Archive for World Cup

Final and Occupation

Posted in Palestine, Uncategorized, World Cup with tags , , , , , on 11/07/2010 by arabrhizome

So the world cup is over. Spain won. They deserved it. The Dutch played a dirty game and were lucky not to get more than one player sent off. It was really horrible to watch some of those dirty fouls and incredibly lenient refereeing. I started the game being quite neutral. A and I were ready to be happy for either team to win. However, as the game went on and we watched the Dutch playing dirty and the Spanish playing incredibly well we started cheering more and more for Spain. At times it seemed like the Dutch were going to steal it. But in the end Iniesta won it for his country with a beautiful finish. Congratulations to Spain who played beautiful football, even though at times during the tournament they lacked in positivity. The main problem was that they didn’t seem to want to finish and would go for the extra pass or extra touch when a shot would have been the better choice.

In other news, I saw this today. Please watch it. Watch how israel treats the occupied Palestinians. Hebron is a city that has a settlement in it. The settlers wanted a street just for them where they could walk without having to mingle with the native population. So the israeli army welded shut the doors of Palestinians homes forcing them to resort to using steel ladders from the roof in order to get out of their own homes. The settlers routinely throw rocks at these homes and break their windows. They insult and humiliate the Palestinians who live there. They write offensive and racist graffiti on their walls. This is the everyday banality of occupation. People are humiliated and treated like dirt.

We need to voice our disgust at such horrible behaviour. This is unacceptable. There is no possible justification for such actions. BDS (boycott, divestment, sanctions) is the only way forward. It is actually starting to hit the israeli economy and self image quite hard. It is forcing the israelis to introspect and think about their behaviour. Some are moving further to the right. But some are starting to see that there are real reasons why the world’s people are not ready to give a free pass to israel.

Advertisements

Ghana

Posted in Uncategorized, World Cup with tags , , , , , , , on 02/07/2010 by arabrhizome

This will be a short one I’m afraid. Just to say that I am gutted about Ghana. I think it is shameful that Uruguay got through because of a blatant piece of cheating. Ghana played a great game and they deserved better. The good thing is they are a young team and will hopefully come back in 4 years and do even better.

This world cup has highlighted a few things about the game. I think football needs the introduction of goal line technology, video technology, and tougher stances on cheating and diving. Players should not get away with things like that with a one game ban. Four teams have been denied a fair result for this world cup (I am counting Ireland in that). It makes me quite angry that such a beautiful game is mired with cheating. FIFA needs to do something about it otherwise it will loose more and more people.

I have stopped watching football many times in the past because of this kind of crap. I keep coming back because it’s such a great sport. But things really need to change. Well done Black Stars, even though you wont be playing in the semi-finals you have won morally today. You are the rightful semi-finalists and Uruguay should hang their heads in shame. Well done Ghana.

Technology

Posted in Uncategorized, World Cup with tags , , on 27/06/2010 by arabrhizome

Right I’m afraid this will be a short post as well. There’s a lot to write about, but I’m working quite well and I don’t want to stop for more than a few minutes. I will therefore just address the stupidity of FIFA very quickly.

Well, like a lot of people around the world, I watched two games today that screamed for FIFA’s stupid stance to not allow any form of technology in football to be reversed. Now, if you haven’t seen the games today, a goal was scored by England and yet was not counted because the referees didn’t see it cross the line. Now, whether England would have gone on to loose or win is besides the point. This kind of mistake can be avoided very easily. There are a lot of different technologies that exist at the present that can tell whether a ball has crossed a line or not within a fraction of a second. Most other sports have embraced such technology, as it makes for less mistakes and thus allow for less human error and more fairness in the sport.

The second game saw a goal by Argentina counted even though it was scored from an offside position. Again, this happened because the referees didn’t see the offside position. But then someone, against FIFA regulations, played the replay within 2 seconds on the giant screen of the stadium, and the referees knew that they had made a mistake. By the way, the person who did that is a hero. Interestingly, they couldn’t do anything about it because they are not allowed to use video technology, and their first decision must stand. How stupid is that? Now again, whether Mexico would have gone on to win or loose is besides the point. Video technology would have solved this problem. It would have also solved the Thierry Henry hand ball thing.

FIFA really need to rethink their stance on this. Their argument is that football should be the same when played on the streets or in a stadium. They think that football should not become a sport that is played differently by the rich and by the poor. Now, the sentiment is very commendable, but if that was the case, then no one should be paid to play football. Also, teams shouldn’t have kits. Finally, they need to play, not on turf, but on muddy fields where the goals are rocks or ruck sacks put at a certain distance from each other. The game is already divided between poor and rich FIFA, and competitions like the World Cup need to be fair. Technology must be introduced in order to make the game more enjoyable and fairer.

Stand Up For The Week

Posted in Culture, Uncategorized, World Cup with tags , , , , , , , , on 26/06/2010 by arabrhizome

Right I wanted today’s post to be about Palestine, and there is a lot to say there. But I will probably write that tomorrow. Instead I want to write about the first episode of “Stand up for the Week” the new stand up show on channel 4. I have a lot to say about it. But before that I have to acknowledge Ghana’s beautiful victory over the USA today. The game was beautiful. It really was the best game of this world cup. Ghana were fantastic, the US were good as well. They both played extremely well and most importantly both teams didn’t try to dive and do stupid shit like that. The US did however do a few dirty fouls and that wasn’t very nice. In the end, this great game was thoroughly enjoyable. Well done both teams. Well done Ghana.

Now, I was quite excited to watch “Stand up for the Week”. I, like many stand up comedy fans, find that there isn’t enough stand up on television. We have “Live at the Apollo” and “Michael McIntyre’s Road show”, which are good but a bit too mainstream. That’s fine by the way I’m not really a snob about this kind of thing. However, apart from “Stewart Lee’s Comedy Vehicle”, there isn’t really any show that offers a bit of fresh and non mainstream comedy. So a new comedy show was welcome. The fact that it is on channel 4 meant it could go either way, be excellent or dismal. Let’s get it out of the way straight away, it was the most shameful, unfunny, unoriginal piece of tripe I have ever seen, and I include BBC3 and all its programs in that statement.

So let’s look at why it was so bad. Well earlier in the week Jack Whitehall, who is one of the regulars on the show, was caught by The News of The World newspaper snorting cocaine off his phone in the street. While I couldn’t give two shits about him taking cocaine, let’s be honest a lot of people do it and it has absolutely no baring on him being funny or not. In fact, a lot of great comedians do it. The thing is it was all a bit fishy. As Richard Herring and others remarked, it seemed to coincide quite well with the launch of the show. It could be thought that this was a ploy to make him look edgy right before his show started. This kind of thing has been done before. Before I go on though I’d like to point out that there is absolutely no evidence of this. I’m just pointing out that this could have been a publicity coup.

This feeling was strengthened by the fact that the show’s main host Patrick Kielty, who I have a lot to say about, introduced Jack with a very elaborate bit about the whole affair, with video and stuff. Moreover, Jack himself had a lot of material about it as well. Now, I realise that this all could have been thought of after the fact. But it just felt a bit too rehearsed. Anyway, even if this is not what happened the rest of the show was horrible.

First, since I am talking about Jack Whitehall I’ll stick with him. Half of his set was about the whole cocaine affair, with a very bad, and slightly racist, joke about a Japanese tourist with a camera (how creative, and completely not over done, and not at all racist joke) outside his house who his dad mistook for a paparazzi. But then he went on to talk about Michael Jackson, it was around his death’s anniversary. It was all together quite distasteful and seemed to be trying to offend simply to offend. He then went on to have a tirade against his aunt who said “as a mother, I am glad he’s dead”, which is a stupid enough comment that should be made fun of. However, he decided to make fun of it by explaining, quite shoutely, that if Michael Jackson was in fact a pedophile, then he could have had any child he wanted (at which point the audience actually whooped, they actually whooped that statement). Therefore, he certainly wouldn’t have tried to do his ugly cousin. Now, I don’t mind offensive comedy, I certainly don’t think that there should be taboo subjects, but when you are on dodgy territory then you need to at least be extremely funny, like Frankie Boyle, or be making some kind of point.

Second, Patrick Kielty is a self satisfied, smug, and completely uncreative unfunny man. His whole sets consisted in predictable gags that were very dodgy. He also had a smile throughout that seemed to be saying: Yes I know, I am that good. His bit with Lembit Opik was a particularly low point in the show. Most of the jokes were about Lembit being, and I quote, “a fanny magnet”. There was a particularly unpleasant bit about the cheeky girls (again how creative and not over done).

The rest of the people were just as unpleasant and uncreative, apart from Rich Hall who really seemed to be out of place. His set was the only time during the whole show that made me smile. If it was any other show I would have laughed, but I was so disgusted by the time he got on that a smile was all I could muster. It seems a real shame that he has agreed to be a regular on that show. He is so much better than that, and deserves to be on a better stand up show.

The whole show left a bad taste in my mouth. It seemed to be just a bunch of swearing and shouting. Now I don’t mind either. In fact, many of the comedians I like are very sweary and very shouty. But when the swearing is there just to be there, without any sort of content to justify it, it becomes lazy and predictable. And I think that was the real problem I had with the whole show. It was lazy and uncreative. The people seemed to try to offend just to offend. As I said before, I don’t mind offensive comedy when it is funny and intelligent, I am thinking of Frankie Boyle in particular here. I also don’t mind it when it is trying to make some more important point and thus make the audience think. But these people were just being lazy and seemed to be going either for the shock effect of offence, i.e. the “I can’t believe he/she just said that!” feeling, or the predictable gag that would make the thick laugh.

All in all the show was just dismal and in the end undermines stand up all together. It alienates people who don’t really know stand up and feel that it is just stupid, lazy, offensive tripe filled with swearing. Say what you will about Michael McIntyre, his comedy is at least inclusive and might be a gateway for people to discover more incisive and creative comedians. It also undermines stand up because it alienates comedy fans who are looking for intelligent, creative, and smart comedians who are trying to do something interesting with the medium. That being said, it had one positive effect, which is that it made me feel a lot better about trying out stand up. Because if that is considered funny, then the stuff I have in mind is gold. In fact, I have thought of about three different bits that I think I can turn into three very strong pieces of material. Of course, what I think is irrelevant, it’s what the audience thinks that matters. We’ll see, next year I will try it out at some open mic night.

Writing While Sick

Posted in Me, Uncategorized, Work, World Cup with tags , , , , , , on 23/06/2010 by arabrhizome

Right so I’m not feeling very well. I don’t know if it’s the food I had or if it’s because I drank (I only had one beer though). It sucks because I was actually feeling very happy, even though Algeria went out of the world cup. I was happy that Ghana made it, that’s the only African team to make it to the second stage. so my post will be very short.

My work is advancing slowly but surely. I had a good time tonight with A who helped us, Z and I, in the afternoon. I was thinking that I would writing a post that had a bit of substance to it tonight. However, I’m not feeling up to it. I’m sorry everyone. Hopefully tomorrow I’ll feel less vomity.

Almost Forgot

Posted in about the blog, Culture, Friends, Me, Uncategorized, Work, World Cup with tags , , , , , , , on 21/06/2010 by arabrhizome

Right so I almost forgot to write this today. I’ve been quite busy. I’ve written quite a bit more of my chapter, I’m still working on it as we speak. It’s been advancing at a good speed any other time, but I’m in a bit of a hurry and so I need to write substantially more than what I’ve been doing. I hope though that because I’ve had this major click, which seems to span a few chapters, I can make up for it by basically writing this chapter and another, as well as rewriting my intro and my first chapter, by the end of the summer. It is feasible, but it needs a high level of concentration.

I also, looked at possible houses for me to move to. My flat is good but it is quite small. Also I’ve been getting ill a lot and I think it has to do with the carpet or some sort of invisible mould. I can’t afford to keep getting ill. So I found a few possible candidates, I will call tomorrow and arrange a viewing for each. Some of them are a little bit outside my price range, but if they are worth it I will move there.

Z came back from the U S of A. She’s a bit jet lagged and has a lot of stuff to do this week. I will help her as much as I can, but I need to finish this chapter. It was nice hanging out with her in real life for a change. Not that it will last for very long, she’s leaving again in less than a week.

A came over tonight and we recorded the second episode of our podcast, I’m not telling you what it is called yet because I don’t want someone to buy the domain name. (That’s right I don’t trust you! I don’t trust any of you! You are all a bunch of thieves and I wouldn’t trust you not to steal all  of our original ideas… Please don’t be mad I was just joking, ha ha ha! Can’t you see it’s funny, only a joke. Really! Please love me!) I need to put the website together and stick it online. As soon as we buy the domain I’ll let you know what it’s called and give you all the proper links and stuff so you can be entertained, hopefully, for a while.

In other news, the football was good today. I felt very bad for North Korea. I really hope they’re not executed for loosing 7-0. I am only half joking because Kim Jung Il is one crazy mother fucker. Look at me satirising Kim and his regime! I am very brave. I think it is very brave of me to call him a mother fucker on the internet. The North Koreans should learn from me and overthrow this despot. I think that by calling him a mother fucker I will plant the seed of revolution and lead the North Koreans towards the shores of liberty. I am also a poet.

I was also unhappy because Cristiano Ronaldo, or Twaty McTwat Twat as I like to call him, scored a fluke goal and was just so awfully smug about it. He kept showboating throughout the game and getting it wrong. Then he got a break after his team mates demoralised the North Korean enough for them to make the mistake that lead to his goal. When the first Portugal game happened, I was following it on twitter as well, I read that there was a spike in tweets that contain both the words Ronaldo and twat in the same tweet. I just hate him so much. I can’t believe he had the guts to say that footballers are modern day slaves. That’s right, that’s what he fucking said, the cock. Oh poor footballers being paid hundreds of thousands of pounds to kick a ball around about two hours a day. What a horrible life they must lead. It’s exactly like the slaves. Footballers are exactly like slave. What a fucking horrible cunt you are Cristiano Ronaldo!

Work, Corden, and Kaka

Posted in Culture, Me, Uncategorized, Work, World Cup with tags , , , , , , , on 20/06/2010 by arabrhizome

So I’ve been working all day today. I had to edit down the 2600 words I had and then write some new ones. So as I’m writing this my word count stands at 2431. I will work after I finish this post though. I’m hoping to hit about 3500 words tonight.

Other than work my day has been pretty useless. Except that I watched the penultimate episode of Doctor Who this season. It was an incredibly good one. It finished on one of the best cliff hangers in history. I can’t wait for the last episode next week. I have to say this season has been fantastic, apart from one episode. The episode last week was the most useless episode of Doctor Who I have ever seen. It was completely uninteresting and unrelated to the main plot line, and it had James Corden in it. I hate him. Especially after his disgraceful behaviour with Patrick Stewart. He is a bully, and an annoying idiot. His voice is infuriatingly annoying, his only joke is that he is fat, he is, or at least acts, very stupid, and he has been completely omnipresent on tv. I tried to watch his world cup show a couple of times but had to stop because it managed to make me both livid with anger and bored out of my mind. I can’t believe he is paid a lot of money to be on tv when very talented people like Richard Herring are ignored.

The thing is all he seems to do is be smug and self aggrandising when he doesn’t have any reason to be. He co-wrote a good series, Gavin and Stacy, and that’s it. I can’t see anything else of worth he has done. He co-wrote a stupid lesbian vampire movie (How original and not disgusting and sleazy in the least!), he also co-wrote one of the worst sketch shows in the history of television (I know I’m exaggerating a bit, but it was dismal) where the only joke repeated over and over and over again was that he is fat (Hahaha! Did you see he is fat? Hahaha it’s hilarious he’s fat! Look at his fat ugly stomach! This is the funniest thing anyone has ever thought of in the history of humanity! Let’s build a whole series around that idea and repeat it again and again and again, while people with something more intelligent or interesting to say are completely ignored by tv executives).

I also watched the football today. It’s nice to see that the world cup has definitely picked up. After a very boring first round in the groups the games are now a lot more interesting. Brazil today was brilliant. I don’t really like them but their display of skill today was great. I was very disappointed by the Ivory Coast. The shameful dive that got Kaka sent off was really low. I hope the automatic one game ban is lifted because he didn’t deserve to be sent off. If you are Francophone you would know that his name is very funny to anyone who has an immature sense of humour like me. His name means poopoo. I know it’s hilarious. Me and A have so much fun with it. It’s like we’re two incredibly immature six year olds. Anyway, I think I should get back to work now.