Monday, July 28, 2003

Bumper Pretty Bloody Ordinary Monday Edition!

Thanks to a very productive weekend of off-line pseudo-blogging, I had three fairly good pieces to start off with this week. Thanks to a technical hitch with a recalcitrant 3.5" floppy, and a serious ufpuck by the standard disk repair and file recovery tool of the world's most commercially successful PC operating system, only one made it onto the hard-drive of the PC where I usually give posts a final polish before they go on the net. All that's left of the other two is interspersed with garbage from old files and long strings of ASCII null characters. With a little luck, and a better floppy disk, they ought to be available tomorrow. So Chris Sheil of Troppo Armadillo and the Babboon will just have to hang out another day to find out what the book was. The only post that is left in a fit state to put up today opens The Potemkin Museum of Antique Humour. The first section to open to the public is our English Humour collection, starting with some pre-Thatcherian items from The New Statesman. The collection includes items from earlier periods, which will be put on display over the next few weeks.

The idea for an on-line museum of "antique humour" came to me on Saturday: I was looking for a useful pretext to post on one or two books I have in my extensive humour collection (It includes both intentional and accidental humour: anyone who doesn't get a laugh from Sartre's immortal dicta "To touch slime is to be contaminated by the slimy," and "Slime is the agony of water," was probably wearing too much black in the late fifties). I couldn't find anything plausibly topical, so I had to come up with something else. You'll find that some of the material is quite dated: re-reading some of the books, I wonder what I found so amusing that I was willing to shell out $2.00 secondhand or $5.00 remaindered for them. Still, one or two pieces might stand up, dated though they are and, as for the rest, they might have cautionary value. Looking at the society and blogosphere around me, I'm leaning towards the view that a few people might benefit from a gentle reminder that nothing gets old anywhere near as quickly as bad humour.

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