Sunday, January 27, 2008

It's yer money I'm after baby

The last time I put a bet on was during the World Cup in 2006. What made me put one on this weekend I'm not really sure. But, I decided, the head rules for this one. So I pick the hot favourites - Boro, Arsenal, Portsmouth, Chelsea, ManUtd and Celtic. So, if the latter two win today, I've got forty quid from a £5 stake. Of course, the heart will then take over and I'd put all the winnings on Celtic to win the Champions League - what a chube!

*Wonder Stuff


Monday, January 21, 2008

Blown Away *

Hey, I was going to give all this blogging crap up, but thought I'd stay loyal for a bit more. Well, blogging has brought me loads of fucking happiness and love - all in the form of JJ. I've also met stupendous people as a result - I was reminded of this yesterday when I was sat in the same Wetherspoon's pub in Charing Cross Road yesterday where I bored Darren a few years back.

Anyway, I've been wanting to blog about seeing Glengarry Glen Ross (twice) but didn't get round to it. I've been wanting to blog about seeing 39 Steps in Northampton last week, which was very very funny, but didn't get round to it. Also hoped to get round to blogging about going to see Cabaret tomorrow night (where shall we eat beforehand, JJ?), but haven't had the time or inclination to.

Also wanted to mention some great sounds I've been listening to lately.

Soulsavers - It's Not How Far You Fall, It's The Way You Land
Robert Wyatt - Comicopera
Proclaimers - Life Without You
Modest Mouse - don't know the name of it
Hot Chip - don't know the name of it
LCD Soundsystem - don't know the name of it
Radiohead - In Rainbows
Mekons - Natural
Gay For Johnny Depp - Blood: The Natural Lubricant
Suicide - Suicide
British Sea Power - British Sea Power
British Sea Power - The Decline of British Sea Power.

Also, some great books have been devoured.

George Pelecanos's The Night Gardener - absolutely beautiful novel. The name of this blog hints that I've got quite a thing for Pelecanos and this book will prove why. Fucking stunning.

Harlan Coben's The Woods - thought it a bit derivative at first as it hints at one or two of his other stories, but still quite a romp. And he'a a fucking good writer.

JM Coetzee's Disgrace - stupendous, but not a pleasant read by any means. Morally complex (and it's not often I'll come out with bollocks like that) and not easy to work out.

Iain Banks's Whit - a lovely lovely story about a Stirlingshire religious cult. The description of the main protagonist leaving the cult on an inflated inner tube and getting all the way to Edinburgh by river and sea is a delight. Don't understand why I didn't get round to reading this when it came it out.

* The Pixies


The Only Living Boy In New Cross*

Ok, should have done some research before writing this, but big shout goes out to the Young Mayor of Lewisham, whatever his name is. It seems that this geezer organises gigs, the latest being at the Albany in Deptford last Friday night, catering for the borough's teenagers. The boy tells me that there were "hundreds" there on Friday and that the place was "totally bare" and "skein" (not sure if that's how you spell this new yoof word, but I do know that it means "cool" or, even, "good"). The thing is, the boy and all his mates and, according to the boy, most of the young people around, know the name of the Young Mayor (I don't, obviously) and it made me wonder about comparing the ratio of youngsters who know the name of their elected Young Mayor to those "adult" voters in the borough who know the name of our mayor. Then again, who gives a fuck?

*Carter USM


I Am A Cliche *

"Bus inspectors? Bus inspectors? I'll tell you about bus inspectors. Thir aw a bunch of fascist bastirts. I should know, ah wis wan!" (Rab C Nesbitt)

And there Rab kind of sums up my feelings about journalists. Not that I think they are a bunch of fascist bastards, of course, but just that, generally speaking, I hate them. And, yes, I was one. I wasn't a "normal" one. No formal training for the job, other than by attending the right (as in proper rather than wing) party meetings and being able to string two words together. But, as I was paid £10,000 a year when taking the job back in 1996, then having any formal training wasn't such a big consideration (wages when I left in 2002 was £12,000 a year). Good perks though. Got into as many football matches as I wanted. Free CDs - some shite, some excellent (introduced to Camera Obscura by freebie of their debut landing on my desk). Free theatre tickets, usually on opening night which made for some name-dropping about who I shared a table, drink or row with (meeting Ruby Wax, Lulu, Zoe Wannamaker, Peter Richardson and a bunch of others on the same night was quite an experience). Free opera tickets. Gigs. All that kind of made up for shite wages. Only thing was, by the time I left just over five years ago, I hated it. I hated the newspaper I worked for. I hated all newspapers. I hated all print journalism, except for Private Eye (it's starting to really annoy me now, it's getting extremely boring), the Spectator (it was hilarious in the run-up to the last General Election) and Uncut (yes, writing about music counts as journalism! Don't really like it any more as one can only take so much Americana in one's life, but still enjoy Alan Jones's "Stop Me" column). Don't mind broadcast journalists. Well, of the Jeremy Paxman variety and didn't mind Radio 5 over the years, until now. But really cannot stand sports journalists on TV and radio. They really are fucking shite. Take that John Champion on Setanta tonight with his comment about Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez when Villa went in front: "He's not so much a dead man walking, more like a wounded man bleeding!" What the fuck is that supposed to mean? Or that cunt Andy Gray last week in the Blackburn v Bolton game when the ref, correctly, gave a Bolton player offside: "He was very close to getting that one horribly wrong." In other words, he got it absolutely right! It just didn't make any fucking sense whatsoever.

Making no sense of reality - a bit like all the journos speculating and writing about the successor to Steve McLaren as England football manager. When Sven was manager and then when he left the job, the vast majority of the English sports journalists were banging on about the need for an English manager. At the time, there really were only three in the running. The corrupt and unsuccessful Sam Allardyce, the corrupt and unsuccessful Harry Redknapp and the really fucking boring and unsuccessful Steve McLaren. The FA, to their credit, gave the job to the only creditable Englishman they interviewed. The journos were reasonably happy. Then, the players let McLaren down as they played utter fucking shite during the qualifiers, getting beaten by a team that struggled to beat Andorra in their last game, and all the same journos suddenly decided that having an English manager wasn't such a big deal after all - probably cos they only two in the running were the aforementioned corrupt Allardyce and Redknapp. So the journos decide to make up a story that Jose Mourinho wants to be England manager. Journos go on print, radio and TV to implore the FA to get their arses over to Portugal and sign him up. Only thing was, Mourinho never wanted the job. So what will those same journos now say about the "friends" of Mourninho who told them he wanted the job. What have they said about the "sources close to Mourinho" who told them he wanted the job. And what have they said about the "indications coming from the Mourinho camp" point to him becoming the next England manager? All fucking shite and all swept under the carpet.

Pause - fuck knows what the hell I am writing about here!

The person who decided to print the article in the "Work" section of the Guardian on Saturday about what firms should do when one of their employees "reassigns" their gender is a fucking idiot - as is the person who wrote it.

Peter Bradshaw, who wrote a piece in today's Guardian slagging off his own recent piece on Daniel Day Lewis is an idiot.

All journalists who reported on that stupid cunt Clarence Mitchell's press conference yesterday about Madelein McCann and the so-called "stranger on the beach" is a fucking idiot.

Newcastle fans are idiots - nothing to do with journalism, but, come on, they are, aren't they?

All journalists in Britain who continue to bombard us with stories about the fucking US primaries/caucases is a fucking idiot cos it has fuck all to do with us - it's not our fucking country, idiots!

All journalists who write columns about problems people experience at work and doesn't suggest that these same people should be in trade unions is a fucking idiot.

Err, time for bed as I really have no idea at all what all this shite is about!!

UPDATE: The journalist who has just said on BBC News 24, commenting on Edmund Hillary's funeral, that "his work in Nepal gave him a god-like status there" is a fucking idiot.

*X Ray Spex


Saturday, January 05, 2008

Love Thing *

Is this the best band name ever? I get the hint that this person thinks so.

And, on the subject of journalists (eh?), they really are a bunch of lazy bastards. I remember reading a really boring press release a few years back and seeing it printed word for word in the next day's Guardian with some cheeky cow's byeline on it. Anyway, I digress, it's just that I don't see the same journo regurgitating this press release!

*Spice Girls