Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Why I love my friends:

Ricky: So, after the first day of competition....who are you favouring?

Me: What?


I think the Irish really have a strong chance again, man.

Ricky: I'm still rooting with the Irish

Me: Moran's better than ever, and Mullet may be getting on a bit, but he's still bringing in the points.

Ricky: Who can discount the Bulgarians though....Krum is still a force to be reckoned with

Me: True, but I think they've had their day, to be honest. I don't think they'll make it past the semis.

Ricky: How are you feeling the French this year?

Me: I don't think they'll make it past that match with Sweden.

Had they been drawn against, say, Italy, first, I think they'd have had more of a chance,

but I think Sweden will dominate them, and they won't really recover.

Ricky: A lot of the Scandinavia have some good representation this year

Me: They have.

Ricky: Finland are looking really strong....some really attractive Quidditch being played there.

Me: Yeah, they've gotten really good in the past few years. That win over Chile in the Qualifiers was fantastic!

Opening ceremony was as spectacular as ever..

Ricky: Wyrd Sisters...on key as per usual

Me: They're so consistently great.

Bagman went on a bit, though..

Ricky: How he worked his way up to Minister for Magic I don't know.

Me: Appalling decision. I mean, true, Fudge's second term wasn't much better, but at least he knew what he was doing..

Ricky: Fudge was always going to haunted by the war....and the fact that he was the man that let Voldemort come back.

He made a good fist of it when all's said and done.

Me: Yeah, but Bagman? I think that'll go down as THE example of a protest vote gone wrong.

Ricky: Yehh but it was him or Umbridge....who would you rather see there....it's a no brainer mate.

Me: Haha! You don't lie.

I think the whole Ministry needs a good overhaul. People seem to be pretty enamoured with that Potter guy, but I'm just not big on celeb politicians.

I think Longfoot could do the job, though.

Ricky: Potter should stick to catching the snitch. If he'd stuck to that and not gone sticking his scar into politics then he'd be leading this England squad.

Me: He would! What do you think of our chances, then?

Knocked out by Japan again?

Ricky: We'll never win it anyway....shows what you get for appointing that bloody Italian wizard as coach

Me: Too true!

Ricky: About time they installed that Wood guy as the coach.

He may be young but he's got the skillz

Me: Oh god yes! I mean, he's the reason Puddlemere are the team they are these days.

He was our best acquisition so far, after kitting the team out with the new Firebolt IIs.

Ricky: They've even got the Harpies worried!

Me: The Cannons need some of them! What are you guys on?

Ricky: Aha....Nimbus 2001's....if we're lucky.

Me: Haha! Bless. I mean, granted, you keep trying, but I think relegation is going to come knocking soon.

Ricky: Oh for a turnaround at that club!!

I mean, when you've Weasley as your best player...you know you're in dire straights.

He's not bad in front of the hoops....but again, he's no Wood aha

Me: True. I think you can count the number of goals Wood let in for his entire career on both hands.

Ricky: Weasley would need the spare fingers from Wood to even get started on his tally

Me: Hahaha!

Me: His wife's hot, though. You seen her?

She does a lot of charity work.

Ricky: Ahh....Hermione Weasley....the WAG to end all WAG's

Me: She has it all.

You know, maybe you should give her a run at being Keeper. She couldn't be worse..

Ricky: Well, presumably she know's how to handle the red balls...

Me: Ohoho!

The clash with the robes is something not to be sniffed at.

Ricky: It's horrific.

Me: You'd imagine they'd do better, actually, what with the glare.. It can't be easy to score with that in your eyes..

Ricky: Well it's not helped us out this season I can tell you.

or the last one, or the last one, or the one before that

or before that.

Fucking Puddlemere....YOU used to be the joke team....now it's really only us

Me: I know!

And all the new 'supporters' as well..

Where were you when we'd never won a game?!

I've gotta dash, man. Nom's ready.

Ricky: Inabit You wonderful geek you x

Me: I'll speak to you soon, though. Make sure to catch USA vs Germany on Saturday. Should be good.


Sunday, 18 July 2010

Upon finishing 'His Dark Materials'.

There's something so wonderful about finishing a really great book. It's that sublime combination of empathy, passion, and clarity of mind that flows through your veins as you come to the end of the last page. Wearied from the journey you've inevitably been on with the characters, burdened moreso by the weight of your own experiences, the sense of relief is palpable.

Really good books always leave me feeling a little drunk, and allowing oneself to sink into that blissful catatonia is one of life's greatest pleasures. The intellectual high combined with the base and complex power of the emotions you are left with, sweep over your life like a sea mist, dampening everything with its touch. This is the time to create. To fuck, to kiss, to do something with your life. Even just to sit and watch the magnificent glory of the world pass you by, feeling a little richer for your pleasures.

But it never lasts. The fog clears, the dew dries, and soon you are left clinging desperately on to the last fragments of whatever world you have just left. The schwa-like urges you craved to fulfil ebb away, and soon you are left once more to the mercy of the real world, with only a fragile sense of dislocation to remind you of what you briefly were.

You were an adventurer, and in this sense almost all good literature is a work of fantasy. For like the protagonist in any fantasy novel, you return to your world to a blank reaction. No one can know what you've gone through, and any attempt to try to explain would cheapen the epiphany. You must simply labour on, enlightened by the wonders you've seen.


Thursday, 15 July 2010

Up Onto the Bandwagon and Round the Moat

Never one to miss a bandwagon, I thought I'd chime in on the raging media storm concerning serial attacker Raol Moat. Now I've been in a bit of an internet blackout for the past couple weeks, so I didn't catch the story as it was coming in, but I've read a couple articles, and listened to an interview. I may not be informed, but that doesn't stop The News of the World from going out every day, so why should it stop me?

Now I want to make it absolutely clear that of course I think that the acts committed by Raol Moat were atrocious, and I do not agree with any of the dissident opinions concerning him. I do, however, take issue with the nation's reaction to the Facebook group declaiming him 'a legend'.

Now these kinds of groups and fan pages are commonplace. They're basically the home take-away option for internet trolls. Instead of having to go out to YouTube videos and cause consternation in the comments there, they simply set up an obscene group and let the indignant come to them. They are nothing more than a cheap laugh for those that enjoy such a thing. Obviously there will be people coming to these groups that do harbour unsavoury opinions regarding their content, but overall, they are made up of bored idiots convincing themselves of their brilliance.

Now aside from the tabloid reaction to the papers being a dire case of 'feeding the trolls', the public demand to Facebook to remove such a group, and indeed, the Prime Minister's plea to the website, is something worth looking at. Although the page was indeed a joke, the government's sudden decision to tell us with whom we can and cannot sympathise is unacceptable. Enforcing moral character is not a governmental responsibility.

Unfortunately, in this case, the person behind the Facebook group did have the intellect of a particularly small amoeba. In this stunning interview with Ian Collins*, it is clear that Siobhan O'Dowd** doesn't have the brain cells to understand just why her case was important, neither did she have the wit to counter Collins' not overly challenging questions. The country missed what could have been a vital chance to openly debate the nature of opinion and how we can and should express it. Instead we got a half-assed, botched attempt at humour that was dragged on longer than necessary by a press waiting with baited breath for any possible chance at outraged indignation.


*A man who clearly sees himself as a halfway house between John Humphrys and Jeremy Kyle but instead comes across like Tim Westwood trying to 'get politikal'.
**Who by no means deserves to share a surname with George or Chris