South Park Self

the devil his due

Examining two plagiarised Masters dissertations in a row will make one really, really antsy about unmarked quotation. I signally failed to note my subject-line sources for the entirety of December as well as sailing blissfully past the end of January, making me a Bad Person, although I think the end-December default possibly had something to do with post-burglary rage and distress. Herewith a ginormous catch-up on my intellectual debts.

  • 6th December: the White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland. Naturally.
  • 10th December: I always thought that "A Wonderful Bird is the Pelican" was Spike Milligan. Apparently the rest of the world thinks it's by Ogden Nash, whereas in fact it's by someone called Dixon Lanier Merritt, of whom I have never heard despite the fact that "A Wonderful Bird is the Pelican" has been my SCA .sig ever since I acquired an actual pelican. As a random bonus related fact, my sister's Standard 4 teacher was an amazing lady called Mrs Holly, who used to repeat the above verse to the class ending with "He can hold in his beak enough food for a week, and I'm surprised if I know how in the world he can."
  • 11th December: quote from the Cure's "Boys Don't Cry", suggested irresistibly by the tears of non-graduating students with which the post was concerned.
  • 19th December: from Ethelred, or, The Sad Tale of a Motor Fan, by H. A. Field. I love this poem, which I've known from childhood - it was in a little Penguin book of comic verse which I still own, although it's been lovingly re-read to the point of actual explosion into disparate pages. The tragic confluence of the mechanical with the watery made it an inevitable reference to the sad demise of the Mermaid.
  • 25th December: Terry Pratchett. I cannot remember which Discworld novel it hails from, but odds are on Hogfather, still one of the best semi-satirical deconstructions of Christmas known to humanity.
  • 1st January: I am referencing Tennyson's Mariana in the Moated Grange, for which I have a low sneaking fondness predicated upon general disbelief that any major poet can possibly get away with being so brow-clutchingly and self-consciously goth. I mean, thickest dark and flitting bats and forlorn sleep-walking and wastes of grey and everything dreary, dreary and wishing I was dead. Any contemporary emo band who tried it would be laughed off the stage.
  • 6th January: a bastardised phrase from "Over the Misty Mountains Cold", the dwarves' song in The Hobbit. I actually love Tolkien's poetry, he's been exposed to Nordic verse enough that his language has wonderfully muscular internal rhymes and rhythms. (Good lord, but "rhythm" is hell to spell. I'd never noticed).
  • 10th January: I am quoting Hamlet. I can still remember huge chunks of Hamlet's soliloquies, as a result of the play being our A-level set work. A-level English requires you to illustrate your points in essays with direct quotation, but they aren't open book exams, so you end up rote learning large, important bits of speechifying. I still know bits of Julius Caesar despite never having read the play because it was my sister's O-level text and she had pages of quotes stuck up next to the toilet for the whole year.
  • 11th January: I have just spent fifteen minutes on YouTube trying to work out which version of this I know from the radio in my undergrad years, which were late 80s/early 90s. It's not the Bobby McFerrin one; mature reflection suggests it was probably the Breakfast Club, which is a scary, scary thought. I didn't even know it was a Beatles original. Go figure.
  • 22nd January: Belle and Sebastian, "Funny Little Frog", which is a weird little song about, as far as I can work out, unrequited love. Or celebrity crushes.
  • 23rd January: rocking the Hobbit quotes this month, for obvious reasons. One of Gollum's riddles. His do tend to the dark and slightly threatening.
  • 30th January: at the time I spent a wayward half hour on Google trying to work out the origin of this proverbial phrase, which was wandering vaguely round my head for no good reason. All I can dig up is a horrible joke about Saint Lawrence, patron saint of cooks, who was roasted on a gridiron and is held to have made the joke about turning him over, presumably to indicate his saintly indifference to scorching. This is a curiously nasty little joke, is all I can say.
Hee. This rather beautifully shadows the way that huge tracts of Avengers fanfic are about the ensemble rather than the heroic adventure. This film worked because it's about people, which I suppose one can always trust Joss for. Thanks for the link!