Day 239 – Expert opinion

Today was (not quite) Black Friday (thanks, AnitaB) and so I either need to gush about the amazing deals I got on a fridge and an air-fryer or lament the sociaital disaster that is rampant consumerism (but perhaps also sneak in the air-fryer).

Sky News spoke to 90s pop stars Right Said Fred (you may remember them from their songs I’m too Sexy and Deeply Dippy) (but hopefully not) about their views on the UK coronavirus lockdown, and while everyone is fully entitled to their views on the UK coronavirus lockdown, is it unfair of me to suggest that Sky News that Sky News find some experts in the field, rather than some bald 90s has-beens who are actually just trying to punt their latest dreadful musical offering?

Would I want to know the opinion of some epidemiological authority on crappy pop music from the end of the last millennium?

No.

So why on earth are we listening to the Fairbrass brothers about UK pandemic policy?

Day 227 – What a game

I’m watching Manchester City v Liverpool at the moment. Two pathetically soft penalties so far, and it’s only half time. Neither of them should have been given (as with the one in the Leicester v Wolves game earlier), and it’s all becoming a bit silly now. I slipped on the wet garage floor earlier, and I was immediately given two penalties by overly concerned referees.

Ridiculous. We don’t need this nonsense.

I didn’t see the FA Cup game between Torquay United and Crawley Town earlier, because for some reason, they didn’t show it here. But I wish I had.

2-0 to the home team at half time, and they’re cruising into the second round like a footballing knife through round one butter. And with 8 minutes left, they’re still two up and the man with the etching tool might well have been putting their name on the trophy already, for once Torquay sweep Crawley aside, they’ll surely go all the way and hold that famous trophy aloft… but wait…

Crawley get one back.

And then, in the 90th minute (which admittedly did last 19 minutes), they only go and equalise.

The crowd, who weren’t even there, go wild. But not for long, because 18 minutes into that 19 minutes added because of attempted (and failed) repairs to the Crawley goalkeeper, Torquay United score again to seal the tie 3-2. But wait…

Crawley get another one back, 21 minutes into the 19 minutes of stoppage time.

I know, right?

It’s 3-3. And the referee, deciding that 22 minutes of the added 19 minutes on 90 minutes signals that we’ll have 30 minutes of extra time. Incredible.

A quiet 12 minutes ensues, before Torquay restore their advantage for the [checks notes] third time. And then, as if to add insult to insult, the Devon Masters score again, hammering home their advantage to make it 5-3 with just 12 minutes to play.

And that’s how it finished. If you are only counting the Torquay goals, that is.

A minute later, Crawley hit back. It’s 5-4 and there’s all the time in the world left (especially given the plethora of last minute goals in normal time). Mr Engraver shrugs a little, but then gets back to work with his Dremel multitool.

Silly boy.

7 minutes left: it’s 5-5! Incredible. Amazing.

It only remains for someone to end this madness before it goes to penalties and finishes with an obviously fake, scarcely believable scoreline like 5-6 or something.

Step forward Ashley Nadesan, who, with 90 seconds remaining, pops the ball into the net for the Sussex giantkillers. And it’s a obviously fake, scarcely believable 5-6.

I didn’t see the FA Cup game between Torquay United and Crawley Town earlier, because for some reason, they didn’t show it here. But I wish I had.

Day 208 – A mention

Nemone has been sitting for Lauren Laverne on the 6 Music Breakfast Show this week and she pulled out some absolute bangers this morning. You don’t get to choose what’s on the radio, and so you’re not going to like every track back to back, but every so often, there’s one of rare those shows that just hits the mark. Repeatedly.

Today’s show was one of them. And when this came on:

Magic.

I got in touch with Nemone because I was taken back all the way to their mental performance at Glastonbury in 2003. Not least because it took nearly a minute for their 24 red-robed members to file onto the stage and take their place. Mad.

Anyway, long story short, she had also been thinking of that performance (because music can do that to you), she replied to my tweet and then I even got a very brief mention on air.
All the way from Cape Town.

Fame. At last.

Please form an orderly queue for autographs.
No selfies, (this is for everyone’s wellbeing).

Day 207 – ABoC put in his place by internet commenter

If you’re a regular reader here, then you know about me and religion.

I don’t do it.

I don’t do it, but I happily accept that some people do do it and that’s just fine. Really, as long as it’s not affecting my life and it’s not doing anyone any harm, then as far as I’m concerned, you can pray away to whichever deity you so desire. It’s really none of my business.

Talking of none of my business though, the top five guys in the Anglican church in the UK (presumably, they’re actually second in commands after you-know-who) decided to write a letter to the Financial Times today – about the UK Internal Market Bill.

Now, I recognise that they’re absolutely entitled to do that. So I’m not saying that they shouldn’t do it. I’m saying that I’d rather that they didn’t do it. My feeling is that they should have their views noted and then we should move on. Whatever their standing within the church, publicly criticising political and economic decisions is surely not their job.

I know I said that, in my mind, religious individuals should be allowed to do whatever they want within their own circles (notwithstanding the couple of points I made above), but this intrusion out of their lane irritated me. More so because there would be righteous outrage if the tables were turned and politicians started remarking upon and apparently trying to sway decisions made by the church.

This individual on twitter has put that very succinctly in his second sentence, I feel.

Indeed. Let the elected politicians get on with their work and you get on with yours. It’s not like you don’t have problems of your own that you really need to be working on.

Like:

and:

or:

and:

and not forgetting:

Thus, without want to ironically cross those same boundaries, might I just quote Matthew 7:3-5?

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”

OK, there’s plenty of time and opportunity to remove both plank and speck, I know.

But yeah, like Matthew says, maybe start with the plank.

Day 197 – An unfair comparison right now, but still…

Top Tip: Never read The Independent for political news, thinking that it will give you a fair, balanced viewpoint. The name is merely designed to fool you into thinking that way.

The tagline for The Independent used to be:

It is, are you?

…suggesting that The Independent was actually independent and additionally offering that up as some sort of virtue, like there was some problem with holding an opinion on any given matter of the day.

Get over yourselves.

Anyway, it turns out that The Independent really isn’t very independent at all.

But this isn’t post about The Independent. I just thought I’d add a bit of unnecessary context because I’m looking at a story from that outlet in this post.

It’s this story (and it’s not very political, so I think we’re ok to run with it):

This is very much in the same vein as the post I wrote a couple of days ago detailing a similar issue in the USA.

The thing is, the USA post I did compared the numbers of deaths from Covid-19 this year (because it’s new) and those from influenza over the last five flu seasons over there. Covid-19 was much, much worse than flu, despite comparing the figures from when flu was at its height over there.

But yes, flu is very seasonal, and so there’s no real surprise that if you look at the figures between January and August (which they have done here) then the numbers for Covid are so much higher: most of that time wasn’t flu season in the UK.

Deaths linked to Covid-19 were higher than deaths due to influenza and pneumonia between March and June.

And yes, they’ve added in “pneumonia” as well, but again, that isn’t as prevalent during the summer months.

It’s not a fair or meaningful comparison.

Still, it still doesn’t make for pleasant reading because the real story is probably yet to come.

As winter – and flu season – approaches, if we see what we have seen in the Southern hemisphere, then influenza will be less of an issue this year (because more people will choose to get vaccinated this time around and because of measures in place to try to combat coronavirus will limit influenza transmission as well) and that’s a good thing, but coronavirus will almost certainly continue to knock people off.

And so, with coronavirus cases already increasing again, it seems likely that Covid-19 will likely still be far more deadly than flu in the UK, even when the playing field is levelled.