It took me about 20 minutes to stop comparing the opening ceremony unfavourably with the Chinese but I grew in to it and turned out to be fantastic. Completely different from others but excellent. They did however miss out some great events like Lisbon 67 but what the hell, you can't have everything.
Saturday, July 28, 2012
Friday, July 27, 2012
Friday evening July 27 2012 and the greatest show on earth is about to start. My earliest memories of the Olympics go back to Melbourne where we kept up with the news on the radio following the fortunes of 2 great Scottish boxers Dick McTaggart (Gold) and John (Cowboy) McCormack bronze, I was 8 at the time and I remember being aware that something big was going on. Rome we saw on TV in 1960 in black and white. In 1968 in Mexico City we watched American Bob Beamon almost jump out of the stadium in the long jump like his 'bahookie' was on fire and the world looked on and held its breath as black Americans Tommie Smith and John Carlos gave the Black Power salute from the Olympic winner's podium. Munich we remember for the political violence which overshadowed the games. Moscow in 19 80 was rather predictably boycotted by America and still produced a magnificent show, Beijing China I will remember for the quite stunning spectacle of the games and their presentation as well as the equally stunning spectacle of Usain Bolt's spectacular sprinting as he re-wrote the record books.
Meanwhile along the way we had Jesse Owens, Mohamad (Cassius Clay) Ali (who he?) The mighty Cuban Teofilo Stevenson (pity they never met) Dick Fosbery who made every high jump coach in the athletics world redundant with the 'Fosbery Flop' Mark Spitz who needs help to carry his medals around. The great Czeck Emil Zatopek who ate other distance runners for breakfast. Native American Jim Thorpe (look him up). The beautiful American sprinter Wilma Rudolph. The little Russian Pixie who lit up the world of Gymnastics Olga Korbut. Chris Hoy etc. etc. Not forgetting Princess Ann, did you know her daughter Zara is also in the Olympics, quality always comes to the top right?
I love the sports but I hate the capitalist casino that it has become. I would get rid of most of the sports we watch now in the Olympics and only include what I call proper Olympic sports. Boxing, running, swimming, rowing, jumping, cycling, wrestling, field events, that kind of thing. Ban team sports and ban weapons except the Javelin, ban competitors from representing a country, they should all compete as individuals just as the Greeks did all those years ago. There should be no such thing as a free ticket for anyone and I mean anyone and no guarantee of a ticket either. If one person goes in to a ticket ballot then everyone goes in. Except those who are financially disadvantaged for whatever reason; be it unemployment, poverty or disability.
Everyone is now ready including the vast amount of experts in drugs and medicines who will heroically lock horns as they do every 4 years for this great event. One side will move heaven and earth to cheat and the other side will do the same to catch the cheats, this has become more and more necessary as the capitalist influence has grown over the years. The ticket touts, the petty and large criminals and those who provide 'special services' to visitors have reached a peak of readiness, they have prepared no less diligently than the athletes. The commentators and TV experts have also prepared and they are all ready; each with their rag bag of superlatives and chauvinist insults, it is rumoured that some of them have been coached in the latter discipline by no less a person than his Royal Highness Prince Philip, so let's get on with it. 100.000 condoms have been made available to athletes (true!) so it will be 'bloody good fun! One way or another. I intend to comment further as the games go on, I'm saying that at the moment anyway.
Sunday, July 22, 2012
Gather round its Honest Alex (Del Boy) Salmond here; the bargain trader with my lovely assistant Nicola.
Here's a shiny unused Nuclear Warhead with nothing on the clock + Edinburgh Castle, quick now before Trump buys it! for The Statue of Liberty now I can't say fairer than that can I? How about 2 Neuks + The Finnieston Crane, worth a fortune in scrap value alone, for the Eiffel Tower. Try this you lucky people, 1 Neuk ready to fire and 1 second hand with full service record and MOT only needing primed + Glasgow City Chambers. For The Leaning Tower of Pisa.
Roll up there, everything must go, Ers a Nuclear Sub with a few miles on the clock + the last remaining pair of Bonnie Prince Charlie's slightly soiled Hielan Breeks for the Brandenburg Gate.
It's all legal now that we are independent and we are all in NATO.
Monday, July 16, 2012
I wonder if Scottish Cardinal Keith O'Brien is familiar with the story of how Thomas Becket later to become Saint Thomas Becket met his grisly end following this plea by King Henry the 4th. It wasn't pretty and there was blood and snotters all over the altar where he was slain, like today's cardinal he chose to follow his faith and conscience, still I digress.
The issue of gay marriage never seems to be far away from the headlines, it seems also to be impossible to discuss or write about the subject here in Scotland without Cardinal Keith O'Brien being involved. The Cardinal must feel like just staying in bed some days but of course he doesn't, he lives his life with his head always above the parapet, a "turbulent Priest" if ever there was one. He does not need nor I suspect would he take advice from me so I won't bother to offer it but, there is always a 'but' isn't there? What I am about to say might shock some people particularly those who know me well and also know my views on this subject, Cardinal O'Brien is getting a raw deal in the media and from commentators both professional and amateur here in Scotland.
Those who know me well will not be surprised however when I suggest why in my opinion he is getting such a raw deal here, the reason is what Jack McConnell once eloquently and devastatingly called "Scotland's secret shame" meaning of course 'Sectarianism' one half of Scotland's twin shames sectarianism and racism. He is not under such vicious personal attack because he is man of God he is under such attack because he is a high ranking high profile Catholic. There can be no doubt that religions of every stripe in Scotland have no shortage of members and indeed leaders who agree with Cardinal O'Brien and the stance of the Catholic Church, they however seem to be able to avoid the opprobrium visited on the Cardinal and the RC Church, have you ever wondered why? The answer is sectarianism.
Consider the point that in every corner of the world there are paedophiles and child molesters every religion has them, as do children's youth clubs, sports clubs, schools etc. they are devious and dangerous. Most of them are of course within those loving straight families which religious people so want to preserve. It is only in recent years that we have become aware of the scale of the problem hence we are becoming rightly more vigilant. Scotland however manages to give the impression that only the Catholic Church has this problem, there is nowhere else where such a feeding frenzy like this takes place targeted at one church, , why is that? It's sectarianism.
The coverage in the media is outrageously biased and the amateur commentators in press letters and internet sites in Scotland are as ugly and viciously sectarian as anything we have seen in the past, it means that Scotland is incapable of moving on and is still stuck with its dark ages reputation, sullen, pinch faced and bedevilled by Bible black proponents of the God of Wrath. "Thou shalt not whistle or be merry or travel on a ferry, that'll get ye hung on Scotland's Sabbath day" (Hamish Imlach)
I will now cut away the line of attack which I know is coming from some of the people I have just been criticising. If any religion were to claim me I suppose it would be the Catholic Church, perhaps with reservations though on their part. I believe that Gay people should be treated fairly and equally in all matters including marriage, I would make it a crime for anyone to treat any gay person unfairly or unequally; including churches of whatever brand. Having said that I do not believe that Cardinal O'Brien is as he has been described by many a 'bigot' on the issue of gay marriage I believe him to be 100% wrong but; I also believe that he is 100% sincere, this I suspect applies to all those who have so far managed to keep their heads below that parapet which the Cardinal looks out from with his head above it. He is driven by his faith not by hatred of anyone gay or not. The day will come when the Catholic Church along with the other churches and religions will follow the true meaning of their creeds which are all relentlessly good and kind, those who mistreat Gays and indeed others they disagree with will someday do the right thing. If you don't believe me check out Galileo who got an apology from the Pope last year approximately 370 years after the Church persecuted him for claiming the Sun was the centre of the Universe, the Church reckoned the Earth was the centre of the Universe. They now agree with Galileo or at least most of them do.
Saturday, July 07, 2012
TRUE SCOTS. IT’S TIME TO TAKE UP ARMS. GET YER KNIVES N FORKS AND FOLLOW ALEX. YOU COUNTRY NEEDS YOU!
In a Braveheart attempt to save the Hall's Meat Plant in Broxburn Alex Salmond has announced that the SNP Scottish Government is to run a campaign to encourage Scots. to eat more Sausages, Haggis and Black Pudding. Mr. Salmond stated that he will go the extra mile to save the plant and he intends to lead from the front by consuming great quantities of these products himself. Today alone in a heroic start to his campaign the first minister in a selfless display of courage and sacrifice displayed his determination to fight for this famous Scottish firm by devouring several plates of sausages and several strings of Black Pudding as well as countless plates of Haggis, all washed down by a family sized bottle of Diet Irn Bru.
He says that he does not expect everyone to match his determination but pleads for effort from all true Scots. This could be his tilt at greatness you never know, it is a fact that he has; even if inadvertently been in training for just such an emergency for several years. Rumours are already circulating to the effect that the Big City Shysters are snapping up shares in the company, such is the First Ministers fame as a man who can make grub disappear as we say here in Scotland "like snaw aff a dyke"
The SNP Scottish Government will be issuing button badges bearing the logos "I'm a Scottish Haggis Hero" " I'm a Scottish Black Pudding Patriot"" and of course "Sausages Are the boys" Mr. Salmond hinted between belches that he could be ready soon to guarantee that these jobs will be safe. It goes without saying that all true patriotic Scots. will be coerced (sorry I meant to say encouraged) to boycott all English meat products.
Remember the cry for Scotland and Halls Meat Factory. "They may take our lives but they will never take oor Scottish Sausages"
Thursday, July 05, 2012
Prince William. Affectionately known as "Winko Willie" because he is a flying ace to rival Biggles and Budgie the Helicopter has been made a Knight of the Thistle. His ma. Queen Elizabeth of Scotland was so proud of him. It came as a pleasant surprise said his Granda Phil the Greek who is always on the ball, one of yer Royal Greeks remember not one of yer restaurant Greeks. Following the Jubilee and the awarding of more money to the Royals the wee wumman in the corner shop told me "ahm fair bursting wi pride so ah um" she buys her bread now in single slices not loaves but Royal Pride is special right? The Queen's granddaughter Zara Philips has managed just like her ma Princess Ann to battle her way against all the odds to gain an Olympic place in team GB. Talent, breeding and sheer quality will always come to the top.
I can hardly wait to watch the Olympics, wee white sail boats bumping in to each other, folk firing bow na narras, pistol shooting, shove halfpenny, horse jumping, throwing the jodhpurs, guess the illegal drug, Judo with 2 guys locked together for 5 minutes rolling around so you don't know who is who until some wee Chinese guy's heid pops oot the bottom of the other guy's trooser leg, fleecing the tourists and my favourite; the weight lifting; I love it when some big guy lifts a huge weight and tries to push it above his head with straight arms. The bit where his legs wobble and he starts to do the exit waltz, this can last a while as he looks like he's going to manage it and then swings left and right and in and out like a demented jakey doing the highland sword dance, he inevitably has to dive clear like the arse of his costume has caught fire along with his belt which is the same width as a stair carpet and by this time I'm watching from behind the couch. Then everyone on the platform and in the front row of the hall starts wrestling and punching each other to get tae f**k out the road of the massive out of control barbell, that can get me to laugh myself in to a black knot. Bring it on, the weans in my ward of Ferguslie just love the dressage with the big horses doing the military two step with some old wealthy wrinkled granny in the saddle dressed like Buffalo Bill. The wrestling can resemble the County Square Taxi Rank on a Sat. Night which is course the safest place in Paisley to avoid getting the Jail. Remember it's not the winning that counts it's the taking part which reminds me of the American skater called Tanya Thingmy who got her boy friend to break her gold medal rival Nancy Kerrigan's leg. Is she a winner or what? Americans play to win OK?