Tuesday, November 27, 2007

ar and keys

The ‘ ‘ has fallen off my keyboard. Sorry, the ‘double-u’ has fallen off my keyboard. The cat as alking over it, hen she slipped, fell off and plucked it our ith one of her cla s.

It’s a bind, especially hen surfing the orld ide eb. It stays on for a little hile, but it’s all obbly and eventually falls off. There’s a plastic holder thing it clips into, hich has been damaged so the key on’t stay on.

I’ve got no choice but to replace it ith a ne key. Just one tiny key, ith one tiny plastic holder thing. Eventually I found a ebsite that replaces individual keys on Po erBooks.

Keys, of course, are integral to doing computer things. And don’t these suppliers kno it? One key ith plastic holder thing is £4.50 ith another £2.50 postage.

£7.00 for one measily key. ankers.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Before and after

Before… those who say Steve McClaren has been given a lifeline by Israel beating Russia are wrong. I’m no fan of McClaren, but the fact that England need to draw with Croatia in their final match is merely a scheduling anomaly. The only way to ensure qualification remains in your hands is to win every game; a feat no team in Europe achieved. If the schedule of games were rearranged and the results were the same; which given that the minor highs and lows – injuries, bad decisions – even themselves out, is a reasonable assumption; then the outcome would be the same. The man can’t be judged until it’s all over…

And after… It’s all over and Jesus, how many chances did you need? How many mistakes can you make? McClaren inherits a team from Sven Goran Eriksson that is amongst the top 8 in the world. Rather than tweaking, he bows to the media hysteria shows that he’s his own man and drops the captain David Beckham.

After a number of bad results he finds himself having to pick in-form Beckham and ultimately reassembles the team Eriksson created. Results improve. Injuries return and it falls apart again. Lead against Russia, qualification beckons – lose to Russia. Israel beat Russia, qualification beckons – go two down to Croatia. Manage to get back to 2-2, qualification beckons – concede another goal. And out you must go.

In reality he screwed up against Macedonia when he was still showing the world he was being his own man. When they were getting bogged down in that game, they needed a player who could change a game with one pass… and Beckham was in Madrid.

The domination of the so-called Golden Generation disguises how weak this generation of England players are. Which is mind-boggling coming from the richest football country in the world. Although maybe we should get real – this isn’t an English league, it’s a global brand. Don’t be surprised to see a Premiership game staged in China or the US soon.

And what of the Golden Generation? They’re great players for their clubs. But the role they play is as the iconic battling bulldog whilst the Carlos Kick-a-bouts do all the fancy stuff. Modern club sides are like that; they take the best qualities from the countries around the world and blend them into a team. The English players bring English qualities; put them all together its just one boorish headless mob which the more technically able intelligent countries can just play around.

Eriksson got that and tried to slow everything down, but that was viewed as having a lack of passion - McClaren just didn’t get and turned England into a pub team. It was so badly exposed last night; I could do no more than laugh at every farcical turn.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Head for oblivion

So, over two-thirds of people who downloaded the Radiohead album didn’t pay a rusty penny for it? Those who did only coughed up a couple of pounds on average.

I’m a creature of habit when it comes to music. I expect to pay for it, I buy albums on CD and until Millie came along bought singles on vinyl (part of my DJ-ing delusions). Space has dictated that I can’t really fit anymore vinyl into the house, so I’ve started buying the odd download single.

Downloading a whole album and not paying for it didn’t fit. I am a fan, so I did contemplate it, and decided to pay £5. This makes me more generous than most, I guess. When they announced that it would come out on CD, I decided to wait.

I wonder what Radiohead think of all this. Maybe it’s all part of a grand plan – sign to a major, make commercial albums, and then use the money made from The Man to subvert the industry. Using corporate greed to bring down corporate greed.

Or maybe they had faith in humanity and actually assumed people would want to pay for it. Like me, they’re of the generation that bought its music in hard format with money. Maybe they despair at the kids today who see nothing wrong in stealing other people’s work. It’s enough to make Thom Yorke start reading the Express and vote Tory.

There’s been a lot in the rhetoric about how this is changing the face of the music industry by cutting out the record labels. But Radiohead, and their kin (The Charlatans and Prince) have established their profile as a result of the labels. They can now operate outside their control.

Other artists can’t operate like this; they need the publicity that labels offer. For all the talk of MySpace bands, the Radiohead move isn’t really going to bring down the status quo. The Radiohead way maybe an option for the late career artists, but its not really going to work for those who are up and coming.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

The good, the bad and the ugly

Having worked over 40 hours in the last two and a bit days, I’ve taken the day off today. Tomorrow I’m back at work, tackling that key tasks of archiving my emails and drinking coffee.

I’m not much of a sleeper, but I was determined to stay in bed for a goodly length of time. As a result I’ve managed to catch up with the dark netherworld of daytime terrestrial TV.

First up was Jeremy Kyle, which I can’t watch for more than about 3 minutes at a time. The topic was ‘You slept with my cousin’s fiancĂ©’. Gormless Chav Number 1 took a lie detector test to find out whether this was true. Kyle announced that it was, to which Gormless Chav Number 2 (who had been cheated on) sat in his Adidas tracksuit and shouted ‘Booyaah’. It was like watching Newsnight.

On Channel 4, rather more unpredictably for 10.30am, was a short documentary on the making of a glamour model. Seren, a media student from Goldsmiths College, was embarking on a glamour model career to ease her student debt.

The agency who signed her up needed to give her a distinctive look to make her stand out. They decided to brand her as the ‘smartest glamour model on the circuit’. Summarised as: pictures in FHM, talking about the pictures in Media Guardian. The creative director suggested she was pictured surrounded by books. Great.

In the end branding of the ‘smartest glamour model on the circuit’ involved shots of her topless in a white shirt and knickers. Very cerebral.

They interviewed her afterwards asking whether she knew they were branding her the smartest glamour model on the circuit. No, she said. Do you think the pictures reflected that? They said. No, she said.

She reflected, slightly shocked, before continuing...

I suppose I did cover up my fanny with a copy of Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

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