Tuesday, December 01, 2009


There is a very good and moving programme on the World Service detailing the experience of the Argentine squaddy during the Falklands war. You can hear it here.

Driving into work this morning I heard an interview with John Lydon, on radio 4 of all the peculiar places. It was a bit snidey, the posh interviewer wondered if the audience at the upcoming PIL shows would miss Jah Wobble, Lydon wondered back if they might also miss any of the 37 others who passed through the band. These days I find Lydon to be a bit of a laughable figure but I found this interviewer to be very disrespectful. Maybe it's a class thing.

She was obsessed with getting Lydon to admit that he had sold out, as if any individual should be defined for the rest of their life by the things they did and said as twenty year olds, and she impertinently asked if he had given the money he had earned from his butter adverts to charity. I don't recall ever hearing ubiquitous media lovies like Stephen Fry being asked how they spend the money they make from their innumerable adverts. Cheeky chuffing cowbag.

To cap it all, the oafs in the studio made a point of referring to him as Johnny Rotten. I look forward to hearing them mockingly refer to Cassius Clay next time he is in the news.

The social work task force has presented its report, God bless it. After the Lydon interview, they interviewed two social workers and inadvertently put their finger on one of the problems with the profession. One of their experts had spent 7 years on the front line and is now director of applied social work at Derby polytechnic as well as being deputy director of the British Association of Social Workers.

After seven years, practising social workers are barely competent. After all in the old days when tradesman were properly trained, it took at least 3 years to become a gas fitter. Social workers like to think of themselves as professionals and few professions would consider you to be fully trained and competent after a mere seven years of practice. So this lady, after a measly seven years is now a director of a social work course and assistant director of a professional organisation. This is not unusual, management and academia in social work is full of people who have barely practised the game, in fact, many managers have never practised at all and have no social work qualification.

So, we have educators and key decision makers who have little or no knowledge of the mechanics of the job. And then we wonder why the profession is a laughing stock.

I read last week about the dark web........ a big long, scary article, all about this mysterious web where anything goes and no one can be found. It is not just dark, it is deep, much bigger than the so called surface web..........very, very scary, but I can't figure out how, if the thing is so large, how come I nor no one I know has any idea what it is or where it is. Unless every single person I know is lying to me. The scoundrels. What are they up to?

I'm currently reading Stieg Larrsons second book, all about Lisbeth Salander, poor orphan Annie, barely educated but with the mind of a genius and who certainly knows all about the dark web. It's all very implausible and, frankly, it is getting on my fucking nerves.

Charlie Brooker on Dubai: A sarcastic version of Las Vegas.

It's the time of the year for lists, and, what joy, it's the end of the decade so we dont just have best of year lists, we have best of decade lists, including, on The Independent website, "best adverts of the noughties". Excuse me while I go and open a vein.

It's being so cheerful that keeps me going.

There's not actually all that much to be cheerful about is there, although there is plenty to laugh about. For instance, going on the Community Care website to read about and discuss the social work task force report, you see that the main story is about councils cutting recruitment and training for social workers............which flies fully and rudely in the face of the recommendations of the report. Didn't make the news bulletins though. But, it gave us all a much needed chuckle.

Actually, for Blues fans, there is a fair bit to be cheerful about. 5 games unbeaten in the prem. Definitely not to be sniffed at. I have heard it said that a poor Blues side beat a very poor Wolves, but that's nonsense really, we are very far from poor. We took an early lead and I though oh shit, cattenacio time, and it was, to an extent, but it was not as bad as the previous week. We didn't just lump the ball back to Wolves and we did try to keep hold of it, although we could not be described as adventurous. Still, it was better. Maybe Eck really is a genius and sets the team out to do precisely what is required according to the opposition.

Some Blues fans though, are even more miserable than me, and a number of them have taken against Chucho Benitez. More nonsense. He has only scored once but there are mitigating circumstances. He is used as our outlet, so he spends most of the game chasing balls that have been lumped into the channels, which he does very well. He then has to control the thing and wait for the cavalry to arrive, all the while being harassed by hairy arsed defenders. Admittedly, he does have a tendency, once he has done the hard work, to take the wrong option, but bugger me, he wouldn't be the first foreigner to need time to adapt to the demands of the prem, and the Mexican League is unlikely to have presented similar challenges.

He is quite short, with a low center of gravity. he is strong, has pace, has a decent first touch and can turn on a tanner. Physically, he puts me in mind of players like Lineker, Greaves, Romario, and Muller. All had similar build, all had superb goalscoring records, but, they were goalmouth poachers, they didn't score many goals after chasing the ball into the corners and then having to hang around for five minutes until a man wearing the same coloured shirt arrived on the scene to help out.
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