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I note that today is the anniversary of the Battle of Bosworth Field and the demise of Richard III.

No doubt you are saying to yourself, “Self, what gift can I give our Maximum Leader by way of consolation, especially given his status as a main pillar of the Richard III Reputation Restoration (RIII³) movement?”

Well, how about one of these:

I’m sure Maxy would appreciate the thought.

Surely it is the Prime Directive of any parent to ensure that their children are given the best possible education, are exposed to the best culchah and are all-around solidly grounded in their outlook on the world?

I think so.  I think so.

So imagine my consternation, nay shock, at my own near-failure to adhere to this directive upon my discovery last evening that none of the gels had ever seen an episode of Fawlty Towers and had, at best, only teh vague idea that it was an old teevee show with John Cleese in it.  Horribile dictu!  

Apart from the fact that the series is one of the best ever produced for tee vee and is still astoundingly hylarious 40-odd years later, the fact of the matter is that I have incorporated so many words, phrases and references from it into my own day-to-day lexicon, it’s a wonder that without this exposure the gels have the slightest idea what I’m talking about half the time.

It’s not that we don’t own Flowery Tarts at Port Swiller Manor.  It’s just that we only have it on videotape (remember that?) and despite the fact that our old tape player conked some years back, we’ve never got round to upgrading to DVD.  Someone had blundered, indeed.

Fortunately, this story has a happy ending.  Upon discovering my lapse, I immediately swept off to the Devil’s Website, there to purchase the de-luxe DVD set, complete with digital remastering, commentary, interviews and outtakes.  (Have I mentioned that when Robbo becomes Emperor of the World, an outtakes feature will be mandatory for all DVDs?)

So we are now (or soon will be) set to go.  And in celebration of the averting of this educational disaster, here’s one of my favorite clips, from which Robbo frequently draws inspiration when dealing with the gels:


Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

For those of you keeping score at home, I would note that today is the sesquicentennial of the birth of French composer Claude Debussy, born this day in 1862.  The local classickal station is, as you might imagine, going bananas with afternoons of fauns and seas and moonlight and whatnot.

Ol’ Robbo is not fond of Debussy’s musick.  Indeed, I’d go so far as to say, as I used to as a small lad, “no yikee”.  In part, I don’t like the way he messed about with traditional tone and harmonics in pursuit of mood and coloring in and of itself, in part I don’t like the fact that he opened the floodgates for modern composers to chuck such structures altogether.  (I’ve long argued that musick, more than any other art form, is self-referential.  If you don’t have a firmly understood structure on which to base your musickal ideas, then they’re really just so much noise.)

Mansoor Debussy provoked something of a conflict between Robbo and his piano teacher during his (Robbo’s) misspent yoot.    Mr. Sags (the teacher) was a firm Romantick himself and didn’t much appreciate Robbo’s constant desire to study Baroque and Classickal pieces.  Finally, he insisted that if we were going to do a Bach e minor toccata, then dammit, we were going to do some Debussy, too.

Grudgingly, I gritted my teeth, gave in an agreed to play this one, Debussy’s La Serenade Interrompue:

It was only palatable to me because of its obvious Spanish flair.  Otherwise, it gave me the guts-ache.


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August 2012