Tuesday, April 22, 2003

For some, yesterdays victory has been spoiled by the antics of a coin chucker(s). It doesn't really detract from it for me, but then I didn't go home cut and bleeding from being struck by a four bob bit. I wasn't there anyway, but you get my drift. This has happened before, and it will happen again. Blues don't seem to take it seriously, but when we get the inevitable fine, or worse, for repeat offending we will bleat about the establishment hating us.
This could be stopped, and a few suggestions have been made on one of the Blues message boards. Video evidence and life bans seem to be the favourite. Someone suggested putting the family stand in the area that seems to attract all the ill behaviour. And thereby hangs a tale which illustrates the general malaise.
Until a couple of seasons ago, the family stand was in that area, adjacent to the away fans, and I stopped going in there with my nephews because the experience was so dispiriting. My own nipper is yet to go but when he does he won't go in that area, family stand or not. I can't tell you how depressing it is to be surrounded by very young nippers, all under ten I would guess, all shouting abuse and making wanker gestures at the adjacent away fans. Their inevitably pot bellied and closely shorn dads, far from discouraging this, actually join in and encourage them. It goes on all afternoon, not just in isolated incidents and is very far removed from good humoured banter.
This is a lesson learnt early in life then; at football matches, anything goes. Normal standards of behaviour simply don't apply and we can behave, shout and gesture in a way which would get us arrested, thrown out or beaten up in any other public arena. So it is not surprising that the adults who now frequent that area of the ground feel free to shout abuse unmercifully at our visitors, and for them to respond in similar fashion. It is broken window theorywrit small. Our technical debt is increasing. Tolerate the relatively insignificant things and people run away with the idea they can get away with anything because no one could give a shit anyway.
What is needed is a clampdown on any behaviour that would be found unacceptable elsewhere. It cannot be that difficult. We fans have a responsibility , even if it just to ensure that we don't give tacit approval. I wouldn't advocate actually confronting these chaps. They tend to be with their mates and are not the type to engage in meaningful discourse. If people don't shout "fucking wanker" and suchlike at fellow diners or train pasengers or whatever, just for the hell of it, they shouldn't do it at fellow football fans. They should be chucked out. Immediately. Hopefully the message will penetrate. Of course "ordinary decent" fans will then complain that the passion is being taken out of the game.

Why am I not surprised to learn that the dude who is to rebuild Iraq is a right wing nutter. And why do I practically need to have a degree in research methods in order to find this stuff out? A free press? My chuffin eye.
Dump Jay Garner

Yet another reason to love the web. A Minnesota radio station is running a series of programmes, hosted by Suzanne Vega on American Mavericks, in music. The glory of the web is that is available online, to any of us who care to visit the site, wherever we happen to be. Programmes one and two are up at present. The website itself is fantastic, with streamed programmes, complete concerts, biographies and loads more, including film clips.

Last night I watched the "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire" programme in which some middle class dude tried to defraud the programme makers of a milion quid. The chap was found guilty in a court of law a week or so back, yet Gwynn Topham believes he should be given the money anyway. Now in one sense I couldn't care less, but in another I am mildly outraged.
I think the guy, if not his buddies, should have gone to jail, rather than get a fine, which he will no doubt repay by selling his story.
Many years ago, I worked for a day or so a week in a local prison. As you would expect it was filled with the barely literate, the barely sane, the recidivists, the violent, and the desperate. The inmates were not much better either. Anyway, one chap used to come and see me regularly. He was not accepting of his sentence , which was 3 years although he fully accepted his guilt. What am I doing in here with these animals he would repeatedly ask, I did hardly anything, I don't belong here.
What he did was fake a burglary at his house for the insurance. I think he made less than a thousand pounds out of it. I would explain to him that the courts took a very dim view of fraud and as there could be no mitigating circumstances, in that it had to be thought out and planned in advance, there could be no excuses. Moreover it was just not cricket, it was cheating of the worst kind. He never accepted this, and he served his sentence with a sense of injustice and anger which grew daily.
What I didn't say, because I didn't realise, was that he was also punished as a result of his class. His action was borne of desperation and was doomed to failure, all he would have achieved was a few hundred poxy quid, yet he got 3 years which he served completely in a very tough disposal prison. Meanwhile, major fraudsters such as Jeffery Archer get to work in theatres and have Italian lunches with female warders, even after flouting prison rules. And the distinctly well educated and obviously middle class likes of the millionaire fraudster walk away with little more than egg on their faces.


I post the above for the benefit of Bluetitch, the soppy bugger. It is atypical of the many beautiful images you can set as wallpaper at Digiteysed.
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