User:Major Bonkers

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You are a major, Major
Me, Major Bonkers
Felthat.jpg This User is discussed on Wikipedia Review.
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HarrowSchool-OldSchools-20051113.jpg This user is an Old Harrovian.
AliG-Harv-cutdown.jpg This User believes that posting on WP:AN/I makes you stupid.
SmallLadyJustice.GIF This user has a law degree.
MBA This user has a Master of Business Administration degree.
MSc This user has a Master of Science degree.
Richardwagner1.jpg This user enjoys opera. (All four of them)
' This user worships Tom Jones as a living god.
This user prefers to Get the Party Started with Dame Shirley rather than Pink.
Rød ræv (Vulpes vulpes).jpg This user supports your right to hunt down and kill foxes.
Operation Upshot-Knothole - Badger 001.jpg This user supports the destruction of The Society of Lloyd's.

Other famous majors (feel free to add your own links):
(honourary) Major Ron. Brothel habitué.
Major Clanger. Pink knitted puppet.
Major Disaster. Pin-headed American comic character.
Major Asshole. Cockeyed Spaceball.
[Kindly added by Anynobody]
The galloping major. From a nursery rhyme. [Kindly added by Kittybrewster]
Major Kong. Nuclear war enthusiast.
John Major. E.L. Wisty impersonator and despoiler of Edwina Currie. Oh yes!
Major Major. Over-promoted Private.
Major Barbara. Tedious play.
Major Boredom. Adjutant to General Apathy. [Kindly added by Sturm]
Major Ity. Cringing pun. [Kindly added by Tyrenius]
Major Payne. Film that I have no intention of watching. [Kindly added by Julia Rossi]
Major Boothroyd. 'Do pay attention, 007.'
Major Gowen. Resident at Fawlty Towers. [Kindly added by West one girl]

I have an interest in Lloyd's of London and related topics, such as HMS Lutine, Equitas and Marine insurance. I am also interested, in various ways, in Poland during World War II (which brings me into contact with the famous Polish Wikipedians ) and minor aspects of the British Empire, such as General Pollock, the only man (including both Alexander the Great and Akbar the Great) to force the Khyber Pass, and Sir Ralph Abercromby and Admiral Sir Charles Mitchell, who in 1799 captured the entire Dutch fleet without a shot being fired.

I am an old mucker of Kittybrewster, who, I am disappointed to say, has a much nicer page than this one! Fortunately he has taken to editing this page in an attempt to make it better. Unlike him, however, I have an interest in alcohol, which probably explains why I do not suffer from depression or insomnia.

Work in very slow progess: Wojtec, Soldier Bear.

The moronic 'Political Compass' certifies me as:

Economic Left/Right: 5.25
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: 0.92

This seems to mean a strong belief in free markets and that I am a small 'c' conservative. I found Auberon Waugh very funny: you can read some of his thoughts here.

Titanomachy by Cornelis van Haarlem

The Titanomachy; a wonderful picture which comes from the National Gallery of Art, Copenhagen and is the best picture there (despite being heavily over-restored). This picture has previously been thought to refer to Satan and the losing angels being cast down after the War of Heaven; it knocks a similar picture by Pieter Bruegel the Elder into a knocked hat (and notice the use of butterflies in both - they're sometimes supposed to represent the human soul). Although at first sight it looks like a gay orgy (especially with those moustaches), see how the composition draws you into the picture, creating a sense of light and space. That fellow in the bottom right hand corner looks as though he's going to have his eye put out by his neighbour!

Sub-page: Rat-eating

My dubious political (and other) opinions can be found below:


Updated DYK query On 9 March, 2007, Did you know? was updated with a fact from the article Józef Czapski , which you created or substantially expanded. If you know of another interesting fact from a recently created article, then please suggest it on the "Did you know?" talk page.

Random Acts of Kindness Barnstar.png The Random Acts of Kindness Barnstar
For pointing out very nicely when I had erred. Thank you. John 04:17, 20 July 2007 (UTC)

BackScratchBarnStar.png The Backscratch Barnstar
I, Biofoundationsoflanguage, hereby award you the Backscratch Barnstar because you very kindly gave it to me! Biofoundationsoflanguage 16:37, 21 July 2007 (UTC)

Updated DYK query On 6 June, 2007, Did you know? was updated with a fact from the article Wojtek (soldier bear), which you created or substantially expanded. If you know of another interesting fact from a recently created article, then please suggest it on the Did you know? talk page.

Updated DYK query Did you know? was updated. On November 1, 2007, a fact from the article Holmes's Bonfire, which you recently nominated, was featured in that section on the Main Page. If you know of another interesting fact from a recently created article, then please suggest it on the Did you know? talk page.
Helpful advice for foreigners
Flag of Tibet.svg This user supports the independence of Tibet.
Abdullah of Saudi Arabia.jpg This user strongly supports the House of Saud.
Flag of Palestine.svg This user supports the independence of Palestine.
Marmite.jpg This user eats Marmite.
Relish.jpg This user eats Patum Peperium.
Lobster NSRW.jpg This user eats Lobster. It goes very well with Chablis.
Porter zywiec.jpg This user drinks Żywiec Porter.


When I was at school, my English master encouraged us to use (what he called) 'Spangles'. Spangles were a pithy quotation, or factoid, that advanced the point that one was making, quickly and cleverly, without breaking the flow of the argument. As an example, we were studying Little Dorritt, and it was a relatively easy matter to learn a number of quotations about each character and reproduce them in our exam essays. So instead of writing, Mrs. Clenham, blah, blah, blah, I would write, Mrs. Clenham, 'she lived and died a statue', blah, blah, blah.

It is, of course, an admirably cynical way of gaining marks in examinations, because for each relevant point you are supposed to be given a mark.

At the same time as I had this excellent English teacher, I had a disastrous History teacher. We were supposed to be learning about the French Revolution, and his teaching was so bad that I went and read an excellent book, Paris in the Terror by Stanley Loomis. This was full of those little details that could subsequently be slipped into my History essays, and are the details that stay with me 20 years after having read the book: that the smell of blood from the guillotine on the Place de la Concorde was so strong that cattle refused to cross the square and the revolutionaries seriously considered building a 'sangue-duct' to drain it; that Danton had been kicked in the face by an ox as a child, and then suffered from smallpox. By contrast, Simon Schama's monumentally boring and over-rated work on the same subject, Citizens, is simply a turgid recitation of boring details; learned and completely uninteresting.

The very best spangles go straight to the heart of the matter or illustrate some facet of the subject. You can, for example, read all about the causes of the First Anglo–Dutch War, or you can simply refer to the spangle: General Monck saying, The Dutch have too much trade, and the English are resolved to take it from them [1]; or that the U.S. Navy considered a successful invasion of the Falkland Islands by the British to be 'a military impossibility' [2].

Beware the false spangle: if it sounds a bit too extraordinary, it might well just be some crank theory or someone getting the wrong end of the stick. Journalism in this respect is dangerous: journalists usually are not specialists in their subject and are not concerned about writing definitive works.

In writing our encyclopedia articles, we should strive to add spangles. They hold the reader's attention and add to the interest of the article. And, twenty years later, they are what our readers will remember.

  1. ^ The Rise and Fall of British Sea Mastery Kennedy (1976) Allen Lane, London, p.48. Cited in To Rule The Waves: How the British Navy Shaped the Modern World Herman, A (2004) HarperCollins, New York, p.560
  2. ^ One Hundred Days Woodward, Admiral Sandy (1992) Annanapolis, Md.: Naval Institute Press, p.72. Cited in To Rule The Waves: How the British Navy Shaped the Modern World Herman, A (2004) HarperCollins, New York, p.560