A new random thread

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Re: A new random thread

Postby Captain Picard's Hair » Wed Dec 09, 2015 11:40 pm

It's a curious phrase, "have your cake and eat it too." Depending on the interpretation of "have" it's either outright redundant ("eat your cake and eat it too") or implies a pointless exercise. After all, what other use is there for a cake you possess than to eat it? Is one meant to simply sit and admire the cake?

While such things are not meant to be taken quite so literally, I still find it odd (regardless of however it is that it came to this usage, historically).
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Re: A new random thread

Postby Graham Kennedy » Thu Dec 10, 2015 1:12 am

I feel the same way about "Being head over heels in love". Um... so being in the perfectly normal position that most everyone is in for most of their life, then? What sense does that make?
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Re: A new random thread

Postby McAvoy » Thu Dec 10, 2015 1:55 am

Maybe a crazy sex position?
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Re: A new random thread

Postby IanKennedy » Thu Dec 10, 2015 4:38 pm

Captain Picard's Hair wrote:It's a curious phrase, "have your cake and eat it too." Depending on the interpretation of "have" it's either outright redundant ("eat your cake and eat it too") or implies a pointless exercise. After all, what other use is there for a cake you possess than to eat it? Is one meant to simply sit and admire the cake?

While such things are not meant to be taken quite so literally, I still find it odd (regardless of however it is that it came to this usage, historically).

I think they idea is to have eaten the cake but still have it available to eat, as the problem.
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Re: A new random thread

Postby IanKennedy » Thu Dec 10, 2015 4:39 pm

Graham Kennedy wrote:I feel the same way about "Being head over heels in love". Um... so being in the perfectly normal position that most everyone is in for most of their life, then? What sense does that make?

Ah, but who's head and who's heals?
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Re: A new random thread

Postby RK_Striker_JK_5 » Thu Dec 10, 2015 11:09 pm

Graham Kennedy wrote:I feel the same way about "Being head over heels in love". Um... so being in the perfectly normal position that most everyone is in for most of their life, then? What sense does that make?

Well, it gave Tears for Fears the title to one of my favorite songs. So it's not all bad.
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Re: A new random thread

Postby Mikey » Sun Dec 13, 2015 11:48 pm

I have a question for our limey friends. There's a place name that I've heard mentioned in a couple of songs by The Clash (London natives) and one by The Toasters (New Yorkers, but big anglophiles) called "Brixton" that has a very particular context attached. Is there some sort of (in)famous prison in Brixton, if such a place truly exists?
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Re: A new random thread

Postby Graham Kennedy » Mon Dec 14, 2015 2:35 am

Brixton is a real place in South London. It's known for having a high percentage of non-whites living there. Back in the 80s they had some riots there when tensions with the police ran very high. And yes, there is a prison there. The Kray Twins spent a little time there, as did Mick Jagger and Bertrand Russel.
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Re: A new random thread

Postby Mikey » Mon Dec 14, 2015 4:09 am

OK, thanks - that explains a lot. The prison gets a nod in The Clash's "Stay Free," namely in the lyric: "...go on a nicking spree/Each of you gets three/Years in Brixton."

The riots would explain the slightly different contextual mention in The Clash's "The Guns of Brixton" and The Toasters' "Brixton Beat."
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Re: A new random thread

Postby IanKennedy » Mon Dec 14, 2015 9:12 am

Explains most things except for the guns reference, not a single gun was used in the riots.
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Re: A new random thread

Postby Mikey » Tue Dec 15, 2015 11:43 pm

IanKennedy wrote:Explains most things except for the guns reference, not a single gun was used in the riots.


The song "Brixton Beat" that I mentioned references riotous activity; the firearm references in "The Guns of Brixton" are a typical Joe Strummer metaphor for aggression a/o violent resistance. There's no specific event mentioned in the song; I believe Strummer used Brixton to denote an area in which the residents are under undue and unfair scrutiny. Joe Strummer also wrote the famous Clash song "Police and Thieves," which mentions both parties' use of guns, even though police aren't typically armed with firearms in the UKoGBaNI and use of firearms in criminality is relatively rare over there.
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Re: A new random thread

Postby Graham Kennedy » Wed Dec 16, 2015 12:30 am

Mikey wrote:
IanKennedy wrote:Explains most things except for the guns reference, not a single gun was used in the riots.


The song "Brixton Beat" that I mentioned references riotous activity; the firearm references in "The Guns of Brixton" are a typical Joe Strummer metaphor for aggression a/o violent resistance. There's no specific event mentioned in the song; I believe Strummer used Brixton to denote an area in which the residents are under undue and unfair scrutiny.

One of the main causes of the Brixton riots was that the government passed a "stop and search" law which let the police stop a person in the street and conduct a search if they thought he looked suspicious. Brixton is a poor area which had very high unemployment and very high crime rates at the time, along with a good deal of racial tension. The cops brought in a LOT of extra manpower from the SPG - the "Special Patrol Group", which was a police unit that was supposed to act as a kind of strategic reserve, available to be brought in as reinforcements if there was a riot, disaster, or something like that. The SPG started stopping and searching a great many people - something like a thousand stops were done in the space of five days. And of course, these were directed at non-whites in a very disproportionate way so the SPG quickly got a reputation for being thoroughly racist, there to squash dissent by the non-white community that was trying to defend itself from oppression.

So yeah, undue and unfair scrutiny sums the feeling up perfectly.

In fact, a pretty good comedy sketch of the day highlights a lot of this :



Joe Strummer also wrote the famous Clash song "Police and Thieves," which mentions both parties' use of guns, even though police aren't typically armed with firearms in the UKoGBaNI and use of firearms in criminality is relatively rare over there.

Yep. But then, the very rarity of both does mean that what gun crime does happen gets more attention than it might in the US. A cop being shot here is a rare event, something that might happen once every three or four years in the whole country. It's all over the media when it does happen.
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Re: A new random thread

Postby Mikey » Wed Dec 16, 2015 9:30 pm

I suppose it brings a great deal of histrionics when it does happen, too, which would explain the song's lyrics. I only knew the term "SPG" to mean "Special Patrol Group" from the name of Vivian's pet hamster in The Young Ones.
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Re: A new random thread

Postby Captain Seafort » Tue Feb 02, 2016 7:33 pm

Only two things are infinite - the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the universe: Albert Einstein.
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Re: A new random thread

Postby RK_Striker_JK_5 » Tue Feb 02, 2016 10:47 pm

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