View previous topic | View next topic

Fry the jailbird

Page 1 of 1

gerontius grumpus
107100.  Wed Oct 25, 2006 7:04 pm Reply with quote

Is there an interesting story about SF being in prison or shouldn't I ask?

107103.  Wed Oct 25, 2006 7:08 pm Reply with quote

I know he went to prison for six months when he was (I think) 17 for credit card fraud...don't know much else.

107172.  Thu Oct 26, 2006 3:56 am Reply with quote

Read his autobiographical book Moab Is My Washpot for the juicy details of that and many other teen larks.

107394.  Thu Oct 26, 2006 1:37 pm Reply with quote

Yeah, but I dunno how "interesting" it is, it's a crime, and he did his time. End of, surely?

107416.  Thu Oct 26, 2006 2:05 pm Reply with quote

According to the documentary he did recently, he spent all the money on the credit cards in the most expensive bars and hotels in London drinking cocktails.

And I can thoroughly recommend "Moab is my Washpot". I loved the bit where Stephen Fry lists the things you should never apologise for, some examples being:

To swear
To fart
To pick one's nose


107464.  Thu Oct 26, 2006 3:43 pm Reply with quote

I'm intrigued now, what does the bizzare title Moab Is My Washpot mean?

107473.  Thu Oct 26, 2006 3:55 pm Reply with quote

It's a quote from Psalm 60, verse 8:
Moab is my washpot: over Edom will I cast out my shoe.

So that's cleared that up. :-D

107479.  Thu Oct 26, 2006 4:20 pm Reply with quote

Moab and Edom weren't people. They were lands which vied with the Israelites for control of Palestine. King David defeated Moab and Edom, allowing him to control the lands to the east of the Dead Sea.

The phrase "Moab is my washpot and I will cast my shoe over Edom" shows that these lands and their people were now held in contempt by the Israelites. A couple of thousand years later, when the Americans "liberated" Iraq people hit statues of Saddam with their shoes as this is regarded as highly insulting.

When washing their feet, Arabs, Israelis etc use running water and the washpot is only used to catch the dirty water. So, a washpot is a low, dirty and defiled thing.

I would guess then that Mr. Fry was comparing himself to something low and worthless. See "bi-polar disorder".

107586.  Fri Oct 27, 2006 3:32 am Reply with quote

In an interview about the book I read somewhere, he mentioned that he chose the title "because he delighted in the apparent nonsense of the words" or something similar.

107656.  Fri Oct 27, 2006 6:06 am Reply with quote

Oh dear. Klaxons for Mr. Fry then* as the words are not nonsense.

*And oodles of points for me.

107660.  Fri Oct 27, 2006 6:14 am Reply with quote

He did say "apparent nonsense"

Put your klaxon away :)

107672.  Fri Oct 27, 2006 6:27 am Reply with quote

Ah, but anything may be described as "apparent nonsense" if you don't know what it means or can't be bothered to find out. I will call my book "I'm just popping down the shops for a packet of fags and a can of special brew". Since I don't know what shops, packets, fags, cans or special brew are, I am delighted by the apparent nonsense of this phrase.

Also, I must say that if people are going to use the language, then they ought to find out what the words mean. If someone uses a phrase from the Bible or any other source as a book title without finding out what it means, how are they any different to people who go into tattoo parlours and later discover that they have the Japanese symbol for "I am a sheep shagger" on their arm?

My extra large klaxon is being dusted down.

107710.  Fri Oct 27, 2006 7:38 am Reply with quote

I should think that the vast majority of people have never heard of the words 'Edom', 'Moab' and 'Washpot' before, however, and the contextual phrase is unusual, which is why he chose it. That's not the case in your example, so it's hardly a good alternative.

Of course he knew where it was from, and what it meant, but he was (probably rightly) guessing that not many other people would, and would also delight in its Nashian absurdity.

Words don't necessarily mean what they 'mean'. Hence poetry.

107727.  Fri Oct 27, 2006 8:06 am Reply with quote

Gray wrote:

Words don't necessarily mean what they 'mean'. Hence poetry.

"When I use a word it means just what I choose it to mean, neither more nor less." Humpty Dumpty.

(think deserves place in QI Quotations. Will address)

gerontius grumpus
108023.  Fri Oct 27, 2006 6:34 pm Reply with quote

Gray wrote:
It's a quote from Psalm 60, verse 8:
Moab is my washpot: over Edom will I cast out my shoe.

So that's cleared that up. :-D

It's a sign it's a sign.


Page 1 of 1

All times are GMT - 5 Hours

Display posts from previous:   

Search Search Forums

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group