Engerland, Engerland, Engerlanddd!

I despise football, I despise everything about it. It is the most unreservedly theatrical display of mundanity and heavy breathing since early Victorian porn (I’m assuming).

Perhaps I wouldn’t mind football so much if, like cycling and hiking, it slinked about on the sidelines of sport, in the shadows, emerging in meek delight only when people finally pay attention for one brief moment of the year. I would like football if it had the eager but humble charm of a stage-hand/incipient actor who aspires desperately and dreamily to one day be Brad Pitts dogsbody but who, in the meantime, is more than happy to take any lines tossed his way.

Perhaps I could even go so far as to embrace football if it were like the Olympics. The Olympics are like your wise old grandparents who live at the other end of the country, you don’t see them often but you look forward to every visit with nostalgic warmth. The opening ceremony that ejaculates atomic pyrotechnics and sprays epilepsy inducing light shows are like the first glimpse of your grandparents at the front door. Its all hugs, cheek pinches and sloppy kisses of salivary elation. However everyone, probably even the athletes as well, cannot help but feel as the last few days draw on that the Olympics, much like a visit to your grandparents, is not an experience that can be readily endured on a regular basis.

But no, football is not humble or modest and does not skirt the sidelines to allow other sports to read their lines, nor is it like a wise old grandparent whose willing to sit in their chair reading ‘crockery weekly’ and waiting until you come round and visit.

Football is comparable to the sheltered and mollycoddled son of an Arab Emirate Sheik who has lost touch with his traditional Middle Eastern roots and has been plied and corrupted by Western culture with all its consumerist hedonism, bohemian Epicureanism and gluttonous debauchery. Football is this misguided and emotionally stunted embryo adorned in Versace sunglasses that has been brought up on a diet of American dollars, European gold and distant but overly accommodating parents. Football is the asshole that revs its engine and relishes the lyrical stylings of Drake as he mumbles about his money and niggers and such things of ghetto delight.

To be honest; the game itself I can tolerate – sure its a load of grown men kicking a sphere of air into a big net for invisible points and then hurtling meteorically to the ground if someone in the bleachers breathes a little bit harder than usual or a butterfly flies a bit too fast into their chiselled pecks. This is ignorable because sometimes there can be some pretty spectacular shots and passes and runs of such fluidity that they resemble a well rehearsed ballet at the Sydney Opera House and make you forget the futility of the whole operation. I don’t even mind the grossly obese bank accounts that back the game. This is simply supply and demand.

No, I can bear these things about football, overall it is the trimmings of the game that make my fingernails curl upwards and try to force their way back into their cuticles.

I cannot help but smile with pained effort and hope that Zeus appears and tosses me his lightning bolt to throw at the heads of two football conversationalists in Ancient Greco-wrath whilst bellowing castigation at the severity and sincerity of tone in which these mortals talk about a matter of zero importance. Two men who hold jobs, have mortgages, raise children, have loved, laughed and hated can stand with grimaces of perturbed agitation, their faces contorted by the Pacific fault-line sized furrows of consternation that scar their foreheads as they mull over which footballer has the best legs or where the European manager got that wonderful suit! It is ridiculous. Football is literally as important as the need to establish how many cats occupy the region of South Somerset.

Furthermore, it is not only the undeserved importance that fans bestow to conversations about the game, it is the certainty of knowledge and the confidence of opinion that they have when expressing their point of view. Suddenly all football enthusiasts seem to think they’re next in line to promotion to manager and are infinitely more experienced and infinitely more talented than the guy in the suit in the painted white box whose job it is to choreograph the walking sperms as they kick balls.

I cannot stand that every fan refers to their team as ‘we’, as if they themselves were also on the pitch kicking a ball and then afterwards went for beers with the team. The footballers do not give one eighth of a fraction of a sliver of a fuck about you or your passion for the game. He kicks a ball for ninety minutes and then whizzes home in his Bentley to have glorious, beautiful sex with his walking Botox injected boob job. And more power to him! Its the fan that I can’t stand. The guy who refers to his team as ‘we’ and thinks this European pretty boy whose just been signed has done it for anything other than the perks, the wads of delicious cash and the fame. It is simple delusion to think he cares about your team, its values, its heritage and its council estate fans.

There are other things about football that make me grind my teeth to dust: its incessant presence on TV screens all bright and shouting, the eternal loop of leagues that are exponentially more important each year, the fact that it is the first reference point of all smalltalk and leaves me empty mouthed while the football developments of the week and opinions on them are comprehensively discussed.

Maybe though, maybe I’m completely wrong and football is the side-splitting knee-slapper told at a party to which everyone is in fits of laughter but you stand, stony faced, drink in hand, fluttering a pretend ‘ha’. Maybe I’m just jealous because I don’t get football.

Page 3 and the eternal criticism.

It seems to be the trendy asseveration recently to call pompously with clenched fists, whilst ‘harumphing!’ to high heaven, for the annihilation of the presence of tits on magazine pages. It seems pleasant and homespun little women in wiry circular spectacles wearing twee little buns of hay-like hair atop their heads and with modest flower-imprinted dresses that reach their ankles have taken it upon themselves to try and turn the rest of the world into a rosy little hybrid of Dora the Explorer and cBeebies. Well I feel it my duty as the owner of both a penis and a fine vocabulary to fight the maternal hordes.

Firstly, amongst the squabbling, sonic squeaks of these 1950’s throwbacks comes the cliche cry of ‘think about the children!’. I think, ladies and gentlemen, that you are forgetting, whilst tearing copies of Nuts and Zoo from the shop shelves and sticking elastoplasts over page 3’s that parents bear quite a lot of responsibility for the material to which their children are exposed. To try and get rid of naked boobies, to be honest, smacks of – ‘I can’t be arsed to watch this little puke bucket 24/7 so, erm, could you just take all the bad shit away?’. I’m afraid it doesn’t work like that. If you are so highly strung that you feel it will eternally corrupt and pollute a child’s psyche to see a couple of fun filled bags of boob then treat the publication in which they hide as if it were a copy of Terminator 2. You wouldn’t let your kid take that off the shelf and pop it in the DVD player, so why don’t you take some responsibility and stop it from taking some soft-core porn from the shelf.

As an addendum to this point, I would make one further in the form of a question to these left-leaning proselytisers who wish to strap pillows to every hard surface on this planet: Why do you even give a shit? These children have not only seen boobs before; they’ve suckled on some for the majority of their existence thus far! Basically, why do you find the idea of some fat covered in skin dangling limply from a pair of shapely shoulders, offensive? Is it the nipples? I bet its the nipples isn’t it? Little milk-valves make everything offensive. Well in that case – shall we call for the destruction of Men’s Health? There’s hairy nipples all over that!

I’ve also seen it banded about that one objection to glamour models is that impressionable young females may get their wonderful little minds warped by these pictures and their self-image may be permanently distorted to think that all they’re good for is as living, breathing sex dolls. Bollocks. What this train of argument suggests is that all women should be modest little prudes in order to be successful and should never see any other woman who may not be blessed with a beautiful mind but has chosen another career path. There are braniacs, artists, airheads and beautiful people in both genders. When Arnold Schwarzenegger flexed his pulsating, vascular arms and glistened with sweat as Conan the Barbarian (nipples on show), I don’t think one man or, for that matter, woman, protested because he was defiling the self-image of impressionable young boys everywhere. Furthermore, it again comes down to a question of parenting; it is up to parents to instil the self-confidence in their child to be able to see and accept some peoples paths and to choose their own.

Lastly, perhaps these women may be objectified, but that is both par for the course and by-the-by; it is their choice to pose for camera flashes and to earn a pretty penny whilst doing so. I’m sure the African tribal women on the cover of National Geographic can but salivate at the sums being paid to these admirable areola advocates and must wonder what all the fuss is about! After all, they wake up, make breakfast, go to the toilet, walk around and look at the scenery all with breasts abounding. PS – I don’t hear objection to the objectification of Channing Tatum when he minces about in Magic Mike.

So I would say this to the ‘cover yourself up’ merchants; leave the buxom beauties alone and go about your business because these women’s careers are none of it. Also, stop scapegoating! To blame these voluptuous sirens for your child’s misdemeanours and harlotry is but dirty and underhanded scapegoating. In the same way its simpler to blame Burkha wearing Muslims or the immigrants for what ails the country than it is to blame a faceless corporation or an overly complicated and flawed financial system exacerbated by incomprehensible banking practices; it is easier to blame a bouncing pair of titties for a child’s sluttery than to attribute responsibility to your own failed parenting.

Blog of Ages

Well, I have a blog, and I am, as of yet undecided as to whether this is a good thing or not. Part of my brain ridicules the decision; part of me thinks I am merely one of the millions of internetters floating around in the ether of the internet like little sperms chasing the egg of attention and self-validation. Perhaps I’m just one of the pale, bulbous headed little wannabe columnists who feels my opinion is somehow important enough for someone to read and comment on. 

A blog, to me, is the honest version of Facebook. It is professed and propagated that Facebook is a means of connection between people, a way to stay in touch etc. However to me it seems merely a collection of egos attempting to justify themselves and seeking to be seen as important and unique in a world where everyone thinks they’re important and unique. Posting pictures of holidays, sharing your opinion, submitting what you may think is an uproariously, outrageously hilarious satirical stripping of a political event assumes a certain level of egotism to think that someone would give enough of a shit to read it. 

Therefore, a blog is the honest version of Facebook. To have a blog is to impliedly admit that you think people should read what you have to say, or look at the cleverly angled, just-out-of-focus, instagrammed photos you’ve taken in a flair of artistic genius unrivalled by anyone presently or previously. 

Perhaps this denegration of the internet is overly cynical and perhaps people aren’t the self-important, egotistical yet insignificant and unimportant little sperms that I think they are, desperately swimming through the womb of life seeking despairingly to pop through the vulva of anonymity and be appreciated for the witty, uniquely individualistic centre of warmth that they definitely are. 

Perhaps Facebook is simply an efficient means of staying in touch and blogs are the 21st century version of the 18th century coffee shops of Europe in which French revolutionists would discuss separating the Kings head from his shoulders and British scientists and philosophers would discuss the great questions of the age such as: Don’t you think Newton needs to get laid? However, I would humbly submit that the prevalence of Japanese fart porn, cat videos, instagrammed images with helvetica fonts spelling out some inane teen-angst sludge and overtly racist YouTube comments would suggest that the converse is most probably true. 

So, is my having a blog a good idea? Well, it does mean I can vent my opinions rather than, you know, actually doing anything about them. Overall, however, I don’t think it is a good thing, but much like stealing sweets from children, its easy and I feel a satisfying sense of accomplishment.