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Sunday, 25 June 2006

Germany 2, Sweden 0...

Awoken by crows – belligerent, inarticulate Daleks squabbling and squawking over their pecking order.


The cause(s)?

Pimms (1x 1 litre bottle)

Waitrose Bavarian Wheatbeer (4 x 50 cl. bottles)

Beck’s (4 x 50 cl. cans)

[Brief bartender digression. To make the perfect Pimms, invert the recommended ratio of one measure of Pimms to 3 measures lemonade. It doesn’t taste any better, but by Christ it gets you hammered.]

The football. Well, what should have been a glorious global celebration of the beautiful game as the tournament reaches the knockout stage descended predictably into the familiar English nightmare. Too much sun, too much booze too much hard right politics all coalescing into blind, ugly violence and unforgivable bigotry. Apparently there was some trouble with the England fans in Stuttgart too…

Podolski and Klose started it. Klose with his shameful playacting and imaginary card waving, going down like a bag of spuds at the merest of shoulder-charges from behind. Then Podolski with his patronising pat on the back for the grinning, imbecilic little Brazilian referee as he ordered the hapless Swede off. Game effectively over 20 minutes in.

This inevitably sparked off terrace trouble in our particular section of the living room (sorry, Liebensraum…) “You cunt, Podolski. You absolute total and utter CUNT! You’ve ruined the game now, you absolute cunt of a grinning, imbecilic cunt ref!” And so on for the remainder of the first half. I’ve just given you the edited highlights here. The rest was pretty unprintable (…and THAT’S saying something, isn’t it Cuntiad readers?)

The second half banter was slightly more rational and measured, frequent references being made to (I think this is his name) Richard Feinman’s classic study, The Nazi Doctors. It is an excellent, if somewhat depressing piece of scholarship charting the tragic unfolding of the work of the German medical profession in Nazi Germany. They began by experimenting on the disabled and mentally handicapped – those they considered to be “life unworthy of life”. These experiments proved fruitful, They learned, for instance, that if you put a series of holes in the skull of a young patient and then leave them lying on a trolley without food or water or medical supervision for a reasonable amount of time, the child will eventually die. What’s tragic about the book is that it reveals the part played in what - when their attentions were transferred from the 'problem' of disability to that of the Jews of Europe - eventually became The Holocaust, by so-called men of science. A lesson for today’s geneticists, perhaps? I certainly haven’t trusted doctors since. Or dentists, for that matter.

Still, forgive and forget, eh?

I know all this shouldn’t really be used against the current German national team – or mannschaft, in Gary Lineker's mischievous half-time innuendo. In any case, it’s quite enough reason to dislike them because they have among their number soon-to-be Cheslea leg end (that’s deliberately two words, btw) Michael Ballack. This should shame me, I know, but even it was revealed that he donated nine tenths of his salary to worthy animal rights causes and had been personally responsible for preventing this year’s Canadian seal cull, I’d still take one look at his face and want to kick it vigorously.

So, trouble in Stuttgart? Well, if they will allow Cuntiad readers in, what do they expect? The thought of CuntboticsRback and his battalions of well-meaning, liberal-with-a-small-L, lager louts let loose on the poor unsuspecting towns volk of Germany, their Berliner-format copies of the Cuntiad painstakingly folded to form the infamous “Farringdon Bricks” with which they will club good, honest New Labour values into the traumatised mullets of Mittel Europe – well, it just makes you ashamed to be Middle Class, doesn’t it?

I think I prefer the original working class hoolies, like the ones Morrissey sang about in ‘We’ll let you know’:

We’re all smiles
And honest I swear it’s just the turnstiles
That make us hostile…

The same chav chaps appear in ‘Reader, meet author’ – and you really could benefit from listening to this CuntboticsRback:

You don’t know a thing about our lives.
Books won’t help us, they’re not Stanley lives.

You know? – the idea that some people are the authors of their own lives, not just automata… Now, where did I put that Stanley knife?

I’m reminded, for some reason, of Larkin’s poem, ‘This be the verse’ – you know CuntboticsRback, it’s the famous one where he uses the Fuck word at the beginning. Later he writes:

Man hands on misery to man
It deepens to a coastal shelf.

I wrote in my dissertation that he makes the land itself sound synonymous with the misery. I think, on reflection, that that stretches the line a bit too far, but it is exactly what happens in England, for me. We become a part of the misery – all those tiny houses, the greyness, the shittiness. And, for now, all those fucking flags…

Still, forgive and forget, eh?

Later we watch the “No Hiding Place” episode of Whatever happened to the Likely Lads? It’s the one where Bob and Terry are trying to avoid the score of the England v Bulgaria qualifier so they can watch the highlights later in the evening. There’s a part where Terry offers his pat appraisals of various nationalities and ethnic groupings:

Koreans (“Cruel”) Germans (“Arrogant”) Italians (“Greasy. But not as greasy as the French”)

And so on.

It also features my favourite ever line. “We interrupt this programme to take you over to Sophia for an urgent newsflash and pillocks to poor old Zebedee…”

They manage to avoid finding out the score only to turn on the television and find that Match of the Day has been replaced by the European Figure skating champions. Match abandoned. Waterlogged pitch. How English is that?

England v. Ecuador today. It will be unbearable if they win. And unbearable if they lose. Like Alfie said, “they ain’t got you one way, they got you another, ain’t they?”

Derek would have been 71 today. God bless you mate – I miss you.

© 2006 Swipe Enterprises

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