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Wednesday, June 30, 2010


I never was mad on Moliere when I studied French. It all seemed too archaic, his plots (an underrated element of any fiction-writing) far too contrived.

The French loved him of course, and consider him their Shakespeare. It's one of the few aspect of French cultural life, along with Raymond Domenech and their penchant for air traffic strikes, that leave me baffled.

But by God is he on the money when he defined journalism:

Writing is like prostitution. First you do it for the love of it. Than you do it it for a few friends. And then you do it for money.

He's also spot on with a number of other observations too. On drinking:

Let us drink while we can. We cannot drink forever. (from Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme.)

And: Of all the noises known to man, Opera is the most expensive.

Mind you, he probably hadn't heard the whining of Irish bankers and developers. Compared to NAMA, opera is a total bargain. Not to mention much more tuneful.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Poison Pens Seven: The border Tories can see from Space

When is a satellite image from NASA not a satellite image from NASA?

When it's been doctored by the Torygraph, of course. See anything bogey in this pic?

Apart from the fact that is ISN'T one of the images released by NASA to celebrate the World Cup and is instead one of the Telegraph's 'favourites', there appears to be a strange meandering river crossing the island of Ireland.

Bizarrely, this river appears to follow exactly the political border between the Republic and the North. This is a river unknown to anyone who has ever been to Ireland. In fact, it doesn't actually exist. So how did it end up in a NASA satellite image?

I had a look at the other images, and of course no borders exist in any of them, because NASA are not a bunch of tools who photoshop borders onto satellite images.

But it seems that the Torygraph are. There you go - a border you can see from Space, but only if you're a Daily Telegraph reader.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Whine Rooney

At the Euro 2004 Championships, the sports journalists used to take the piss out of Sven-Goran Eriksson's accent.

Before each press conference, they would disseminate 'bingo cards'. Each had a well-used phrase from the Swede's hackneyed and accented vocabulary on it.

Some would get 'My bee, my bee not', Sven's favourite answer when asked if a particular player would be in the first eleven for the next game.

The winning bingo card was invariably the 'Whine Rooney' card, which wasn't surprising given Rooney's central role for England in that tournament.

Tonight, Rooney finally lived up to Sven's mispronunciation. The despicable underperformer had the shocking audacity to berate the England fans who booed his misfiring team on camera. Here's the footage if you missed it:

This pulchritudinally challenged, ill-educated chav has been made a multi-millionaire by the very people he attacked. Without them, he'd be stacking shelves in Toxteth or drawing the dole.

They paid thousands of pounds to travel to South Africa to support their country in the World Cup. They have every right to boo a performance as abject and pathetic as England's was against the Algerians.

Rather than mouthing off like a lout, he should be on his knees apologising to them profusely. They made him what he is. He owes them, not the other way around.

Thursday, June 17, 2010


First Saville, now this.
A great week for delayed justice finally delivered.

Hopefully that's au revoir to that money-driven fool Domenech and his merry band of cheats and child abusers.

Congratulations to Mexico. What a splendid performance of football in the face of diving, cheating, hacking and whining from their opposition.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Worst World Cup ever?

Certainly shaping up that way so far.

Why is this World Cup crap? Let us count the ways:

1. The vuvuzela drone. Apart from being profoundly annoying, it also drowns out fan singing, players can't communicate with each other, and it's so loud people are suffering from temporary deafness, and likely long-term hearing loss.
Furthermore, the argument that it is somehow integral to South African sport is pure horseshit. The vuvuzela was invented only a few years ago, and is already banned at cricket and rugby games in South Africa.

2. No goals. Or rather, far fewer than one might have expected. You could attribute this to the 'concede nothing' defensive mentality rife in the modern game. But I'm more inclined to blame...

3. The Jabulani ball. Seemingly lighter than a beach ball, this balloon has eradicated the possibility of scoring from set pieces. Once it's lofted into the air, it seems to go into orbit. Merely tapping it lightly is enough to send it into row Z at lightspeed.

4. Empty stadiums. This is what happens when FIFA insists that a 3rd world country spend money it can't afford building a plethora of soccer temples destined to fall into disrepair just like all those nice Olympic stadia in Athens have already.
Inevitably, the country tries to retrieve some money by pricing accordingly for the rich affluent Western fans who will come. Except they won't come, because this World Cup is being held in a 3rd world country with a global reputation for stratospheric rape and murder rates.
Result? Last minute ticket giveaways, and yet the stadia STILL aren't remotely close to full.

5. Unrest and danger. I like South Africa, but there's no way I was ever going to attend this tournament. The risks are simply too high. When the stadium stewards are causing riots rather than preventing them, a tragedy is inevitable.

6. No one has crippled that cheating thief Thierry Henry yet.

7. And now FIFA are getting the South African police to arrest women for wearing orange skirts in the stadium.

Roll on Brazil 2014. It can't come soon enough.