Tuesday, 28 August 2012


it's a temporary transformation before and during the carnival. the morphing of prosperous shops into boarded-up hulks, hiding their pricey wares under slabs of chipboard. the graffiti mob are in like flynn, making the most of all those suddenly and briefly legitimate targets:

Monday, 27 August 2012

Saturday, 25 August 2012

they never learn

You have to assume this dude has never heard of Liam Stacey or of the short stint in prison that Stacey got for spewing out a load of racist abuse the day that Fabrice Muamba had a cardiac arrest at White Hart Lane:

Yes, it's disappointing when your team get a solid beating. But did you notice any QPR or Norwich fans laying into their teams' players in this fashion last week? Southend-based Alan Haywood, though, feels that it's OK to have a go at every member of the West Ham side that got turned over by Swansea today. The black players? For the charming Mr. Haywood they get to be called "nigger".

Call the cops? Someone will. He shouldn't be hard to track down. A number of people on Twitter are claiming to know that he works in the Southend branch of the Mecca bingo hall chain. Someone has even tweeted a mobile number that is meant to be his. Perhaps Alan will get a better haircut in jail:

In the meantime, consider whether this sort of nastiness is out of character. Looking at some of Haywood's gems, you'd have to think perhaps not. He's big on making aggressively sexual remarks, often directly "@" young girls. He tends to get rather put out if he doesn't get the reply he's hoping for. 

During those long, lonely and frightening hours in custody, perhaps little Alan, who left Southend's Cecil Jones College in 2006, can seek comfort in his favourite Harry Potter books and Tinie Tempah tracks. Will his twenty-two Facebook friends miss him when he's offline, scared out of his wits by the hardened lags around him?

Bounceback time?

When you were disconsolately slinking away from Loftus Road on Saturday perhaps you spotted a straggle of similarly crestfallen people here and there on the Underground. Dressed in various shades of baby shit and Colman's mustard, they had just seen their team handed a spanking as severe as the one which our lot received from the visiting Swans.

Tomorrow, then, our second match this season is a basement battle, with both teams reeling from the shock of a 5-0 hammering. Norwich fans may be right to believe that their result was the less awful of the two, their defeat having been endured away from home and at the hands of more firmly established top flight opponents. But at the same time they may also be wondering about whether the infamous second season syndrome is in effect. They may also want to remind themselves that their Canaries were well beaten by a Fulham side missing its most reliable scorer, the want-away Clint Dempsey.

Surely, the idea of a second season curse can't really be said to apply to QPR because the 2011-12 campaign can only just be deemed to have been a success.Yes, relegation was avoided. But only by a very slender margin. Moreover, the Rangers' struggles were in stark contrast to the very much easier seasons enjoyed by the other two promoted teams. Both today's and last week's opponents climbed to mid-table safety and both got to bask in the warm approval of the pundits. For QPR fans, meanwhile, it became quite tiresome to hear the near-constant praise for Messrs Lambert and Rodgers, both of whose efforts were rewarded by job offers from better-resourced clubs this summer.

In both cases, however, you would be forgiven for wondering whether they have made wise, career-enhancing moves. A heavy defeat to West Brom was not an ideal start of Brendan Rodgers, and Paul Lambert fared little better, his Villa side succumbing to newly promoted West Ham. Rodgers, particularly, will need to engineer some bouncebackability. His outfit travel to the Etihad Stadium on Sunday and face Arsenal a week later. These are tough fixtures. The Anfield crowd is notoriously impatient with managers seen as outsiders and you wouldn't want to be in Rodgers's shoes three weeks into the season if, as is quite possible, the Reds are languishing on zero points.

While Villa supporters may not live with delusions of grandeur quite as inflated as those entertained at Anfield, they do seem to think in terms of deserving something rather better than a relegation scrap. Even mid-table mediocrity might not be enough to give Lambert a sense of security about his new job. But have Villa really added much talent to the side which fared so poorly under Alex McLeish? 

Lambert's replacement is the affable Chris Hughton, a nice chap with many years of coaching experience but a more slender CV in terms of managerial experience. But Delia Smith & co. clearly saw enough good in his short stint at Bummingham Titty to mark him out as the right man for the Carrow Road job. The appointment was made early in the summer and Hughton has therefore had ample time to prepare his new outfit for the challenges ahead. New additions to the squad include fullback Steven Whittaker (an escapee from the Ibrox sinking ship) and useful-looking central midfielder winger* Robert Snodgrass (an escapee from the baleful Ken Bates regime in Leeds). In the last few days, these new arrivals have been joined by centre-half Sébastien Bassong, a player about whom QPR made enquiries last season.

Perhaps more significant than this relatively modest set of signings is the retention of last season's top scorer, the generously-proportioned Grant Holt. During the summer, the bulky journeyman was eloquent when taking to Twitter to announce his desire to leave the flatlands of Norfolk in search of new opportunities. "I have loved my three years at the club", he wrote, "and it sadness [sic] me to right [sic] this but want use [sic] to here [sic] it from me first." But Holt later retreated from this position and will continue to ply his trade in a garish and luminous shirt for the foreseeable future. So our defence, which crumbled so spectacularly last week, must be prepared for the robust physical presence of the hulking front man.

It must be quite a strange time for those Rangers defenders. Rightly highlighted for having performed poorly last Saturday, they can't have failed to notice the club's efforts to bring in reinforcements this week. Michael Dawson may be joining from Spurs and Ricardo Carvalho could be signing on loan from Real Madrid. But neither deal is done. Today, then, the incumbent defenders must find the confidence to put last week's horror show firmly behind them. Whether it is harder to do so in the knowledge that they could be soon benched in favour of new arrivals is something that only they would know. As supporters, we must simply hope that Messrs Ferdinand and Onuoha are strong enough characters for this not to be an issue at Carrow Road this afternoon.

Rob Green, too, will be well aware of the club's attempt to bring Inter Milan 'keeper Julio Cesar into the squad. Can it really be the case that Mark Hughes always intended to sign two senior goalies this summer? Can it really be true that the experienced Green - a current England international - joined QPR in the knowledge that he might spend the season fighting for his place with a rival capped sixty-four times by Brazil? This does seem hard to believe, whatever Hughes has said this week.

With a deal for the Brazilian goalkeeper as yet unconfirmed, Green, just like the defenders in front of him, will need to bounce back swiftly from the opening day debacle. At least this week he will not have to contend with any QPR fans ill-advisedly singing the praises of his predecessor, Paddy Kenny. As discussed here on Monday, Kenny has plummeted from hero to zero in the eyes of many of the Rangers faithful. We knew about his moronic retweeting of some minor local hack having a dig at Rob Green. We knew about his bitter bullshit when taken to task by angry QPR fans. But now we know he went further, disgracing himself with a series of messages sent to Tony Fernandes and Mike Rigg. Well, we always knew that Kenny was possibly a bit of a loon - his brawling in the street and getting his eyebrow bitten off stands out as evidence for this. But we didn't know what a nasty piece of work he could be. Oh well. You live and learn. Don't get too close to your heroes and all that.

In the aftermath of this silly incident, we learn that Neil Warnock has insisted on Kenny quitting Twitter. Quite right too. If the silly sod is not smart enough to enjoy it without getting himself in trouble then he's better off not having an account. In a fairer and more benign world, Joey Barton would learn the same lesson.

It's very difficult to predict the outcome of today's match in Norfolk. Much trickier fixtures lie ahead. All we can do is hope that the Rangers come home with at least a point. We don't have a bad side. However much the newspapers want to talk up the idea of a poorly conceived QPR transfer policy, the truth remains that the Rangers have added quality throughout the side and for a lot less money than the likes of West Ham  and Sunderland are prepared to spunk on just one player from relegated Wolves. So our lads ought to have a decent chance today and in the weeks ahead. Let's see. Surely all that summertime confidence can't have evaporated this quickly, can it?

U RRRRRRRRRRsssssssssss

* thanks to a friendly Norwich fan for the correction

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

England's next manager?

Watch out, Roy Hodgson. Belief in your ability to guide England to World Cup glory is not universal. Someone out there is sure you're not the man for the job and that you may vacate the hot seat even before the great Brazilian party kicks off in summer 2014. Yes, Roy, you have a stalking horse. Someone is waiting in the wings, expecting you to fail and already campaigning to take your place.

Who could it possibly be? Pardew? Redknapp? Guess again. The person most determined to by England's next manager is Ms. Tara Stout, a former sports journalist from South Wales. She's never managed a football team at any level and there's the small matter of her not being male. So, were the FA ever to give her the job, it would be a truly ground-breaking appointment.

You think she's joking? You might just reconsider if you met her. Sitting outside a cafe on London's Gloucester Road, Tara outlines her plan with incredible passion and seriousness, albeit with regular bursts of infectious laughter. She also readily concedes that as her campaign unfolds, she expects to encounter disbelief and derision. She knows her ambitious plan will be treated as a joke and laughs once again at the suggestion that surely this is all a comedy project, or an extended piece of performance art, rather than an earnest endeavour.

Tara Stout - England's next manager?

But Tara is used to doubters. When she describes her freelance sports journalism gigs at the likes of 5 Live, ONdigital and Sky Sports, she talks of being set up to fail but managing to get the job done despite others willing her not to succeed.

In these roles, Tara got plenty of opportunities to gain an understanding of footballers and football managers, it often being her task to attempt to draw out interesting answers from her interviewees. When setting out her credentials for Roy Hodgson's job, she emphasises the value of the insights that she says she gained into the mindset of the modern professional player and gaffer.

But what else would she bring to the job? She is quick to list a number of qualities that she sees as so crucial that they more than mitigate for her lack of experience and obvious credibility. One of these, she says, is an incredible will to win. She recalls interviews with managers of the Premier League's less glamorous clubs, in which the boss speaks of not expecting to beat the big sides. "I don't get it!" she exclaims. "Every team should be aiming to win every game! Every team should be given the belief that it can win the title". She then scoffs at suggestions that this is unrealistic and that it is simply prudent for most clubs to play the percentages and focus on the games that really are winnable.

So does she think that England would win the World Cup under a Tara Stout regime? "Absolutely," she grins. "I'm doing this to get the trophy. No shadow of a doubt." She contrasts this with less ambitious talk from Roy Hodgson and believes that the current England boss is effectively planning for failure and mediocrity.

When speaking about Hodgson and his various predecessors, she also bemoans the expensive contracts in which the FA has become entangled. "That would be another great reason to give me the job," she explains. "I'd take it on a freelance basis. I always worked on that basis as a journalist and I used to turn down offers of a more secure role. I preferred the freedom of freelancing and the sense of being kept constantly on my toes, of constantly having to prove myself. I think the England job should be exactly like that."

Determination, a will to win, insight and flexibility - these, then, are the qualities that Tara Stout says she believes will win her Roy Hodgon's job some day soon. These attributes, she claims, will more than make up for a lack of experience and for the very obvious disadvantage of being a woman.

This all sounds completely insane, right? She's bonkers, you're thinking. The interesting thing is, while you're bound to start any conversation with Tara in exactly that frame of mind, her apparent self-belief is expressed so strongly and so consistently, you may find yourself wondering if maybe, just maybe, there might be something in what she says. After all, Tottenham were mad enough to hire AVB. QPR were crazy enough to sign Joey Barton. It is a funny old game, as Saint and Greavsie used to say. So who knows?

But aside from her gender and her unconventional professional background vis-a-vis a career in football management, might anything else hold back the irrepressible Tara Stout?

One handicap she may have to deal with is her somewhat chequered reputation in some football circles.

If you've been thinking that Tara's name is somewhat familiar to you, this will be because of  some of her infamous past exploits. In 2006, for example, her name was cited in the divorce proceedings of football's Mrs. squeaky clean, Gary Lineker. Tara repeats now what she said then - that she and Lineker had exchanged saucy text messages but that nothing beyond that ever occurred. 

Later the same year, Tara hit the headlines again. This time, she was found guilty of harassing the then Chairman of Crystal Palace, the perma-tanned Simon Jordan. It does not seem wise to repeat all of what Tara told this is my england about the former Glaziers supremo. After all, she herself points out that Jordan can be a tad litigious. So let's not get into the ins and outs of the case or the nature of her relationship with the outspoken mobile phone tycoon.

One thing that it does seem safe to repeat, however, is Tara's contention that the idea for her current campaign to be the England boss arose, to some degree, as a result of her dealings with Jordan. Throughout our conversation, she claims to have repeatedly asked the former Eagles Chairman to hand the running of the  South London club to her. She felt, she says, that she would have done a far better job of it than he did.

A chat with the woman who wants to be England's next football manager? Hilarious and strange. You go along expecting a bit of a loon. But while her ideas are undeniably whacky and her stories are often hair-raising, it's difficult not to warm to this animated, interesting and genuinely funny person. It's no surprise, perhaps, that her CV includes a short stint in comedy as well as sports journalism, selling tequila in nightclubs, time in jail and a stint on the run among the gangsters of Marbella. But is the joke on her? Or might it be on all those who dismiss her crazy-sounding plans? England's next manager? Get down the bookies and put a few quid on. With odds as long as you'd doubtless get, you'd be mad not to have a little punt on the most determined candidate you'll ever meet for the job.


the space lately cleared of stu's work has now seen the addition of stuff from Psalms 34:

silver runners

Monday, 20 August 2012

one disappointment after another

A number of decent signings. An encouraging set of pre-season friendly matches. Lots of positive noises. Hence all the talk of a strong start to the new campaign and all the chatter about a mid-table finish. Blue skies. A hot, sunny day. Cold beers in the pubs of Shepherds Bush. Good vibes.

But then the long-anticipated kick-off rolled round and down we came. Straight back to earth with a resounding bump. QPR's worst home defeat for over sixty years, trumping the misery of the previous season's opening day thrashing at the hands of Bolton Wanderers. Anti-climax? That term doesn't begin to describe the scale of the let-down. Unpleasant and unwanted feelings to be experiencing, then, compounded horribly for anyone whose journey home involved the sweltering sweat-box of the London Underground, shared as far as Paddington with a cacophonously jubilant Welsh male voice choir.

Post-mortem reports of the match can be found all over the place. So there's little point in presenting another one here. Suffice it to say, however, that the feeling here can be summarised as follows:

  • For much of the first half the Rangers actually looked OK and looked as if they might turn the game around. In that first period there were encouraging moments of play from Messrs. Park and Hoilett.
  • The worst frustration was seeing the indecisive, hesitant play at the heart of the QPR defence in the disastrous and farcical second half of the match. It's all very well directing your ire towards the errors of debutant goalkeeper, but Rob Green was horribly exposed on numerous occasions by the players immediately in front of him, three of whom were not new signings.
  • It is far too early to tell what this result means. It's too early to panic. It's too early to assume that the squad we have is not going to be good enough to put together a decent season. It's also too early to assume that no more signings are in the pipeline. We also don't yet know what the addition of Bosingwa will mean for Saturday's worryingly ineffective back line.

Notwithstanding this last point - this refusal to be overly despondent on the basis of one shockingly bad result - many of us are, of course, looking forward grimly to a proper piss-taking from workmates this morning. Perhaps some of your friends and neighbours have already had their fun at your expense. But you will soldier on, just as you did when the Superhoops got tonked at Stamford Bridge and at Craven Cottage last season. Just as you did on many, many disappointing occasions in the past. It goes with the territory and we all know that disappointments like Saturday's only serve to make the good times seem all the sweeter when they come. Perhaps we can even think of it as a good thing that we are still clearly some way from supporting a boringly reliable mid-table side. Who wants that, right? Right??

So, off we all went. Back from Loftus Road to enjoy what remained of our weekends. Surely no other major disappointments would follow. Surely we could just get on with barbecues, beer gardens and time with the family. Good times. Getting over Saturday's kick in the nuts. Sure, the Sunday papers and the Sunday morning rerun of the Match of the Day were always going to rub salt in the wounds. But you don't have to read the Sunday papers and you don't have to watch MOTD.

No, though. There was another disappointment to be endured.

This came in the form of a former player spoiling the generally quite high regard in which he was held by many QPR supporters. So here we see Paddy Kenny joining the ranks of professional footballers whose use of Twitter serves to tarnish a reputation and expose a more unpleasant personality that you would hope for on the part of someone for whom you feel some degree of affection. Here we see Kenny retweeting  the words of a freelance journalist who wanted to mock Rob Green's performance and suggest the former Rangers 'keeper would have done a better job. Then, following some predictable outrage from offended QPR fans, we see Kenny describing the R's as a "tinpot club":

It is perfectly understandable that Kenny may harbour some ill feeling towards QPR. It can't be pleasant to be rejected so publicly, especially after two years of contributing to successful campaigns - first a promotion campaign and then a battle to avoid relegation. It's also understandable that he may not regard his replacement with unalloyed respect. Understandable, too, if he felt some schadenfreude on learning of Green's difficult debut match at Loftus Road. BUT HE DID NOT NEED TO MAKE HIS FEELINGS PUBLIC. In doing so, he comes across as bitter, resentful and petty - quite at odds with the somewhat happy-go-lucky Paddy Kenny's Having a Party image that seemed to exist in the minds of many QPR fans. But now we know better. Just another berk without enough emotional intelligence to know when to keep his trap shut. Don't get too close to your heroes - a maxim that needs to be repeated quite often when it comes to professional footballers. The closer insight into their thoughts that has been made possible by Twitter makes this a more valid piece of advice than ever before. Certainly, in the case of Paddy Kenny, we can see in one day the transformation of a player's image from generally positive to clearly negative, as our former goalkeeper decided that the best way to deal with one pissed-off Rangers supporter was to write "fuck off you tit" and complain of a lack of respect:

Notwithstanding that fact that Kenny's resentment towards his former club is somewhat understandable, the fact that he chose to express it publicly was another unpleasant surprise, coming in the wake of the weekend's bigger disappointment, the awful result on Saturday.

No surprise, though, that Joey Barton can continue to irritate supporters of the club that currently pays his wages:

Commenting in these terms on the performance of a team mate? Making it clear that he'd rather be playing for Newcastle United? Making it clear that he considers Magpies supporters to be a superior breed to the Londoners who currently endure his bullshit? Very unwise. Very typical.

Wouldn't it be good if there's enough here to constitute a breach of club discipline to the point where QPR can just get rid of this poisonous character without paying him off? That would, perhaps, make up just a little for the disappointments of a bad start to the new season. But it's surely too much to hope for. Even assuming things do rapidly improve for our club, it seems wildly optimistic to suppose we've seen the last of QPR's sociopathic bad egg.

U RRRRRRRRRRssssssssssssssssss

Saturday, 18 August 2012

A hot day for Baaaaaacelona?

The sun is up. The sky is blue. Sweltering weather is promised.

The pubs are calling. The pubs huddled on the corner of Shepherds Bush Green. The pubs up, down and between the Uxbridge and Goldhawk Roads. So get on the Western Avenue. Get on the Westway. Get on the Central Line. Get on the Hammersmith and City Line. Get yourself down the Rangers 'cos it's that time again. Time to let go of the arse end of summer. Time to dig in for ten months of twists and turns.

Up first? Welsh interlopers in an English league. Interlopers? Yes, yes. Hell, yes.

It's impossible to cross that bridge and enter the Principality, especially to see a game of football, and not sense a degree of hostility towards dear old Eng-er-lund. Sometimes you even get the impression the cheeky buggers would kinda like to go their own way, taking down those Union Flags and hoisting everywhere the ancient (adopted in 1953) Y Ddraig Goch. What's that? You don't like merrie England, Mr. Taffy Thomas? Not a fan of the sturdy bulldog breed then, Mr. Dai the Steam? Is that ugly beast on your standard a bit of a green-eyed monster? Pissed off that you have not won first prize in the lottery of life? Fair enough. Shit happens. But if you feel that way, do please pick up your bastard Swansea City and your ruddy Cardiff Lucky Red Dragons and take them to where they belong. Take them to play their natural opponents - Airbus UK, Cefn Druids and the snappily named The New Saints of Oswestry Town & Llansantffraid Football Club (no more dancing on the streets of Total Network Solutions).

In the meantime, though, we must entertain visitors from that hostile little province. You know the ones. The ones whose team was swept along by an intense media wankfest last season, every hack in the land getting hard and moist at the sight of a side that kept the ball for ages and ages without going forward. Drooling over the wannabe tika-taka. So compelling was this slow and tidy keepball that the mighty Liverpool have broken a few Jacks' hearts by pinching the mastermind who made it happen. So Brendan Rodgers is on Merseyside now, continuing the good work of his predecessor there and sticking to the plan of paying too much for British players. Notably, Rodgers has somehow got around the much-publicised matter of not being supposed to take players from his former club. Exit Joe Allen. For FIFTEEN MILLION QUID. Sweet Jesus. The game is bonkers. The Rangers have pretty much built a new team for less than that.

So let's see how Swansea get on minus the midfield maestro of their Barça-lite stylings. Directing the proceedings will be Brian Michael Laudrup, fresh from bickering with the directors of troubled Spanish side Mallorca. Prior to that gig, Laudrup was moving between Spain and Russia, making a name for himself as a proponent of an attractive style of play and as someone who didn't care to remain at any given club for more than a year.

Pitted against the visitors is a Rangers side studded with new signings. Mockers wanna mock. Haters gonna hate. So not everything you've read out there suggests that the Superhoops have shopped wisely. But the feeling amongst the W12 faithful is that a lot of good business has done by the club. Optimism seems to be rife. A decent win today will add to that feeling. Anything else, especially if the performance isn't great, and the doubts may start to creep in earlier rather than later. Getting spanked by Bolton on the opening day last time around was bloody horrible. But perhaps defeat then was not a total shock, given the inauspicious context of Briatore and co. still being on the scene and preventing the manager from preparing properly for the top flight. Expectations are much higher now. Let's hope against hope that these expectations are not wildly misplaced.

Right, let's get down the Rangers.

U RRRRRRRRRRRsssssssssss

Friday, 17 August 2012

spare 3/4 of an hour, mate?

... no?? then don't watch the latest from Back Ya Mouf. those globally expanding, videomagazining, plymouthoriginating chroniclers of the grubby life of alleyways, street corners & railway runners - well, the 7th vol. of their work is FORTY-TWO MINUTES long (the usual is 15). it's the usual sort of stuff, but with a bigger canvas. they Do Not Condone Violent Behaviour or Any Acts Of A Criminal Nature. who does? right? as hinted in the trailer, there's a dash of FCC action and some backchat from THE ARTIST TAXI DRIVER. musicaleclecticismmmmmm. Float Ma Boat and I'll Back Ya Mouf.

pARt two
pT 3.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012


Twenty-four million quid for an injury-prone player who wants to leave, who has only a year to go on his contract and who has only really had one truly cracking recent season. Yes, a good bit of business by Arsenal today, especially if Messrs Giroud and Podolski prove to be decent signings. But the best bit about it is that Piers Morgan is now obliged to jump off Santa Monica pier and be dragged down into the Pacific by lead weights. Back in November he promised to do exactly that in the event of Robin van Persie leaving the north London club:

It's anyone's guess as to why Morgan felt that his suicide threat would discourage the Dutch forward from seeking new opportunities away from the Emirates Stadium. But it must be something to do with the incredible hubris of the man. The preening ninny may actually believe he's a widely liked public figure rather than an object of scorn. Christ, he's even disliked simply for his smugness and smarminess by people who don't remember he was fired by a tabloid newspaper for being conned into printing photos that purported to depict British soldiers abusing an Iraqi man but which turned out to be fakes. Perhaps you will recall a former commander of the defamed regiment commenting that the Mirror's error had put lives in danger and had served as a recruiting poster for al-Qaeda. If you do remember that comment, you may have found it very rum indeed when Morgan spent much of his time during the Olympics handing out Twitter lectures on patriotism to any British medal winners who chose not to belt out a lusty rendition of God Save the Queen.

He's a massive egoist and a hypocritical shit, isn't he? Wouldn't it be great if concrete evidence of his involvement in phone hacking does come to light. Still, perhaps that's beside the point if the sociopathic bell-end is going to make good his promise down in Santa Monica today.

Go on, Piers! DO IT!

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

more runners

the graffiti bombing of FIRST CAPITAL CONNECT goes on and on. more runners seen yesterday - one piece seen from INSIDE (but not outside) a train heading south, and some other bits seen from outside another heading north:

Monday, 13 August 2012

trainspotting (runners)

always a pleasure to find this blog pimped out or bigged up somewhere nice. very much the case today with venerable scrapbook-cum-blog Hurt You Bad using a number of this is my england pix of FIRST CRAPITAL CONNECT choo-choos bedecked with RUNNERS:

... this is in the wake of the Back Ya Mouf mob doing the same... feelin the love here... 

for the uninitiated, a RUNNER, in this context, is a piece of graffiti seen by the public on a MOVING train. back in the late 1980s, the combined forces of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and the New York City Transit Authority (NYCTA) had ensured that no graffitied trains were in service across the big apple's subway system. this policy has since been copied elsewhere, with london underground reportedly working to prevent any illicitly decorated rolling stock from being used. if they can't immediately get the graffiti cleaned off of a carriage, the story goes, the tube supremos take it out of service. perhaps the same usually goes for FCC, but Hurt You Bad and The London Vandal have both noticed a lot more runners of late on that part of our SE England railway network and others besides.  the latter blog theorises that this is about the olympic games - i.e. with tourists in town and claims made for the efficacy of our public transport, the train operators have let stock covered in graffiti out of the depot rather than take it out of use and thereby cause delays. as henry the mild-mannered janitor used to say, "could be". tho that said, this is my england has been spotting this stuff fairly regularly since as long ago as november 2011.

Friday, 10 August 2012

london orbital pride

a jolly spiffing sunshiney day for flocking into london for the last gasp of the olympics. bring your union flags, your penis mascot t-shirts and all that, and marvel at the good work of those lovely people whose mission it is to mitigate the horribleness of the first capital connect colour scheme:

look closely at the coffee pot

Dave did this:

... so beau bo d'or did this:

advertising works

because I will NEVER forget this:

it's a drag

haven't thought about this stuff for ages... then it pops, unbidden, into the head again... gawd only knows what that says about the state of mind...

they were made some time in the 1980s by the late Tom Rubnitz, a video artist associated with NYC's East Village drag queen scene. fuck knows what they mean, but that doesn't matter:

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Who's Solly now?

Back in February, this blog considered some of the utter tools who disgrace themselves while using Twitter to share their stupidity, nastiness and weirdness with a global audience. Specifically, reference was made to twerps who said remarkably ridiculous and unpleasant things in response to English football's two infamous cases of racially abusive language on the pitch last season.

Of the two berks discussed, one stood out as the more peculiar, a certain Solethu Feni, a Liverpool fan from South Africa. By no means the only idiot to have written utter bollocks in 'defence' of Luis Suarez in the wake of the Uruguayan's racist abuse of Patrice Evra, Feni was probably one of the more notable buffoons.

There wasn't much notable about what Feni said. Calling Stan Collymore a "black cunt" and Rio Ferdinand a "monkey" is pretty much par for the course when it comes to the level of discourse often seen on Twitter. What was slightly more interesting, though, was the strong evidence (his name, his photos) to suggest that Feni is a black man himself.

Although this is my england tweeted Mr. Feni with a link to the blog post mentioning him, he did not respond at the time. Now, however, nearly six months later, he has suddenly noticed the piece and stated his intention to pursue a legal action:

The grounds for any such action seem rather unclear. He tweeted what he tweeted. This blog simply flagged up what he said before wondering why a black South African would say such things. So he can't be thinking in terms of libel or defamation of character.

But it's disingenuous to pretend to wonder when Feni's lawyer will be in touch and what the nature of the legal action would be. Because he is clearly not serious. After all, while some foreign nationals do enjoy hitting UK courts for a spot of libel tourism, only the very wealthy can afford to do this - and Feni is clearly not a high net worth individual. How do we know? Well, yesterday he wrote a (since deleted?) tweet stating that he is twenty-nine years old and earns an average South African salary. Given that an average monthly wage in that country seems to be around the £250 mark, you'd have to assume that he'd get short shrift were he to ask the likes of Carter-Fuck to represent him in a British court.

Silly Solethu. Still, at least these days he doesn't seem to be pretending that he lives in England or that he made it to this year's League Cup Final.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012


"Well", wrote street artist stu bags this morning, "we knew this day would arrive".

As this is my england regulars will know, stu has been the master of a chunk of wall on the corner of a Camden street for many months. Watched by this blog for more than a year now, stu has returned again and again to that same space - adding new works when old ones are destroyed; sometimes himself removing stuff of which he has become tired; tinkering with some of the more durable pieces. But this is the state of the rectangle right now:

What happened? Well, Camden Council clearly decided enough was enough. They'd rather have passers-by see a sticky mess than an eclectic, fluxing collection of street art pieces. stu, naturally enough, is not terribly impressed, as evidenced by the terse message on this sticker:

stu actually saw the destruction of his work in progress. What a weird feeling he must have had when he watched the chaps hired by the council labouring away for ages to chisel off his giant QR code made of coins of the realm. It went on long enough for him to capture the action with his camera:

photo by stu bags
So what now? Will stu ever focus his efforts on that rectangle again? Or has this week's destruction been altogether too discouraging?

Tuesday, 7 August 2012


tags, gags, raps, pranks; bins, sins, tins, dins & wobbly idents by reeky street drinkers; balefulbouncesoundtrack. thus are the videomagazinethingys of Plymouth's Back Ya Mouf; each fizzes on for like 12 or even 15 minutes that you'll never get back so think before watching a whole one; but this more bytesized-trailer for Vol. Seven gives the flava of it. looks like the boys (?) have shifted up from Devon to Londinium as we can see FCC trains and a microsecond of the Artist Taxi Driver; all good:

got time? want to see previous volumes? here they are (yes, #3 is missing)