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Fri, Jul. 17th, 2009 11:32 am
Scot Trek: To boldly come...

The Book of Scotlands -- my first book -- has been, up until now, vaporware. It's existed, publicly, as a series of proposals, promises, premises, outlines, excerpts and readings. Not only is the book a series of descriptions of Scotlands which do not actually exist, but it hasn't, itself, existed either. Until now.



I'm delighted to announce that The Book of Scotlands -- did I mention it was my first book? -- is now available for immediate delivery via Amazon.de. The other Amazons will get it in a few weeks (stock is being shipped to the US by sea). Meanwhile, people out there are actually reading the tome, and some are already tweeting their impressions. Press reviews are imminent, and on August 15th I'll be doing dramatised readings from the book at ProQM in Berlin. Here's an extract from the book, the bit where Stanley Baxter tells Scotland to stop masturbating -- with impressive results!

* Scotland 45

It's a little-known fact that Alfred Kinsey came to Scotland shortly after publishing Sexual Behavior in the Human Female. He came with his friend Alan Lomax, the ethno-musicologist. It was partly a holiday, but the pair also wanted to pursue their interests; Lomax wanted to make recordings of sea shanties, Kinsey to compile data on Scottish masturbation.

And so, over three weeks during the hot summer of 1954, the two Americans travelled the length and breadth of Scotland. They listened to old sailors singing what they remembered of sea songs, and harvested sensitive data on masturbation. No sooner had an old man put down his fiddle after playing for Lomax's Revox than he was quizzed by Kinsey on his one-handed technique. The pike-faced old musicians were assured that, although all credit would be given them for the music, for the sex survey they would be strictly Trad/Anon.



Lomax managed to record some wonderful ballads, but what Kinsey discovered shocked him profoundly. Scots were masturbating far too much; on average, 6.7 times per day. At this rate of sexual squandor, the nation wouldn't last far beyond 1978. Something had to be done.

Kinsey and Lomax formed a delegation and made an urgent visit to the Scottish government. Lomax handed over priceless folk recordings, then Kinsey rose to speak.

"Gentlemen," he said, "after an extensive random survey of Scottish sexual habits, mostly focused on fiddlers, I have made a disturbing discovery. The Scots are masturbating too much. Birth and productivity rates are sure to nosedive over the next decades. At this rate, there won't be a single Scot left by the year 2000."

The Scottish leaders took Kinsey seriously; after all, he had recently appeared on the cover of Time magazine, surrounded by birds, flowers and bees.

"What do you suggest we do?" they asked.

Kinsey outlined an extensive promotional campaign with the slogan "Stop masturbating!"

Only this direct approach could bring the nation to its senses, and save it from sinking to its knees.

After the meeting, Kinsey and Lomax were given bowls of Scottish onion soup and glasses of Scottish mead before being driven to Turnhouse Airport and put aboard a Caravelle jet bound for New York. They sat in first class, smoking briarwood pipes and gazing down at the Atlantic through the gaily-curtained floor-to-ceiling windows (later deemed a serious design flaw).



The Scottish government decided to act on Kinsey's advice. They launched a major publicity campaign advising the Scottish people to "Stop masturbating!" Ads were shown in cinemas before and after every film (it was still the age of almost universal cinema-going). They featured a crowd of old sea-dog fiddlers sawing away vigorously at violins, suddenly interrupted by Stanley Baxter. Pushing the men aside and screwing up his rough-hewn Glasgow face, Baxter said directly into the camera: "STOP MASTURBATING!"

The campaign was a great success. Masturbation went quickly out of fashion in Scotland, and the results didn't take long to make themselves felt. Work productivity rates soared along with the birthrate, and the nation's GDP skyrocketed. Before long there was enough excess income for the Scottish prime minister, Margaret Muir, to promise, in a famous 1961 speech, that Scotland would put a man on the moon before decade's end.

In 1969 the entire world watched as that promise was fulfilled on live television. I remember the scene well. I was lying in an air-conditioned room in the French city of Montpelier, masturbating.

21CommentReply


(Anonymous)
Fri, Jul. 17th, 2009 10:24 am (UTC)
Copies in WC1

Got mine, not allowed to unwrap until after i-Deadline! xx


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(Anonymous)
Tue, Dec. 22nd, 2009 06:49 am (UTC)
Re: Copies in WC1

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eptified
eptified
H. Duck
Fri, Jul. 17th, 2009 10:28 am (UTC)

Ultra-fucking cool, and I'm going to buy one like the bunny-tailed whore I am


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autopope
autopope
Autopope
Fri, Jul. 17th, 2009 10:58 am (UTC)

I just read that extract, and for some reason I heard it in the voice of Ivor Cutler ...


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imomus
imomus
imomus
Fri, Jul. 17th, 2009 11:06 am (UTC)

Now there's a pair of vacant glass stilettos I'd love to fill!


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magick_temple
magick_temple
magick_temple
Fri, Jul. 17th, 2009 01:47 pm (UTC)

ohhh... I enjoyed it the first time, but reread in my internal Cutler voice it's even better


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(Anonymous)
Fri, Jul. 17th, 2009 11:20 am (UTC)
shipped to the US by sea?

nicht so schnell schotte - unsere geheimen nazi u-boot flotte ist schon unterwegs!


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(Anonymous)
Fri, Jul. 17th, 2009 12:36 pm (UTC)

RE "the collaboration between Ivor Cutler and Ian Hamilton Finlay", Ivor Cutler did write a short account of meeting IHF--and the lack of wavelength sympathy--in a special issue of Chapman magazine devoted to the latter. Oh, looking at it now, it's short--here's the whole thing:

"I was asked to meet Ian H.F. by a young woman when performing at the Edinburgh Festival. I agreed, and she took me to his flat.

We sat opposite one another at his table, while the young woman sat at the side of the table to listen.

I.H.F. asked me a question. I did not understand what he meant. The Y.W. (young woman turned to me. "I think Ian means... " and told me what she thought, adding "Is that right, Ian?" Ian nodded. I replied, and I.H.F. looked bewildered. The Y.W. explained what I meant, amd I.H.F. replied, the Y.W. interpreting. Our entire conversation went on like this. What an intelligent and perceptive young woman. If she reads this, will she get in touch with me?

The only book of his I have enjoyed and understood is the Glasgow Beasts... When my mother was old I got her to read the 'Hooch A hieland coo wiz mair liker it...' poem on a cassette. It is the only recording of her voice."


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(Anonymous)
Fri, Jul. 17th, 2009 12:52 pm (UTC)

Did the modern in you fight against them using the Caslon font?


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imomus
imomus
imomus
Fri, Jul. 17th, 2009 06:47 pm (UTC)

Whatever Zak Kyes does is okay with me, basically!


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lana_sv
lana_sv
lana_sv
Fri, Jul. 17th, 2009 01:42 pm (UTC)
)))))))))))))))))))

"What do you suggest we do?" they asked


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anglerfish96
anglerfish96
anglerfish96
Fri, Jul. 17th, 2009 03:47 pm (UTC)

This article reminded me of your book.


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(Anonymous)
Fri, Jul. 17th, 2009 03:49 pm (UTC)

what would you say was the point of this book?


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(Anonymous)
Fri, Jul. 17th, 2009 04:48 pm (UTC)

To pay the rent.


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nina_blomquist
nina_blomquist
Nennen Sie mich Ninen
Fri, Jul. 17th, 2009 06:38 pm (UTC)

XX


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imomus
imomus
imomus
Fri, Jul. 17th, 2009 06:46 pm (UTC)

Wow, fantastic, right next to Tilda, Scotland's most beautiful woman, mentioned in the book! And a witty juxtaposition with the DRL TEN volume!

I was passing on the U2 line today and almost jumped off to come round and see whether the book was in stock at ProQM. Now I have my answer!

Thanks, Nina, looking forward to the reading!


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nina_blomquist
nina_blomquist
Nennen Sie mich Ninen
Fri, Jul. 17th, 2009 06:56 pm (UTC)

Also take note of the red plaid on the Maurizio Cattelan-book..


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(Anonymous)
Fri, Jul. 17th, 2009 11:33 pm (UTC)


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(Anonymous)
Sat, Jul. 18th, 2009 01:43 am (UTC)
Scotland

Momus, I love you.


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(Anonymous)
Sat, Jul. 18th, 2009 05:30 am (UTC)

Reminds me of the time I masturbated to the landing of the Mars rover....


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