doing it, and the people he is doing it for. He is mates with the other comedians, or comes across as that. He has been following the time-tested rule for all challengers of the status quo, which is to start by thoroughly acquainting himself with that status quo, and showing that he is perfectly capable of winning by its existing rules. That way, he learns his craft, he learns his audience, and he proves that he is not dissenting from orthodoxy merely because that orthodoxy is something he cannot do. The new product he is offering is not sour grapes, but a new sweetness.

In this particular song, Frisby does not clobber his audience with confrontational opposition to assumed lefty wisdom, which he assumes his audience all shares and which he hates them all for all sharing. No, he starts, in the manner recommended by noted philosopher Karl Popper, by summarising the case of those he disagrees with in the most respectful possible manner. Only then does he suggest, in the most modest possible way, that there just might be another way of looking at the matter (maybe Tommy Robinson has a point, maybe Trump’s not all bad), and in a way that suggests he isn’t the only one who has been having these heretical thoughts. He is leading his audience in a direction he really thinks they might follow him along. It’s all done in the manner of George Formby, with grins and hints and merriment, with enjoyment simply assumed.

I never thought I’d hear a comedian get a laugh with one note played on a ukulele. But that is exactly what happens, in the intro to verse three (which says that maybe Theresa May should get the sack).

More about right wing comedy in this, if you can decipher it. It’s a photo of a big Sunday Times spread.

Let me try to make it easier to read:

On the right of all this, not included in the above, this:

I saw a woman in a T-shirt that said “Smashing patriarchy!” on it. Nice to see that some of them appreciate the hard work we put in.

That’s not Frisby. That’s another right wing comic. As you can read above, there’s a whole bunch of them.

But this is Frisby. It’s another song called Secretly In Love With Nigel Farrage. Sadly, the sound balance is all wrong and I couldn’t hear the words properly. I hope Frisby has another go at recording that, on some future comedy occasion.

I’ve been a Frisby fan ever since I first heard of him, and I’ve not been wrong. He even did a couple of my Last Friday meetings, doing very early try-outs of future Edinburgh shows.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

In Tottenham Court Road

I have an abundance of CDs, and CDs last for ever, provided you don’t mistreat them violently. I do not mistreat my CDs at all. CD players, however, do not last for ever, no matter how well you treat them. I was in Tottenham Court Road this afternoon, seeking another CD player, small enough to go beside my bed, to replace the small CD player there which is misbehaving.

The weather was grim and grey. We had a couple of first days of spring a while back, but so far there has been no actual spring. Not good photoing weather, in other words. But I did get a few shots of this ensemble, of the BT Tower, pollarded trees, and cranes, of which this was my favourite:

I tried a little “sharpen lightly” on that, and it looked, as you would expect, sharper. But, the weather wasn’t sharp today, so I undid it. That is exactly what emerged from the camera.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

Classic tweet

Melissa Chen:

I like my music like I like my liberalism: Classical

I’ve had more nearly fifty years to think of that. Why didn’t I? Probably because, although the music I mostly like is classical, I also like other musics, so this doesn’t really apply to me. But, very nicely put.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

Photoing the man playing a flaming tuba

So today I was up to my neck doing other things. Well no not really, I just forgot about doing this, until it was bed time. So, here are some photos of people photoing a man playing a tuba with flames coming out of it:

Photoed by me, under Blackfriars Bridge (the one with a railway station on it), earlier this month.

I do not know why the man in the red and white hat was holding a bit of silver paper. Something to do with food he had been eating?

This man is regularly seen playing his flaming tuba, all over London. I myself saw him playing outside Embankment tube, not so long ago. Also being worshipped by photoers.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog