EDITORIAL - Ken Clay
PORTOBELLO ROAD URCHIN (2) – Ivan de Nemethy
EVERYONE THEIR ISLAND – Alexis Lykiard
TRIVIAL PURSUITS – Keith Howden
BACK TO SCHOOL – Tom Kilcourse
HOLLYWOOD’S COLD WAR – Jim Burns
MEATHEAD MUSINGS 1- FAT GIRLS Ron Horsefield
THE NORTHERN MISTAKE (3) – S. Kadison
FANDANGO OF TWATS – Tanner
SECURITY GUARD UN:FOLDED HUGH – Tanner
iDENTity – Tanner
THE SHORTEST WAY WITH EDUCATORS - Alan Dent
THE REVOLVING DOOR – Fred Whitehead
THE PHLOGISTON THEORY - Keith Howden
DOWN THERE ON A VISIT –John Lee
MEATHEAD MUSINGS 2 ON FARTING Ron Horsefield
THREE GO TO NORMANDY (3) – Ron Horsefield
MEATHEAD MUSINGS 3 – LARKIN Ron Horsefield
MAMMON AND MONKEYS
As if Christmas wasn’t bad enough we now have Black Friday. Three years ago our Polish plumber Stefan Jaruzelski reported in Oik 13 on its precursor – the looting riots of 2011. At least now the greedy punters are paying for stuff most of which normal folk would pay to have taken away. Some, however, were going for cultural artefacts as well as handbags and dogshit. No surprise that the item most in demand was the ten volumed Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy which went on sale for a mere £3699. Yes, an astonishing bargain. If I’d know I’d’ve camped outside Aldi myself but by the time I’d turned up for my weekly bottle of Pauillac the Encs had all gone (p18). I also missed out on another great item - George Formby’s Greatest Hits (p97). This is what comes of not watching ITV or being one of the twatteraty (have I got that right?).
No vestige of the birth of baby Jesus pollutes this issue, although the cover might be a reminder of what you’re in for if you worship Mammon. Count Ivan de Nemethy continues his account of an east end boyhood while Tom Kilcourse, a bit further down the track, acquaints us with his memories of Ruskin (the college, not the art critic).
Keith Howden’s crackpot cultural commentator James Bird Horobin regales us with thoughts on Natural Fascism, Trivial Pursuits and the Phlogiston theory. Oik stalwart Tanner, now recuperating in Swindon, recalls happier times in Liverpool describing trouble with the landlord, the boss and ghastly Gail.
Two newcomers appear. Distinguished translator and protean scribe (editor, poet, novelist etc) Alan Dent responds to Gove’s latest attack on teachers. This first appeared in the Tooting Free Press but now receives the more prestigious cachet of Oik 24 (Who lives in Tooting anyway? How many of them can read? And where, exactly, the fuck is it?). Alan is an inspired ranter and does not reject his Ranter ancestors.
(Ranters were often associated with nudity, which they may have used as a manner of social protest as well as religious expression as a symbol of abandoning earthly goods. Ranters were accused of antinomianism, fanaticism, and sexual immorality, and put in prison until they recanted – Wikipedia).
Yes, I’ll have to ask Ron about antinomianism about which I know less than Tooting.
Another sectarian, Fred Whitehead of Kansas City analyses the problems of Communism in USA. Fred visited Oik central last autumn. He couldn’t be arsed visiting the dissenting academy where Priestley, Malthus and Marat taught (You can’t get in anyway since it’s now a newspaper office) but stumbled across the town’s greatest cultural artifact (apart from the Oik that is) – the steak and kidney pie. He handed over a spare he had no time to eat when I took him to the airport. I found it an excellent doorstop. Fred didn’t even visit George Formby’s grave and I fear all copies of GF’s Greatest Hits have gone. But he did meet Jim Burns in the People’s History Museum in Manchester, where they discussed things American. If you want more details on that benighted former colony read Jim on Hollywood’s Cold War (p30).
Foreign parts might have been John Lee’s theme in Down There on a Visit (p74) in which he reveals his shameful middle class origins and his attempts to transcend them by delivering coal. Ron Horsefield, in contrast, is an echt-oik and we feel we must apologize for his new contributions headed Meathead Musings which treat of fat girls, farting and the private life of Philip Larkin. His more restrained travelogue of a trip through Normandy continues – recording interesting discussions with his academic brother Frank on Swinburne and monkeys.
‘upon the sands of ever-crumbling hours’ – Beddoes
Those islands dreamed of once again
Unable to lie close to one another –
That desperately tormented sleepless night
Morpheus. That fitful, wretched
And so we sweltered, sweated, laughed and
The next day did arrive – a sudden dawn,
Given the peculiar twists and turns of
The Judgement of Otto - Dirk Bouts