Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Free British Birds Poster With This Blog

The blog silence surrounding the vexed (or vexing) question of the Salman Rushdie knighthood is entirely understandable, in every way, and a fine thing. The award is a mysterium profundum, of which the less said the better. But does anyone remember a rather fine shaggy dog story I once heard, about a friendly, poetry-writing salmon called Rusty who was inspired by the wreck of the Titanic? The punchline, inevitably, was 'Surely you've heard of Salmon Rusty's Titanic Verses'... Superb. Oddly it wasn't mentioned in the Pakistan parliament yesterday.


  1. British Birds posters don't have the pulling power they used to...

  2. Never you mind, Nige. All those folks in the post below are just being childish.

    Have you thought of trying: "Science, Religion and British Birds"?

  3. Excellent idea, Peter - I'll slip that one in when they're least expecting it...

  4. Bryan, Nige, this post strikes me as the perfect one with which to lure those coveted hits to the blog. Words such as bird, chick, leg or breast, ducky, tit (great), tit (blue), tit (crested) etc… Twitching, binoculars, hide… well, I could go on, but I don't want to b e accused of childishness.

    J Cheever Loophole

  5. The nearest I've come to chatty salmon is this:

    I'll love you, dear, I'll love you
    Till China and Africa meet,
    And the river jumps over the mountain
    And the salmon sing in the street

    I'll love you till the ocean
    Is folded and hung up to dry
    And the seven stars go squawking
    Like geese about the sky.


    It was late, late in the evening,
    The lovers they were gone;
    The clocks had ceased their chiming
    And the deep river ran on.

    Which I've always found a little easier to get on with than SR's novels. That mention of geese, though ... birds again ... just as you thought it was safe to come out. In the light of comments elsewhere on this blog, I now see this poem in an even more ominous light.

  6. Oh. That's brought a tear to my weary eye...


  7. philip wallingJune 19, 2007 4:52 pm

    Does anybody know anybody who's read one of Salmon's books - never mind enjoyed it?

    This knighthood business reminds me of Alexander Pope's remark:
    'You can tell what God thinks of money when you see who he gives it to.'

  8. If the Queen will knight a fish, she'll knight anything.

    Not to criticize Mr. Rushdie, but it seems he's being knighted for being a high profile victim. He deserves protection, yes, but is victimhood an accomplishment?

  9. I enjoyed The Moor's Last Sigh quite a lot, Philip. As for knighthoods themselves though, what an inflated notion of themselves human beings often have, and I'm thinking especially of the people giving out the honours. As if their judgement meant f all.

  10. I don't think they actually saw the movie.

  11. Victomhood can be an accomplishment. But you really must want it badly.