Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Hot air

Is the internet hastening the decline of a niche performance art? This article suggests it is. Throughout the centuries, from Roland the Farter to Mr Methane, professional flatulence has been a winner, but now appears to be a declining income earner with endless free repetition on YouTube.

It's an ancient art:
St. Augustine of Hippo, writing City of God in the 5th century, noted people who could “produce at will such musical sounds from their behind (without any stink) that they seem to be singing from the region”. 
And how about this scurrilous verse from the age of Shakespeare:
The Censure of the Parliament Fart (1607) 
Never was bestowed such an art
Upon the tuning of a fart.
Downe came grave auntient Sir John Cooke
And redd his message in his booke.
Fearie well, Quoth Sir William Morris, Soe:
But Henry Ludlowes Tayle cry'd Noe.
Up starts one fuller of devotion
The Eloquence; and said a very ill motion
Not soe neither quoth Sir Henry Jenkin
The Motion was good; but for the stincking
Well quoth Sir Henry Poole it was a bold tricke
To Fart in the nose of the bodie pollitique
Indeed I confesse quoth Sir Edward Grevill
The matter of it selfe was somewhat uncivill
Thanke God quoth Sir Edward Hungerford
That this Fart proved not a Turdd
Maybe it's the Christmas sprouts that brought this to mind, but the fart gag is as much a manifestation of humanity as reason and consciousness, perhaps more so.

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