Thursday, December 15, 2005

Another Football Rant

So Roy Keane is going to be a Celtic player. If the popular press is right, he's going to drop 70 grand a week, which makes for for very interesting sums. Was he on 110 grand a week, down to 40? Or maybe a more prosaic 90 down to 20? Either way, the poor lad is apparently worth three and a half million pounds a year less than he was. And for what? The Celtic fans hate him already for being an English has-been, and you can be sure the Rangers fan will hate the little Taig anyway. If he gets the chance, Mick McCarthy will enjoy the Celtic fans shouting "You're not even Scottish, you Irish cunt." (That's an inside joke, by the way, if you were paying attention to Ireland at the last World Cup).
I'm really looking forward to the next Old Firm game - I bet Roy Keane is going to be a lovely, calming influence. Not at all like Paul Gascoigne or Graham Roberts.
Speaking of which, I also believe it's long since time Rangers and Celtic fucked off to the English Premier League, where I imagine they'll be very succesful after a year or two. And Dundee United will then win everything in Scotland always.

Monday, December 12, 2005

The Quality of Mercy

"The Governor of the State of California has been asked to grant last-minute clemency to the former LA gang leader Stanley Williams, convicted of three murders in 1979, and due to die tonight. He has decided not to do so.
Commuting the sentence would have meant that 51-year-old Williams, the author of a number of children's books and a nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize, would spend the rest of his life behind bars. Instead he will die by lethal injection in the next few hours."
Before I carry on with this, I'll make my position clear. Clearish. I oppose the death penalty without qualification. There is no sense in which it can be wrong for an individual to take life - for personal, selfish, greedy or even altruistic motives - but yet it can be right for a state, with all the alternatives available, to cold-bloodedly take life. The difference here is that the individual may or may not act in cold blood, but if the state puts someone to death it is by definition - and by the long process of law in the US - cold-blooded. When the state decides execution is appropriate it does so after many, many years. Many, many years in which there was enough time to think 'Why the fuck are we doing this then? In our name?'
This decision has been made tonight by Arnold Schwarzenegger. An Austrian who entered the US as an illegal immigrant, which is fine, then made his name beyond his wildest dreams as an actor. I didn't make this up did I? You really elected this bloke?
I refer you to Girl:

"The main rule I abide by though, is this: never fuck actors. Simple.


To get up on a stage or film set and be able to switch off the world, whilst also project realistic emotion and thought, requires skill and deftness in being artificial; an ability to convince others of sincerity is, after all, what makes an actor’s performance believable. But it is all superficial and every actor I have met carries this falsity in the interactions they have off-screen as well as on."

So, don't fuck them. And don't elect them to public office either.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

It's not me, it's him.

Things you never had to deal with before you were a parent: taking days off because the offspring is sick.
Like everyone, I've taken the odd day off sick in my working life. Everyone, that is, except a former colleague I shall only call TR and who Has Never Taken A Day Off Sick in his life. How sad - sorry, I mean fortunate - is that? He was one of those kids who got the Perfect Attendance prize at school, in an unfortunate attempt at making the rest of us feel like workshy bastards. And to draw attention from the fact that his exam results lacked a little something.
Anyway. Today I had to phone in Vicariously Sick. Sick by proxy, like that Munchausen bloke.
Graeme Jr had a serious dose of vomiting and diaorrhea (you spell it better, matey), and there was no choice but to stay at home with him. That sounds callous, the 'no choice' thing, but there's always a balance between 'can I afford to lose my job, and thus never be able to pay the mortgage again?' and 'my child is ill, this is the most important thing in the world ever'.
There's a lot of guilt associated with phoning in sick. There's also a lot of people who don't give a fuck, I guess, but I'm not considering them. Phoning in sick as a parent ("It's not me, it's my kid. He's only two but already he's a workshy bastard and I'll be in as soon as he's sorted himself out. Sometime in 2027, I imagine.") doubles the guilt dose. I might as well say "It's not me, it's him"
Anyway, my point is - not many employers are geared up for employees needing time for their children. Which is odd, considering most employers have children. Or is it? Most of my former managers either have little wifies at home or nannys on tap and don't recognise the problem.
Trying to get them to understand that my wife has the career and I'll do the stay-at-home stuff is amusing. Maybe 'amusing' isn't the precise word.
Any road up. Phoning in sick for yourself is hard enough, but phoning in sick for your kids makes you feel like a lying fucker. You may feel differently.