Precedence: bulk
From: Chalkhills <>
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #18-7

          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 18, Number 7

                   Monday, 2 April 2012


    Found in translation, thanks to three Francophones
              XTC discs in sealed longboxes?
We don't need *Essential* but we can use it to evangelize
       Our Boys referenced in Greg Proops' podcast


    To UNSUBSCRIBE from the Chalkhills mailing list, send a message to
    <> with the following command:


    For all other administrative issues, send a message to:


    Please remember to send your Chalkhills postings to:


    World Wide Web: <>

    The views expressed herein are those of the individual authors.

    Chalkhills is compiled with Digest 3.8f (John Relph <>).

Pavements of gold leading to the underground.


Date: Thu, 15 Mar 2012 12:46:41 -0700 (PDT)
From: Ryan Anthony <>
Subject: Found in translation, thanks to three Francophones
Message-ID: <>

If I wanted to talk about cartooning and animation, I wouldn't hesitate to
broach that off-topic subject here, because we all know that Andy is both a
fan of the art and a fine cartoonist himself -- and his son is a

But translation is off-off-topic, so unless Relph-san has placed this post
at the end of the skein, please feel free to skip to the next.

I'm grateful to three Francophone Chalkbrothers, Don Device, Emmanuel Marin,
and Jean-Jacques Masse, for translating a French-language pun in the 2006
French spy spoof *OSS 117: Le Caire, Nid d'Espions* (Cairo, Nest of Spies),
which features the leading man, leading lady, and director who went on to
make *The Artist* such a pleasure.

Here's the scene. Our hero, the insufferable Gallic cock, Agent 117 (Jean
Dujardin), has bare-handedly dispatched Soviet bad guys in a Cairo steam
bath, and he quips to himself, "Truth is, they came 'Russian' at me."

(I had written that his quip was aimed at his fair companion, an almond
Audrey Hepburn yclept Berenice Bejo, but I had to be reminded, duhhh, that
said fair companion was not with him in that men-only steam bath. Merde.)

"Russian/rushin'" is an English-language pun created by the translator, so
what did Agent 117 actually say at the 1:03:40 point of the movie? My Region
1 DVD does not have French subtitles, so I posed the question to
French-speaking Chalkhillians.

They told me the line is "En tout cas on peut dire que le soviet eponge."

Here's where it gets tricky, because puns defy translation. With apologies
to M. Device, M. Marin, and M. Masse for my inexactness, but combining my
three sources, the line's double meaning is approximately this: "He was a
useless Soviet drunkard (alcohol-sopping sponge) ... but now he is a useful
clean-up tool (serviette)."

Le mot juste! Or as I guess I'm expected to say here in the American Wild
West: ka-ching! Messrs. Bond, Steed, Flint, Helm, ffolkes, Smart, Powers,
and McMissile could do no better.

We Yanks can mock our own monolinguality, uh, monolingualness, er,
monolinguicity. (Spell-check just blew a gasket.) Seven or eight decades
ago, a *New Yorker* cartoon showed an American audience watching a French
movie with English subtitles. The caption is a full paragraph of poetic
endearments, but the subtitle says only: "I think you're rather pretty."

Ryan Anthony
An independent Internet content provider


Date: Sun, 11 Mar 2012 23:05:40 -0700
From: "Benjamin Donguk Lukoff" <>
Subject: XTC discs in sealed longboxes?
Message-ID: <>

Anyone know what some XTC discs in sealed longboxes might be worth? Mummer,
Go2, and Drums & Wires, all on Geffen.


Date: Sun, 11 Mar 2012 10:23:22 -0700 (PDT)
From: Ryan Anthony <>
Subject: We don't need *Essential* but we can use it to evangelize
Message-ID: <>

RIP Brother Paul Haines. Thank you for the notice, Steve Cameron.

Thanks also to M. Don Device for getting back to me so quickly about
the English-language pun in *OSS 117: Cairo, Nest Of Spies*, a 2006
French spy spoof featuring the male lead, female lead, and director
who went on to make *The Artist* together last year. I'll tell him
where in the movie the line occurs, and await his determination.

As was pointed out in the previous Digest, most of us already possess
every track on the upcoming (March 19) *XTC Essential* release, and
not just once but two, three, or four times over in various analog and
digital formats. That said, we're all morally obligated to buy the
thing, and pay full-on retail for a new copy, right? Then what? I'll
play evangelist and give it to a potential new XTC fan, then beg to
see the booklet after the shrinkwrap comes off.

Any news about what's in the booklet? Anything by one of us?

Ryan Anthony
An independent Internet content provider


Date: Sat, 31 Mar 2012 11:35:38 -0700 (PDT)
From: Ryan Anthony <>
Subject: Our Boys referenced in Greg Proops' podcast
Message-ID: <>

Greg Proops, an American comedian/podcaster/ranter, mentioned Our Boys
53 minutes into his March 30 "Proopcast," titled "Pinkies," recorded
in London:

"Jason [an emailing fan] asks, '... You're making a mix tape for the
audience in front of you right now. What is the opening track?' 'Money
Changes Everything' by Cyndi Lauper -- no, the opening track is
'Strawberry Letter 23' ... by the Brothers Johnson, followed by a
great deal of funk, and then 'Towers of London' by XTC. 'Victoria's
empire was somebody's hell,' he says. Thank you, Jason."

The line is "Victoria's gem found in somebody's hell" -- my source is
the handwritten lyrics on the inner sleeve of my 1980 Virgin/RSO
American pressing of *Black Sea* -- but that's mighty close,
considering the guy was ad-libbing his response under the face-melting
stage lights, and mere feet away, Proops suggests, from the equally
face-melting loos, of London's Soho Theatre.

The copyeditor in me wonders if the oh-so-fashionable anti-imperialist
sentiment in Andy's lyric might not be strengthened by changing the
line to "Victoria's heaven was somebody's hell."

Do we all have *Black Sea* on vinyl? And did everyone keep it in its
original green bag -- or was that only the American release?

A sweet note, also in the hand of the uncredited calligrapher (Andy
himself?), rediscovered after three decades at the bottom of the inner
sleeve: "Thank you for buying this album."

Never was money better spent.

Ryan Anthony
An independent Internet content provider


End of Chalkhills Digest #18-7

Go back to the previous page.