Wednesday, November 11, 2009

oranges is not the lonely fruit

What is it with oranges ?

Anthony Burgess and 'A Clockwork Orange'; Jeanette Winterson's 'Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit'; Mark E. Smith's 'I Am Kurious Oranj'.

Save it for evengelists high on fuzzy felted sadism. Bursting segments of citrus heresy.

Orange is Ludwig ripening in the sun. Jaundiced droogs and rapists. Pez dispensers and marching bands; orange is the colour of bigotry.

Well. Tangerine is a different matter, a connotation lacking in orange; a hint of marzipan and the exotic. Open your lips to speak of tangerine and one is carpeted away on an Arabic odyssey. An oud or its distant cousin. Tangerine sparkles with Christmas. Of cleavage and all the trimmings.

And then there are clementines. Blood red and faintly obseidian, whispering of Marrekech. The suspicion of inherited wealth. Paul Bowles and Bill Burroughs asleep in the garden.

It is a thin family line. The intermarriage between one fruit and and another. High yeller and damson orange.

I am a pallid Celt with Slavic leanings. Iberian appetites. Wan would be too polite.


Anto said...

i've only a few positives to mention re oranges and one of them is the msiprounciation of the word by children below the age of 3. our own snapper started with 'Anders' and is curently using Orandages ( a faint whiff of Gen P there).
The other good thing is their californian/south of spain connotations.
But, apart from that, as a true son of the Geals like yourself Ib, I have found that it is an appalling colour for an irish man to wear even in the halcyon days of madchester or more recently, in the form of a malkmus tee-shirt. i simply looked rediculous

Ramone666 said...

What about Orange as the Dutch national football team Ib... Please remember ´88 .

Dan said...

Being a true redhead who's lost some sparkle, I despised it when as a kid people said I had orange hair. Outside of the fruit itself and its juice, I agree completely. Well said.

ib said...

Comments are always especially appreciated - and unexpected - when there is nothing in the way of music posted; only words and pictures.

I came across them after coming back from our local supermarket this morning laden down with cartons of juice, appropriately. Unlike most other foodstuffs the cost on the shelf has inexplicably fallen.


'Anders' has a nice ring to it, and should be included in all dictionaries poste haste (mandarin 'orandages' ?)

I too sported an orange 't' - 'Juice' I think it was - during the Madchester era. A cross betweeen a Holland strip and something worn on Highbury Park. You are right. It didn't do my complexion any favours either; it made me look like a Tango'd casual.


Naturally, I could never forget the Dutch national strip - see above - '88, or otherwise.

I have especially fond memories of Johan Cruyff in '74, where Scotland unusually very nearly made it past the first round.


The latest instalment in the legendary series of Barrs Irn Bru soft drinks commercials - our "other national drink", "made in Scotland from girders" - continues to fight the good fight.

The red gene factors big in my family. My own hair has never quite seem to make up its mind, but my beard these days - when it breaks out - is alarmingly colourless and stubborn.


Dreams or nightmares ?

I wish you a bountiful yield. Our winter is fast approaching, and it is quite baffling to think of you still toiling in the Californian sunshine.

The climate here is already nipple stiffening; its one saving grace.

emmett said...

"Orange" from the Arabic "naranj", Sanskrit "naranja"; the opening "n" got dropped b/c if you say "a naranj" enough, people think you're saying "an aranj". True story. The same thing happened with the word "apron".

Nice post.

ib said...

This is news to me. Cool. And most interesting...

The etymology, I now gather, does indeed date back to the Arabic "nāranj", and before that the Persian "nārang". There was a band I once liked called 'Orang' (without the 'e') who were clearly in the know; although it sailed straight over my head.

The ancient Gauls later adopted it as 'orenge', from whence the word - and the fruit presumably - passed into Middle English as the humble orange.

Tangerine, conversely, although it does indeed have its origins in Tangier, is relatively modern in coinage. Dating back only so far as the mid 19th century.

The fruit - superfluously - was marketed as the 'tangerine orange'.

Cheers, Emmett.

Anto said...

in an entirely unrelated matter look at this

Fela! On Broadway!
i'd say its a good night out though

never knew he was not cool with james music, surely the most africanised mainstream/non-jazz western music up to that point?

ib said...


I am left wondering, too, what was to "fear' or "dislike" ? Or to be "haunted" by ?

Vaguely baffling.

Mention Fela Kuti to my kids and you'll get a blank reaction. Fila, though, and that's a different matter, sadly.

Get up! Zombi!

Ramone666 said...

Orang could also be from the Malay/Indonesian, meaning man. Orang utan translates as man of the jungle for instance.
Glad you liked maestro Johan. He lives very close to me, but one never sees him alas.

ib said...

Ah! I hadn't thought of that at all...

Nice, Ramone666, and more than probable now you mention it.

Johan, of course, was sheer class. Every bit as high in my estimation as George Best.

Odd, too, that Fila Kuti should appear on the agenda.

Anonymous said...

Orange was the colour of the house of Oranien-Nassau, an old blue-blooded breed from the region of Hessen in good ole Germany.

In the 16th Century, Wilhelm I from that fancy family became the Duke of Oranien and the leader of the Independence struggle of our Dutch neighbours against their spanish (the catholic House of Habsburg) occupants.

He still is some kind of national hero and so Orange became their main Colour.

On the queen's birthday on April, 30th, the people of the Netherlands are still celebrating by drinking orange coloured beverages. LoF indeed,

anonymus no. 2

MikeB in NYC said...

There is far too much to learn in order to keep pace with the erudite swine commenting on Ib's poetic posts of profundity. I will just ask if Blood Oranges are known to you, and see what you can teach me about that!

ib said...

Well, Mike B, its a history lesson for me too.

Anonymous #2:

does whisky qualify as an orange beverage ? I am kurious, oranj. I am one of those few Scots who actively prefers Irish Whiskey to our own malts. And rye whiskey above all else.

Mike B:

I took that on the chin, much as if you were throwing down the gauntlet, my friend. I don't believe I've been privileged to suck on a genuine blood orange, but I'm not done yet:

Nazz Nomad said...

oranges poranges.... and never forget the mistake of eating mass quantities of oranges whilst on an lsd excursion... never a good thing to add that much vitamin c to your vitamin a.

ib said...

Mr. VC takes the edge off Charlie, I hear.

Anonymous said...

kuriosity killed da cat, dear mark e., but yep, Ib, I think our dutch friends wouldn`t mind since they still are one of the most liberal people on the old continent. and even in those political korrekt times orange juice isn't the only drink accepted

But I don't agree with your take on uisge baugh. Though Bushmills isn't to pour away either nothing compares to Highland Park!

ib said...

The water of life is a funny thing, anonymous.

Barley has an effect on me common to many on the west coast, almost instantly turning me into a sneering yob; dribbling contempt and vile indignation.

Curiously, Rye allows me merely to savour the taste with little or no antisocial symptoms.

Sour mash, then, on my part. I have no idea why this is so, although Highland Park is admittedly a superior distillation to most. It must be that Orkney peat.