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As usual, when it comes to the England football team’s piss poor performances, the best headline appeared on the front page of today’s Sun newspaper:

Sunny outlook in many areas but depression over Heathrow as shower drifts in from South Africa

The kindest thing we can do for these unfortunate millionaires is to ignore them, just as they have ignored each other for the last two weeks. Boys, no one cares about you any more.

Perhaps one positive thing can come out of England’s disastrous defeat against Germany: surely now the Football Association must introduce the technology which will allow match officials and players to understand what Fabio Capello is saying.

(Fabio Capello is on holiday.)

Can the highest paid footballers in the world beat Slovenia?

When you pay someone millions of pounds, they perform better than anyone else, right?

That is fuck you economics, and that is why the UK is fucked.

The England football team have visited an orphanage in a poor quarter of Port Elizabeth, South Africa.

“It’s heartbreaking to see their sad little faces, without a trace of hope,” said Jamal, aged 10.

Related:

World Cup 2010: Fabio Capello says his England team can reach final

Remember, every time you listen to Michael Nyman’s music, a kitten dies.

I group him with those other two “populist-minimalist” composers who like to dabble in film music, Ludovico Einaudi and Philip Glass. None of them float my boat. It bothers me even more that they seem to take themselves far too seriously, unlike the relatively humble and likeable John Adams.

In all fairness, Nyman’s soundtracks to The Piano and Gattaca both fitted their respective films very well, but it’s not music I’d want to listen to out of context. In fact, rather than listen to it at all I would pull out my own fingernails, that’d be less painful.

In my humble opinion, he is a pop music composer masquerading as something else.

Nyman was originally a musicologist specialising in the music of Purcell. Eventually, he became interested in the experimental techniques being developed in America and even wrote a book about it called Experimental Music: Cage and Beyond. Then he wrote some music for a play which required it to sound like ancient music and be the loudest possible ensemble without amplification. He liked the sound, so this group became the Michael Nyman Band. His ensemble then went on to record several soundtracks for films, particularly Peter Greenaway films. By far his best music was written for films, but he also has some good non-film music, particularly his String Quartet No. 3.

Nyman is pretty addictive. He has a sound which is part ancient music (think Purcell) and part modern pop music. Like pop music you can listen to a lot of it for a long period of time, but then you need something else.

Football is now another one of the many things that were better when I was younger, i.e. England were not a team of millionaire cry babies who failed to score against Algeria and then wondered why thousands of people were booing them.

Now, to face clutching. This is now a separate art form with the modern game.

In this clip Keita (Ivory Coast), not looking where he’s going, runs into Kaka (Brazil).

Kaka did not throw an elbow, he put his arm up as Kaita ran into him blindly, then grabbed his face and fell down, it was not a foul never mind a yellow. The referee simply wasn’t looking and was fooled by the dive. What I don’t understand is the referee’s reaction; if the player is deemed to have raised his elbow with intent, it should be a straight red for violent conduct – that’s favourable for Kaka as he can appeal it, and on replay would have had it rescinded. However he showed him a yellow, the second of the match. It doesn’t make sense, and unfortunately Kaka cannot appeal.

There was another face clutching incident today in the match between Chile and Switzerland. Again, the referee’s attention was elsewhere.

Girls, girls, it’s called cheating. Whatever happened to the days were players were embarrassed to go down clutching their faces and crying? These are supposed to be the best players in the world, and they pull on each other’s shirts.

The 10th anniversary of Virgin Atlantic flights to Las Vegas.

I posted this as an antidote to the FIFA World Cup 2010. To the boys of summer!

Glamorous gorgeous pouting gormless Geordie stick insect doormat lollipop head Cheryl Tweedy Cole (“Because your hair extensions are worth it”) was crowned Glamour magazine’s Woman of the Year, after 12 months which have seen her become the nation’s sweetheart and dump a cheating husband. The singer and judge on ITV show The X Factor received the top honour at the ceremony. Her estranged husband, Ashley Cole, is in South Africa as part of England’s World Cup squad. She announced divorce proceedings last month.

The award for Outstanding Contribution went to Yoko Ono. Outstanding contribution to what?

The ceremony was held in London’s Berkeley Square.

Full List of Winners:

Radio Personality of the Year – Fearne Cotton
UK TV Actress of the Year – Billie Piper
Accessory Designer of the Year – Emma Hill
Band of the Year – Florence and the Machine
Entrepreneur of the Year – Nicole Richie
Comedy Actress of the Year – Ruth Jones
Film-Maker of the Year – Sam Taylor-Wood
Presenter of the Year – Christine Bleakley
Writer of the Year – Sarah Waters
Sheer Infusion Newcomer – Alexandra Burke
Sportswoman of the Year – Amy Williams
Editor’s Special Award – Anna Kendrick
Solo Artist of the Year – Lily Allen
Film Actress of the Year – Zoe Saldana
Woman of the Year – Cheryl Cole
US TV Actress of the Year – Lea Michele
TV Personality of the Year – Dannii Minogue
Fashion Designer of the Year – Isabel Marant
Outstanding Contribution – Yoko Ono
Man of the Year – Aaron Johnson

Black Dogs Defined

This is the best of me; for the rest, I ate, and drank, and slept, loved and hated, like another: my life was as the vapour and is not; but this I saw and knew; this, if anything of mine, is worth your memory.

(John Ruskin, Sesame and Lilies)

Whatever people say I am, that’s what I’m not.

(Alan Sillitoe, Saturday Night and Sunday Morning)

This is my letter to the world, that never wrote to me.

(Emily Dickinson, This is my letter to the world)

Safe upon the solid rock the ugly houses stand:
Come and see my shining palace built upon the sand!

(Edna St. Vincent Millay, Second Fig)

R.A.D. Stainforth

I was born before The Beatles’ first LP and brought up in the reeking slums of Jericho. I am in love with a woman called Hazel and in love with her daughter, also called Hazel, both of whom I met at Alcoholics Anonymous.

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