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  1. #1
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Flyting and Bananatrombones

    Bananatrombones is in the great Scottish tradition of Flyting.

    Flyting is in the Scottish tradition of competitive insults. The only comparison is in Shakespeare's inimitable insults which we see in the thread, "Thou cockered clapper-clawed bugbear!", in the Fluff Zone.

    At first Flying can be a mild shock, but then we are seduced by the wit and brio of the insults. And Flyting becomes a Scottish art form all of its own.

    Of course Flyting is a form of leg pulling and it is only polite never to let on you are pulling someone's leg. And the only polite response is to pull the other's leg back.

    So when Bananatrombones is Flyting, he is taking flight. And as we all know, it was the Scots who invented flight. And all we can do is fly with him.

    We can read about Flyting by clicking on -

    Flyting - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

  2. #2
    Senior Member matmos's Avatar
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    This is indeed a Great British tradition - and one you will not be surprised to hear is very much alive to this day. In fact, it is so ubiquitous that it is hardly worth passing comment.

    Having known many of your countrymen, as well as your clever New Zealand cousins, we can say for sure that we are singing from the same hymnsheet when we are at our finest: insulting each other. This tradition is practiced in that very famous institution, The Pub. Outsiders may regard this as frivolous, but it is central to the way that the Old Merry defuses its miriad of social tensions.

    Moreover, when a fellow "down the boozer" stops insulting another regular, it is usually considered a sign that something is wrong between the two; diplomacy will be enacted and after a round or two, the insults will flow once more - and all is well.

    Indeed the hallmark of any lively debate between an Ozzy and a Pom is the finely crafted insult. For if we were to stop insulting each other, it would surely require shuttle diplomacy and several stiff drinks?

    But, alas, my powers of relay are limited. Who better to present a critique about the heirs to "flyting" than Kate Fox.

    All quotes are from: http://www.sirc.org/publik/passport.pdf or html: SIRC - Passport to the Pub

    If a customer appears to be rude or sarcastic to the bar staff –making remarks such as "Anytime this year will do"” while waiting to be served, or “"Look at the state of these ashtrays, you slob!"” –- and receives similarly insulting comments in return, without any sign of real anger, you can safely conclude that he or she is a regular. This ritual exchange of mock insults and backchat is common practice between bar staff, publicans and regulars in many pubs, and is again a means of expressing intimacy.

    The etiquette of pub-arguments reflects the principles enshrined in the unwritten ‘constitution’ governing all social interaction in the pub: theconstitution prescribes equality, reciprocity, the pursuit of intimacy and a tacit non-aggression pact. Any student of human relations will recognise these principles as the essential foundation of all social bonding, and social bonding is what pub-arguments are all about.

    The pub-argument is an enjoyable game –- no strong views or deeply held convictions are necessary to engage in a lively dispute. Pub regulars will often start an argument about anything, just for the fun of it.

    A bored regular will often deliberately spark off an argument by making an outrageous or extreme statement, and then sit back and wait for the inevitable cries of “Rubbish!” or something less polite. The initiator will then hotly defend his assertion (which he secretly knows to be indefensible), and counter-attack by accusing his opponents of stupidity, ignorance or worse. The exchange may continue in this fashion for some time, although the attacks and counter-attacks will often drift away from the original issue, moving on to other contentious subjects and eventually focusing almost entirely on the personal qualities of the participants.

    Jokes, puns, teasing, wit, banter and backchat are all essential ingredients of pub-talk. In fact, you will notice that most pub-talk has an undercurrent of humour, never far below the surface.

    Pub humour can sometimes be bold and bawdy, but the stereotype of loud, beer-bellied males exchanging dirty jokes is inaccurate and unfair. Most pub humour is quite subtle – occasionally to the point of obscurity –and some participants have a command of irony that would impress Jane Austen.
    So we can see that at the core of things, all what appears to be the case often is not the case to the untrained eye.

    There are therepeutic elements involved, of course. And many insults involve free association.

    Free-association

    Psychoanalysts often use a technique called free-association, which involves asking patients to say whatever comes into their mind in association with a particular word or phrase. Listen carefully, and you will realise that most pub-talk is also a form of free-association – which may help to explain its socially therapeutic effects. In the pub, the naturally reserved and cautious natives shed their inhibitions, and give voice to whatever passing thought happens to occur to them. You will notice that pub-conversations rarely progress in any kind of logical manner; they do not stick to the point, nor do they reach a conclusion.

    Pub-talk moves in a mysterious way – mostly in apparently random sideways leaps. A remark about the weather triggers a prediction as to which horse will win the big race at Cheltenham, which triggers an argument about the merits of the National Lottery, which leads to a discussion of the latest political scandal, which provokes some banter about the sexual prowess of one of the regulars involved in the discussion, which is interrupted by another regular demanding assistance with a crossword clue, one element of which leads to a comment about a recent fatal traffic accident in the neighbourhood, which somehow turns into a discussion about the barman'’s new haircut and so on. There is a vague logic in some of the connections, but most changes of subject are triggered by participants ‘free-associating’ with a random word or phrase.
    And finally:

    Advice: Remember that native pubgoers are masters of irony, and particularly adept at maintaining a straight face while joking and teasing. Do not assume that they mean what they say, or take their words too literally. An apparently serious criticism or compliment about, say, your appearance, personal habits or national character, may well be intended as a joke. Never forget the First Commandment of Pub Law “Thou shalt not take things too seriously”.
    Of course, things often go horribly wrong and a long-running feud may end up being sorted out in the pub car park, thus giving "the regulars" an amusing spectacle of a couple of drunks rolling about the gravel.

    But of course here on the interwebs there is no "virtual pub car park", where matters can get out of hand.

    So when I say to you that you are hidiously overweight and need to be thrown in a duckpond, no further explanation is necessary. You will merely emerge, covered in frogspawn and tell me that you've just had a sip of spring water.

  3. #3
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    I am a little disappointed that this thread has been relegated to the Graveyard. For my purpose was to enhance cultural understanding.

    This is important on this site as the audience is global, and we need to start understanding our cultural differences.

    Also cultural understanding is a corrective to focusing on individual personality that seems almost a fetish here.

    It seems to me that the thread on Flyting and its exponent Bananatrombones deserves to be returned to Other Psychology Topics.

  4. #4
    Senior Member matmos's Avatar
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    Indeed, Victor. But the site administrators are in the main American.

    They may have given us John Wayne, but they also gave us Shirley Temple.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by bananatrombones View Post
    Indeed, Victor. But the site administrators are in the main American.

    They may have given us John Wayne, but they also gave us Shirley Temple.
    The main reason I like this site is because it is well run and tolerant. And indeed it is well run and tolerantly by volunteers.

    I am sure that most of the members would like to understand the long tradition of Flying and they would like to understand Bananatrombones better.

    After all, one of the stated aims is to understand difference. Of course it is mainly to understand personality difference. But in my opinion, understanding cultural difference is equally important.

    And further, understanding Flyting would help understand our deprecatory sense of humour in Oz.

    It seems to me anything less is parochial.

  6. #6
    Senior Member matmos's Avatar
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    Americans porochial? I think you've been at the Merlot again.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Jaguar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    The main reason I like this site is because it is well run and tolerant.
    I wish I could say the same for some of your posts.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by bananatrombones View Post
    Indeed, Victor. But the site administrators are in the main American.

    They may have given us John Wayne, but they also gave us Shirley Temple.
    Yeah, darn those 'mericans, oh also moved. Insults hidden behind attempts of wit are still insults.

  9. #9
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    What do they really think of us?

    Quote Originally Posted by Trinity View Post
    Yeah, darn those 'mericans, oh also moved. Insults hidden behind attempts of wit are still insults.
    Yankees simply do not understand our sense of humour.

    I remember an American guru addressing us. First to ingratiate herself she told us what a wonderful sense of humour we had. But as she went on she told us our sense of humour was destructive of self esteem.

    But the fact is we find our sense of humour funny, while Yankees find it destructive of their sense of self esteem.

    And they value self esteem so highly that the Government of their richest State, California, has set up a Commission for Self Esteem.

    If our Government tried to set up such a Commission, they would be laughed at.

    No, here we have the Yankees using their power to impose their cultural values on a tried and tested ally.

    But worse they relegate such discussion of cultural difference to the Graveyard.

    You know, when the Yankees come here they always tell us they love us, but when they leave, we always ask, what do they really think of us?

    And the answer lies in the Graveyard.

  10. #10
    Diabolical Kasper's Avatar
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    Great, but I'm not a yankee. If the topic is serious and not a cover for insulting people it can be moved back but me, the Australian, who supposedly enjoys flyting according to this thread, was the one who moved it, no Yanks were involved in this process.

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