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Showing posts from July, 2021

Just doing what you can

A pandemic can lead one to think in apocalyptic terms, I concede, but it's hard not to witness the US heatwave of recent weeks, and the unprecedented flooding in Germany, and not get a sense of unease, a tiny conviction that the Earth's had enough and decided to get rid. No? Just me then. Hyperbole aside, you'd have to be particularly cloth-eared and uncomprehending not to have noticed the increasing frequency of extreme weather events. It would seem that anthropogenic climate change is here, and it's not fucking about. And yet, many people don't seem to have noticed, or to have only noticed in the vaguest and most abstract of senses. Because....well, life just goes on. I can understand to a degree, we've all had a lot on our plate recently, but either a lot of people are in denial, or have yet to drawn the link between their own lifestyle and the hatchback that just floated down the High street. Life goes on, the news is full of stories about where we can go on

Keep politics out of sport? Bit late for that.

 To me, a child of the eighties, the last few days have been extraordinary. When I was growing up, sportspeople tended to keep their political opinions to themselves, if they expressed anything, it might have been some vague admiration for Margaret Thatcher, but that was the end of it. Sport and politics were, for the most part, separate, at least as far as the players were concerned. Even the rebel cricketers who went on tours of apartheid South Africa were, as far as they were concerned, only doing it for the money (that it was a political act in and of itself never seemed to enter the discourse). This was helped by having, in Margaret Thatcher and the Conservatives, an administration which abhorred football. This was the era of Heysel and Hillsborough, of regular rucks on the terraces and in train stations, the hooligan was king, football was something to be kept at arms length. (When politics did enter sport, it was big, scary Cold War politics, it was the US boycotting the Moscow

It's my England, too

 In my more paranoid moments, I do sometimes wonder if the Universe is largely a joke at my expense. (Yes, I am aware of my privilege, health, status, all the things I need to check before starting with such an absurd line, I know, but I imagine that we all feel like this at times, you know what I mean) The Tuesday before last was just such a moment, one of those moments where the fates conspire and a moment which should have been sublime, was rendered, well, less so. The Universe went ahahaha, don't imagine you can have nice things. I refer, of course, to the sodding football. I am, for my sins, a football fan. Not of the every two years kind, but a card-carrying sad case, wedded to the fortunes of Tottenham Hotspur and, to a lesser extent, the national side. I always affect not to be arsed about England games, but, at every international tournament , the old excitement rises, the proustian rush of memory, of summers long past, and before you know it I'm screaming at the telly


 I regret to note that Piers Morgan and the middle aged blokes of Twitter are at it again.* This time criticising the sensation of this year's Wimbledon, the break-out star, 18 year old Emma Raducanu, who came from nowhere** to storm through the first week, before pulling up short, unable to breathe properly. Superannuated personality-bypass John MacEnroe was the first to weigh in, opining that it was because she couldn't handle the pressure and Piers, never shy of an opportunity to criticise a talented young woman (Can't. Imagine. Why.) was soon honking his patented brand of toxic masculinity all over a screen near you, warbling on about resilience and toughness, this from a man so fragile that he flounced off his own show when the weatherman disagreed with him; soon to join in was the notoriously hard-bitten Kevin Pietersen, whose ego was such that he slagged his own team off to the opposition when he felt slighted, and who kept getting out the same way for years. Now, in