Sunday, November 23, 2003

How similar are the voices of Billie Holiday and Louis Armstrong? I was left asking this question after the latest in a long line of Kazaa failures. No wonder big record companies seem no longer arsed about downloaded music, the chances of actually getting what you want are about as slim as a Mel and Kim comeback tour.

Finally the Rugby World Cup is over. I can get back to sleeping on Saturday mornings again. Well done to England (that does actually hurt a bit), they deserved it, they were professional, efficient and organised. I hope the Wilko-mania doesn't spoil it because there were many great performances throughout the team. The media have shown that England is still a soccer-country no matter how hard the likes of ITV and the Sun have tried. The tenuous 1966 reminders by lazy journos and the back page build up in the Sun on Friday included just the 12 references to David Beckham.

Jim Rosenthal's cut-out-and-keep guide to the different codes of football:
Association Football ['footy', 'soccer'] has a round ball, eleven men a side and FIFA has 204 member nations; while Rugby Union ['rugger' in England, 'life' in Wales, 'embarrassment' in Scotland] has an oval ball, fifteen men a side and the IRB has 12 full member countries; Rugby League ['Rugby' in Northern England and Eastern Australia, 'what?' everywhere else] has a rounder oval ball, thirteen men a side, and is hardly worth bothering about unless you have a whippet or a surfboard.

Wales may have departed at the quarter-final stage, but Stav's Scarlet Dragons look odds-on to win the company fantasy rugby competition. I hope I do because I've already spent the £57 prize money on beer and pies! Just like the Welsh team.

Me and our kid were driven to the pub on Friday by the most racist taxi driver in bigotdom. I'm not an easily offended person as right-wing taxi driver's are usually too clichéd to be taken seriously, neither am I black or Jewish, but I couldn't wait to get out of the cab. It struck me that the racists of yesteryear complained about 'them' coming over here taking 'our' jobs, today's racist is fuelled by Political Correctness. This fellow's main gripe was that there were no longer Golly Wogs on Robertson's jam! Unbelievable. I never claim to be 'PC' because I think it can do more harm than good, and is merely a white middle-class linguistic and etiquette driven culture, the result of a collective imperialist guilt. To me it is about brushing racism under the carpet, rather than find solutions to the real issues. By labelling the man who refers to the 'Paki-shop' as the racist, the real enemy goes undetected. This country has to take a hard look at where it's going with this, because there are many people like our taxi driver who will be talked round by the far-right who are growing in towns like ours in the North and the Midlands (Burnley, Stoke, Bradford, Calderdale, Sandwell, Blackburn etc). Incedentally the deputy leader of the BNP, Adrian Marsden, is a former taxi-driver.

Right, that's the world sorted, now for me dinner!