Sunday, July 09, 2006

Jottings in lieu of listening to people talking bollocks about football

Children, if you are reading this because you think that old uncle Vicus is quite funny in his depraved way, then read no further. This article contains a very naughty word. It is not clever to use it, and you will get into trouble if your parents find out.

There. That should have done the trick.

The BBC has chosen as it theme music for the world cup "See the conquering hero comes" from Judas Maccabaeus by Handel.

You know the one - da da de dum dum, da dee da dee da dee da.

A lovely tune, very memorable and uplifting.

Unfortunately, it was written to celebrate the achievements of prince William, duke of Cumberland. He was a complete cunt. Even by the standards of the British royal family, even by the standards of the worst manifestations of British imperialism he was a complete cunt. The only good thing to say about him was that he helped in the downfall of Charles Stuart, who was also a cunt, but not quite such a complete one. I suspect that God might have intervened in this one, to make sure that neither of these complete cunts became monarch.

Back at the music, an analogy would be for Joni Mitchell to write a song about Dubya's marvelous foreign policy.

So, here we have an interesting paradox. Is it fitting that the current world cup be linked with a wonderful piece of music, or that it be linked with one of history'’s complete cunts?

I haven'’t seen all of the games in this competition, so I do not know whether there have been any memories that would do justice to the music of old Georg Frederick. None that I have seen, for sure. Argentina looked good against teams that allowed them to look good. But on the quality that I have seen, then perhaps, at best, Henry Mancini would be the composer to pick. Or have songs written by Stock, Aitken and Waterman. Or sung by Petula Clark.

I will remember this tournament more for the continued appalling rule breaking and wishy-washy enforcement that has characterised almost all World Cups. The continuing theme seems to be to cheat the better teams and players out of the competition.

My remedies to stamp out this behaviour are as follows:

  • Introduction of the 10 minute sin bin for a yellow card.
  • A fine, based upon a percentage of the weekly wage of the player, for all dissent; for example holding your arm up to indicate to the referee that the throw-in should be 10% of your weekly salary. Remonstrating with a referee or linesman should be a 100% fine. There should be no limit on the number of times these fines should be levied during a match. (Therefore it would be possible to be fined 3000% of your weekly salary during a single game). These fines would have to be paid by the player, not the club or country.
  • Any player going to the floor injured (or, obviously, pretending to be injured) has to leave the field for a minimum 5 minutes for treatment.
  • Tribunals should decide on diving. Penalties for diving should be a multiple of 1 match missed.

I saw the opening game of the tri-nations yesterday. Not a classic, but far more worthy of the epithet "“beautiful game"”. And I haven'’t even got around to writing about Freddie Trueman yet.

Go on, France and Italy, prove me wrong.


Frontier Editor said...

Good to here you back in fine form Vicus, Despite my three-year stay as a guest of the Crown, I do not presume to be able to comment on English sports with even a pich of the authority you possess, but I can offer a Cromwellian anecdote to compliment your observations on Charles.

As the Roundheads finally cornered Charles and prepared to seize him, Charles demanded of the officer arresting him to see his warrant.

The officer, momentarily confused, regained his mental equilibrium and levelled his wheellock pistol at the soon to be former monarch.

Charles then replied (in paraphrase): "I have seen your warrant, and it is as fine a warrant as has ever been issued."

krusty the baker said...

I'm pretty with you here, Prince Charles and Cumberland pretty much deserved one another, just that everyone else involved didn't deserve very much of that business at all. Thoroughly nasty. But then most of history is.

jromer said...

mr. scurra! welcome back! i can identify with the frustration of music poorly matched to the occasion.
a year after the columbine shootings, the children returned to the school to the first blaring chords of Pearl Jams's "I'm Alive."
For anyone who doesn't know that song, it is about a young boy who is lied to by those he loves and wonders if it is worth it to be alive. it is a bitter song and one written from the point of view of a person who is no longer enthralled with going on.

Richard said...

I'm writing this during the penalty shoot-out. The greatest player in the world isn't taking part because he was sent off, in his final international match, for what can only be described as a piece of unmitigated thuggery.

And as if by some magical piece of justice, the Italians have just won, proving that it is possible to lose your last three penalty shoot outs and win the fourth.

Vicus Scurra said...

Unless you are the England team, Richard.
On balance, I am sorry to say I am right. A competition with loads of good players, but no team able to play the game well, with the result that the team with the best defence/defensive strategy won. And the best coach, I guess.
The end result is not a beautiful game, but a fizzled out sparkler despite all of the hype.
Maybe they should replay films of the 1970 World Cup every fourth year, and just to make it more interesting for the Brits, have a version where Banks does not get injured and Bonetti is spared the embarrassment. Or, to be more maudlin, 1958 without the Munich aircrash, or 1966 without Greaves getting injured and dropped, you know, the one where he scores 4 goals in normal time.
Now, do we get 2 weeks free of soccer before the new season starts? PLEASE?
lmgabo - back condition that causes words to get smrbacled.

Richard said...

What football?

Mr Stephen Rowe said...

*sigh* I agree with your proposals Vicus. This World Cup has been all but ruined by the cheats and whingers - just what Zidane was up to no one knows - read the last chapter of his soon-to-be-released autobiography to find out... for the Tri-Nations, we (yawn) won (yawn) again...

Interpreter Pavlov said...

Up to a point, Lord Copper...

...Judas Maccabaeus is really about an ancient Jewish folk-hero (his name means 'hammer'), the Che Guevara or even the Bin Laden of his day, whose courage and leadership sustain the liberty of his people in time of foreign oppression. This concept transferred suitably to mid-18th century England, a period marked by intense struggles with France, mostly commercial in origin. In the mid-1740s England was caught fighting on two fronts, on the Continent, where most British troops were situated, and from Scotland, where Charles Stuart (who had a claim to the English throne and who basely used the Italian spelling of his family name - 'Stuarda' rather than 'Stewart') raised the standard of revolt in Scotland, backed by French money and arms.

Charles Stuart ('Bonnie Prince Charlie') scored a few early goals, reached as far south as Derby and caused complete panic in London while they rubbed their hands in Paris. It wasn't until 'Butcher' Cumberland put the revolt down, undoubtedly brutally, that England felt safe. On his return Cumberland was hailed as a hero. His brother Frederick commissioned Handel to write the music, not the words, of a musical thanksgiving, and Judas Maccabaeus was the result. The well-known piece of music is a march taken from the overture, which is any case he 'borrowed' from an earlier oratorio of his called Joshua, and which he added later. The actual music of 'See the conquering hero comes' is unremarkable, doesn't fit the well-known tune (try it and see) and rests in decent obscurity.

In England the garden flower Dianthus barbatus is supposedly named Sweet William in Cumberland's honour, but in Scotland they call it Stinking Billy. Thank you, Vicus, for giving me the opportunity to get all this off my chest. Next time I'd like to write about female genital organs.

Frontier Editor said...

Obviously I have my Stuarts a it crossed, but at least I didn't start blathering about Jackie Stewart

Richard said...

Interpreter, he tried to set you up with the genitalia thing several times but you took the easy option again.

Carmenzta said...

Not even going to touch the debate about whatever it is you guys are talking about...

What, "cunt" is a bad word?

Vicus WELCOME BACK! How was Kansas City?

My goodness, what would we do without IP to clarify it all? I am in awe of you, IP!

Vicus Scurra said...

Carmentza, much as I love you, you will be in serious trouble if you continue to encourage Pavlov.
His only redeeming feature is to remove the title of "most irritating pedant" from me.
In my latest post, he corrected it before I had even finished posting. Don't know how he managed.
There were none of his sort over in KC, I can tell you. Had there been, then the bumper stickers I saw saying "Bush/Cheney 2004" would have been corrected to "Bush/Cheney are cunts".

Carmenzta said...

Vicus, I agree with you on that last thing. he he he

Carmenzta said...

Vicus, I agree with you on that last thing. he he he

Carmenzta said...

It is obvious that I'm having trouble with the word verification thingie. Sorry y'all.

Vicus Scurra said...

Don't worry Carmentza, Pavlov will show you where you were going wrong.

homo escapeons said...

Now that the World Cup has degraded into the razzle dazzle lowest common denominator advertising event like the f*cking Olympics the music must be updated.

In a game where grown men wince and tumble about like actors in a B Horror movie everytime another player has entered their 'bubble' the charade is up.

Puh-leeze no classical pieces for this tart it is RAP from now on. Cheesy, gangsta, ho lovin, bitch slappin', rap is what they deserve in between adverts. Of course the OSCAR needs to be awarded for the best performance by a DIVING 'lil pussy writhing in agony for 3 seconds who then runs 100 yards like a gazelle.

The jig is up. Millionaire euroleague trash footballers no longer care about the 'beautiful'game.
Word up beotch now da cup iz jus Enterf*ckingtainment!

Vicus is right, rerun the glory days. This dawg don't hunt.

btw.Loved the Brit History lesson.

Anonymous said...

Dear Vicus you are so funny. Loved the world cup music comments. So pleased to have found your blog again. Jaq

Vicus Scurra said...

Jaq. I yearn for you tragically, too. In case Jaq is not short for Jacqueline, then I meant that in a purely fraternal way.
Please come back and help me to drag the odds and sods who comment here back to some semblence of humanity.