Me, Major Bonkers
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
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!
My dubious political (and other) opinions can be found below:
|The Random Acts of Kindness Barnstar|
|For pointing out very nicely when I had erred. Thank you. John 04:17, 20 July 2007 (UTC)|
|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)|
Helpful advice for foreigners
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 ; or that the U.S. Navy considered a successful invasion of the Falkland Islands by the British to be 'a military impossibility' .
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.
- 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
- 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