Thursday, December 21, 2006

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Darren Already Has the Membership Card Printed

No doubt she's been under massive pressure to keep her political beliefs to herself, but Paris Hilton has now been outed by The Australian, telling the world what we all suspected anyway.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Kill Them with Axes

. . . and other sensible suggestions on how to deal with Kingston's pigeon population in the comments to this article from the Surrey Comet.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Ireland's Top Ten 2006

A fabulous year for the Irish music scene, with nine out of the top ten artists being home-grown. Some scintillating and original sounds that managed to avoid the current fetish for choppy guitar bands while simultaneously moving on from last year's frankly disappointing Bogsynth genre and 2004's abysmal "BlackRock" (also known as Royshpop).

Raidio Siamsa has also prospered as a result of this year's upsurge in talent, establishing a Web presence from where it is possible to download most of these tracks. I'd thoroughly recommend that you check it out.

So, without further ado, and in reverse order, as per, these are the tunes that have been swaying and slaying the yoof of the nation this year:

10: “Up All Night,” by Afternoon Penis (Our Mouth)

9: “Star-Spangled Sputnik,” by The Terry Potter Army (Demi-Urge)

8: “(Can’t Get Enough of That) Moodswing,” by The Manic Depressives (Ka-Boom!)

7: “I Love Baby Cheeses,” by Cute Horse (Sinonim)

6: “Mormon Orgy,” by The Meat Mittens (Playground)

5: “All the Pope’s Kids on Coke,” by The Don Thinso Spasm Band (Bifter Sounds)

4: “Deep Love Injection,” by Sexist Prick (Threesome Records)

3: “Welcome to Limerick (Share the Sadness),” by The Flank Index (Hairy Bandage)

2: “Latvians Eunt Domus,” by Billy and the Racists (Petty)

but head and shoulders above the rest:

1: “Let Them Eat Crunk,” by The Kirsten Dunst Experience (Stubble)

Ah thenk you.

Guilty Pleasures

Democrat muck-raking propaganda sheet though the Washington Monthly might be, I do enjoy Charles Peters's Tilting at Windmills column every month. Not that I particularly need a regular injection of righteous indignation.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

That's Entertainment

The film might be crap, I've not seen it, but the soundtrack includes The Jam, The Clash, Wreckless Eric,The Upsetters, Califone and Delta 5.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Meet the New Boss (Same as the Old Boss [Same as the Boss before Him])

Today's New York Times reports on the problems faced by newly democratising Eastern European countries in identifying and defanging their Soviet-era spooks and masters.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Pinochet Shows the Way!!

Let his gravestone read "Licenced for Dancing."

Friday, December 08, 2006

Your Message for the Weekend

Yes, It Does Have Lentils and Beans In. Why Do You Ask?

Scroll down to the bottom of this page for the recipe for a delicious "five-dump casserole."

Thursday, December 07, 2006

"Tutles" and "Bushwackers"

Those other prizes in full.

Treat Yourself

Make yourself a cup of tea and browse through Philip Pankov's black-and-white photos of Ireland. I particularly like his pictures of pubs, except they appear to be closed.

Nit of the Realm

This has irked me all week. If Fergie has really seen this incident a million times (let's hope exaggerating doesn't rub off on his impressionable young players), he would realise that the reason Ronaldo lost his balance was not because he had to avoid the oncoming figure of Mark Schwarzer but because he stuck his right leg out behind himself hoping to catch the prone keeper on his way past instead of placing it on the ground in front in a running or staying on your feet fashion.

And if he's not a cheat he would have declined the penalty and told the ref there was no contact.

But that would be the honourable thing to do wouldn't it?

And is Ronaldo suggesting the game has transformed unrecognisably since Southgate stopped playing last year that he doesn't know a dive when he sees it?

Bugger all to do with Rooney as well.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

O, the Ironies, They Keep A Comin'

Sitemeter tells me that C&S has been receiving repeated hits all day on this post from the online (gated) community ASmallWorld, nicknamed Snobster (says Wiki) by those lacking the social clout to get in.

No doubt they're all reading the post and patting one another on the back for being among the world's top 1%. Either that or they have a search engine programmed to trawl the Web for "decadence."

Probly both.

An Englishman in New York

Psychogeographer walks from JFK to Manhattan.

Croppers not Creepers

It will be well worth listening to Marc Riley's Brain Surgery on BBC6 on Thursday as he will be playing a Peel session by the fantastic Dutch punks Eton Crop (as requested by me). Don't miss it or else!

Last night I went to see American singer/songwriter Damian Jurado who, despite having to leave his backing band in Dublin (ferry cancelled), gave an absolutely sublime show which included an acoustic version of Kraftwerk's "Radioactivity". Check him out, live if possible.

Our Brightest and Best

A conversation between several college students overheard on the train this morning:

Female 1: He's a right twat. Even in the seminars he wears a coalman's hat.

Female 2: Are you serious? The tutor doesn't make him take it off?

Male 1: No. He looks a complete eejit, but nobody says anything.


Female 2: Is he epileptic?

Female 1 (confused): No.

Male 1: I think someone should cut the bobble off it for a laugh.

Female 2 (confused): Bobble?

Male 1: Yeah, the woolly bobble on it.

Female 2: Why does he have a woolly bobble on a hardhat?

Female 1: It isn't a hardhat. It's a coalman's hat. The bloke who delivers coal.

Male 1 (penny dropping): You're thinking of a coal miner.

Female 2: Oh yeah. Sorry.

(Embarrassed silence of half a minute.)

Female 1: That makes sense to me, now. I was wondering why you thought epileptics wore woolly hats.

Divine Decadence, Darling!

Two news items caught my eye this morning:

According to a new report from the World Institute for Development Economics Research of the United Nations, the richest 1% of adults in the world own 40% of the planet's wealth, and the richest 10% of adults accounted for 85% of the world total of global assets, while half of the world's adult population owned barely 1% of global wealth.

Just let that sink in. Half of the planet's population own 1% of the world's household wealth.

A couple of comments from the same article:

"These levels of inequality are grotesque," said Duncan Green, head of research at Oxfam. "It is impossible to justify such vast wealth when 800 million people go to bed hungry every night. The good news is that redistribution would only have to be relatively small. Such are the vast assets of the rich that giving up a small part of their wealth could transform the lives of millions."

Madsen Pirie, director of the Adam Smith Institute, a free-market think tank, disagreed that distribution of global wealth was unfair. He said: "The implicit assumption behind this is that there is a supply of wealth in the world and some people have too much of that supply. In fact wealth is a dynamic, it is constantly created. We should not be asking who in the past has created wealth and how can we get it off them." He said that instead the question should be how more and more people could create wealth.

In other news, the little black dress worn by Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's sold at auction yesterday for £467,200 - more than six times the estimate - at Christie's.

The good news is that:

All proceeds from the sale will go to City of Joy Aid, based in Calcutta, a charity set up 25 years ago. French author Dominique Lapierre, who was selling the dress on behalf of the charity, said: "There are tears in my eyes. I am dumbfounded that a piece of cloth which belonged to such a magical actress will now enable me to buy bricks to put the most destitute children in the world into schools."

Doubtless some cynical punter will come along now and criticize the need for charity. Well, indeed. Did you think I was trying to point out what an ideal world we live in? No. Just go back and read again. In a world where half the population owns next to nothing, a "piece of cloth" was sold for £467,200.

And there's not even a picture of Jesus on it.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

United, again.

I'm getting quite used to Villa and Alty's early exit from the FA Cup but drawing United out the perspex bowl for what seems like the tenth time in five years is becoming a joke. Even when they pulled out to play in the World Club thingy we got Darlo who were their lucky loser replacements.

Still, at least we'll get to see Macc humiliated at Stamford Bridge. Let's hope they can go one better than Northwich at Brighton, a goal for every ten league places should do it.

Send for Dorrance!

Anson Dorrance, that is, coach of the University of North Carolina's women's soccer team. Dorrance's team has won 18 national championships and 94 percent of its matches. All this under a guy who never aspired to be coach and only got the job as a result of mistaken identity, who had no idea initially how to coach women, who frequently ends training sessions by giving his team cake, and who runs the team so badly that he can't remember the names of some of his own players and often arrives late for matches after getting lost on the way.

He is also the subject of a new book by Tim Crothers, The Man Watching: A Biography of Anson Dorrance, the Unlikely Architect of the Greatest College Sports Dynasty Ever.

Monday, December 04, 2006


One of the more optimistic banners at Sunday's FAI Cup Final between St. Patrick's Athletic and Derry City at Lansdowne Road carried the above message: St. Pat's normally play in red and white, but since there was a clash of strips for the final, Pat's donned their new Barcelona-style blue and red striped kit. There, any resemblance to Catalunya ended (hopefully! We'll see tonight). For one thing, the weather conditions at Lansdowne Road were an utter joke. Why the FAI chooses to play its cup final at this time of the year beats me: What ought to be a showcase for the best of Irish football ended up as a lottery, and for all the goals that were scored, the match itself was laughable, as you can see by the accompanying video.

I normally play 7-a-side soccer with a bunch of mates on a Sunday night down at Loughlinstown Leisure Centre. I've been playing there more or less since I moved over here, so 10 years at least, and even though it now involves an 80-mile round trip for an hour of footie, rarely will I surrender the chance of a kickabout. This weekend was slightly different, however, because the weather was appalling and also because the fellas I play with had arranged to go to Lansdowne Road for the cup final prior to our game, principally because one of our number was playing on the St. Pat's team, and we felt we should go and lend him some support (his brother also plays regularly with us). Were St. Pat's to win, it would mean a place in Europe for them next year, and I suspect that all of us envisioned basking in some reflected glory; for my part, at 44, in the knowledge that I could still hack it playing with a lad half my age who'd competed against the best in Europe . . . okay, second-best. And also, I think, we all felt it appropriate to pay our respects, this being the last ever soccer match at Lansdowne Road in its current form.

The rest is history. And irony. You can watch the video here. See if you can guess which St. Pat's player we were supporting. I shall say nothing about positioning at set pieces, only that the player in question has now written himself into the history books as the last player to score a goal at Lansdowne Road, and in such a fashion as to guarantee that his name will appear on a regular basis in pub quizzes around the country for decades to come.

Just think how his mother must feel.

Most Disappointing Film goes to...

Pan's Labyrinth

I should have known better than to believe Mark Kermode. If you think you're going to see a lavish fantasy you'd be wrong, the much publicised netherworld sequences are far too short and are tagged on to the lamest of War stories. A film of very little substance and a risible script which is a shame as there are some superb effects and one decent performance by the young girl.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Come on Lorcy, make me an offer!

One of the 3 prizes I won on "Frank Sidebottom's Proper Telly Show"

The others being "pickled ninja turtles" and "preserved WWF Bushwackers"

This week I'm going for the Power Rangers

Friday, December 01, 2006

B******* Students

An article in the November 27 issue of Forbes magazine (you have to pay for it, don't bother) identifies a smart way to predict which industries are heading for a fall, namely, those most keenly sought after by business school graduates. Author Chana R. Schoenberger explains:

In 2000, 17 percent of grads of the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School took Silicon Valley jobs, only to see technology collapse soon after. In 2001, 30 percent of Wharton job-seekers, more than ever before, took investment banking jobs. Wall Street laid off tens of thousands of bankers over the next two years.

The article continues:

"There's a disconnect a lot of times between what M.B.A.s want to do and where the jobs are," concedes Janet Raiffa, head of U.S. campus recruiting for Goldman Sachs. Goldman has plenty of openings for investment bankers and private-wealth managers this year, but the hot areas for M.B.A. applicants are merchant banking (making investments with a firm's own money) and trading.

You have been warned. Although if Schoenberger is a business school graduate, there is of course the possibility that this trend is itself two years out of date.