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Saturday, 14 October 2006

Joyce of Colour (Slight Return)

As it's Mollster's birthday, I had no option but to dredge this hoary old chestnut out of the vaults. Apologies to those of you who've already seen it - I'm sure it'll be every bit as unfunny as it was the first time around....

Woah Swipesters,

Anyone who's ever had the great privilege to have passed through the corridors at Swipe Towers will have noticed two things. Firstly, the heads down, no-nonsense, nose to the grindstone work ethic of our fabulous staff. Secondly, the faint aroma of baby lotion and Drambuie emanating from the head honcho's lair. (There may well be the odd bout of animal-like grunting and an unnerving wrenching noise too, but I can't say too much about that in case Rowan is actually reading this....) But there's a third factor that's intrinsic to the bustling and hustling environs we've created over the years and one that I think has a lot to do with the high morale we always seem to exhibit, no matter how many rejection slips we get from the Grauniad Ulnitimed and a variety of other smutty jizz mags to which we are constantly sending submissions only to have the MSs come back soiled, dog-eared and carrying a feint aroma of...(well, you can probably guess the rest...) I'm referring of course to the jukebox here at S.T. When we're not grooving down to some vintage Cilla Black or spinning the latest offering from that well tuned cello of a vocalist Roger Whittaker, we're never happier than putting on one of my very own soul compos in order to try to forget the latest rejection (and the rather unpleasant pong...)

It was just such a tape that was drifting around the office the other day, giving out the sweet and tender love vibes of one of our favourite all-time artists, Mr. Curtis Mayfield. As I emerged from the inner sanctum, licking the last droplet of resinated Dram. from a crafty fingertip, I heard the following words breathed out exhorting us all in that mellow whisper of his to remember that, beneath it all, we are all pretty much the same:

If you could have your choice of colours
Which one would you choose my brothers?
If there was no day or night,
Which would you prefer to be right?

And then it clicked! Why not update Curtis' vision for the noughties? Sure enough, we all know it doesn't matter anymore if you're black or white. The Racial Descrimination Act, Ainsley Harriott and New Labour between them have banished racial prejudice from the face of the nation to the extent that many are probably asking what relevence the songs of Curtis Mayfield and the Impressions could possibly have for a contemporary audience. But, alas, the same is not true for all areas of our society. There are still those who are despised and degraded for no other reason than that they are experimental Irish writers who published enormously lengthy tomes consisting of what many regard to be, at best, pretentious tossdrips and at worst meaningless gibberish barely deserving of the term 'literature'. But not for long if we here at Swipe Towers have anything to do with it. In collaboration with our friends at The BBC, each week, we will be asking an attractive high profile news journalist to make an appeal to all our readers to forget their prejudices and see that behind the ceaseless references to the Ancient Classics, made-up words and inscrutable wordplay there is a human being, not too unlike any other.

So, this week we are proud to introduce BBC Breakfast News Presenter Mishal Husain with this appeal:


I'm Mishal Husain. At the BBC, we like to think that all people, no matter how pretentious or Irish they are, have something to contribute. Why else would we have employed Donal McIntyre or Germaine Greer otherwise? And as for Bill Turnbull... So, when I was asked to contribute to this appeal I had no hesitation but to say my Joyce of colour is...

...sort of electric blue, wouldn't you say?

Thank you,

Mishal Husain

So, Sisters, brothers, let's see behind the dense prose and the elitism and try to love one another, OK??

Love on y'ALL!


Happy Birthday Mollster!! Yay!!

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  1. Very interesting. I've never thought of Joyce as a person of colour. Sort of pastey literary grey was my impression.

  2. Joyce is simply a myriad of spectrumrainbows of course! Cheers! Hiccup!

  3. Pissed poesy

    I wonce had a voyce,
    His name was James Joyce,
    He gave me Dear Dirty Dublin,
    And a dip in the Liffey.

    I swore and panted up the top of the tower,
    A Martello one, it was,
    The icy depths of our Oirish Sea,
    With the bobbing bare buttocks of old men,
    Dipping and slipping below.

    Up to Howth Head I went,
    Spat seeds across the air,
    Just like NoraMolly does.
    I sat and saw a porpoise dance,
    And then I let him free.

    I tapped upon Eccles Street door,
    And peeped my eyes within,
    I saw an empty place there now,
    Where once was Joyce's kin.

  4. bloody harpee, you let me go and I hadn't had me tea yet. You promised me boiled sprats and a bitta tuna. Bloody wimmin.

    Those seeds have grown into a whole forest now. You can't see the ice-cream parlour at all now. And you left your cucumber sandwich up there. You'd think it was high Dunsinane the amount of quivering trees!

  5. Joyce as colour - Dubliners (on of my all-time favourite books) was a smoky grey blue for me. You could do a synaesthetic appraisal of Joyces work - it would be so interesting - to those who were interested in both Joyce and synaesthesia I suppose. Personally I am fascinated by both. I wrote my thesis on the use of colour as a theme in Douglas Sirk's films. I found it the other day - can't believe I actually wrote it mainly because I can't understand what the bloody hell I was going on about. You know - one sentence, nine line whole paragraphs to explain one thing. Funny.

  6. Most of this discussion is so far over my head I am at a loss. Joyce is grey for me though, definately grey.

  7. I'm pretty sure Joyce is pale yellow on account of that being the colour of the copy of Dubliners i bought when i was 17. I think.