THE Germans are coming (again)
German football didn’t turn professional until the mid-sixties, but by that time the (West Germany) national team had already won the World Cup, and one of their clubs had reached the final of the European Champions Cup.
WHEN Lee Rigby was butchered to death by lunatics making a human sacrifice to the god voices in their heads, we knew that no nutjobs would break us. We are fair. We are strong. And then the police moved to arrest two men who had made “offensive” comments on twitter. It took the police fifteen minutes to arrest two armed jihadi-obsessed psychos who had hacked a man to death in the street. What odds they were swifter in nicking a 23-year-old and a 22-year-old for allegedly breaking the Public Order Act?
As ever, someone looking to be offended found something to dislike on twitter. They called Avon and Somerset Police. The thought police then nicked the two Bristol residents on suspicion of inciting racial or religious hatred.
THERE is a thrill in spotting a famous face. Some people will play it cool when the hearing excited murmurs that a famous face is close by but most – and I am one – will want to see the star.
My first celebrity spot was Derek Underwood, the Kent and England cricketer. He was sat in a Bournemouth pizzeria with Kent’s Bob Woolmer, the late South African team coach. I was one table over with my dad. It was he who spotted the players. Gesturing at my napkin and silently sliding a pen over towards me, dad thought it would be a good idea if I went and over got their autographs. Back then a signature was considered proof of the meet. I went over. They were charming. I had practically no idea who they were. But, still, I had the proof that I’d met them and that was everything to me and my father.
Nowadays autographs are considered naff. Photos are the thing. And because mobile phones have cameras, and phones are ubiquitous, the star can be snapped at any time. But, then, not everyone wants to be a paparazzo. Not everyone wants to be brash and invasive. So. You take a photo from afar and hope you captured the legend. On the Tumblr Crap Paps, such photographs are recorded.
Who are they. Go to the end of the story to find out:
A. The distance shot snap.
TOTTENHAM Hotspur footballer Gareth Bale wants to make the soppy love heart hand gesture his own. The Spurs star wants to limit the use of your fingers. Anyone pushing their fingers into the form of the heart will be in breach of Bale’s copyright. It’s so utterly pathetic that Bale should be on the receiving end of less controlled gestures. You can take your pick of them here.
The Japanese schoolgirls who have been using the heart sign for years can look over Bale’s application on the IPOwebsite:
If Bale succeeds it will be big money for him. And it will be interesting to see who he sues for breaching his creation. Here’s Victoria Pendleton showing her love at the London 2012 Olympics!
The gesture has appeared on advert for the opticians LensCrafters.
Singer Taylor Swift says he might be the signs inventor:
“At the end of my sophomore year, I left school and went out on a radio tour to play free show after free show … I was an unknown act playing shows night after night, and I was constantly trying out all kinds of different moves to try and get a response from the audience.”
Selena Gomez has also used it.
And then there’s Show Your Hearts, a cause highlighting a fatal road tragedy:
The State of Virginia:
And lots of ravers:
Brand Bale is looking to cash in.
HOW have the newspapers reacted to the horrific scenes in Woolwich? An off-duty British soldier has been murdered by two men. One psychotic nutter shouted “…we swear by almighty Allah, that we will never stop fighting you. Until you leave us alone, your people will never be safe”. He added: “We swear by almighty Allah we will never stop fighting you. The only reason we have done this is because Muslims are dying every day.”
The victm was beheaded.
Richard Watson on #Newsnight: Can’t confirm but source says last yr one of men was stopped or arrested on way to join al-Shabaab in Somalia.
NOT since the horrors of 7/7 had terrorists claimed a life in the UK. Today two men used meat cleavers to murder and, apparently, tried to decapitate a white British a soldier from Woolwich Barracks on the streets of London. He was wearing a Help for Heroes T-shirt. Police shot them.
ENGLAND’S new strip – the first from Nike – ends half a century of involvement with Umbro, the Manchester-based sports manufacturer whose name is synonymous with the Three Lions.
As with all new kits, there has been controversy. The Germans have supposedly complained that England are attempting to copy their success by copying the design of their shirts. However, Gary Lineker’s riposte – “If you can’t beat ‘em…” – ignores the fact that the retro kit most closely resembles the Germans of the sixties, when we were still in the habit of beating the old enemy.
THE British Film Institute has added colour to this 1927 film of London shot by Claude Friese-Greene in Biocolour.
GEORGE Michael was trying to shut the door on his car when he tell out of it. The singer was travelling at 70mph down the M1 when the accident occurred.
Well, so says Katherine Fox, 23, who was in a car behind Michael’s silver Range Rover.
“I saw blood everywhere and a man on the ground. I thought someone had run across the road and been hit. I asked what had gone on and was told he tried to open the car door and shut it again because it wasn’t shut properly and apparently fell out at 70mph.”
THE new editor of Newsnight, the BBC news show that spiked the Jimmy Savile expose, is the Guardian’s Ian Katz. Newsnight presenter Jeremy Paxman said in the wake of the Savile debacle that BBC’s news division had been “taken over by radio … Helen Boaden, a radio person. Steve Mitchell, a radio person. Peter Rippon was a radio person. These people belong to a different kind of culture.”
How will a newspaper man with no experience of telly work out, then?
Guido Fawkes notes:
Fair, balanced and impartial Ian Katz will have no trouble fitting in at his new role as Newsnight editor … Katz certainly has top drawer left-wing credentials. Back in 2004, he was editor of the Guardian’s G2 magazine during their infamous ‘Operation Clark County’ plot to swing the state of Ohio in favour of John Kerry and against George W. Bush. Katz organised thousands of letters written by lefty Britons to be sent to individual voters in Ohio, imploring them to cast their ballot for Kerry. The result was uproar, a near diplomatic incident, and victory for Bush.
WE never did get to bid for the used bikini Farrah Abraham, star of Farrah Superstar: Backdoor Teen Mom. wore for her porn debut. The outfit was pulled from eBay over hygiene concerns. The pink bikini was advertised as “encrusted” in “crystals“. She calls them crystals. We call them stains. Your boyfriend calls them pearls. (Right now millions of mums of adolescents are working de-crusting unguents on bed sheets.)
Incredibly, someone had bid $14,700 for the second-hand bikini.
By now many of you will be wondering who Abraham is and if she can help you make a mint from selling your soiled undies. Well, she’s the former star of MTV’s Teen Mom who took her four-year-old daughter Sophia along to Vivid Entertainment for porn contract negotiations. She then recorded a porn film for big bucks.
AS Arsenal take fourth place in the Premier League ahead of arch rivals Tottenham Hotspur, we look back at the words of Spurs’ manager Andre Villas-Boas. Would Spurs undo 17 years of hurts and finally finish the season above Arsenal? Said AVB back in March 2013:
“The difference this year is that we are on an upward spiral in terms of confidence whereas they are in a negative spiral and once you get into that negative spiral it’s difficult to get out of it.”
While AVB wonders about his his side’s own negative spiral, we look back at some other comments of Spurs players who saw the rosy-fingered dawn only to realise it was the red of Arsenal disappearing over the horizon:
2013 – Gareth Bale:
“I think now we have overtaken them on the pitch.”
PARIS Saint-Germain’s milked every last ounce from being the club for which David Beckham has played his last professional football match. But as the world looked at Becks, we looked at the Ligue One Trophy. No big ears on this monstrosity, just a silvery ball sat on a plinth within a hexagon inside a wheel. It looks not a lot unlike one of the ashtrays that used to sit on the tables at London’s Quaglinos bar and eatery in the 1990s.
Moments of confusion surely even for such a seasoned trophy holder as Becks. Was he meant to hold it aloft of sit back and spit olive stones into it?
IN the early 20th Century, tiger hunting was all the rage. King George V went looking for them after a good lunch with the Nepalese King. In 1902, Lieutenant Colonel Frank Sheffield went tiger hunting. He recorded his adventures in How I killed the tiger; being an account of my encounter with a royal Bengal tiger.
He tells his readers:
My main purpose in writing this little book, was to place in a permanent form a description of my wonderful preservation from death in a chance encounter with a Royal Bengal Tiger. My life had been adventurous up to that time. I had shot big game of various kinds. But this episode, so marvellous in itself, so important in its influence upon my after life and character, marks the close of my career as a hunter of big game.
These are the plates:
IN photos: Indian Muslim Sufi devotees use sharp objects and self flagellate during the Urs festival procession to mark the death anniversary of Sufi Muslim saint Hazrat Khwaja Muinuddin Chishti, in Ajmer, India. Some of these photos are challenging viewing:
IN Georgia, being gay is difficult. Today there was an anti-gay pride rally, in Tbilisi, Georgia. You might call it bigot pride. Thousands of anti-gay protesters, including Orthodox priests, occupied a central street in Georgia’s capital Friday, with some threatening to lash with nettles any participant in a gay pride parade which was to take place there. The gay parade was to feature around 50 marchers. Police in Tbilisi guarded the gay activists and bused them out of the city center shortly after they arrived at the gathering. In other words, they were rounded up and booted out of town.
AUSTRIAN physician Stefan Jellinek founded The Electro-Pathological Museum in 1936. Hr provided the content in Elektroschutz in 132 Bildern (Electrical Protection in 132 Pictures). DEath and electricity went hand-in-hand. But with this book, you would be forewarned.
If you can identify all the contraptions, let us know.
WHEN Angelina Jolie announced that she’d had a double mastectomy to greatly reduced her high risk of getting breast cancer, we listened. Like her or not, her actions were brave. But on twitter, many took another view. They pitied Brad Pitt for having lost “his” breasts. They called Jolie selfish. They called her not a woman. They perverted karma into a kind of painful retribution. They tweeted:
EXTRACTS from Poptastic! My Life in Radio, by Tony Blackburn, as selected by Eamonn Forde. It turns there is more to Tony than admiration for Neil Sedaka and pressed trousers. Here’s what Tony didn’t cover in his first autobiography, 1985′s Tony Blackburn: The Living Legend.
First few facts about Tony for our overseas and younger readers:
Blackburn’s was the first voice heard on Radio One in 1967. In his album Tony Blackburn Sings, he crooned a version of The White Cliffs of Dover. The rest of career saw him become remarkably uncool.
Now for the extracts. Nice!
”I’d say that seeing Bobby Vee perform was far more enjoyable than watching The Beatles in their prime. I was never big on Elvis – I prefer Perry Como – and I’ll take Alvin Stardust over David Bowie any day.”
RYAN Lee Chiropractic Center is open for business. It might be an idea when advertising health remedies that not everyone agrees with to shy away from a “not-so-serious” commercial that features the chiropractor stood behind and on top of young, photogenic women:
HE did it gain. Full-kit man John Terry came down from the stands to celebrate Chelsea’s Europa Cup win, and just as he did when the Blues won the Champions’ League last season, changed from casual clothes into full Chelsea kit. For added hilarity, he positioned his daughter at the very centre of the team photo. In years to come, when memories have faded, JT will be the family man who with his team of Terrios conquered Europe.
Terry’s kits during the match, in which he played no part.
WHO are Syria’s Freedom fighters? And should we back them? The internet is alive with a video of a Syrian rebel cutting out the heart and liver of a Government soldier. Having removed the organs the rebel looks as if he is about to eat them.
The Syrian opposition National Coalition says it is “a horrific and inhumane act”. Who is the National Coalition? Is it the same as the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces? The Syrian National Council? The National Co-ordination Committee? Is it in control of the Free Syrian Army? It’s all a bit murky.
Human Rights Watch says the video appears to have been made by a rebel brigade in Homs. It is alleged that the man in the video is Abu Sakkar, the alleged leader of Omar al-Farouq al-Mustakila brigade. The man says:
“We swear to God we will eat your hearts and livers, you soldiers of Bashar the dog. We are the heroes of Baba Amr.”
You wonder what the purpose of the video is? When Syrian president Bashar al-Assad used some sort of chemical weapon against rebels, the West did nothing. Will a grisly video of one man’s mutilation prick the West into action where 70,000 other deaths in the war have failed? Is the one hideous wrong worse than the big faceless number?
Barack Obama thinks so. He said:
‘There would be enormous consequences if we start seeing movement on the chemical-weapons front or the use of chemical weapons. That would change my calculations significantly.”
Being shot in the face is not as demanding of enormous consequences as being gassed oor chopped up is. We like our murders to be neat.
The Guardian’s editorial agreed:
‘The use of chemical weapons is a war crime. It is a war crime even if it is committed by a state which, like Syria (or North Korea), is not a signatory to the international chemical weapons convention… [B]ut the evidence needs to be examined. There undoubtedly needs to be a proper investigation, authorised by the international community, of the sarin allegations.”
Use chemical weapons and the righteous will get you. Guns. Meh.
Now what? Do we support the rebels, who look a lot like the jihadis the US has been fighting in Iraq? Does the US send in the big guns that would allow the rebels to win? Or does it just allow the rebels to get enough weapons to keep the civil war going?
The West has already taken sides. NATO plonked Patriot anti-missile batteries along its member Turkey’s border with Syria. Then US secretary of state Hillary Clinton said this showed that “Turkey is backed by its allies.” No. It showed that the West is against the Syrian Government.
Turkey’s prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan made his views clear:
“The massacres in Syria that gain strength from the international community’s indifference are continuing to increase. The regime in Syria has now become a terrorist state. We do not have the luxury to be indifferent to what is happening there.”
He is demanding intervention. Turkey could do with a more Sunni-slanted Islamist ally in Syria.
CNN say Obama has agreed to supply the Free Syrian Army (FSA). Although the US doesn’t know all that much about the FSA. It’s the latest group the West has decided to back. The people – the Syrians on the ground – had no say in their representatives. The West just told them who was in charge.
William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, said Britain was supplying the rebels because it was acting as “the conscience of humanity“. The rebellion is no longer a local affair. The rebels leaders been picked by the West and interested foreigners.
Meanwhile, the rebels are fighting for their place on the world stage. The FT reported on one incident:
A statement posted on the internet in the name of the militant Islamist group the Al-Nasra Front said they carried out Wednesday’s assault, using two waves of suicide attackers. The group has claimed responsibility for several attacks in Damascus but has also denied one claim issued in its name in May. Shortly after explosions rocked the capital on Wednesday, the Free Syrian Army (FSA), which is trying to act as an umbrella group for the various units fighting on the ground, claimed responsibility for them. A group called Tajamo Ansar al-Islam also claimed responsibility. The group’s relationship with the FSA is not clear.
The West is trying to create the official face of the rebellion. They are the good who will take over when the bad are routed.
And then we see the video of a man having his heart removed, you realise that Syria is complicated. There is no coherent rebellion. There is sectarianism, vengeance, and religionism mixed into that struggle to defeat Assad’s out-of-date regime…
President Obama’s angry dismissal of the growing outcry over the handling of last year’s Benghazi terrorist attack that left a U.S. ambassador dead shows all the signs of a White House in “damage control” mode, critics say.
“They are in damage control, and this story is now gaining traction because people are now talking about it even more,” said Richard Benedetto, an American University political science professor and former White House correspondent for USA Today. “This story to me has all the makings of a Watergate kind of story. What did they know and when did they know it, and what did people in the White House do to cover it up?”