Oh no; oh stuff of joy!

The monkeys were right to suspect that Julian would be too modest to let us know how many new writers had been inspired by his talk at the Diplomat Hotel in Llanelli.

Even the monkeys, though, didn’t realise that Julian would treat himself like Nikolai Yezhov, and air-brush himself out of history.

You will cry, you will laugh, you will wonder at the salty tears of a cruel world. Nobody came to the talk, so Julian has deleted the blog post in which he announced it. With a single click, it never happened. No-one came, because it didn’t happen. How could it have happened when it was never on his blog?

Like Stalin, though, Julian’s not very good at getting rid of the original (a key step in proper historical revisionism):

Julian Ruck did hold a talk!

Trot along to Julian’s own blog, though, and you’ll see no such post any more. It is no more. It has ceased to be. It has expired and gone to meet its maker. It is an ex-post.

Julian, love, couldn’t you do the same thing with all your commas? You know, go back and delete them all, let them rest in peace?

As long as you don’t have any self-important waxing to be doing, of course.



Filed under The Society for the Preservation of Commas

Valentine’s wishes to Julian Ruck

The monkeys want to know if you’ll be their Valentine, Julian. Oh, do say you will. It would make them so happy. They swear blind that they’ve put all thoughts of dog shit behind them (in a manner of speaking).

They were particularly delighted to see in the comments on a previous post that PR 4 Books, who seem to be Julian’s go-to team for self-promotion, say:

Blogs and other forms of digital marketing have created a great means of communicating with your audience, allowing you to engage, interact and connect with your readers, creating likeability for you and your book. In order to make serious sales, you also require credibility; this comes from being featured in national newspapers and magazines, speaking on National Radio and having your book reviewed by trusted people.

The monkeys want to congratulate PR 4 Books on having done such a particularly good job on the ‘creating likeability’ front. Julian Ruck is clearly now one of the most widely liked Welsh figures on the internet, and it’s probably mostly thanks to PR 4 Books that the monkeys are so keen for Julian to be their Valentine.

And as for those of you who didn’t go to Julian’s talk – you fools! It was marvellous. It made the Kidwelly-e festival look like a raging success. Julian is sure to tell us all about it in the very near future – he’ll probably be too modest to admit it, but his words of advice will almost certainly have inspired ‘some village Hampden’ or perhaps even a ‘mute inglorious Milton’. This, O Arts Council, THIS is how to birth a new Welsh Shakespeare, not your frivolous funding!


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I thought that 1p a copy on Amazon was cheap…

But it looks as though Julian’s trying to shift a few back copies – clogging up the spare bedroom, were they, Jules? Two or three as a prize might look like the kind of thing an author does – but seventy?! Wouldn’t any of the remainder shops take them?

Julian Ruck reduced to giving his books away for free

Did these count towards your sales ‘figures’, Julian?!

No wonder ‘PR 4 Books’ didn’t last long:



Filed under The Society for the Preservation of Commas

So, shall we do the book thing, then?!

Sorry – briefly distracted by things in the real world! I’m hoping to employ some more monkeys to stop it happening again.

So, this book idea seems to be gathering momentum. We have an extraordinarily generous offer to stick a real chunk of cash into it, John has very kindly put his hand up to do the cover, so I reckon the last piece of the jigsaw we need is a good typesetting/layout person. Anyone know any likely suspects?

It would also be nice to have a proper editor, although I think we want to leave most of the internet-jumbled warp and woof of it all more or less as is. The monkeys are happy to take care of this, but they tell me it would be more elegant if we could find a human editor – so do please have an ask around if you know anyone who might enjoy it.

When we have a mock-up ready, we can probably speed up the legal challenge (and/or complaint to the police!) by sending a copy straight to Julian and asking him if there’s any redaction he’d particularly like to suggest.


Filed under The Society for the Preservation of Commas

Weren’t you expecting something in the Daily Mail, Julian?

You did say towards the end of the week, didn’t you? I only mention it because we’re looking forward to the traffic so much – the stuff from the local rags is starting to dry up, and Google will notice that we’re getting less popular. Come on, we’re relying on you!

Oh, talking of Google, have you Googled yourself lately? The last we checked, you’d been knocked off top place by one or more of David Hewson, John Abell and ourselves (depending on whether you use .com or .co.uk) – so if anyone decides to check you out after hearing you rant about something, they’ll get the kind of balanced view of which you’re so very fond…:)

Incidentally, the monkeys and I don’t hate you in the least. We know you’ve got some pretty aggressive, unpleasant views on a range of issues, and we know you don’t behave like a gentleman, but our only concern is to defend both commas and readers. In other words, we just want to make sure that if anyone Googles you, toying with the idea of spending 1p on one of your Amazon listings, they’ll have a fair chance to see that some educated readers think you write excruciatingly badly.

And thanks to Google, the truth is out!

P.S. We’ve had a couple of days now where our viewing figures have been just under 1000. Your busiest ever day was just over 1000, wasn’t it, Julian? We think it helps to show just how far this teacup isn’t reaching if we reveal that our 964 views on Tuesday were generated by 104 visitors. Our 992 views on Wednesday came from only 92 visitors. Your ‘33,000 views in a year’ sounds lovely, but they probably come from fewer than 100 regular readers.

What was that you were saying about readership again, Julian?!


Filed under The Society for the Preservation of Commas

Julian also doesn’t read…

You may remember, dear reader, that we established a while back that Julian Ruck hasn’t read ‘War and Peace’ (because it’s too long) or ‘The Lord of the Rings’ (because, er, it’s too literary) – and now it turns out that he also hasn’t read any R S Thomas.

I mean, really – an ‘R S Thomas bucolic paradise’?!

My (imaginary, Julian!) monkeys and I might be wrong, of course – Julian might just have confused ‘bucolic’ with, er, dystopian?

Julian, RS wrote things like this:

It was not the dark filling my eyes
And mouth appalled me; not even the drip
Of rain like blood from the one tree
Weather-tortured. It was the dark
Silting the veins of that sick man
I left stranded upon the vast
And lonely shore of his bleak bed.

Powerful, yes. No incorrect commas, yes. But bucolic paradise?! Strewth.

Next, you’ll be telling us about Dylan Thomas’s sober piety, Gerard Manley Hopkins’s prosaic gloom, Joseph Conrad’s comic optimism, Ernest Hemingway’s long-winded waffle and Shakespeare’s hatred of neologisms.

Honestly, Julian, what do you read? Is it only ’50 Shades of Grey’?

P.S. To any students considering using the brief list above as a cheat sheet for an exam – don’t!


Filed under The Society for the Preservation of Commas

In which I go visiting monkeys and Julian has a Huhne…

It’s beyond parody – I go visiting imaginary monkeys in a particularly real zoo for a couple of days, and Julian has his very own Chris Huhne moment, listing his various absurdities in a surprisingly honest piece of writing. At least, it’s honest until it gets to point 5, where he offers his books and his blog as evidence that his writing can’t be all that bad! Yes, the very same evidence we’ve been using to argue the opposite point of view. From there on, it goes downhill.

But Julian isn’t just having a Huhne moment – he’s gone into overdrive, sending press releases to all and sundry claiming that a bunch of imaginary monkeys are going to throw dog shit at his house, and that he is consequently living in fear.

I think he may be playing to the gallery ever so slightly here – perhaps unaware how absurd it looks. But just in case – Julian, if you have ANY genuine, honest concern that the joke about monkeys volunteering to throw dog shit at your windows meant that I myself, the estimable Mr Fuck of Fuck Towers, would be willing to dress up in camouflage, hide in a bush and throw things at your windows myself, let me put your fears to rest.

I would and will do no such thing.

Nor will the monkeys – on that point, you have my word. They are, after all, imaginary, Julian. Ooh, look at all those lovely commas! Do you know why each is where it is? But I digress. The monkeys, being imaginary, will throw neither dog shit nor dreadfully written books at your windows. I myself, being of sound mind, will likewise refrain from any such energetic behaviour.

But enough, enough – mercy, Mr Ruck! Your wonderful control of the media is crushing us. Why, only yesterday we suffered 964 views – the thought of all those people reading what we have to say about your use of commas fills us with delight, er, sorry, I mean despair. Hey, 964 is almost as many as the busiest day ever on your blog, isn’t it?

Does that mean, by your own logic, that I and my imaginary monkeys are almost as good a writer as you are, Julian? Praise indeed!


Filed under The Society for the Preservation of Commas