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PROFESSIONAL sports (and amateur events) can, as we all know, get a little bit out of hand. Players pump themselves up for the occasion and, sometimes, all the wiring in the athlete goes wrong and that energy is transferred into violence.
This weekend, in Rugby League’s Grand Final, we saw super rivals Wigan taking on St Helens and, in the opening minutes of the game, Lance Hohaia found himself on the end of a beating from Ben Flower.
You can see the video below, along with some of sports most brutal punch-ups.
Naturally, this isn’t a positive endorsement of professional sportsmen punching the crap out of each other, but obviously, there’s something hair-raisingly exciting about it too.
That’s why we watch boxing.
Anyway, here we go with some of the most brutal, and in some cases, baffling fights in sports history. If you have a favourite, tweet us or tell us about it in the comments.
Flower vs Hohaia
As previously mentioned, Ben Flower did his Wigan team no favours after attacking Saints’ Hohaia in the Super League Grand Final on Saturday. One punch is deemed acceptable in rugby – the second one is the one that’ll tarnish Flower’s reputation.
Duncan McRae vs Ronan O’Gara
Rugby Union has had a fair number of dust-ups too, and one of the most notorious is the occasion when New South Wales played the British Lions, which saw McRae delivering a savage 11 punches to O’Gara’s face.
Meath vs Mayo
The GAA is essentially organised pain, so punch-ups are to be expected. However, the one that went above and beyond was the 1996 All-Ireland match between Mayo and Meath. Thing is, half of these lads will have had work the next morning.
Braves v Padres
There’s loads of baseball brawls to choose from, but the most notorious in the MLB is the Braves versus Padres. They didn’t just have one scrap – they basically fought each other for the whole game. Both Atlanta manager Joe Torre and San Diego manager Dick Williams were fined while four players and Williams got suspended. Even the fans got involved. Would you be daft enough to start a fight in a place where there are that many baseball bats lying around?
Tuilagi vs Ashton
Manu Tuilagi is a handy lad as it is, but in the Leicester-Northampton semi final in 2011, he received a yellow card for his assault on Chris Ashton. Tuilagi was later given a 5-week ban for his punch.
Aussie Rules Sleeper Hold
Brian Lake, one of the most talented Aussie Rules footballers of his generation, got into a tussle with Drew Petrie. In Hawthorn’s match with North Melbourne, Lake decided to strangle Petrie on the pitch. For ages. Lake was charged with misconduct by the AFL Match Review Panel. If it was any other sport, you can only imagine the punishment that would’ve been handed out.
Todd Bertuzzi v Steve Moore
Ice Hockey prides itself on its rucks, but there’s one punch that resonates more loudly than any other. Mention Todd Bertuzzi to anyone who watches hockey, and chances are, they’ll wince. In 2004, Bertuzzi was found guilty of criminal assault for causing actual bodily harm for the suckerpunch that fractured three of Moore’s vertebrae and ended his NHL career.
Maradona vs Bilbao
Tired of being kicked-around, Diego Maradona let out his darkness while playing for Barcelona against Bilbao. This is one of the most well-known fights in football, and for good reason.
Malice at the Palace
The Indiana Pacers took on the Detroit Pistons in a match that would become known as the ‘Malice at the Palace’. There’s a scuffle on the court, which ends up moving into the stands, with Ron Artest fighting members of the crowd. Absolutely insane.
Ivan Rovny v Gianluca Brambilla
Cycling is a ruthless and cruel sport, but there’s not many fistfights. That’s why everyone was so shocked when Rovny and Brambilla started trading blows in the 16th stage of the Vuelta a España. As if they hadn’t put their bodies through enough.
IS Saudi Arabia at the heart of the IS crisis?
Last year, Syria’s Bashar al-Assad was the enemy. He had crossed Barack Obama’s “red line”, the President of America reasoning that shooting people in the face was not as bad as poisoining them.
The Saudis want Assad gone.
The WSJ noted a deal:
When Mr. Kerry [US Secretary of State JohnKerry] touched down in Jeddah to meet with King Abdullah on Sept. 11, he didn’t know for sure what else the Saudis were prepared to do. The Saudis had informed their American counterparts before the visit that they would be ready to commit air power—but only if they were convinced the Americans were serious about a sustained effort in Syria. The Saudis, for their part, weren’t sure how far Mr. Obama would be willing to go, according to diplomats.
The US needed a big Arab ally to get ISIS. So:
The Americans knew a lot was riding on a Sept. 11 meeting with the king of Saudi Arabia at his summer palace on the Red Sea. A year earlier, King Abdullah had fumed when President Barack Obama called off strikes against the regime of Syria’s Bashar al-Assad. This time, the U.S. needed the king’s commitment to support a different Syrian mission—against the extremist group Islamic State—knowing there was little hope of assembling an Arab front without it.
At the palace, Secretary of State John Kerry requested assistance up to and including air strikes, according to U.S. and Gulf officials. “We will provide any support you need,” the king said.
HOW did you become a jihadi’s bride? The Sun gives its readers an insight:
AN undercover reporter for The Sun was recruited to become a bride for a British fighter waging war in Syria for terror group Islamic State. The journalist, posing as an unhappy London schoolgirl keen to join IS, was allocated a “husband” during online chats with matchmaker Zahra Halane — one of the Terror Twins who left their Manchester home for the war-torn country three months ago.
We hear from Coverntry’s own Rashed Amani, 19, who told the Sun’s blagger:
“I’d love to pick you up as soon as u come.”
It’s Finbarr Saunders.
He’s further quoted:
“I have fought and in fighting u won’t always tell if it’s you who shot them or someone else but more usually we shoot and its Allah the great kills you see.”
Eh? English is his first language.
Not eveyone is seduced by the chance to shag a priapic jihadi to death:
“I just can’t understand why she’d want to go to Syria,” explains Aisha, also 20, and from Slough. The youngest daughter of parents originally from Kashmir, she’s reading Applied Social Sciences at Goldsmith’s. “The UK has given us so much in terms of education, human rights, equality. Why go from that to Syria where, as a woman, she will face so many restrictions? She won’t even be able to go out on her own to the corner shop.”
On Crikey (Aus), we read:
American writer and psychologist Phyllis Chesler speculates that these women have chosen “unfreedom” in response to a surfeit of choices offered to them in the West. Over on the Quadrant blog, economist Peter Smith writes that Amira Kharroum’s story illustrates that the “moderate Muslims” extolled by multiculturalists are a myth.
Unfreedom? It’s either positive freedom (freedom to do) or negative freedom (freedom from). Unfreedom sounds lot like bondage.
Are women really travelling in droves to meet a dreamy jihadi?
When Tunisia’s authorities announced that a stream of young women had been leaving their homes to provide sexual services to Islamist militants in Tunisia and Syria, the statement was greeted with both shock and scepticism. The BBC’s Ahmed Maher went to Tunisia to investigate the reports…
The story is rooted in the Jebel ech Chaambi (Chaambi mountains) area of western central Tunisia, on the border with Algeria… The authorities say they have arrested a number of girls and women in cities around Chaambi, whom they accuse of having sex with battle-weary militants as part of a campaign to improve morale.
We meet the mothr of one women who allegedly services jihadis:
“She has never been to the Chaambi mountains. These are false accusations. She was religious and went to mosque,” the mother told me. She requested anonymity because “this is a sensitive issue in our conservative city.” She wore the full-body veil – we say it’s a sign of chastity, not extremism.”
What’s beneath the veil?
Interior Minister Lotfi bin Jido told the Beeb:
“Tunisian girls are swapped between 20, 30, and 100 rebels and they come back bearing the fruit of sexual contacts in the name of sexual jihad and we are silent doing nothing and standing idle.”
Radio broadcaster Zuhir Eljiis believes the aim is to suggest that the ruling Islamist Enhada party is turning a blind eye to extremism. “The interior minister has not come up with hard evidence. He gave no statistics,” he said. “He’s caused controversy, giving the impression this is a big issue. He is known for his political independence, but I think he might have been caught in a political game between rival parties.”
Is it just a good story?
Another prominent Muslim scholar in Tunisia, Sheikh Fareed Elbaji, told the BBC he personally knew families who had discovered that their daughters had gone to Chaambi and Syria to offer sex in support of the militants, apparently in obedience to fatwas or religious edicts issued on the battlefields of Syria.
And the conclusion?
In largely secular and liberal Tunisia, the idea of sexual jihad comes as a shock. Many dismiss it as a politically motivated hoax. But others, already alarmed by growing extremism in the country, say it cannot be so easily ruled out.
He isn’t sure.
The Daily Mail is sure:
An ever-growing band of young women have left their families in Britain to join the jihadi cause in Syria. Researchers have identified six more such women through their online accounts – and warn this could be the tip of the iceberg.
But we meet only a few:
Academics at King’s College in London said they have seen ‘a big uptake’ in the number of UK women going to Syria. Among them are Salma and Zahra Halane, 16, twins from Chorlton, Manchester, and mother-of-one Khadijah Dare, 22, who is married to a Swedish jihadist. Privately educated radiography student Aqsa Mahmood, 20, from Glasgow, made headline news this week after her sobbing middle-class parents begged her to return.
Can it be that many more young women have left these shores for IS and no-one’s noticed?
The Telegraph looks:
Refugees, women still living under its rule and men who have escaped from its prisons have told Telegraph of the life under the shadow of the extremist group’s black flag. One woman, whose name the Telegraph knows but is withholding, described how she went to the recruiting office of an all-women jihad unit, formed from the women who have flocked to Syria from Europe and elsewhere to serve the cause, some with their children…
“I went inside their headquarters, which used to be the Christian church,” she said. “I asked what the conditions were to join. They said you have to be 18-25, unmarried, and you would earn 25,000 Syrian pounds. But if you joined you had the opportunity to marry one of the foreign fighters. However, they make sure you are a real jihadist.”
What’s the widow’s pension look like?
She said that outside she met four new recruits, three from Tunisia, and one Frenchwoman, who told her she was divorced and had brought her 12-year-old daughter and four younger sons to Syria to join the militants… But the Raqqa woman and other activists from the town say that the imbalance of the sexes means ISIS has begun to “recruit” brides from local schools and colleges.
Among those who resisted, they say, was a 21-year-old student called Fatima Abdullah from a tribal area outside the city, whose brother had joined ISIS and persuaded their father to hand her over for marriage to a Tunisian. She refused, and when her family insisted, killed herself with rat poison. The story was confirmed by other activists from the town.
Are the women simply servants?
Eight months ago, Umm Haritha, a 20-year-old woman from Canada, made her way to Turkey against her parents’ wishes with a half-empty suitcase and $1,500.
Within a week she was in Syria, and a few weeks later she was married to Abu Ibrahim al-Suedi, a 26-year-old Palestinian from Sweden fighting for Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the Sunni jihadist group battling the Syrian regime.
It is not clear whether Umm Haritha’s marriage to Abu Ibrahim was arranged before her travel to Syria. Regardless, it only lasted five months.
On May 5, Abu Ibrahim, whose real name is Taha Shade, was in a car en route to a meeting in Deir ez-Zor with members of rival faction Jabhat al-Nusra. What was meant to be a gathering to finalize a peace treaty between ISIS and al-Nusra turned deadly when an al-Nusra fighter on a motorbike sped up to Shade’s car and detonated his explosive belt.
At the time, Shade was wearing his own explosive belt, which also went off and blew him to pieces.
Two days later, Umm Haritha tweeted about her husband’s death, calling on “Allah” to “destroy those who backstabbed the brothers and resurrect Abu Ibrahim with noor [light] from every piece of his body.”
It’s a bloody puzzle – literally:
The Sunday Times says not:
A 15-YEAR-OLD girl from Bristol who is feared to have travelled overseas to become a jihadist bride may have been recruited by a group of British women who act as religious police for Isis terrorists in Syria. Detectives are investigating postings on social media which suggest that Yusra Hussien was communicating with the women just weeks before she and a 17-year-old friend from London fled the UK.
One message stated: “I yearn to be the wife of a mujahid [holy warrior] and support him and khilafa [Islamic caliphate] all the way.”
Yusra is thought to be the youngest Briton to have joined Isis, also known as Islamic State. Friends have claimed she was radicalised online and recently managed to fly to Turkey, which borders Syria, while her Somalia-born parents thought she was at school.
As many as 70 women and girls are among the 500-plus British Muslims who have travelled to the Middle East for jihad. They include a group which has joined a feared all-female religious police force called the al-Khanssaa brigade in Raqqa, the de facto capital of the self-declared Isis caliphate.
Breitbart, however, is having none of it.
The most barbaric bunch of blood-thirsty misogynists this side of Genghis Khan are yearning for western “brides”—and the “brides,” who will be no more than sex and reproductive slaves, are coming, via an internet campaign, to service ISIS’s male Jihadis in the Caliphate in formation in Syria and Iraq. There is a “marriage bureau” in the northern Syrian town of Al Bab for Western women in a marrying state of mind.
She adds, rather oddly:
The would-be “brides” are given point-by-point guidance on what to expect.” What is coming their way is far darker than Fifty Shades of Grey.
Excited much? A little bit turned on?
Some Jihad Janes are mentally ill and, like Maryam Jameelah (aka Margaret Marcus of Larchmont), may find that becoming ardent spokeswomen for Maulana Abul Ala Mawdudi’s Islamist ideology helps them solve the profound limitations of mental illness.
Some Jihad Janes may have been sexually and physically traumatized by their Western families and seek to escape the country or the culture that allowed this to happen. They may not know that they are jumping from the proverbial fire pan into the fire itself.
The writer seems litle short on face and long on fantasy:
Young, impressionable, naïve, and dreamy girls and women may yearn for a Grand “Arabian Nights” kind of Adventure. I doubt they have ever read the Arabian Nights, which is filled with the most bestial acts imaginable, including that of be-heading virgin brides at dawn, after the marriage has been consummated.
Can you be a virgin after you’ve had sex?
Dr Phyllis Chesler goes on:
She may be expected to undergo female genital mutilation so that she will never be able to experience sexual pleasure; every sexual interaction will be agonizing as will each and every experience of giving birth (Or of urinating, etc.).
Yeah. Maybe. Or maybe not.
The notion of “jihadi brides” travelling to Syria to marry IS fighters has gained currency in recent reports in the western media.
Families in France whose daughters have gone to Syria have received phone calls from Syrian men asking for their daughters’ hands in marriage, and the online accounts of male fighters seem bombarded by requests from women wanting to be their wives.
Mia Bloom from the Center for Terrorism and Security Studies at the University of Massachusetts Lowell provocatively argued that women are seen as little more than “baby factories” in the desire to populate the new “purist” Islamic state.
However this does not mean the young women simply want to find a husband. The “jihadi bride” concept is only part of the story.
There is another side to their decision to travel. Women are joining IS because it provides a new utopian politics – participating in jihad and being part of the creation of a new Islamic state…
There are images of women carrying AK47’s, wearing a suicide belt and holding a severed head. But they are also cooking, making Nutella pancakes, doing housework, meeting each other for coffee, and being mothers and carers.
It is this combination of violence and domesticity that many find jarring. A female Malaysian medic, now known as Umm al-Baraa, tweeted in January: “Stethoscope around my neck and kalash on my shoulder. Martyrdom is my highest dream”.
This is a video of life in IS:
It might be that – and this is terrifying – many women are make a free and informed choice to live in IS.
BACK in 1976, BBC TV’s Top Of the Pops featured an all-female dance troupe.
THE Sun has an interesting story on witchcraft in the UK:
HUNDREDS of British tots are victims of ritual abuse by parents convinced their child is possessed, police said yesterday. The Sun told on Tuesday how people in South London performed a 4am exorcism on a toddler.
In another case outlined at the Met’s Witchcraft and Spirit Possession event, a youngster was starved, beaten and caged as the parents feared evil spirits would jump from the child. One victim told how her aunt force-fed her for being a witch.
And not at all far-fetched.
In 2010, Uganda’s Minister for Ethics and Integrity James Buturo appealed for help. The report:
He appealed to religious leaders regardless of the difference in faith to spearhead the campaigns to wipeout witchcraft and homosexuality in the country.
THE BBC have made a charity single and that’s a nice thing. Of course, that doesn’t mean you can’t take the piss. The record – an all-star version of the Beach Boys’ ‘God Only Knows’ – is for Children In Need and isn’t unlike the BBC All-Star version of ‘Perfect Day’, a song about being on smack.
And so, here at Anorak, we’re doing a play-by-play of the video, looking at the deeper meaning behind the video and generally rinsing anyone involved in it.
Of course, with these grand affairs, you have to put a Marks & Spencer Christmas Advert sheen on everything, which means Victoriana and some pointless classical music bollocks.
The BBC don’t disappoint, kicking things off with a bearded conductor and an orchestra piddling about with their instruments.
Then, before you know it, the stars come rolling out thick and fast, headed up by Pharrell who, even though we’re in the throes of Autumn’s mental weather, is still showing off his aversion to socks. The lunatic.
ANORAK looks at unsavoury snacks, from meat sweets to biohazards.
When we think of sweets, we tend to think… well, SWEET.
OK, we might think of a shrimp…
ANORAK has a soft spot for miserable landlord of cafe owner upset by the state of their clientele.
Bedfordshire pub the Black Lion in Leighton Buzzard has put up a sign offering to nail people’s unruly children to their table. It suggests staff would “happily nail it [your child] to your table… to avoid accident or injury” to the child.
The pub’s manager, Nikki Brodin, said she did not want screaming children running round. The pub encourages customers to talk to each other over board games.
WITH any luck the plague of “black-eyed children” will have a taste for ebola, rather than a liking for blue-eyed children, who are the tabloids’ preferred little monsters.
Following news of a black-eyed child-sized ghost playing peek-a-boo in Cannock Chase comes news that the planet if rife with a tribe of such beings.
The Star’s Jimmy McCloskey has news:
Paranormal experts have reported a puzzling rise in the number of frightening apparitions that have been recorded.
Kicked out! Even the great and the good are sometimes expelled from school…
Percy Bysshe Shelley
The legendary Romantic poet attended Eton College, where he refused to take part in fagging and was mercilessly bullied. Despite giving electric shocks to his tutor and blowing up a tree with gunpowder, he was not actually expelled. That came later, when he was sent down from Oxford for scandalising the place with his atheistic writings.
Nothing clever about the great man’s behaviour. Initially suspected of being ‘retarded’, he was eventually expelled for the effect his bad attitude was having on classmates.
Expelled from Brentwood boarding school school at the age of 13, then sent to borstal two years later, where he ‘had a great time’.
Like father, like daughter. Expelled from an impressive selection of the country’s most expensive schools, usually for drinking, smoking, and ‘doing things that I shouldn’t have been doing with boys that I shouldn’t have been doing’.
Expelled from the prestigious Phillips Academy, although there are differing versions of this. Reasons given include throwing the headmaster (or a groundsman) into a lake, smoking and drinking, low academic performance and insulting the staff.
Expelled from Fairfield Secondary and Higher Grade School for climbing a wall into the girls’ toilets with a friend.
Expelled from the Academy of Art in Madrid for ‘disturbing the peace’ and criticising one of the professors. In his opinion none of the staff was qualified to judge his work.
Expelled aged 15 from Eltham Green, where he truanted regularly. ‘My parents had no idea, because I used to intercept all the teachers’ letters,’ he recalled. ‘In the end they sent around 55 letters, so my mum finally found out I hadn’t been to school for seven weeks.’
‘I was expelled from school for making a pornographic film,’ he said. ‘I was just a young boy in Wisconsin; anything to get out of there.’
Expelled at the age of 10 from Southern Cleveland Elementary School in California, for indecent exposure.
Nothing Earth-shattering: expelled for smoking and truanting.
According to Branson’s own version of events, he was attending Scaitcliffe boarding school when, aged 13, he was caught sneaking out of the bedroom of the headmaster’s 18-year-old daughter: ‘The headmaster rang my dad and said to come and pick me up the next day. So I wrote this suicide note to someone I knew would open it immediately and go straight to the headmaster.’
Meanwhile he went to a nearby cliff-top, at which point the note was found, and he accepted the headmaster’s offer of a beating instead of expulsion.
Kicked out of Northridge Military Academy for hitting a classmate on the head with a tyre.
Expelled from Stanbridge Earls School at the age of 15. He says it was for drug use was the reason, although his father says it was for ‘cutting class and entertaining a girl in his room’.
Famously expelled for piercing her nose… or was she? Her former headmistress, Sylvia Young, says this is a myth, although she was disruptive and did insist on wearing prohibited earrings. ‘I feel sad that Amy thought she’d been expelled,’ said Sylvia. ‘I would never have expelled her.’
The Queen of the bonkbusters was expelled, at 15, from Francis Holland School for truancy, smoking, and selling copies of her own dirty limericks.
When a fellow pupil at John Henry Newman School was attacked by a gang, Lewis was mistakenly identified and expelled. He was later reinstated and received an apology from the authorities.
Normally the only sounds disturbing the peace of our university towns come from sound systems and pizza delivery bikes, and the only horseshit is that which emanates from the social science department. That all changed this year, with the expansion in operations at UniBaggage.com, a company which hitherto concerned itself with transporting students’ worldly possessions to and from their alma mater. The company now offers a Very Important Fresher service, which allows students to ‘arrive with champagne in hand, to start as you mean to go on’.
MADELEINE McCann is back in the news. Sky News is with “TROLLS” who have abused the missing child’s parents online. There is not a shred of proof Kate and Gerry McCann were involved in their daughter’s vanishing. But people say nasty things online.
Some ‘trolls’ used to say them in the Press. The McCanns were libeled. They won damages.
The media was unable to stick to the most basic facts. This was single thread story being spun. A child had gone missing. That was the only fact.
Today, Sky introduces us to a woman who tweetes by the name “Sleepy Face”. Cameras are outside her home. The voiceover alleges she says vile things “from the heart of this peaceful village”, as if location matters. Sleepyface, a presentable middle-aged woman, tells Sky she hopes she has broken no laws.
We know Donald Trump is a bit thick, but today he excelled himself… and that’s saying something.
In the past, he’s spat that Barack Obama isn’t a real American, demanding to see passports and all that, while back in the ’70s, he was accused of being a massive racist when he called for the death penalty in full page adverts of three black teenagers who were accused of raping a jogger, but exonerated. Oh, and in a book, John R. O’Donnell – former president of Trump Plaza Hotel & Casino – said that Donald once uttered that “laziness is a trait in blacks”.
This isn’t all old news though. Only last year, Trump tweeted that: “According to Bill O’Reilly, 80% of all the shootings in New York City are blacks-if you add Hispanics, that figure goes to 98%, 1% white”.
He’s also made wild claims that vaccines are related to autism, which has been proven to be a complete crock.
STOP Press: Sir Roger Moore clarifies and corrects an earlier Torquay Herald Express exclusive. The former Mr James Bond did not eat Scotch Egg on the Devon costa:
He shunned the Scotch Egg…
THE Mirror’s Brian Reade wants to talk about the problem of grown men exercising their right to free speech. Not everyone gets paid to comment, like a by-lined journalist does. Some people just talk and tweet and write with no concern for deadline or encouraging reader interest and clicks.
Reade begins his columns by explaining how things were great in the days of Roy Race, a fictional footballer who existed in a comic. Reade delivers some Melchester Rovers banter:
FAN: “You were lucky today, Roy.”
ROY: “Really? I thought we had your lot on the run.”
FAN: “Our lot run? That’ll be the day.”
ROY: “Ha ha. That’s a bit unfair on your lads.”
THE BBC very much regrest including the face of dead DJ Jimmy Savile during a Top Of The Pops highlights show this September. Sir Jimmy, as he was known at the time of filming (the repugnant man was both a Papal knight and knight of the realm), is not a BBC highlight and must be shown only on the news.
The BBC says:
“Although all programmes are reviewed before broadcast, unfortunately this brief appearance was missed. It was removed from iPlayer as soon as we were made aware and replaced with a re-edited version. We apologise for any distress caused.”
THE British Association of Bra Makers salutes the work of Tampa massage therapist, Jasmine Tridevil, who underwent surgery to get just a third breast – and give the bra business a new lease of life.
Tridevil (real name?) tells Orlando’s Real Radio 104.1 that the trio of breasts (or Tridevil Dumplings as they must be called) cost her $20,000.
“It was really hard finding someone that would do it too because they’re breaking the code of ethic.”
The medics used silicone and skin tissue from her stomach to create the breast and a tattoo to make a nipple.
Only Hereditary Journalists And The Well-Connected Can Afford To Send Their Children To State Schools
IS private schooling fair? Janice Turner writes in the Times:
Having experienced both systems, I agree with Jonathan Leigh, Master of Marlborough College. Private schools must avoid becoming “isolated enclaves of privilege”, he said this week, by engaging with the local community and neighbouring state schools. Maybe not least for the benefit of their own cocooned kids.
It’s about playing fields. They’re not level. The private school parents have to pay a fortune for greenery; the state-school pupils have to find gaps between housing schemes.
READER the The Real Stig has a view on the killing in Koh Tao, Thailand of British backpacker Hannah Witheridge and fellow tourist David Miller.
The Thai junta chief and prime minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha appeared to call into question the conduct of the victim as well as the attackers.
“We have to look into the behaviour of the other party, too, because this kind of incident should not happen to anybody and it has affected our image,’ he told reporters today, referring to the two tourists. Speaking a few hours later, he said Thai authorities must tell ‘tourists when the safe times are to be outside, we have to help them understand.”
Is Thailand as safe and welcoming as thery would Westerners believe?
In 2006, two Thai fishermen confessed to the rape and murder of the British backpacker Katherine Horton.
In 2009, three migrant workers murderd Malcolm Robertson with a hammer.
In 2012, Stephen Ashton was killed in the crossfire between two Thai gangs.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office says 11 Britons have been murdered in Thailand since 2009.
IN September 1994, a reel-to-reel tape emerged and was put up for auction. Sotheby’s were all over it because this wasn’t any old recording they had on their hands.
What had arrived was a reel to reel tape of The Quarry Men appearing at St Peter’s Parish Church garden party Liverpool in July, 1957.
The Quarry Men would of course, turn into The Beatles, who are still the biggest band in the whole wide world. The tape went for what is a reasonably low price of £69,000. That wouldn’t buy one leg of a Champion’s League footballer in 2014.
So with that, we got to thinking about famous rock stars, pop singers and rappers before they were famous. Of course, there’s a lot of them who were on television and there’s yearbook photos of just about every celebrity online, but we wanted to look at the music they were making and the evidence of it.
Pull up a chair, remove the wax from your ear and let’s get stuck into rock’s flipside.
MANCHESTER United’s record signing Angel Di Maria scored against QPR, so proving that £200m can buy a club out of a trouble.
As the ball hit the net. Sky Sport’s Martin Tyler oozed:
“We’ve seen some Angel delight here today.”
Angel delight. We’ll try to keep track of the number of times that pun is used. The question “how do you solve a problem like Di Maria?” will also be looked out for.
FREE Speech looks to the Economist, a magazine read by business suits and people keen to appear smart and knowing. But the Economist is no leader, no thought provoker. It’s a publication as uncertain as a worm in flip-flops.
The Economist published a review of Edward Baptist’s “The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism”. The review ends with the line:
Almost all the blacks in his book are victims, almost all the whites villains. This is not history; it is advocacy.
An odd view, for sure. Not all whites supported slavery; but blacks were the enslaved victims.
So. Cue the Twitter mob. Outraged they wrote in.
Baptist told TalkingPointsMemo: “Maybe this is crass, but I did realize as soon as I read it that this is not actually going to hurt. It has definitely enhanced my Amazon ranking.”
So. What did the Economist do? It became a non review. It was given its own page, so as not to pollute the rest of the ‘newspaper’s’ website. And it is now topped by an apology:
Apology: In our review of “The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism” by Edward Baptist, we said: “Mr Baptist has not written an objective history of slavery. Almost all the blacks in his book are victims, almost all the whites villains.” There has been widespread criticism of this, and rightly so. Slavery was an evil system, in which the great majority of victims were blacks, and the great majority of whites involved in slavery were willing participants and beneficiaries of that evil. We regret having published this and apologise for having done so. We have therefore withdrawn the review, but in the interests of transparency the text remains available only on this special page and appears below.
THIS photo from a Twitter user in Japan and shared through the Twitter account Wadai Tweet shows a whole pig wrapped in plastic at a grocery store. The store isn’t identified but the price is 30,000 yen.
It’s like a warning not to put your head in a plastic bag.
BRITISH soul music is in a very, very good place at the moment and one of the leading lights of the scene is the wonderful Sam Smith, who has just announced a big ol’ UK tour for Spring 2015.
Smith just reached number one in the album charts and is currently being wooed by America, which will either make him or break him into a puddle of nervous breakdown.
Of course, Sam Smith isn’t the first soul singer Britain has produced, but his success is worth looking back at some of Blighty’s finest balladeers and belters.
Britain has a much richer seam of soul music (and blue-eyed soul) than you think. Of course, Adele conquered the entire world and Beverley Knight has stuck it out for years.
Let’s have a look at some of the best.
The current champion of Britsoul, Sam Smith, who has cut a fine furrow himself, along with making some great songs with Disclosure and Chic’s Nile Rodgers.
If there was a title for the greatest British soul singer of all time, Amy Winehouse would absolutely be in with a shout. Dead too young, but with a couple of killer albums released in her lifetime, making the rest of pop immediately up its game.
MNEK has gone from writing for others to making a go of it himself and, by God, we’ve needed him. Mixing ’90s R&B sensibilities with modern pop and dance music, he’s creating some of the best music in the world right now and if we don’t make a megastar out of him, we frankly don’t deserve the ears on our heads and the ass in our pants.
Cymande are an overlooked London funk outfit from the ’70s who ended up being sampled by De La Soul, thereby giving salivating record collectors and sample hunters a second stab at hearing their terrific music.
Few could argue that Britain has produced a better soul artist than Dusty Springfield. No-one channelled the feeling of a song quite like her and that remarkable, unique voice of hers is one that’ll never be copied.
You may remember Estelle’s ‘American Boy’, which featured a Kanye West verse, but there’s more to her than that one big smash. That said, if you’re going to go global with a record, ‘American Boy’ isn’t a bad one at all.
The critics favourite, Laura Mvula has melted the hearts of everyone with her modern-take on soul. She’s a magnificent artist and, as good as her work is, you get the impression she’s not yet released her best.
London’s R&B champion, Angel, has all the ingredients to be a superstar, so fans of his are enjoying him up close and personal before he ends up vanishing behind the velvet curtain of the VIP section.
Courtney Bennett is one of the most promising singers in Britain right now. She’s put out loads of great songs and was spotted by Ryan Leslie to sing on his ‘Black Mozart’ LP. One of the future, for sure.
Swedish-born, but British raised, Fatima has been making some very interesting and original soul music (‘Circle’ is well worth a listen). Another one who, if we’re not careful, could be huge!
Lianne La Havas
The fabulous Lianne La Havas as dazzled everyone who has seen her live and on record, she’s no slouch either. Mixing jazz, soul and electronics, she’s so good that Prince went ’round her house for a cup of tea.
Another one of Britain’s blue-eyed soulies from the ’60s, Chris Farlowe’s voice is a force of nature. The thing that bellows out of that awkward frame of his provided Immediate Records with some of their best hits. You’ll know him from his famous version of ‘Handbags & Gladrags’.
Lynden David Hall
Britain’s answer to Neo Soul, LDH sadly passed away in 2006, but not before cutting some great records and an amusing appearance in ‘Love Actually’.
Honorary mentions to:
Katy B, Craig David, Alice Russell, Jay Sean, Taio Cruz, Brand New Heavies, Misha Paris, Rebecca Ferguson.
THERE’S a lot of excitement about Aphex Twin at the minute, as he’s back to release a new LP – ‘Syro’ – and, for fans of awkward electronic music (which are, ostensibly, the new prog generation), any appearance of Richard D. James is worth your attention.
However, what with Aphex having a lot of stubborn male fans, if you’re new to it all, you will almost certainly run into some elitist bullshit at some point; even though Aphex Twin is not at all elitist himself, getting angry when people refer to his music as ‘IDM’, which stands for the achingly awful ‘Intelligent Dance Music’.
So, you want to know what the fuss about Aphex Twin is?
Well, we’re here to help and create a beginners/bluffers guide, so you can dip your toe in and find out whether he’s for you or not. He’s got a few pseudonyms too, so he can he quite hard to keep up with, but once you’re in, that’s part of the fun.
Pull up a chair, pop your ears, and let us commence.
Aphex Twin ‘Windowlicker’
Aphex released two of his most popular records back-to-back, with the watershed bothering ‘Come To Daddy’ frightening everyone half to death, and then, the infamous ‘Windowlicker’.