Friday, September 02, 2005

FArce and the theatre of the absurd…..

David Davies, FA Chief Executive and part time screaming skull impersonator was on the telly this morning. Dave, should have looked as sick as a parrot, but instead beamed a ghastly smile as he enthused about the prospect of Team GB entering a British Football Team into the 2012 Olympic Games. He should be ashamed of himself – he’s supposed to be championing English football and nothing else.

Maybe he was smiling because he knew something we don’t? Maybe a knighthood’s in the offing…. Who knows?

One thing’s for sure, Blair and Sports Minister Richard Cayborne have no doubt been leaning on him to comply with the New Labour all inclusive UK-ery credo. Predictably, the BBC have also fallen into their brown nosing position of abject surrender. Carefully selected vox-popping of non footy fans ‘on the street’ elicited predictably positive responses from people that knew bugger all about the beautiful game.

….. "Yes, a GREAT British football team, we'll beat the world!"...... "Ooooh yes, a British Football team, that sounds like a good idea"

Well, it doesn’t - at all!

Football is tribal – it’s the original sport to replace warfare. Allegiances matter, in my case it’s to the 3 lions (more correctly, the 3 leopards). Over the years, I’ve suffered their triumphs and tragedies. The boys of '66, Keegan’s dodgy perm, Pearce’s manic psycho stare, Gazza’s memorable goal celebration against the Scots – and Owen’s goal of genius against Argentina…. My team is Eng-er-land and always will be….. NOT Great Bri-tain.

And who will play for team GB? If it’s talent we’re talking about, then it’ll be 11 Englishmen. But I guess that won’t happen will it. Politics of the absurd will decree that the team should be equally spread across the 4 home nations for such a high profile team…

Looks like an early exit from the comp’ then……

For more info and an objective appraisal on this sorry state of sporting affairs have a look at Toque's take on it.
By the sea with the metal men…..

In between blinding headaches, Bank Holiday Monday saw the OK crew take in a bit of culture for the masses. Crosby beach, a stone’s throw from the Liverpool Freeport Docks complex is the setting for Antony Gormley’s ‘Another Place’ – which basically consists of around a hundred life size cast iron effigies of the artist liberally sprinkled around the beach.

Crosby beach is a bit of a weird place. The sand is fantastic, the sea is getting cleaner every year – young Salmon have recently been found in the upper reaches of the Mersey….. and now there’s a hundred rigid figures to add to the surreal vista.

We meandered through the sandhills down to the beach. The sand stretched away for a hundred yards or more to the shiny twinkles of the tumbling waves. The hot, high Sun in the middle of an azure blue wash – straight out of a David Hockney painting, the metal men stood erect, gazing out to sea in all their metalled nakedness.

It was all a bit surreal – I half expected some of them to be vandalised, nicked even, for scrap or trophies….. but they were all untouched. The only damage coming from Mother Nature. The iron is oxidising the skin - and the figures positioned further down the beach are suffering from a nasty rash of barnacle infestation in and around the nether regions.

The kids enjoyed them, so did the dog, he smelt up to half a dozen metal backsides before he gave up sniffing and started to wee on them instead.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Lights on, no one at home….

Posts have been thin to non-existent recently. Mainly because I’ve been feeling a little bit ‘wrrrrrrr’ and a little bit ‘gahhhhhh’ over the past few days. Laid low with blinding headaches, nausea and a distinct feeling that Stabby-Stan from Daggerthorpe was in residence just behind my right eye. The little git has been gouging away with his stabbing tools for all he was worth. Stabby stab, stabby stab, stabby. So much so that me old pals Pendle Witch, Bombardier and Cain’s Cask have had to go on a bit of a temperance sabbatical. Tuesday night was the worse – I took my eldest Son back to Chester – and drove the whole 80-mile round trip in the darkest glasses I could find…. at 10 o’clock at night. Today I’m feeling a lot better – and hopefully the headaches, nausea and Stabby have gone for good.

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear….

I’ve been left a few comments lately in reaction to some of my more contentious posts with the prefix ‘Oh dear’.

What does that mean then? ‘Oh dear’ ….. It’s beginning to bug me a bit. It sort of comes over a bit superior-like – or maybe a bit sanctimonious perhaps? It’s like a pat on a kid’s head from an adult…. "Oh dear – never mind, your mental faculties aren’t quite up to the mark"…..

Presumably it’s intended as a bit of a mild putdown from a brain of a planet bohemian. Maybe it’s the sort of thing Oscar Wilde might have said of one of his contemporaries. "Oh dear Mr Bernard-Shaw, you’re such a beardy-weirdy tosser".

I must remember, next time I need to dig out the ultimate literary equivalent of a roll of the eyes and a shake of the head – from the masters of quick wit and ready repartee… well, it’s got to be ‘Oh dear’….

Yup. Prose perfect.