Where are all the Flags and Where is the Booze? @england women #WWC2015 #lionesses

Only once in my lifetime have I witnessed an England team reaching the semi-final of the World Cup, and that was during the Italia ’90 campaign (the one where Gazza cried). That World Cup (maybe with the exceptions of U.S.A ’94 and Japan ’02 because the matches were played so late in terms of G.M.T.) was everywhere – in the sense that not only was it on the T.V., but shops and cars and people were all displaying football related stuff. And in fairness, England didn’t qualify for U.S.A. ’94, so that’s perhaps an odd one to judge by, but there was the same merchandising and fervor surrounding England’s Japan ’02 Quarter-Final appearance (the one with Beckham’s mohawk), where people stayed up late to watch important matches.


So, where is the fervor surrounding the latest England team to reach a World Cup semi-final? I now all the matches are on late because it’s being played in Canada, but the supermarkets that are usually so quick to pounce on merchandising ideas have not done so on the occasion of the England Women’s team reaching the last four. If it were the men’s team the whole of the aisles as you walk in the store would be awash with booze, flags, t-shirts, barbecue stuff (cos when you’re drunk you’ll eat any old half-cooked rubbish). There’s not a lot of stuff around, so if you didn’t know, you’d think there was nothing much going on. This seems bizarre to me. Having watched all of England’s matches, with the exception of the French match, they’re a really good team that plays good football and they have a pretty good chance of beating the current holders, Japan.

So I ask: are flags and booze reserved for men only?


Elshender – 50% Discount Code (VG84H) #smashwords

Edinburgh Advertiser newspaper report, 13th November 1840:

Apprehension of a Desperate Robber

‘Our readers will recollect, that on the 23rd of last month, James Alexander, or Elshender, a notorious robber who had earned himself the sobriquet of “The Modern Rob Roy,” had broken out of Lanark jail, where he was incarcerated, charged with a desperate act of highway robbery; and that £20 was offered by the authorities there for his apprehension. Since then the police have been on the alert, to discover the daring freebooter; and having got a hint that he was likely to visit Hallow Fair, Sergeant-Major Colquhoun traced Elshender on Wednesday afternoon to a house in Bruntsfield Links, where, assisted by the criminal officers of the Establishment, and Mr Currie, Chief Officer of Police at Lanark, they pounced upon him and a confederate named Somerville. Both Elshender and Somerville are strong and desperate men, and they made a powerful resistance, but Colquhoun and his party succeeded in overpowering them both, and in dragging, or almost carrying them bodily, to the cells of the Police Office, where they were safely lodged, to be dealt with according to the law. The farmers in the west of Edinburghshire, as well as those of Lanark and Linlithgowshires, will, we believe, feel relieved by the knowledge that Elshender is at length in safekeeping.’


Get 50% off Elshender: A Tale of a Poor Man here by using the Discount Code – VG84H at Smashwords

Mr. Holmes and the Inclusion of an Iconic, if Horrific, 20th Century Event

Sir Ian McKellen‘s (@IanMckellen) newest film, Mr. Holmes (@MrHolmesMovie), is an interesting take on the all too familiar Sherlock Holmes tradition of super-sleuth-doing-super-sleuthing kind of stuff, albeit as he’s nearing the end of his life and suffering the effects of old age. However, having just watched the film, I’m left somewhat perplexed at the inclusion of a direct reference to the Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. I’m perplexed because I guess I’m meant to be. What I mean by this is that the film-makers obviously meant this aspect of the film to have such an effect, because it jars one’s sensibilities at the point of reference, causing one to perform a kind of cinematic double-take, where you’re sitting in your comfy cinema chair, feeling all caught up in the scenes of England-of-yesteryear, what with steam trains and old cars and men in hats and women in gloves and apiaries and stuff, and then you catch a glimpse of a Japanese woman with horrific scarring to her face, just before you see the sign for Hiroshima Station and the scorched landscape beyond.


And I guess my problem with feeling perplexed about this is that it’s just way too oblique as a reference, and as such can be readily disposed of before we set our minds to work on the purpose of its inclusion, and believe you me, there is a purpose to its inclusion, it’s just that it’s way too disjointed from the rest of the film to make itself known readily or to haunt us in the way that such an event should haunt us. Whilst still in the midst of my perplexity, I feel it’s a little too soon to come to any sort of conclusion (so watch this space), but wanted to give mention to a Hiroshima reference that works exactly as intended in describing the sense of horror that accompanies the senseless use of an horrific weapon on hundreds of thousands of innocent people. The reference to which I allude is Georges Bataille’s “Concerning the Accounts Given by Residents of Hiroshima” (1947), trans. Alan Keenan, in Trauma: Explorations in Memory, ed. Cathy Caruth (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1995), 221-235. Perhaps the film-makers should read it, then reflect on their use of such an event?

James Ellroy: Visions of Noir


A must for fans of James Ellroy’s work…

Originally posted on English Postgraduates:

‘James Ellroy: Visions of Noir’, 2nd July 2015, will be held at the University of Liverpool and sponsored by the Department of English. This conference will examine Ellroy’s influence on the genre, his inspirations as a writer and his achievements in forging an idiosyncratic and unique style. We seek to foster an interdisciplinary approach in order to explore subjects such as Ellroy’s reinterpretation of the history of Los Angeles and the United States, as well as the connections between genre fiction and cinema through film noir. Our keynote speaker is journalist and critic Woody Haut, who has written on how Ellroy’s work has led to a reassessment of crime fiction as ‘at its most subversive not when it retreats into the confines of the genre, but when it stretches its narrative boundaries and rules regarding subject, style and plot.’ His works include Neon Noir: Contemporary American Crime Fiction (1999)…

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Walter Mosley Event – 2nd July


A great event to attend for anyone interested in crime fiction…

Originally posted on English Postgraduates:

Walter Mosley heads to the city from New York for a rare UK appearance. Hosted by Writing on the Wall, the event will explore a shared literary heritage and transatlantic experiences of race, class and equality. Walter Mosley is one of the most versatile and admired writers in America today. He is the author of more than 43 critically acclaimed books, including the major best selling mystery series featuring Easy Rawlins and Devil in a Blue Dress. His work has been translated into 23 languages and includes literary fiction, science fiction, political monographs, and a young adult novel. He is the winner of numerous awards, including an O. Henry Award, a Grammy and PEN America’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Click the image below for a link to ticket sales for this event.

Madeline Heneghan Co- Director, Writing on the Wall says:
‘It’s a real coup to have such an iconic…

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Top-Knots, DFW, Men’s Fashion

A radio interview with David Foster Wallace’s sister, Amy, hears her tell of DFW wearing his hair in a top-knot and being discouraged to do so by his family, sensitively, so as not to hurt his feelings. Amy’s explanation of why DFW should not be wearing his hair in a top-knot was that it’s kind of the thing that little girls do – I’m paraphrasing here – and that the reason the family had to be so sensitive about breaking this news to him was that he had a problem with feeling that he wasn’t ‘masculine’ enough. But DFW was obviously rocking this look at a time when others weren’t – and fair play to him for that. Doing anything that makes you stand out is kind of tough, and wearing a top-knot sometime in the 80s, I’m guessing from Amy’s recollections, must have been a pretty hard look to pull off for a guy from the Mid-West. Fair enough, you might say, but, what of the current surge in top-knot wearing?tumblr_mwypodYTTl1s968ago1_1280

The current trend for top-knot wearing is interesting, and controversial. It doesn’t always work, but don’t knock a person for trying. Anyhoo, here are a couple of links to do with men wearing top-knots – although the New York The AWL feature has lots of pictures of ones worn at the back of the head – surely not a top-knot by its very definition (a top-knot should be worn above the occipital bone, and preferably above the recession, IM humble O).



Me gusta el blog de este tipo – que es un tipo fresco!

Originally posted on VIAJES AL FONDO DEL ALSA:

Aníbal Zazo Rodiles se levanta un poco más tarde de lo habitual este sábado 23 de mayo de 2015. Sabe que la noche anterior quizá se hubiese tomado un par de Seagram’s con cola más de la cuenta, pero le da igual, hoy tiene lugar el primero de los tres acontecimientos importantes que se van a producir en su vida este fin de semana, el Festival de Eurovisión, y es feliz. Ha quedado con sus dos amigos del alma (bueno, para ser exactos, sus dos únicos amigos, Rubén y Milio) para verlo esta noche en su casa. Ya tiene todo preparado, bebida, comida, la App de Eurovisión descargada en su iPhone 6. Se siente esperanzado, siente que Edurne va a hacer algo muy grande 00 eDURNEpor España, que, ¡que hostias!, es la novia de David De Gea, ese porterazo que pertenece al Manchester United, pero que en breve estará defendiendo el…

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