The Null Device


Via Lukelog, some pages on Polari, a secret underground language used by London's gay community in less tolerant days: (1, 2, 3). Polari (sometimes spelled Palare) is believed to have originated from the lingua franca used by mediæval sailors and/or the slang used by carnival showmen, and contains elements from Italian, Yiddish, Romany and Shelta (the language of the Irish Travellers). It's the language in Morrissey's Piccadilly Palare (of course), and appears to be related to the argot used in an allegedly obscene verse, said to date from the time of the Crimean War, and quoted by Neil Gaiman in one of the Sandman books:

Nanty dinarly, the omee of the khazi,
said due bionc peroney, manjaree on the cross.
We'll all have to scarper the latty in the morning,
before the bona omee of the khazi shakes his doss.

cryptolects gay language polari uk 0

Gleanings from this week's street press:

  • The Cure's new single Cut Here is about the late Billy MacKenzie, of Fiction labelmates The Associates.
  • New Order will be doing a live show in Melbourne (at the Metro on the 30th of January, I believe) apart from their appearance at Big Day Out; which is good if you want to see them, but don't want to pay $90 or so for a 1/2-hour set and a bunch of alternateen skate-metal bands.


A new band I'll have to check out: Sing-Sing; (a) one half of them is Emma from Lush, and (b) they've worked with Mark Van Hoen (Locust), who's apparently quite interesting.


Polls show that most Americans prefer to be kept in dark, fed bullshit as far as the Afghan conflict goes anyway:

Leslie Bennetts, writing in the current edition of Vanity Fair, says that "Americans like a simple storyline that makes it easy to decide who the good guys are and who the bad guys are and the byzantine tangle of international politics, Islamic fundamentalism and American foreign policy is making many citizens unused to grappling with such headache-inducing complexities want to throw up their hands." Bennetts suggests that "American newspapers and television companies have reduced their foreign coverage by 70 to 80% during the last 15 to 20 years in response to corporate demands for profits."