:: Wednesday, June 28, 2006 ::

Bob Mould Live

A little video clip I took of Saturday's Bob Mould gig. He's doing the old Huskers number Chartered Trips.

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Ghana no dae that

Ghana may have gone out of the world cup in a blaze of glory, but few of their fans were watching.

Fans watch from afar as Ghana takes stage - Sports - International Herald Tribune: "FIFA allocated about 9,000 tickets to Ghana, some of them through corporations, but Abebrese said - and the German Embassy in Accra confirmed this - that only about 400 visa applications were successfully processed. Grace Ashby, a well-known singer who wrote the official song for the Black Stars, as the team is known, was refused entry 'even though she has a car, a family income to buy the tickets and had paid her airfare,' Abebrese said.

Jens Plotner, a spokesman for the German Foreign Ministry, rejected the charge that Ghanaians or Africans had been unfairly treated. The ministry 'has seconded additional visa personnel in order to ensure a proper and quick service for visa applications,' he said. 'However, all visa applicants, whether from Africa or not, have to fulfill EU and Schengen requirements. Schengen law applies, and we cannot change procedures for the World Cup.'

Applicants need to prove, the ministry said, that they have reason to return to their home countries - stable employment and family ties, for example."

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:: Sunday, June 25, 2006 ::

Bob Mould

Bob Mould, originally uploaded by alister.

Bob Mould live in Edinburgh, Liquid Rooms Saturday 24th June.

This was just Bob on his own with an acoustic guitar and later an electric one. We got songs from across his career including Husker Du, Sugar and solo eras. Fantastic versions of Wishing Well, If I Can't Change Your Mind and a brilliant finale of Celebrated Summer, Chartered Trips and Makes No Sense at All.

And he even met his public afterwards. A legend.

Bob Mould's blog

A few more of my pics of the gig on Flickr.

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:: Thursday, June 22, 2006 ::


Maradona, originally uploaded by Meneer Hazenoot.

This is from the Serbia-Montenegro match, not the Netherlands one which was all foreplay and no orgasm.

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:: Wednesday, June 21, 2006 ::

Argentina Video Spot "A"

You can't see this goal often enough.

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:: Tuesday, June 20, 2006 ::

Netscape to Victory

With the world cup here (I may have mentioned it a couple of times) we have all been treated to the national anthems of diverse countries. That Italian one is mad isn't it? But great to hear the massed ranks of Dutch, French and German fans belting out their anthems. The German one no longer includes the phrase "uber alles" by the way although they didn't mean it in a bad way originally. The massed singing of La Marseillaise would bring a tear to a glass eye, reminds me of the bit in Casablanca...

"Rick and Laszlo hear the sound of male voices singing downstairs. From the top of the stairs outside the office Rick sees a group of German officers around the piano singing the "Wacht Am Rhein." Rick's expression is dead-pan. Below, at the bar, Renault watches with raised eyebrows. Laszlo has come out of the office. His lips are very tight as he listens to the song. He starts down the steps, passes the table where Ilsa sits, and goes straight to the orchestra. Yvonne, sitting at a table with her German officer, stares down into her drink. Laszlo speaks to the orchestra.

Play the Marseillaise! Play it!

Members of the orchestra glance towards the steps, toward Rick, who nods to them. As they start to play..."

and of course Escape to Victory which features a great mass singing of the Marseillaise. And I found a sample of it here!

Wikipedia tells me "The film was based on the story of Dynamo Kiev's players, who defeated Nazi soldiers while the Ukraine was occupied by Nazi troops in WW2. According to myth, as a result of their victory, the Ukrainians were all shot. The true story, as recounted by Y. Kuznetsov, is considerably more complex, as the team played a series of matches against Nazi teams, emerging victorious in all of them, before finally being sent to prison camps by the Gestapo. Most of the team were killed there, but a few survived." Jeez.

But can there be a web site relating to national anthems which rivals that of the sadly absent Russians?

Russian Anthems Museum

You can hear all the different versions of the anthem. The dodgy lyrics including Stalin, the de-stalinised version and the new version with no lyrics at all. Plus the internationale, which was the Soviet anthem till 1943 when internationalism took a back seat to rallying around Mother Russia.

Interesting versions trying to emulate Jimmy Hendrix supposedly and the definitive version by Paul Robeson.

“As you can clearly see, Russian anthem technology is vastly superior to that of any other country.”

The less said about G*d S@£e th3 Qu££n the better.

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:: Monday, June 19, 2006 ::

Sort of Argentina photo spot 3

World Cup Fever: team jerseys, originally uploaded by arnabchat.

I liked this picture of world cup football tops being produced in a small set-up in Kolkata India. Most popular are Brazil, England and Argentina.

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:: Saturday, June 17, 2006 ::

Argentinian Photo Spot number 2

masks, originally uploaded by blaxjax.

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:: Friday, June 16, 2006 ::

Argentinian Photo Spot number 1

IMG_1397, originally uploaded by WorldCupBlog.org.

6-0. What a match! One of the greatest goals I have ever seen and then they went through Serbia like a hot knife through butter. I told you...Argentina.

Some highlights from the Guardian live online commentary.

29 mins - Argentina 2 - 0 Serbia and Montenegro How the f**k am I supposed to describe that? The goal of the tournament so far and quite possibly the greatest goal I've ever seen.

31 mins: Ping. Ping. Ping. Ping. Ping. Ping. Ping. Ping. Ping. Ping. Ping. Ping. Ping. Ping. Ping. Ping. Ping. Ping. Ping. Ping. Ping. Ping. Ping. Back-heel from Crespo. Cambiasso ... goal!

With 24 short, high speed passes, the blurry shapes that are assorted Argentina players carve open Serbia and Montengro, before Cambiasso pulls the trigger from the edge of the penalty area. The Serbia and Montenegro players were left standing like statues they were so mesmerised. Make it your business to see that goal - it was unbelievably good.

47 mins: "I'd rather go out to Germany in the next round than have to face this lot," writes Darren Ford, who doesn't specify if he's from Ecuador or England, and with a name like that it's difficult to tell. I think I'd feign an injury rather than be on a team that gets slaughtered by this Argentinan side.

49 mins: S&M susbsitution: Koroman off, Ljoboja on.

52 mins: Read the opening bit from 31 mins, add in a few extra pings and substitute a save from Jevric for the back-heel and the goal. "Is there any kind of scale with which you can measure how much better Argentina are than England?" asks my scared-looking England-supporting colleague James Dart.

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Four More Years!

This blog was four years old this week. Jeez, four years. You get less than that for murder. I think it is likely that sometime soon I'll change things around a bit. Maybe just a new template but more likely a switch to a proper domain and some new and better blogging software such as wordpress. Any recommendations?

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:: Tuesday, June 13, 2006 ::

Here We Go

maradona 2006, originally uploaded by 8-80s.

The World Cup is here. So less blogging and more watching the box at strange times of the day. Argentina-Ivory Coast was the best game so far, a real classic. When picking my choice of winner in the world cup sweep I nearly picked Argentina, but my latin-american adviser informed me that they were lacking in confidence and that they didn't think they could beat England (who they will probably meet in the next round.) So I went for Italy (Brazil too obvious) as a good outside bet, and am now regretting it.

Nice article on the political aspect of the world cup here. From CLR James' view of sport as a chance to get even with the colonial masters, to football in a globalised world.

"From contemporary geopolitical and cultural conflicts (or their historic echoes) to the impact of globalization, the World Cup offers a real-time snapshot of the state of our world. This summer, when Portugal plays Angola or England meets Trinidad, colonial history won't be forgotten among the fans of the formerly colonized. Whenever England has played Argentina in the past 24 years, the fans of both countries have been asked to relive the Falklands/Malvinas War -- and I'd be surprised if World War II memories escape a mention when Australia plays Japan. Yet, the game will also be infused with contemporary political drama, should fate decree that the USA meets Iran."

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:: Friday, June 09, 2006 ::

Penguin Revolution

Santiago, Chile, originally uploaded by Gabriel Ortega Berger.

Chile has been gripped by a series of struggles from school students and students dubbed the penguin revolution because of the school uniforms they all have to wear.

More pics here

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:: Monday, June 05, 2006 ::

Well lookie here...

Dumb 'minutemen' demonstrators who want to keep out those who can't speak proper English (i.e those 12 million immigrants who do all the real work in the USA). Might want to run a spellcheck on you placards dumbass.

ha ha dumb minutemen

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Grafica Rebelde

Grafica Rebelde

Interesting shots from high school students demo in Chile.

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:: Friday, June 02, 2006 ::

zomg pwned

Pretty funny piece on slashdot regarding World of Warcraft etc addicts.

Slashdot | Help for an MMORPG Addict?: "I've been waiting to tell this story and this seems to be an appropriate venue.

I'm friends with a married couple. I'll call them Jack and Jill because one of them reads slashdot and I don't want to give the secret away.

Jack is a WoW addict. He works part time, plays 50 hours per week. Is a member of a raiding guild and is always coveting that next purple, orange or whatever colored item.

Jill, his wife, is frustrated over his addiction. She bought an account just so she could spend a little more time with him. She leveled a character to 60 and occasionally raids but she enjoys RL more than the game and so resents having to play the game in order to spend time with her husband.

This is the part I thought was pretty cool.

Jill is the techie of the household and uses a linux based router/firewall/webserver/etc for local networking. As Jacks addiction grew worse she started checking out the ports used by WoW. Inititally she just started monitoring them in order to find out how much time he actually plays but later she realized she could throttle the connection (introduce lag) or block it completely (gee, the WoW servers are down again). The result is that when Jack has been playing WoW all day and Jill wants to go to dinner she either severely throttles the connection or cuts it completely. Jack thinks the blizzard servers are fscked up, wastes some time trying to log in and eventually gives up and joins Jill for dinner. Now Jill gets to occasionally go to dinner with Jack, to the movies, to a party. I kind of like it because I'm good friends with Jack and I get to see him occasionally now and then.

I'm not blind to the deception of this act. Yes it's kind of creepy, but so is not showering, playing wow for 20 hours straight with quick toilet breaks. While it doesn't get rid of the root problem of the addiction, it has prevented jack from completely losing all RL socialization."

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Countdown to Infinite Crisis

As anyone who takes an interest in these things, and can read a newspaper will know, these are hard times for the Scottish Socialist Party. I'm an optimistic sort of guy when it comes to politics (you have to be really), but I think it's accurate to say that the future of the party is in the balance at the moment.

We need this party. We need an alternative to the neo-liberal hegemony. We need the unity of the left. That means that the leaders in the party need to show some leadership, need to take a step back and try to heal the rifts.

I have little doubt that the dark forces in the intelligence community have done what they can to help further splits with carefully timed press leaks and other odd happenings that I may go into once this is all over. But the core reasons lie with ourselves. There will be plenty of time to go into the political fallout in the weeks and months to come. Right now we need to stop playing our enemies games. That means employing absolute honesty and political clarity.

I've delayed posting anything on this. Events are moving almost too fast to keep up with. I daresay this is one I will be returning to.

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