Elvis Costello OBE

Pretty self-explanatory
jardine
Posts: 594
Joined: Sat Sep 11, 2010 12:59 pm

Re: Elvis Costello OBE

Postby jardine » Tue Jun 25, 2019 5:16 am

"It seems to me that underlying your complaint is that EC is not treating this honor with the seriousness you feel it deserves."

It equally seems to me that EC is not treating his qualms about the honour with the seriousness they deserve. Song lyric posting feels like nothing more than flippant, wink-wink avoidance.

We've read your lyrics already, for years and years. We know the award has the word "empire" in the title. We feel the contradictions ourselves, this way and that. We know your mother would love the fact that this honour has been offered and accepted. We know what it means to honour and adore that. It's all good, the whole mess of it. Go ahead. We're all living in different ways with these contradictions these days. We're all the men who lost the British Empire. No need to be sly about the fulness of it.

erey
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Re: Elvis Costello OBE

Postby erey » Tue Jun 25, 2019 4:28 pm

Hawksmoor wrote:OK. Wouldn't dispute any of that. I would dispute the idea that EC might be 'surprised, bemused and conflicted' but simultaneously carefully calculating how best to 'make the most of his social media engagement in the wake of this newsworthy event'. I'm being open and honest here. If he was truly 'bemused and conflicted' but at the same time talking to his team about how best to maximise his 'social media engagement'...that doesn't feel good to me. Does it to you?


I think you are greatly overestimating the extent of EC's "social media team". It seems clear to me that this team consists of EC himself and perhaps occasionally some slice of the time of an underpaid functionary at Macklam and Feldman. EC probably planned those song postings ahead of time, as a sort of appendix to his announcement statement (some songs must have been overlooked, see exhibits 1 through 6). Anyway, this stuff isn't rocket science. I've done some myself. Follow a newsy announcement with some eyeball-catching related content, spaced out over several days.

For point of comparison: Diana Krall's social media is (or, if not still, was until recently) run by her sister. I believe the sister has a fulltime job as some kind of law enforcement officer and no other background in show business or digital marketing.

If we see a sudden improvement in the quality and efficacy of EC's social media a couple years from now, it will be a good bet that Dexter and Frank have taken over running it. (I'm actually not joking about that.)

Hawksmoor wrote:
erey wrote:Sure beats getting clicks for supposedly being at death door with cancer, no?

With respect, that's a bit below-the-belt. I haven't mentioned the cancer thing.


I'm not sure what you thought I meant by that, but I'm sure it's not what I meant. I only meant that it is better to be in the news and floating into the consciousness of people who don't normally pay much attention to you for something at least sort of positive (the OBE award) than for sensationalized accounts of health issues you would you have rather kept private -- which was where EC found himself about this time last year.

Hawksmoor wrote:
erey wrote:It seems to me that underlying your complaint is that EC is not treating this honour with the seriousness you feel it deserves.

Nope. Here, you have mistaken my opinion (or perhaps I didn't make it very clear). I don't think this 'honour' deserves any 'seriousness' whatsoever.


I have to disagree here. I'm not saying you have any positive regard for these honors, but it's manifest that you take them very seriously. You can't hold something in contempt without taking it quite seriously. You can't have intricately worked out ideas about whether, and if so then exactly how, people should acknowledge these honors if you don't take them seriously.

I'm saying EC appears to take them less seriously than you do and less seriously than you think he ought to. I'm not trying to argue out of that opinion. I'm not even sure you're wrong.

But I will say this: In as much as I'd given it any thought at all, I started out sympathetic to the idea that these honors ought to be declined by "right-thinking" people. But when I saw the insane level of hate EC was getting for accepting his (not so much here, but in other forums), a perhaps not-so-admirable part of me couldn't help thinking he must have done something right.

Then I got curious and started looking into it. If you can believe what you read in the papers, in Wikipedia, etc., the vast majority of people (98%) do accept these honors. Those who declined seem to have done so for a wide variety of reasons, ranging from strictly personal, to idiosyncratically political (related to specific causes), to quite petty (miffed that they didn't get a higher honor). Some people declined some honors but accepted others later, or vice versa. Looking at the names of people who declined versus people who accepted, I didn't really see a big difference in quality of achievement or personal integrity between the two groups. David Bowie has been mentioned frequently as an exemplar of the sort of person who declined, but you'd have a hard time making the case that Bowie is a more astute political thinker than, say, Ray Davies, who accepted. Even if I might "agree" with Bowie more and regard him as the superior artist.

I'm not trying to argue you out of your opinion on this, either, but I don't agree that accepting this honor means EC needs to treat it completely reverently or else look like a hypocrite. A certain amount of irreverence seems fine to me. In this case, even advisable. Chalk it up to cultural differences.

Speaking of cultural differences, consider that EC has not lived in the UK for 30 years -- most of his adult life -- and likely cannot imagine any circumstances in which he would move back. For nearly the last 20 years, he's lived in North American. He's raising two young US citizens with his Canadian wife. I think he just isn't that invested in the shibboleths of British politics anymore. Why would he be? Things that look one way when you're right on top of them look a lot different at a distance.

Hawksmoor
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Re: Elvis Costello OBE

Postby Hawksmoor » Wed Jun 26, 2019 1:00 am

erey wrote:I think you are greatly overestimating the extent of EC's "social media team". It seems clear to me that this team consists of EC himself and perhaps occasionally some slice of the time of an underpaid functionary at Macklam and Feldman. EC probably planned those song postings ahead of time, as a sort of appendix to his announcement statement (some songs must have been overlooked, see exhibits 1 through 6). Anyway, this stuff isn't rocket science. I've done some myself. Follow a newsy announcement with some eyeball-catching related content, spaced out over several days.

I expect you must be right, although it surprises me. EC is a multi-millionaire rock star with an official website containing links to his 'store' where you can buy all manner of stuff, loads of promotional and advertising sections as well as his blogs/posts. I would be surprised if he was running his online presence all by himself from a laptop on the kitchen table, but...maybe. The latest Facebook post, for example is a promotional article for the upcoming 'Just Trust' tour, with links to where you can buy tickets and so on.

http://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=e ... SEARCH_BOX

Did Elvis do all that himself? Or did a 'social media team' do it? I honestly don't know. I suspect the latter, but I think you are better clued-in to this world than I am, so you are more likely to be right than I am.
erey wrote:Sure beats getting clicks for supposedly being at death door with cancer, no?...I'm not sure what you thought I meant by that, but I'm sure it's not what I meant. I only meant that it is better to be in the news and floating into the consciousness of people who don't normally pay much attention to you for something at least sort of positive (the OBE award) than for sensationalized accounts of health issues you would you have rather kept private -- which was where EC found himself about this time last year.

Fine, possibly we had crossed wires there. I agree totally about EC's treatment of the cancer thing. His attempts to keep it from the public eye, and then (when it was revealed and sensationalised) his thoughtful and rational account of it, were both quite remarkable, and my respect for him as a person went up considerably during that period.
erey wrote:It seems to me that underlying your complaint is that EC is not treating this honour with the seriousness you feel it deserves...I'm not saying you have any positive regard for these honors, but it's manifest that you take them very seriously. You can't hold something in contempt without taking it quite seriously. You can't have intricately worked out ideas about whether, and if so then exactly how, people should acknowledge these honors if you don't take them seriously.

That's a complicated one! I believe (and this is just me, OK, it's a subjective opinion) that the UK honours procedure is an outdated relic of a bygone era, and is potentially offensive to many people in its presentation and terminology (particularly in its use of the word 'empire'). Consequently I also believe that EC's acceptance of an OBE (given his decades-long anti-establishment stance, and various lyrics in support of those who would be offended by it) is...shall we say, problematic. For many of his fans.

If to have thought about it that much represents 'taking it quite seriously', then yes, you are probably right. It comes down to this: does having utter contempt for something mean that you must have 'taken it seriously'? Maybe.
erey wrote:I'm saying EC appears to take them less seriously than you do and less seriously than you think he ought to.

Not sure about that. He takes it all seriously enough to have written a public 700-word blog (with photographs and many references to his own family) about his decision to accept it, and six separate (public) posts (with music attached) about why they were dumb to offer it. I'm not aware of anything like that level of response from any of the other recipients of this year's awards. So I'd say he was taking it pretty seriously. Wouldn't you?
erey wrote:But I will say this: In as much as I'd given it any thought at all, I started out sympathetic to the idea that these honours ought to be declined by "right-thinking" people. But when I saw the insane level of hate EC was getting for accepting his (not so much here, but in other forums), a perhaps not-so-admirable part of me couldn't help thinking he must have done something right.

Again, not sure. If a person makes a decision you really don't agree with, and then gets a lot of 'hate' directed at them, is it logical to think 'oh, I think they must have been right after all', because of all the 'hate'?

That's a tricky one. Online, I only really frequent this forum and a Doctor Who forum, where the level of debate is about as much as I can cope with (ie polite and civilised), but I'm led to believe here is a lot of 'hate' out there on t'internet. Which is sad. But I'm still doubtful about the logic of thinking somebody's position must be justified if it has a lot of hate directed at it.
erey wrote:Speaking of cultural differences, consider that EC has not lived in the UK for 30 years -- most of his adult life -- and likely cannot imagine any circumstances in which he would move back. For nearly the last 20 years, he's lived in North American. He's raising two young US citizens with his Canadian wife. I think he just isn't that invested in the shibboleths of British politics anymore. Why would he be?

Well...he's invested enough in the shibboleths of British politics to accept an OBE (which will necessitate a trip to the UK to collect it), and to post a 700-word blog/post in which he writes about why he decided to accept the OBE, about 'looking down the list of past honourees', about 'both grandfathers [being] sent to France in 1914 to fight for King and Country', about not having been 'brought up to have a great sense of loyalty to the Crown' and about the internal difficulties of 'receiving anything named for the British Empire'. And he's invested enough to have written (I guess, in the last year or so) 'I Let the Sun Go Down', which is a very detailed (and, if I may say, entirely justified) attack on David Cameron. I'd say that represents a reasonable interest in 'the shibboleths of British politics', wouldn't you?
erey wrote:I'm not trying to argue you out of your opinion on this, either, but I don't agree that accepting this honour means EC needs to treat it completely reverently or else look like a hypocrite.

I don't think that accepting the award necessarily equates to 'treating it completely reverently', although I do suspect that, on the day, EC will turn up to Buckingham Palace in a nice suit-and-tie, politely shake hands with whichever member of the royal family is on duty that day, say 'thank-you' and pose for photographs. And I don't think he will make any reference to the 'Lord and Lady Muck' line in Pills and Soap.

However, I do think that thoughtfully explaining why you have decided to accept it (on one part of the internet) and taking the piss out of it (on another part of the internet) looks...inconsistent.

As noted, I'm fine with his very thoughtful and detailed blog about why he decided to accept the OBE. Separately from that, I'm fine with him posting a series of songs on Facebook about why they were stupid to have offered it. But I still believe that doing both of those things simultaneously makes him look like a hypocrite.

You want to bite the hand that feeds? Fine. But don't publicly accept what the hand offers with a grateful smile, but simultaneously wink to your fans and say 'secretly, I'm biting it'. That really is hypocritical (to me).
erey wrote:I'm not trying to argue out of that opinion. I'm not even sure you're wrong.

Great. I'm not sure you're wrong. The debate can still be illuminating, and fun.

erey
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Re: Elvis Costello OBE

Postby erey » Wed Jun 26, 2019 8:56 pm

Hawksmoor wrote:I expect you must be right, although it surprises me. EC is a multi-millionaire rock star with an official website containing links to his 'store' where you can buy all manner of stuff, loads of promotional and advertising sections as well as his blogs/posts. I would be surprised if he was running his online presence all by himself from a laptop on the kitchen table, but...maybe. The latest Facebook post, for example is a promotional article for the upcoming 'Just Trust' tour, with links to where you can buy tickets and so on.

Did Elvis do all that himself? Or did a 'social media team' do it? I honestly don't know. I suspect the latter, but I think you are better clued-in to this world than I am, so you are more likely to be right than I am.


I'm sure he outsources the online store and I'm not suggesting he's doing the backend coding himself. But it seems obvious to me that EC has been personally generating the content of his online accounts for the past few years. Around that time, the @ImposterSpeaks Twitter handle that EC used to use for his personal tweets went dormant and the official @ElvisCostello one (his Facebook page mirrors this content) stopped sounding like a generic celebrity/business account and started sounding... exactly like EC.

Hawksmoor wrote:
erey wrote:I'm saying EC appears to take [the OBE honor] less seriously than you do and less seriously than you think he ought to.

Not sure about that. He takes it all seriously enough to have written a public 700-word blog (with photographs and many references to his own family) about his decision to accept it, and six separate (public) posts (with music attached) about why they were dumb to offer it. I'm not aware of anything like that level of response from any of the other recipients of this year's awards. So I'd say he was taking it pretty seriously. Wouldn't you?


Well, EC was more verbose than M.I.A., but then he generally is.

In any case, this isn't a binary, does/doesn't take seriously. It's a graduated scale. We can say it's 0 to 10, with 0 being someone who never heard of these honors and 10 being someone whose life's ambition is to get one OR someone who has devoted their life to abolishing or reforming them.

I started out around a 0.5 and have moved up to maybe a 1 since I started looking into it. EC seems like he might be around a 4 and you're more like a 6 or 7.

Hawksmoor wrote:Again, not sure. If a person makes a decision you really don't agree with, and then gets a lot of 'hate' directed at them, is it logical to think 'oh, I think they must have been right after all', because of all the 'hate'?


I didn't say this was an especially laudable impulse, let alone a logical one. But it made me curious enough to look into it further.

Anyway, by "shibboleths of British politics", of course I meant the supposed importance for rejecting these honors -- it's abundantly obvious this is a political litmus test in some quarters -- not the honors themselves, which appear to at least strive to be apolitical. I'm saying that EC may, at this late date and at a literal great distance, take a more dispassionate view.

This gets back to the brawl you wandered into. Consider how all this has looked from the outside:

"Hey, this guy whose music we all like just got some kind of state honor for his music. Pretty nice, huh?"

To which came the reply from some quarters: "ARGH!!! How could this happen?? That BASTARD! He's DEAD to me! I'm setting fire to all his records in my collection right now! And then I'm putting the ashes in the cat box so Fluffy can have her say, too!!"

(That's actually milder than some of the reactions I saw.)

Understandably, this generated, in those not already invested in the latter POV, a whole lot of "WTF" and not a lot of sympathy.

After I looked into, I ended up, somewhat to my own surprise, less sympathetic to the idea that it was necessary or desirable for people to reject these honors that I was before EC announced his.

I don't expect to argue you out of your feelings, nor would I want to, but consider how this looks from my POV. You say you object to these honors because you are "anti-government". Okay, but I'm going to assume you -- like most people who would prefer that EC had not accepted this award -- are okay with the whole idea of there BEING a government. That is, you aren't anarchists. I'm going to further assume that most of you are okay with the general idea of the state awarding symbolic honors to individuals for good works, as almost all nations do.

So now we're left with you're not liking the name of the honors and the fact that they are physically handed out by the Queen and other members of the royal family. The name is a historical relic and it seems to me an awful lot of things (buildings, institutions, etc.), in Britain and all over the former empire, are named for the empire one way or another for the same reason. But, no matter; as I said, I don't expect people to be consistent. As to the royals handing them out -- since the figurehead monarch is your ceremonial head of state, this is kind of ceremony is exactly what their job is, one of the few things they do to earn some portion of their keep. So it seems like an odd thing to get especially worked up about, to me.

Now, I can see how people might object to all this on some abstract level. But the vein-bursting passion they invested in it, I don't, and never will, get.

Hawksmoor wrote:I don't think that accepting the award necessarily equates to 'treating it completely reverently', although I do suspect that, on the day, EC will turn up to Buckingham Palace in a nice suit-and-tie, politely shake hands with whichever member of the royal family is on duty that day, say 'thank-you' and pose for photographs. And I don't think he will make any reference to the 'Lord and Lady Muck' line in Pills and Soap.


Of course not. Not least because whatever royal is on duty will likely only have a vague idea who he is and probably would not get the reference. It would be as pointless (and boorish) as being rude to the person handing out the trinkets at the podium at any of the show business awards ceremonies he doesn't take very seriously but turns up for anyway.

I'll say again: Just because you accept an award doesn't mean you can't send up the award itself or your being chosen for it. But maybe that's just my (North) American sensibility, which may well have rubbed off on EC after all these years.

Hawksmoor wrote:As noted, I'm fine with his very thoughtful and detailed blog about why he decided to accept the OBE. Separately from that, I'm fine with him posting a series of songs on Facebook about why they were stupid to have offered it. But I still believe that doing both of those things simultaneously makes him look like a hypocrite.


You seem stuck on this point. I think you need to read that "very thoughtful and detailed" blog post again. In it, he says that if they'd "listened to the words" he probably would not have been offered the award. Perhaps that isn't saying the people offering it were "stupid" -- that's your word -- but it's certainly implying they were... a tad inattentive.

Hawksmoor
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Re: Elvis Costello OBE

Postby Hawksmoor » Thu Jun 27, 2019 12:46 am

erey wrote:This gets back to the brawl you wandered into. Consider how all this has looked from the outside:

"Hey, this guy whose music we all like just got some kind of state honour for his music. Pretty nice, huh?"

To which came the reply from some quarters: "ARGH!!! How could this happen?? That BASTARD! He's DEAD to me! I'm setting fire to all his records in my collection right now! And then I'm putting the ashes in the cat box so Fluffy can have her say, too!!"

I'm sure you're right about the exaggerated intensity of some people's feelings, and sure, rows like this probably look pretty comical to people 'on the outside'. On the other hand, I don't think the intensity of those feelings, or the 'brawl-like' nature of the argument will have shocked or surprised anybody. Arguments on internet forums very often descend into that kind of madness.

I do feel your caricature of the vehemently anti-OBE post may be a teeny bit exaggerated for comic effect, but that's fine. A couple of my analogies of EC's behaviour probably did that too. Nothing wrong with adding a bit of metaphorical colour to one's argument.

However, my real point (sorry, I rambled a bit) is this: let's suppose there is an argument/debate about something, with two broadly opposing opinions, A and B. Proponents of A tend to be pretty mild and non-committal in their opinion ('pretty nice, huh?'). Some proponents of B (not all, you'd have to concede) are more extreme and offensive in stating their opinion, and yes, 'from the outside' they will look foolish.

But you're surely not suggesting that, from that point onward, any proponents of B should shut up and refrain from offering their opinion, in case they 'wander into a brawl'? And in this particular case, you're not seriously suggesting that (a) I shouldn't have offered my opinion; or that (b) I am automatically wrong because I 'wandered into a brawl' (or because of how my opinion might look 'from the outside')?

And I know you are more open-minded than to suggest that every single response to EC accepting an OBE should have been limited to 'pretty nice, huh?' for fear of how any negative opinions might be seen 'from the outside'?
erey wrote:So now we're left with you're not liking the name of the honours and the fact that they are physically handed out by the Queen and other members of the royal family. The name is a historical relic and it seems to me an awful lot of things (buildings, institutions, etc), in Britain and all over the former empire, are named for the empire one way or another for the same reason. As to the royals handing them out -- since the figurehead monarch is your ceremonial head of state, this is kind of ceremony is exactly what their job is, one of the few things they do to earn some portion of their keep. So it seems like an odd thing to get especially worked up about, to me.

Fair enough. But personally, I am anti-royalist and I do occasionally get worked up about it. Can't do much about that, sorry! Mind you, I always thought that EC was anti-royalist and occasionally got worked up about it too.

Out of interest, when you listen to, for example, the 'Lord and Lady Muck' lines in 'Pills and Soap' or the 'Prince William' line in 'Little Palaces', do you ever think 'that's an odd thing to get worked up about'?
erey wrote:After I looked into it, I ended up, somewhat to my own surprise, less sympathetic to the idea that it was necessary or desirable for people to reject these honours that I was before EC announced his.

Great. Always good for us to keep thinking and reconsidering our opinions. My position on the British royalty, the outdated (but still culturally clinging-on) concept of the British Empire, and the nature of these awards, hasn't changed much recently. But in the future, it might. And (I think we might have something in common here) after reading EC's original blog, my opinion on the wisdom of accepting or rejecting such honours did shift a bit, so that's also good.
erey wrote:But, no matter; as I said, I don't expect people to be consistent.

Well...I don't expect people to be totally consistent for their whole lives, any more than I expect people to be totally honest their whole lives, or totally charitable their whole lives, or whatever. We all get it wrong from time to time. On the other hand, I would like people to be as consistent as they can be, and I do believe that consistency (like honesty and charity) is a quality to be strived for.

And equally, when (in my opinion, obviously) I see an example of glaring inconsistency, I feel comfortable to remark on that. Semantically, I'd be happy to argue that the polar opposite of total consistency would be hypocrisy. In my opinion (could be wrong, of course) that's what I'm seeing in EC's behaviour. If you want to argue that that's not what I'm seeing: fine. You have done, very eloquently. But I don't believe it is fair to defend hypocrisy by saying 'oh well, you can't expect everyone to be totally consistent...'
erey wrote:I don't expect to argue you out of your feelings, nor would I want to...

Same here.
Hawksmoor wrote:As noted, I'm fine with his very thoughtful and detailed blog about why he decided to accept the OBE. Separately from that, I'm fine with him posting a series of songs on Facebook about why they were stupid to have offered it. But I still believe that doing both of those things simultaneously makes him look like a hypocrite.

erey wrote:You seem stuck on this point.

Well...yeah, I am. Stuck on it because...that's exactly the point I originally made. That is what I said. During the course of a very interesting debate, we've veered off into various other areas, and that's been amusing and intriguing. But given that the above is precisely the point I originally made, and the starting-point for this whole discussion, I make no apology for being 'stuck on it'. But for the same reasons, I now know that you oppose that idea, and I'm grateful to have heard some of your reasons why. Beyond that, we have probably progressed this as far as we can. :)

PS
erey wrote:I'm going to further assume that most of you are okay with the general idea of the state awarding symbolic honours to individuals for good works, as almost all nations do.

Actually, I'm not sure that I am. But that's a debate for another time!

Ulster Boy
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Re: Elvis Costello OBE

Postby Ulster Boy » Fri Jun 28, 2019 10:48 am

Very eloquent debate. Just a small point Hawksmoor on your comment on the “Prince William” line from Little Palaces, I always took that as a reference to William Prince of Orange. The lyric goes on to reference the Pope, and E.C. would be well aware that different sides of the religious divide in Liverpool would have had portraits of on or the other in their little palaces!

Hawksmoor
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Re: Elvis Costello OBE

Postby Hawksmoor » Fri Jun 28, 2019 4:10 pm

Ulster Boy wrote:Very eloquent debate. Just a small point Hawksmoor on your comment on the “Prince William” line from Little Palaces, I always took that as a reference to William Prince of Orange. The lyric goes on to reference the Pope, and E.C. would be well aware that different sides of the religious divide in Liverpool would have had portraits of on or the other in their little palaces!

Ooh, interesting.

I have to confess, I took it a different way. Around the time of King of America's release, Prince William would have been three or four years old, and 'John the Pope' (assuming we're talking about Pope John Paul II) would be four or five years into his papacy, and had been the first Pope to visit the UK in 1982 (although he visited a few weeks before Prince William's birth, I think).

To me, 'a picture of Prince William in the arms of John the Pope', written in the early 1980s, strongly implies a picture of the young Prince William (early 1980s) in the arms of Pope John Paul II.

But I could be wrong. And I love the way lyrics can jump around and pull in different historical periods. So, sure, maybe.

Ulster Boy
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Re: Elvis Costello OBE

Postby Ulster Boy » Sat Jun 29, 2019 1:22 am

One thing I think we can rule out is this guy - a man called John Pope born in Prince William county...
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Po ... politician)

Hawksmoor
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Re: Elvis Costello OBE

Postby Hawksmoor » Sat Jun 29, 2019 2:14 am

Ulster Boy wrote:One thing I think we can rule out is this guy - a man called John Pope born in Prince William county...
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Po ... politician)

Ha! That's brilliant. 'One-Arm Pope'.

I now have a great image of somebody coming up to him in the pub and saying 'why do they call you One-Arm Pope?' and Pope giving him a cold stare and saying 'well, think about it...'

erey
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Re: Elvis Costello OBE

Postby erey » Wed Jul 03, 2019 10:25 pm

Ulster Boy wrote:Very eloquent debate.


Thanks for the kind words, Ulster Boy, although some might regret your encouraging me. :wink:

erey wrote:This gets back to the brawl you wandered into. Consider how all this has looked from the outside:

"Hey, this guy whose music we all like just got some kind of state honour for his music. Pretty nice, huh?"

To which came the reply from some quarters: "ARGH!!! How could this happen?? That BASTARD! He's DEAD to me! I'm setting fire to all his records in my collection right now! And then I'm putting the ashes in the cat box so Fluffy can have her say, too!!"


Hawksmoor wrote:I don't think the intensity of those feelings, or the 'brawl-like' nature of the argument will have shocked or surprised anybody. Arguments on internet forums very often descend into that kind of madness.


Well, it surprised me, and I'm hardly an internet neophyte. I cut my teeth on Usenet, FFS, back when everything was command-line and it took two days to deliver an email.

Hawksmoor wrote:I do feel your caricature of the vehemently anti-OBE post may be a teeny bit exaggerated for comic effect, but that's fine.


No. As I said, it was milder than many I saw. Granted, I didn't see anyone enlisting their housepets. But plenty expressed dismay, went in for namecalling, pronounce EC "dead to" them in so many words or otherwise, and/or claimed they were destroying their entire digital or physical collection of his music. Plenty got a lot more nastily personal, too.

For a sample, see the reaction to EC's announcement on Twitter: https://twitter.com/ElvisCostello/statu ... 2978874371

The same types of sentiment showed up in the comments on the announcement on his Facebook page, albeit at a lower ratio relative to more positive reactions.

Hawksmoor wrote:But you're surely not suggesting that [...] I am automatically wrong because I 'wandered into a brawl' (or because of how my opinion might look 'from the outside')?


No. I'm saying that, when you started this discussion, you wandered into a haymaker that had been wound up for those not currently present. (<-- If you look close, there's an apology in there somewhere.)

Hawksmoor wrote:Out of interest, when you listen to, for example, the 'Lord and Lady Muck' lines in 'Pills and Soap' or the 'Prince William' line in 'Little Palaces', do you ever think 'that's an odd thing to get worked up about'?


Ulster Boy has already addressed the line from "Little Palaces". I think if you examine those lines in "Pills and Soap", I think you find more going on there than "royals = bad", but I'll spare you my attempt at lyrical exegesis.

What I was saying is that it seems odd to get worked up about your figurehead monarch doing one of the few things British taxpayers actually pay them to do -- and a very anodyne thing at that. Namely, hosting an awards ceremony for state awards that are selected by a committee within your democratically elected government, confer nothing of tangible value on the recipients, and cost taxpayers nothing beyond administrative expenses.

Hawksmoor wrote: I would like people to be as consistent as they can be, and I do believe that consistency (like honesty and charity) is a quality to be strived for.


I've thought about this and I realized I really don't consider consistency to be a quality to be strived for. I don't consider it a moral good. While I can see how it can be related to actual moral goods, like fairness and justice, consistency can as easily produce unfair and unjust results. E.g., "The law forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges."

I don't consider consistency to be much of a practical virtue, either. I guess I'd rank it above, say, good penmanship, but maybe below punctuality. In my world, adaptability is much more highly valued than consistency. As a practical matter, consistency is more likely to get you unemployed than anywhere else.

erey wrote:You seem stuck on this point.

Hawksmoor wrote:Well...yeah, I am. Stuck on it because...that's exactly the point I originally made


I thought I might have given you cause to reconsider. But at least you're consistent.

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Re: Elvis Costello OBE

Postby Ulster Boy » Thu Jul 04, 2019 2:23 am

Erey, there’s a bit more to the Honours system. Out going Prime Ministers can directly nominate candidates, a convention not always observed but one that has led to accusations of cronyism - if you google Lavender List, Cash for Honours you’ll see what I mean. Mrs May may be preparing hers as I write! Also, certain ranks in the Civil Service get an honour on retirement, irrespective of the quality of their performance - satirised here: https://youtu.be/qmXzGI0XP7M

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Re: Elvis Costello OBE

Postby erey » Thu Jul 04, 2019 8:37 pm

Thanks, Ulster Boy. I guess the fact that some civil servants receive honors upon retirement explains why some people cursed EC for accepting "honors for doing your job" -- although that wouldn't seem to apply to him.

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Re: Elvis Costello OBE

Postby A rope leash » Sun Aug 04, 2019 10:25 pm

"War is a racket." - General Smedley Butler

There's no escaping it. Their scam is our scam, and it's the only scam we got. They can pull paper out of their asses and call it money. We must bow to that, because what else is there?

Don't join. Seems simple enough. But you have to do something. The economy is shit and you have a baby and you live in crappy old trailer in a town so dead the stench is even dead, and there aren't even any bones or stones to ever tell it was alive. You only know what you're told. The phony mask of pride and patriotism is handy and accommodating, but everybody knows that in the deep of it, it isn't about defense as much as it is about personal survival. No one is really gung-ho, it's just a game we play because most of us are brainwashed, and the rest of us are overcome.

It's a bit weird to turn Sixty and realize that most of your teenage suspicions have proven to be true. The Giant Scam swarms the globe, guns and money flashing. The Monster has exposed itself, and continues as per usual, gradually normalizing itself until we either accept it as beneficial or we come to understand that nothing can be done about it. Meanwhile, the Giant Mass Deception continues its slimy inundation of our minds, until we've all become too stupid to care.

"Politics is the entertainment arm of the military industrial complex." - Frank Zappa

We are so many, and they are so few. We thought we could change the world with peace, love, and understanding...but they are really the only people who can affect real change upon humanity. They choose not to, preferring instead to constantly bully the world into buying into the Giant Scam, tricking entire populations into warring for them in the process, and becoming ever-richer for their trouble.

It's always been this way. Knights are in it for themselves, for what choice do they have? Don't join? Miss all the fun? Hey, no one gets to choose where they are born, so you might as well roll with it, right? Benefit yourself to what extent you can, and try not to get killed in the process. If we all said no they'd just draft us anyway.

Humanity has a long way to go. Killing the monster won't be easy.

"Be the change you desire." - Mahatma Ghandi

Yeah. Okay.

It's money that came out of their butts, so it's theirs. They own the dollar in your pocket. They own the corporations. They own the governments. They own Elvis Costello.

In fact, they're going to pin a medal on him. Right-ho.

Let's face it, he's been a consistent profit center, and he really has worked hard to bring excellent quality to his product. He's been a sort of relief valve for anger, and in some sense, an advocate for the elevation of the masses through the arts. He's an example for the redemption of the rebellious. Let's give him an uncertain embrace and a cold look in the eye.

"Someday they will take down the curtains and the sets and we will see the brick wall behind the stage." - Frank Zappa

An officer of the Empire of Lies? Don't join, Elvis.

But I can see why you would. We're nothing without the scam. All this shit pulled up from the Earth and turned into product might still be in it's original place if it was not for the scam. Most of us would have never existed.

Hey , but...you know when they pin that tag on you, maybe you could whisper about how a lot of us might could use a bigger cut. My gosh, Elvis, we didn't make it to Pachenga the other night because we just could not scrape up enough of that phony toilet paper to buy ourselves admission. Gosh darn wanted to see Blondie, too.

Don't worry though, the rent went up again this month, so y'all got yours.

Right?



Eh, well...perhaps that's a little obvious.


"I'm a bloke that's worked hard for his money, and I expect to be able to use my own front door..."
- Johnny Rotten, complaining about the homeless persons camping on his Malibu beach property


Hilarious.


"Your cash ain't nothing but trash..." - Charles E. Calhoun


But, whatever, you guys were co-opted years ago.


"We thought you were cool..." - persons camped out on Johnny's lawn.


Anyway, I hope Elvis will begin dressing the part. There aren't many men I would follow into battle, but Colonel McManus is one of them. Does this come with a uniform?


"I wanna bite the hand that feeds me. I wanna bite that hand so badly. I wanna make them wish they'd never seen me..." - Elvis Costello, Radio Radio



Now's your chance, Officer Elvis. Show them what you're made of.

We'll be right behind you, all the way.

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Re: Elvis Costello OBE

Postby jardine » Mon Aug 05, 2019 7:14 am

Brilliant and clear as day. Thank you.

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Re: Elvis Costello OBE

Postby sulky lad » Mon Aug 05, 2019 8:43 am

Great, Rope Leash, really sorry you couldn't make Blondie/EC- I hope other opportunities come your way - but this is another mind blowing statement and much more to think about.
It's a bit weird to turn Sixty and realize that most of your teenage suspicions have proven to be true.

And even weirder to think how the middle aged me lost sight of this for 25 years !
Bless you !

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Top balcony
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Re: Elvis Costello OBE

Postby Top balcony » Mon Aug 05, 2019 5:13 pm

A rope leash wrote:Now's your chance, Officer Elvis. Show them what you're made of. .


Fast forward a couple of months, EC and his Ma are chatting about the investiture :

Ma - well Declan how did it go? I was so chuffed you accepted on behalf of your grandfathers and to please your old Mum .

EC - well it was great, taxi to the Palace, went to the bogs where the Fab 4 shared a joint, bit of a delay and then they called my name out...

Ma - and ?

EC - I went up to her and told her to fook off

Ma - you may be 65 but I can still give you a clip round the ear, and don't give me that tosh that Rope Leash made you do it, come here....
Last edited by Top balcony on Tue Aug 06, 2019 1:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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verbal gymnastics
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Re: Elvis Costello OBE

Postby verbal gymnastics » Tue Aug 06, 2019 1:34 pm

EC - ...but ma, I got you an ash tray.
It’s such a shame you had to break the heart you could have counted on

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Top balcony
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Re: Elvis Costello OBE

Postby Top balcony » Tue Aug 06, 2019 1:53 pm

Ma - I don't care if you brought me a Corgi that can woof the collected works of Frank Sinatra....

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Re: Elvis Costello OBE

Postby verbal gymnastics » Tue Aug 06, 2019 3:38 pm

EC - sorry ma.
It’s such a shame you had to break the heart you could have counted on

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Re: Elvis Costello OBE

Postby johnfoyle » Sat Oct 12, 2019 4:33 pm

https://twitter.com/buntyhoven/status/1 ... 94081?s=20

I was sat next a lady who is a Macmillan cancer nurse and will soon be collecting her OBE alongside Elvis Costello. (Something she was very excited about!)

9:11 AM · Oct 11, 2019

sweetest punch
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Re: Elvis Costello OBE

Postby sweetest punch » Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:33 am

https://uk.news.yahoo.com/amphtml/elvis ... 6IMZT6LMbk

Elvis Costello hails ‘gracious experience’ as he receives OBE
By Aine Fox, PA
PA Media: UK News14 February 2020

Elvis Costello described being honoured in Buckingham Palace as a “curious and gracious” experience, having initially been reluctant to accept the establishment endorsement.

The musician was recognised alongside former England and Yorkshire cricket captain Sir Geoffrey Boycott and Jack Reacher author Lee Child.

Costello smiled as he described how he imagined his late father, who he described as a non-violent Irish republican, might have reacted.

Explaining that his father had sang at the palace more than 50 years ago at a Christmas staff ball, he said: “I know my dad would’ve loved the idea of one of the family coming through the front door.”

Costello, who was made an OBE for services to music, praised the “broad-mindedness” behind someone like him being included in an honours list and complimented the “resilience” of the Queen.

The 65-year-old, who was born Declan MacManus, said: “Obviously it wouldn’t be any secret that I never write any songs about ‘hooray for her majesty’. But her resilience, you’d have to say that’s unexpected.

“I think it shows a degree of broad-mindedness to have me in here,” added the singer, who has enjoyed a five decades-long career during which he has been inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame and ranked by Rolling Stone as being among the 100 greatest artists of all time.

“The experience was very curious and gracious, I have to say,” he added.

He paid tribute to his mother for encouraging him to accept the award, but said ultimately it will not change him.

“It goes on the shelf with the other things (awards),” he said.

“You try to take them with a bit of grace. There was a time when I might have made more of a gesture, saying no. But it’s easier to do that than to reason why you would say yes.”
Since you put me down, it seems i've been very gloomy. You may laugh but pretty girls look right through me.

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Re: Elvis Costello OBE

Postby sweetest punch » Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:53 am

https://www.thenational.scot/news/uk-ne ... s-overdue/

Author Lee Child: A united Ireland is hundreds of years overdue
By Press Association 2020

One of Britain’s most famous authors has told of his hopes for a united Ireland, saying the move is hundreds of years overdue.

Jack Reacher author Lee Child, whose crime books have been made into films starring Tom Cruise, said the reunification of the island could be a positive outcome of Brexit.

Child, who was born in Coventry but whose father was from Belfast, is in the process of applying for an Irish passport and said he would vote in any upcoming referendum if he could.

Speaking as he picked up a gong at Buckingham Palace on Friday, he told the PA news agency: “I make no distinction between north and south and I really hope the island is unified soon.

“I hope that’s going to be the positive outcome of Brexit. It’s hundreds of years overdue.”

He added: “I think Brexit is going to make people think about it as a viable option and maybe a necessary option, and it would be a positive move in my opinion.”

Child, who collected a CBE for services to literature, said the atmosphere is now right for people to have their say on the question of unity.

He said: “When I was a little kid the hostility was tremendous, but now I think everybody’s feeling a lot better about each other.”

Asked how he viewed the rise of Sinn Fein in the Republic, he said he believes it is a different party now to the one which has caused controversy through the years for its historic links with the Provisional IRA.

He said: “Sinn Fein has got a terrible reputation from 40 and 50 years ago, but I think we need to say ‘that’s the past, let’s look at the future’.”

Elvis Costello, who also picked up an honour at Friday’s ceremony, described a united Ireland as “an inevitability”.

“A united Ireland, I think, is an inevitability. Maybe in my lifetime, in the lifetime of my children,” he said, after being made an OBE for services to music.

“The most important thing is that there’ll be peace, that there would be no recourse to violent means to sort it out because that clearly didn’t get us anywhere.”

Costello, who described his late father as a non-violent Irish republican, suggested the current political climate could see other countries break away from the UK and form a “Celtic union”.

“Everybody seems to want to belong to something else than they used to belong (to),” said the singer, who was born Declan MacManus and whose family hail from Co Tyrone.

Smiling, he added: “Maybe there’ll be a Celtic union, maybe Scotland will leave the union and unite with Ireland. Why not? There’s a good idea.”

Image
Since you put me down, it seems i've been very gloomy. You may laugh but pretty girls look right through me.

sweetest punch
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Re: Elvis Costello OBE

Postby sweetest punch » Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:56 am

https://www.irishnews.com/news/northern ... --1843249/

Image

Elvis Costello, real name Declan McManus, with his OBE for services to music following an investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace, London. Picture by Victoria Jones/PA Wire
Since you put me down, it seems i've been very gloomy. You may laugh but pretty girls look right through me.

sweetest punch
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Re: Elvis Costello OBE

Postby sweetest punch » Fri Feb 14, 2020 11:25 am

Since you put me down, it seems i've been very gloomy. You may laugh but pretty girls look right through me.

sweetest punch
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Re: Elvis Costello OBE

Postby sweetest punch » Fri Feb 14, 2020 2:45 pm

https://www.irishnews.com/magazine/ente ... e-1843241/

Elvis Costello hails ‘gracious experience' as he receives OBE
14 February, 2020 16:06

Image

Image

Elvis Costello described being honoured in Buckingham Palace as a “curious and gracious” experience, having initially been reluctant to accept the establishment endorsement.

The musician was recognised alongside former England and Yorkshire cricket captain Sir Geoffrey Boycott and Jack Reacher author Lee Child.

Costello smiled as he described how he imagined his late father, who he described as a non-violent Irish republican, might have reacted.

Explaining that his musician father Ross MacManus had sung at the palace more than 50 years ago at a Christmas staff ball, he said: “I know my dad would’ve loved the idea of one of the family coming through the front door.”

Costello, who was made an OBE for services to music, praised the “broad-mindedness” behind someone like him being included in an honours list and complimented the “resilience” of the Queen.

The 65-year-old, who was born Declan MacManus in London, said: “Obviously it wouldn’t be any secret that I never write any songs about ‘hooray for her majesty’. But her resilience, you’d have to say that’s unexpected.

“I think it shows a degree of broad-mindedness to have me in here,” added the singer, who has enjoyed a five decades-long career during which he has been inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame and ranked by Rolling Stone as being among the 100 greatest artists of all time.

“The experience was very curious and gracious, I have to say,” he added.

He paid tribute to his mother for encouraging him to accept the award, but said ultimately it will not change him.

“It goes on the shelf with the other things (awards),” he said.

“You try to take them with a bit of grace. There was a time when I might have made more of a gesture, saying no. But it’s easier to do that than to reason why you would say yes.”

Child, who famously began writing the hit Reacher crime book series after he lost his job aged 40, laughed as he imagined that unemployed man telling himself now: “Well, it worked, didn’t it?”

The author, who was honoured with a CBE for services to literature, is in the process of handing over control of the acclaimed series of books to his younger brother, and said fans can expect a “revitalised Reacher”.

He added: “Happily my brother is very like me but a lot younger so the plan is that we should be able to continue into the future.”

Child, whose real name is James “Jim” Grant and who had his literary action hero brought to life on the big screen by Tom Cruise, said the decision to step back was “pretty hard” and felt like “the end of an era”, but said he is looking forward to having more time to read, typically getting through a book a day.

Sir Geoffrey, who declined to speak to the media, appeared in good spirits after being knighted by the Prince of Wales at the ceremony on Friday.

News of his knighthood was met with both congratulations and condemnation when Theresa May’s resignation honours list was revealed last year.

The former Test opener was convicted in France in 1998 of beating his then girlfriend Margaret Moore in a French Riviera hotel, and domestic abuse charities expressed their disapproval of the honour.

But Sir Geoffrey, who has always denied the assault despite the conviction, batted away the criticism, saying when challenged about it last year that he “couldn’t give a toss”.
Since you put me down, it seems i've been very gloomy. You may laugh but pretty girls look right through me.


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