Key Posts Category
WE name the mystery men.
The campaign to put Jane Austen on English banknotes appears to have achieved a somewhat hollow victory, if responses to the proposed portrait are anything to go by.
Austen biographer Dr Paula Byrne describes the proposed picture as resembling a doll, and making Jane appear “dim-witted”. She even goes so far as to compere it to “a Katie Price makeover”.
However, Elizabeth Proudman of the Jane Austen Society begs to differ. While conceding that the eyes are too big, and the face is ‘prettified’ she appears happy with the overall appearance – including the bonnet, which she says Austen always wore.
SO. How has the Sun reported the news that former News of the World editor was shagging former Sun and News of the World editor Rebekah Brooks when they worked together, as is alleged? Well, it leads with news of a trial. Yeah, Brooklyn Beckham has had a trial for Manchester United: It’s a “TRIAL SENSATION“.
In other news you won’t read in the Sun:
RANDY ANDY’S AFFAIR WITH EASTENDERS’ STAR’S GINGA NINJA
BONKING BROOKS’ SECRET AFFAIR
ANDY COULSON ATE MY ‘HAMSTER’
UP YOURS, HER INDOORS
WOULD THE LAST PERSON TO LEAVE THE OFFICE PLEASE DIM THE LIGHTS
NOTHING TO CHANGE HERE. LEAVE AS IS.
AT LEAST THEY’RE NOT GAY
Where’s the News of the World when you need it?
IN 1974, David Bowie was at a low ebb. The 1975 BBC film Cracked Actor recorded the singer on his 1974 Diamond Dogs Tour. The then 27-year-old Alan Yentob’s Omnibus film showed Bowie in the raw. In 1987, Bowie would say of the BBC film:
“I was so blocked … so stoned … It’s quite a casualty case, isn’t it. I’m amazed I came out of that period, honest. When I see that now I cannot believe I survived it. I was so close to really throwing myself away physically, completely.”
FOOTBALLERS Forever Associated With Certain Items Of Food
“Mark Bosnich was a terrible professional,” claims Sir Alex Ferguson in his autobiography, which was launched in a small room above a Salford pub last week, to mass indifference.
“We played down at Wimbledon and Bosnich was tucking into everything: sandwiches, soups, steaks. He was going through the menu. I told him, ‘For Christ’s sake, Mark, we’ve got the weight off you. Why are you tucking into all that stuff?’ We arrived back in Manchester, and Mark was on mobile phone to a Chinese restaurant to order a takeaway.”
And with these words, Mark ‘Sniffer’ Bosnich achieves membership of the exclusive Footballers Forever Associated With Certain Items Of Food Club.
There could even have been another, had Fergie revealed the identity of the culprit to blame for ‘Pizzagate’, when a row between himself and Arsene Wenger in 2004 culminated in carb carnage. “The next thing I knew, I had pizza all over me,” recalls the red-faced recently-retired ruler of Old Trafford. He says he did not see who threw it, but that Cesc Fabregas has been suggested to him. And that’s good enough for us, so Cesc is hereby inducted, along with his missile of choice.
Arsene Wenger remained typically inscrutable this week: “I don’t know about food throwing. I did not see if something was thrown – you’ll have to ask someone else, because I don’t know.”
When Cesc arrives, he will find another Arsenal old boy awaiting him…
In 1986, ‘Champagne’ Charlie was arrested outside the Confusion Bar in Ibiza, for an unusual twist on the usual footballers’ fracas. Scottish holidaymaker Lori McElroy alleged that Nicholas stole a chip from her, and then broke her jaw in the ensuing argument. Nicholas was found guilty but continued to deny any wrongdoing.
Chips would haunt Charlie years later, when working as a pundit for Sky. Anchorman Jim White, presumably assuming his mic was switched off, referred to the Celtic fans’ chorus of The Fields of Athenrye with a reference to the Irish potato famine.
“Oh here we go again, the tottie famine,” said Jim.
“Aye, and they’re all eating chips while singing this,” replied Nicholas, to the displeasure of the Bhoys’ worldwide army of millions.
Roast dinner with all the trimmings
Terry Venables remembers breaking into the Chelsea team as a youngster and playing alongside the legendary Jimmy Greaves. Greavsie was only three years older than Terry, yet he was already a superstar, and would soon move to AC Milan. He lived near Venables, and would give him a lift to matches. The first time this happened, Jim explained that he usually stopped for lunch at a café, so they went in and Venables – already at the vanguard of modern practices – ordered steamed chicken. He was shocked to see Greaves polish off a massive plate of roast beef with Yorkshire pudding, veg, and roast AND mashed potatoes. This he followed up with a large bowl of stodge and custard. “I always have this,” he said. Venables says Greaves proceeded to score a hatful of goals that afternoon. But then, he usually did.
Speaking of dinners, an honoury mention must also go to erstwhile Orient manager John ‘bring yer fu*king dinner’ Sitton, for his legendary televised half-time rant…
Martin Jol’s Tottenham side of 2005-06 will be remembered for their valiant but ultimately unsuccessful assault on the final Champions League spot. To make it worse, it was arch-rivals West Ham who ruined their party by beating them 2-1 on the final day. And to put the tin lid on it, it was Arsenal who pipped them to fourth.
The defeat was blamed squarely upon a lasagna which had been served to the players at the London Marriott in West India Quay, where the players aere staying before the game. Ten players went down with a mystery illness, assumed to be food poisoning, although the hotel was cleared of any wrongdoing.
David Beckham, as reported here recently, is a lifelong pie and mash fan, and even went to the lengths of taking the Spurs players and backroom staff to lunch at a local emporium during his brief stint training at the north London club.
But when it comes to meat-filled be-crusted comestibles, one man is synonymous: chunky Mick Quinn, whose candid autobiography is rhetorically entitled Who Ate All The Pies?
The scouse goal-machine once picked up a pie that was thrown at him from the crowd and ate it, to the amusement of all. He has been known to repeat the story from time to time in the course of his broadcasting duties.
Paul Gascoigne’s love of the ‘iconic’ chocolate brick was well known, and when he turned out for Spurs against his former club Newcastle United the Toon fans bombarded him with said confectionary. Whereupon Gazza ‘did a Quinny’ and chomped enthusiastically.
Mention ‘testicles and football’ and the connection is obvious: Wimbledon FC – although this is nothing to do with Gazza’s bollocks…
…and everything to do with the defunct club’s owner Sam Hammam, who introduced the novel forfeit of eating sheep’s gonads as part of the ‘Crazy Gang’ disciplinary code.
It would be easy to just post a picture of Roy Keane, who indirectly coined the phrase “prawn sandwich brigade” during a mini-rant about Manchester United’s gentrified supporters.
Yet Keano’s comments are trumped by events at Grimsby, where Town’s Ivano Bonetti was supposedly injured when manager Brian Laws threw chicken wings at him. The sandwich-based truth is slightly different.
Laws says that Bonetti hurled sandwiches – and a punch – at him, and that he merely retaliated in kind: “I’ve no idea where the chicken leg or wing part of the story came from! It almost put a bit of humour to it, but we felt it was best to leave things be and put things right later on. That incident gets brought up quite a lot and people laugh at it now – and I do as well – but at the time it wasn’t very funny or nice to be involved in. It was an incident which unfortunately spilled out into the press and all hell broke loose at the time.”
The restaurant of choice for footballers seeking a pre-brawl snack, as patronised by Lee Bowyer (pictured here fighting with team-mate Kieran Dyer). Bowyer was convicted of affray at the Isle of Dogs branch…
And Joey Barton, back home in Liverpool…
Charlton Athletic keeper Charlie Wright is fondly remembered for his tendency to wander behind his goal and chat with supporters. Legend has it that once, while accepting an orange from a fan, the opponents scored.
Step up, Dave Beasant. If you can, that is.
Beasant missed two months of the 1993-94 season after knocking over a jar of salad cream which fell onto his foot, causing serious injury. Some say it was mayonnaise, but unfashionable salad cream took the rap.
Eternal spring chicken Gordon Strachan (pictured here with the world’s largest banana split) famously lives on a diet of the curvy peely fruit. “Gordon couldn’t spell banana when he was 20,” says former team-mate Alex McLeish “He ate pork pies then. But we had a teetotal right-back called Stuart Kennedy who brought in books about the diets of Ivan Lendl and Martina Navratilova. That’s when we started good eating habits.”
Unfortunately, the enduring image of footballers and bananas is less savoury. John Barnes was famously snapped back-heeling a banana thrown at him by the Goodison faithful in 1988.
“I don’t remember doing that,” he said later. “I mean the picture is there but bananas back then were common. The reason it all came to the fore is because I was playing for a high-profile club like Liverpool. For six years before, that happened every week, but because it was a small club it wasn’t highlighted. In terms of me being angry and wanting to fight people in the stands though, it never happened, I consider those people to be ignorant, so how could they affect any part of life or any part of my demeanour.”
HELL Houses will scare you kids into following the ways of Chris. They can also make you straight.
Brian Kirk told us:
“Part of salvation is being afraid of going to hell,” says the youth pastor at Trinity Church Assemblies of God in Cedar Hill, Texas. As depicted in the excellent documentary Hell House, each Halloween season Trinity Church hosts an alternative to the traditional haunted house. Instead of vampires and werewolves, guests are treated to scenes such as a young girl having an abortion, a gay man suffering from AIDS, a teen dying in an auto accident who failed to give his life to Christ. In each scenario, these presumed sinners are tormented by actors dressed as demons. The implication, none too subtle, is that each deserves both their suffering and their one-way ticket to damnation. The gay man, molested by his uncle as a child, chose to have sex and contract HIV. The teen girl chose to get drugged at a rave, raped, and become pregnant. The boy in the car wreck chose hell because he refused to listen to his parents’ religious teachings. The message of these hell houses is that the same fate awaits us all. But wait! There’s hope. These terror tours usually end with a glimpse of heaven and the opportunity to give one’s life to Jesus.
MADELEINE McCann: Anorak’s at-a-glance look at the story in the news.
Image above: Undated image issued by the Metropolitan Police, as part of the investigations into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann in 2007, the original sketch (left) that a person made at the time together with a Met Police photo of the British holidaymaker (right) who they have spoken to and is seen here wearing the clothes he believes he may have been wearing that evening, This is the person police believe they have identified as the man who was seen by Jane Tanner carrying a child at about 21.15 near the apartment G5A.
The Sunday Times has a scoop:
Madeleine clues hidden for 5 years
The new prime suspect was first singled out by detectives in 2008. Their findings were suppressed. Insight reports
After Pepper Spray Cop University of California Welcomes TSA Groper Janet Napolitano To Molest Students
WHAT’S the monetary value of suffering? In California, they calculate it like this: the suffering you experience when a bored yet out-of-control cop pepper-sprays your face at point-blank range is worth eight thousand dollars less than the suffering said poor put-upon cop feels once he gets a reputation as the type who pepper-sprays harmless people in the face.
Seriously. Remember John “Pepper Spray” Pike? He’s the ex-Marine and former University of California at Davis policeman who became an Internet meme back in 2011, after he was recorded calmly walking down a line of student protesters sitting on a sidewalk pepper-spraying each one in the face.
MARIA, the gypsy girl found living on a Greek Roma camp, was not abducted. Sasha Ruseva, 38, and Atlan Rusev, 37, are her parents. Sasha is a Roma gypsy. The police have arrested her and Atlan, just as they arrested her adopted parents Hristos Salis, 39, and Eleftheria Dimopoulou, 40. Sasha and Atlan were pinched in the Bulgarian town of Nikolaevo.
Ms Ruseva says she fell pregnant in Greece. She had no money:
“I intended to go back and take my child home, but meanwhile I gave birth to two more kids so I was not able to go back.”
See her other children beklow.
So. The gypsies never did steal Maria, the blonde whose face was flashed around the world. The gypsies never did steal that child in Dublin, either. And there is not a shred of evidence that gypsies kidnapped Ben Needham or Madeleine McCann.
Time, then, to have a look at what the British Press said about blonde Maria:
Revealed: The rundown home where the four-year-old ‘Greek Maddie’ lived with her gypsy ‘abductors’
Daily Star: Maria was Our Maddie:
His mother Kerry Needham, 41, said: “The authorities in Greece always told us, ‘Gipsies don’t steal babies’. Now we know they do. We are very optimistic this new information may help us find Ben.”
The Times told its readers:
The possibility of Gypsy involvement has been investigated in the abduction of two blonde-haired British children — Madeleine McCann in Portugal and Ben Needham in Greece.
Maria was seen dancing in a video. She was like a dancing bear, they said. She was the blonde angel, they said. The caring Mirror topped the chilling video with an advert for Gummy Bears:
Ian Murphy told Sun readers:
THE little girl rescued from a gypsy camp dances for her captors in this disturbing video handed to cops.
Lest you think the video of a blonde kid dancing was very ordinary, Murphy told us that what we were seeing was awful:
In the 29-second clip she twirls in circles in the middle of a sunny yard as a dark-haired woman watches. When the tot falters and stops the woman pushes her back into the centre of the screen and she starts again.
Those dark-haired demons. Never did trust them. Stick with Aryans, we say.
The Daily Mail had inverted commas:
First pictures of gypsy couple ‘who snatched Maria’ as they appear in court accused of abduction and facing up to 20 years in prison
Maria had “secrets“:
The Sun had more on that rescue:
THE mystery blonde girl rescued from a gypsy camp sits with the couple who posed as her parents for years.
Fair-haired Madeleine, then nearly four, went missing from a holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, Portugal, in May 2007. Paedophile Raymond Helwett — who lived in the area at the time but died in 2010 — insisted she had been “stolen to order” by gypsies.
Blond Ben vanished on the Greek island of Kos in 1991, aged just 21 months. Five years later a local convict claimed he saw a child matching his description in the Farsala camp where Maria was found — and said gypsies told him the boy came from Kos.
That would be Helwett who never did confess to anything.
The Express then spotted Our Maddie with the gypsies:
Should they now give up hope?
Hell, no. The Star said there were 10 More Maddies:
A child living with Roma gypsies in Ireland is seized.
The Star saw – yep – you know who:
This Irish child underwent DNA tests to establish her identity and links to her family. After a few chemical experiments and State-sanctioned kidnapping, the child was in the care of the Irish state. What could go wrong? (She is now back home with her parents.)
Then the Express spotted Maddie:
The Mirror went further. It talked of an “ABDUCTION PANIC”.
The Sun had news on Maria:
Is this Maria? Missing US toddler link to ‘blonde angel’
Ws asked: These not-all-that-wealthy people nick your kids and then at no expense spared ship them to camps in Europe.
And know we know.
Still, no harm done. It was only the gypsies who got accused of running a global child-stealing racket – and no-one likes them, anyhow…
Mic Wright’s Remotely Furious: David Frost Is Dead And Peter Cook Won’t Save Leigh Francis From Drowning
“PETER never had any regrets in his life…the only regret he regularly voiced was that, at the house we all shared in Fairfield, Connecticut in 1963, he’d saved David Frost from drowning…”
– Alan Bennett in Some Interesting Facts About Peter Cook.
Peter Cook did David Frost no favours. Their rivalry was as bitter as vinegar but the potency mostly came from Cook’s side. He despised Sir David for his buddying up to the establishment and for what he perceived as Frost’s piggybacking on the talents of he and his Beyond The Fringe colleague’s work. Beyond The… made satire bite again but it was Frost who sold the concept to the commercial side of television, steering That Was The Week That Was to the centre of the nation’s heart. His story was at the heart of the best documentary on television last week, Sir David Frost: That Was The Life That Was.
IF you missed last week’s “mad gunman terrorizes American schoolchildren” news story, this time out of North Carolina, don’t feel bad; these days they’re common enough that it’s not reasonable to expect any one person can keep up with them all.
Still, last week’s story was notable for two reasons: One, nobody actually got shot; and two, the gunman was on the school’s payroll. Seriously: Administrators at Eastern Wayne Middle School later sent parents a letter explaining that they sent a masked gunman to various sixth-grade classrooms as an “enrichment lesson on exhibiting good citizenship and observing your surroundings.”
WHEN Bayer Leverkusen’s Stefan Kiessling header smashed into the Hoffenheim net during their recent Bundesliga match, referee Felix Brych had no hesitation in whistling for a goal. Players questioned the decision, but he brooked no disagreement.
Nothing unusual about that, except for one thing: the player doing most of the questioning was Kiessling himself, whose goal ‘celebration’ had consisted of holding his hands and grimacing. From his excellent vantage point he could see what the ref could not: that the ball had missed the goal and powered into the side netting. After that it had somehow slipped through the net and ended up nestling inside.
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The 20 indignities at English football grounds (featuring Arsenal, Aston Villa, Celtic, Charlton, Fulham, Newcastle, QPR, Spurs and Wolves)
FOOTBALL fans and all decent people everywhere will have been cheered to hear that Fulham Football Club has finally got round to taking down the statue of Michael Jackson that has besmirched Craven Cottage for the past few years. Former owner Mohamed Al Fayed, who erected the statue in 2011, is apparently considering selling it to raise money for charity.
Good news for all those who believe that sporting establishments should be treated with respect and dignity.
BANKSY, the muralist, has been decorating walls in New York City. The locals can’y get enough of him. For a few dollars they’ll let you see his artwork.
capnyc took a video:
Shutdown US Government deems parks and underfed babies less essential than the Congress heated pool and arresting poor blacks with drugs
WHO the hell decides what is and is not “essential”? That’s not a philosophical question about life, the universe and everything; I’m asking specifically about the idiotic “let’s play chicken with the whole country” federal-government-shutdown thing playing out here in America.
The way it works is, “essential” employees of the federal government still go to work and get paid, while everybody else stays home (and will likely get paid anyway, though not until after the shutdown ends). Check out who’s working and who’s not and it soon becomes obvious that, even by the standards of a creepy police surveillance state, the US government has seriously warped priorities.
Essential: the Drug Enforcement Administration, responsible for arresting and imprisoning anybody who uses intoxicants other than alcohol and prescribed pharmaceuticals, is open.
Not essential: the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, responsible for monitoring and tracking contagious illness, switched to shutdown mode.
So if one of those deadly science-fiction-movie-type pandemic viruses breaks out during the shutdown, the government can’t track the spread of the contagion but will still arrest anyone trying unapproved forms of medical treatment.
Essential: the private gym and heated swimming pool where members of Congress can work out at taxpayer expense.
Not essential: the WIC (Women, Infants and Children) program providing food assistance to extremely poor moms with extremely young kids.
Because where “essential use of taxpayer dollars” is concerned, helping a Congressman burn extra calories off his corrupt and flabby ass takes precedence over getting extra calories to hungry babies who aren’t getting enough. (Though perhaps that’s not a fair criticism to make. Cory Doctorow speculated the real reason the gym’s staying open is because so many Congressmen live in their congressional office suites and use the gym’s shower facilities to bathe. Can we really criticize them for that? Trying to cleanse Congressmen of their own foul stench isn’t “non-essential” so much as “a lost cause.”)
Not essential: America’s national parks and all the park rangers who staff them; hence, all the national parks are closed.
Essential: The National Park Service also “closed” the World War Two and Vietnam War memorials on the National Mall in Washington, DC, which are actually open-air monuments in the middle of a large, unenclosed public area. So the only way to “close” these monuments is to have staff set up temporary barricades blocking area usually open to everybody, requiring far more manpower than simply leaving them open ever would.
Also deemed essential were the Yellowstone park rangers who allegedly locked tourists in their hotel, and even prevented them from taking pictures of animals. Can’t let people have fun in national parks, but must scare the hell out of those who try. It’s all about priorities.
Manchester United’s teenager Adnan Januzaj is just like Tony Dorigo – the Italian-Australian who became English for glory and money
IAN Wright and Jack Wilshere agree that only players born and blooded in England should play for England at football. How Wilshere’s views will pan out with Liverpool and England’s Jamaican-born Raheem Sterling have yet to be established. Manchester United’s teenager Adnan Januzaj should not play for England, they say.
Fair enough. He might not want to. But Anorak recalls one foreign-born player who did pull on the England shirt. Australian-born Tony Dorigo, for it is he, played in the same England team as Ian Wright. We can find no record of Wright saying back then in 1993 that victory over Brazil would have been “hollow” with a foreigner in the team. Playing with a non-England born player is “just cheating” says wright.
MEREDITH Kercher is not yet at peace. The retrial of Amanda Knox in Perugia, Italy, for Kercher’s murder is underway. Knox and her then lover Raffaelle Sollecito were convicted and then acquitted. This time, however, Knox won’t be in the courtroom, opting to remain in the US.
Mic Wright’s Remotely Furious.
NO one calls themselves a telly addict any more. Time was, that was a thing. In the ‘80s being yoked to the idiot box was a bad thing. But today? We covet screens endlessly. We carry them around with us all the time. Right now I have two monitors in front of me, a MacBook Air demanding my attention, a Google Nexus 7 chirping away to itself and a smartphone gone the way of a black mirror, its battery worn down by incessant fiddling. The screens are everywhere now. We don’t notice them because they surround us.
And I love it. My name is Mic Wright and I am an addict. I am unrepentant. I was born to be a telly critic but sadly telly isn’t what it used to be. When Clive James – the greatest TV reviewer of all time – was stalking the Palaeolithic expanses of the small screen, a world where Channel 4 was just a glimmer in some priapic executives hungry eye, television meant something. It had Play For Today and hard hitting documentaries. World In Action, Death on the Rock, truly panoramic Panorama. It had drunks and eccentrics. It had George Best, Muhammad Ali, Greta Garbo and Helen Mirren on Parkinson. It had The Tube and TOTP. It had surprises.
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HALLOWEEN is coming. You want to host a party. This is the music you need to play.
Tam Lin: Fairport Convention
WHEN it comes to talking of anti-Semitism in newspapers, who better than the Guardian to bring the Daily Mail to order over its Ralph Miliband hatchet job? The Guardian is the paper in which Richard Imgram told readers:
I have developed a habit when confronted by letters to the editor in support of the Israeli government to look at the signature to see if the writer has a Jewish name. If so, I tend not to read it.
The Guardian is subtle in its bigotry, doing down the Jews claims to a homeland.
ROBIN Thicke’s hit has everyone’s knickers in a twist. The Universities of Kingston, Edinburgh, Leeds, Derby and West Scotland have banned their students unions from playing one of year’s biggest hits. The righteous students have censored the Top Ten, just like the BBC did in the unenlightened 1970s, when the likes of The Kinks, Paul McCartney, the Sex Pistols and Judge Dread were all banned.
Granted, Macca never did rap “ I’ll give you something big enough to tear your ass in two”, which it turns out is not a reference to a late-night Ultra Chilli Kebab from Big Ahmed’s Van but something illegal in Qatar. And Macca never did grope naked birds on his videos. Yes, he posed with dead babies. But naked women is so. well, offensive to “good girls” who don’t enjoy posing in the nude and being awakened to the magic of sex by Thicke’s dick.
HAS the Council of Europe banned Jewish boys from being Jewish boys? The Council has decreed that circumcision is “a violation of the physical integrity of children”. It says all 47 nations in the Council’s zone will “initiate a public debate, including intercultural and interreligious dialogue, aimed at reaching a large consensus on the rights of children to protection against violations of their physical integrity according to human rights standards”.
Member stats should “adopt specific legal provisions to ensure that certain operations and practices will not be carried out before a child is old enough to be consulted”.
Hey, boys. You’ll get to be circumcised not when very young but when you’re 18. Happy days.