Archive for March 8th, 2006

Blog On The Skids

If you want me to post about something, feel free to ask.

This is for the guy who came here via a Google search for Skid Row Slash Fiction:

“So Dave, why do they call you “the Snake”?”
“It’s a long story, Sebastian. Have you ever stroked a snake before?”
“Well try stroking this one, baby”
“But Dave, don’t you realise AIDS KILLS FAGS DEAD?”
“I know, but I guess I’m just a slave to the grind.”

After they embraced, Dave made Sebastian a T-Shirt, and Sebastian sang a song for Dave.

Dodgy Selections

If anyone asks you what your favourite book is, you should lie. It’s a pointless question, so you should answer it with the sole intention of impressing the person who’s asking. Michael Flatley, whose favourite book is most likely Ulysses, has the right idea.

Any sympathy I had for Mick McCarthy after his sacking by Sunderland has disappeared on learning that his favourite book is The Da Vinci Code. Another poor selection from McCarthy. If he had had the perspicacity to realise he was on the verge of being sacked, he could have chosen a book that would impress the good burghers of the next town in which he intends to ply his trade. For instance, if he’s interested in returning to Barnsley, he could have selected Dickie Bird’s autobiography.

I had a hearty guffaw at Dave ‘Dave’ O’Leary’s choice of Kane and Abel by Jeffrey Archer.

My favourite book, in case you’re asking, is Deleuze and Guattari’s Mille Plateaux.

Innocents Abroad Part II

On British football hooligans (a curious term, given the apparent etymology of hooligan), I was once in a pub in England on a Saturday afternoon when a raucous rendition of No Surrender To The IRA was struck up, complete with hardcore table-banging. Many English pubs on Saturday afternoons have a very pleasant atmosphere, often as friendly as any Irish pub (that said, the general friendliness of Irish pubs is seriously overrated), but I have found that given the right clientele, the mood can change in an instant.

I’m not a great actor. Quite a lot of people in the pub smiled uncomfortably at the choice of sing-song and the hi-jinks it was generating, and others continued talking, making a conscious effort to ignore the whole thing. I didn’t really know how to react – I simply couldn’t continue talking, as I didn’t wish to be identified as Irish. Football hooligans are not known for their ability to distinguish between Irish people and IRA members. I’m normally pretty good at putting on accents, but not under duress. If I’d tried to change my voice at that moment, I’d have sounded like Gerry Adams trying to impersonate Kenneth Williams. I feared A good hiding.

There was a full pint sitting in front of me when the singing started. After a few verses it was nearly drained. My companions hadn’t even got past the curved bit two-thirds of the way up that you get on a lot of English pint glasses. So I started to get paranoid, thinking that if anyone there wanted a game of Spot the Irishman, they wouldn’t have to look too far. The lad hoovering his pint at twice the speed of the rest of his mates would be a decent bet.

If you are in a situation where you are conscious of your personal safety, your sense of identity solidifies, perhaps against your will. I didn’t want to be Irish in that pub, but I knew that if I was overheard, that was what I’d become. I couldn’t simply ignore the fact of being Irish, as if it was something that one can assume and cast off at will, perhaps in the way you might choose to be a Millwall supporter.

Innocents Abroad

I see Rangers and Chelsea supporters have been spreading peace and love in Spain.

In Barcelona, six Chelsea supporters were arrested in a bar in Travessera de les Corts, after injuring the bar owner and two customers, and causing 9,000 Euros worth of damage. Another four were lifted in Ciutat Vella, one for attacking police officers, and the rest for destruction and public disorder. Four more were lifted in the Rambla de Canaletas, for setting bins on fire and breaking windows.

In Benidorm, some 130 miles away from where the Villareal-Rangers match was being played, eight Rangers fans were lifted after an incident that involved 600 people, throwing stones, bottles and glasses at police. A passer-by received a serious beating and was taken to hospital.

More Than A Woman?

It’s International Women’s Day today. My boss and her boss are off to a conference on women in the workplace, so I decided to keep myself amused by doing the Guardian quiz on women writers:

You scored 9 out of a possible 10
Congratulations – you are clearly a member of the sisterhood. But temper your triumph with Simone de Beauvoir’s wise words: “If you live long enough, you’ll see that every victory turns into a defeat.”

Peddling Hard, Going Nowhere Fast

A lot of what you read on blogs is polished turd:

These days, mainstream media fascination with blogs and the bloggers who love them often seems to assume that the very use of the Internet enhances the content or style of what has been written. It’s a seductive cyber-fantasy. Speed is useful, and so are hyperlinks and visuals-on-demand, but — fortunately or not, depending on your point of view — there’s no digital invisible hand that can move any piece of writing very far along the road to worthwhile reading.

You ain’t all that just ‘cos your opposing thumbs let you use a Blackberry:

A central paradox of the rapid advances in media technologies is that the quantum leaps in computer hard drives and software have been accompanied by an approximately zero boost in human mental capacity — or in what we refer to with such words as “insight,” “wisdom” and “compassion.” You can’t visit a local mall or an online site and pull out a credit card to purchase an upgrade in gray matter or human connection.

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March 2006