Sunday, 28 July 2013

Punxsutawny Suarez emerges, predicts rain

"I am look-eeng for top, top quality but it is very hard
to find ze right pla...."
- Arsene Wenger, since forever.

(Pic : New York Daily News)
Arsenal have been heavily-linked with Liverpool's controversial human-rodent hybrid, Luis Suarez. There was a rejected ear-popping £40,000,001 bid, and it's likely Arsenal will go back with another bid in the next week or two.

Arsenal's big weakness last season was up-front.

Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny found a level of consistency that hadn't been present in defence since the Invincibles season's Sol Campbell and Kolo Toure partnership.

Mikel Arteta played an understated role in stopping and starting counter attacks, Aaron Ramsey had a very strong end to the season, while Santi Cazorla provided Fabregasian levels of creativity.

Lukas Podolski has power, but isn't a consistent number 9. Olivier Giroud has the advantage of being a ridiculously attractive Frenchman, but frustrated last season (he's since shown glimpses of promise on the Asian tour). Theo Walcott started well, but faded, and I doubt I'm the only one who doubts if he can be an out-and-out striker.

Say what you want about the Whore of Rotterdam and his contract, but Arsenal missed him last season, desperately needing an Henry-type "bang goals in for fun" centre forward.

The truth is Arsenal are running out of world-class strikers to target. Gonzalo Higuain has gone to Napoli, Cavani to PSG, Falcao to Monaco, Rooney would smash the wage structure and Robert Lewandowski will probably join Bayern next year. There's always Bendtner, eh?

So making a move for Luis Suarez – one of the Premier League's most prolific strikers - makes sense. He's pretty much the only option left if we're talking "established world-class players".

I'm sure Suarez would make the step up, going some way to making Arsenal serious title contenders for the first time since 2007-08 – but only if defensive consistency is maintained, and there's at least one more midfield or defensive addition.

Liverpool are a big club - bigger than Arsenal - but despite the Scouse old-guard's bluster, they have to overhaul both Gareth Bale and Everton to even think about challenging Arsenal for the Top 4 (at present).

They were barely able to do that with Torres, and haven't with Suarez – two of the best players in the world at their disposal - in addition to consistent performers like Steven Gerrard. They've got a mid-table squad loaded with expensive dead weight, led by an inexperienced manager.

Selling Suarez to Arsenal – without a quality replacement lined up – would easily end Liverpool's hopes of Champions League football in 2014-15. Liverpool also have every right to demand as much as possible for Suarez, as it's not as if his contract's running down.

That's probably why I have doubts as to whether this will happen.

When you look at Arsene Wenger's record at signing established names, you've got to wonder if this is really his doing, or if he's had some sort of personality change caused by a traumatic brain injury.

It's not his style. He has very firm principles – not just "gut instincts" - about what players are worth, and I don't think a sudden injection of cash will be enough for him to change tact.

To put things in perspective, Swansea City recently signed Wilfried Bony for £12million – their record signing.

Arsenal's record up-front signing is £13million Sylvain Wiltord in 2000. £12million now might be the equivalent of £4-5million in 2000, but it underlines Wenger's historic reluctance to pay big fees for any player. Receiving big fees is a different matter.

I'd be stunned if Arsenal match Liverpool's £55million+ valuation, I think £45million is the maximum Arsenal would pay (not including add-ons) and Liverpool would probably be pig-headed enough to reject it, even if Suarez submitted a transfer request.

I question where the money's coming from. It's unclear if it's previous "warchests" rolled over, the new Sky deal, or if Arsenal are doing it based on reported Puma and Emirates deals from 2014-15.

I think Real Madrid is a more likely destination for Suarez (should Real fail to sign Bale this summer), and Arsenal will end up signing 2 or 3 players in the £7-12million range during the last two weeks of the transfer window.

I think next season will be the "big summer" us Gooners have been waiting for, and waiting for and waiting for....So it goes.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

I Write Like....

As a bit of a change, I've decided to have a go with this tool and see which famous writers I write like, using my five most recent blogs on Oggy Bloggy Ogwr as the template. You simply copy and paste the text into the thing, so you can check yourselves - if you are so inclined - to make sure I'm not bullshitting.

Vivat Vagina! :


I write like
Douglas Adams
I Write Like. Analyze your writing!


Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency


WAG End of Year Report Card 2013 :


I write like
Mario Puzo
I Write Like. Analyze your writing!


The Fortunate Pilgrim, The Godfather, The Sicilian

Exclusive : Senedd anonymous sauce revealed?
:


I write like
H. G. Wells
I Write Like. Analyze your writing!


The Time Machine, The Island of Dr Moreau, The War of the Worlds


Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap - Round III
:


I write like
H. P. Lovecraft
I Write Like. Analyze your writing!


The Call of Cthulu, At The Mountains of Madness, The Shadow Over Innsmouth

Up Shipton Creek
:


I write like
William Shakespeare
I Write Like. Analyze your writing!

I think you all know who he is.
So it appears my writing style verges mainly in the science fiction camp, with nods to crime/Mafia drama - ironic considering the content of that blog - horror and Shakespeare.

Douglas Adams is a massive compliment as I like Hitchhiker's Guide. But Shakespeare? That's an ego stroke and a half, and I don't know how the hell I managed that. Shame Kurt Vonnegut isn't there, but so it goes.

Oggy Bloggy Ogwr : Positively Shakespearean.

So long, and thanks for all the fish.

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Soapbox Speed Demons

"Bog Standard"
(Pic : Red Bull Soapbox Derby 2013)
Last week, Alexandra Palace hosted the Red Bull Soapbox Derby for the first time in umpteen years. I don't like the term "soapbox derby" – too American. I doubt anyone can ride a box of Daz down a hill.

I don't know if the word "gambo" is used outside Bridgend/South Wales. This was a "gambo race", in effect, and seems to have been well-natured in comparison to others. The future of the (in)famous Kenfig Hill Gambo Race has been brought into question several times due to rioting. I'm not joking.

On to the crashes and people getting hurt highlights :

                                   

Alongside the "gambos" you would've expected – London buses, tube trains, corporate entries etc. - there was a dung ball, a coffin (which crashed), a compete bathroom, a giant fish and Usain Bolt.

The first standout one I saw was a replica of a Tornado Jet from the "Dambusters" team. Everything was going swimmingly until the final jump. One of them appeared to lose some teeth. Magnificent men in their dying machine :

                                   

There was also a giant scotch egg – Scotch Egg Express – which did an acrobatic backflip at the final jump before crossing the line. Apparently, the "pilot/driver" dislocated their thumb. In a giant scotch egg. I say it's worth it :

                                   

Another standout one was the brilliantly-named "Does My Scrum Look Big In This", which was....a complete rugby scrum. It was disturbingly fast, and it didn't look like the sort of think you would've wanted to have accidentally walked in front of :

                                   

Last, but not least.....

The term "legend" is thrown around all too easily nowadays.

"Legend" sums up the team "Hippy Split" who built a scaled-down replica of a VW camper van. Despite a wheel flying off during a speed wobble at what must've been a pants-filling 15 miles per hour, they managed to make a spectacular swan dive into the tarmac at the end. Glorious. Here's their run in full :

                                   

I think the event hints at what I think the name of the forthcoming royal vag-splitter should be too....

....Scotch Egg Express.

Sunday, 14 July 2013

The Apprentice 2013 Top 5 Highlights


With Luisa and Leah to face off in the final next Wednesday, it's fair to continue the theme from earlier this week and reflect on my favourite five bits from this ninth series of The Apprentice, in reverse order.
"No, we're not gonna play fuckin' Stone-enge!"
(Pic : watfordobserver.co.uk)

5. Zee in Dubai"Put the map away, because I know Dubai like the back of my hand." Famous last words. The "Spinal Tap" moment involving the tiny flag, which would've looked like a hanky on top of a skyscraper. Then there was the quest for "Oud", or "Have yeau got any Oyud?" in Leah's Norn Iron twang. An "Oud" is some sort of guitar. "Aoud" a perfume. They went for the perfume, even though the item was clearly worded in such a way it could only have been an instrument. "I know Dubai like the back of my hand....and....and....nd....nd."
"Weren't you in Cradle of Filth, butt?"
(Pic : via BBC)

4. Dating Herbert – Despite creating a very bland dating website, when it came to the advert, Alex came into his own and created his idea of a "nightmare date" – the bizarre pseudo-Bristolian Goth, "Hurrburrt". The end of that advert was genuinely nightmare inducing. The eyebrows. The jean-shorts. My eyes.
Do not present yourself to Claude under false pretenses.
(Pic : Radio Times)

3. "This interview is terminated." - Ooooooooh, damn son! You got shot down. A brutal end for Jordan in the interviews, and in fairness it was the right thing to do. I was expecting him to be able to explain his way out of it, and was genuinely surprised when he wasn't given the opportunity to do so. "You're a parasite!?" Bloody hell, that's harsh. How did he get that far if he didn't even own part of the business? Did he deny someone more worthy a place? Controversy.
You sunk my Battleshit.
(Pic : via Tumblr)

2. The Tidy Sidey – For the flat pack furniture assignment, the Endeavour team created a rather bland, slightly too high, but practical folding table that could transform into a chair. Evolve decided to go for storage. After completely ignoring the market research, Uzma – declaring herself a design expert – created a battleship grey commode with some inexplicable stripes on it. Bonus for randomly wasting time ripping stuffing out of pillows too.
Luisa - "Weh weh weh weh weh weh weh."
Normal Person - "SHUT! THE FUCK! UP!"
Jason - "Do you think this would be better in blue?"

(Pic : reveal.co.uk)
1. Luisa's Evolve Putch – Again from the dating task, and one of the most shocking moments in Apprentice history. We've never seen a team leader ousted in the main series , but I'm surprised it hasn't happened before. Jason should've grown a spine – as well as making decisions quicker. I thought Luisa behaved disgracefully, but you could see why she did it.

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

The Apprentice Final Five

                         


I think the above video sums up The Apprentice well. That's why it's so faultlessly watchable, even though it pains me to do so every year, watching Alan Sugar fire candidates for being decent people and using common sense.

It's hard to judge people based on weekly hourly edits, but I'm going to do that anyway because I'm a massive hypocrite. Tomorrow sees the always fun "interview stage" to sort the knobs from the broomsticks.

Francesca
– Spitting image of Stella English, who I doubt Alan Sugar has fond memories of after their little ding dong in the courts. They even seem to be very similar personality-wise, except Francesca has a bit more "bite". She's done well enough to get this far, sure,
but I'm not sure she's proven herself to be adept at anything in particular and I don't think she's a particularly good manager. You've got to wonder if she's simply benefited from the elimination of other candidates.

Jordan – Very polished, but something about him seems "off". I'm not an expert on decor, but even I saw that the vase last week was a piece of fungal ceramic shit. He comes across as generally competent, intelligent and an excellent speaker. But that makes him an excellent bullshitter too. His business idea also sounds rather ill-judged, and he might be a bit too "corporate" for Alan Sugar's tastes.

Leah – Like Francesca, I don't think she's stood out, and benefited by not quite being as bad as those who've been fired. She's consistent, has proven she can make good decisions and can defend herself when needed. She's also been consistently dull, and
comes across as a bit of a "back seat driver". Definitely my dark horse, but I don't see her winning it.

Luisa – There's always one candidate who's completely objectionable but clearly knows what they're doing.
Luisa's "the one" this year. She has the attitude of a spoilt brat, but you can't question her will to win. I  think she has a great business mind and great self-confidence and belief. It's just a case of engaging mouth before brain. I really don't want her to win it, but I'd say she's the favourite right about now. I think she'll be one of the finalists.

Neil – Probably the best salesperson left in the competition, but aside from that I haven't really seen any of the other qualities needed to go further other than a certain level of reliability and enthusiasm. His good points are that he's probably the most likable candidate left, and doesn't seems to have many personality flaws, but that rarely counts in The Apprentice. I'm not sure his online property business idea will work with other competitors out there like Rightmove and Zoopla. Definitely in with a shot.

The one that got away – Alex. This isn't a Welsh bias. He shouldn't have been fired over Myles – who blew it last week. Yeah, he came across as a bit of a wally, but in a good way. I think he was the most imaginative and creative of the whole lot, his weakness being that nobody seemed to take him seriously, probably due to his age. He did seem easily distracted though, and ran around like a terrier chasing a ball. Can't do that, butt.

Friday, 5 July 2013

Transfer Blue Balls Blues

He still hasn't signed
He still hasn't siiiiiigned
Gonzalo Higuain, he still hasn't signed.

To date, the legendary Arsenal warchest has seen less action than a convent.

It's a mysterious object, always seeming to appear out of nowhere - loaded with more booty than a pirate rap video - coinciding with season ticket renewals. Then, it magically fades into the mists of the ocean quicker than Robbie Coltrane in a marathon, not to return for twelve cycles of the moon.

Each summer, Arsenal fans have to endure the private booth at the Summer Purr-gatory Club. Various big names gyrate in front of us, shaking their fingers going, "Ah, ah, ah!....Look! No touch!"

Then, a Russian oppressor of the proletariat or Shaikh enters the club, sending footballers and Dutch skunks giggling towards them, each keen to be the first to kiss the ring and send another few thousand tonnes of burning hydrocarbons into the atmosphere.

"Can I touch now?" the Gooners shout from behind the bead curtains, as they sit on their hands.

The curtains are drawn back, the doorway is filled with a large figure who has a poorly concealed Adam's Apple and a booming German accent, "My name ist Poldi!" The Gooner's gulp. "Bend over!"

Hours turn to days turn to weeks.

The monotony of : Twitter Search > "See what's happening right now" > "higuain" > 20 new Tweets > 20 new Tweets > 20 new Tweets >

....all variations of "Higuain fainted during his medical due to the dust from Arsenals' trophy cabinet", pictures of him riding a snail, or confirmation of the longest medical in football history, alsting at least a fortnight.

"fellaini" > 20 new Tweets

Some simply go insane from the wait. Their delusion all too clear to see : "Cesar, Gibbs, Koscielny, Williams, Aurier, Fabregas, Fellaini, Cazorla, Wilshere, Higuain, Rooney #Champions2014"

As if Arsenal would ever sign Ashley Williams.

But it's a quiet night at the Summer Purr-gatory Club, and the Gooners finally seem to have the complete attention of the big names for once. Then there was news. Glorious, tedium-breaking news. A signing!

Yaya Sanogo from Ligue 2. Undoubtedly talented, but knees of pasta.

But wait! Who's the feisty Latin American brunette slapping a lecherous Italian across the face, walking in a very arse-shakingly alluring manner towards the booth, leaving the Gooner's drooling.

The greatest player to ever grace the red and white - up there with the best of the Premier League era and pretty much the only thing anyone remembers of Bruce Rioch's tenure as manager - was Dennis Bergkamp.

Gonzalo Higuain would be the first established world class player Arsenal have signed since Bergkamp.

So, cue the "Man City/Chelsea/PSG enter race for Higuain" stories within the next few days. Cue the testicles of male Arsenal fans everywhere turning a deeper shade of blue.


Monday, 1 July 2013

The Power of C**t

(Pic : Jimbo Loony via Twitter)

I'm not one to regularly quote Germaine Greer but it's, as she once put it, "One of the few words in the English language that can still shock."

The word "cunt" is pushing 800-odd years old, its origins unclear, but it appears to derive from various old Germanic languages, describing a "wedge" or "slit". It even sounds pretty guttural and ugly - like all old Anglo-Saxon words - due to the hard consonants.

There are three main meanings of "cunt" (as a noun) at present :

  1. The vulva or vagina.
  2. An objectionable person.
  3. An Arsenal player who leaves for a rival club having burned their bridges (Robin van Persie, Emmanuel Adebayor, Samir Na$ri etc.)
Aren't they mutually exclusive depending on context?

The reason I decided to bring this up is because of that fuss a few weeks ago over the Green Party member reposting an image by "Taff Wars" creator – Jimbo Loony – shown above.

I think it's obvious that, in that context, it means a general objectionable person.

I don't think there's a flock of vulvae out there, labia purring in the wind like a dog sticking their head out of a moving car window, as they fly majestically to Flight of the Bumblebees, suddenly stopping, turning their clitorides up at the thought of crossing the Severn Bridge.

But why do we use words referring to body parts to insult?

The easiest way to dehumanise someone is to either equate them with something to illicit disgust – like bodily functions and their products – or insinuate they're only good for one thing. That's why our most colourful words are combinations of these, and why directly calling a woman a "cunt" has a justified heightened level of offence surrounding it.

If you look at it a certain way though, maybe cunt's power to shock isn't because of brazen misogyny, but the exact opposite. Think about it; the "dirtiest" word in the English language refers to female anatomy. Under those circumstances, you have question why it's considered "dirty".

The ultimate natural power someone has is to create and sustain life, and that primarily rests with women. It's the one thing men don't have the means to do, and it puts the whole idea of an all-powerful patriarchy in a bit of a bind. Words like "cunt" probably became taboo because that particular body part needed to be taken down a few pegs and reduced to the unspeakable - "a nasty word for a nasty thing".

But it isn't nasty, is it?

By making, and keeping, words like "cunt" dirty, it stigmatises both the vagina and female sexuality as dirty. In fact, "vagina" is more misogynistic as is roughly translates from Latin as "(sword) sheath". Women aren't arms stores.

And why is "cunt" more misogynistic than "bitch", or even "cow"? Both reduce women to the status of animals.

So "cunt" occupies a very strange existence of being one of the most misogynistic and offensive words out there, whilst – at its etymological heart - not really being misogynistic at all.

­