Sunday, March 18, 2007

The Meaning of Sport - Greengrass

A few days ago, I read an excellent piece of nostalgia on these pages. It tapped that rich vein of childhood memories that all lovers of sport surely share: in my case, traipsing down Sheepfoot Lane to the Boundary Park ground with Dad, trying hard to be a big enough lad not to grab his hand as we passed the ”bottom block” of the hospital where Oldham’s loonies lived.

Then into the ground, standing behind the goals, supping deep draughts of soon-to-be-dashed hopes, hearing the cheers and the curses, catching a glimpse of the game, marvelling at the magic of being in the company of all these big men. My Dad was in fine form - cracking jokes and giving his pennyworth, happy to have me as an excuse to get out of doing the Saturday shopping at the Tommyfield market.

My most vivid memory from those days is not a piercing pass - this was before the Scottish wizard Bobby Johnstone played for the Latics - a great goal or a match-winning save, but two Oldham fans who suddenly started clouting one another right in front of me. They were quickly pulled apart, but that was drama!

But it wasn’t all watching. There was playing, too. I always got picked last at football, but was hoofing a ball around alone one wet Sunday on the Back Meadow - our local footy field that we shared with Farmer Fitton’s cows. A bunch of Big Lads arrived - I was eleven, they were around fifteen. I’d never seen them before, so I was a bit scared. They stripped off and started a game of touch rugby and I stood and watched. I’d never seen this before.

A week later I was there again, waiting. This time, I had my playing gear on - brown boots and shorts - and they said I could join in.

I soon became their mascot, quickly learning the game. Before long I was selling dummies, side-stepping and grubber-kicking with the best of them. I played my first game in the under-seventeen’s league at the age of twelve - our lot were a couple of players short, and our trainer thought that I was big enough and daft enough. We got a thrashing, and I got the biggest thrashing of all.

That thrashing didn’t put me off. I spread the gospel to my gang, and soon we were playing touch rugby on our street every night when homework was done, dancing in the dark.

In those days, Oldham had a great Rugby League side. Being a centre, I worshipped Alan Davies. Sometimes I walked three miles to the ground, sometimes I had the bus fare. The bus trips were a treat! I always sat near the two experts - a retired farmer, Harry Hilton, and an Ulsterman from Bush Mills called John MacCallum - and tried to absorb their wisdom so that I could retail it to my mates.

At the age of fourteen I found myself a girlfriend. Her father, manager of the village Co-op shop, worked late - which allowed me to slink in through the back door of their house one or two evenings a week. And she came to Watersheddings to watch the rugby with me on Saturdays, too. On the way home after the match, somewhere in those endless lanes and fields, we would fall prey to the temptations of the flesh. Less than half an hour after sinning, she would park me outside the gates of our village Catholic church while she went in to confess. Not being a Catholic - not even a lapsed one! - I was left to worm and squirm.

After the next home game, we sinned again. Oh, those memories of childhood sport!

83 comments:

bluedaddy said...

GG. Lovely piece, really well put together. It seems you were a transgressor even then.

I think you had your priorities straight though. Far better to worm and squirm after sinning than during!

The notion of Catholic confession really is a stroke of genius isnt it? Persil for the soul.

andrewm said...

I love the personal reflection articles we're getting now, and this is particularly good. Cheers GG.

BlueinBetis said...

Very Nice GG.

Isn't Rugby itself considered a sin by the Catholic Church? And "touch" rugby......well, you should be ashamed of yourself. Five rosaries. Every day for a week. Salvation awaits, all you have to say is "I will not touch the ball with my hands, because that's cheating, that is."

MotM said...

Boy is the father of the man GG eh?

Who would have thought such joys were afoot under those glowering chimneys and mills of Oldham and Shaw?

Lovely stuff of course and there's a short story / teleplay in there too ain't there?

Confession - for us non-left footers it's an invention of genius almost enough to make one believe in God.

greengrass said...

Yes, confession really is a stroke of genius, and "Persil for the soul" is another! I wonder if the GU hierarchy would consider something of the kind, enacted in full view of passers-by in the windows of GU Towers - Father Sean dispensing 50 "Hail Barrys" right, left and centre; all of us pseudo-sinners tumbling around in a giant Acme washing machine; massed choirs of moderators mouthing hymns of purgatory through a dodgy tannoy.

miro said...

I like this one. We're OK in the certain age, but only God knows what has happened after that?

marcela said...

adolescent sins... wonderful stuff.

hannibalbrooks said...

Haven't had time to read GG's piece, but will do so later. I thought that I'd let you guys know that I am back on GU and my username is BocaJuniors.

I decided that it might give me a longer shelf life while Rob's around if I dropped the SirOllie theme.

Sorry Pipita, but it seems that I am nothing but Bostero and Red scum and doomed to oppose you throughout life :o)

guitougoal said...

g.g,as a catholic, i must confess: i liked it.It is not only rock'n roll ,last chapter, but i liked it.
At 14 you already knew where to find the edge you needed.
Are you sure she was meeting the catholic priest for confession ? I hear the bell ringing and elvis praying,lord have mercy.

hannibalbrooks said...

Lovely piece GG

It reminds me of a story that I have that involves Catholic confession and Liverpool's win over Saint Etienne, 30 years ago last Friday ... I feel the beginings of my next piece stirring.

guitougoal said...

saint Bathenay pray for us.

pipita said...

Bloody hell Hannibal!!!you leave me no alternative, I now have to declare you persona-non-grata, ha,ha,ha
Hey, any news about bigblogger week4???

Ebren said...

according to mimi and mouth Big Blogger was delayed thanks to a GU injury epidemic.

It will apperently be published "earley this week"

greengrass said...

Hannibal,
a piece by MouthoftheMersey pointed me in the right direction for "The Meaning...", so if you take up the baton and write your St. Etienne piece (which I faintly recall as a post in a GU blog) that will be three reminiscences from along the Mersey: the River Beal, where I sinned, is a tributary.
Mouth,
if I were a left footer, I think I'd probably feel that confession was an "invention of genius almost enough to make one believe in God."
gg

greengrass said...

ebren -
a "GU injury epidemic"; does that mean they were all "Freddied"? (see today's GU Flintoff blog).
GG

pipita said...

Thanks for the info ebren

GG My apologies for barging into your blog this way without mentioning how much I enjoyed reading this. Over here, many rugby teems, R Union off course, have strong links to the catholic church. First division clubs such as Cardenal Newman, Champagnat, and the two San Isidro one's SIC and CASI. Many of the Pumas players for example come from strong catholic family backgrounds either from the provinces or the capital

greengrass said...

pipita -
were I to complain about a poster being off-topic, you wouldn't be able to hear your own thoughts for the sound of my beloved fellow-bloggers self-combusting.
Be my guest! If anyone were to get seriously off-topic (for example, turning "my" thread into a virtual tap room), I'd be tickled pink.
If I had my bandoneon handy, I'd have a go at turning this into a virtual tap room myself. Instead, I'll sit by the bar, quietly humming a tune about a horse by Hanky's brother, Atahualpa Yupanqui.
GG

andrewm said...

GG, if it's not too personal - did the relationship develop at all?

You didn't marry her or anything like that?

PS. Yes, I'm that bored.

pipita said...

GG

Atahualpa Yupanqui!!!!!! this is too much GG, your truly somethin' else...Im afraid Im not a big folklore fan though. As for GU folklore regarding your off-topic gems, I'll never forget that thread, the famous one responsible for the creation of this site -cant remember either columnist nor topic-, when you exlaimed "pass on the chorizos!!" Terrific stuff, I wish someone had a copy of that whole hilarious sequence

mimi said...

I love these childhood reminisence pieces, and this is top-notch GG.
More of same everyone.

greengrass said...

Andy,
I never have married.
Bored? OK - I have the time to do a bit of Woman's Owning...
Yes, the relationship developed - we found even more places to do our sinning. Then I moved on to pastures anew, and she moved on to Australia.
Years later,I bumped into her in Shaw Desert High Street. I felt a surge of passion, that same old come-and-get-me look was in her eyes - and nothing happened.
GG

greengrass said...

pipita -
folklore is one thing, Atahualpa another. He transcends mere genres with his exquisite guitar work and that voice - worn and weary from (in
my imagination) an endless gaucho trail. He is the true essence.
I can hardly understand a word he sings, but he certainly fries my chorizos.
GG

andrewm said...

GG, I can only hope there's a song about her on the much-anticipated CD.

marcela said...

LLoran las LLamas del viento...

where llamas is in fact ramas pronounced a la atahualpa.

GG - you're familiar with yupanqui!

that is something else.

will have to play some immediately, to cope with the freezing so caled spring.

Ebren said...

Call this cold?

As my gran used to say - ne'er cast clout 'til May is out. She also used to remind us the while pride is never cold, pride "often catches cold".

Wise words.

Unlike my great aunt Mable, who while retaining her marbles was more likely to say "look at the size of her arse" as loudly as she could, then insist "she can't 'ear me" when you tried to shush her.

MotM said...

I'm flattered to have got a shout from GG as an influence on such a fine piece of writing - over to you Hannibal.

Re Confession: surely the thing to be was a prod amongst the RC girls? If only I had known how lucky I was...

greengrass said...

Andy,
no - but I might write one.
Marcela,
am I right in that text being about the wind? "Ramas" = "branches"?
Ebren,
judging by the sayings in your family, I get a sneaky feeling it could be mine. "Ne'er cast a clout" was one of my mother's favourites, and I had plenty of Aunt Mables around who abounded in "Fur coat an' dirty knickers, yon" and "Oo sez oo 'asn't bur a bet oo 'as".
GG
P.S.Not wishing to exclude non-Oldhamers, I must point out that "oo" means "she".

Ebren said...

GG - if fogous and physogs (being sent down one and punched in the other) featured in your upbringing as much as they did in mine I think there might be truth in your assertion.

I think we might have left the non-English speakers behind though. Actually, scratch that, no one on my desk at work (including two English graduates, one with a starred first from Cambridge) knows those words they might just be something we have to keep in the family.

pipita said...

Marcela, GG
Please, I beg you, give me a break!! I have much respect for Atahualpa, but that stuff he sings, and argie folkmusic in general depresses me like hell...Actually there is a football team named after him called Yupanqui Futbol Club, they play in a the first divison of the non-league championships here, and are legendary for having the least amount of fans of all clubs affiliated to the AFA, their was even a famous commercial featuring their fans a few years ago

Anonymous said...

GG: in our family it was "she's all fur coat and no knickers" used so indiscriminately that I was never quite sure what it meant!
My gran also had a strange superstition of always throwing away the first slice of bread off the loaf saying: "it's poisoned you know."
And that was before she lost her marbles!

martin said...

I've been banned again.

I was banned for the making the following post on the Football weekly podcast. It is cut and pasted and contained not even a single more than this...

'Can I just point out a couple of things to The Guardian's two respective sports editors?

Jamie Carragher played an entire season at left-back, hardly missing a single game in the season 2000-01, when Liverpool played 60 odd games en route to winning The UEFA Cup, FA Cup and League Cup.

He then went on to play at right back for Liverpool from the end of that season and until Rafa arrived in 2004, when Snr Benitez moved him to his current position at centre-half.'

You have to listen to what was said in the podcast to put my post into context and the fcats contained in my post are perfectly accurate.

It was first of all deleted, almost immediately, but I reposted it and then I received a reply fron seani ... then banned.

greengrass said...

ebren,
I'm fine with "physogs", but not "fogous".
pipita,
OK, I'll stop humming that tune. It was a cunning plan to bring Marcela into the bar (I knew she was round the back, on the laughing tobacco).
GG

hannibalbrooks said...

The above post by Martin is from me ... HB

pipita said...

GG
Okay, if thats the case, keep humming atahualpa tunes then. Have to admit youve got your ways with the ladies...

fred said...

Martin/hannibal/(sir) ollie twice -
nice run on the blind side while I was tending my thread! So now you lead the banning league 4-3.
They really are a bunch of twerps.
I suddenly realised I haven't listened to Football Weekly for weeks
- I'm so tired of their voices (looks like my GU detox is having some success, anyway).
Greengrass/ofHome/Couth/BitB

Ebren said...

Not very sporting Mr Martin. Boasting about beating GG's banning record on his own thread ;o)

I think you should now refrain from signing up again until he has a chance to get himself banned again.

On a more serious not - what did the reply from Sean say, if I am allowed to ask? I can't see that the last two have had any leg to stand on re: bannings. The Brookes banning was pretty effing tenuous as well. Ho humm, they seem to be excommunicating like a hung-over pope in the heyday of Lutherism.

p.s. - fogous appear to be a west penwith thing, so maybe too specific. Glad to know physogs feature more widely across the UK.

For my next trick - a post composed entirely in polari

fred said...

pipita,
I think it would be fair to say that I once HAD my ways with the ladies - as soon as Marcela realised who was doing the humming, she left the bar and went home to listen to Atahualpa, who is even older than me.
GG

fred said...

ebren,
West Penwith - Cornwall, fine!
But what IS a fogou? Don't keep this word perve in suspenders!

fred said...

Hannibal -
I see the Football Weekly blog, which
nowadays largely consists of brown noses trying to be first, died after Father Sean's pronouncement at 5.36 p.m.

GG

mimi said...

Sorry, done it again, the anon about the knickers was me!

mimi said...

martin: I haven't listened to the podcast, and can't be bothered, but this just mystifies me even more about the strange world of GU banning.
Is there anything particularly offensive or controversial in your statement? Seems pretty much a statement of fact to me. There's acres of crap over on the GU blog, some of it by their own writers, and you get banned for that?
I'd also, if it's fair to share, be very interested in Sean's response.

bluedaddy said...

This banning thing is getting totally out of hand. If any of those knobs at GU have got a specific problem with HB, they need to make it clear to him, and I wouldnt mind them making it clear to us too.

I wouldnt be entirely surprised to find they knew Brooksie was posting as BocaJ by visiting here. Not one of HB's bans has been justified, and if they get hacked off why not just delete posts or suspend posters. If you cant make jokes related to the topic (but too subtle for moderators to pick up) then what is the fucking point. Why dont they just warn people? Then if people want to pursue it and get banned you will know you had a chance to shut up.

If they are not careful they will end up with a blog full of humourless knobheads like Stormid and Mister C and Chocolato. There must be no more than ten posters on GU now that I can be arsed looking out for.

Sod em. I'll get my fix here.

guitougoal said...

for anybody hanging arounf greengrass banning is as certain as sunrise.
mimi are you still mad?

fred said...

bd et al,
I repeat my suggestion of an e-mail meeting on this banning bit and possible joint action.
Off to the alehouse for the Cup - I'll raise a glass to you, bd.
On a lighter note: when I was there the other week, I met a Rangers fan outside. He told me the place was heaving with Celtic fans, and I replied that it couldn't be a healthy place for him. He said, "No bother - they're all hairdressers!"
GG

pipita said...

It seems the sports blog thing has got completely out of hand for the Guardian, and the senior editors have passed on the scrutinizing job to some junior editors, or whatever they may be called, who are erasing any comment they regard may be even slightly offensive for the columnists. I just cant believe they have the time and patience to track down the new pseud's of previously banned bloggers

GG

Come on, dont be so modest...Anyway, bet marcela doesent have a single atahualpa cd back home

kokomo said...

they should have banned someone for that accountancy nonsense on pleat's blog today, on the grounds of being overly thick.

Obviously have a problem with our resident dj, looks like pseud's corner is the place to be nowadays.

marcela said...

In Memoriam Bocajuniors:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FDsXiCNIzqE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QIyMt1bs1_0

marcela said...

FYI pipita - i have atahualpa on vinyl...

the good thing about this virtual tap room is one can pop in and out whilst staying at home. :)

hope gg returns after the alehouse calls time to enjoy the little youtube gems i've posted.

mimi said...

guitou: if you are referring to the Brand strand, I've put a comment on Brooks's Football piece here. I know I took silly offence.
There's getting to be a real overlap here between this and the Brooks one about GU banning. Maybe we could merge and just have a forum here for this discussion.
Personally I can't believe any of the GU writers have the time to peruse what we're doing over here. Don't they have jobs to do?!

guitougoal said...

mimi, as long as you are happy everybody is happy.

Ebren said...

Fogou (pronounced FooGoo) was a hole you could hide things down.

i.e. - "if they try and subscript you you're going down the fogou"

I now learn they are ancient structures and not priest holes as I previously thought

http://www.pznow.co.uk/historic1/fogou.html

hannibalbrooks said...

Hi everyone

The reply from seani is on the FW thread, that's what I meant.

He goes on about his opinion of Carragher, which is all it really is, but it has nothing to do with my post, which very politely points out that two professional sports editors are talking out of their combined arses and don't know their basic facts.

Re: the podcast and sports editors arses ... The whole tone of it is sickeningly creepy, largely because Ian Prior, the deputy Sports editor of Big Paper is in the pod this week.

Kevin McCarra's head is so far up Ian Prior's arse that he can nearly see Sean Ingle's feet. Ian Prior seems to be loving every minute of it ... and you lot thought that getting on in sports journalism was about being a good writer who is knowledgeable about sport ... think again.

Nothing succeeds like mediocrity and a whole lotta psychophancy.

I can't be arsed going through the whole rigmarole of registering just to get banned again. So it looks like that's it for me.

andrewm said...

HB, for what it's worth I'll never understand why you've been singled out - because you clearly have - when the site continues to allow offensive morons to post.

How sad it is.

Ebren said...

Very odd Brooks.

They have left your comment there, along with the reply, then banned you.

Very odd indeed.

mimi said...

HB: I've had a look at FW, and am even more mystified. Unless they've taken down something else you posted, it seems totally innocuous to me. As you all know, football is not really my thing, but I take more than a passing interest, particularly in Liverpool, and just can't see what you've said to get Sean so uptight.
It'll be a shame if you don't get back on GU, but their loss is our game, and it'll give you more time to write some more stuff for here.
Look forward to your next one.

mimi said...

Whoops, possible freudian slip there! I meant of course gain!

guitougoal said...

Hannibal,lets bring the elephants,call the cavalry,rally the troops, have mimi to beat the drums, the march
is on.

hannibalbrooks said...

Thanks guys

I'm off to walk my dog, Funky, and to contemplate my next piece about victory over Saint Etienne and the Catholic sacrement of confession.

pipita said...

Hannibal

In spite of the new bostero identity you adopted in order to re-enter the GU blog, -should have known bettter, I warned you- I agree with everyone else here that the whole affair sounds totally ridiculous. Incredible as it sounds, now I have to believe that they did in fact track you down as a banned GU blogger, otherwise this whole thing doesent make any sense whatsover

mimi said...

HB, Pipita: before we rush to conspiracy theories here, let's wait and see what happens on Big Blogger this week. If no-one who submits here wins and the standard of the winners falls short of the stuff Ebren has been putting up over the past week, then maybe there's something in it. I just can't believe that GU types would bother to go to the trouble of chasing down an identity change, simply to ban the blogger. It's way too much work, surely?

Ebren said...

That's a silly system mimi, we all know JB71 will win again, and he posts stuff here.

Although never very contravetial stuff.

And Sean was even nice to me on last week's non-celebrity big blogger.

If anyone was going to be needlessly banned beacues of pseuds and the banned blog it would be me.

That said, GG and HB do seem to be banned more often for less.

BlueinBetis said...

HB et al.
I have just read all the commentaries, bounced back to the Guardian website looked at Football Weekly, which I haven't heard yet. But do not for the life of me understand why you've been banned. Again. There was no attack, no "you're thick, you know nothing" just facts. (I take them to be facts cos I know very little about Liverpuddle)

I don't get it. I also don't understand why a man who writes in the style of Jeremy Clarkson is a shoe-in. I am very confused. If you'll have me I think I'd rather stay here.

I have one or two things in the pipeline, so I can bare my inner soul, but this week might be busy. Will send them along as soon as they're done.

Mine's a Cruzcampo, en vaso grande si tienes, por favor.

Any thoughts on the Spurs-Chelsea game, I haven't seen it yet.

MotM said...

Didn't Sean say a few weeks back that they were taking on a couple of new moderators? Do you think one or both are keen to make their bones with Hannibal?

For what it's worth, I think the GU guys (all guys I think) look over here now and again and names like Ebren, Greengrass and Hannibal will catch their eyes. Come on, wouldn't you?

The blogs are a poorer place without HB, so I hope the dust'll settle and he'll come back as Bill Sikes.

MotM said...

I can't do podcasts, but I can read and the preamble says "As ever let us know what you think below". Hannibal / Boca does that and Sean replies.

I can only think that they are peeved that HB re-registered. That level of disagreement is tolerated in North Korea.

fred said...

Dear Friends -
yes, BlueinBetis, I am sure I speak for all of us when I assure you that you are welcome on here! - I am, as we said way back when between bouts of sinning, not quite "compus mentis".
So I shall return tomorrow to survey this glorious confusion of a safe-sex virtual tap room and view links to you-tube. Please feel free to hijack "my" thread to create whatever mayhem you see fit: my trust in you is infinite.
GG
GG

offside said...

I was going to be my usual self and post something that's trying to be clever, but hey, greengrass, you got me all misty eyed and reminiscing. Different times, different places, different games, different girl (I hope) but essentially, the same memories.

Beautiful piece.

A little music to go with it, perhaps? How about the song "Catholic Girls" by Frank Zappa?


"All the way
Thats the way they go
Every day
And none of their mamas ever seem to know
Hip-hip-hooray
For all the class they show
Theres nothing like a catholic girl
At the cyo
When they learn to blow..."

fred said...

No, no Offside - it was the same girl.
Thanks for the song - it blended well with Atahualpa, which I'm still humming from yesterday, and the breaking surf did interesting things with the horsey rhythm.
Catholic girls on horses cantering through the breaking surf - this is beginning to turn into an adman's wet dream; desist, old man, desist!
Still a mite hungover after The Red Devils' resounding victory. I'd better get some breakfast across my guts and face the world.
GG

fred said...

OK, fellow-communards, a line or two before work intervenes!
What is all this banning business really about?
It can't be a simple anti-Liverpool thing, even if "history" may not be the favourite subject of some members of the GU elite.
It's not abuse, even though some of us might, on occasion, have been abusive. Not racism, not sexism.
I remember that Father Sean's comments when my Greengrass incarnation was banned indicated that the virtual taproom riled the GU lot: paradoxically, my estimation of the Sports blogs as a kin to a taproom was a heartfelt compliment.
So: compliments are misconstrued, and the mildest - and ever-so-polite! - questioning of the views of the holy hacks renders a ban.
Is the Sports blog game worth the candle? Judging by yesterday's Wankers Weekly thread, it is thin gruel indeed - scouse is Cordon Bleu compared to that!
What do we want/are we going to do about it?
A collective front?
Guerilla sniping?
Looking forward to the fray!
Greengrass

bluedaddy said...

GG,

The disappointing thing about the inconsistent, petty and evidently personal nature of moderation and banning on Sportsblog is that it backs up my internal voice that tells me that I really am wasting my time on there.
If the back and forth, 'wenger smells, no jose smells' diarrhea of recent weeks is tolerated while HB batting for his team, or even just stating simple facts, is not, then my internal voice is right.

They dont want us to chat to each other. Ok, we'll chat here.

They dont want us to be abusive. We are not.

They dont want us to be as witty or well informed as them. They should write as well as they can do at times, and then just let us comment as we see fit.

They want us to rigidly stay on topic, but they need to read some of the blogs that do, if they can stay awake.

I quite fancy guerilla tactics myself, or just walk away (though I dont really see why I should). Hopefully this place will thrive and that will do me.

See youse at Wembley in May Fredster.

kokomo said...

i am going to ween myself off. yesterday, a whole bunch of gooners maintained that they did not pay for william gallas with ashley cole, that cole's value had no bearing on the transfer, and that william gallas was a free transfer who also came with a present of 5million, all at no cost to arsenal.

And then they ban hb for reminding them that carragher has played over 100 games, winning several cups in the process, at left back.

The articles are better on here, but most importantly, so is the comment.

I wonder if they really think that sportsblog is all the stronger for less of this lot, and more of that lot, on it.

rustybin said...

From "rustybin"

RE: anti GU blog

Here you obviously have a higher intelligence per person quotient going on and the articles submitted are of the highest possible quality!
But the GU blog is what has brought you wonderkids together. And i think givin up on it is a bad move, new "special" people will be joining GU blogs all the time and it is the obligation of those present on this space to draw them in to this second space that has thankfully been created

rustybin said...

and to defend a little the GU editors...
Like any job they have got people on top of them supervising everything they do. GU is corporate i'm afraid, and the free for all of the blog was always gonna pass through some bumpy times.. one of which seems to be now amongst the inteligencia here.
Do not give up! Some people who will have alot to say are only just finding out about the blog now..

rustybin said...

I bow down to all who have posted here. I am a frequent reader and not to frequent poster and cant stress enough how glad i am to have found you all ( thank you GU)

Ebren said...

Careful rusty, brown nosing is the only thing that will get you banned from here. That and never posting here in the first place. They're all banned. Until they post here at least.

I was going to put together a podcast on the grounds that anything they can do we can do more crapily, for free, and in our spare time.

But I decided against it on the grounds that I have little life left as it is.

GU has far more issues to deal with than us, and their writing (at least above the line) is generally excellent.

I don't think its a competition. This is a community project, that is a commercial news enterprise.

Oh, and for anyone who claims we are ungrateful - ad revenues from this site are going on a present for Sean and Barry as soon as we get any. From then on it’s a big blogger big beano fund.

greengrass said...

Rusty,
just look at all the freedom of speech you get on here - no moderators deleting your posts, no Father Sean banning you.
There everything is hidden from view; here everything is open and above-board.
Had the precious GU hacks spawned Pseuds' Corner in a spirit of benevolence I would thank them, but no - they spawned it unwillingly, in a spirit of spite, and thus I curse them.
Greengrass

mimi said...

Greengrass: Steady on there. I'm not the founder of this site, but was invited to contribute because of Sean's Big Blogger and getting a mention on same. I don't think there's anything UNWILLING that can be attributed to GU. UNWITTING maybe, cos they can't have imagined what their invitation to have a go at writing would spawn. I can't think that there's any spite involved, and to be honest, I still doubt that anyone from GU has the time or inclination to wander over here to monitor what we're up to.
This is a different, free and independent space that we operate in. Most of us who comment put ourselves on the front line by posting our writings. We should enjoy what we have here, and not worry what goes on at GU.
Sorry, I hope that didn't sound preachy.

fred said...

mimi -
fine, "unwittingly" is a better word.
"Spite"?
Irritation at the clique, bullying and a lack of transparency - definitely.
I felt that it was spite - of course I can't pretend to be anything other than subjective, but that is what I felt.
And just what is this punishment system, where we can be banned and then "crawl" back on under a new pseudonym, instead of discussing our "transgressions" in full view of our fellow-posters?
If we have really been naughty, we should never be allowed near the blogs again.
Greengrass

mimi said...

fred/greengrass: I can totally understand why you want answers from GU for banning, but I do find it hard to believe that it's a personal thing. I agree that transparency would be helpful but we don't know what rules they work by. I've had days of being all over the OBO and feted by them, and then days when for love nor money I can't get an email on there. I never know why - have I brought the tone down low enough, or have I have just been too cricket serious. You just don't know what their criteria are.
Best not to worry too much cos we can have our say about anything here, especially if we put our heads above the parapet and post an article that our comrades can comment in freedom on.

Ebren said...

Quick point of information.

I asked certain influential GU staff if I could post here before I first did.

Was told it was a "free country" and told I could post my work where I liked.

So they are not anti pseuds.

mimi said...

Ebren: A free country?? How nice to know that we're not living under a Stalinist or other fascist regime. How immensely generous of GU to grant us our democratic rights!

kokomo said...

yeah - i thought that was a bit strange ebren - what was there to 'ask' them about?

i don't suppose they are anti-pseuds, but i do think that they are anti some of the people on here, and they hate the 'clique' thing, the demoniosation of which has made gu a lesser place.

But, i agree with rusty, gu is a great site, the only one i ever posted on (i post here now too!)

fred said...

kokomo,
no one denies that the GU is a great site, but they seem to be making one silly, inscrutable decision after another.
They may really have shopped their meat with this 30-minute business.
Is there no one who can get Sean to turn the tide before the ship sinks?
GG
P.S. I'll be seeing a Harley St. specialist soon about my mixed metaphors.

mimi said...

Fred: I've gone right off the idea of posting on GU today. It's not just the 30 min thing - which does somehow kill any spontaneity I may usually have, but also the ticking down of how many characters you have left. God it's like watching that bloody clock thingy in Lost!

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