A resurrection today, from 2007.

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Discussion (56)¬

  1. Jon Pierson says:

    I’m a sucker for puns and that’s a really good one!

  2. Michael says:

    …but to be fair, the pub has many different spirits… Mostly evil ones.

  3. 1HappyHeathen says:

    gota love your Brit jargon…. if a pub here in the US advertised “Smart Casual” folks would think it served only “laid back intellectuals” .. keeping calm and carrying on.

  4. Justin Case says:

    The beginning of the end for me was when our priest waxed on and on about ‘cherubim and seraphim’. I stopped and thought, ‘he actually believes in this sort of thing? He must be completely looney-toons.’ I was about 10 years old.

  5. Wrinkly Dick says:

    Djinn and tonic please….or should that be to Nick….

  6. E.A. Blair says:

    Does Barmaid serve jinn & tonic? (Note: Wrinkly’s comment wasn’t visible to me when I first submitted this.)

  7. jveeds says:

    Are jinns (or djinns) known for stealing cutlery? I know they can be prankish and peevish, but I didn’t know kleptocutlermania was one of their habits. (By the way, that’s a serious question about the cutlery…I added the whimsical pun just to play along.)

  8. Okay, I hate to admit ignorance but this one when right over my head with a kind of swishing sound. I know a joke loses everything when explained, but could one of you Brits please tell me what “smart casual” refers to.

  9. Farking typoes. This one excaped before I could proo fread it. When sould be went, of course.

  10. Okapi says:

    For our non-British friends.

    Smart Casual: Smart dress but casual. Think chinos and a nice shirt and shoes. No jeans, no trainers, definitely no baseball caps, football shirts, or trackies

  11. two cents' worth says:

    My fellow Americans: for “no jinns” read “no jeans.”

    To Brits, “smart” describes someone’s appearance –clean, tidy, and stylish. To Americans, “smart” describes someone’s intellect–intelligent, sensible. See https://www.researchgate.net/publication/313264429_Smart_in_British_and_American_English_a_comparative_lexical_corpora-based_analysis

    I wonder what “smart” means to other English speakers–Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders, and anyone else I’ve left out?

  12. two cents' worth says:

    I have follow up to jveeds’ question: do jinns go for all kinds of cutlery? I can see why they might want sharp knives (and maybe table knives and forks), but spoons? Are they only in it for the silver? Is my cutlery safe from jinns if it’s stainless steel?

  13. Michael says:

    I did not see that pun coming.

    NOTE to helpful Brits. Some of us can figure out what “smart casual” means since we wear “business casual” at work.

  14. Someone says:

    Two Cents, “smart casual” down here in Australia means the dress code you describe, though the phrases “neat casual” or “business casual” tend to be used more often.

    Since my workplace happens to be business casual but doesn’t have a “no jinns” policy, that would explain why our cutlery frequently goes missing. Maybe they’re attracted by all the denim people are wearing.

  15. luxi turna says:

    Should have asked the barmaid for a jinn and tonic!

  16. Godless.Too says:

    “Smart Casual: Smart dress but casual. Think chinos and a nice shirt and shoes.” In America we call that neo-Nazi.

  17. Walter Walcarpit says:

    That was a side entry Godwin.

  18. Suffolk Blue says:

    Levi was, according to the Book of Genesis, the third son of Jacob and Leah, and the founder of the Israelite Tribe of Levi (the Levites) and the grandfather of Aaron and Moses.

    I’m not sure about Wrangler, though.

  19. FreeFox says:

    Since we’re back on the topic of correct language, there’s something M27Holts mentioned last week about being okay with all paraphilias except “strong coercive violence” and pedophilia. I’m not sure I am more okay with weak coercive violence, or if that can really be called a paraphilia, but I take umbrage at the other part:
    Can we please distinguish between pedophilia, ie. the involuntary sexual attraction to children, and child sexual abuse, ie. the voluntary sexual abuse of minors? Most child sexual abuse is perpetrated by people who aren’t pedophiles, but out of opportunity, because they get off on the power imbalance, or because of some weird, often religious obsession with “purity” and virginity. Most male child rapists do so out of a deep toxic relationship to their own masculinity. On the other hand, most pedophiles never touch a child inappropriately but simply suffer their entire lives in silence as they struggle against a desire they never chose and never intend to indulge in. After all, most of us feel attracted to people we can’t have more often than we’d like. And in most cases that doesn’t make us rapists or abusers. It just makes us unhappy.
    I feel the distinction is extremely important, since the automatic and wholesale rejection and downright hatred and loathing society directs at pedophiles makes it next to impossible for them to seek help and find support or validation. And that can in the best case drive innocent people to depression and suicide, but worse can make the alternative, ie. grooming a kid to find closeness at last, much harder to resist. Pedophilia is a disorder that requires treatment and support to help those suffering from it from getting sucked into the abyss and hurting children on the way.
    On the other hand, child sexual abusers, whatever their motivation, actually DO harm, and they deserve to be ostracised and punished. But of course, unfortunately all to often it is the other way around.
    In my life I met – and indeed in the past have been the target of – both types, and as a victim, I ask to direct the call for punishment at the right people: Those that ACT wrongly. And to help those who through no sin of their own have been saddled with a burden and require support.

  20. HelenaHandbasket says:

    In relation to what FreeFox just said: Those interested in the distinction might find the work of James Cantor worth studying. An accessible blog is available here

  21. Keltic Green says:

    This brings up an interesting point, the difference between our wants and desires (which are, at least to some extent, beyond our conscious control), and what we actually do to act upon those wants and desires. I have long believed that the one and only place that all people should have total freedom is within their own heads – since this cannot, by definition, hurt anyone else. However, religions such as Christianity make certain wants and desires into ‘sins’ – thought crimes, such as looking at someone and feeling sexual attraction towards that individual – being committing adultery in the heart. Then they make people feel guilty about these feelings, so get people to pay tithes to priests in order to ease these feelings of guilt. Meanwhile, the priests are the ones committing the actual child molestation. It just shows how messed up organised religion can be.

  22. HackneyMartian says:

    Not even designer jinns?

    This is probably my favourite J&M for its perfect verbal judo. And because it gives the barmaid her motto. Thanks for restyling it, Author. Though I think Pratchett was in there first with the cutlery-based supernatural?

    Oscar Wilde: “I wish I had said that!” Frank Harris: “You will, Oscar, you will.”

  23. Son of Glenner says:

    I did not get the pun at first – I read “Jinns” as “gins”, not as “jeans”! Of course the penny soon dropped.

    Maybe it’s something to do with being Scottish.

    Or perhaps just stupid!

  24. HackneyMartian says:

    On reflection I regret my comment about Pratchett’s priority. It’s clearly an hommage and all the better for that.

    And the Wilde comment was about me not a crack at Author. I’ve often recycled it down the pub.

  25. M27Holts says:

    Pubs with dress codes? Wouldn’t go in one….oh and in response to the paraphilias debate. I have no problem with light spanking if the wife or husband consents. And lots of men fantasize about underage sexual encounters…more than most people would estimate…

  26. Okapi says:

    Note to prickly Americans.

    Re: comprehension

    A previous poster requested clarity. Congrats on making it all about you. Well done. Have a biscuit (biscuit, noun. Sweet baked treat usually dunked in tea as and when required)

  27. Laripu says:

    Really … prickly? 🙂

    Hey Okapi, do you mean to suggest that if an American asks a question, it must mean that Americans are self-centered? Also, if the person to whom you refer is Darwin Harmless, he’s actually Canadian. Have you heard of Canada? It’s a country. Part of the Commonwealth.

    Now go eat spotted dick. Not pudding, pudenda. 😉

  28. Donn says:

    West Coast American here; I read “smart casual” as intended (but didn’t get the joke – pronounced jinn wrong in my head, and I suppose the plural should have been jinni.) All three of the meanings I see in the dictionary are in common usage in the US. “Cause pain” is apparently the original meaning.

    (I am also apparently a prickly American, because whatever went on to cause that remark, it was apparently below my threshold of prickliness.)

    As for your cerebral liberty – don’t you suppose that our internal selves might be the first place we need to clean up our acts? The classic Christian sin/repent system wouldn’t be my suggestion, but maybe check the Stoics or similar.

  29. machigai says:

    Where’s NBH?

  30. M27Holts says:

    Pick up any Pratchett novel and it will have more insight than the bible or Koran…..

  31. Well, that took the thread in an interesting direction. Freefox, I am coming to admire your intellect and sensibilities.
    I also was a “victim” of sexual abuse as a child. I put victim in quotes because for years I felt like it was a mutual affair. He was the only person in my life who seemed interested in talking to me about certain parts of my body, and quite frankly I liked that. Of course, as an adult, I learned that I was classicly groomed, starting with the question “Do you know what it’s called.” If a child doesn’t know the common slang names for his genitalia, there is no adult in his life who talks to him, or to whom he talks, and that makes him safe. (Parents take note)
    My problem with public attitudes is that it is often stated as a fact that child sexual abusers were themselves abused as children. This leads to the automatic assumption that if you were abused as a child, you can’t be trusted around my kids. While it may be true that most child molesters were themselves molested, it doesn’t follow that most who were molested become child molesters. But the assumption is there in the public mind, so those who were molested better not talk about it. And of course, talking about such things is what we all need. To admit that I didn’t feel harmed or threatened at the time is a serious mistake. To suggest that I rather liked it is just outrageous. One is not supposed to enjoy being abused. Just look at the outrage Dawkins caused by trivializing his own experience as a child.

    To be clear here, I have zero attraction to children as sexual partners. I am also not gay, though I do find an erect penis to be the most erotic object in the universe, which I put down to a kind of imprinting. Make of that what you will.

    As an adult I recognize that the man who molested me was a very sick puppy. I also found out very late in life that I was not alone, that he had a whole private circus of performing children among my siblings and cousins. I’m torn between feeling sorry for him and hoping he is rotting in the hell I don’t believe exists. But maybe this is too complicated an issue for a thread at the C&B.

    I have no idea what Okapi was on about, or whether he was aiming a dart at me or at those who responded to my question. Don’t we always make it all about us? Is there an alternative?

    Finally, okay, now I get the pun. I too was reading jinn as a pun on gin, not on jeans. The term “door policy” is also unfamiliar. I would expect “dress code”. So there were three terms, “door policy”, “smart casual”, and “jinns” all conspiring to make the pun fly right over my head.
    Thank you all for the clarification. I probably would have arrived at it sooner or later, but you saved me the effort.

  32. M27Holts says:

    My local pubs don’t have a door policy…I like traditional old men’s pubs…My experience tells me that bars that attract young ladies then attracts young men. And all that pent up testosterone leads to the inevitable primate alpha male violence…Thus such bars Need bouncers….shiny wine bars full of sexual frustration and violence v quiet pints with your mates….it’s a no brainer!

  33. Kakapo says:

    I note that Mo correctly uses “jinn” as the plural (the singular being a jinni), but the barmaid in her ignorance, or in pursuit of the pun, re-pluralises it to “jinns”.

  34. HackneyMartian says:

    I hope she’s not going to offer them a panini. (The only place I’ve seen a panino on the menu was the students’ bar of an Oxford college. As you would expect.)

  35. M27Holts says:

    The most erotic object in the universe? A statement by one homo sapiens amongst 6 or 7 billion organisms of the same species. On a planet that orbits a star that is one of billions in a Galaxy that is also one of billions of galaxies…would you like to reduce the scope a bit Darwin harmless? I.e. you find an erect penis erotic?

  36. pink squirrel says:

    Well said free fox -sadly rational thought and discussion of child abuse/paedophilia rarely share the same conversation

  37. pink squirrel says:

    ‘we cant see them but they live amongst us’ – so a bit like bacteria and closet nazis then

  38. Deimos says:

    I am a definite closet nazi, I insist on all closets being neat, tidy and well ….
    Oh now I understand, you mean people who hide their unacceptable fascist views.
    Sorry but my family refer to them as Tories, out and proud fascists we refer to as kippers.

    Many years ago I’m told, there was a traditional left/right split in politics but now its very much a hate/hate thing.
    You either hate those with more or those with less. It’s why I don’t watch the news any more.

  39. M27Holts says:

    I’m not.a closet nazi. I’m named after my paternal grandfather who was burnt to death in his Sherman firefly…about a month from VE day…killed by an 88mm shell from an ss jagdpanther..I do have his collection of ss knives taken from the Waffen ss prisoners who were always executed shortly after capture or killed in the allies push into Germany. Those who indulge in total war deserve no quarter….I am proud of my Grandad who gave his life so I could post this message…

  40. Getitgotitgood says:

    Loved the attitude of Justin Case: “The beginning of the end for me was when our priest waxed on and on about ‘cherubim and seraphim’. I stopped and thought, ‘he actually believes in this sort of thing? He must be completely looney-toons.’ I was about 10 years old.” I was approx 3 years old when I knew that god was not a viable being.

  41. M27Holts, what on earth are you thinking? When I said that an erect penis is the most erotically charged object in the universe, I was speaking of my personal perception of eroticism. No doubt a baboon finds a red ass erotically chaged. But I am not a baboon, and a red ass leaves me, frankly, cold if not repulsed. I’m sure there are other homo sapiens who find high heeled shoes to be erotic objects. They do nothing for me.
    I see no need to reduce the scope of my statement one iota, being perfectly sure that there is no other object in the entire universe that holds the erotic power of an erect penis, for me.
    In truth it is not the only erotically charged body part. I’m inexplicably aroused by rubbing a woman’s nipple with the palm of my hand. It’s a mystery why that should be, but there you go.
    And this whole discussion has become rather academic. Since my prostate cancer treatment, sex and arousal are definitely events of the past. Fond memories. Sigh.

  42. M27Holts says:

    D.H. many apo..logies….just read your post and misinterpreted the scope….I myself have a very good sense of smell…So what I find erotic is usually linked to strong feminine odours…I may have more DNA that is canine than your average sapiens…perhaps I am a lycanthrope….I am very hairy….

  43. HackneyMartian says:

    June 29, 2018 at 10:40 pm

    I note that Mo correctly uses “jinn” as the plural (the singular being a jinni)
    Ah, right, hence the genie of the lamp. Thanks for that tidbit.

  44. Okapi says:

    Apols to all. Wasn’t responding to Darwin Harmless at all. Was responding to Michael and his ‘Note to helpful Brits’. I was simply providing clarity on the term. I’ll shut up now.

  45. M27Holts says:

    Looks like, that tomorrow, Parliament will pass a law making homosexual conversion practices illegal. That’s good. Why parliament can’t pass a law to make genital mutilation for boys also illegal is quite frankly a shocking state of affairs in a 21st century secular democracy…I will be contacting my MP……again!

  46. Laripu says:

    Okapi: You responded like a gentleman. I apologize for assuming you meant Darwin Harmless.

  47. Laripu says:

    M27Holts: Governments don’t pass such laws because
    1. Males who have been circumsized as infants almost never complain about it as adults. (e.g. me). Circumcision of infant males does not interfere with orgasm in any way.
    2. While there are risks, there are also benefits. See this: https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/circumcision/about/pac-20393550
    3. If the age of consent is an issue, then there also ought to be laws against earrings on little girls, even if they want them. Nevertheless, parents do have the right to decide for their children’s welfare, and male circumcision peformed medically falls into that area. Here’s another example: suppose a 16 year old boy wants to delay surgery for appendicitis for three days, until he’s participated in a sporting event; e.g. rugby, ice hockey, or American football. Despite lack of his consent, his parents are justified in forcing him to have that surgery despite their idiot son’s suicidal whining. There are plenty of stupid parents, but the rights of intelligent parents should not be infringed because of the stupid actions of the stupid ones.
    4. Not everything is the business of governments.

  48. M27Holts says:

    Laripu. Did you not see the video that Darwin Harmless supplied the link for? If a boy requires his foreskin removed for clinical reasons then obviously that would be legal. The piercing and body art in minors is an extremely grey area. Since minors are not allowed tattoos but could have their ears pierced before they can legally consent. Frankly Parliament should make it illegal for all body modifications before the age of 18. Simplify and lock up all the perps accordingly. Nail some sense into em, that’s what I say….

  49. Laripu, you may think that males who have been circumcised as infants almost never complain about it. That hasn’t been my experience. As soon as a man learns what he has lost, he is usually horrified and extremely angry.
    In the link you sent, “Circumcision might have various health benefits”. Note that word “might” All of these “benefits” are trivial and open to argument if not completely bogus. Pretty thin reasons to alter a person’s genitals without his consent.
    If you are happy with your mutilated dick, I suspect that you have no idea of normal male anatomy. Do you, for example, even know what a frenulum is, it’s function, or its value in sexual stimulation?
    You can start your education here if you are so inclined.

  50. HelenaHandbasket says:

    Brian Earp has done some good analysis of (among other things) male non-therapuetic circumcision. (e.g here:)
    TL;DR: We used to think it guarded against AIDS but now we have done proper controlled studies, we no longer think this.
    It does interfere with sexual function somewhat and is prone to accidents (e.g., famously David Reimer–“The boy that was raised as a girl”, lost his penis to a botched circumcision)
    In light of that it seems that the onus is on the proponents of removing healthy tissue from children’s genitalia to make their case.

  51. M27Holts says:

    Those such as Laripu are too gullible to realise that practices invented by bronze age savages have no place in a 21st century civilised secular democracy. Trying to tell people that it’s perfectly ok to hack important bits of anatomy off infants is abhorrent. It’s like the Modern French trying to justify the once popular custom of cat burning…

  52. FreeFox says:

    On general principle I’m with DH in regards to circumcision (and, apparently, other things), however:
    Simplify and lock up all the perps accordingly. Nail some sense into em, that’s what I say….
    I’m not.a closet nazi.
    Are you quite sure about that, M27Holts?

  53. M27Holts says:

    So you’re a Nazi if you want law breakers incarcerated? The Monty python quote that followed it clearly flew straight over your head freefox…it was very much said with tongue in cheek….people who wish to hack bits of children for non clinical reasons should get 12 months porridge….can’t see that being a problem. You would certainly see jail time if you were caught burning cats alive….

  54. JoJo says:

    Thank you, Author, for reminding me that I have been reading this Cartoon (religiously, obviously) every Wednesday for 11 years now. That went quick..

  55. HelenaHandbasket says:

    Laripu: The earrings example isn’t the same as circumcision becasue it’s not removal of healthy tissue (it’s arguably tasteless). The apendicitis example isn’t the same as circumcision because, again, it’s not the removal of healthy tissue.
    In general I can’t think of an argument for removing heralthy tissue from minors that doesn’t boil down to “we’ve always done it this way”, a frequent proxy for “Let’s not admit to ourselves that we’ve been doing bloody stupid things for millennia, and when asked why, we’ve muttered ‘culture'”.

  56. HelenaHandbasket says:

    Theres quite a good account of Kellogg (he of the flaky corn and even flakier opinions) and his views on preventing masturbation through performing circumcisions here:
    “The operation should be performed by a surgeon without administering an anaesthetic, as the brief pain attending the operation will have a salutary effect upon the mind, especially if it be connected with the idea of punishment, as it may well be in some cases. The soreness which continues for several weeks interrupts the practice, and if it had not previously become too firmly fixed, it may be forgotten and not resumed.”


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