Saturday, October 25, 2008

New Goat Dream

The BBC spends a fortune sending lipless Canadian women around the dustier parts of the world to report the wrongdoings of bourgeois imperialists like us. And yet the most popular story on its website is usually about some leathery pervert in Sudan who married a goat.

TV in Crete has found the golden section of goat coverage. It runs none of the salacious stuff that the BBC struts, nor does it openly advocate traditional Greek goat worship - simply solid updates on who's grazing what, how the latest bells sound and stuff about creepy horizontal pupils. When on holiday there I felt fully informed and yet not patronised.

William Shatner was ever the pioneer, not least in the field of goat promotion. His literally seminal film Incubus stars a goat who plays the Devil. The whole business is acted in the international language Esperanto on the endearing premise that the goat and his relatives in the audience might understand it.

Sadly the film cursed its cast with murder, suicide and French subtitles. The goat's career went nowhere, while that dog in the Beethoven films lived in a Conran kennel and dated an Avon lady.

Let us recall for a moment how William Shatner has trailed many a blaze:
  • He launched the US civil rights movement with the film The Intruder, and kept it going in the dark days after the assassination of Martin Luther King by kissing Lt Uhura on Star Trek;

  • He denounced science fiction as "pants" on Saturday Night Live despite the great personal risk to himself from thwarted mummy's boys and, possibly, alien beings; and

  • He proved that Pulp's Common People didn't depend entirely on having Sadie Frost wander around Asda in the video, while at the same time giving Joe Jackson a break from his job at the Ramada Inn, Reading ("Your bossa favourites in a bontempi tempo").
When Shatner spoke on these matters, the world listened. Then he addressed the dignity of Man, the need to date girls and read proper books, and generally to rock out. Now he calls on us to confront the pathetic fallacy.

Animals, unlike people, do not smoke pipes or operate heavy machinery. They wander around rutting and having long naps, finding food where they may. These roles may be reversed in Wales and some parts of Bulgaria, but the truth remains that our activities bore most beasts.

God put animals on this Earthly disc to be eaten by me or filmed by various Attenboroughs, not to indulge the Neronic excess of Nubians or upstage terrorists. Let us follow Shatner's example and accord animals the respect they are due.

The BBC could take the first steps by screening Incubus, perhaps with an introduction by the late Welsh naturalist Johnny Morris, and scheduling a run of Chania Kydon TV's "Η Ώρα της αίγας" goat-focused chatshow and cookery programme.

We owe much to goats, especially Val Doonican. Let's give a little something back.

NB This web blog is openminded in every sense, but does not tolerate crude national stereotyping. Anyone who posts comments about sheep and lonely Carmarthenshire hill-farmers will have his car painted green and his house burnt down.


Francis Sedgemore said...

"The BBC spends a fortune sending lipless Canadian women around the dustier parts of the world..."

And why, pray, does dear old Auntie do this? Especially when the lipless Canadian woman in question is want to break down on-mic, weep over the coffin of some or other turd in a keffiyeh, get rapped over the knuckles by the resident ethicists of Broadcasting House, and carry on as if nothing had happened.

I've been witnessing this and similar bizarre spectacles for many a year now, and still none of it any of it makes sense. The world has become so terribly, terribly, complex.

Francis Sedgemore said...

Edit: "...and still none of it makes any sense."

Pissed-up journalists make bad editors.

xerxes said...

Tremendous typesetting of that there Greek, Boyo. How do you do it? I've only been able to find various SE Asian fonts on Blogger/Blogspot.

No Good Boyo said...

Packing said Canadian off to fun-luvin' Islamabad might be a Corporation way of saying "If you like gun-toting Muslims with a tribal thing going on so much, why don't you live in a country they're already running?", but I doubt it.

Still, we've always got New Brunswick's Lyse Doucet to complain that the media are missing out on the "humanity" of the Taleban:

Inky, I use no fonts but rather simply copy and paste (Control+C, Control+V). To prove it, here's some Cantonese:

"你喺嗰喥好喇, 千祈咪搞佢啲嘢。"

Crazy days, my friend.

Gadjo Dilo said...

Goats can never get enough press, in my opinion, and Crete certainly seems to be doing its bit. And shagging goats has a fine history: Brazilian footballer Garrincha (even better than Pelé in many Brazilians' opinion) famously lost his virginity to a goat - now, I'd like to see Johnny Morris dubbing that!

(I confess, I was guilty of an early Welsh sheep joke, and I am contrite. I don't want my house burnt down).

Gyppo Byard said...

Sheep tend to be more docile, Gadjo. As noted in the George and Ira Gershwin song "Embraceable ewe".

Boyo - I 'as tagged you, matey.

Gorilla Bananas said...

Johnny Morris was a Welsh? Not one of your nation's finest, Boyo, a lot of animals felt very humiliated by the silly voices he dubbed over their TV performances. Not as humiliated as the Sudanese goat, of course, who died shortly after her nuptials (presumably from humiliation). I am surprised you didn't mention the goat's death and offer the usual condolences and respects.

Ms Scarlet said...

Gorgeous blondes and Satanic sacrifices

What a fab looking film. Can I get it on DVD?

Kevin Musgrove said...

It's only on reading this that I realised that Johnny Morris was providing the voice for William Shatner on the cereal adverts. I'm getting very slow in my dotage.

Bill Chapman said...

It was interesting to see the mention of Esperanto linked to Incuvus. Your readers may gain from this the idea that Esperanto is something historical or experimental. In fact this planned second language is spoken by a growing population of people across the world. Take a look at

xerxes said...

Hmm, Boyo, cutting and pasting is a bit irresponsible, and won't be enough come the revolution. More and more, I find that important matters, such as the nature of capitalism, reduce to questions of typesetting. There isn't room here to expound this thesis fully, but it's pretty much self-explanatory.

Mrs Pouncer said...

I absolutely don't want to hear another word of/about Esperanto. I thought everyone who knows even the merest thing about me knew that. Who is Mr Chapman, and why is he so private?
Alors, revenons a nos moutons, for God's sake. I will take Val Doonican as my text. Paddy McGinty's Goat was a truly terrible song, but I think Rafferty's Motor Car was far worse. Nobody in the world can remember any other VD songs without Googling. However, occasionally, the BBC puts on a programme made up of a myriad clips of appalling Christmas shows from the 60s and 70s. They feature women in crinolines being showered with Lux soap flakes (that's what they used for snow in those days, btw) and every one of them has a muff. V. Doonican then appears and sings God Rest Ye. Sometimes Kathy Kirby schleps on for Silent Night. The point is, instead of loathing it all, I sit quietly, humbly, reverently thinking how innocent it all was and how nicer the world seemed.

No Good Boyo said...

Gadjo, the sins of the fathers aren’t visited too far on this blog. My attention span is approaching 14-year-old Beebo addict levels.

And Transylvanian houses can only be burnt down by angry villagers brandishing torches, as well you know

How’s the insurance, Gyppo? Or is that a culturally insensitive question?

GB, the link is to a story reporting the nanny’s demise. I feel I’m owed an ape-ology. JM was of his time, like Windsor Davies and The Black & White Minstrels. We Welsh were largely responsible for the 1970s, I know, but can’t we put the past behind us like we did with the Krauts at Nuremberg?

Scarlett, if you have a multi-region DVD magic lantern you can obtain a US import of Incubus from all good online retailers of digital nonsense.

Kevin, Spot – your tea’s ready.

Mrs Pouncer, thank you for dealing with Chapman before I had to. My Mossad contacts tell me he’s the Machiavelli of the Esperantist movement (Or Esperanta Eksosfinktero, as they call it). Resident in Conwy, one of the Scouse reservations on the North Welsh coast, he posts suggestive propaganda about this Baha’i sacred language on any forum that’s slack enough to permit it. He worried long-buried bones with his Pooterish comments. I shall elaborate shortly.

Ms Scarlet said...

Oh for the innocent days of fluffy muffs Mrs P . . .

Unknown said...

I seem to remember a story about an Iranian radio phone-in where a spiritual advisor recommended how to deal with a goat that had been the victim of un-Islamic behaviour. Does this ring any bells with you, Mr Boyo?

Gadjo Dilo said...

Thanks, Boyo. I'm afraid I'm still confused about the William Shatner connection, but as long he isn't singing Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds then I don't really mind what he does. I once spent an afternoon with Esperantists; they were singing Bob Dylan songs translated into their lovely language. William Shatner should have recorded an album of them.

No Good Boyo said...

Dear Andrew,

I heard the Grand Ayatollah was asked whether one could eat a goat which had been violated by a man. After considerable exegises about vadi and vazi, Khomenei concluded that one ought to take the goat to a neighbouring village and sell it there.

Pragmatic, these Shias.

By the way, how are ye?

Alistair Coleman said...

Could we not pitch to the BBC a goat-oriented television programme?

Top Goat.

I'm sure they'll find some money in international sales. S4C, for example.

No Good Boyo said...

If BBC Worldwide could sell it to Greece they'd be in for some sort of "coals to Newcastle" award.

Unknown said...

I'm fine & will make contact soon, if only to discuss my forthcoming Boyo-inspired musical projects, which may include Josef Fritzl and the Amazing Technicolour Dream Goat, and the spin-off, Billy Idol.


No Good Boyo said...

Exquisite, Andrew.

A bientot.

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