Incoherent Nonsense

Incoherent Nonsense: Some Words What I Done

I’ve not written on the blog for a while, so I’m going to randomly hit some keys, see what comes out.
Luis Suarez, what a wanker character, eh? Biting people, blatantly handballing and racisming, claiming he wants to leave England because of the persecution of the media, but that he’s willing to play for Arsenal, who are based in London, which is where the English media live.
What a contrary position for a fellow to take!

Papiss Cisse has been doing some religious scholarship, and it’s his belief that Islam forbids the lending of money for the short term at extremely high rates, but that institutions that lend money for the long-term at rates that are merely very high are fine and dandy.
At least, I think that was the result of his studies – I haven’t read the actual thesis he put together, just the outraged reaction to it, which consistently held the tone of being close to outright racism and mockery of ‘the other’ while not quite tipping over into anything properly offensive.
Brief thought – religion and personal morality are different things. Religion is an amorphous and abstract concept, so saying your religion bans certain things is always open to ridicule. The book of Leviticus bans menstruation, for example*, which goes against the command to love God and love your neighbour, which is the greatest of the Ten Commandments, even though Moses forgot to write it on the tablets. Jesus said so.

* Yes, I know it doesn’t. It bans eating shellfish, and I think there’s something about women separating themselves from the rest of the tribe/village when it’s their time of the month, which is entirely sensible. Apparently there’s something in there about men not being allowed to sleep together unless they’re stoned, which you’d think the American religious fundamentalists would have picked up on by now.
I’m putting this bit here rather than at the end, which is generally the place to put an end-note**, because this isn’t the point I want to end this incoherent ramble on, and it’s my blog damn it, so I can disregard the rules of common sense if I want to.

** Hey, maybe that’s why they call it an end-note!!?!
I’m sorry, that gag is just atrocious. Shameful. Disgraceful. Low. Base. Worthy. Admirable. Exemplary. Oops, crossed over from synonym to antonym.

It’s understandable that top footballers occasionally act like silly easy to mock people.***
Imagine, for instance, you pushed yourself through physical pain and exhaustion to improve your fitness and physical technique on a daily basis, trained your mind to make the correct split second decisions in the middle of matches, tolerated all the corporate nonsense of needing to promote your club’s sponsors, represent the club in a way that doesn’t offend the brothel-using, dog-mocking club owners, and after all that you were reliant on the ideas of Alan Pardew, a man who apparently tried to bridge the gap to his French-dominated squad by growing facial hair in a vaguely French style. Bless.
Joe Kinnear showing up would be the steel girder that crushed the camel’s spine.

*** Note to self, work on my insults. Maybe send a note to Will Self, he seems pretty good with insults. Would he read one of my notes? Probably not. Should probably try email instead.

Why don’t lower league footballers behave like such self-indulgent cretins? It probably has something to do with the intensity and emotional hot-housing of being so driven and focussed on such a competitive sport, where
Reading back, I seem to have drifted off mid-sentence here. Should I try and alter it into something grammatically correct? If I cared enough, I probably would.
When the type of people who are naturally intense and driven in that way spend a lot of time in the relative calm of the English lower leagues, they’d probably naturally either mellow out slightly, or the gap between their intense drive and the rewards would cause them to snap in the middle of a match, breaking their shinpad into a shiv and going on a killing spree. Which isn’t nearly as regular an occurrence as you might think.

Exeter City are going to play away to Fluminese in a pre-season friendly next summer, possibly to celebrate their centenary, but I’ve not read the actual article yet. It’s the kind of dream-like factoid that you’d assume you misheard or made up whenever you remember it.
The cost of flying their players out there will probably bankrupt the club, but there’s always the options of selling their players to drug-dealers for ransom – that kind of thing happens in Brazil apparently, I saw it on The Simpsons.

Patrick Stewart claims the CIA funded Star Trek TNG to distract people from the fact the government was cutting back on NASA’s funding. Was he joking? I think he was joking, but it sounds oddly plausible, for a conspiracy theory. The good folks at Stormfront think that Sir Patrick is an idiot, but they think that Jews control the world (or probably think that, for all I know) so they’re not the best arbiters of who’s stupid and who’s smart.

If Jews really did rule the world, surely they’d make someone else wear those little hats, rather than doing so themselves? If it rains, they won’t offer any protection at all.

The start of the football season is always an exciting time, when players move to a new club, and with some causing genuine excitement, the frisson of possibility when you have no idea how things will turn out.
All the infinite possibilities of something which is untapped are more powerful than one thing that does happen – it was in Doctor Who. There was a sun monster, and a leaf.

When I talk about new signings, I’m talking, of course, of Brentford United Soccer Club, who’ve signed Walsall’s Will Grigg and Swindon’s Alan McCormack. Some strong additions to a team that fell just short this year, plus they’ve got a German manager, so ruthless efficiency. Will things turn out right this time, or will they be destined to remain ‘the other team who play at Arsenal’s reserve ground’ which is how they’re best known locally and nationally?
To the future! It is where all of us shall live, in the future!

I started this with the intent of clearing out some of the ideas in my head, which were jamming together in the doorway preventing anything getting through, like all the diseases in Mr. Burns’ body.
I’ve written over 1200 words in just over half an hour, which is a decent bit of momentum, and should help me turn my Lower League Summer notes into something that makes some sort of sense.

Brain work good now?

If you’ve read all of that, I’m very sorry for wasting your time. I can only promise you that most of what I’ve written does make sense, in a sort of twisted, abstract, not quite using the right terminology kind of way. If you want to come back to the blog later, what I write then will be more sensible, and I’ll leave out a tray of biscuits. It’d probably be best if we don’t look each other in the eye.


Squawka: Benteke on the Move

Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke handed in a transfer request on Monday, with a host of clubs linked with a move for the Belgian striker.

It’s always a risk when a player changes club – will he be able to adapt to the new environment, to his new teammates, to the new tactics? There’s a lot more to consider than just the paycheque on offer.

Christian Benteke, running away from Aston Villa
Christian Benteke, running away from Aston Villa

I’ve helped Christian to make his decision, by looking at the tactics of the four English clubs linked with him – Arsenal, Tottenham, Chelsea and Liverpool, and how he’d likely be used by those clubs.

Click here to read Where Should Benteke Go?


Chill-ermo del Terror!!

He directs horror films, is what I was going for with the title – I was doing a Simpsons Halloween special credits thing, you know, trying to be amusing. And yes, I suppose you could probably describe his work more accurately as dark fantasy, but…

Yeah, anyway, my point.

This weekend sees the release of Pacific Rim, Guillermo del Toro’s new film, in both the US and UK. (And possibly some other countries as well.)

Ahead of this, writing for the Ann Arbor Review, I’ve re-watched some of his biggest films – Mimic, Hellboy and the majestic Pan’s Labyrinth, which I was surprised to learn is only 7 years old, such is it’s status as a modern era classic.

He's also very cuddly.
He’s very cuddly.

I’ve reviewed the trio, looking at their strengths and weaknesses against each other, to help you decide whether you should spend your hard-earned money on his new release.

Click here to read Marathon Man: Guillermo del Toro


IWSG: Spinning Plates

It’s the first Wednesday of the month, which means it’s time to have a whinge at myself in the name of the Insecure Writers’ Support Group.


I’ve been writing a fair bit over recent months, trying to keep a variety of plates spinning, writing for different sites on varied subjects.
There are many writers who are much more prolific than me, but I’ve been stepping up the amount of writing I’ve done – most of it web-based, as well as writing a few bits of fiction.
I have let down a few people, unfortunately – for instance I discussed writing something topical as a guest author, but because of being busy/having less than ideal time management, I let it slip away. I’ve got a similar backlog of what I think are decent ideas tucked away in the back of my head or in a Word file somewhere or other.
I’ve also found that working on so many things at once can lead to making daft mistakes.

For instance, in recent months I’ve been writing about football statistics for
One of the problems with writing on a statistical basis about players I’ve only watched irregularly is that I feel that people who watch the players on a regular basis, who’ve seen every game that player has been involved in, will know things about the player’s performances that I’ve not seen.
I  made one particularly amateurish mistake – in a piece talking about Manchester United midfielder Nani, I mentioned in passing that his midfield rival Antonio Valencia was in his second season at the club – it was actually his fourth.
Obviously this kind of thing isn’t all that important, and didn’t affect the broad strokes of what I was arguing… but it’s still annoying to let that kind of mistake slip by.

I’m a fiction writer by instinct, and find research a bit stressful.
As much as I enjoying expanding my knowledge, learning more about the subjects that interest me, I find myself thinking about the information I’m not seeing as much as what I am. I’ve been writing a ‘Lower League Week’ for a year and a half now, and it can be a bit difficult to get my hands on information for some of the less well covered teams in England’s professional leagues. Coverage of what’s going on inside the clubs can be hard to come by, and there’s always the worry of local media glossing over the complications to keep their contacts inside the club, and fans reactions being clouded by emotion, often over-reacting one way or the other.
Personally, I prefer to get the foundations right, and then go off on tangents, inventing my own stuff. Unfortunately, I think this tends to be frowned on in factual writing.

I've been told dozens of times that the phrase 'and then the cake came to life and invaded the pitch' has no place in a football match report.
I’ve been told dozens of times that the phrase ‘and then the giant cake came to life, looking down upon the pitch with it’s cherry stalk eyes’ has no place in a football match report.

Stieg Larrson, a very influential journalist in his field, reportedly wrote the ‘Girl with a Dragon Tattoo’ books in the evenings, as a way of unwinding. Previously I hadn’t been able to understand that – I’m generally the kind of writer to plan things out in massive detail in advance, before getting started. I take story structure and character development very seriously, it winds me up enormously when a character behaves in a way that I feel clashes with their previously established behaviour, or a twist comes along that feels forced and artificial.
But I’ve been finding in recent months that, when I’ve got so many ideas going round in my head, there’s some that excite me more than others, and it’s useful to think of those as a kind of treat – things I can let loose and be more natural when writing, without worrying quite so much.
It might not be the ideal way to accomplish it, but one of my key aims when setting up this blog was to get myself writing more quickly and on a regular basis, rather than trying to make everything perfect, moving at a snail’s pace, and finishing nothing.
I’m currently trying to reach a pace of writing that I find difficult, but it’s better than the alternative.

As with actual spinning plates there are techniques to make the trick easier.
Just this past week I’ve gotten half a story written on Sunday night, 2 and a half thousand words written in a few hours. Not only was this a decent achievement by my standards, it left me feeling refreshed, and more energised for the factual work I had in my ‘to do’ list. I’ve also enjoyed collaborating on what could be a rare case of football-themed comedy that actually ends up being funny.

Really, I need to be better at both de-stressing and forcing myself to sit down to get first drafts of things completed. I’ve still got a lot to learn, but I feel as if I’m moving in the right direction.


Squawka: Adam Le Fondre, Super-Sub

This one’s from a few weeks ago, that I forgot to link.

However, it’s a look back to the last Premier League season, so nothing’s out of date. I looked at Reading striker Adam Le Fondre, looking at when he’s scored his goals, whether he was better deployed from the bench or when starting – basically an overall look at his season.

Adam Le Fondre, earlier in his career. Between matches, of course.
Adam Le Fondre, earlier in his career. Between matches, I think.

With Le Fondre being a major part of Reading’s campaign to return to the top flight, as well as being linked with moves to Leeds, Hull and Leicester, he should be a key player for someone next season.

Click here to read Adam Le Fondre: Scouting Report