Wednesday: Hili dialogue

by Grania

Good morning!

It’s the day after the socially acceptable display of cultural appropriation by the planet’s richest and most vacuous twits. I have no idea why the usual woke suspects aren’t announcing their horror and disgust at this year’s  wholesale appropriation of a religion imagery and its major characters (can you imagine the response if Lana Del Rey and Jared Leto had turned up as Muhammad and Aisha rather than Mary and Jesus). I assume that people assume that Catholicism is a white religion and therefore fair game. In the facts-based universe however, Catholicism has far more adherents in South America, Africa and Asia than the US and Europe combined. Anyway, apparently the pope doesn’t care and God knows* that the whole rotten institution doesn’t deserve a shred of respect. Still, try this as a social test over the next few days: those expressing disapproval over this stunt will be labelled entitled and intolerant by the very same people who last week were upset at a schoolgirl for wearing a qipao.

Madonna and Child

Pope Joan II


It’s Billy Joel’s birthday today (1949) which gives us a reason to listen to a couple of songs. He’s had a prolific career and it’s impossible to choose just two that would be representative of his body of work.


On Twitter this morning:

Lenin in the marketplace

Trigger warning: Allergies!

And apparently it’s Eurovision time once again, and you guys outside Europe can watch too.
May God have mercy on your souls.

Also, Ireland is through to the finals.

Finally, our furry friends in Poland are discussing the weather, as one does.

Cyrus: Is it global or local warming?
Hili: It depends on what data you are looking at.
In Polish:
Cyrus: Czy to jest ocieplenie globalne, czy lokalne?
Hili: To zależy od tego na jakie dane patrzysz.


* It’s an expression.


  1. David Harper
    Posted May 9, 2018 at 6:55 am | Permalink

    Apropos the backhoe video: Biologically speaking, surely it’s less a pollen bomb and more of a treegasm?

  2. Monika
    Posted May 9, 2018 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    Oi! No dissing da Eurovision!!!!!! Wind machines, pyros, quick change dresses and more are to be seen on stage. Some great musicians, some er… not so great… all in all it’s fun to watch. (And Germany 0 points again?!?)

    Even Australia sends a participant: Good morning Australia, good evening Europe!

    • Frank Bath
      Posted May 9, 2018 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

      The Eurovision Song Contest long turned political. The UK will again achieve ‘nul points’ unless the EU’s discontented Visigrad countries come to our aid. 🙂

      • Monika
        Posted May 9, 2018 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

        This year’s UK song isn’t so bad and will get some points, IMHO. Our German song on the other hand, well, we’ll see.

        Good thing both our countries do not need to go through qualifications.

  3. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted May 9, 2018 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    ‘Piano Man’ is probably Billy Joel’s best-known song. Certainly my favourite.

    This version linked above is the ‘full’ version, at 5 minutes plus. For radio play ‘they’ cut it to three minutes, as reflected in Billy’s cynical The Entertainer –
    “It was a beautiful song, / but it ran too long / If you’re gonna have a hit, you gotta make it fit / So they cut it down to 3:05.”


    • Posted May 9, 2018 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

      One of my favourite pieces too.

      I even do a variation suitable for me (well, say it, because I can’t sing): “prove us a theorem, you’re the idea-man!”

      • Liz
        Posted May 9, 2018 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

        I hope this pastes as just the link:

        Entropic Time (Backwards Billy Joel Parody) | A Capella Science

    • Ross, CS (dorcheat)
      Posted May 9, 2018 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

      Uff, totally forgot about the cheesy “Piano Man” video.

      Dr. Coyne and all readers, do yourself a favor and copy and paste the following in the Youtube search box and enjoy:

      Billy Joel on Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert (1974)

      I would rather post the Youtube URL directly and embed the video, but this is against the rulez. With that said, you do remember Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert during late Saturday nights as well as the Midnight Special on late Friday nights?

  4. pierluigi Ballabeni
    Posted May 9, 2018 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    Who the hell would want to watch the Eurovision song context if not forced by threat of serious violence? 🙂
    Every year I am surprised that this thing still exists.

    • Colin
      Posted May 9, 2018 at 7:42 am | Permalink

      For the anthropological fascination?

    • Posted May 9, 2018 at 7:44 am | Permalink

      Invite your mates round, have a few beers and perhaps a barbecue then all watch together making mildly racist and allegedly witty comments about everybody’s country except your own, get outraged by the former soviet states’ block voting and make jokes about Australia’s geographical separation from the rest of Europe. What’s not to love?

      • Monika
        Posted May 9, 2018 at 8:44 am | Permalink

        Yep, that’s how to do it! Talking shit about the participants is part of the fun. And then hating on all the counties who don’t give points to your own!

        • Posted May 9, 2018 at 10:18 am | Permalink

          While breathing a relief you didn’t win so don’t have to host it next year…

          • Monika
            Posted May 9, 2018 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

            True! I always wonder what will happen if Australia wins.

  5. freiner
    Posted May 9, 2018 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    I have to admit that my favorite bit of Billy Joel is Phil Woods’ solo on “Just the Way You Are.”

  6. Mike
    Posted May 9, 2018 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    Billy Joel and Bruce Springsteen ,two of the best Singer / Songwriters alive today , great stuff.

    • Mike
      Posted May 9, 2018 at 8:03 am | Permalink

      How could I forget Neil Diamond.

    • Jenny Haniver
      Posted May 9, 2018 at 10:52 am | Permalink

      Don’t forget Barry Manilow.

  7. Hempenstein
    Posted May 9, 2018 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    Factoid that I ran across at least yrs ago – there are more Lutherans in India (at .03% of the population) than in Sweden.

    • Hempenstein
      Posted May 9, 2018 at 9:10 am | Permalink

      40yrs ago

    • Posted May 9, 2018 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

      As the song goes, “1 billion is big”.

  8. Posted May 9, 2018 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    In 1990 I was backpacking around Europe, and Billy Joel was touring. My trip to Munich happened to coincide with his tour, so I managed to grab a ticket and went to catch the concert. As it happened, it was also his birthday, and suddenly in the middle of the show, a marching band (presumably organized by Christie Brinkley) marched onto stage. It started playing ‘Happy Birthday’, and so we all joined in.

  9. marcusrugger
    Posted May 9, 2018 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    The backhoe is the tree’s way of spreading its pollen.

    • freiner
      Posted May 9, 2018 at 10:29 am | Permalink

      That pollen blast is amazing! And so simple! Here I’ve been using dynamite all along.

  10. Posted May 9, 2018 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    Eurovision has always been terrible but at least when Terry Wogan presented it for the BBC they got the balance right between horrid fascination and ironic detachment.

  11. Craw
    Posted May 9, 2018 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    And this appropriation is explicitly disrespectful too, unlike the dress, or the sushi, or the…

  12. Liz
    Posted May 9, 2018 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    Billy Joel is playing on June 23rd in Dublin. I’ve known for a while but decided not to. I would probably never want to leave. I’ve seen him only twice in concert.

  13. David Coxill
    Posted May 9, 2018 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    Talking of Ireland and Eurocrap,anyone remember the “Father Ted ” episode “A Song For Europe”?

    The scene where Ted and Dougal do their own “Trogg’s Tape ” is a riot.

  14. Ken Kukec
    Posted May 9, 2018 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    Gonna be awkward next trip to the confessional when I have to seek absolution for having impure thoughts triggered by a pope outfit.

  15. Posted May 9, 2018 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

    Hmm… I’ve heard from the Twittersphere that the Vatican sponsored this event, which was pointed out when someone said “My religion is not your goddamn prom dress”.

  16. imil42
    Posted May 11, 2018 at 2:23 am | Permalink

    A word play is lost in the translation of the Lenin photo.
    “Ленин следит за базаром” means literally “Lenin watches over the marketplace”, but in Russian slang (probably with prison origins) “следить за базаром” means “to be careful with one’s words”. The expression is often used as a warning or threat: “следи за базаром!” = “stop blabbing!”

%d bloggers like this: