Monday, June 16, 2008

The Unbearable Triteness of Clam.

When dealing with a truly awful writer like Clam, it’s difficult to know where to start.

Should you begin with the self-indulgent twittering with which she starts all her “reviews”, the mixed metaphors, the sloppy sentence construction, the general air of smug tweeness which hangs over everything she writes or the general impression the entire thing was written by the Cliché-o-matic 3000.

Happily, Clam’s latest supplies all of these elements in one handy review.

True to form, Clam spends the first two pars blathering on about a friend’s birthday party at The Vic bar before lurching into the review proper.

Prizes will be offered to any reader who can work out what the blue hell she’s trying to say in this little example;

Such moments are pretty much par for the course at this friendly Abbotsford institution, whose street-front windows don't necessarily convey the warmth of the interior (from somewhere cosy to hide on a wintry night to the tones of the lighting and the cheerfulness of the staff).

How do “windows convey warmth” let alone the “cheerfulness of the staff”? There's a meaning trying to escape there, like a puppy from under a blanket, but I'm jiggered if I can make it out.

Or this;

Decked out with exposed beams and aged woods and metals, the mood isn't quite barnlike but it's not intensely "rustic" like some of its peers tend to be.

Or this;

The further back in the venue you move, the more relaxed you are - one imagines - expected to become.

You either become more relaxed or you don’t Clam and the simpering “one imagines” sets one’s teeth on edge.

Even a simple sentence like “Wines are available by the glass and a decent collection of beers are also represented” fails to convey anything useful. What wines? How much? What beers” Bottled or on tap?

At the end, the only thing we manage to get from a review of more than 400 words is;
1. It’s a bar,
2. Clam liked it and
3. They’ll pop out and get some coconut milk if required.

Gosh, thanks.


The Red Setter said...

I have never been able to stand Clem Bastow. Even her name sounds like made-up syllables.

Boogeyman said...

And happily, if you're in need of a quick emetic, you can also find her typings over at ozzie Defamer.

And while it may not be fashionable to say so, I admire a bar that is unconcerned with "cool" and has its Malibu and Baileys on prominent display.

While it may not be fashionable to say so, I admire a woman that can admire a bar with such prominently displayed Malibus, and say so even when it is (apparently) unfashionable to say so.

Oh, and what is it about kids these days, that anything combining two garish colours like pink and green is described as 'psychedelic'? LSD - that's psychedelic, but not overly pink OR green.

Perseus said...

How dare you pick on Clem. She has boobs!

I'm going to start a website and 'out' you Ramon, and encourage people to send emails to your employers and terrorise your home and family.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

I'm more than happy to be outed but if you threaten my cat, there will be consequences.

Loose Shunter said...

This article from the Sunday Age explains a lot about the turgid writing style - the 'writer' in question is undead!

Boogeyman said...

Well, this also explains Desci's blog post today.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

A zombie march, so that's wat it was!

I thought it was The Green's AGM.

Perseus said...

"...if you threaten my cat, there will be consequences."

Living in a country area prone to bushfires, we all have to have 'evacuation plans'. When I was making a list of what needed to be saved in an emergency, I wrote:

Stupid Cat

I couldn't think of anything else.

Perseus said...

I thought it was The Green's AGM.


Ramon Insertnamehere said...

I wouldn't worry too much, Perseus.

The slightest hint of danger, I guarantee the cat will be in the front seat of your car, honking the horn and shouting "come on shithead, let's go".

Sweatergirl said...

Dude, she's not just a bar reviewer, she's a WRITER. You obviously don't know talent when you see it. Do you think Tolstoy or Dostoyevsky were appreciated in their day?

Future generations will revere Ms Blastow's Ubearable Tritness of being.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

From The St Petersburg Times 2 March 1875.

From our bar reviewer, Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky.

"A heavy air of suffering and guilt hangs over St Patersburg's latest bar The Tourmented Soul.

"Fortunately, vodka is plentiful for us mortals, to blot out the horror of our existence.

"Bar snacks and friendly staff also makes this fab new place worth a visit."

Boogeyman said...

Meanwhile, over at http://www.опорочьте, Dostoyevsky's mate Tolstoy pens the latest installment of Anna Karenina - spoiled socialite or hapless bogan?

"Once again Anna gets photographed knickerless getting out of her carriage at the ball. A pretty hard feat when you consider that even in these modern times, one has to stay still for 5 minutes while a photo is taken. But Anna the celebrity meltdown delivers the goods to her proletariat fans."

Loose Shunter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Loose Shunter said...

And over at, bar reviewer Winston Smith checks out 'The Mess' bar/cafeteria at the Ministry of Truth:

"There is a definite communal dining ambience at 'The Mess', with the mess trays and cafeteria line a feature. The big, flourescently lit open area in the basement of the Ministry is open 24 hours and you can always drop in for a meal off the unchanging menu (plate of stew, bread, cheese, Victory coffee and saccharine). The highlight is the bar, a hole in the wall really, which serves Victory gin for 10 cents a large nip.
If you're coming off duty or looking for a mid-shift meal, this is the only place to be".

Perseus said...

And over at , the author writes:

"At last, I can now reveal who this socialist bully Orwell is. He is Eric Blair, a former policeman, and current staffer at the BBC. He lives at XX XXXXX XX, XXXXX. George is sweating bullets. The jig is up."

Loose Shunter said...

Over at Where every week is Hate Week.

miss-lithi said...

So this is where some of the former TSSH lot scampered off to? Good to see.

Hey all.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...


Long time no see, me old china*.

How's life in seppo-land?

*Rhyming slang; China plate = mate.

miss-lithi said...


I'd been rather busy but now I'm at a lull and was missing you guys. :)

So how many of the old TSSHers call this home now?

By the way, I actually knew what you meant when you called me china. Shocking, eh?

shitbmxrider said...

because we have nowhere else to go?

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Lithi, everybody's favourite crazy goth chick, Desci, pops in here from time to time as well

miss-lithi said...

INH, sweet.

You'll see me from time to time. More lurking than posting but I just had to pop in. :)

Boogeyman said...

Good to see you back, Lithi.

As our US correspondent, I'd like to know your tips for the 2008 Presidential election.

Ron Paul - hot or not?

Desci said...

Lithi! Good to see you back here (and ta for the comment on MHF) The internet shat itself without you.

And Boogey: only the internet knows Ron Paul.

miss-lithi said...

Aw, thanks guys.

And Boogey, Ron Paul: Uh, nah.

Thank GAWD we do not have a swimsuit competition as a requirement to the Prezship. There would not be enough sharp objects for me to scourge my eyeballs with.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

RuPaul is running for US President?