Journal Language Thoughts

Why extremists should be shot?! Or How Kryptonite is Superman’s Achilles Heel

Yes: it’s a joke . . . extremists . . . must be shot . . yes it’s irony . .or post irony  . . or non-irony (or does that mean ‘This garment is made of crimplene  and need only be steamed to retain its shape….)

Anyway, the extremists I’m talking about today are those who dismiss things out of hand without a single thought.  A while ago I wrote a post about a discussion between myself and an American friend concerning a promotional leaflet he was translating. I said ‘You mean that it’s full of superfluous superlatives?’: He said ‘It’s just bullshit’. To me, the latter is simply dismissive, whereas my description was referring to a specific element of structure (and pleasantly alliterative, I thought) I might also think it was ‘bullshit’ but this was not the point I was making. I was refering to the tendency of the beautifully florid Italian language which when translated literally into English invariably contains too many superfluous superlatives. Furthermore,  I do not use the word ‘bullshit’ as to me it falls into that totally dismissive element of language which I abhor. ‘Utter rubbish’ This sucks’ ‘It’s bullshit’ etc. which I’m afraid is endemic on the internet. (Maybe shooting might be a little harsh but certainly a ‘stiff talking to’ is called for . . . )

The reason that this sprang to mind again was that last night, whilst suffering from a viral infection and extreme self-pity, I watched three films based on Marvel Comics which I thoroughly enjoyed. Now I have intelligent and educated friends (that’s one group not two . . ) who dismiss this type of thing as rubbish, stupid stories etc. etc. My thought is this: what is the difference between these (apart from the technology) and  Greek and Roman legends? Or Shakespearian Theatre?

People again often dismiss all modern films as being simply ‘special effects’, not like the good old days. Surely if Cecil B Demille had those CGI techniques available he would have used them? It’s all just story telling with the available technology. Made for public consumption? Most of the Sherlock Holmes Stories were originally published in The Strand magazine, which was made up of a mix factual and fictional stories, very much for public consumption

The story themselves are more often than not moral tales, based on love & sex,  honour, devotion and revenge. Yes they are often gory: but stories have always contained gore: beheadings incest,  adventures involving bloody battles with merciless foreign soldiers or bizarre creatures etc etc.. the only difference is that there is less  left to the imagination as what was considered shocking before is now tame.  However the history of the media is full of these escalations in level. The ‘kissing in the waves’ scene in From here to Eternity was considered as noteworthy and risque at the time!

And then there’s major weakness of the hero, and that’s why Kryptonite is Superman’s Achilles heel!!

So guys, all I ask is this: try to think before dismissing anything out of hand whether it’s a film genre, a form of literature, a new way of looking at something or new recipe. . just think about it . . . . or else I’m sending Elektra around (and I don’t mean daughter of King Agamemnon and Queen Clytemnestra)

And you KNOW what that means . . .

Language Thoughts

New words I’ve learned today . . . .

DOTTLE – the mixture of burnt tobacco and moisture in the bottom of a bowl of a pipe

RIFULGENT – shining

RATIOCINATION -1. Reasoning    2. Thought that is logical  3. a proposition arrived at by such thought

REMARK – 1. To comment  2. To notice


2010 in review

The stats helper monkeys at mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 5,100 times in 2010. That’s about 12 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 201 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 202 posts. There were 308 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 191mb. That’s about 6 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was November 8th with 184 views. The most popular post that day was Remake of classic science-fiction.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were,,,, and

Some visitors came searching, mostly for, rowland jones italy, rowland jones, sherlock holmes syndrome, and sherlock syndrome.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


Remake of classic science-fiction November 2010


Rowland Jones December 2008


‘My Imaginary Lives’ August 2010


What is RAM? April 2010


RAM Exhibition April 2010