John Walker's Electronic House

Rum Doings Episode 66: Upper Class

by on Mar.31, 2011, under Rum Doings, The Rest

Goodness, it’s Rum Doings 66. While not discussing whether the decimalisation experiment has been a failure, we tuck into Christmas pudding wine. And then dig up the argument over whether the Amiga or Atari was best (it was the Atari). Then we embark on an episode based on discussions inspired by the following randomly selected Wikipedia articles:

Bosko (cartoons, Loony Tunes Back In Action, Mary Poppins, CAP Alert)

Humber—St. George’s—St. Barbe (Yorkshire Ridings, island hopping, aeroplane maps, long flights and upper class, the S9 mp4 player, They’re Back, the Kindle, sharing is bad)

Tiny Broken Heart (Tragic Songs, alien robots)

Silchar (Why we don’t want to go to India, Chinese democracy)

Ribbon-tailed Astrapia (what we can learn from peacocks, John’s split wedding, the plan for cream teas, complete lack of million pound donations)

Nut (nuts)

Atasca (moth wrangling, the biggest thing we’d kill, The Man With Two Brains)

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23 Comments for this entry

  • laddy_gaga

    Nick is quite right about the Amiga – to this day it is an amazing piece of hardware. To this day I don’t think programmers understood the power the hardware put out (here is a dainty example of what Amigas were doing in 2006: ).

  • laddy_gaga

    Er. I linked the wrong version, I meant|mq . I am not very good at this internet.

  • Daniel Rivas

    The kindle is a nicely built box; the buttons are unobtrusive, and work fine. It’s very good for public domain books (gutenberg even supply a catalog in .mobi form that you can search through and download from on the kindle itself), but the store is obviously evil. And weirdly limited: I was looking for Gabriel Garcia Marquez, then Primo Levi, and there was nothing there. Which is weird, because none of them are exactly obscure. Publishers are playing silly buggers, I guess.

  • Daniel Rivas

    Neither of them, rather. I, too, am a typing idiot.

  • KBKarma

    Misread post. Still, Bosco was one of those uniquely Irish things, which I watched when I was a wee child.

  • Daniel Rivas

    Now you’ll have Jakers and you’ll like it, young man.

  • Jambe

    CAP Alert surely serves as a running Poe.

    I cringed every time you said Newfoundland. It is a beautiful place. I prefer the landscapes with spindly conifers reaching right out to the sea; the sandy and rocky shores are just dull by comparison.

    I’m an S9 owner too! The hardware is great — it’s powerful enough to drive most earphones and with a proper discrete amp and headphones it’s really impressive. I’m saving for an X7, though, so I can carry more lossless albums.

    I agree with Daniel Rivas about the Kindle. I saw some speculation about a future version being free.

    Horde-style weddings are terrible. Those poor guests…

    I trap spiders and the like in cups to put them outside, even though I’m nervous around them. At least they’re not sharks. It seems a bit silly since one undoubtedly kills and maims thousands of crawly things by walking across lawns. I like luna moths:

    There should be more wiki-randomized Doingses. This was a good listen accompanying some multiplayer Minecraft. You two have become part of my routine (along with wtfpod, sword and laser, radiolab, etc). Your conversations always flow well; Rum Doings is eminently listenable among the podcasts I listen to. Thanks.

  • James

    Does that mean Half Life 2: Episode 3 is coming soon?

  • devlocke

    Now that I’ve finished the episode, I’m wondering why you have to have a meal at all, for your wedding. I mean, some food is traditional, but couldn’t you just do more of an appetizer-thing than a full-courses thing, and stretch your money out to cover the massive number of people-you-don’t-really-care-about-but-feel-you-should-invite-to-your-wedding-for-some-reason?

    Either way, the most weird thing about your plan – and apparently, it’s common in England? – is that you plan to have people to your wedding, then have them LEAVE, and then ask them BACK.

    Saying “Hey, we’re married, thanks for coming, you’re not invited to the reception/after-thingy,” is one thing. I’ve been to weddings where the reception was for just-family and not been offended by that.

    But to ask people to go away while you eat, and then come back, seems beyond the pale. Is that really a thing? I feel like once you’ve said, “Okay, you can leave now,” the rest of my day is mine. Asking me to come back is just rude. If you were that important to me, I’d be that important to YOU, and you’d have asked me to stay.

  • NM

    Devlocke: I agree it’s weird. It’s alienating, unpleasant and inhuman. What you do is save up enough so that you can feed everyone you wish to come. The end. That’s how almost every decent society on earth does it.

    Can you imagine an Indian wedding where they said “well, most of you aren’t invited to the food bit – and the food bit we have will be rather ungenerous. But that’s ok, because the Bride and Groom are saving up for a deposit for their house”? How depressing!

  • Gassalasca

    Yeah, I agree too. It must be one of the most bizarre things I have ever heard.

    Has it always been this way?

  • Jambe

    I was just confused that John himself said:

    “I’ve been invited to a wedding where I’ve been invited to the before and afters and not the middle bit and I’m absolutely delighted! I don’t want to have to sit through the boring meal; I feel sorry for everyone we’re inviting for food.

    And yet he goes through with it? Kinda cruel.

    Big frilly weddings seem wasteful and frivolous. I agree with devlocke about the appetizers instead of a full meal. A few weddings I’ve attended had no food at all, actually — just a variety of drinks and cupcakes and cookies and of course the wedding cake. They were fantastic weddings.

  • James

    It is weird, and most people seem to agree right up until the point they’re planning their own wedding. Then they look at their guest list, or the extra people they hadn’t accounted for that their parents want to invite, or the size of the venue they like or, as John says, the budget, and accept that it’s normal.

  • Nick Mailer

    We didn’t accept it as normal, James. We thought it disgusting, so didn’t do it. I just saved up for another few months, Victoria bought a cheaper dress and so on. We even ensured a free bar, which nobody abused. I am not British enough to have accepted the Epicurean betrayal that John, as an Englishman, has wrongly normalised. It’s genuinely and peculiarly unchristian – not to mention unabrahamic.

  • Nick Mailer

    In summary: you have three options:
    1) don’t get married
    2) get married with just immediate family present, very low key
    3) have a joyous, generous, inclusive, epicurean public celebration

    Nobody’s forcing you to do 3, but if you do, I think it’s bordering on sociopathic to do it divisively.

  • Daniel Rivas

    I agree it seems weird; it would be less odd to me to split the event across two days so the specialness of some guests isn’t rubbed in the faces of your pleb guests.

    An alternative would be to have a four hour service (preferrably starting around 10 o’clock in the evening) with some priest yammering on in Latin throughout. Only the most perseverant guests―who may or may count amoncst them the bride and groom―would ever want to attend the meal after that.

  • mister k

    No mention of the Jerk John? Or the pretty fun Bowfinger (the last good film Martin has made, to my knowledge (or Heather Graham and Eddy Murphy for that matter!)).

    On weddings, I agree that its a bit weird, but its a useful device to keep mothers happy, who wish to invite people who you have not actually met, or have met once during your existence. Its just easier to avoid an argument that way. Some of my sisters friends were also invited for the evening celebrations as well, but mostly the evening additions were the people in the village who my mother in law wished to invite. It just made life simpler, and seating arrangements better (the venue we had chosen JUST supported the number we had at the evening meal, which was the vast majority of wedding attendees). If its a church wedding then to a certain extent anyone who wishes to attend is invited to the wedding itself.

    I have to admit I was rather against making those who had to travel a long way only come to the evening, as that seemed extraordinarily cruel to me.

  • James

    Oh, yeah, for sure Nick. I’m not justifying it, just observing that it most people seem to give in to it in the end.

  • MrsTrellis

    Oh, Mister k. Oh.

    Everyone who has an evening do has their own craven handwringing excuse for it.

  • Blissett

    I must say I do find the idea that there is a correct and an incorrect way to organise your wedding rather obnoxious. Noone should ever feel that they have to live up to an imaginary ideal. That kind of external pressure is what causes stress and people getting themselves into financial hot water unnecessarily.

    Think we’ll add this to the burgeoning pile of stereotypical sticks Nick uses to bash England and the English.

  • NM

    There is an incorrect way to organise your wedding. The ideal is real, not imaginary, and people should feel that they should live up to it.

    And it’s nothing to do with financial knots.

    If you don’t want the “stress” then don’t get married publicly. Or at all. Nobody’s forcing you.