keresaspa: (Starry Plough)
One of the few half-decent legacies of the outpouring of bollocks that accompanied the centenary of the Easter Rising is the Belfast finally has a statue of James Connolly to call its own. I've passed it plenty of times on the bus on my way to the match but, until today, I hadn't actually viewed it in the flesh. Still, here it is for all to enjoy.



Long overdue. Heck even Chicago has had one for years and the Americans are so right-wing that they label bloodthirsty capitalist monsters like the Clintons as leftists. Still everyone's a critic and I'm no exception. Inevitably it reflects the hobby horses of the modern "republican" movement so there's a whole bit about the Irish language tacked on to make sure it gels with Sinn Fein's only policy these days (seriously, since becoming leader has Michelle O'Neill done anything apart from witter on endlessly about Erse whilst standing around looking like a hot milly?). Given Connolly's at-best lukewarm reception to the Gaelic movement and his actual preference for Esperanto it seems rather irrelevant but I suppose the Sinners aren't going to include expositions of syndicalism while they were busy administering Tory rule. But I digress.

One other thing - is it just me or does the way the statue is modelled make him look like he was about four and a half tall? OK, photographic evidence suggests he was by no means tall (although Jim Larkin was a huge man for his time) but equally he looked about average otherwise and had a stocky build from his years of soldiering whereas the statue has him like a wee scrawny leprechaun. OK, it's in west Belfast and I know blokes are smaller up there (I'm about 6'3" or so but I feel like a seven footer on the Falls sometimes) but let's aim for accuracy. Mind you, I'm sure I could have done a lot better, I don't think.

Still either way, notwithstanding the tacked on Irishian stuff or his tiny, frail body it's good to at last have a statue of Irish republicanism's best ever adherent in my own town and I'll proudly salute my comrade when I pass. Well, something good had to come out of last year, didn't it?!
keresaspa: (Default)
South Korea-Uruguay would not have been an obvious second round tie a year or two ago but as it was both teams have had their moments and there was promise that this could pan out to be a decent tie. As such it was heartening to see the match getting off to a flying start as the two approached it like the cup tie it was. An early Uruguayan lead was deserved, even if it did come from some terrible defending, whilst South Korea looked game, if somewhat limited, in their attempts to get back into the tie. As before Uruguay had a stern defence, in contrast to South Korea who looked chaotic at the back and should have given away a penalty. Certainly by the time half-time came it was clear that Uruguay were the better team and more than deserved their lead. Into the second half the Koreans looked to an unlikely source to break down the gritty Uruguayans as Middlesbrough "legend" Lee Dong-Gook came on for Kim Jae-Sung, whose rather dodgy Visual Kei haircut struck me as somewhat un-Korean in nature. As the game began to drift a tad I felt myself reaching for the remote to turn over to the ITV4 game, so socialised had I become from the last few days. I caught myself on in time, lest I would have missed some important action for nought but a glimpse of Sheriff John Bunnell and his pearly whites. Still before long Uruguay paid the price for being too negative as the Koreans struck a deserved equaliser, although by this time the more pertinent issue seemed to be whether the game would actually finish due to the driving rain. But finish it certainly did with a peach of a finish from Luis Suarez. I may have intimated earlier in this nonsense that I thought he was a tad overrated (indeed unfavourable comparisons to America Ferrera may have been drawn) but I take it back - the lad is quality and will look great in the blue and white stripes of Albion next season. Like Albion would have the dough for him, I don't think. Korea could have gotten back into it but, unsurprisingly, Lee Dong-Gook did what he does and missed a sitter. A fair result in the end - South Korea had some dinky moments but they were second best here whilst Uruguay will not look out of place in the quarter-finals when they roll around.

With all due respect to my American readers I was all for Ghana from the word go in this game. Bill Clinton, apparently something to do with the USA hosting bid for 2018, kept getting his nose in throughout, much to the fixation of the director. Of course had this group panned out differently, we might have had USA facing Serbia at this tie. I wonder if Bill would have been present had that been the case? Boateng, who until now has looked no great shakes, got things rolling with a cracking goal and the team settled into defence, approaching the job with a firm but fair tenacity that shook the Americans. Feel wick for Ricardo Clark who was yanked off after only half an hour but his replacement by Edu and the half-time introduction of Feilhaber certainly changed the complexion of things as Bradley was clearly using his loaf with the substitutions. Kingson pulled off some smart saves but there was nothing he could do about the penalty, which was admittedly a fair award. By this time I feared the worst as it looked like Ghana would soon be toast. Up front Asamoah Gyan laboured hard for Ghana and, whilst he is certainly a more bread and butter player than Tony Yeboah or Abedi Pele, he deserves credit for a herculean performance that was capped by a well-taken strike early into extra time. Throughout the game Peter Drury and Jim Beglin had set out their stall as pro-American and they became nakedly partisan after the goal. Apparently, according to Beglin, you had to fancy the Americans because they were bound to be fitter due to being older. So age makes you fitter does it, Jim? I look forward to you wiping the floor with Theo Walcott in a footrace then. The final ten minutes or so were absolutely nerve wracking and where the fourth official got three minutes of injury time for the second half of extra time from I will never know. Still the Black Stars, who still have to put up with the old stereotypes of naiveté despite all plying their trades in Europe, held firm and pulled off a famous win to ensure Africa will be in the quarter-finals. They'll face a stern test against Uruguay but for now play that highlife son!

I want YOU

Oct. 14th, 2009 06:21 pm
keresaspa: (Nina looking a tad pertubed)
I notice that the World Cup has thrown up a bit of fun with North Korea qualifying for the next instalment for the first time since they were quarter finalists in 1966. And If ever there was anybody who I would have put money on getting involved in this sudden change it would have to be Sven. After all this is the man who happily works for a board at Notts County that he has never even met and who once took his shilling from a bloodthirsty dictator. And lest we forget he also worked for Thaksin Shinawatra as well as David Davies! Of course in the long run it probably wont happen and some serial World Cup botherer like Bora Milutinovic or Carlos Alberto Parreira will instead oversee the inevitable first round maulings at the hands of Germany and the Ivory Coast as well as the shock draw with Mexico but it would be interesting to see old Sven do it, if only to get his take on the obligatory bouffant. Cripes first those traffic wardens of entries passim (a timely reminder for those who missed it/my own amusement) drew Bill Clinton there now they're working their magic on Sven! If David Letterman, Michael Aspel or any other unlikely and somewhat wrinkled lothario disappears any time soon I think we will all know where to look for them.

And speaking of oddball combinations of dodgy characters with unsuitable jobs I really hope that this is a joke. Poor old New Orleans has suffered more than enough recently so does it really deserve to be lumbered with Apollo Creed as mayor?! He may have gained himself some credit for his nice line in self-deprecation in Arrested Development but that doesn't suddenly make him mayoral material. What next, Dolph Lundgren and Mr. T to enter the race and make it a true grudge match? The mind boggles.
keresaspa: (Lucy Liu)
The big story today seems to be that a former President who is now very much the junior partner in his marriage has met this year's version of the Saddam Hussein hate figure. Or to put it another way it seems that Bill Clinton is meeting Kim Jong-il. Isn't it funny how, when it appears a country has got the bomb, suddenly the great and the good are falling over themselves to be nice to you? Fair play to Clinton as I'm a great believer in dialogue as an alternative to tired old sabre-rattling and I'm on record in this pile of old trout as expressing admiration for Jimmy Carter's tendency to talk to all and sundry. However I question the wisdom of sending Bill Clinton to do this rather than somebody a tad less libidinous. After all, how will Billy boy survive in a country where their army looks like this and where they don't have traffic lights but rather female traffic wardens? Is Clinton likely to make any breakthroughs with Kim when he will be too busy breaking through his trousers?! And did I mention what is actually quite an important news story merely as an excuse to cop a perv at some Korean lovelies? No, I'm not that shallow. Honestly!

Aw, sod it - enjoy it while you can!

keresaspa: (Obelix)
I was warned in advance but I still didn't heed the advice that the Christmas lights are being switched on tonight. Upshot is, given that every bus originates in the city centre, I'm likely to be stranded for ages round here or else face a trudge up home in the rain. Top quality doing the switch-on as well, I don't think. You have Liz McClarnon, a reject from the worst girl-group in recent memory (and yes, there is such a thing as a good one), Calum Best, who appears to do nothing whatsoever except have a father who was a good footballer 30 odd years ago and David Healy who, for all the hero-worship that the boneheads who follow Norn Iron give him, is still just a half-decent lower division footballer who has never cut the mustard at the highest level. Still, we did have the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers one year. Fine for the children that had swallowed that old cowpat but given that they are masked it could just as easily have been sleazy Sammy from the Shankill and three of his mates decked out in cheap knock-offs. Still, it beat Bill Clinton's turn doing it hands down.
keresaspa: (Sea Captain)
Seems I spend a lot of time on here ripping into Silvio Berlusconi. Well I'm back on my favourite target today. [livejournal.com profile] vulcanlolita told me last night that everybody's favourite collaborator has seen fit to release an album of love songs. And sure enough.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/italy/story/0,12576,1074591,00.html

What a guy, eh? Classy as a Rangers sovereign ring from Elizabeth Dukes' January sales. I thought it was toe-curling enough when Clinton tried to be "down with the kids" by playing saxophone, but this. Just hope that Michael "Guitar Man" Ancrum doesn't get any ideas.

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