THEY* STARTED A JOKE: RECENT LETTERS WITH ET

THEY STARTED A JOKE

1–From: Steven Augustine  
Sent: 09 April 2021 21:29
To: ET
Subject: Re: I Couldn’t Resist

ET!

Two things… 

First, I present an absurdity that is absurd, most of all, because it is REAL (I traced the online Flyer back to the actual Medical Authority it issued from; this is no spoof); the Bee Gees reference is the cherry on the flatline…

BIZARRO MEDICAL

And then, this, to commemorate today’s Royal milestone (posted this on Facebook) 

(and I really do recall it as though it were yesterday; how absolutely in a rage I was):  

In the Summer of 1990, in London, that amazing break-beat year of Soul-ll-Soul and Acid Jazz and the Poll Tax Riots (which I got myself caught up in, accidentally)… I was trying to cross the road near Hyde Park or Covent Garden, or somewhere, when I was stopped by some kind of parade… a long line of security vehicles followed by several fancy black autos. There were massive crowds lined up on both sides of the road upon which this procession was proceeding at a ceremonial crawl. I realized with a sinking heart that I wouldn’t be able to cross that road (I may have been clutching a box of pizza slices, in fact), to get home, for quite some time. Anyway, into one of the black autos blocking my path I peered and who did I see but the famous Prince Philip (then a spry 60-something)!? He was waving with Royal Condescension at the crowd and for perhaps 2 seconds I maintained  eye-contact with Prince Philip and shook my head with a “what the fuck is your problem?” expression… then rolled my eyes.

I shall always treasure that moment.

2–On Saturday, April 10, 2021, 9:11:54 AM GMT+2, <ET > wrote:  

Back in the 60s my family were given “The Wit and Wisdom of Prince Phillip” as an Xmas gift. The book was published by the Daily Express so you can guess what’s coming next. 

Even as a 10 year old I didn’t find it particularly witty or wise. It was a catalogue of blunt comments by a bloke who was getting away with it and couldn’t believe his luck.  

The news and social media is full of comments about how he fought actual Nazis blah blah blah. My father fought real Nazis but that didn’t stop him being pro-apartheid or looking on every country bar the UK as third-rate. FWIW I think most countries aren’t run for the health of their respective populations but the UK isn’t some shining beacon of wonderful-ness. 

It will blow over in a few days.

3–From: Steven Augustine
Sent: 10 April 2021 08:19
To:  ET
Subject: Re: I Couldn’t Resist

“My father fought real Nazis but that didn’t stop him being pro-apartheid ” 

I can hear that in [comedian] Stewart Lee’s  “earnest voice used to set up a particularly big punch-line” which will involve a UK celebrity I’ve never heard of but which will make me laugh anyway.

4–On Saturday, April 10, 2021, 9:53:56 AM GMT+2, <ET > wrote:  

In this case I can only double-down on the earnest-ness I’m afraid. 

Curiously enough despite his right-wing leanings my father was very pro-Yasser Arafat and the PLO.  I think there was residual anti-semitism in that sentiment but mainly guilt that the British had treated the Palestinians so badly. 

5– From: Steven Augustine <the_augustine_authority@yahoo.com>
Sent: 11 April 2021 08:08
To: ET
Subject: [SPAM] Re: I Couldn’t Resist

Yeah, I’ve witnessed the curious phenom of right wingers embracing Palestinians to spite their Jewish foes… what half-arsed anti-Semites!

6–On Sunday, April 11, 2021, 10:38:10 AM GMT+2, <ET >  wrote:

Further confused by the 2 Christian Evangelical pastors who were invited to open the new US Embassy in Jerusalem despite having said that the Holocaust was God’s will.  

Political expediency clearly trumping religious ethics or notions of moral consistency.

7–Steven Augustine 

To: ET

Sun, Apr 11 at 11:10 AM

ET!

This is not the first time you’ve inadvertently removed your mask to reveal Stewart Lee’s cadences, syntax and impeccable timing. But let me finish that one for you:

Political expediency clearly trumping religious ethics or notions of moral consistency…  as established by Richard “The Hamster” Hammond.

 8–<ET>

To: ‘Steven Augustine’

Thu, Apr 15 at 9:43 AM

Subject: The Nub of It

The Nub of It

9–Steven Augustine 

To: ET

Thu, Apr 15 at 11:01 AM

I suppose I can’t blame you for offending me, ET, because I should have revealed myself to you earlier… I just wasn’t sure if the rhetorical space we were curating was a safe one….

BTW: my pronoun of choice is “we”… like my role model. And I grieve with her regarding her recent loss.

10–On Thursday, April 15, 2021, 12:01:07 PM GMT+2, <ET> wrote:

“I suppose I can’t blame you for offending we, ET,”        fixed that for you. Tiptoes away

11Steven Augustine 

To: ET

Thu, Apr 15 at 12:05 PM

(tears of ambiguous joy/ rage/ acceptance/ rejection/ lust/ nausea and the sense that a mini-series at Netflix is possible)

12-On Thursday, April 15, 2021, 12:21:01 PM GMT+2, <ET> wrote:

The Hurt Locker – a 6 part re-boot of the popular film which sees the action transferred to an operating theatre and the pavements outside.  

Starring Liam Neeson and the bloke who was in Napoleon Dynamite. Theme music by Lana Del Rey.

13-Steven Augustine 

To:  ET

Sat, Apr 17 at 10:22 AM

ET!

The real kicker being that what you’ve written there sounds totally plausible in our current Reality (except Liam Neeson would probably be replaced by a “Ryan” actor). 

Now watch this (linked below) and try to figure out which Universe we’re in TODAY; ask yourself: “Wait… WHAT is this kid’s claim to fame again?” And then ask: “What? His ‘TWIN’…  Is selling the posthumous record to “honor his ‘twin’s’ memory’?….”

14-On Saturday, April 17, 2021, 12:44:01 PM GMT+2, <ET> wrote:

The comments below [the line on that video] could be a year’s worth of dialogue in a teen soap. 

The Ryan actor would have to have a real-life controversial back story which would carry the can when the fictional story ran out of steam/interest.   

Neeson’s revenge films gained interest when the star admitted that he walked the streets looking to avenge a violent mugging and that any PoC would have sufficed. BINGO! The box office for another tired re-tread of a re-tread quadruples.

Could.I.Be.Any.More.Cynical…………………………….Dude…………………?

There was an article somewhere (!) about a new wave of authors trying to get to grips with the current reality. The author of the piece seemed to think that by mentioning Facebook or writing a paragraph in the form of a Tweet meant the situation was dealt with.  

At the moment I think the layers of fiction, subterfuge and chicanery far outstrip any novel using texting, sexting and social media and the people who are indulging in all this don’t appear to be doing it in order to stretch our ideas of what fiction could be.

15-Steven Augustine 

To: ET

Sat, Apr 17 at 4:56 PM

DUDE!  Ach, to my shame I missed the overtones in your “Liam Neeson” reference (what I loved about THAT episode were all the OOWAOCs… out of work actors of etc… who came out of the woodwork, or the woodpile… it’s okay, kids, I’m Of Color!… to testify that Liam Neeson is the action star version of Abraham Lincoln). Christ, my Meme Tennis Backhand is getting rusty and you aced it as the ball thwacked my forehead.

RE: “At the moment I think the layers of fiction, subterfuge and chicanery far outstrip any novel using texting, sexting and social media and the people who are indulging in all this don’t appear to be doing it in order to stretch our ideas of what fiction could be.”

I wrote once: “Compared to the intensity and reach of the Super Fictions crafted by visible and invisible story-telling functionaries at US GOV’s behest, the writers I came to know of, and admire, in my teens and twenties… Nabokov, Didion, Ellison (Harlan), Miller, Brodkey… were minor; they were followers, not innovators.”

Speaking of OOWAOCs “tom-ing” it up in order perhaps to get jobs as pimps, rapists, goofy-ass sidekicks or easily-dispatched henchmen in Liam’s next epic: a truly hilarious development on YouTube of late: Black channel-owners posting “reaction videos” of themselves watching a clip of a White singer/ drummer/ karate master/ heavy metal guitarist or break-dancer and so forth. Tens of thousands (or millions) of views guaranteed! CAVEAT: the thumbnail of the video MUST feature a standard 1930s-era image of a Black person in a state of bug-eyed awe or fear!  It’s a cottage industry!  (Some White channel-owners appear to attempt monetizing the inverse but the greater Black audience doesn’t seem to get off on impressing the White audience… except the out of work actors (see above)…)

My possibly fave example of the phenom cited (how DO they keep a “straight (if bug-eyed) face?”) is…

(the inherent comedy of Black people pretending to have assumed, all along, that the decidedly only-60%-funky Bee Gees were Black*  is like something out of a PostModern course in Trickster Figure narratives in the context of readings of “Racialized Negotiations” of Post-Neeson  irony )

.

.

CODA

*Perhaps these Black people never heard “I Started A Joke”… (listen to those Funky Muthas tear it up)

9 Comments

  1. regarding prince philip’s wit and wisdom, here’s a story about that from tony dean, currently a member of the senate of canada, formerly an ontario civil servant:

    “I started my working life as a millwright in a tire factory in the UK. As an apprentice I was fortunate to be enrolled in the Duke of Edinburgh’s award scheme, eventually earning the gold medal.

    Several years ago I met the Duke of Edinburgh again and I proudly told him about my Gold Award. He looked at my empty lapel and said “well where is your medal?” I told him it was at home in a cabinet.

    Without missing a beat, he raised an eyebrow and said ‘So you only bring it out for special occasions?'”

    _______________________

    see also

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Duke_of_Edinburgh%27s_Award

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9459853/Prince-Philips-marvellous-legacy-three-million-Duke-Edinburgh-awards.html

    in the daily mail article, we read

    “But it did not receive such a warm reception when [Philip] first mooted the idea, with the then minister of education Sir David Eccles commenting: ‘I hear you’re trying to invent something like the Hitler Youth.’”

    Like

      1. What are dead twats for if not digging through their compost to see if any of the maggots have developed speech? What I like about the quote is it’s a classic example of a statement to be used to feed a binary of royal observers, the ones seeing a privileged, out-of-touch fuddy-duddy, the others a clever old chap not immune to ironic self-deprecation. The former reads the royals as devoid of the competence necessary to affect anything meaningful, the latter sets the threshold of intelligence at precocious kindergartener.

        Like

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