Sunday, April 13, 2008

Prop an asshole!

ello all,
So last night it ended. The dream is over and the whole season amounted, once again to nothing. Arsenal are out and if you read the press association's report it's because of 'Ronaldo's confidence' and Manchester United's battling spirit, and Owen Hargreaves' sublime free kick. Perception is essentially reality, and despite video evidence to the contrary, the PA usually get their way with the immense volume of their propoganda.
What gets left out is the mention of just how soft the penalty was- yet again, and ofcourse, how Anderson literally wrestled Adebayor to the ground at the other end in a brilliant place for a free kick, yet the whistle wasn't blown. Ofcourse when Gilberto's toe touches Evra and the entire home support at Old Trafford yell, the objective and entirely fair refereeing had no choice but to award the free kick.
Now before I go further, some would say, we probably wouldn't have taken advantage of the free kick on the right of the box, despite the fact that Robin Van Persie was fucking playing. They would even say the referee was fair, which is why Van Persie was booked for going in a second late on Wes Brown.
But pardon me, I would hate to oppose any England loyalists. And that really is what it comes down to isn't it?
An Englishmen scores against Arsenal. The irony is painful.
All through the Euro Qualifiers Arsene Wenger was the punching bag for a frustrated nation that watched, some of the world's most talented (and highly paid/ exorbitantly paid/ Over paid) individuals flounder and fail. Arsenal don't play enough English players. They are a corrupting influence and have driven all teams to use only foreigners and that is why players like Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard and the remaining squad of 22 in the England team team suffer. Because teams 'like Arsenal' have reduced chances for them.
For anyone who has played a football video game, it is blatantly obvious that on paper, and technically England have one of the strongest teams in the world. They're the team you play with when you're not so good and want a strong team to beat weaker teams! But no! Arsene Wenger is a blasphemous oaf who has ruined the system.
I mean, it must be his fault right?! Who else to blame!? Brian Barwick and his inept administration? No...!! Steve Mclaren's incompetence or Sven Goran Errikson's fearful tactics? No...! Lazy players who don't put in the same effort they do for their clubs? No...!
Really, this Wenger chap is quite the Scarlett Pimpernel. Coming in here producing players like David Bentley, Ashley Cole and Sol Campbell! That Bastard! How dare he nurture Tony Adams? How dare he use Thierry Henry and Francesc Fabregas instead of Wayne Rooney and Steven Gerrard?! I mean, come on for 112,000 pounds a weak who wouldn't want a 15-18 goals a season striker!?
The propoganda is endless. We've had four blatant refereeing decisions go against us in recent memory, and those are just the four we're 'allowed' to talk about without 'nitpicking.' We've had countless throughout the season. Wenger is a bad loser and he moans and groans when penalties that shouldn't be are given and those that should be aren't.
To quote Chris Rock, please cut the fucking shit! The team may have it's drawbacks, certainly Alex Song in central defence is nothing else, as is Emmanuel Eboue on the right wing, but for fuck's sake, what team can survive referees who allow players like Anderson to get away scot free, and decide that any touching in the penalty area is a foul?!
What team can survive a Middlesborough game where the offside rule is re-written?!
But most importantly what team can survive an entire fleet street agenda against it!? When we beat Derby, Soccernet says it's because they're crap. Acceptable. But when we trounce AC milan, the only 'expert opinion' peices ESPN have to offer are about the aging decline of AC milan.
I end with another quote. This time from the Absinthe fairy in Euro trip:
"Now that's some fucked up shit."
That is all.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Gloves not included.

ello all!
A minor celebration. This is post no. 20!
That's that.
I have recently moved to Calcutta. My Father has in typical fashion landed a job where he's being paid pittens but he's been given an exorbitant flat to live in. It really is quite stunning.
Anyway, I came here some 10 days ago and have been living here at 'home' with a friend of mine who might also fall under the tag of 'Hobo' which I picked up in my year at Wilson. We've both done our bit of moving and we've both done our bit of walking. As it stands, he has no legal identification and no forseeable, tangible future. What he does have is his plans, his guitar, and his bag filled with wrappers and a notebook. His 'situation' is as some might see it, essentially hopeless. Yet in seeing him get his shit together and grabbing his life by the balls, and growing and learning as much as he can, it struck me just what it is to be a hobo.
It's something I'd imagine we all have when we need it, but that doesn't make it any less amazing. It's the reason he can move from a comic book to a musical seamlessly. It's, as he put it in a post of his own, the ability to get up after falling in crud in some random street in Dubai and to keep walking. I've met some extraordinary people thus far and the list would be far too long for one blog so I shall stick to my purpose.
This is by no means a tribute post, but I would like to express something about the two people closest to me. We'll call them K1 and K2.
K1 has suffered a blow larger than any blow, we agree, he has ever suffered. It has already and will continue to change his life. We all create futures for ourselves in our head. Sort of an imaginary railroad for our trains to choo choo over. But sometimes that railway line gets yanked out of place and it becomes something entirely different. As it stands K1 has lost his initial track. He's pretty much running on mud and tar right now. His hoboness, though, is the fact that he is still moving, though slowly and a little carefully, and he's putting together some more tracks made from fucking twigs and hair and shit, and riding on it. His hoboness is that he like my room mate is getting his shit together and taking life by the balls again.
K2, who is I must confess the real purpose behind this blog, has suffered many blows. They seem soft on their own but accumulated they've smashed the shit out of the railway line. They've pushed and shoved the train onto different tracks and back. They've even just hit the train out of pure spite and dented the front. K2 would to most look like an absolute wreck. But for some reason, beyond hoboness and anything I can understand, K2 is still going on. Still chugging away, still riding those very battered wheels to the ground until the track starts to show up again. K2's hoboness is beyond me. It is amazing.
This post is a mix of awe, respect and hope for K1 and K2, and indeed my roommate too. But more than anything it's a hope that they will chug on, because from here in this useles, helpless, position where all I can do is cheer, I feel like I do every time I'm at a bar cheering Arsenal on. the season's derailed entirely but the red and white is just so beautiful you have to keep on yelling.
This is to hoboness.