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Firstly. Importantly. Happy birthday ropo! All the best for a fantastic year to come

This post contains some inconsequential angst, a muselet,
a letter to the deity (unanswered), Ben Christophers tracks for vonnie_k,
the World Cup, workout tracks, some adorably moronic football songs
and some links. Forewarned is forearmed.




I have a certain amount of ambivalence with regard to this LJ, I like the idea of it but when it comes to actually writing it I experience what I can only call "performance anxiety".

* * *
Those of you who are watching Doctor Who and are familiar with the blessedly funny nostalgia_lj, have you noticed that the idiolects of many of those participating in post-episode discussion have the same tics as she does? It's as though this has become the default slang in that corner of the fandom. It's always interesting to see how quickly specific slang and in-jokes spread across groups, usually because of one small group of very influential users.

Well. That went nowhere.

See what I mean?

* * *
I killed my laptop this morning. Alas poor iBook, with your black screen of death and fanfic disk stuck inside, whirring impotently like a bad simile.

* * *
Ten days until the World Cup starts and already the frenzy has begun. I love the tournament itself but I rather dread the hype surrounding it and the endless bellicosity of the tabloids. When I was a kid the Olympics used to be like this too, but these days it's only the World Cup that produces this level of frenzy. But let me provide some answers to those oh so vital questions in the tabloid headlines:
a) Can England do it this time in Germany?
No.
b) 40 years after our last world cup triumph, can Sven's men lift the cup in Berlin?
No.
c) Can England win the world cup without Rooney?
Hell, no.
d) Will you be roaring with the Three Lions in 10 days time?
No. I might cheer a bit.

Every bloody four years we go through this.

* * *

Dear [insert deity of choice here],

I wish to return this life, as it came without a manual and thus is mostly incomprehensible. While I like its basic features, surely the gameplay is supposed to be a little less baffling and dull. Also, where is the reboot feature? If it does not have one, I can only assume this is a design flaw.
Yours etc,

Slightly Despairing of East London

* * *
STUFF TO READ:
A rather lovely article about the difference between the German and English senses of humour, without the usual tired prejudices Lost in Translation, written by Stewart Lee. Stewart Lee used to be a comedian and wrote the libretto for Jerry Springer -- The Opera, but now describes himself as a writer. This shows admirable long-term career planning.

Al Gore manages to say I told you so

This is my favourite blog in the world EmmaKennedy.net. I once spent a night reading the archives and laughing my head off.

* * *



A small collection of Ben Christophers for Vonnie. Ben Christophers is a pleasingly weird singer-songwriter from Wolverhampton. He has released three albums in the shops, My Beautiful Demon, Spoonface and The Spaces In Between


The Alien and the Earth Girl (This cuts off rather abruptly but it's so rare that I can't find it on iTunes or in the local HMV to discover whether this is design or bad ripping.)

Before the Winter Parade

The Opium Willows

Falls Into View

Leaving My Sorrow Behind (Fila Brazillia mix) [sic]

Workout songs.

Come As You Are Beverley Knight

Kelly's Heroes Black Grape. Black Grape were Shaun Ryder's second band after the Happy Mondays, specialising in a similar kind of loping, disorganised indie-funk. While my favourite song of theirs is Reverend Black Grape, with its skewering of televangelists, this is fun and talks about Batman. For those of you who are depressingly young, Shaun Ryder is the Uncle Disgusting in the video for Dare by Gorillaz, whose inability to say the word "there" lent the track its title.

Everybody Martin solveig. Which has been used in football shows which brings me to

THE NICK HORNBY PART OF THE PROCEEDINGS...

Top Three Football Songs of All Time
World in Motion New Order
This was released for the World Cup in 1990 and features some truly awful rapping by John Barnes and the chortling refrain "E is for England", which almost certainly did not refer to the alphabet. In Italia 90, of course, England played like pants until the knockout stage, whereupon they beat the Belgians, Cameroon (by the merest eyelash) and then were stymied in the semi-final by Germany, who won on penalties. It was the semi-final of Lineker, Stuart Pearce and Gazza's tears. The book about the finals, All Played Out, is one of the best sports books I have ever read

[Top three football books ever: "All Played Out", "I Lost My Heart To The Belles", all Pete Davies; "Fever Pitch" Nick Hornby]

England's Irie Black Grape. feat Joe Strummer and Keith Allen.
An acquired taste with weird, cynical, funny lyrics.

Vindaloo Fat Les.
This is completely MORONIC but I love it anyway because it is so joyously stupid. It captures what it's like to go to an England game and chant bollocks. This was recorded for France '98 where England were pants until the knockout stages and then managed to get knocked out by Argentina. Beckham got sent off and we had a winning goal disallowed for NO GOOD REASON.



For cofax7, because I think she would really like it The Grey Cockerel by Salsa Celtica, featuring Eliza Carthy. This Scottish band play latin American music with a Celtic inflection. I just got their album and it's rather lovely.

And finally, this is a beautiful strings-only version of the Doctor Who theme, which I recommend even if you have no idea what the show is. I can't remember who I stole it from but it's lovely.

Comments

( 45 comments — Leave a comment )
kirbyfest
May. 31st, 2006 02:44 am (UTC)
Hello there. I miss you when you're not around; good to see you.

I'm rather surprised to be watching Who (after resisting it for years, primarily because my first exposure to it was some episode involving a guy wearing celery and I was far too old to suspend disbelief at that point), but am enjoying it muchly now. I'll have to check out nostalgia_lj.

And thank you for the music, as always.
infinitemonkeys
Jun. 1st, 2006 11:44 am (UTC)
She is very, very funny but she s something of a sceptic with regard to the new series. If that'll spoil your enjoyment, I'd urge caution
se_parsons
May. 31st, 2006 02:44 am (UTC)
I get worried when you talk like this.
fourteenlines
May. 31st, 2006 02:44 am (UTC)
You must have done something truly impressive to kill your iBook. Either that or the diety was unamused. I once dropped my iBook on a very hard floor from a height of about two feet, and it gave me about 30 seconds of blank, bright screen and some unusually petulant whirrings before starting right up.

And that's an interesting Who fandom observation, but as I haven't been following the fandom until I get caught up, I have no idea what you're talking about. Sigh.
fourteenlines
May. 31st, 2006 03:04 am (UTC)
By the way, I will be in London again this summer; buy you a pint?
infinitemonkeys
Jun. 1st, 2006 11:45 am (UTC)
Absolutely. AB-SO-LUTELY. Drop me a line when you're in town

I killed my iBook dead. The screen froze so I rebooted and that was that
musesfool
May. 31st, 2006 02:47 am (UTC)
I love that you have a Nick Hornby section of this post.
vonniek
May. 31st, 2006 03:42 am (UTC)
Oh, THANK YOU for all the Ben Christophers. They are splendid. And thank you for the workout tunes, and the soccer tunes, and most of all, for "Vindaloo," which made me fall off the sofa in hysterical laughter and bump my backside on the side of the coffe table hard enough to bruise but I don't really care because it's possibly the FUNNIEST THING EVER.

That Doctor Who theme is very odd and sort of creepily-beautiful and insidious. Hmm.
infinitemonkeys
Jun. 1st, 2006 11:46 am (UTC)
I'm so glad you liked it. Vindaloo is so stupidly gleeful that it's hard not to love it
vivwiley
May. 31st, 2006 04:19 am (UTC)
Always lovely to see you around these parts. Thanks for music and link to "Lost in Translation" - great analysis of the impact of the two languages and really articulated something that I had sort of understood viscerally, but never seen laid out so clearly before.

when the diety of your choice lets you know where the reboot button is please do share.

Hope all is well (or at least wellish).
infinitemonkeys
Jun. 1st, 2006 11:47 am (UTC)
I wonder where the reset button would be *g*
cofax7
May. 31st, 2006 04:28 am (UTC)
Wheee, music!

Thank you!
(Deleted comment)
infinitemonkeys
Jun. 1st, 2006 11:49 am (UTC)
It's never good when we are disgusted with our governments, I think. At present I wonder whether ours could find their arses with both hands. (Now with their *mistresses'* hands...
ropo
May. 31st, 2006 04:34 am (UTC)
Thanks for the happy birthday wishes! The best present ever is a new post from you! Wheeee!
dine
May. 31st, 2006 05:01 am (UTC)
interesting collection of links - thanks for sharing. and for sharing the music (I'm downloading the Doctor Who theme now).

if you manage to get a satisfactory response to that return complaint letter, please let me know how it works out, as I'd like to return or exchange my life as well.
infinitemonkeys
Jun. 1st, 2006 11:49 am (UTC)
Hope you like it. I thought it was very beautiful and strange
raincitygirl
May. 31st, 2006 06:22 am (UTC)
Dear [insert deity of choice here],

I wish to return this life, as it came without a manual and thus is mostly incomprehensible. While I like its basic features, surely the gameplay is supposed to be a little less baffling and dull. Also, where is the reboot feature? If it does not have one, I can only assume this is a design flaw.
Yours etc,

Slightly Despairing of East London


Heeeee! That made me laugh uproariously.

Thanks for the downloads. I look forward to hearing them, as they sound like an eclectic bunch.

Canada isn't actually a big soccer country when it comes to adult pro teams. Tons of kids and teens play, but the really talented ones end up leaving to pursue pro careers on any continent but this one. However, I live in a very multicultural urban neighbourhood, with a lot of passionate footy fans who hail from other parts of the world and love watching the games on satellite TV at the local bars. And the local second-run cinema shows the big games of the World Cup and the European Cup (is that what it's called?) every time. It's quite funny to walk past when people are queuing for tickets. EVERYBODY in line is wearing their national team's jersey, and some of them have little flags. Even the kids get really into it, although that may not be so much identifying with the mother country as the fact that they probably play soccer themselves. And a couple of years back, when the final of either the World Cup or the Euro was between Greece and Italy, there were a whole lot of enthusiastic and sometimes heated post-mortems going on. Couple of young guys with totally Canadian accents, but one arguing passionately with the other that the outcome had been wrong, and both very clearly feeling like patriotic Greeks/Italians at the time, even though they were arguing in English.
infinitemonkeys
Jun. 1st, 2006 11:55 am (UTC)
And the local second-run cinema shows the big games of the World Cup and the European Cup (is that what it's called?) every time. It's quite funny to walk past when people are queuing for tickets. EVERYBODY in line is wearing their national team's jersey, and some of them have little flags. Even the kids get really into it, although that may not be so much identifying with the mother country as the fact that they probably play soccer themselves. And a couple of years back, when the final of either the World Cup or the Euro was between Greece and Italy, there were a whole lot of enthusiastic and sometimes heated post-mortems going on. Couple of young guys with totally Canadian accents, but one arguing passionately with the other that the outcome had been wrong, and both very clearly feeling like patriotic Greeks/Italians at the time, even though they were arguing in English.



This sounds like tremendous fun. The Italians failed even to qualify for the next round at Euro 2004 whereas Greece won -- and this was a total reversal of expectations -- so I imagine the Italians were quite upset.*G*

I hope you like some of the downloads

predictivememo
May. 31st, 2006 07:26 am (UTC)
Every bloody four years we go through this.



And every 4 years there is a moment when it looks, albeit briefly, that there *might* be a chance. Am seriously considering hiding behind the sofa for 3 weeks.

Dr Who Theme. Ho yus :D

infinitemonkeys
Jun. 1st, 2006 11:59 am (UTC)
Who was it who said it wasn't the despair that killed you, it was the faint hope... At least Rooney's absence has dampened expectations. I shall probably divvy up the teams into ones I hate and ones who could win without causing me too much pain, and support one of those after England's inevtable defeat on penalties in the quarter-finals.
grifyn
May. 31st, 2006 10:29 am (UTC)
::Has been reading EmmaKennedy.net for the last hour, despite the best intentions of going back to bed and glares at you a little::

The awful album covers are causing me to laugh my ass off. And I'd only just gotten it re-adhered.
infinitemonkeys
Jun. 1st, 2006 12:18 pm (UTC)
Ah come on, you LAAAAAAAHHHHHVE it.
loosehorses
May. 31st, 2006 10:49 am (UTC)
Mine seems to reboot every four or five years, with a nearly complete wipe. Maybe I got the beta model?

(((((K.))))))
grifyn
May. 31st, 2006 11:01 am (UTC)
All your downloads are belong to me
I envy your ability to find weird, beautiful things.
marakara
May. 31st, 2006 11:16 am (UTC)
Do not worry about performance anxiety - it is always a joy to hear from you.

I love it anyway because it is so joyously stupid.

This is what people who don't like sports I think don't get about it. There is just the joy in rooting for you team and enjoying every minute of it. I have to hear that song now.

Take Care
Mara
infinitemonkeys
Jun. 1st, 2006 12:19 pm (UTC)
Yes exactly. It's wonderful to care so much about something that doesn't really matter, and to join others in the celebration or commiseration.
comice
May. 31st, 2006 01:02 pm (UTC)
Thanks!
For the shiny things!

I'm hoping that things are just boring and not awful.

:: smiles hopefully ::

:: blows you kisses ::

infinitemonkeys
Jun. 1st, 2006 12:19 pm (UTC)
Re: Thanks!
Just dull and puzzling and I am a bit crap and that's frustrating
lucie_p
May. 31st, 2006 02:18 pm (UTC)
Oooh, neat - I will DL a couple of those songs!

And I guess I should give Fever Pitch a re-try. I started reading it a couple of years ago, but did not "get" it somehow - there was this big hype about how funny a read it was supposed to be and all I felt was that this guy was sort of completely normal ...

(Says she who got married on the day of the European Championship final in her own country, resulting in the bride and all the male guests spending part of the afternoon on front of a tv.)
infinitemonkeys
Jun. 1st, 2006 12:23 pm (UTC)
Jens Lehmann, eh?
there was this big hype about how funny a read it was supposed to be and all I felt was that this guy was sort of completely normal ...

He is a little obsessed but I've known plenty of people like him. I didn't find it hilarious but I do like it a lot.

(Says she who got married on the day of the European Championship final in her own country, resulting in the bride and all the male guests spending part of the afternoon on front of a tv.)

Ah yes, I can see how that might be a problem *g*
veejane
May. 31st, 2006 02:44 pm (UTC)
As possibly the only member of your flist who watches sports television, I feel the need to report that ESPN's set of FIFA commercials has been excellent, including one with a piano version of "Take me out to the ballgame" over footage of American soccer players being exhausted, scared by excessively enthusiastic crowds (who make ceilings shake), taping their own toes with duct tape, etc.

The second one is a narrated bit with hilarously OTT fans all painted with the St. Andrew's Cross, wearing kilts and those plaid beanies and I don't know what all. The narrator says, "Is Scotland going to the World Cup this year? No. But all the Scotland fans will be there, cheering Scotland anyway."
infinitemonkeys
Jun. 1st, 2006 12:26 pm (UTC)
They sound like fun. I think Scotland fans will be cheering WHOEVER IS PLAYING AGAINST ENGLAND.

It's been a whole political thing, because the first minister of Scotland (I think) said he would be supporting Trinidad & Tobago

I'll be supporting Trinidad & Tobago too, except for one match

I think the US team will be a real threat this year.
(Deleted comment)
violetisblue
May. 31st, 2006 04:59 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the Emma Kennedy link! And the English-German humor one.

"...have you noticed that the idiolects of many of those participating in post-episode discussion have the same tics as she does?"

Yes, I have. It's unbelievably irritating to see thirty or forty times in succession on a single discussion thread an interesting phenomenon.
infinitemonkeys
Jun. 1st, 2006 12:27 pm (UTC)
Nos is funny. The other people are not always. That is the trouble. I was sorry to see that the new series is not to your taste. I think something is off this year.

Some of the writing possibly.
violetisblue
Jun. 1st, 2006 02:54 pm (UTC)
"Nos is funny. The other people are not always."

Precisely. Some non-Nos folks need to, shall we say, forge a new stylistic path for themselves before tedium sets in for everyone.

"I was sorry to see that the new series is not to your taste. I think something is off this year."

I love the old series to bubble-wrap-monster pieces, and I really liked Nine, but...something about Ten just puts me off completely. This last episode, too, I really wasn't in the mood to watch Rose projecting her pathetic daddy issues on a boy who just managed to elude an abusive father--great message, that was, for the kids in the audience. However, now that they're finally leaving planet Earth this next two-parter looks a bit promising.
curiouswombat
May. 31st, 2006 09:55 pm (UTC)
Almost a propos of nothing - but not quite. I saw Salsa Celtica playing in the ruins of Peel Castle, here on the Isle of Man, a couple of years ago - or maybe more.
infinitemonkeys
Jun. 1st, 2006 12:28 pm (UTC)
God, I bet they were excellent.
incorruptibles
May. 31st, 2006 10:52 pm (UTC)
World Cup? Huh? The soccer thing? Is it that time again already?

Except for the commercial mentioned above by veejane, despite having about fifty million soccer/football players under the age of 16 in this country, once again the World Cup has hardly made a ripple on the American consciousness.

Yes, I know that it looks like the United States of America is part of Earth. I mean, I understand that it's there on pretty much every globe -- right there below Canada and above Mexico. But it isn't. Well, during the Olympics it is, but only because we don't suck at those. The rest of the time we're off on our own somewhere, drifting detached through space...

BTW, did you know that the U.S. team currently has a FIFA ranking of fifth? I nearly snorted. But they apparently believe they can win. Please. How can I take a sport seriously when they rank us that high? If our team wants us to care about the World Cup, they'd better win a few of them. In a row. Then we'll pay attention. Maybe.

I'm rooting for Angola, myself. Well, all of the African teams, really. Go Togo! And the U.S. team, of course. I mean, no one outside of the U.S. will, right?
infinitemonkeys
Jun. 1st, 2006 12:33 pm (UTC)
World Cup? Huh? The soccer thing? Is it that time again already?

It is. And unlike The World Series, *other countries* which are not directly adjacent to the host get to play. And win.

I believe the US was as high as fourth at one point, which is patently bollocks but has something to do with the whole UEFA/CONCACAF/whatever the hell the others are called wherein the big teams from each continent only play at the World Cup.

However I do think that the US team has a decent chance of doing well. They've always been fit and organised but now they're skilful too. If Greece can win Euro 2004, the US can win the World Cup. But I wouldn't fancy the US to beat Brazil
incorruptibles
Jun. 3rd, 2006 12:17 am (UTC)
I will do my best to pay attention this year, but we are currently lacking any sort of sports television (e.g., ESPN) and haven't had Univision since we moved from D.C., so I don't expect I'll see many games...

During the 2004 World Cup, I was at a meeting in central Illinois. There were plenty of Europeans, Latin Americans, and Asians who HAD HAD HAD to see the World Cup final. It was on at like, 7:30 a.m. local time on a Sunday. Hell, I even got up and went down to the dorm's TV lounge to watch it. Of course, it wasn't on TV. Please. In central Illinois? On a Sunday morning? Why, that would disrupt religious programming! No local stations were carrying it. Oh, the poor non-Americans...scrambling around, calling all of the Mexican restaurants in town to find SOMEONE showing the final. I apologized profusely on behalf of my backwards nation as they ran out the door en masse, hoping against hope that they'd be able to see it. I don't know if they ever did -- I think I went back to bed.
barkley
Jun. 1st, 2006 03:16 am (UTC)
I am looking forward to hearing the football songs as I've recently become enamored with the concept that they need/have songs. Thanks!
thehornedgod
Jun. 1st, 2006 04:36 am (UTC)
I have noticed that about Nos and it is interesting. It can be hard not to steal from her sometimes because the language rape is sexy and hilarious.
infinitemonkeys
Jun. 1st, 2006 12:34 pm (UTC)
This is true and she is hilarious. But the copying of the linguistic tics is not so hilarious. Get your own bloody tics, people.
( 45 comments — Leave a comment )

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