Saturday, February 18, 2006

Aaro Watch on Nick Cohen

Aaronovitch Watch ('incorporating Nick Cohen Watch') have launched a new competition focusing on the continuing rightward trajectory of top 'decentist', Nick Cohen - to 'name the remaining Seals of Dacre.'

"For a while now, we've had a running joke on AW that Nick Cohen is in the process of gradually turning into Melanie Phillips. We have motivated this joke by claiming that he is breaking, one by one, the Seven Seals of the Vaults of Dacre. The idea is that every time you adopt a bizarre and counterfactual view which is also believed by Melanie Phillips, a seal breaks open, and when all seven are broken, the Vaults open and an army of ghouls rush out and drag you off to write a column in the Daily Mail."

According to Bruschetta Boy and chums, four seals have already been broken. Worth a look and probably worth a punt.

A Digression

All this irresistable seal breaking and sense of impending doom reminds me, by the way, of a rather fine work by M.R. James - the all-time daddy of ghostly short story writers. (I can't think why I've never written about M.R. James before - I'll add it to the 'to do' list). The story I'm thinking of is 'Count Magnus.'

You can find the story on-line here. Nick Cohen as 'Mr Wraxall'.

The thing to remember about M.R. James' ghost stories is that they are not, in the slightest bit, frightening. On the face of it, this might seem rather a fatal flaw - but James' tales are incredibly well put together and always entertaining.

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