Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Aberfan and the sins of man.

London, 2012. No! I haven't perfected the time travelling yet, no. Maybe I will in the future, and then I can do it now. Indeed some of me can't even manage 60 minutes an hour. I'm always a little bit behind, but mainly in synch with my predators. So that's all da iawn. Yes. But it's the Olympics it is, and Iesu Mawr!, we are certainly not bored of it already. Legacy. That's what it's all about isn't it? It is the highest honour, for our English friends across the border, to have successfully won the most deprived place in europe competition, narrowly edging out the snail-chasing, goose-torturing, plongeurs down and out in the black economy of gay Parr-ee. That, and someone pressing the wrong button and losing his bribe at the voting.

Wel now boys bach, Sioned has left early today as there is an important debate down the Merched y Wawr, on the topical motion 'Is having no legs an unfair advantage in running?'. It's going to take a while apparently and so I've popped out - *pop!* - there it was....and *pop!*....that's me back in, - at Aberfan, scene of an horrific disaster to be talked about globally with all the clarity and perspective of the intertexts.

With me for my background to the story, is candle-in-the-dark Dr. Dafydd ap wetpants, Professor of Women's thoughtology at University of Cymru college, Llanbedr-pont-Steffan. Where they do the important humanities. Like what Grayling does but a tenth of the price. Or you could stay at home and do the OU. Dr. ap Wetpants! Neis i weld chi....i weld chi...neis!!! -

Dr. ap W.:- Bore da.

REJ:- Gem da, gem da. Gadewch i ni have a gweld at the old scoreboard! -

Dr. ap W:- ?

REJ:- Cuddly tegan! hahaha! or as they say, lol. I was being Sir Bruce Forsyth, but in Welsh.

Dr. ap W:- Why? -

REJ:- I don't know. But there must be some explanation for him.

Dr. ap W:- In my paper on the connotive and denotive semiotics of 'The Generation Game', I espoused the -

REJ:- Half past two. Nawrte, the history of the minings. Sioned says that in the olden days, when everything was in black and white, girls used to be miners. She's a twpsyn isn't she yes? -

Dr. ap W:- No, I'm afraid it is you who are the twpsyn as you put it. They did indeed used to be miners. Although it was very hot work underground, and they did it topless. -

REJ:- What do you mean, topless? -

Dr.ap W:- Well, with their charlies out.

REJ:- Are you sure? -

Dr. ap W:- Yes, I'm certain. Have a look at this photogram -

REJ:- it's well thumbed -

Dr. ap W:- Such is the nature of thorough research.

REJ:- Indeed. But did this not cause any interfractions? -

Dr. ap W:- These were simpler times, Richard, and simpler people. More innocent, childlike really. It wasn't their fault - they didn't know any better -

REJ:- Primitive indeed -

Dr. ap W:- And with all that coal dust, they even looked like darkies -

REJ:- Like on the Discovery channel! -

Dr. ap W:- Exactly, Richard. Jugs out everywhere, and no one responding correctly. It was only when Queen Victoria signed the 'Devil's Dumplings' act of 1862, that men began to have appropriate naughty thoughts. About Women's jubblies.

REJ:- What kind of thoughts? -

Dr. ap W:- Disgusting ones. You couldn't imagine -

REJ:- I could try -

Dr. ap W:- No. It would be offensive. In thirty years of studying Wimmin's thoughtology -

REJ:- *click!...delete history!* -

Dr. ap W:- That's better. Now the naughty thoughts is not there -

REJ:- 2 years too late -

Dr. ap W:- Well suppress them now. It makes for better behaviour. In my study 'Naughty thoughts is not real, and there aren't birds who has them', I successfully -

REJ:- Twenty to six. Nawrte, back to the mining. So the topless tunnellers got banned? -

Dr. ap W:- Yes. It was a disaster not happening to wait. There then followed the Church of England General Synod's ruling of 19somethingelse, led by His very Reverend Sidney of James on the objectification of onanistic orbs -

REJ:- Goodness! -

Dr. ap W:- No, badness. Previously, girl's globes had been fictional non-objects, that could pass through walls. etc. But now, as objects, a further problem arose. Namely, that of keeping them in their proper place.

REJ:- You just keep talking and I'll miss the contradictions -

Dr. ap W:- An urgent solution was required. In 19whateverwhen, Sir Wankfirmly de Shaft patented the 'Over-the-shoulder-boulder-holder', and so liberated ladies' arms such that they could throw tennis balls badly -

REJ:- They must have been grateful. Not having to lop one off like an Amazonian archer -

Dr. ap W:- You'd think so. But some got womb-hysteria and later set fire to their hooter-holsters -

REJ:- It's a harder subject than I thought -

Dr. ap W:- The hardest. And yet the most important. But try telling that to NASA. The sapphic field trip to Venus I had been planning has all but been ruled out. Lesbianism has dried up. It's official.

REJ:- Well I'm bored already. Have we done Wimmin's history yet? -

Dr. ap W:- Herstory. No we haven't. They got the vote and stopped bad male things like war, and then they stopped worrying about their appearance. Which had been for the males. It was all won at great cost though, and they lost the privilege of white men and child-slaves to go down the mines. And to die on the frontline. And to top themselves at 4:1. And to be disproportionately physically attacked. But they did win on pay. And kept the ubiquitous andchildren suffix that means their deaths are more important. Sort of twice the value of a disposable man. That one's too common to notice though.

REJ:- Did they? - win on pay? I missed the next bit as it was too insidious.

Dr.ap W:- Yes. They're now paid on average as much as short men -

REJ:- Wel, Wel. I suppose they are a bit like short men aren't they? But with norks. Chwarae teg to market forces. They sort things out. But, remembering where we are, we must mention the horrific disaster that sent shockwaves around the world wherever people had nothing to do -

Dr. ap W:- You are refering of course to the Aberfan disaster -

REJ:- Yes -

Dr.ap W: - Well the way to a man's stomach is through his mouth. Or up his arse. Or just cut in. But the way to a mine is down a shaft. I said shaft.

REJ:- Go on -

Dr. ap W:- Not long ago, a terrible thing happened. In a shaft.

REJ:- Please don't use threatening words -

Dr. ap W:- What do you mean?

REJ:- It's parsed over. I realised I did the parsing. But tell of the terrible thing -

Dr. ap W:- Well a terrible thing happened. A gayer was in the lift with a man. A big burly gayer. You know what they're like -

REJ:- Just after one thing -

Dr. ap W:- Yes. But this one was a poet -

REJ:- difficult -

Dr. ap W:- Indeed. And he said 'Drop your drawers, the coffee's yours' -

REJ:- the smooth-talking bastard -

DR. ap W:- And the man said 'No thanks'.

REJ:- Well I can't sleep. What happened next?

Dr. ap W:- Some typing happened.

REJ:- I feel gay-raped -

Dr. ap W:- Your personal dull feeling is important. You can't control it as you are a weak and feeble man. Perhaps you are a cartoon stereotype, and wish to be treated as such. Maybe a mouse could lead you to jumping on a chair and shouting 'Thomas, thomas!'.

REJ:- Well I've been potentially raped at least, surely? -

Dr. ap W:- Well no, you're not involved at all. But don't you feel excited?

REJ:- No.

Dr. ap W:- Willies.


  1. Perfect! Need I say again how much I hate you?

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Not perfect but still genius. Too hostile and I never appreciate sexism, racism or homeophobia however much they are wrapped in humour. My earlier comment was too strong though - his writing is the best.

  4. I always enjoy your writing - always wonderfully witty and hilarious but unfortunately in this case I can't enjoy it because I cannot comprehend how such an angle can be taken on this subject by those who take upon themselves the role of reasoned thinkers championing those whose voice has been gagged.

    Ridicule - a great tool used to shut them gobby feminists right up. We don't want any real feminist activists round our house oh no - we'd rather our nice, well selected, polite little panel who don't rock the boat. No get the old ridicule tool out and see off that red haired witch - much easier than making a genuine effort to listen to what is being said.

    Are the steadfast showing their own particular brand of dogma? - follow the great one - show great loyalty and support - even when he is wrong...

  5. I must say I agree with the above KMC and feel the use of ugly words and belittling terms for women was not funny. And Aberfan? what is the point meant to be? The lift incident has been talked about enough and women need to shut up about it. That is all we hear. Is that because Dawkins made a serious mistake of judgement - surely we can all make mistakes. It is the disheartening attitudes of male atheists that has made me lose respect for them as thinkers. They have shown themselves up here as misogynists.

  6. Ah, so no generalizations, eh? Hmm. You could call him a nob, but he wouldn't mind, even though he's got one. I guess that make him an equal opportunities sexist, isn't it? Yes.

  7. Excellent! You should write a book.

  8. Btw, what's aberfan?

  9. Aberfan is a place in Wales where there was a terrible disaster and over 100 children died. I agree he should write a book.

  10. I'm sorry but I find some of the comments above utterly missing the point. The piece is about this, the politicking's around the 1842 mining act.....

    "Lord Ashley.....[i]n the speech where he spoke of the report, he did not focus entirely on the misery of children and women’s labour but tried to centre more around young girls, wearing trousers like men and working bare breasted underground surrounded by boys and men, far from school and religious education, with so little supervision. He emphasized the risk of moral degradation in the mines, ’an immoral conduct which made girls unsuitable for marriage and unfit to be mothers’."

    How is this piece NOT an open handed critique of the male psyche? Whenever was a good satire not bedecked with the impoverished language of its victims?

    Brilliant piece.

    2, look up Aberfan Disaster on wiki.

  11. Brilliant, but I note the Devil's Dumplings act was indeed 1842 and not 1862.

  12. Yes agreed Phil Rimmer I did not interpret it in that way at all - too abstract for me I guess. My interpretation was that it seemed to be far more about yet more trivialisation in relation to recent online events - considering the clear references. I am happy to stand corrected on my presumptive misinterpretation.

  13. REJ may have a subtle and devious mind, KMC, but I think you can always trust his heart to be in the right place...which is handy if you and the rest of the towns folk ever need to find it in a hurry. :)

  14. Thanks for your explanation, Phil. There usually is a serious message underneath. I did not get this one and also was repelled by some of the language used. He is a poet and chooses his words carefully so that I could not understand why he chose these particular words. My impressions is still that this piece has a great into and is brilliant in parts but it could have been more disciplined in others. I stand by my first comment but my second may have gone a bit awry. Great writing causes strong feelings and controversy.

  15. K, he chose the words because of their bathetic effect. Ashley knew men (MPs) would care not one iota for the continued misery of women and children down the mines. He focussed on the titillating details, then (true to the Victorian man's hypocritical mind) knew they would guiltily rebound onto moral outrage.This bathos is perfectly captured in renaming the act the "Devil's Dumpligs" act. Plus ca change. The bathos, this hopeless trivialisation, continues in the very fact of "norks".

    I've explained this all to REJ. Sadly, he just shook his head and asked if I could perhaps draw him a diagram.

  16. @Rimmer

    What a wonderful elucidation. It makes the man more genius than I ever imagined

    P.S. - I think I owe you yet another drink.

    P.P.S. - Next time you pick a random city, try to make sure it's one I won't have to do a 400 mile round trip to go to, when it is only 5 miles from home.

    P.P.P.S. - Loved the norks in the bar, however, so mustn't grumble too much.

  17. Sorry bout that. It was going to be no miles away, which might have been worse. Still you have neatly reversed the drink debt with your flattery. Yes,I thought they looked particularly fine for moobs. It was a bitch getting into that little black number though.