Archive for June, 2006


Hodges Figgis has one of its sales on, when they drag out all the slightly odd and scruffy editions they keep holed away in some warehouse north of Finglas for 11 months of the year. For a compulsive book-buyer this sort of thing is difficult to resist, and as I have been splurging far too much of late, I was rather delighted with my restraint today. I picked up a Gore Vidal essay collection for 6 Euro, which according to my (very rough) calculation works out at two essays for the price of one cigarette. At such knockdown prices I’m acquiring cultural capital and saving my life at the same time.

Phalanx For The Memories

When it comes to Spain, there are certain cliches readily available to a person writing in English. If what you are describing generally involves people sitting outside, as people in sunny countries often do, then you should make sure you place sangria on the table in front of them. So instead of people sitting outside, you have people sitting outside sipping sangria, which sounds far more interesting. When describing decisive acts, whether involving physical endeavour or not, you always have the option of alluding to bullfighting. So instead of ‘he comfortably saw off his opponent in straight sets’, why not say ‘he saw off his opponent with matador instinct’?

In this vein this Guardian report mentions ‘matador football’. What it also mentions, and I have never seen this one before, is Spain’s team described as follows:

With Spain’s phalanx of minimalist technicians happy to pass the ball among themselves early on, the first half-hour passed off almost entirely without incident.

One imagines that the reporter is not aware of how ‘phalanx’ translates into Spanish, nor is he aware of its significance in Spain. At least one would hope not. Perhaps we can look forward to Fabio Cannavaro getting referred to as The Duke in the next report on Italy?


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Taken the other day out the back.

OK, so you’re a convicted murderer

I always had my suspicions about Shania Twain (because I’m Brad Pitt) and this story certainly don’t impress me much: Shania Twain sex dance woman jailed.

Uprising Inspiration

BBC on Bush in Hungary:

On a visit to Budapest to mark 50 years since an uprising against Soviet
rule, Mr Bush said Hungary represented “the triumph of liberty over tyranny”.

Iraqis, he said, would take inspiration and “draw hope” from Hungary’s


It can be a pain in the ass trying to think up a h…

It can be a pain in the ass trying to think up a headline for a post. But other times it can be useful as a means of distracting from the rather mediocre content.

Roy Greenslade’s blog is rather good. On Aznar a…

Roy Greenslade’s blog is rather good.

On Aznar and Murdoch:

Murdoch said that Aznar, a lifelong politician without any track record in the
media industry, will be useful to the company because of “his impressive grasp
of world politics and the realities of globalisation, as well as his clear
commitment to fiscal rectitude”. But there are bound to be cynics who will
suggest that it was Aznar happens to be a friend of the publisher who admired
him for backing for the war on Iraq.

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June 2006