Friday, August 31, 2007

Something About England

This made me spit tea all over my laptop today...

Dumb Britain

QUIZMANIA (ITV)
Greg Scott: We're looking for an occupation beginning with 'T'.
Contestant: Doctor.
Scott: No, it's 'T'. 'T' for Tommy. 'T' for Tango.
Contestant: Oh, right . . . (pause) . . . Doctor.

DANNY KELLY SHOW (RADIO WM)
Kelly: Which French Mediterranean town hosts a famous film festival every year?
Contestant: I don't know, I need a clue.
Kelly: OK. What do beans come in?
Contestant: Cartons?

BEG, BORROW OR STEAL (BBC2)
Jamie Theakston: Where do you think Cambridge University is?
Contestant: Geography isn't my strong point.
Theakston: There's a clue in the title.
Contestant: Leicester.

BBC NORFOLK
Stewart White: Who had a worldwide hit with What A Wonderful World?
Contestant: I don't know.
White: I'll give you some clues: what do you call the part between your hand and your elbow?
Contestant: Arm.
White: Correct. And if you're not weak, you're...?
Contestant: Strong.
White: Correct - and what was Lord Mountbatten's first name?
Contestant: Louis.
White: Well, there we are then. So who had a worldwide hit with the song What A Wonderful World?
Contestant: Frank Sinatra?

LATE SHOW (BBC MIDLANDS)
Alex Trelinski: What is the capital of Italy?
Contestant: France.
Trelinski: France is another country. Try again.
Contestant: Oh, um, Benidorm.
Trelinski: Wrong, sorry, let's try another question. In which country is the Parthenon?
Contestant: Sorry, I don't know.
Trelinski: Just guess a country then.
Contestant: Paris.

UNIVERSITY CHALLENGE (BBC2)
Jeremy Paxman: What is another name for 'cherrypickers' and 'cheesemongers'?
Contestant: Homosexuals.
Paxman: No. They're regiments in the British Army who will be very upset with you.

THE WEAKEST LINK (BBC2)
Anne Robinson: Oscar Wilde, Adolf Hitler and Jeffrey Archer have all written books about their experiences in what: prison, or the Conservative Party?
Contestant: The Conservative Party.

BEACON RADIO (WOLVERHAMPTON)
DJ Mark: For Pounds 10, what is the nationality of the Pope?
Ruth from Rowley Regis: I think I know that one. Is it Jewish?

THE WEAKEST LINK
Anne Robinson: In traffic, what 'J' is where two roads meet?
Contestant: Jool carriageway?

UNIVERSITY CHALLENGE
Bamber Gascoigne: What was Gandhi's first name?
Contestant: Goosey?

GWR FM (Bristol)
Presenter: What happened in Dallas on November 22, 1963?
Contestant: I don't know, I wasn't watching it then.

QUIZMANIA
Greg Scott: We're looking for a word that goes in front of 'clock'.
Contestant: Grandfather.
Scott: Grandfather clock is already up there, say something else.
Contestant: Panda.

PHIL WOOD SHOW (BBC RADIO MANCHESTER)
Phil: What's 11 squared?
Contestant: I don't know.
Phil: I'll give you a clue. It's two ones with a two in the middle.
Contestant: Is it five?

RICHARD AND JUDY
Q: Which American actor is married to Nicole Kidman?
A: Forrest Gump.

RICHARD AND JUDY
Leslie: On which street did Sherlock Holmes live?
Contestant: Er . . .
Leslie: He makes bread . . .
Contestant: Er . . .
Leslie: He makes cakes . . .
Contestant: Kipling Street?

MAGIC 52 (NORTHEAST ENGLAND)
Presenter: In what year was President Kennedy assassinated?
Contestant: Erm . . .
Presenter: Well, let's put it this way - he didn't see 1964.
Contestant: 1965?

SIMPLY THE BEST (ITV)
Phil Tufnell: How many Olympic Games have been held?
Contestant: Six.
Tufnell: Higher!
Contestant: Five.

FORT BOYARD (CHALLENGE TV)
Jodie Marsh: Arrange these two groups of letters to form a word - CHED and PIT.
Team: Chedpit.

LINCS FM PHONE-IN
Presenter: Which is the largest Spanish-speaking country in the world?
Contestant: Barcelona.
Presenter: I was really after the name of a country.
Contestant: I'm sorry, I don't know the names of any countries in Spain.

RADIO 1 EARLY MORNING SHOW
Presenter: How many toes would three people have in total?
Contestant: 23.

NOTTS AND CROSSES QUIZ (BBC RADIO NOTTINGHAM)
Jeff Owen: In which country is Mount Everest?
Contestant (long pause): Er, it's not in Scotland, is it?

THE MICK GIRDLER SHOW (BBC RADIO SOLENT)
Girdler: I'm looking for an island in the Atlantic whose name includes the letter 'e'.
Contestant: Ghana.
Girdler: No, listen. It's an island in the Atlantic Ocean.
Contestant: New Zealand.

NATIONAL LOTTERY (BBC1)
Question: What is the world's largest continent?
Contestant: The Pacific

ROCK FM (PRESTON)
Presenter: Name a film starring Bob Hoskins that is also the name of a famous painting by Leonardo Da Vinci.
Contestant: Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

THE BIGGEST GAME IN TOWN (ITV)
Steve Le Fevre: What was signed to bring World War I to an end in 1918?
Contestant: Magna Carta.

JAMES O'BRIEN SHOW (LBC)
O'Brien: How many kings of England have been called Henry?
Contestant: Er, well, I know there was a Henry the Eighth ... er ... er ... three?

NATIONAL LOTTERY
Eamonn Holmes: There are three states of matter: solid, liquid and what?
Contestant: Jelly.

RICHARD ALLINSON SHOW (RADIO 2)
Allinson: What international brand shares its name with the Greek goddess of victory?
Contestant (after long deliberation): Erm, Kellogg's?

BLIND DATE (ITV)
Girl: Name a book written by Jane Austen.
Boy: Charlotte Bronte.

CHRIS SEARLE SHOW (BBC RADIO BRISTOL)
Searle: In which European country is Mount Etna?
Caller: Japan.
Searle: I did say which European country, so in case you didn't hear that, I can let you try again.
Caller: Er ... Mexico?

DOG EAT DOG (BBC1)
Ulrika Jonsson: Who wrote Lord of the Rings?
Contestant: Enid Blyton

PAUL WAPPAT (BBC RADIO NEWCASTLE)
Paul Wappat: How long did the Six-Day War between Egypt and Israel last?
Contestant (after long pause): Fourteen days.

NATIONAL LOTTERY
Eamonn Holmes: Dizzy Gillespie is famous for playing what?
Contestant: Basketball.

NOTTS AND CROSSES QUIZ
Jeff Owen: Where did the D-Day landings take place?
Contestant (after pause): Pearl Harbor?

DARYL DENHAM'S DRIVETIME (VIRGIN RADIO)
Daryl Denham: In which country would you spend shekels?
Contestant: Holland?
Denham: Try the next letter of the alphabet.
Contestant: Iceland? Ireland?
Denham (helpfully): It's a bad line. Did you say Israel?
Contestant: No.

PHIL WOOD SHOW (BBC GMR)
Wood: What 'K' could be described as the Islamic Bible?
Contestant: Er . . .
Wood: It's got two syllables . . . Kor . . .
Contestant: Blimey?
Wood: Ha ha ha ha, no. The past participle of run . . .
Contestant: (Silence)
Wood: OK, try it another way. Today I run, yesterday I . . .
Contestant: Walked?

NATIONAL LOTTERY
Dale Winton: Skegness is a seaside resort on the coast of which sea:a) Irish Sea, b) English Channel, c) North Sea?
Contestant: Oh, I know that, you can start writing out the cheque now, Dale. It's on the east coast, so it must be the Irish Sea.

THE VAULT
Melanie Sykes: What is the name given to the condition where the sufferer can fall asleep at any time?
Contestant: Nostalgia.

LUNCHTIME SHOW (BRMB)
Presenter: What religion was Guy Fawkes?
Contestant: Jewish.
Presenter: That's close enough.

BREAKFAST SHOW, RADIO 1
Chris Moyles: Which 'S' is a kind of whale that can grow up to 80 tonnes?
Contestant: Ummm . . .
Moyles: It begins with 'S' and rhymes with 'perm'.
Contestant: Shark.

STEVE WRIGHT IN THE AFTERNOON (BBC RADIO 2)
Wright: Johnny Weissmuller died on this day. Which jungle-swinging character clad only in a loincloth did he play?
Contestant: Jesus.

Death Is A Star

It was this day ten years ago. Wanna know where I was when I heard she had died? No? Well I'm telling anyway, cos this is my blog. I was in the back of a cab in San Francisco and the Russian cabbie told me. I thought he was taking the mick, thinking I was English, so paid no heed to him. It was only when I got to the pub and they had all the TVs on the news channels showing the story that I copped what had happened.

You see I had just escaped from Alcatraz! It's true. I had been putting off going all summer and we were due home soon so I finally got my act together and headed over. We took some beers with us and wandered off down a closed path over to the water tower and drank them. But we were spotted by the Park Rangers and detained. I never thought stuff like this really happened, but the one in charge let us off when she realised we were Irish. Apparently her grandparents were from Mayo (aren't they always?) and we hammed it up to high heaven trying to get off.

So we got away with a ticking off, but we were later told we were very lucky not to get at least a fine. In these post 11/9 days I doubt they would have been so relaxed about what we did.

So I have a cool story about where I was when she died. And that's all that matters.




Private Eye after she died...




Private Eye this week...

Monday, August 27, 2007

Look Here

One of these two is Niko Bellic, the main protagonist of Grand Theft Auto IV. The other is Roy Keane, the main protagonist of Great Big Bandwagon II. I'm not saying which is which.


Saturday, August 25, 2007

I'm Not Down

Things annoying me right now:

  • That there's little shits speeding up the street past my gaff in their chavmobiles all evening.
  • That one of the number 7 buses screeches and backfires every single time it accelerates past my gaff.
  • That the girl on the TV talking about South Park has an annoying voice that seems to be a raised whisper.
  • That the ads on the Paramount Comedy channel are twice as loud as the programmes.
  • That St Pats have lost to bloody Longford tonight virtually guaranteeing Shelbyville will win the League.
  • That Big Brother STILL isn't over.
  • That the cups of tea I'm drinking taste weird today for some reason.
  • That I seem so bored of food I don't want to eat despite being really hungry.
  • That no one is around to go for pints tonight.

Somebody Got Murdered

The young lad murdered in Liverpool the other day was a massive Everton fan and that fact has appeared in most of the press reports since. Obviously, therefore, there were going to be tributes to the fella at Goodison Park today but, for some reason, there was a minute's applause instead of a minute's silence.

Now the minute's applause is a relatively recent thing at football grounds because first of all you're applauding the memory of the good times - like an ex-player's contribution to the club - instead of mourning his passing; and second of all it works better than a minute's silence, which away fans have often broken in an act of nastiness designed to annoy home fans. So it is often more appropriate for something like, to take a recent example, the death of Alan Ball.

But how a minute's applause is warranted for an 11 year old boy shot dead is beyond me. What the hell are they applauding? The young lad didn't die, he was murdered - there's a big difference! Surely a minute's silence was far more appropriate in this case.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Overpowered By Funk

After a fairly lean summer with all the weddings and stags I've been at I've a few gigs lined up for the Autumn...

Stars - 6th October in Temple Bar, Dublin
The Enemy - 23rd October in the Ambassador, Dublin
Arcade Fire - 24th October in the Phoenix Park, Dublin. Oh Yes!
Interpol - an end of tour show in the RDS on 2nd December. The RDS Main Hall is THE worst venue in the country.

I missed out on Kings of Leon tickets (they went in 5 minutes) but hope to pick some up. I also bought tickets for Cold War Kids but the gig was rescheduled for a bloody Tuesday, so they're going back.

Those gigs are coupled with two trips to Dublin for the Ireland matches in Crokers. October is shaping up to be a great month!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Original Of The Species

Maeve Higgins is playing the Cork Opera House tomorrow week. I'd be a bit surprised if you've never heard of her because she has been the most-pushed comedian I can think of in the last few years, and I have no idea why.

I know it's only my opinion, but I think she's no bloody good. Her delivery is nervous and the jokes are more of the nervous giggle at silly-stuff type than a good laugh at the absurdities of life. Scatty seems to be her thing, but I know a rake of scatty girls whose carry-on makes me laugh. I wouldn't put them on stage, though.

The reason for thinking she's getting such a push is that she pops up so regularly in the media in a non-performance guise. She got a little vox-pop piece about Christmas in the Irish Times, for a quick example, and seems to pop up on TV and radio for no apparent reason other than to crack a lame joke and get her name out there. Fair play to her promoter!

I mentioned before that I didn't think much of most Irish stand-ups. Yet, for some reason, Higgins is playing the biggest theatre in the city and being let charge €25. That's a staggering move up the ladder for someone I saw do back-up for Jason Byrne (I think it was) only two years ago. The only other thing she seemed to have done before Edinburgh 2006 was Naked Camera. Yet Byrne, a far more established performer, is doing a show two weeks later in a smaller venue for €15.

Obviously I don't have to go or anything - it's not that I necessarily care - and more power to her if she's successful. It's just that I don't get it. You could say that about a lot of things but this time the it seems to be got by all the entertainment-media types I normally use to judge these things in advance for me.

Big Girls Are Best

For those who doubted the voracity of the claim (geddit!!!)




Tuesday, August 21, 2007

You'll Never Walk Alone

I didn't mention Sunday cos it has taken me this long to get over that f#@king incompetent gobshite Styles...




Oh. Looks like I'm still not over it:

Edit: Video removed. You'll just have to believe me.

Hope Fat Frank got a few pies off Roman as a reward.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Deny

The second part of Richard Dawkins' Enemies of Reason is on tonight. 'Alternative' medicine is due a good kicking.

Last Sunday the Observer's resident astrologer, Neil Spencer, attempted a rebuttal-in-advance of Dawkins show. Obviously he realised he was about to be made look a tit. His defense, though, consisted of little more than playing the man instead of the ball and an argument from ignorance.

This week the paper printed some very good letters in response to his article. It also printed a letter from a woman claiming that 'the power of homeopathy is formidable' on the basis that it 'cured' her asthma. She should watch tonight.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Egg Chasing Time

Is it too much to expect that you can play a game without getting the shit kicked out of you? But, you know, it's a man's game blah, blah, blah... Yawn. Take it away Mr Lawton:

"Consider what might have happened last summer if a few weeks before the football World Cup, one of the tournament's great players, Ronaldinho or Thierry Henry, say, had been prevented from playing because an opponent had punched him in the face.

In rugby, though, we are talking about the routine ebb and flow of a 'man's game'. In Christchurch after the first Lions Test two years ago, Tony Blair's former spin doctor Alastair Campbell said the great Irish centre had been a victim of a sickening, premeditated 'spearing' assault by Tana Umaga and Keven Mealamu.

Umaga, a superb All Black captain and bone for bone, pound for pound one of the most respected players who ever drew breath, claimed he was innocent; another mythic weapon of mass destruction, you might say. However, in Bayonne this week there was not a sliver of doubt about what happened.

O'Driscoll was cold-cocked, off the ball, by Bayonne lock Mikaera Tewhata. He had his sinus broken and will miss Ireland's opening game against Namibia. He is also doubtful for encounters with host nation France and Argentina. This was supposed to be a warm-up for the great festival of rugby. But warm-up for what? The kind of thuggery which so regularly besmirches a game that in this vital area repeatedly fails to provide convincing evidence that it will ever truly grow up.

There is a point when rugby has to face up to the fact that if its hope for a more universal acceptance is ever to gain ground, against the suspicion that it will always be a refuge for a disturbing number of psychopaths, then platitudes will no longer do the job. Gratuitous violence of the kind which O'Driscoll fell victim to in France can only be tolerated by a game which accepts it will be always be obliged to harbour a beast.

With luck and a healed sinus, he may make a delayed impact on a world audience. However, such evangelism on behalf of his game has been put at risk by a piece of cheap, back-street violence. It is a scandal, a perversion of sport, and if rugby does not realise it is jeopardising its own future by regularly countenancing such barbarism, it is moving beyond help.

Rugby World Cup? Why not stage it in a biker bar?"

Friday, August 17, 2007

The Dream Is Over

I had the oddest dream this morning. I dreamed that PETA were going around picketing chippys because they sold meat and that I was absolutely gagging for a cheeseburger. I was driving all around the place and no matter where I went there was a bunch of crusties blocking the burger joints.

So I went home and found a cat (dunno where), videoed myself putting it in a microwave and put it on YouTube with an announcement that all chippy-pickets had to end within 24 hours or I was going to microwave the cat live on the 'net.

This worked for me on two levels - cos I absolutely despise cats and I ain't too keen on hippies either. Anyway, after going on TV to issue death threats against me like a bunch of nutjob jihadists, then seeing me scoff in response and microwave a goldfish in its bowl as a warning, they backed down! And I was cheered by massive crowds as I went to my local burger joint for the best cheeseburger of all time.

The only reason I shared that is that, by pure coincidence, Frank McNally in today's Irishman's Diary, writing about buying a house, included the line 'Did I mention the microwave? The main risk here is that an infant will take something out while it's hot. But left unsupervised, a child may also experiment by inserting unsuitable food items - the family pet, perhaps - and pressing "defrost".' complete with a picture of a cat in a microwave!

So now!!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Somebody Got Murdered

Is there any irony in the fact that the 250 Yazidi people murdered in Iraq belong to a religious grouping that apparently doesn't believe in the existence of evil?


Although I think that interpretation of Yazidi belief isn't entirely correct.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

A Sort Of Homecoming

I didn't think it was possible for another Boring Munster-esque bandwagon to start up so soon, but the Sundireland phenomenon is proving me wrong pretty quickly. At first I thought the whole thing was a bit of a joke and people would forget about it. In fact promotion has meant that the hype is going through the roof, ably abetted by a willing media that totally ignores domestic football. The fact that Saturday's game was tripe helps prove that interest in sport in this country is all about the occasion, not the game itself (as I explained before).

But the Sunderland bandwagon should stall before it properly gets going. You see they're not very good. In fact they're very average, severely lack a bit of craft and they'll have to fight like dogs in their games to get results, which means they won't be pretty. The fact is, even if they survive, Sunderland will lose more often than they'll win. The day-tripping, glory hunting fuckwits - more used to Celtic walking the Scottish Premier, Man Yoo putting someone to the sword with the aid of the ref in the Theatre of Prawns, and Boring Munster grinding their way to Heino triumph - won't put up with that.

Deny

Dawkins' show was pretty good. But the targets - astrologers, psychics and mediums - are pretty easily shot down. Also the sort of people who trust in such nonsense are the sort of people who simply refuse to be told that it is nonsense, no matter how much evidence is shown to them.

Next week's show, about alternative medicine, homeopathy and the rest, should be better on the basis that there are plenty of supposedly intelligent people who believe that shite is legit.

Skeptico does a sweet job making Melanie Phillips of the Daily Mail (who tries to critique Dawkins and his show) look clueless and totally out of her depth on the subject at hand. She'll go a long way in journalism.

In God's Country

Mr Dick Cheney speaking in 1994:


Monday, August 13, 2007

Unforgettable Fire

Walked into my local record shop in Dundalk on Friday morning at 8:55am. I was the only one there. "Arcade Fire tickets?" says Peter Pan, who has just raised the shutters.

"Uh huh, pete..." I call him Peter Pan cos he has worked in the record shop for as long as I remember (I remember buying a tape off him for a birthday present for my dad round about 1985) and he doesn't look any older.

"?... four, yeah?"

"Yep."

"Here you go. Fancy the 'pool's chances this season?

"Thanks. Only if they hit the ground running and keep running. Should be a great season. Would you believe these tickets sold out in about 90 seconds back in January? Missed out then. Thanks be to Christ I didn't this time. They'll be gone within 10 minutes - wait and see."

"Really? Make sure you enjoy it so."

"A tent in the Phoenix Park in October? What's not to enjoy?... er..."

Fast Cars

I think I got my first penalty points at about 5am this morning. There's a bullshit 60 Kph limit on the M50 because of the roadworks and I saw a camera flash as I accelerated away from the toll-booth. I'd say I was doing over 100 Kph by then (it's supposed to be a bloody Motorway!) so I could be in trouble. Damn it.

Later, as I was passing Horse and Jockey in Tipperary, I saw a sign that said 'Don't Rubbish Tipp'. It has been there for years but this morning was the first time I actually got the intended pun. I feel enlightened.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Deny

The trouble with Richard Dawkins' book, The God Delusion, is that he's guilty of a serious crime for a good scientist - cherry picking data to support an argument. Only it's not the scientific data - he's way too good for that - but the historical data where he lets himself down. Nonetheless it's a fine book.

His next project, Enemies of Reason, begins next week on Channel 4. He'll be tearing all my favourites to shreds - Astrology, Homeopathy, Clairvoyancy and the rest. Looking forward to it.

As an aside there's an article about the good, the bad and the ugly that is Channel 4 in Prospect this month

Sunday, August 05, 2007

The Road

I started and finished Cormac McCarthy's The Road today in one sitting. Never done that with a book before.

Not sure if it's quite as good as its Pulitzer Prize suggests, but it's haunting, horrific and moving. You could spend a few hours doing something a lot more useless than reading it.

Twilight

Well the man who never goes to the cinema took a notion tonight and went to both TransFormers and The Simpsons!

TransFormers is class, Optimus Prime is the coolest toy ever and Megan Fox is hot, end of!

The Simpsons? Not as bad as the 21st Century incarnation of the TV show, and maybe if you'd never seen a single episode you'd think it was great, but it was ultimately disappointing. It was more chuckles than laughs-out-loud, and a lot of screen time seemed wasted on the, not funny, Alaska stuff. Mr Burns gets two short scenes in the whole film and they're the best - "For once the rich white-man is in control" - which makes you wonder what might have been...

Friday, August 03, 2007

Somebody Got Murdered

Hopefully. Please let this be true!

"The girls said: "It's impossible for us to perform everywhere but we thought why not let our fans decide where we play? This is your chance to turn your city into 'Spice City'! All you need to do is tell us where you want to see us. We are literally in your hands."

According to several reports, thousands of fans have picked Baghdad to be the 'Spice City'. A source told UK newspaper the Daily Mirror: "Baghdad's already generated thousands of votes. It'll definitely be a contender when the voting ends."

Eh, something tells me they're not exactly fans!

Fast Cars

They're reducing the speed limit in Dublin City Centre from 50 Km/hr to 30 Km/hr. At first you think that's just ridiculous. You wonder if there really is that many pedestrians and cyclists getting hit (have you ever seen a cop do someone for walking straight out into traffic in this country? I bloody haven't). But then you remember that it's virtually impossible to get up to even 30 Km/hr in the city centre at any time from 7am 'til 9pm with the traffic and traffic lights. And there'll be no speed checks in the middle of the night (when I'm often driving out of the city after a gig or a match). So I suppose I don't care after all.

Rebel Waltz

I watched my home-town football team lose a High Court case in 2000. We ended up there because the football authorities colluded in a sham that allowed Kilkenny City - who had originally been docked 3-points for playing a player whose signature they had forged on the registration forms - get off, by offering an end of season replay of the game they were docked points for. Eventually the judge decided the registration forms didn't explicitly state that the player had to sign them personally! Full, ridiculous, story here (sub required).

Then I watched as we bounced back in 2001 and got promoted as champions, only to find ourselves in a League that was being trimmed to 10-teams from 12. Despite winning the FAI Cup in 2002, we became the only club in League history to be relegated straight from third-from-bottom and the club with the highest ever points total to be relegated. This relegation almost killed us financially and we struggled big time for the next four seasons, which would bite us in the ass all over again as you'll see. As it happens the 10-team League was a disaster and it was soon back at 12.

Then I watched in 2006 as it was decided that the FAI would take-over the previously semi-autonomous League. They decided on a grading system to earn places in the Premier Division in order to ensure stability and progress (remember that) - 500-points for off-field setup, 500-points for the previous five seasons of performances. Despite scoring 8th out of 22 in the former it was a mathematical impossibility to be promoted because of the latter. We finished second and won a play-off against Waterford, the second-last team in the Premier. Yet Shamrock Rovers and third place Galway were promoted, not us.

You may have seen some of the nonsense that followed. However that was nothing compared to the fact that Shelbourne, the Champions, subsequently imploded in a sea of lies and deception. What was that about stability and progress? Of course Waterford kept their Premier Division place as a result. We don't mind (!) as we're storming the First Division this season, top since the opening day, where we will remain. Of course the circle is turning and next season the League intends trying the same 10-team nonsense again...

So why did I bring all that up? Well I think my club has suffered bias almost to the point of extinction, so I want to share extracts from Cork's Evening Echo about anti-Cork bias in the GAA. This is because Cork had three hurling players suspended for fighting, which cost them the Munster Championship; because they only got a draw last week, after the keeper killed the ball and Waterford tied the game from the subsequent free; because the Cork footballers are in Croke Park on Saturday whereas the hurling replay is in Crokers on Sunday; and because the price of tickets for Sunday is €45. The phrase 'anti-Cork bias' is, of course, resonant with one Royston Keane. Anyway, that extract:

"Eamonn Murphy [some hack] suggested the claims that there is no longer an anti-Cork bias in operation can no longer be seen as paranoia and here are your views."

Anti-Cork Bias: Rebel Fans Hit Back

"I think the anti-Cork bias is so evident it borders on criminality. The powers that be have a duty to all counties not just the other 31. We are a breed apart and they don't like it." Tony, The Glen.

"Fixtures were rearranged so the Wexford hurlers and footballers played in Croke Park the same day, while the GAA bends over backwards to accomodate the Dubs. How can anyone doubt there's an anti-Cork bias." Fergus, Kinsale.

"The most apparent thing to me is our players' involvement in the GPA. Donal Og suffers the most thus Cork suffers..." Anon

"The GAA are obviously out to get Cork, all the more reason for an 'oul Cork double, the most bitter pill the GAA could swallow." Gav, Rochestown.

"I really think something drastic needs to be done to stop the pick-pocketing of Cork supporters. I think the only way to make the GAA listen is to hurt their income and withdraw all our teams from the All Ireland." Gracie the kid.

"As Roy Keane said there is an anti-Cork bias. The GAA don't like Donal Og cause he is head of the GPA..." Anon

"Of course there's an anti-Cork bias driven by jealousy at the way we've led the organisation for over 100 years and we're suffering as a result. It will only make our success taste sweeter." Ben, East Cork.

If you sense that I'm not overly sympathetic, you'd be right.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Drug-Stabbing Time

The head-honcho for our division of the company (Director of Operations in the entirely arbitrary 'Europe-Middle East-Asia' region) is paying a visit next week. In order to prepare for his visit a man with a high-power hose and a cherry picker has been cleaning the outside of our factory walls and the pavement bricks for nearly two weeks. Neither was noticeably grubby in the first place but I suppose a detail like that wouldn't stop the managers in this place.

Fantastically, the walls now look two-tone as the cherry picker doesn't reach high enough and as for hiring a man to wash the moss out from between the bricks, well that has come up before. The laughale part is that, as part of a money saving drive, all employees are being asked to 'brainstorm' cost-cutting measures (it gets its own TLA - C.I.P. or 'cost improvement project'). We also have an environmental 'team' on site, that wants us to submit environmental conservation ideas at a time when the government runs ads about not over filling kettles.

I can't begin to imagine just how much water that guy has gotten through in the last two weeks or how much he's being paid (probably > €30K). So I think me (and a good few dozen others) will very shortly think of one fabulous idea for both cost-cutting and environmental conservation. The managers will smile, humour me with some typically asinine comments while privately wishing to kill me. I'll smile back at them, with the look of detached contempt someone in my position on the food chain has no right to perfect.
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