Monday, August 23, 2010

Crying Time

Well, that was quite a hilarious weekend of football. As much as we are all supposed to love plucky little Blackpool, the clubs owners have always seemed a bit dubious to me, what with Owen being a convicted rapist and all that. At the end of last week, we heard that the chairman had resigned because he is fed up with the avarice of agents: they forgot to mention that he is about to be made bankrupt and would not be allowed to carry on as chairman anyway. He jumped, just before he was pushed, Having said that, I have nothing against the team or the town, and didn't take any pleasure from their hammering; I did take some pleasure from Ian Holloway's post match thoughts though.

Poor old Wigan, once again, looked hapless, which is a real pity because I really like Martinez; we shall see how genial the Wigan owner is over the coming weeks. West Ham continue to embarrass themselves, which is always fine by me and  Sunderland and their marvellously loyal fans are finding out just how good Steve Bruce is.

Blues showed resilience once again, coming from behind to beat a frankly terrifying Blackburn side. Big Sam gets some stick for his Neanderthal ways, but they are much more than hoofball merchants. They certainly do not take any prisoners, but they have some pace and skill in that team, and those 3 points on Saturday will turn out to have been very good points indeed. Blackburn will finish in the top half, no question.

Eck made 3 changes on Saturday, the most telling being Gardner for Bowyer. Bowyer was very good when he first came to us and still hasn't really let anyone down, so it was quite brave of Mcleish to drop him, but it worked. I hope Gardner now gets a run in the team in central midfield, because he will only improve. Bowyer must accept the impermanence of shit and learn to enjoy sitting on the bench, coming on late in the game to help protect a lead.

I saw Newcastle on the box last week. Even allowing for the fact that they were playing Manchester Utd and that, as one or two commentators may have mentioned in passing, Paul Scholes is in a rich vein of form, they looked bloody hopeless, certain candidates for a quick return to the chumpionship, So it was easily the funniest and most unexpected delight of the weekend when they put 6 past our much loved and revered neighbours. It would not be seemly to dwell on it though.

I haven't really listened to 606 for years, I might listen to a bit here and there but it is never long before I am driven away by the inane banality of it, but I listened to it yesterday on the I player and was pleasantly surprised. Mark Chapman and Robbie Savage are very good, and Savage, in particular is happy to tell the callers that they are talking shit. As professional talking heads go, Savage is refreshingly honest and will also concede the point occasionally. Have a listen before it gets hyped to the heavens and becomes a parody of itself.

I went to see Simone Felice last week. It was a very good venue, the Buffalo Bar in Cardiff, which is not only a very cool place, but also serves a very good range of very well kept beer, which is a rare treat indeed. Felice recently underwent open heart surgery and this was, I think, only his second gig since his recovery, and it was brilliant. The man is probably the best, the most honest and the most poetic songwriter around at the moment, but he is also a showman into the very core of his being. He is either going to be huge, or he is going to go prematurely to his maker, so go and see him while you have the chance. He is touring Britain now, and will be back withThe Duke and the King later in the year, unmissable, either way. He made some solo, very stripped down versions of some of his songs when he first got out of hospital………it is a beautiful CD, only seems to be available at his gigs.

He was supported by Jeb Loy Nichols, who really, really surprised me. I had seen him before, supporting Richard Thomspon, and his music just drifted by; but in this more intimate venue, he was astonishing, he has a beautiful, rich, warm singing voice and writes songs of humour and poignancy. Having researched him a bit, he seems to be something of a renaissance man and his output is very eclectic. Well worth checking out.

While I was my holiday, I read Truth, by Peter Temple, and I have a mate, who also read the book on his holiday. We both agree that it is brilliant. Temple has an ability to evoke time, place and atmosphere using little more than dialogue which borders on genius. Don't read his very early books though, they are shit.

Anyone who may have glanced at this blog over the years will know that I have long banged on about inequality and the harm that it causes to everyone in society, those who gain from the iniquity as well as those who lose.  There is a good piece here discussing the work of  Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett, Even David Cameron has praised The Spirit Level, so it is really pissing me off that the Condems are intent on pursuing policies that will make the poor poorer and increase inequality. There is a brilliant piece in todays FT (sorry, you have to register, but it is free) which explains pretty cogently why the policies of this government are not progressive and will hit the poor very hard.

I recall saying, maybe even on here, that as much as New Labour may have disappointed some of us, we should never forget what a bunch of bastards the Tories are; what I had failed to realise is that the liberals are as bad!
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