Saturday, 23 June 2012
In sports journalism parlance the only difference between “honest” and “crap” is the result. Last Tuesday England put in one of their more honest performances; one suspects they’ll need an extraordinarily sincere performance to come through against the Italians on Sunday; applause for the Italian player who claimed - with a straight face - that England would start as favourites. If by some miracle England beat Italy they meet Germany in the semi-final, and we all know what happens then. Yet there’s always hope, were Italy really that good against Spain or were Spain starting slow? And when I think about it, for 60 or so minutes Germany didn’t look too convincing against the whipping boys Greece until, remembering they were “in it to win it”, they started to play like their usual selves. But first things first, let’s concentrate on tomorrow’s game; I find England are ranked sixth and their opponents twelfth... that makes us twice as good... we ARE the favourites. These are the FIFA world rankings - where dreams can come true.
Thursday, 21 June 2012
There is a deficit in this country that can be tackled through a mixture of cuts and taxes; the latter not being particularly good for growth, attention has focused on the former. This is nothing that the private sector hasn’t already experienced; whether through pay cuts, redundancies or the cutting of employer pension contributions. A similar exercise is underway for public sector workers whose own pensions tend to be more generous, and the decision made that proportionally more of the burden would fall on those most able to pay; it’s not a label I particularly care for, but this is often called ‘progressive’. Over several months there have been strikes from various public sectors, each convinced that someone else should pay. Today it was the turn of doctors; their own unintentionally amusing take is that they are disproportionally affected. It’s as if they’re not aware - not even the liberals amongst them, of whom I know a few - that this is the whole point.
Tuesday, 19 June 2012
|Spot the difference.|
And if I thought two teams I don’t care for was exciting, how exciting will it be to see England beat Ukraine tonight? They are fighting, lest we forget, for the right to be beaten by Spain or Italy in the quarter-finals. England have impressed by being not totally crap, except for 15 minutes in the 2nd half against Sweden when they were totally crap. Not even Harry Redknapp’s desperate attempt to keep himself on the back-page - by mouthing off even more than normal and getting himself fired - can deflect from the euphoria of still being in a competition over a week after it’s started.
Wednesday, 13 June 2012
Margaret Thatcher - The Musical, it’s only a matter of time. Not actually what I wanted to scribble but a random thought on the “is she or isn’t she (a feminist icon)” maelstrom that was. The film however was an age ago; the arguments, stale, packed away awaiting their final outing. I’ll not wait; on this subject I need to scratch an itch, though it’s hardly original. The answer to the question is “yes”. Those who answer “no” seem to fall into a number of groups:
- Those who miss the question. A person needn’t be a feminist to be a feminist icon; in the same way one needn’t be gay to be a gay icon.
- Those with the dogma, the syllogistic fallacies common to student-level politics; socialists are feminists therefore feminists have to be socialists. Oh dear.
- Those lacking a sense of history. Some might find the misogyny of today’s “lads mags” and the “girl power” message of not so long ago phony and dispiriting; I know I do, but it’s a breeze compared to the 1970’s.
Sunday, 3 June 2012
I put it down to poor use of a thesaurus; desire begot passion, and passion won out over professionalism, which suffered through being less easy to fake and having too many syllables. But who am I to talk? Two comments annoyed me last week; quite why I’ve been so irritable or these particular remarks I don’t know, they’re hardly the silliest. I’m beginning to think I have a specific dislike for good points badly made, or good subjects undercut by an over-the-top zeal.
Why are so many businesses down on discussion with emotion and passion? Gotta harness them and focus on a good final outcome.
If you’re not outside your comfort zone, you’re doing it wrong.
Saturday, 2 June 2012
The diagram that follows is wrong. In a recent discussion, a friend’s description of religion sounded - or so I thought - like philosophy, later I decided spirituality, which led me to wonder, as most do, on the relationship between the three. I am not completely happy with any of it, meaning I’m partially happy with some of it; and then I added atheism, lest I forget, to skewer my ideas completely. Canon Giles Fraser pointed out to Richard Dawkins not so long ago the questionable merit of pronouncing on someone else’s belief. Hence my own notions can only ever suit my own imperfect ideas. I think of it as a start to a more internal discussion.