Precedence: bulk
From: Chalkhills <>
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #11-46

         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 11, Number 46

                Wednesday, 24 August 2005


                     where I get off
                      Dom Said What?
                    A shot in the dark
                No, really, melt them down
          Wikipedia and An Alternate Apple Venus
     And I don't want to see your Mooney Mooney face
                   Historical question


I'm sorry, I made a mistake.  Since Chris Coolidge did not attribute
the quote he included in his message, I attempted to do so, and I
mistakenly attributed the quote to Dom.  I have been informed that the
quote was actually by Al LaCarte.

I hope nobody was too offended.

Also, whilst I appreciate the passions the "Melt the Guns" debate has
stirred, I do think we've reached the end of this particular discussion.
"Why can't we all just get along?"  Or perhaps "A compromise would
surely help the situation / Agree to disagree but disagree to part."

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You must see him showing so be ready with your gun.


Date: Sat, 20 Aug 2005 18:20:42 -0300
From: "Brunkhorst" <>
Subject: where I get off
Message-ID: <BAY104-DAV5BE7878FE3E9DD0CCFE83B6B40@phx.gbl>

Aaron wrote:

> Me, I look at Guernica and I see many of the same things you do...and then
> I weigh it against, say, the image of the flag raising at Iwo Jima, and
> I'm certain that I then come to vastly different conclusions about what
> the "universal lesson" is that's being expressed in Picasso's work.

To me, the greatest "universal" aspect of any art isn't the lesson or
message that one person takes from it, or even the message or lesson its
creator intended -- it's the ability of art to reveal different "universal
truths" to different people.>

Art doesn't reveal anything to anyone.  The Subject (listener, viewer,
reader, etc.) does the work of extracting meaning from whatever the Object
George Bush says one of the great things about America is that people can
disagree.  Then he drives past Cindy Sheehan on the way to the GOP
fundraising dinner.
For me, flag raising at Iwo Jima = a bunch of guys with guns saying "THIS IS
OURS".  So it has been since the caveman days.  We ARE the smartest monkeys.
Since you're quite open-minded about "universal truths", read some Noam
Chomsky - 'Hegemony or Survival' is a good start.
You do have a right to carry a gun in America.  People shoot guns.  It's
pointless to ban them, sure.  But it's continuously entertaining how America
is hypocritical about what they will allow or not allow.  Assault weapons
are OK.  Stem cell research is not.  Doctors should run the health care
system, because it keeps the incentive for them.  Teachers should not run
the educational system, because they're lazy and the union protects them
from work.  Do not attempt to make sense out of it.
Americans are for free speech and less government until they see a couple of
guys kissing on the courthouse steps.  Don't ever expect an American to
change his or her behavior.
I am an American.  I like NOT living in the USA right now.  Terrorists
generally don't attack Canada, because Canada is not trying to play Monopoly
with Muslim countries and the oil under the sand.  There's nobody named
George W. Bush here, and I like that.

Without an XTC recording to yabber about, this is what it's come to.  It's
been a long time since I read anything useful on Chalkhills... I think it
may be time to bag it...

Kevin Brunkhorst
Antigonish NS Canada


Date: Sat, 20 Aug 2005 17:34:41 -0700 (PDT)
From: Al LaCarte <>
Subject: Dom Said What?
Message-ID: <>


Christopher R. Coolidge accused Dom of saying:

>Well, after the report was over, I heard the opening riff to "Dizz
>Knee Land" by Dada and then felt the pavlovian urge to  puke as the
>riff crossfaded into the vocalizations of Hannity, and I lunged for
>the CD button.

I hope he wasn't too offended, for that was written by me.

Aaron said lots of things that I didn't say, one of them being:

>I mean, if Picasso's Guernica leads you to believe that ALL war is
unequivocally evil and unnecessary, and leads you to morally equate
the intentions and effects of all war, then so be it.<

I believe that all war is indeed unequivocally evil. It was necessary
for the free nations of the world to defend against the aggression of
the Axis powers, but that doesn't mean the war wasn't evil.

I also believe that war is categorically unnecessary. Defending
ourselves against those who wage war may be necessary, but war itself?
I don't think so. If two nations are in direct disagreement, but
flatly refuse to engage in a violent conflict, then war is
"unnecessary."  If, however, one nation attacks the other, then
defense against the attack may become necessary, but the war itself
was not "necessary."  It was optional based on the attackers'


"Look at them now, drawing little lines with their speeches
Each daring the other to cross
It won't be long now, one will make a stand he believes in
Believing it's well worth the cost
Then the other gets angry refuses to budge
Fueled by some understandable grudge
And now we wait quietly till the missile arrives
There's no need to shout about the end of our lives"

"Buildings and bridges all leveled to the ground
Cities and nations and we just stand around
Someone unlocked the big cage
and the beast cannot be found
So strike up the music and we'll all fall down."

Kevin Gilbert


Date: Sun, 21 Aug 2005 13:01:48 +0100 (BST)
From: Rory Wilsher <>
Subject: H2G2
Message-ID: <>

Don Device said:

"A word to the wise: watch that Wikipedia! It reminds
me of the 'Hitchhhiker's Guide to the Galaxy' being
written by whoever happened to stop by and feeling
like having a go!"

Er, yes, well, quite. We couldn't have that happening,
could we?

Running for cover.


Date: Sun, 21 Aug 2005 18:30:08 -0700 (PDT)
From: Todd Bernhardt <>
Subject: A shot in the dark
Message-ID: <>


Responding to Dom, Aaron said:
> First of all, "lots of people" do own guns, but let's look at the
> statistics in the US: You are twice as likely to die from alcohol
> poisoning as you are from a gunshot.  The top twenty or so causes of death
> in the US are much, much, much, much more likely to kill you than a
> gunshot is, sometimes tens and hundreds of times more (check out the CDC
> if you don't believe me). In fact, you have a better chance of dying in a
> bucket of water -- not a pond, not a pool, not a puddle, mind you, A
> BUCKET OF WATER -- than you do from a gunshot.

And ... your point is? Stupidity and disease kills more people than guns --
ergo, guns aren't so bad after all? What kind of reasoning is that?

> Yes, immensely.  I suggest you try it sometime.  I suspect it gives one
> the same sense of satisfaction as they would get from any activity or
> sport that requires discipline, practice and attention to detail.  Not to
> mention the enjoyment one can get from the sound/power of a gun, from
> striving to improve one's performance and accuracy, or the appreciation we
> knuckle-draggers have for the precision engineering and mechanics of a
> piece of equipment like a gun, which are pretty remarkable, actually.
> Some people like to take apart and/or work on or learn about engines and
> see how they operate and gain an appreciation for how their myriad parts
> interact, perform, etc., some people do the same with guitars and music,
> some people guns; me, I like all three to one degree or another.  Go
> figure.

The difference being, of course, that engines and guitars are not made to
kill things. But I agree, it's cool to shoot guns. It's cool to blow things
up, too.  Destruction is fun. And so much easier than building things.

> A common mistake of folks like yourself is that you combine gun culture
> and criminal culture, and they are two vastly different things.  And, in
> all honesty, this is the mistake that I believe a song like "Melt the
> Guns" ultimately makes...and I even share some of Andy's lamentations in
> that tune; it's just his remedy that just doesn't make any sense to me.

WtF...? Take the guns away, and gun violence will stop. It's as simple as
that.  One of the reasons that criminals use guns in the U.S. is because
they are so easily available here. Yes, there will always be criminals, and
yes, we should do something about the root causes of criminal behavior but
-- again, what's with the leaps of logic you like to make? -- that does not
mean that we should not remove (or, at the very least, regulate and control)
their access to these deadly tools.

> Yes, they certainly can be.  In fact, they were used in 11,829 homicides
> (what we often call "manslaughter") in 2002, which is probably why some
> people would love to see them banned for good.  On the other hand, 17,419
> people died that same year due to alcohol-related automobile accidents
> (what we often call "vehicular manslaughter"), yet I don't hear much call
> for the banning of cars or alcohol; on the contrary, we largely advocate
> that people should instead learn to use both of those things responsibly.

And, we control and regulate their use. Why is the NRA consistently against
such control and regulation of firearms?

>  Ironic, isn't it?  Especially when total gun deaths each year (including
> suicides, which if I'm not mistaken always account for the largest number)
> is around 30,000, and yet the number of instances in which guns actually
> are credited with *preventing* a crime is about 2.5 million each year.

And the vast majority of those preventions are carried out by law
enforcement officers, I'd wager.

> So, to bring it full circle -- at least 70 million legal gun owners, and
> about 30,000 gun deaths per year...that's .0004 fatalities per member of
> the "gun culture," and 2/3 of those are suicides (meaning they probably
> would have found another way to do it if not for the gun).  That still
> sound like "lots" to you, Dom?

Answer me this, Aaron: Do you think the families and loved ones of the
11,829 lost to gun violence in 2002 take any comfort in the fact that more
people were killed by alcohol or cars, or any other means? Of course they
don't. Prostate cancer kills fewer people than lung cancer. Should we then
discount those deaths, and say that prostate cancer is not so bad after all?
Of course we shouldn't.

> Bottom line: just because something can be dangerous doesn't mean it is
> inherently bad or should be banned, or that its elimination is going to
> change much.  For example, guns are largely, if not entirely, absent from
> the British culture, partly through social preference, and partly through
> legal measures.  But this doesn't diminish crime in a city like London,
> where a friend of mine who works for Scotland Yard informs me that
> knife-related crimes are rising (along with crime in general).  In fact, I
> read recently that your "sentient" British government is, as we speak, in
> the process of advocating and possibly implementing a ban on *large
> kitchen knives* because of an uptick in attacks and homicides with said
> cooking, Dom, if your civilized countrymen start attacking
> each other with clubs and pointed sticks, are you then going to ban wood?

Aaron, these kinds of half-baked arguments don't do you any good (but seem
to be a popular technique in the conservative community ... be agressive in
your arguments, and play loose and easy with the facts while being sloppy
with your logic). I'll let the Brits on the list respond, as no doubt they
will, to your comments about crime in London and elsewhere, but will point
out that a group of U.K. scientists -- *not* the British government -- has
recommended that the sale of long, *pointed* kitchen knives be banned. The
government has not accepted and is not "advocating" a ban.

The reason for this is that such knives are not really needed in the
kitchen, because long knives with blunt ends work just as well, and the long
pointed type often gets used in impulsive acts of violence ... just as guns
do, when they're readily available. Personally, I'd rather take my chances
against a knife than a gun, and that's one reason why homicides in England
are far below the per-capita rate in the U.S.

Then, responding to me, Aaron said:
> I disagree.  Simon said he would only respect my opinion if I were to take
> the stance that it had no more validity than his opinion; in other words,
> only if I were to admit that we were somehow "equal" in our opnions no
> matter what.  Now, if it's my opinion, then *by definition* I think it has
> more validity than his (which is NOT to say that I don't respect Simon's
> opinion or wouldn't give him ample opportunity to try and change mine),
> and if I take that stance, then he essentially admitted that he would
> essentially discount -- in other words, invalidate or render inferior --
> my opinion because I consider it to be better than his own.  Basically, I
> don't have a chance on those terms of doing anything but either witholding
> my opinion or having it invalidated.

Nonsense. It's perfectly possible for separate approaches and opinions to be
equally valid for different people in different contexts. I have friends who
are gay. I'm not. Is their opinion of who constitutes a suitable sexual/life
partner less valid than mine? Of course not. I accept theirs as being right
for them, and mine as being right for me.

> >when facts come on to the scene, then it's
> >perfectly possible for one opinion to be more valid than another.
> Depends.  I mean, I can indisputably fill a glass to 50% of its potential
> volume with water, and you and I can then trade opinions indefinitely on
> whether it's half empty or half full.

Don't be silly. Then we'd be talking about subjective opinions about
perspective, not about the fact that the glass contains 50% of its potential

> Or, if you want a better example, see
> my facts above with regard to guns, and let's see whose opinions change as
> a result of them...

Bloody few, I hope. I've been hearing these kinds of specious arguments from
the NRA for years now, and I've never heard a "fact" from them that wasn't
easily disputed.

Answer me this: Why is the NRA opposed to a simple system wherein the sale
and use of guns is controlled and regulated, and owners licensed, with their
licenses matching up to the guns they own? With safety regulations applied
and enforced across the country? For example, under a system like this, if a
gun owner sold a a gun, they would notify the regulators of its sale, just
as when I sell a car. That way guns are known, and tracked. Responsible
owners can have and use their guns, while criminals have a much more
difficult time obtaining a gun. You know as well as I how easy it is to get
a gun in this country, from resellers at gun shows or through other
means. If every gun is registered, then their use -- even in criminal acts
-- can be more easily tracked.

> >How could you "passionately" sing that song if you don't believe in the
> >lyrics?
> Oh, I don't know, how many willingly childless XTC fans out there have
> belted out the words to "Pink Thing" or "Holly Up On Poppy" while driving
> in the car?  Have any church-going XTC fans that I'm not aware of burst
> into flames while singing along to "Dear God" or "Greenman?"

The first two songs you mention have nothing to do with the advocacy issue
we're dealing with here -- Andy's not saying "have kids" in those songs. As
for the latter two, we've had quite a bit of discussion about them here on
the list. Many religious people are put off by Dear God, especially. If
they're musicians, my guess is they don't perform this song at their
shows. Most people, after all, want to walk their talk.


Honest criticism is hard to take, particularly from a relative, a friend, an
acquaintance, or a stranger.
-- Franklin P. Jones, businessman (1887-1929)


Date: Mon, 22 Aug 2005 11:16:55 -0400
From: Kevin Hiscock <>
Subject: No, really, melt them down
Message-ID: <>

"Pastula Aaron" <> logicked:
> In between the bursts of froth and spittle, Dom said:
> >that like most weapon-waving buffoons Mr. Pastula fails to see the
> >connection between lots of people owning guns and lots of people being
> >shot (accidentally or otherwise)?
> First of all, "lots of people" do own guns, but let's look at the
> statistics in the US: You are twice as likely to die from alcohol
> poisoning as you are from a gunshot.  The top twenty or so causes of death
> in the US are much, much, much, much more likely to kill you than a
> gunshot is, sometimes tens and hundreds of times more (check out the CDC
> if you don't believe me).  In fact, you have a better chance of dying in a
> bucket of water -- not a pond, not a pool, not a puddle, mind you, A
> BUCKET OF WATER -- than you do from a gunshot.  "Lots" of people?  Well,
> perhaps...but compared to "lots" of other things, it's not that high, and
> in many cases, it's not even remotely close, so your statement could
> easily be called inaccurate...and I personally would go so far as to also
> call it disingenuous, but that's just me.

I've long thought people should need a license to practice the use of
logic, and particulary "statistics" - as misuse of logic and statistics
causes so many of today's ills.  The use of "statistics" to minimize the
numbers of people who die from gunshots compared to death from other
causes is making what point exactly?  It's okay that hundreds of people
die from gunshots because thousands of people die from drowning in a

Um, okay, whatever dude.

It is a proven, undeniable FACT, that the percentage of people who own
guns in the United States is higher than in any other country. Period.  It
is called "statistically significantly" higher.  Maybe not "lots of
people" (by your reckoning), but "lots more people" (by anyone's
reckoning), which is the gist of the original comment, which I'm sure you
would have understood had you not been busy climbing aboard your
particular soapbox.

Okay, there is a difference between gun culture and criminal culture, but
stating this shows that you are missing the point and just getting
defensive.  The point is the number of firearms which exist in the United
States, regardless of whether they are obtained legally or not, leads to
yet another kind of culture.  A culture which does not cherish life as
life deserves to be cherished.  It's TOO EASY to get a gun, and TOO EASY
to kill someone with a gun (even if accidentally).

Melt 'em down!

cheers.kah - the home of radio hidebound, 151 proof
college radio aged 20 years
currently spinning: XTC - King For A Day


Date: Tue, 23 Aug 2005 08:12:39 +1000
From: "Simon Knight" <>
Subject: Wikipedia and An Alternate Apple Venus
Message-ID: <BAY109-F7CECEA7C55C00DAD05D92D0B60@phx.gbl>

>A word to the wise: watch that Wikipedia! It reminds me of the
>'Hitchhhiker's Guide to the Galaxy' being written by whoever happened to
>stop by and feeling like >having a go!

That's the concept it's based on...

>I was just speaking to a friend of mine, a Professor at London College
>about our personal fave >subject, the Cathar Heresy of the 12th century in
>Languedoc (now Southern France) and how rife >with errors it is, so rife in
>fact that we agreed there's no use trying to fix it...

Oh, I'm in no way holding it up as an infallible resource, I'm well aware of
its failings, (I'm still laughing over our new Pope, Emperor Palpatine from
Star Wars).  However, since most people aren't members of or
other paid resources like it, it's an easy place for people to start their
investigations.  Think back to the description of The Hitchhiker's Guide and
one of the reasons Adams presents for it's popularity:

'It's considerably cheaper'.

(Incidentally `Axis Mundi' is also the name of a student journal for
religious studies students in Canada.)

>That said, I quite appreciate your insights into the song, some of which
>not occured to me even though that song(s?)  is by far my favourite from WS
>(itself a reference to Aztec or Inca mythology, I forget which). AV and WS
>helped me greatly through my own divorce and rebirth, so I'm right with you

Well it's only my interpretation.  I tend to think thematically when I
listen to albums.  And while I love Apple Venus and Wasp Star to pieces, I
think Andy was *really* close to making a definite statement about divorce
and love and renewal, if they'd just selected the songs thematically rather
than the style they were played in (eclectric and orchoustic).

OK, so I'm pretending I'm Todd Rundgren and the Producer here, and have been
handed the demo tapes for Apple Venus and Wasp Star.  It's probably not
necessarily the thematic statement Andy wants to make, but he's writing a
large number of songs with similar themes and if it's pointed out he might
realise what's possible with this album.  There are parallels in a large
number of the songs: love, marriage, pain of losing lost, divorce, grief,
the passage of time and memory, acceptance, renewal, new love and earthy

>From Apple Venus Volume One:

I'd like that - happiness in a new love
Easter theatre - eroticism and renewal
Knights in shining karma - pain and vulnerability, loss
Your dictionary - angry, betrayal, divorce, then acceptance
I can't own her - regret and acceptance
Harvest festival - memory, marriage, the passage of time, what might have

>From Wasp Star:

Playground - memory, marriage, betrayal, the passage of time
Stupidly happy - happiness in a new love
The wheel and the maypole - marriage, divorce, passage of time
You and the clouds will still be beautiful - marriage and divorce, but
seeing the truth of why he loved his wife in the first place, or happiness
with a new love
Wounded horse - discovery, hurt, betrayal
The man who murdered love - hurt, anger, betrayal (but being flippant)

Don't think I'm playing favourites here - I've left off some killer songs.
And there are very few XTC songs I don't like and never will, (maybe 10 out
of the whole oeuvre), but for some reason *three* of them are on Wasp Star:
You and the clouds, Wounded horse, The Man Who Murdered Love.

Now From Apple Venus I'll justify the inclusion of:

Greenman - can be read of a celebration of marriage rites, ties into the
themes of passage of time and renewal, echos `The Wheel and the maypole'

Which leaves Colin's songs:

In another life - a meditation on a relationship and acceptance of each
other's failures, the passage of time, what might have been
Boarded up - literally about Swindon, but can also easily be read as a
couple who have `closed up shop' with each other and aren't communicating
Standing in for Joe - it's playful, but it is speaking of marital infidelity

That's 16 songs, and they are painting a pretty clear picture of a through
line in my head.  Then look at Fuzzy Warbles and the songs that deal with
similar subjects:

Dame fortune - another song about hurt and emotional vulnerability, this
time more playful
Wonder annual - more eroticism with a new love, ties in with `Easter
Young marrieds - unhappiness within a marriage
End of the pier - the moment the coin drops within the marriage
I can't tell what the truth is anymore - the moment after `end of the pier',
his world's been shattered, betrayal, hurt
The tiny circus of life - another song of hurt and betrayal, ties in with
the human pain of knights in shining karma

22 songs.  I think they could easily be grouped into three song cycles.
Give me some time to experiment with the track listing, and I'll see what I
can come up with.  For example, I think the sequence of:

I'd like that
Stupidly happy
Wonder annual
Easter theatre

Would probably end the album, from flirtation and the simple act of falling
in love with a new love (`I'd like that'), the ecstasy of find love again
(`Stupidly happy'), to the bedroom and foreplay (`Wonder annual'), to the
inevitable physical coupling and starting the cycle again, (`Easter

He'll it's even possible to put in `We're all light' as the chat up line
before `I'd like that' if I really wanted to.  (`Frivolous Tonight' could be
the party the first meeting takes place at).

I'm ears-deep in a few projects of my own, so give me a couple of weeks and
I'll see if I can come up with a strong, pleasing to the ear track listing.
An alternate `Apple Venus' that deals directly with divorce, the stages of
grief and acceptance and renewal.

It's funny Andy says he wants to write musicals, he's got one there already.

A Songwriter's Journal


Date: Wed, 24 Aug 2005 10:24:40 -0400
From: "" <>
Subject: And I don't want to see your Mooney Mooney face
Message-ID: <>

You know, I've never given much thought to that line from "Another
Satellite" until today.

J. D.


Date: Wed, 24 Aug 2005 10:27:53 -0400
From: "" <>
Subject: Historical question
Message-ID: <>

OK, I'll admit it.  Sometimes I get bored.  Like today.  So I decided to
read the very first Chalkhills digest from 1989, which is found in the
archives section of  And the second post of the first
digest was from Duane Day, whose e-mail address was
Hmmm.  Can someone tell me what the phrase "ebay" meant before it became
our favorite online auction site?

J. D.


End of Chalkhills Digest #11-46

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