Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Dear MEMBERFIRSTNAME: A translation

Today, I received an email from the football club I am a paying member of, the Newcastle Jets. That email was letting us members know that Nathan Tinkler's Hunter Sports Group were not going to be handing back the A-League license they had agreed to hold for 10 years (after about 18 months). I could go in to more detail but the main purpose of this post is to publish my interpretation of that letter.

Dear MEMBERFIRSTNAME: A translation by Xavier Cobolt


We are aware you have been through a tough month after the Hunter Sports Group (HSG) returned its A-League licence. With all the confusion surrounding the situation, it was difficult to clearly understand what this meant for the future of the Newcastle Jets.  Be assured, during this time our commitment to football and the region has never wavered.”

Well, it looks like we have to keep the team so we are about to eat out hat but not in the way you will like

We are pleased to confirm that following a series of confidential negotiations with the Football Federation of Australia (FFA), the HSG has agreed to continue and honour its 10 year licence agreement.”

We realised we had no legal right to hand back the license and will now make it look like we always wanted to keep the team  

This outcome quite simply would not have been possible without Nathan Tinkler's generosity, the total commitment of HSG's CEO Troy Palmer or the passion and enthusiasm shown by our members towards the Newcastle Jets.”

Here's where we insist we were the good guys all along and that the club would be nothing without our benevolence, despite all evidence to the contrary and your instincts.

We take confidence from the FFA's determination to have the HSG continue its work with the community, to continue building a model that is recognised as the best in the league. We now take this confidence forward.”

FFA's determination to have the HSG continue its work “ Read: FFA's insistence we honour our legally binding contract. We're actually doing some of that hat eating right now, but we don't know how to actually admit that we were in the wrong. 

We also would like to thank our members for fighting for the existence of an A-League team in the Hunter.”

Yes, we noticed how pissed off you were. Even held a rally. But now you should love us again.

Unfortunately there has been a lot of inaccuracies written and spoken in the media about this process and how it unfolded. This is not the time for recriminations. It is a time to celebrate that decisions have now been made and are being made that will benefit football and ensure a much more secure future for the code throughout Australia.”

Unfortunately, the press actually used our press releases. A lot of those inaccuracies were actually ours but we'll make it seem like we were all misunderstood. This is not a time for recriminations, mainly because we'd cop most of it. Now lets move on and pretend this never happened.
It will not benefit the healing process to elaborate on the Jets license fee and how it came about, the long running Jason Culina insurance matter and what steps are now being introduced to ensure that the A-League becomes a great football competition with a sustainable financial structure and business plan.”

It will not benefit the healing process to elaborate on the Jets license fee and how it came about, because we already knew full well how it came about and realise it was completely legal and we negotiated it; the long running Jason Culina insurance matter is being dealt with adequately and independently, as it was before we attempted to hand back the license; and the steps that are now being introduced to improve the A-League are the same steps that were in place before we tried to hand back the license. Did we mention moving on and pretending nothing ever happened?

We are pleased to confirm after detailed negotiation and discussion, the HSG and the FFA have agreed on a conciliatory outcome. This is a great win for the Hunter region with the Newcastle Jets remaining in the A-League and the competition restructured with a more secure financial footing and base.”

We are pleased to confirm that we finally decided to actually meet with the FFA and do some hat-eating but rather than tell you that, we will make it look like we whipped the FFA in to shape and have changed the A-League for the better

There are still many innovations and changes to be made to make the A-League an even better competition and for the Jets to rebuild a team around our many exciting young local talents but with the best of endeavours and spirits we are moving forward.”
We'll let Robbie Middleby actually write this paragraph

We thank the many members, fans and corporate partners for their support and for the many that understood our position that was to take a stand when there was no other option.”

We thank the members for sticking around while we had a hissy fit because we couldn't get our way, now we have realised we actually have to do the right thing. But in reality we'll just make it look like we fought the good fight and won 

Above all, to the players, management and coaching staff who showed your true support and loyalty, thank you. You are the true believers.”

Thank fuck you guys are actually still around! But we guess you didn't really have a choice

Now is the time to unite as our focus returns to football and winning Championships for the Hunter.”

Now is the time to forget what dicks we have been and let's go back to you guys thinking we're awesome again. Please?

We offer you our hand to come back on board for a truly exciting ride.”
Token line to make it seem like you're actually a part of this

Kind Regards”
Fuck you guys, we'd totally be outta here if using bully-boy tactics worked as well in the world of football as it did in the business world

Robbie Middleby
Newcastle Jets CEO”
Troy Palmer, but we'll make Robbie put his name and signature on it

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Wanting More

* Time (okay, I have plenty of it, I just wish I used it better)

* Things to blog about (Well, I actually have ideas for blogs but they are more suited to my other blog Rational Dissent, but those ideas are more like essays - of which I have plenty to do for uni that actually go towards my degree)

* A warm house

* Actually, thinking about it there isn't that much that I want that I don't already have

This list is nowhere near as pretty or as interesting a list as Goodnight Little Spoon may do but I need to force myself to blog more somehow! I don't think I'll do any more posts on grammar, I'll tell you that much.

Here's a picture of my kitty!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

I Want to Smell You Like Teen Spirit

So maybe I'll start off with the obligatory exclamations as to how long it's been since I last posted. Oh your god! It's been, like, ages! There you go.

I can now say that I think I now know how Trent Reznor and Kurt Cobain must have felt.

Yeah, you better believe I'm putting myself in the same category of my teen years heroes. The thing is, both of these artists gained some popularity during the 90s, breaking through the underground barrier to expose the mainstream to grunge and industrial music. With both good and bad outcomes. But that's not what this is about. And no, it's not that I am a young, successful musician. Nor have I had some sort of destructive relationship with Courtney Love. Thankfully.

These artists had a song each that, while great songs, are certainly not their best but at the same time is what got them their notoriety. That's right, I'm talking about 'Closer' and 'Smells Like Teen Spirit'. I'm sure when Trent and Kurt were writing their respective songs they finished them, recorded them and thought "Not bad. Bit of fun. Might make a good single." Little did they know that these songs would end up being their "cross-over" songs in to the mainstream and end up being played relentlessly on quasi-alternative radio stations and music video shows as well as put on to every mix tape made by scraggly-haired, flanno-wearing teens in the mid 90s. Eventually these songs permeated the pop-culture landscape and ended up defining these bands and the 90s. The downside of this is that Trent and Kurt no doubt grew to hate these songs as they would have been expected to play them over and over at live concerts no matter how much new and better material they had.

How does this relate to me? Well, you'll notice a little widget I have on the side of my blog called "Feedjit". A handy little thing that tells you when people visit your blog, where they came from, where they left to and so on. Ever since my entry on grammar, I have been getting a fair bit of traffic. However, I feel as though my gramamr post is my Closer or Smells Like Teen Spirit. Yes, my most popular blog entry was the one where I went in search of humourous pictures of poor grammar in public and posted them on my blog. Among other things, this may have contributed to my dry spell blog-wise. Or it may not.

So what does this mean? Absolutely nothing, actually. I really don't care how people come across my blog, or whether or not they come across it at all. I have worked in community radio, I know all about the expectations of no-one listening/reading. I just needed an impetus to write a new blog. Sure, I could have written about my big interstate move from NSW to Tasmania. But maybe I'll leave that for another time. Maybe.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

It's "Pillock", you berk!

I don't want to come across all "90s" but it's interesting how much the internet has changed the way we interact with information. Just today I called my flatmate a "pillock" on his Facebook status. To make sure I had spelled "pillock" correctly, I Googled it. Finding the Wikipedia article on it made me realise that I hadn't really given much thought to the etymology of it.

It turns out that pillock dates back to the 16th century meaning "penis" from the Norwegian "pillicock". It was likely used much the same way as someone would use to call someone a "dick", "dickhead" or "cock" today:

This kind of insult reminded me of something Maurice Moss from The I.T. Crowd would use. As does the pejorative "berk". So I decided to look up that word too. This term originated in the 1930s. A very similar meaning to "pillock" with Wikipedia listing it meaning "A fool, prat, twit". However its etymology shows that it was a shortening of "Berkeley Hunt" - a hunt based at Berkeley Castle in Gloucestershire. And so some how the proletariat of Berkeley saw "Berk-hunt" as rhyming slang for "cunt". However, the "softer" meaning of "berk" has prevailed and is even used today as an "affectionate insult". However for my visual example I'm going for "fool, prat, twit":

As an interesting sidenote ('cause I can tell you guys can't get enough of this!): I came across another out-dated insult in my travels. That of "wiseacre" and one I will try to bring in to my every day vocabulary. It basically is another word for "smart-arse" or such similar things. Wikipedia's definition is "one who feigns knowledge or cleverness" or an "insolent upstart":

I find etymology quite interesting and would like to think this could become a "segment" I do on my blog. If so, it may be like all my others with just an inaugural entry for each.

Aside from the last part of this sentence, I have made a vow to not use the words "university" and "procrastination" together in my blog. That being said: I may be updating more often now that uni has gone back.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Gratuitous Displays of Poor Grammar

So to continue with my prolific blogging I shall today be posting pictures of examples of public displays of poor grammar. I'm not sure if terrible grammar was as ubiquitous 10 years ago or if it's just that these days any moron with a computer and the Internet can write any thing they want any way they want.

To kick it off is an example that was actually discovered in person when Ank and I were in Tasmania. We stayed at a caravan park in Port Arthur and were shocked to see this abomination of grammatical evil:

Yes, I have joined countless Facebook groups about how I think less of you if you have poor grammar and that correct grammar is sexy but it just doesn't seem to convey my Grammar Rage at seeing simple things written so wrong. None more so than on signs. It's almost as if there should be a social responsibility for anyone requiring a sign to make sure everything is spelled correctly and that the grammar is correct. There should be fines or something.

In my research I have found that the apostrophe is the bane of many a sign writer. So many just don't seem to know how to use them. As The Oatmeal suggests in "How To Use An Apostrophe": When in doubt don't use an apostrophe. And I agree. So many examples I found were people just going crazy with them. It is better to see a word without one when needed than just put in willy nilly

I really hope this place is going out of business due to a lack of grammatically outraged patrons boycotting the place:

Both Ank and I actually do consciously avoid businesses that have misspelled signs or poor grammar. I for one would not go to this place to get a sign done:

Here we have an example of two outrageous things in one: Poor public grammar AND religion! I don't want to suggest too much by the next few examples but seriously: religion probably means you're stupid:

^ Nothing except maybe spelling

^ Seriously: these guys are trying to tell you that creationism is how we got here. Maybe if they were actually educated they would get it.

If there's one thing that turns me off going to a particular business it would be the incorrect use of the letter 'Z'. There is nothing 'cute' or 'cool' about misspelling things. It's just irritating. This business below goes the extra mile by adding in the infamous unnecessary apostrophe:

One of the most infuriating errors is the constant mix up with 'they', 'their' and 'they're'. The apostrophe errors can usually be excused. Sure, they can be tricky sometimes, but this is not rocket surgery.

I would never try those cookies or rice crispy treats on principle:

Worse yet is the your/you're problem. Once again, see above-mentioned rocket surgery comment.

This bus is just a grammatical train wreck - or bus wreck as the case may be. It has the correct intention of "you're" but the apostrophe has (yet again) let it down. I'm not sure if my boycott would extend to not getting on a bus with an advertisement with poor grammar. It certainly wouldn't bode well for the impending trip. I guess it would depend on if I was running late or not and if there was a later bus I could catch to get to my destination on time.

Now, if I had a child at Highland Park Junior High I would pull them out as soon as I saw this one. They claim "Knowledge is Power" on their crest, obviously this school wouldn't be much of a match for Gandalf

Speaking of schools: I would not be too sure about enrolling in these night classes:

There are actually many more but I am starting to think this might be something for a part II some other time. I may even take some pictures (now that Ank and I actually own a camera!) and show you some local examples.

I shall leave you with an example of grammatical justice. I would love to carry around a red marker so I can act on my Grammar Rage like this person has:

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Like Trying to Catch A Falling Star

Worst Songs Wednesday (Sunday edition)

So, I finally decided on an appropriate segment for my blog with alliteration. It's called - as you've seen above - Worst Songs Wednesday. Here I shall uncover songs that should remain buried but like zombies from the grave, keep coming back. And yes, it is Sunday but this particular song haunts me at least one a week. The first entrant in Worst Songs Wednesday is one that screams '90s.

I work doing night fill at a department store. Let's call it "Large X". I have been working at Large X for three years now (I think. This may be my fourth). Up until recently the store radio would play a random array of songs ranging from terrible to pretty good (the occasional Bowie or Beth Orton springs to mind). For some reason they now play the exact same songs every day. You can time when your break and end of shift is due based on what song is playing. For instance: I know that when I hear "How Do You Talk to An Angel?" I know that when it is over, I have 2 minutes left before I go home (usually).

A co-worker of mine is convinced I love the song because of my excitement when it comes on. Okay, fair enough: I DO sing along with it. But this is because it is such a terrible song. And while it continues to be an indication of the highlight of my shift - going home - it has been taking up an awful lot more head space than I would ever wish upon even my worst nemesis.

Now, anyone who hears this song knows straight away that it's a terrible song with crisp, early 90s production; overly gushy lyrics no one in real life would even think, let alone say; a saxophone solo (yet again unashamedly early 90s); and just a general soft-rock ballad that conjures up images of denim, big hair and awful dark floral patterns.

Prior to doing my research for this blog, that is all I knew of that song. I have tonight discovered that How Do You Talk To An Angel was the theme song for a Fox "drama" in 1992 called "The Heights". But it doesn't end there. The Heights is yet another cruel joke inflicted upon the world by none other than Mr. Aaron Spelling (producer). The title is not only the name of the suburb a group of young adults lives in, it's also the name of the rock band they've set up. Each episode featuring a song by these too cool for school go-getter stereotypes. How Do You Talk to An Angel appears in the first episode.

Needless to say, I was elated at the sight of the lead guitarist's hair as well as the clothes and other hair styles these kids were sporting. The video is replete with montages of "band fun", not to mention longing looks between the singer and the saxophonist.

Surprisingly, the show was cancelled on November 14, 1992.* How Do You Talk to An Angel hit number one exactly one week later. There are some things in history that confound us and the success of this song is one of those. But, it goes deeper: in 1993 the song was nominated for an Emmy Award for (get this) "Outstanding Individual Achievement in Music and Lyrics"!!!** Thankfully, Ms. Liza Minnelli had the song "Sorry I Asked" to take the award.

Outstanding Individual Achievement in Music and Lyrics? Have you heard these lyrics?

I hear a voice in my mind
I know her face by heart
heaven and earth are moving in my soul
I don't know where to start
tell me, tell me, the words to define
the way I feel about someone so fine

How long was this guy*** sitting on the end of his bed with pen and pad in hand coming up with this gem? Then inspiration really hits:

how do you talk to an angel?
how do you hold her close to where you are?
how do you talk to an angel?
it's like trying to catch a falling star

Really, this was deserving of a nomination for the most Outstanding Individual Achievement in Music and Lyrics? I guess it doesn't specify whether that outstanding achievement is a positive or negative one. But for anyone reading this who writes: can you imagine yourself coming up with these lyrics and going "Oh yeah, that's the shit!" and scrawling it down excitedly? Any lyrics like that are discarded before they hit my page. I'd rather have a blank page than one that asks how one talks to an angel and likens the task to catching a falling star. Seriously.

Congratulations Steve Tyrell, Barry Coffing (composers) and Stephanie Tyrell (lyricist). You guys had the balls to do what any other self respecting musician/writer would dare to do: Write and push forward one of the worst songs of 1992, if not the decade.

*Although it's the 15th now, I did start writing this blog on the 17th anniversary of the shows cancellation.
**Gratuitous use of exclamation marks I know, but it was warranted
***Turn out it's not a guy but that ruins my flow

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Post-Semester Wasteland

So, as I'm sure no-one has noticed: it has been a while since my last blog. It seems that now that I have no pressing assignments or upcoming exams I suddenly have less material for writing blogs. A strange coincidence indeed.

When I was at work tonight - aside from being told that I looked very sad (heat does terrible things to my constitution) - Ank had found a great image that would have suited a previous blog entry:

Alas, like much on the Internet, the original creator is unknown. However, given that this is made in response to the mass marketing of Christ, I'm sure the creator doesn't mind and most probably wouldn't mind if we all used it to make stickers. I know I will be!

I was, in an attempt to get blog-writing again, going to start a regular section that other bloggers use. Things such as "Music Monday" or "Things I like Thursday". But seeing I couldn't come up with any suitable assonance for "Tuesday" (Titillating Tuesday, perhaps? I fear I would have many hits on my blog from teenagers and bogans searching google for 'tits'). So given this - and the intense heat from today - I am instead writing a few random ramblings for your boredom (inducing, not relieving).

Racism has again been rearing it's ugly head in my observations of this strange world. Actually, can something constant rear it's head? Hmm. Anyway, no doubt I will delight you all with a rant in the future about racism and racism in Australia in particular.

I will leave you now with an image that will melt any heart. I present Alyson Hannigan and Alexis Denisof with their bub:

And it gets better.....

Tomorrow had better be cooler. Good night