James Blunt Isn’t Rhyming Slang


James Blunt

                 James Blunt: Becoming a master in expertly judged putdowns of people who tangle with him


Even for an ex-army posh bloke with a voice that sometimes sounds like someone scraping a blackboard with their finger nails, James Blunt gets a lot of grief.

He hits the wrong note for so many people – including other musicians, such as Chicane’s Nick Bracegirdle, who recently tweeted: “Umm, not wanting to cause offence but isn’t James Blunt a bit of a knob ?  

The BBC’s Radio 1 Chart Show host Jameela Jamil introduced his current single, Bonfire Heart, with the observation: “He’s the most hated man in pop.”

For many pop stars, there would be no coming back from that kind of comment. But the high-pitched posh ex army officer is fighting back. Blunt can’t do much about having been born ‘James Hillier Blount’, or having a falsetto voice, but he does have wit – and Twitter – on his side.

Over the past few weeks, he’s been executing expertly judged putdowns of people who tangle with him. People such as @alif_novaldi, who felt the need to tweet: “Fuck you, James Blunt.” Blunt was straight back at him with the wonderfully withering:

“I’m sorry, but you’ll have to get to the back of the queue” 

Then there was a query from @laurenlyall about why he sings like “his willy is being stood on”. Blunt parried with the classic response:

“Damn things always getting caught under my feet”

When @blackeyelined sneered: “Who’s the bigger twat, Robin Thicke or James Blunt”, Blunt was straight to the point:

“Me Me! Pick Me!”

The “willy” jape was retweeted 1,600 times, and from that point, his following steadily began to increase. In the past week, he has gained nearly 20,000 followers (he’s at around 220.000), and while part of the increase is probably due to his having a new album out, there must be many who have simply decided that Blunt is actually ok.

Whether his tweets are clever image-remodelling or just off-the-cuff banter, he’s winning people over in a way that would have seemed impossible until recently. Buzzfeed has even listed 17 Reasons You Should Be Following James Blunt on Twitter (which can be condensed into one line: because he’s funny).

Blunt may owe his mix of confidence and self-deprecation to his privileged upbringing, but the point is that nobody is kicking him for it any more. When given freedom to babble on Twitter, celebrities often reveal themselves to be idiots; certainly, few use it as deftly as Blunt. He could be the first pop star who’s rehabilitated his image in 140 characters.

Whilst I am going on about him I suppose for those of you have never heard him sing anything, then take a listen below to his latest single.


Classical (Halloween) Music

Dear Reader,

You do not need diablog to tell you it is Halloween. The retail stores have been full of merchandise for weeks.

But we can provide you with some classical music for the occasion:



Carmina Burana was composed by Carl Orff in 1935/36, so it isn’t that old.

I think it is a great piece to play at full blast, when someone is at your door for trick or treat. And should you ever have the chance to see it life, please go. It is one of the most impressive performances. The conductor has to lead some 300 to 400 people.

Stay tuned,

Engine Room

PS: Above is only a part, the whole can be watched for example here.

More facts for Glynsky’s climate

Dear Reader,

Diablog is about the good things in life. And controversy.

An excellent example was given by our dear commentator Phil here, responding to the climate change skeptic Glynsky.

Following are a few more facts.

The Greenhouse effect isn’t new or just fashionable. It was (quote) “argued for by Joseph Fourier in 1824. The argument and the evidence was further strengthened by Claude Pouillet in 1827 and 1838, and reasoned from experimental observations by John Tyndall in 1859, and more fully quantified by Svante Arrhenius in 1896. In 1917 Alexander Graham Bell wrote “[The unchecked burning of fossil fuels] would have a sort of greenhouse effect”, and “The net result is the greenhouse becomes a sort of hot-house.” Bell went on to also advocate for the use of alternate energy sources, such as solar energy.”

Half a degree more or less within a time frame of 15 years is irrelevant, as Phil showed nicely. But 90% of the additional warmth is stored in the oceans. And the oceans get warmer continuously. Check the shrinking polar ice caps, if in doubt.

What is questionable or in doubt then? How drastic the consequences of man-made addition to the climate change will be.

How much more will the sea level rise? Will places like NYC, Tokyo and Mumbai be under water? Where would the hundreds of millions of people, living on a coast today, migrate to?

What other consequences will we see and how drastic? More droughts, storms, heat waves, crop shortfalls? In 2010 the heat wave forced Russia to stop export of wheat. We do not need more of that, do we?

For more on the issue, I recommend the Wikipedia page Global warming controversy, and, of course, the corresponding “talk” page at Wikipedia, where the controversy over the controversy is taking place.

Stay tuned,

Engine Room

the eagle has landed 1…

Dear diablog,

I make no apologies for publishing this on the 69th anniversary of this document – it is the day Sasha received it!

I suppose there is a case for having left it til the 70th anniversary, but knowing me I could have easily lost it by then!

Much of this post is guess work (as this is one that Smiles has not had translated!) but we seem to have added reason for the admiration of Sasha and his wartime exploits.

The Order of the White Eagle is described here, and it would appear that it also existed in Poland though I think that due to his work in former Yugoslavia it would be the Serb one.

It would, I guess, be linked to the (now stolen) watch shown here.

I apologise for the large chopped off sections, my scanner can’t cope!!


The document is very imposing…

Continue reading “the eagle has landed 1…”

Idiot of the Day

Dear Reader,

It is time to award another one of diablog’s Idiot of the Day medals.

The proud recipient today is the British Prime Minister David Cameron for threatening the British press, The Guardian in particular, with censorship over their reporting about the NSA and GCHQ spying. You can read it here for example.

Cameron’s mumbling is stupid in itself. But there is more:

1) Shouldn’t Idiot of the Day Cameron protect his citizens from being spied upon?

2) Idiot of the Day Cameron likes free press, but only as long as it is not writing about his fubar?

3) Idiot of the Day Cameron still cannot grasp, that the leaks are available globally?

4) Idiot of the Day Cameron has yet to learn about the Streisand effect?

Among his peers, I have a hard time finding someone as stupid as David Cameron. Obama at least keeps his mouth shut. Which isn’t much of an accomplishment, but at least not as stupid as Cameron. He is turning the Brits into a laughing stock. Churchill and Disraeli must be rotating in their graves today.

Stay amused,

Engine Room

PS: And should you, Brits, have a problem finding the leaks ever, there is always Cryptome.org.