Today, on Mozart's birthday (thank you, Google), I am going to talk about football.
There were at least two things wrong with that sentence, but no, you weren't imagining it. I'll allow you time to re-arrange your reading glasses on your noggin and to wipe that ridicilous grin off your face.
You see, Timo, my gorgeous half-Finn, half-Northern Irish love, is an avid football fan. Luckily not in the Eeeeeenglaaaaand-beer-bellied-going-out-to-get-smashed-wiv-the-lads-way, but rather, in that Fever Pitch-a-tad-obsessed-about-club-football-specifically-about-Arsenal-way.
Which, to a person like me, previously uneducated about these important differences, and ignorantly assuming that all football fans were alike, is a lesson learned. No, Timo didn't just make me write that. Although, I do think that he has subtly brainwashed me. A little. But I think I volunteered.
Not only am I beginning to understand the offside rule, I've now actually been to a football match (not just any match, but Arsenal versus Wigan, which was held on Tuesday at the Highbury stadium. Highbury is a place full of history, has beautiful Art Deco facade, and is due to be closed as a stadium and converted into flats. Arsenal FC will move to a new stadium nearby).
The picture on the left is of a penalty shoot-out (click for larger version), which, sadly, did not result in a goal for Arsenal. It is quite amusing to see how superstitious many of the devoted fans are - Timo kept on saying that he wished he hadn't taken that picture, because obviously, that's what proved to be unlucky for Arse. Yeaaaah.
When we were waiting for the match to start, outside the Gunners pub near the stadium, one of Timo's friends commented: "So, it's her first time at a match. Hope she's lucky".
A coach full of Wigan fans travelled past and the people inside thumped and jeered so viciously that I wouldn't have been surprised if they would have managed to break the windows and spill out onto the street. I guess there's a reason the Gunners has a sign above the door, stating: "Home fans only".
The match itself was exciting, but uncomfortable and frustrating. Exciting, because it was a new experience and because I couldn't help but get drawn in to the trance-like state of willing those players to get that fucking ball into that fucking net. Already.
Uncomfortable because it was very, very cold. One of the coldest nights this winter, with temperatures below freezing. And frustrating, because despite a score of 2-1 in favour of Arsenal, it was Wigan who came out as the winners, due to the calculations that determine the winning statistic when deciding who moves forward in the contest. And with this being the second match, and with Wigan having scored higher in the previous one... bah.
I've joined the club as a Red Member, which means that I'm now automatically in line for a Gold Member status (which, sadly, doesn't come with complimentary schmokes and pancakes*, but does mean that the likelihood of being able to obtain match tickets is higher). Timo is also a Red Member, and has joined another kind of line... the ridicilously long one for season tickets. His queue number is 37758. Maybe his grandchild might get a season ticket. If he's lucky.
I wish Arseblog would have been nominated as best sports blog in the 2006 Bloggies, but perhaps the regular visitors (or those witty and clever people who leave the most comments on any weblog, ever, according to Arseblogger) were too busy commenting and not busy enough nominating. For shame. Next year?
*If you get this reference, you're officially a nerd. Well done!
I am now a member of Blogcritics! It's going to be fun and I am very excited. I encourage everyone with an interest in writing, blogging and culture to take a look - and if you fancy participating, why not apply to join? The system works like this:
You can post articles without a review element, or you can review anything relevant. If you review, you have the option to apply for review materials from the Blogcritic database. It's a surprisingly large organisation with hundreds of items available for review. Some are available for US residents only, but many are available internationally. You can get books, CDs, concert tickets, technical manuals and so on.
There are some conditions in certain circumstances: a press officer may insist that a particular resource is used within your article (a photo, say). Not a lot unlike "traditional media".
Time is always a factor; the contributors who devote a great deal of time to the site will undoubtedly get the most out of it. Still, I hope I'll be able to participate to a satisfactory degree.
I'm going to suggest they start chocolate reviews. Now that would be satisfying participation.
My first article for them came out today. When you join, the deadline for making your first post is tight, so I re-worked the Ozrics post you may or may not have read a few days ago. Cross posting to your own blog is allowed, but I would like to do it the other way around next time.
Anyone who creates something and wishes for their creation to be public, could be classed as arrogant. After all, they have a vision or an object - a voice that they hope others would hear. They have made something they are proud of and want to share with the world. Or perhaps they have an opinion that they feel must become known to more than just the random relative, or work colleague who cares enough to listen. So we could call authors, artists, journalists, columnists, stand-up comics; a whole heap of people, arrogant by default, but we, as a society, tend not to. Instead, bloggers are sometimes referred to as no better than monkeys with typewriters. What is so different about bloggers? Why do many producers and consumers of the more "traditional" media often make statements like these:
Bloggers are no better than those bloody awful senders of Round Robin Christmans letters. Self centred and arrogant. Greedy for more than 15 minutes of fame.
What is so wrong about wanting more than 15 minutes of fame, I wonder, Josephine? That's not a new thing in the world. It is not the exclusive right of Bloggers. The "Look Ma!" instinct is strong in people. I would also love to ask her a few questions, such as: Do you ever answer in more than one word, when asked "how are you?" Because surely, that could be considered bloody self-centred. Ah, but bloggers announce "how they are" to the whole world! Stuart doesn't like that one bit:
Blogs: Badly written, mundane drivel from under-informed, over-opinionated people. All the digital revolution has achieved is to give a platform to the "me, me, me" generation. It has given the pub boor a megaphone. (As before), Stuart, UK
But Stuart, a megaphone is something you can't ignore, whereas a blog is handy in that you don't have to read it if you don't want to.
Obviously Stuart's opinion, given online, to an article from where both of these comments came, is so important that he can begrudgingly put his distaste for opinionated people making themselves heard through the aid of the evil digital revolution to one side.
Blogs are pathetic - suddenly every person on the planet has an opinion that just has to be heard. (As before), Paul Charters, Sutton, UK
Paul, this is not "suddenly". Everyone on this planet has something they wish others could hear. Whether that's a personal take on something mundane, or a shared feeling, or a criticism of world affairs - don't we share these things with each other every day? What has happened "suddenly" though, is that a new medium, through which everyone can reach a wider audience has made an entrance and it looks like a little more than a fad.
Blogs do not have much of an access barrier, apart from the ability to get to a computer that has an online connection. That's beginning to be a very low rim these days, though there are, of course, millions to whom reaching for this barrier would still be impossible (and unimportant).
Bloggers can, and do come in all flavours. There are arrogant ones among them, but that doesn't make all bloggers arrogant by default, just like one arrogant newspaper columnist doesn't make all newspaper columnists arrogant by default. Blogging is accessible, and at its basic level - incredibly easy, but just because it is possible for an absolute ignorant moron to start one, doesn't mean that all bloggers are absolute ignorant morons. Only an absolute ignorant moron would make a statement that suggested this was the case.
The World Wide Web is a way in which people can reach out for other people. It's a tool with which to engage yourself with the world in a way that has not been previously possible. Blogging is just one expression of that. The critique of the faceless readership is often very simple: "will read that" or "don't want to read that", which means that whilst there are many blogs that have barely evolved from Txt MsgIng, they won't be the well read or influential ones. The surfing blog reader will choose exactly what they find entertaining, or informative. This frightens many of the producers of "traditional media" and in cases of well researched and well written political blogs, the influence of which has sometimes surpassed that of the news broadcast or a newspaper, the world of current affairs and political reporting has been irreversibly altered as a result of the humble Blog.
It's funny to see some people getting all uppity about blogging, podcasting, etc and whether they're new or not, or faddish or not, sad or not... we who blog, blog, those who don't, don't. Nothing more to it. There is good and there is bad and, naturally, the best and most interesting stuff rises to the top and stays. (As before), Vitriolica Webb, Portugal