Thursday, May 15, 2008


I've not really got anything to say other than to drop a few links. The first one, which is a Youtube video, really needs to be watched. You should sit yourself down with some headphones and marvel at what I will confidently say is the worst performance you're likely to find on the internet. Really. It's that bad.

I've had the dubious honour of seeing these two perform live at various folkclubs around south east london, and believe it or not, she's actually worse on her own. Since seeing them the first time I now always carry a crosshead screwdriver, just in case I see them again and have to perforate my own eardrums. You wouldn't believe how far from the correct pitch someone can go. It really is an education, afterwards everything, even the shittiest of pop, seems like joyous musical beauty.

That said, they are quite funny, and seem to be nice people, fully aware of how bad they are, which makes me feel a little bad about finding them so completely unlistenable. I think they may have the makings of an internet meme.

The other two links are profiles of two interesting figures from american history. People who weren't great, or that bad, when compared to the gallery of famous historical figures*. Nonetheless people who achieved a certain notoriety in either their own time or ours for being, well, a bit nuts.

The first of these is an old favourite of mine, Mr John Harvey Kellogg, inventor of corn flakes and a man whose faults and neuroses woudln't fit on the back of a cereal packet, even if you wrote them really fucking small. His recommendation that girls should have their clitorises burned with carbolic acid to stop them from masturbating is a pretty representative example of his thinking.

The second is Reverend Rufus Wilmot Griswold who is notable for making a career out of being exceptionally unpleasant about other people's books, notably describing Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass as being filled with "a degrading, beastly sensuality, that is fast rotting the healthy core of all the social virtues." He also inexplicably devoted the last ten years of his life to posthumously slandering the reputation of Edgar Allan Poe in anonymous obituaries, snide articles, and largely fabricated memoirs.

*Which, it has to be said, includes mass murderers, warmongerers, slave traders and more rapists than you can count