As much football as you need

9 07 2011

I find that my life gambols quite nicely until I watch Question Time. On Thursday Jon Gaunt, the fat bigot  and radio “personality” – Gaunty to his friends, decided to defend Murdoch. Well he thought everybody was being so beastly towards the geriatric media tyrant. During his risible tirade he said that we had to thank Murdoch for many things. One of these things was the “fact” that “he’d revolutionised football” or something like that. I thought “Gaunty that’s brilliant, what a charming way to describe the process by which football has become an elitist pantomime!!!!”

Unfortunately even if they don’t agree with him outright people seem to tolerate the present situation. Last week I received an e-mail from a facebook group that I didn’t want to join in the first place. (I remain a member for the daily reminders that I am right). The e-mail announced that a you tube video was the “The. Best. Football. Advert. Ever”. I clicked on the box to watch the video without delay!!! I was disappointed I didn’t  I find “The. Best. Football. Advert. Ever.”, I found an advert for sky sports;

I already had suspicions the person that sent the e-mail was a moron; in an earlier e-mail  he proclaimed that;

“Women’s football is like watching the fucking paralymics… just shite.”

Now I had full-blown evidence he was a moron, I hate football fans.

The advert I was sent via e-mail highlights the approach that Sky take with football; sell, sell, sell. Since they started covering the premier league football has been the cash cow Sky have milked for a profit, indeed without football they might have sank without trace. In order to make the rest of us feel we have to have help them make a profit they have to sell us their football coverage. Sell, sell, sell!!!!!!

My god how they sell, sell, sell their product. Nothing is undersold, it’s the biggest, it’s the best, blah blah blah. The above video is wrong on all the possible levels; the forced emotions, the emphatic delivery, the faux-pathos, the exaggerated emotions. They were still using the same ideas over a decade later, as this advert shows;

If Sky really it feel like us then they feel so much self-revulsion for ruining football they’d do the decent thing and shut up. Yet they never have. When you look at a selection of their adverts from down the years you notice the approach never changes; sell, sell, sell; sky is different, sky is bigger and better, elitism, elitism, elitism…..

Starting with the first one, a whole new ball game (with excruciating player based humour)

Then there was the sweaty glitz of sweaty players in 1995. If you listen carefully you will hear that this was the time when football officially became a religion, (albeit a religion with annoyingly choreographed icons of “typical football” and guffawing stars)

By 2007  sky sports had decided that they were going to have their biggest season ever, which meant that us fans were going to have our biggest season ever too. This advert features another portentous voiceover;

By 2009 we reached a nadir. This advert was just terrible, stylised fans spouting stylised bollocks written by fuckers from an advertising agency. At least we can tell the earlier ones were crap, this one takes itself far too seriously;

Then there’s this triumph of self-promotion. Sky sports actually think they are “Special”. To make this advert they have told Jose Mourinho to say that sky sport are “special”. Very good Murdoch, he’s the “special one” boom, boom. You can call me cynical but I’m wondering if Mourinho actually knew of sky sports before he was Chelsea’s manager. (Notice that you can’t see his hands, they are holding a brown paper bag full of money, this image would be vulgar for sky’s advert.) This adverts also  highlights the needlessly hectoring style of commentating ecstacy they all seem to use now.

 Needless to say this shite is not only ripe for parody, it has to be parodied;

When the cogs start a-whirring

19 06 2011

The convinience shops and petrol stations of our septic isles force  British people to notice the muck raking culture of the tabloid press. I don’t think anybody really wants to notice their existence but none of us can help noticing.

One minute you’re sauntering across the forecourt thinking about what you’re having for tea then your reverie is shattered by the contents of the newspaper rack near the front door. None of us ever mean to pay attention as we are happy in our ignorance of “Wor lovely Cheryl” and her latest setback.

These newspaper racks are the Bougeoisie’s latest ruse for diverting the proletariat from their historical mission. All some people need is a millisecond of an opportunity and they’ll buy a tabloid newspaper to save thinking time.

I went through this disturbing reflex action yesterday. I needed a drink in the harsh north Walian sunshine but  I had to wait before I could go in the Happy Shoplifter (other covinience shops are available). Unfortuantely my manners became the unwitting tool of Wapping; during my wait for the elderly person I moved my head slightly. This slight movement was all I needed to become aware of another of  Ryan Giggs’ proclivities. Now I know that he likes people to dress up as a French maid for his amusement.

At first I cursed myself but then all of a sudden I wasn’t think of Giggsy’s peccadiloes, I was thinking of Elton Welsby, the erstwhile ITV football anchor, instead. You must remember Elton “Right after the break” Welsby;

He was very much poetry in action;

I’ll bet you’re wondering how I managed to put the tabloids out of my mind so quickly. Well it’s all about my love for the band “Half Man Half Biscuit”. As soon as I saw the headline I thought of this verse from A Country Practice (from the album; Four Lads that Shook The Wirral).

(All lyrics are taken from this website.)

“Cos on Sunday next at ten to four
I’ve got an invitation for
A trip around Katharine Hamnett’s warehouse
Followed by dinner with David Emanuel
Who I can’t wait to tell about my dream
In which the almost illegal Elton Welsby
Is dressed as a french maid on a moonless byway
Licking his lips as he creeps ever closer
Fast falls the eventide
Fast falls the eventide”

Listen to it here.

I’ve always had a soft spot for Half Man Half Biscuit as rubbish from polite society enrages me in the same way. They also paint fantastically absurd images of minor celebrities. For example football commentators/presenters feature heavily. Take  “Gubba look-a-likes” (from the album“Trouble over Bridgewater”) for instance;

“They come from underneath the stairs
Into my room but no-one cares
They’re on the bus and on the train
They’re knocking on my window pane
Oh Mother telephone the nurse
Can’t you see it’s getting worse
I close my eyes yet still it seems
Everybody in my dreams
Gubba look-a-likes
Gubba look-a-likes”

Listen to it here.

There’s also “Bob Wilson – Anchorman” (from the EP  “Editor’s Recommendation”)

“Lord I’ve tried the best I can
I’ve asked everybody in Kazakhstan
But I still don’t understand
Bob Wilson – anchorman

I’ve been to Kent, Gwent and Senegal
I’ve even been to look for Jim Rosenthal
Found him on his knees at the Wailing Wall
Crying: “Bob Wilson – anchorman”

Well I marvel at the things we find beneath the ground
And that man can go faster than the speed of sound
But I still can’t get my head around
Bob Wilson – anchorman”

Listen to it here.

You don’t even need to hear whole verses snippets, little snippets are often enough for a little mental journey. Take “Uffington Wassail” (from the album “Trouble over Bridegwater”);

“Singing Sealed Knot Society, let’s see you try and do this one:
Luton Town – Millwall, nineteen eighty-five”

Listen to it here.

Or “1966 and all that” (from the album “Back in D.H.S.S.”)

“If only you’d give me my Lev Yashin poster back
Six months ago I returned your brown anorak
But you keep forgetting and it’s far too upsetting
So baby Ferenc Puskas to you, to you
Baby Ferenc Puskas to you” 

And it’s not just the football-tinged songs. For example “Soft Verges” (from the album “Four Lads that Shook the Wirral”); 

“So I’m walking down the road
And heading towards me
Is somebody I know
But not like a brother
He’s seen me, and we both realise
That we’re going to have to put into operation
The tricky manoeuvre that is
Acknowledgement without breaking stride
So I keep my eyes fixed firmly on the ground
‘Til I get within ten or so feet away
With a nod of the head
And a timely hello
I can carry on walking
Don’t wanna get talking
Rule number one – carry on walking
And anyway I don’t know his name
And if I were to guess
I’d guess it all wrong
And I’d be there for a long time”

And there’s “Tyrrolean Knockabout” (from the album “Cammel Laird Social Club“)

“I’ve been goading D-list Paul Ross for a laugh
By unloading outside what he would call his “gaff”
Old fridge-freezers
Doors all removed like we’re told
His face at the window on waking a sight to behold”

 “A Shropshire Lad” (from the album“Voyage to the Bottom of our Road”)

“Second greatest time I had
Was when they asked me and my Dad
To organize a festival
Along the lines of Donington
We took Chirk Airfield as our site
Booked the bands we thought were right
Received the long-range from the Met
They said it could be very wet
With this in mind, we thought it wise
To call the whole caboodle off
The greatest time I ever had
Was when we didn’t tell the bands”

Then there’s “Tending the Wrong grave for 23 years”  or “The Ballad of Climie Fisher”

So, if you would like to follow in my footsteps, if you want the ability to cast the tabloids from your mind without delay, just develop an interest in Half Man Half Biscuit.

The end of an era

25 08 2010

So sky sports news has been removed from Freeview, oh dear.

The Jet Set would have had trouble coping without this crutch before but that was a time when we used to have a problem. We had to fight the urge to press 8 and 3 in quick succession. Usually we’d fight it by displacement, (The technical term is called “watching Minder”) but whenever there was a commercial break we’d turn over. It was too much of a struggle. We just had to find out the latest news.

This behaviour was the latest manifestation of the obssessive-compulsive behaviour that we’ve displayed for years. It used to be called “Teletext Syndrome”.  According to a well known medical website “Teletext Sydrome”  was marked by;

“…the chronic need to find information, (just in case another sentence had been added in the last five minutes). Most sufferers operate under the delusion that by simply looking at information on the pages of teletext they would influence the outcomes of events in the real world.  This behaviour was especially related to football matches played on Saturday afternoons”

The condition may have mutated into “Skysportsnews Finger” but the symptoms are basically the same.

The good news is that I’ve learned that the condition is easily treated, the really good news is that the treatment works almost instantly. After one session of therapy we have been able to see our problem, deal with it and then take steps to make sure it doesn’t reappear.

Now we feel that we can deal with life without the following;

  • Nauseating stories with puns shoe-horned in to any gap available
  • The fine-tooth comb treatment of the big issues – What Rooney said to Owen over the F.A. Cup semi-final breakfast table. 
  • Red-hot pictures of  players leaving training grounds in cars with blacked-out windows whilst a moron speculates. 
  • The mustachioed gobshite who follows England everywhere.
  • The question, “But what will it mean for the fans?” asked with all the sincerity of Davina McCall.
  • The instant interest that Sky TV develops in something when they buy the rights for it. “Sky Rides? Sky Rides is it? By Christ! They’ve only been interested in cycling for five minutes and now they’re making us do it.”

Finally, why is  sky sports news shit?

– Because it’s like this but their presenters are serious.

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