Thursday, June 29, 2006

I thought it was Ribery who was on the right wing in the French team...

...but more fool me, it's the ancient, hate-filled tosser; Jean-Marie Le-Pen piping up from beyond the grave to castigate the French national team for being more les noirs than les bleus. I could understand criticism of the coach (Raymond Domenech) or that the average age of the team would not be significiantly increased if Le Pen himself (78) was added to the team.
Le-Pen comes out with the argument favoured by fascists, former soldiers and old people in general that it is a disgrace for national players not to sing their national anthem - pointing his hate-filled fascist finger in the direction of clown-cum-keeper, Fabien Barthez and Zinedine Zidane the ageing superstar of French football. Domenech countered pointing out that "...the Spanish don't sing, the Argentineans don't sing [the national anthem]", which is true, especially in the case of the Spaniards whose anthem has no words. Dick.
Lilian Thuram, the Guadaloupe-born record French cap holder, responded brilliantly in a Press Conference. His sentiments brought a rousing round of applause from the assembled French media.

"He's the type of person [Le Pen] who'd turn on the television and see the American basketball team and wonder: 'Hold on, there are black people playing for America? What's going on?'

"When we take to the field, we do so as Frenchmen. All of us. When people were celebrating our win, they were celebrating us as Frenchmen, not black men or white men. It doesn't matter if we're black or not, because we're French. I've just got one thing to say to Jean Marie Le Pen. The French team are all very, very proud to be French. If he's got a problem with us, that's down to him but we are proud to represent this country. So Vive la France, but the true France. Not the France that he wants."

England thrown into disarray

The England camp was reeling last night after Theo Walcott (12) was arrested in Germany. Below is the photographic evidence.

CSA reaches nadir

Too chav or not too chav? That is the question.

I have walked past this motor-vehicular beast a few times on my morning saunter to the Tube. I was tempted to examine closer but then thought; "Stop! Can't touch this."

Toothless Tiger

Henman is just so unpredictable. You never know whether he is going to get his arse handed to him in straight sets or over the full five.
On a side point there was a phone-in on Talksport and the question was to correctly identify who the #1 British female tennis player was (Anne Keothavong) and some guy rang in and answered 'Cliff Richard'. Timeless.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Crap World Cup puns

After the disgracefully ugly and facially deformed Franck Ribery equalized for the French my chum, sensing the French hitherto hadn't looked much like scoring, remarked that it was a case of daylight ribery. Full marks that was bad. I was upset that Sergio Ramos, the Spanish right-back, didn't get his marching orders because I had a wonderful Vamos Ramos gag ready.

'Lad mag' Bill is a tall order

Mary Whitehouse she isn't, but Claire Curtis-Thomas' Bill to make it obligatory for 'lads mags' to be displayed on the top shelf, or at least out of the reach of young, grasping children, has already raised eyebrows (not as high as the top shelf mind...) and, in some corners, has been derided as good old-fashioned women's lib, bra-burning bravado that will not make it onto the Statute Book.
I don't particularly wish to come down on one side or the other, I am sure you all have your opinion, or more than likely are not at all fussed. The point that such publications are demeaning to women is arguable. Yes, it does not show women in the greatest light, although ironically it does show women in their best (airbrushed) light but similarly the models are prepared to get their kit off, be pictured with various readers etc at the drop of a hat. I do not think it is the same as the plight suffered by prostitutes.
Measures to remove these mags to the top shelf offers two dilemmas: firstly, what about adult dwarves? And secondly; poor newsagents are so laden with porn (proper porn) that it already flows beyond the top shelf. Newsagents must be sweating trying to extend their top shelf.
Curtis-Thomas continues that what she objects to is that "...this literature is open to children and it’s being bought by minors." Well, to be frank, after what Thatcher did to the miners a few watered down bongo mags is scant recompense and the least they deserve.
But as we all know, we live in a world dictated by the market and not by social morality. I do not envisage Zoo, FHM, Maxim, Nuts, Loaded and all the others taking a potential massive loss of profit kindly and I expect charges ranging from puritanism to even witchcraft (possibly) being unfairly levelled at the proponents of the Bill.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Suggested tactic for England

You've got to hold and give
But do it at the right time
You can be slow or fast
But you must get to the line
They'll always hit you and hurt you
Defend and attack
Theres only one way to beat them
Get round the back
Catch me if you can
Cos I'm the England man
And what you're looking at
Is the master plan
We aint no hooligans
This aint a football song
Three lions on my chest
I know we cant go wrong

Monday, June 26, 2006

Portugese Men-O-War

I hadn't intended to write anything about the Portugal vs. Holland punch up/World Cup 2nd Round match but circumstances have conspired against me, namely the drab and totally forgettable Ukraine vs. Switzerland bore draw and Italy's progress courtesy of a good piece of old-fashioned cheating and also that Red Tamarin sent me this amusing photograph that best depicts the ref's attitude to issuing yellow cards.

Even with this many yellows, I bet Graham Poll would have been loathe to issue a red. Haha.
Anyway now England has the chance to give Scolari the Bullseye moment. Qu'est-ce ci que ca? As Harry Hill fans might say. Well, it's for Scolari to be on the sideline and see every minute of England hammering Portugal with the nagging thought in his head; "Here's what you could have won"
I don't mind he turned the job down, I guess the media attention is very pressurising (not every manager can be as ice-cool and media savant as Sven. Thank God) so in the great English tradition, we should harbour no ill-feeling and happily rub his nose in it.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Team England - f*ck yeh!

For those of you without flash photography (click to enlarge the pic) that's Robinson in goal. Full backs Cole and Carragher (sadly no miniature in England kit) with Terry and Rio in the centre. Hargreaves - with full brocolli hair - holding midfield with Carrick (not only not in England top but no new minature to acknowledge his tranfer to Spurs - perhaps they're holding off til he goes Man Utd?) and Gerrard bombing forward from centre midfield. Joe Cole and Lennon (no minature at all. Superimposed his head on Jermaine Defoe, as I feel for Defoe not being in the squad) dribbling down the wings and Rooney being his awesome self.

We will bore one more than you, England!

Hardly the stuff of dreams, but nevertheless England progress to the Quarter Finals. And Portugal next. Well, hopefully the prospect of playing a top team will galvanise England to play to something approaching tehir full potential. Thought Rooney ran his heart out up-front and Hargeaves and Ashley Cole were very good, especially Cole's last-ditch block to save a certain Ecuador goal.
If I were Sven, I'd sh*g Ulrika again. No seriously I would put Lennon in for Beckham and drop Lampard for Carragher/Neville with Hargeaves anchoring the midfield with Carrick roaming and Gerrard charging forward with Cole and Lennon attacking up the flanks.

Extreme to the Maxi

What a match. What a goal. Glad we avoided Mexico and, hopefully, the Germans can knock out the Argentinians in the Quarters.

Friday, June 23, 2006

If you ever end the night in Westminster with only 77p in your pocket...

I hate egg anyway, but I bet this sandwich is repulsive

More incompetence than you can wave a stick at

Two yellow cards = ? The calamitous farce in all its glory. Notice the Aussie 'goal' that Poll disallows, as he has just decided to blow for full-time. Simply amazing.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Top of the Fops

Yesterday was a tricky day to be a Labour supporter, what with the heir apparent waxing lyrical about nuclear deterrents; but sometimes, just sometimes, the Tory Party can come along and show how crap political parties can be. Check out the pop culture references by Theresa May and her crack (smoking?) team of researchers. Ok so it makes your skin crawl and is balls-achingly embarassing when MPs do the down with the kids bit, but to actually credit a song to the wrong group really makes you look like a prat.

Finally, will the Leader of the House arrange a debate on the influence of popular culture on political life? I am sure that many hon. Members will be saddened to hear about the demise of "Top of the Pops", which has played such a role in the cultural life of the nation. Of course, pop songs can be very relevant to politics. For example, given the Home Secretary’s recent problems, I wonder whether he should listen to the U2 track "I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For". Perhaps we could have a touch of Dire Straits for the Deputy Prime Minister with the track "Money for Nothing". I suppose that the Chancellor might look to Diana Ross with "You Keep Me Hangin’ On". Perhaps the Prime Minister would like the Clash’s "Should I Stay or Should I Go". Talking of clashes, perhaps the Chancellor would describe his relationship with the Prime Minister with the White Stripes track "Every Day I Love You Less and Less". Or, given the Chancellor’s commitment to new Labour, maybe his track for him and the Prime Minister should be Elton John’s "Friends Never Say Goodbye"

Later on in the days' proceedings Iain Wright, sadly not the BBC star pundit but rather the MP, put down May accordingly:

Mr. Iain Wright (Hartlepool) (Lab): Before I ask my question, I should point out to the House that the right hon. Member for Maidenhead (Mrs. May) was incorrect, because "Every Day I Love You Less and Less" is sung by the Kaiser Chiefs rather than the White Stripes, which demonstrates that in popular culture, as in other things, the Conservative party has got it completely wrong. With reference to the right hon. Lady, I am tempted to refer to the Artic Monkeys’ song, "Mardy bum", but I shall be more gracious, and say, "I bet you look good on the dance floor".

Not with those f*cking god-awful shoes mind. And even Jack Straw crowed in reply:

Mr. Straw: I am grateful to my hon. Friend for his corrections in respect of the poor research by the right hon. Member for Maidenhead (Mrs. May). I say to her affectionately that that shows the danger for those of us of a certain age—[ Interruption.]—I am speaking for myself—in trying to pretend that we have knowledge of the younger generation.

# many thanks, as ever, to the most reliable and diligent, his most majestic; the good Count Callithrix for his unyielding sense of the banal.

(Not so) Golden Graham

What an unimaginable berk! What kind of absolute doofas can give a guy three yellow cards in a match?? Graham Poll, the only English referee in the World Cup, that's who. Sadly, I didn't see the drama unfold live having enjoyed Brazil take full advantage of Japan's decision not to mark anyone second half. But having since seen and read about the carnage in the press it is safe to conclude that the man is a tw*t.
Even if you forget about his woeful ineptitude in failing to give a blatant handball penalty to the Socceroos and forget about him somehow managing to muck up the kick off (surely all you got to do is blow the whistle?) and forget about him inexplicably blowing for full-time just as the ball was going into the net to give the Australians victory (just like Clive Thomas in years gone by) Poll had a mare.
He gave Croat defender Josif Simunic one yellow card and in the last minute booked him again, only failing to produce the red card. Things got more surreal when about a minute later he booked Simunic for a third time. And this time gave him a red card.
Poll, who incidentally is rumoured to be intensely disliked by many of his fellow referees, will be the second Englishman after Michael Owen to be heading home early. And the worse thing about the fiasco? People may forget what a dreadful game Aussie keeper Zeljko Kalac had. Zeljko Kalac - remember him? I do. He was brought on by the then Leicester City manager, Martin O'Neill in the 119th minute of the play-off final against Palace with the match destined to go to penalties. O'Neill brought him on for the sound reason he is massive and could save penalties. Seconds later, Steve Claridge (74) shinned one in and Leicester one and Kalac was denied his destiny. Anyway back forward to 2006: To some media surprise (people falling off chairs, spluttering into their cappucinos etc) Kalac was preferred to the much better Mark Schwarzer of Middlesboro and proceeded to flap at everything and instil about as much confidence in his defence as David James commands. His coup de grace was to let a weak shot under him, which could well have done for Australia. The website go so far as to ask Kalac to voluntarily prostrate himself before Guus Hiddink (the coach) and the great Australian public and apologise and stand down in favour of Schwarzer. No, it really does.

Sorry Sir but your Czech will not be in the post

I was quite happy when I drew the Czech Republic in a work sweepstake, so am quite vexed to see the team eliminated this afternoon with Ghana making it through to the Second Round instead.

Paul Robinson remains confident England can win the World Cup

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Double Dutch

I had the dubious pleasure of watching Holland vs. Argentina with the ITV commentary still audible. Despite being a 0-0 draw I enjoyed the match even if it didn't reach the pre-match expectations. Very few things could have done, I envisaged marauding wingers, steady centre-backs, silky-skilled midfielders and eagle-eyed, lethal one-touch goal poachers.
Anyway the chap in the photo above is none other than Khalid Boulahrouz, the Dutch centre back. A bit of a silly name for sure, but this is the World Cup and there are a lot sillier - Ghana's Razak Pimpong to name but one. I have also found that his name is a lot easier to pronounce than it would appear and when pronounced correctly it really glides off the tongue.
So why can the commentators get it so wrong? An excellent sliding tackle from Boulahrouz gets the Peter Drury commentary treatment: "An excellent sliding tackle there from Andre Ooijer*" with David Pleat distorting the facts further: "Yes, Ooijer has been defending excellently throughout this half."
But ITV does not limit its shabbyness to its live football coverage with the ITV news ready to get in on the act - chipping in during its 30 second highlight package when, in the second half, Riquelme's fizzing - and quite probably mishit - free kick was inadvertently turned onto his own woodwork by Boulahrouz with the accompanying voiceover crediting the incident to Rafael Van der Vaart.
I just think this is shoddy and unacceptable.

*Ooijer is another name that looks impossible to get your tongue around but is actually pronounced Oy-yer, which is easy enough for the English

Bang, Bang - you're dead.

And just when you're starting to really get into this World Cup and, you know, generally starting to feel a bit summery. Not long til Henman Mount/Murray Mount/Rusedski Ridge is demolished by Federer and the druids and freaks have already been to Stonehenge. So what could tinge our collective joie da vivre?
How's about nuclear weapons? Big f*ck-off scary Cold War relic muscle-flexing Trident replacement? Hey, and this stuff has a RRP of only £20 billion (and that's not even taking the 2-4-1 Happy Hour promotion into account).
The World Cup's motto is "A Time To Make New Friends" - perhaps the unpublished post-script was: "and invite them round to look at the WMD we have to blow the sh*t out of them and their mates (which expires in 14 years so we'd better replace it, but don't worry it's only a deterrent -*wink* *wink*.)"*
Nothing quite like the prospective, Labour PM displaying his Labourite credentials. And this was nothing like it.
Slightly disillusioned.

*Whether they're new friends or old friends matters little.

Update: I forgot to mention that our nuclear deterrent will be independent, which will make us all sleep easier when we are independently bombing someone at the behest of our American brothers.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Monkey Business

Some questions have confounded mankind since time immemorial: What is the reason of life? Is there an after-life? Will Geraint Jones ever be any good and will his face ever engender a feeling other than "NOOOOO"?
I don't know about you, but the one that has always puzzled me was: do restrictions apply to the taking of marmoset monkeys into public places? So what a relief that the ever reliable Count Callithrix has pointed me in the direction of this parliamentary question. Cheers buddy, I owe you one!

Marmoset Monkeys

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what restrictions apply to the taking of marmoset monkeys into public places; and if he will make a statement. [77704]

Mr. Bradshaw: Marmoset monkeys are not listed under the Dangerous Wild Animals Act and there are no restrictions specific to taking them into public places. However, any keeper would need to ensure that in taking such an animal into a public place they are not causing any unnecessary suffering contrary to section 1 of the Protection of Animals Act 1911.

Under the Animal Welfare Bill all keepers and owners will need to ensure that an animal’s welfare needs are also provided for.

The Department is also looking at the provision of codes of practice on the care of primates.
20 Jun 2006 : Column 1823W

Well that is a weight off mankind's collective mind.

When's the wrong time to have 4 strikers in your squad?

When your number 1 striker gets crocked for upwards of 5 months, of course. And when one of the other 3 is a 17 year old untested child prodigy. And when one of the others is Peter Crouch, although to be fair the big man is playing pretty well.
Glenn Roeder must be fuming with his small mouth and crossed arms.

Sounds a bit draconian to me

Some people love to vent their anger, some even their spleen. Some vent in the direction of their beloved, some to random strangers. However, the wittier and more embittered among us, aim our lunatics running the asylum vitriolic bile at our elected representative, our MP. So what I didn't vote for you? So what I didn't vote? So what that I am clinically stupid? I am going to write and I am going to vent.
The theme of one letter that came to my attention was a pearler. About paedophilia, which let's face it is not the most humourous of subjects. Well the letter derides the Government. Having read the letter I am still not 100% sure why but nevertheless the Government should consider themselves derided.
Well permit me to quote from the letter and see if you can spot the blunder.

"The sentences for this sort of malpractice are far too lenient. When let out, they are soon up to their old tricks again. If it was me giving the sentence it would be 'FOR LIFE'. There is only one way in which a man can be let out earlier in these circumstances and that is by having him circumcized."

Well, steady on old boy. Whatever next? Bar mitvahs for paedophiles?

Joe Cole...GOAL!

Despite not winning I was quite impressed with England and it was plainly their best performance in the World Cup so far, by miles. Losing Owen is a mega-bummer. A chum wittily suggested immediately after Owen went off that if the match petered out into a dull, incident-free 0-0 bore draw that the tabloid headline should have been Gone In 60 Seconds. Oh well I guess Walcott is out there for a reason then.
Hopefully, England will never give away such a soft goal as Sweden's second, although their first was pretty elementary too. Crouch is a massive plank (in effect) why not put him at the near post to stop these tricky foreigners with their devious ploys?
Thought Hargreaves was good and Cole was exceptional, especially in the first half. Lampard was poor again as was Beckham. It seems that when England don't play long ball, Beckham doesn't really know his role. Hopefully, he'll be back on top form in time for Ecuador. Not too impressed by Sol Campbell either.
But what about Joe Cole (or Jo Coll to give him the Sven pronounciation) smacking in a blinder. Enjoy. And worth a go with volume to savour the ESPN commentary.

Update for tonight

Germany have just trounced Ecuador 3-0. I tell you they'll be goose-stepping in the streets of Berlin tonight!
So England need to avoid defeat tonight to avoid Germany in the next round.


Tonight's the night, England vs. Sweden. With a yellow card amnesty coming in from the knock out stages, England are faced with the potential risk of losing Gerrard, Lamps and Crouch for the next round. Fine, you drop the Big Guy - knowing that Owen and Rooney are first choice and praying that they play like it.
Sven has dropped Gerrard and it looks like Owen Hargeaves will start. Apparently, Lamps is going to play the first half and then make room for Jermaine Jenas. Unlike many people I rate Hargeaves and rate him high. Jenas I do not. Not at all. Shouldn't be in Germany. Not by a long chalk. Should have been left behind to accomodate Defoe.
Anyway personnel aside, the big point of tonight is whether Sven, the wily go-getter, will radically alter his tactics and befuddle his countrymen by actually adopting some tactics.
F*cking hell Sven tactics! Not those white or orange and green sweets but something like pass the nobbing ball around midfield instead of punting it to Crouch. In a comment on a recent post The Meat asked whether our central midfield had merely been reduced to water carriers. No, not at all my dear boy, Steve McLaren must be doing something until he becomes The One.
Beckham is playing well as is Cole on the left. Fat Frank has hitherto been a bit disappointing. I have no problem with Gerrard being left out for this one. Of all our players he is the likeliest to get a booking. I think this shows that Sven may be starting to recognise that Gerrard is more important to England than Lampard and is less willing to risk him.
Our plan must be to pass the ball around and get it to Cole and Rooney to run at the Swedes. With Cole and Rooney running at them, Owen should be able to find room and be the predator he is. People tend to bleet on about how Owen has lost his pace, but this is not significant if you play to his strengths like GOALING. Jeez, you'd think every other nation has their national 100 metres champion starting up front.
At the back we are solid and looking good, Robinson is composed and up there in the top 3 keepers in the tournament (to my mind at least).
Various parts of this email have been put in bold. I am sorry if this appears like the nutty letters you get from constituents, but just in case Sven is reading I wanted to draw his attention to some pertinent points (he's probably so busy that he'd only have time to skim read) and if he's not reading YOU'RE SHIT SVEN. DO YOU HAVE ANY BLOODY IDEA HOW FRUSTRATING IT HAS BEEN WATCHING ENGLAND SINCE 2001? TO HAVE BEST PLAYERS AND NOT WIN ANYTHING.


I just spoke to a woman called Glen

Monday, June 19, 2006

How very remiss of me! REPRISE

Not only did I fail to inform you of Tiger Tim's progress, and inevitable exit, from the Stella Championships; but also the fortunes of the other British always the bridesmaid never the bride elite sportsman, Mr Colin 'b*tch tits' Montgomerie.
Seriously, this guy has chokemd more often than Dubya demolishing a plate of pretzels. On the 18th (or is that 72nd?) hole of the U.S Open Monty needed a par to win and, obligingly, hit a double bogey. *splutter*
As he is allegedly a horrible guy, I can't say I shed a tear, well I could, but it would be nothing more than a lie. So how many second places is that in majors? 5! U.S. Open 3 times (1994, 1997 and 2006), the 1995 PGA Championship and the 2005 Open Championship.

How very remiss of me!

I forgot to document the Stella Artois tournament at Queen's Club. Tim Henman got to the semi-finals and lost. Phew! Your lives can continue as usual.

Spiderman, Spiderman does whatever a spider can

Anyone else see Ecuador qualify for the Second Round by dispensing of Costa Rica? More specifically, how's about Ivan Kariedes' goal celebration after netting the third? The fans must have feared the worst when he span away in obvious delight and started to delve into his shorts. Much to the relief of the purists Kariedes had a Spiderman mask down his shorts (of course!). So he dons the mask and it's Spidey at the World Cup. As daft as it initially appears it was a tribute to another Ecuadorian striker who died in a car accident last year. Otilino Tenorio, the dead striker, did this celebration quite often. Must have more lenient refs in Ecuador.
However, practicalities to the fore; wouldn't his mask have been just ever so slightly sweaty? And then put it over your face? Yee-ha! Isn't it a shame that he flopped so badly at Crystal Palace? Some bloke running around South London in a mask would have fitted in perfectly.

Football and Politics shouldn't mix. Or should they?

So one of the guys who got shot up in Forest Gate has gone in front of the cameras with a Brazil top number 27 with Menezes on the back. Is it just me or is this really sick? I understand where they are coming from and I would whole-heartedly agree with their protestations about the police going round and shooting innocent people. It's a disgrace. Fine. Point made and point agreed.
If you are English and *must* wear a Brazil top, how's about 10 - Ronaldinho?
How's about these then?

Yes, it is remarkably tasteless. It might catch on.

Are you a House of Commons cleaner?

Cos if you can there's an Independent in the Norman Shaw South 1st floor toilets from Friday 16th June. I didn't delve, but I believe underneath the Indy was an original signed copy of the Magna Carta and the American Declaration of Independence.

Shear(er) boredom

Is this the most boring man England has produced since David Platt? The footballer, not Gail's kid in Corrie.
This photo is an exclusive of Alan's BBC screen test

Palm reading in relation to face lines

Palmestry is interesting. If someone (a lucky heather brandishing gypsy perhaps) reads your palm and calmly declares that, without doubt, you will get married a couple of times, have some kids, good job and, unlike Mick Hucknall, money will never be too tight to mention you'd think your luck was in.
"Look at my lines! Just look at them. I am not going to go to the gym, f*ck career moves I've got it made. Aftershave? More likely close shave for a lucky female." So whilst watching the World Cup my mind wandered. Can the same be applied to face lines? I am not thinking of prune-faced old codgers like Parky but rather deformed mingers, well actually I am primarily referring to the singular: deformed minger; Franck Ribery.
If the same lucky heather brandishing gypsy inspected Franck's face lines (caused by a car accident rather than genetics) she would probably declare: "Franck. You're destined to be horribly ugly. Forever."

Anyone been listening to Skinner and Baddiel's hilarious World Cup podcasts?

No me neither.

Two down, five to go

So what if we are less convincing than the Conservatives lip-service to the environment? England have qualified already. First time since 1982 that we have qualified for the second phase with a game to spare. Only in the second phase England struggled and England bought on two players who were not 100% - Brooking and Keegan - and most people must have seen the permed sage's glaring miss from about 3 centimetres out. This time Sven will be pitting two unfit strikers against Sweden in Owen and Rooney.
With the kindest of respects to Paraguay and T&T, I sincerely hope England up several gears when we are not playing a tin-pot footballing nation. On our side, however, Sweden have been perhaps even worse than us. Bore draw anyone?
I was encouraged by Lennon's cameo appearance, he has looked good and maybe get a bit longer with Sven resting players. Resting or just a touch scared that his players cannot last 90 minutes without some irresponsible lunge that'll inevitably get a yellow card. Oh yeh, or poor refereeing.
Could be worse though. Could be France.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Alan Partridge gets a job at ITV

Recorded during Spain's 4-0 thumping of the Ukraine. Senna gets the ball on the edge of the area, takes his time, aims up and BOSCH.

Powered by Castpost

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Selling your soul for a fiver and a packet of Bensons

Having taken the relatively strange decision of taking a week off work to watch football, I can safely say it is immensely enjoyable. Apart from those horrible times of the day - primarily the 9am-2pm death spot of TV - where there is no football on. And the prime reason of my anguish? Antique-related programmes. Cash in the Attic? Rubbish. Flog It! Fuck it!
Shows totally bereft of emotion. "Oh this? Yes, my grandfather gave it to me on his death bed. It means so much to me." "In an auction it could get between £15-£30! And that means £15-£30 closer to your target of £3000 to crazy pave your house and get a water feature in the garden". "Well gramps would have wanted me to be happy."
Got anything in your house that you like? Flog it for hard cash. Just flog what you got. Table? Who neeeds it? We can eat off our laps. Elderly Auntie? Flog her, you know it makes sense.
You could go through life without spending anything. Ever. "Daddy, Fido needs a transplant." (Or whatever dogs need that costs money) "OK we'll sell the Grand Piano."And who has these antiquities in their house? Someone finds a Faberge egg in a drawer: "Oh that! I totally forgot about it tucked away in there." And too many people wearing bow-ties. Very rum and, to my mind at least, disconcerting.

Living it up with Chris and Alan

Watching Tunisia vs. Saudi Arabia I decided to try and upload an mp3 to my blog. A little nugget from the Spanish 4-0 drubbing of the Ukraine. By the way Torres' goal was tremendous.
Any way I failed miserably in uploading the mp3 and decided to have a look around You Tube and found this beauty. Chris Brunt goals with Alan Partridge commentary. Simply amazing. Was Partridge any funnier than his Sports reporter days in The Day Today?

p.s How good is Chris Brunt?

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Granted to thrill

Watching the Stenders omnibus and am waiting for Grant to go all Mitchell on Carla. It's like watching Bruce Banner losing his battle and becoming the Hulk. Having not watched Stenders through the week, this is the perfect prelude to 4 1/2 hours of World Cup football. And whilst waiting for Grant to go hardcore, there's Northern Bert flirting with Big Mo. Uggh Grant in white boxers. That certainly shouldn't go out before the watershed. And nor should the noises of Bert and Big Mo making out in an allotment. Grant is so macho! Hoisting Carla on his manly shoulder and dumping her in a bin. That's quality. And Peggy lays the customary smack to the face and "Get out of my pub" barb. And just to think she gave Carla her steak and kidney pie recipe. The ultimate Cockney treachery. And that beautiful, sentiment segueing into the end theme with Grant and Courtney going up to the lift to Portugal. Now it's time for football.

Protecting and Serving since 1640

So the country that has given the world Arnie and Hitler is now displaying the world's oldest condom. Reuters reports:
The reusable condom dates back to 1640 and is completely intact, as is its orginal users' manual, written in Latin.

The manual suggests that users immerse the condom in warm milk prior to its use to avoid diseases.

The antique, found in Lund in Sweden, is made of pig intestine and is one of 250 ancient objects related to sex on display at the Tirolean County Museum in Austria this summer.

That sounds like one hell of an exhibition. I never get sex exhibitions. Like bringing porn to the people and making it acceptable by being weird and, subsequently, of cultural significance. I once went to some Japanese exhibition featuring nudity, bondage and lizards galore. Give it a wide berth next time.

Funny joke

In an ultimately futile and pointless exercise Prof Richard Wiseman conducted an online experiment in which 300,000 people from around the world voted for the best gag. Sadly, I was not one of them. Truly, I don't think I would be able to decide if I had one funniest gag. Would you? Harder than you'd think. Anyway, here's the gag.

Two hunters are out in the woods in New Jersey when one of them collapses. He doesn't seem to be breathing and his eyes are glazed.

The other guy whips out his phone and calls the emergency services. He gasps 'My friend is dead! What can I do?' The operator says: 'Calm down, I can help. First, let's make sure he's dead.' There is a silence, then a shot is heard. Back on the phone, the guy says 'OK, now what?'

That is a good gag. Professor Wiseman takes up the ball: "There is some very rare footage from 1951 showing the Goons in their first TV appearance. Just by chance I saw it on a documentary and saw a version of the very same joke."

Michael Bentine: I just came in and found him lying on the carpet there.

Peter Sellers: Oh, is he dead?

Bentine: I think so.

Sellers: Hadn't you better make sure?

Bentine: All right. Just a minute.

Sound of two gun shots.

Bentine: He's dead.

Prof Wiseman concludes this was almost certainly written by Milligan during his Goon Show days.

One down, six to go

England are off. 1-0 victors and despite a so-so showing in searing heat, you take what you can get and if that's a win thanks to an own goal then thanks very much we'll bite your hand off.
Of particular amusement was the Paraguayan keeper Justo Villar. After 5 minutes he comes out to clear his lines lands awkwardly without any contact with an English player and goes off injured. So let's see: you lasted five minutes, already got the ball out of your own net, got one of the crappest injuries ever and subbed off. Good World Cup, Mr Villar. And if things couldn't get any worse, he cries on leaving the pitch.
England didn't look very good. Was slightly encouraged by Sven's tactics. Going from 4-4-2 to 4-3-2-1 hinted of a Plan B. However, Cole and Lampard didn't really get into the game under the new system and Crouch was left isolated and freak-like. Downing was a good substitution who didn't really get into the game and, once again, Hargreaves was given no chance to shine but asked to come and shore up the midfield. It should have been Lamps subbed rather than Cole, who with Gerrard and Becks was our best player. Also was reassuring to see Rio play like the Rolls-Royce of defenders he is.
More reassuring than seeing Rio's programme about winding up his team-mates. Rio plays Jeremy Beadle minus the freak hand and sets up stunts to wind up teammates Gary Neville, SWP, David James, Peter Crouch, Wayne Rooney, Ashley Cole and David Beckham. A poor idea done badly culminating with Rio running onto the scene to compound his teammates merking. (Seriously Rio is on the scene quicker than when he is the first to celebrate a goal despite being nowhere near the play and having had no influence on the goal.) Merking apparently means humilitated or done up like a kipper in some patois or other.
3 points on the board is more than the Swedes boast after having been held by the Trinidadians to a 0-0 draw on their World Cup debut. This result together with Ecuador's beating of Poland it is looking good for England.
Cheating b*stard slimy diving XI Argentina are out of the blocks like a drugged up horse; looking particularly impressive in dispensing with the Ivory Coast 2-1. Incidentally Toure, Eboue and Drogba were good for the Ivorians.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Is anyone who plays for a 'lesser' footballing nation any good unless they play in England?

This post could also have been titled: The Dumbing Down of World Football.
The British media seems incapable of recognising the notion that a football team has 11 players. So far the prime victim appears to be Ivory Coast. Listen to the commentators: "Ivory Coast have a good defence with Eboue and Toure and then don't forget about Didier Drogba up front." OK so Ivory Coast are ok, especially with all those players who play in England. Aruna Dindane? Didier Zokora? Who the f*ck are they? If you don't play in England you don't count.
However, it isn't really England is it? But moreover the cosmopolitan, virtually international, massive money, corporate Premiership. I have yet to hear the BBC or Talksport (my two preferred mediums) rave about Dennis Lawrence (Wrexham) or Chris Burchill (Port Vale) of Trinidad and Tobago. Incidentally Lawrence is 6'7" and Burchill is white. Two quite interesting facts.
So with unerring predictability there were numerous mentions of Paolo Wanchope (ex Derby, Man City and West Ham) and his long fucking legs. Really high-brow commentary.
I'll predict that anyone who can hear the commentary this afternoon between England and Paraguay will be regaled with tales of Diego Gavilan (ex-Newcastle), although to be fair they will probably be equally as knowledgable about Roque Santa Cruz (Bayern Munich). Also expect Ghana to be Essien (Chelsea) inspired and for Japan and Mexico to be fired up by Hidetoshi Nakata and Jared Borgetti respectively (both Bolton).

World Cup

Germany win. Poland choke. And so goes the first day of the 2006 World Cup. Germany looked pretty good going forward but woefully inept in defence. Only saw parts of Ecuador vs. Poland, but neither struck me as any good. A bold Beef prediction would be that the winner of the World Cup will not come from Group A.

Geraint Jones on his way out?

So what if Geraint Jones' batting has been abysmal for the last year and a bit, actually most of the time since he was blooded against the Windies back in 2004? His defenders retaliate that his keeping is improving. Kind of helps for a wicket-keeper. I'd even go so far as to say it's a pre-requisite for a wicket-keeper.
So who should be his successor? Personally, I would favour Chris Read others would venuture for Matt Prior, James Foster or even Mark Wallace. They'd be wrong, of course.
However, this photo from the ECB's annual report has filled me with dread. Is this England's new keeper?

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Popular opinion

F*cking polls and not in the post-Jan Tomaszewski 1974 trauma (I am traumatised and I wasn't even born) meaning. As in opinion gauging polls, or more specifically the quite frankly not much cop
I ran my hugely under-appreciated Mitchell poll through them. Firstly, people couldn't vote, it just said the vote had been cancelled. It seems some people though could vote more than once. Eventually, I got notification saying the poll had been suspended due to some form of violation? How can a poll on my blog be violated? How could you? Grant Mitchell was the run away winner with only Senator George Mitchell not getting a vote, which is harsh considering the collective merits of a man who oversaw the Ireland peace process and Ben Mitchell.
None of you will be surprised that readers overwhelmingly recorded their distaste for Davina McCall.
I have two new polls up. Neither of them seem to work properly. I can't be bothered to take them down.

Celeb spotting

I knew I recognised them from somewhere

Was having a pint in the glorious Summer outdoors of Covent Garden last night - well actually it had clouded over a bit by then - and suddenly there's a few police motorcycles on the scene (unfortunately no sh*tting police horses around) directing traffic and here comes the limo and it's the Queen and Prince Phillip. I was well chuffed. And surely a good omen given England's forthcoming odyssey in the fatherland.

It's Street War (and certainly not Class War)

Feeling insecure?

Tories talking about rap. Sorry posh Eton-educated Tories talking about rap. With all the social resonance of a nun talking about smack.
Call me Dave 'Looking almost as old as Ming' Cameron has spoken up about gun and knife crime. Social deprivation? Lack of social inclusion? Desperation? Exasperation? Class struggle? No f*cking way, Dawg:
"I would say to Radio 1, do you realise that some of the stuff you play on Saturday nights encourages people to carry guns and knives?"
This criticism was levelled particularly at White Men Can Jump, faux Brixton accented, 49 year-old Radio 1 Hip Hop DJ, Tim Westwood. In that case I would like to level the same accusation at Virgin Radio for ilicitting the exact same reaction when they play anything by Coldplay or Queen.
Maybe I just don't hang out with the same homies as Dave. Step to Dave.

Essential World Cup info

A kind-hearted comrade sent the following link. Essential for anyone who is unfortunate enough to be plagued with work whilst the World Cup is on. WORLD CUP STARTS TOMORROW. In the immortal words of John McClane YIPPEE KI-YAY, M*THERF*CKER.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Robo Crouch merchandise

Was sent this picture. That is just great.

It's a miracle...

...much in the way that people on crutches realise they can walk at an Evangelical meeting and discard their crutches and consigning their disability to the rubbish bin of the past.

1) Is Rooney a mutant sharing Wolverine's capacity for quick recovery? Unlikely, epsecially given that if his bones were covered by a layer of adamantium he probably wouldn't have broken his foot in the first place.

2) Is Rooney the Son of God? Also unlikely, but a possibility some of the theologians of you might care to consider.

3) Can a diet of sausage, beans and chips heal your bones?

Oh Ballacks/Ode to a predictable title

Michael checks his Ballacks

It's World Cup fever and what better way to gear up than the news that the German's star player being crocked? Wayne Rooney's seemingly near miraculous recovery from injury notwithstanding.
Interestingly (or not) I'll try a bit of a test. It is only for people with a good, sound knowledge of football. Word association. What word do you associate with Michael Ballack. TALISMANIC.
It's amazing. Read any article about Ballack and it will go on about how he's the German talisman. A quick Google search has offered the following Ballack/Talisman-isms

Ballack is Germany’s talisman – and playing as a midfielder, he’ll be priced up at very tasty odds to open the scoring in Germany’s group games.

Bayern resigned to losing talisman
Bundesliga champion Bayern Munich has become reliant on goals from German international Michael Ballack but must now think about looking for another source of inspiration with the player poised to sign for Chelsea.

Hosts Germany open the World Cup against Costa Rica on Friday and they will need their playmaker and talisman to be at his best as they aim for cup glory in front of their own fans.

*beeps buzzer* repetition.

Sadly this isn't Just a Minute though. The deification of Ballack is due to the fact that this is not a great German team, but Ballack is good enough to have played in those glory teams.

Anyway over to Jurgen Klinsmann, the German Obermesiter and Coach:
"He's our leader and our skipper and we hoped to have him available." Harks back to times gone by - Ein Volk, Ein Fuhrer, Ein Mittelfeldspieler and perhaps now Ein Talisman.

Mark Oaten

Now Schadenfreude is, at times, an unpleasant trait. It's just not nice to laugh at other's misfortune. Just tragic when an (potentially) influential politican loses it all by lying, cheating on your* wife and being hypocritical.
And you know what? It's not John Prescott.

No the only man in Parliament whose love life dredges up even more repugnant images than Prescott's; one Mark Oaten.
Well it seems that Oaten is now sporting something rapidly becoming something approaching a goatee (which is something approaching a beard). Apparently, he was running the mile for Sports Aid today and a source who was there, for God only knows what reason, was very impressed with Oaten's performance however noting he lost a 'sprint' finish against fellow Liberal Democrat, Tom Brake. My source revealed that Oaten was wearing his Watford socks (maybe after Kerron washed them??). Back in the days of Oaten's scandal it was revealed (allegedly), amongst other things, that Oaten liked his boys dressed in football kits. Perhaps it set off alarm bells seeing his Hornet stockings (nothing sleazy there - football socks are commonly called stockings. OK not commonly, but technically) and Tom decided not to put the brakes on. Ha ha.
Looking for a picture I typed in "Oaten beard" and found this touching verse from Richard Lovelace's, Grasshopper:

O thou that swing’st upon the waving hair
Of some well-fillàed oaten beard,
Drunk every night with a delicious tear
Dropt thee from heaven, where thou wert rear’d!

If anyone has swung on Oaten's well fillaed beard please let me know at

* On re-reading this article, which really is something because most people don't read it in the first place, I noticed that it hsouldn't read your wife but rather his wife. No offence or discomfort meant to anyone.

Idiots without peers

It is hardly surprising that the House of Lords is on the verge of hammering another nail into its coffin. This time over the issue of smoking in public places. The House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee has expressed concerns that MPs failed to consider evidence that passive smoking is more risky in the home.
I never got the subte undertone that the Bill was introduced to encourage people to go and smoke at home. It is, simply put, the biggest challenge to the public health status quo since the inception of the NHS. Arguments about personal liberty are banded around by Lord and Ladies clearly at the coalface of humanitarian altruism. Indeed. I find it an offense to my personal liberty, that the Government I voted for are being prevented from carrying out vital legislation by a bunch of pampered cronies, placemen and toffs (as the Daily Mirror editorial puts it)
Lord Wakeham, the Chair of this Lords Pipes, Bongs, Fags and Stogies Group (or something like that) believes the Government is too concerned with risk rather than an infringement of personal liberties. Now I disagree with that argument when it is used by Chakrabati and the sandal massive in relation to I.D Cards, but at least you can see where that argument is coming from. This is purely a ham-fisted, clumsy, reactive and ultimately predictable bit of delaying from an institution that is more out of touch with the people of the UK than Sven when he persisted in playing Emile Heskey.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Rooney update

*DISCLAIMER* this article is on Wanye Rooney, not Mickey Rooney.

The boy wonder is back on his way to full match (winning) fitness and is so confident has has told Sven he is "300% certain" he will play. Now that's a man who knows his own mind. 300%? Ask me if I'd vote Tory at the next General Election and I would be 100% sure I won't, but 300%. WOW.
Anyway enter screen left, the perennial killjoy Gary Neville - presumably sour due to his ugliest player at Man Utd title being under threat by Man Utd's continued interest in Franck Ribery. Neville says not to expect too much of Rooney citing himself as an example describing how he suffered a similar metatarsal prior to the last World Cup but was running and training only for the scan to show up that an operation was required. Oh do shut up Garrence! We know Rooney might not make it, but what England fan, in their right mind, thought before the last World Cup: "England could win if only Neville gets fit in time."
It's not to the detriment of England to say that we have more chance of success with Rooney than without him. He's the best player in England. It's like Ronaldinho getting injured for Brazil, they'd want him back but would be confidnet without him. The same mindset must prevail in Camp England.

ITV makes a dog's dinner of Pickles

I do enjoy terrible TV and in my life I do not recall an equally terrible programme ever being given the red light than ITV's Pickles: The Dog That Won The World Cup. Starring Paul Kaye, the ex-Dennis Pennis, as a cockney down-on-his-luck whelk with the World Cup around the corner. Lenny (Kaye's character) is unemployed, his TV gives up the ghost and his dinner is nicked by his dog. Not just any dog though. Oh no, this is ITV! And this is family entertainment so it's a talking dog! And who better to voice a dog than Harry Enfield. A man whose purpose expired sometime in the last millenium. This dog can only communicate to other animals and, sadly, the audience. the dog's a trouble-maker, supposedly loveable and also fiercely patriotic (he even comes up against a German hound called Fritz and verbally assaults the poor hun mutt with some World War II rememberance. You know your show's going down the pan when you are relegated to dealing with a deeply xenophobic dog ).
And what a star-studded cast: not only Kaye but there's Keith Barron, formerly of Duty Free amongst others and if this pile or crap couldn't slip any further - who's this playing a very stereotypical Scotch bad guy? (You see the World Cup was stolen by two Scots who were going to plant it in the centre circle at Hampden Park - eat your heart out Andy Murray!) Yep it's that guy who used to be in Eldorado (he played Drew) and was also in Eastenders as DCI Mason who uttered my most favourite Stenders line of all-time: "Grant Mitchell I'm arresting ye for attempted moy-der".
Yep Pickles was absoutely dire and I watched it.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Summer in the City

What a lovely day. Unless you got other issues going on, it's impossible not to enjoy it when the sun is beating down. I was enjoying a leisurely stroll across St James Park and it was really cool. However, I could not but notice the large numbers of police in the park. I know that it's location makes it a kind of hot spot (even when it's cold) but during my 5 minute walk I saw 4 policemen (2 sets of 2) on bicycles and two mounted policemen and then about 6 (unless they were wlaking in very quick circuits) regular beat bobbies and on leaving the park a team in a car. That's a lot of police presence!
The downside - well, how's about horse shit? There is loads in the park. Mind due if the photo opposite (lifted from the Metropolitan Police site) is accurate, it's hardly surprising that horses are left with irritable bowels after this training routine. I wonder if a mounted police officer on a chase would have to guide their mare through burning rings. Maybe if they're based in South London, I suppose. Anyway, as ever, I am off on a tangent...
I thought it ironic for two police officers to be talking to some vagrant, presumably on some ASBO related offence within smelling distance of horse turd laid with the regularity, and probably same consistency, as council employees digging up and relaying a segment of pavement. Which one is the ASBO? Personally, I think the homeless would get in a lot of schtuck for sh*tting in public but it's kind of accepted, de rigeur behaviour for police horses. I smell a rat, something fishy; or is it just horse shit?

Better than the Crouch robo-dance

Let's face it if Rooney's fit, England have a better chance of winning the World Cup. Rooney's on the comeback -

Swedes are scared

I do enjoy football and with the World Cup just around the corner, it is the perfect time to put everything behind you, kick back and watch football. Loads. So I was just having a surf for some latest World Cup gossip and stumbled upon the BBC's football gossip column where they have a true scoop from an eminent British tabloid:

Sweden are petrified of facing England in the World Cup.
(The Sun)

Now that is news

Sunday, June 04, 2006

England play beyond Reggae Boyz' tune

Thoroughly enjoyed England's stuffing of Jamaica. 6-0 and could perhaps have been more, especially Crouch's look-at-me-i-am-good-oh-shit-i'm-not penalty. By the way how can it be a hat-trick when his first was most certainly an own goal? Oh well - not for me to piss on the big guy's robotic parade.
Must say it was a treat to hear Jimmy Cliff's live version of the Jamaican National Anthem. It really was something. Obviously the chances of England getting a catchy anthem are somewhere between No Hope and Bob Hope, unless their is a bloody revolution to overthrow the monarchy and replace God Save the Queen with its Sex Pistol's namesake.
But anyway so what if Jamaica having Jimmy Cliff, England have...Debra Stephenson. Yep - her out of Corrie and, as Motson dutifully, helpfully and somehow without laughing points out, 'she played a female footballer in Playing the Field - how that slipped under my televisual radar I can only rue.
And after Cliff finished the camera panned across to David Beckham clapping. Quite right.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?