Monday, April 2, 2007

Where Are We Now? - Greengrass

Ebren was highly dubious about publishing this piece, as he doesn't wish to appear self-congratulatory. I, however, do not mind congratulating you on making this forum possible. Nor do I mind congratulating all those who have given me such wonderful entertainment on here. Do I thereby slap my own back? Hardly! My appreciation of this forum is a matter of taste. I think this is better than other sites; others will disagree - good luck to them!

This is a completely off-topic article - it's not about sport, it's about a jewel called "Pseuds' Corner". What a long way we've come in such a short time! I've read a lot of very good work on here, and seen a good number of comments and ideas that are worth discussing.

Pseuds' Corner has resulted in a sea-change in my habits. I used to get a fair bit of flak from Mrs. Greengrass because I was hooked on the GU Sports Blog. Once upon a time, I started my day by reading the morning paper. Then I started my day by reading the Guardian on-line. One day, I had a look at the blogs. Then I registered, and started posting. What a wonderful world! As time passed, certain other posters became familiar - I started looking forward to their posts. We were accused of being a clique - well, we did have a quiet evening in a taproom once - and I almost made the Clique First XI. I was hooked! Then I was banned!

After a period of reflection and revolutionary rumbling, Ebren let this forum see the light of day. Now I get a fair bit of flak from Mrs.Greengrass because I'm hooked on Pseuds' Corner. This is what I read first thing every morning these days, if I'm anywhere near a computer. Why? Because the best reading around used to be GU, and this is better.

I find much of the writing on here far superior to most of the writing on GU, and some of the pieces far better than the Big Blogger harvest. What do we get to read on here?

Some "articles", perhaps, but I would prefer to call most of the contributions "pieces" - writings which the writers want to share with others in order to provide enjoyment. A variety of pieces, featuring everything under the sun that has something to do with sport, from bare-faced truth to honest lies. Sometimes I feel deeply moved, sometimes I feel deeply moved to laughter - there is far more humour on here!

What sort of writing community is this? Well, it's not a School of Creative Writing - our pieces are not processed on here, they are up and running when they arrive. It's not a nursery - generally speaking, the pieces on here are far too mature for that. It's a warm forum with open arms - "like my piece or lump it; I hope you enjoy it!"

I seem to recall some voices calling for more criticism, but I disagree: this is an open forum, and criticism - however well-meant! - might scare some potential contributors away.

There is one idea I would like to float: playing the journalist! Andy Bull was recently praised on GU for a wonderful article on the state of Zimbabwe. Soon after, he was criticised for an article on betting odds. This highlights the plight of the journeyman journalist: he/she can't always write from the heart. On here, we can write from the heart -or choose not to write. Some of us have, on occasion, been accused of being wannabee journos, jealous of the real hacks; judging by the pieces on here, that is simply not the case. It could, however, be fun to play at being hacks: the editorial board could surreptitiously give one of us a subject and a deadline, then publish the result. No tricky subjects to trip us up, but an honest gig! I wouldn't mind a shot at that!

Apart from that, I wouldn't change a thing. This forum is prospering, with new voices continually popping up for our mutual entertainment. And humour burgeons - not least in the form of Cricket Tapes and Alisha & Chantelle. There's even a taproom where I can seek sanctuary whenever Mrs. GG's flak gets too much for me!

Keep on writing,

Greengrass

79 comments:

offside said...

An off-topic article that calls for on-topic comments? Whatever next from the Scandinavia-dwelling bard?

Shame my muse ran away with a vicar...

Ebren said...

you said you'd send her back!

guitougoal said...

Greengrass,
It all began with you getting banned.I remember back in January when I got an email from Offside: "greengrass is banned!" I asked myself who is greengrass? what it means banned.? I checked the thesaurus dictionary:"officially exclude someone from a place" and few months later, banning after banning, you have changed he terminologyto: moving to a better place.Even the term banned doesn't exist anymore if you want to find out you have to look at: Greengrassed.
Thanks for the memories and the never ending fun.

marcela said...

but are drinks being served here, or what?

soutpacificbarman said...

Of course drinks are being served. There is an in-built cocktail bar in every one of greengrass' threads.

What will you have?

Rovers said...

southpacificbarman.... hmm...this sounds suspiciously like someone else I know... hmmmmmm.

Why the need for incognito??

munni said...

May I join...? In real life I'm sitting here with a glass of 12-year-old macallan in one hand and a cadbury cream egg in the other...revolting, yet oddly compelling combination.

offsidebehindthebar said...

Rovers,

incognito, moi? Hardly.

Munni, you can join if you're ready to share that MacAllan. The cream egg, really...

greengrass said...

We're not in this for the munni, but we're glad that munni's here.
Pass me that egg, please!

gg

P.S. Sorry to hear about your muse being swept off her feet, Offside. Maybe she has already defrocked the vicar yet again. Be careful if and when she returns - he'll probably indoctrinate her with all sorts of Lutheran claptrap. If so, you may find yourself making a strange number of onside statements. My munni is on your next piece being titled "The Twelve Commandments".

nesta said...

As a recent convert to psueds I concur with Greengrass. Just 2 weeks ago I was invited to pop over for a squiz (thanks mimi and mouth) and now I'm finding the GU blogs tedious. The corner is a good read, sometimes funny and always educational. From my desktop in far off Tasmania I pop in each lunchtime (and some evenings) for a read. I might even contribute a 'piece' of my own one day. Thank you to all contributors. Psuedscorner is a revelation and a revolution. Thanks.

greengrass said...

guitou -
it didn't all begin with me getting banned. It all began by us enjoying ourselves too much on the GU blog. Some of us thought that the GU blog was so good, it was like a virtual taproom.

We then created a taproom and had a grand old time there.

I believe that the GU cardinals misconstrued this affection, instead interpreting it as a challenge to their authority. Soon after, we - Ebren and I - were banned for being off-topic on, of all places, a Harry Pearson thread.

Ebren let us hang out at his place for a while, then opened Pseuds' Corner.

That's where we came from. Where are we now?

Please put that bottle down, Offside, or I'll treat you to one of my haikus!

gg

offside said...

I dares ya.

greengrass said...

O -

Can think, but can't write.
Where there's a will, there's no way;
no muse is bad news.

gg

offside said...

gg,

did I read that right? Are you suggesting Ebren should now give us assignments with DEADLINES?

Ebren said...

Yes, yes he did. And I want 1,200 words from you on tonight's liverpool game from the offside in my inbox by 11pm BST tonight.

And if you don't, well, nothing much will happen.

offside said...

Guess what? French TV is showing the other one. And nothing tomorrow as I don't have Canal+.

I could make it up (like I did the last one). But I don't write anything shorter than 1500w.

MotM said...

I concur with GG - this is a strange and, at times, beautiful place, a sanctuary from the crowding mundanities of everyday life.

The "everyone to write 500 words on the same topic" (or maybe a choice of two) would produce some very interesting stuff with some very interesting interpretations of what consitutes "on topic". If we had a 11.00pm GMT Sunday deadline, Ebren might publish them over the next week (along with the other stuff). I'd throw my hat into that ring, not least to see how the different takes play out.

Of course, this wouldn't be a competition, more a scattering of unknown seeds followed by a visit to see what flowers have bloomed.

Anonymous said...

Your all wankers, the lot of you!

Anonymous said...

Sorry about that grammatical error in the last comment. It should of course be 'you're'.

bluedaddy said...

And of course it shouldn't have been anonymous either.

greengrass said...

OK - this is the way I see my "Hack for a Day" thing:
1) Not a competition - a game. No losers, all winners.
2) Nobody has to take part, but all are welcome: just send a mail to Pseuds' Corner and say you're in.
3) Ebren - or his coven of editors - gives you an assignment. If they feel overburdened, they might choose to delegate this task.
4) You write and submit.
5) Your piece is published. If you want it to be flagged "Hack for a Day Piece" - fine; if not - fine.

Maybe someone can suggest some additions/ameliorations?

gg

greengrass said...

Mouth -
it's an interesting idea, but I wouldn't go initially for everyone hacking the same topic (too much like the GU blog).
Maybe we could save that for later - perhaps a "club history" week to persuade Hannibal to write?

greengrass said...

BD,
your vocabulary and grammar gave you away: "anonymous" just had to be a hungover Chelsea fan.
How was the stag do?

gg

bluedaddy said...

Now to be more constructive.

I quite fancy the deadline malarkey, though I seem to be quite busy at the mo. If you send me posting rights Ebren, I might have a go at an instant report for Chels vs Valencia tomorrow.

I guess the difficulty being a McCarra as opposed to a Marcela means that you are required to write about the topic of the moment, about teams you may loathe, and about subjects which are done to death, and have to work with quotes such as the tosh Gerrard has come out with this week about this Liverpool team and Rafa.

And this may partly explain why some people are turning to blogging as a way of thinking/speaking/moaning about football/the world. The GU blog is pretty good and you get some great thoughts or knowledge on there from other bloggers. But you are not allowed to chat as you might wish, in the way a conversation with a stranger in a pub might go.

And that stranger becoming an acquaintance becoming a friend is a very important part of all this on PC (and other blogs of course). When you are with good friends in the pub, a lot of what you communicate is either non-verbal or taken as read. My best friends and I already know what each other thinks about attacking football, or Maradona, or John Robertson. It's fun to watch footy with them but a lot of what needs to be said can be done with a raised eyebrow or shrug of the shoulder. With the stranger in the pub, and on here it has to be done more explicitly, or with a youtube clip, or by building up codes and mores and shorthand, as is happening on here.

The joy for me is that there are proper emotions being expressed on here. It refutes the apparent coldness of digital communication, and makes a mockery of the supposed remoteness of our disparate physical locations.
So when I feel sad about the stupidity of the Falklands/Malvinas War and how helpless and depressed I felt at the time, I can now ask people who can give me the benefit of their feelings and experiences, and whom I like and trust because we have shared nonsense about footie or music or drinks or language etc

Rambling as usual but I hope you get my drift.
I think my 'wankers' quote above was probably more eloquent.

bluedaddy said...

GG, an excellent weekend all round. Effortlessly great company. The hangover is just about passing, though I may never drink another Baby Guinness cocktail again, and I even had a glass of red last night with the duck and orange rissotto.

Drank till 4am the first and 6am the second. Hotels are great aren't they? It often crosses my mind that being tremendously wealthy would have some advantages. Being away from my family for a little while was fun. I spent £250 on clothes in half an hour, bought an ipod as well, and when I got back my wife and kids looked even more beautiful than ever.

We were given cards to try to entice us to a strip joint. They offered to pick us up in their van anywhere in the city and then drive us home. The genius registration number of the van almost made it tempting in a Dusk Til Dawn kind of way: PU51 VAN

greengrass said...

BD,
I can well understand you spurning the strip joint: who needs one of those when we have Offside parading around the taproom in his loincloth and a vicar defrocking for fun?

gg

Zephirine said...

"Friends, they're going to think it's a movement..."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wqOE4sxbbXM

(OK, for those of you who haven't met this fine piece of music before, it's 18 and a half minutes long. But curiously relevant, I find. Best played late at night.)

Key phrase, for me, in Greengrass's timely remarks: WRITING COMMUNITY. This site started up because we wanted to write stuff. Chatting is great, but what makes it special here is that people are prepared to write, which is difficult, rather than reading GU articles and saying "I could do that" which is easy.

andrewm said...

GU is depressing beyond words these days.

Pseuds is .... well .... I'm f'ed if I know, but I wouldn't change it.

levremance said...

I don't mind the 'write about your club' idea. Need to find an angle though.

I read on GU today that a picture of a piece of decaying cheese generates thousands of hits every day. This place is way too interesting to ever become popular.

pipita said...

GG

Exactly what I feel about this santuary, couldnt have said it any better. My only regret is that we dont have a copy of that GU thread, transformed into a taproom, that gave way to the creation of Pseuds. It reflected the true spirit of this corner. And before I go on and get accused of being "cheesy" buy my fellow evertonian blogging mate, I shall departé with one last request: pass the pakalolo lads

MotM said...

Pipita - Everton should have won last night - a dodgy penalty decision (AJ again brought down, but no whistle) and a bit of an unlucky late equaliser robbed us of the points.

There's not much to choose between Vaughan and Anichebe - both 18, both big and strong and really willing to work. Either of them up front with AJ will cause problems for the best of defences.

The future looks good for Everton!

pipita said...

Mouthy

Just read a report on that game, and the reporter's reference to one of Vaughn's moves as "ressembling George Best" left me in a state of total excitement. Does he really look that good?? Where's Anichebe from?? Sounds Nigerian, if so, yet another reason to share your confidence for the future

MotM said...

I wouldn't go that far with Vaughan but he has everything you want in a young forward. He scored aged 16 two seasons ago, but has been injured a lot since. Here's Vaughan http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Vaughan

Anichebe is of Nigerian extraction, but grew up in Crosby possibly going to my old school!

Here's Anichebe http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victor_Anichebe

They both look really good!

Ebren said...

MotM - a good, young English, striker at Everton?!?

Never!

But will he be a Rooney, a Linaker, a Cadamateri, or a Jeffers?

Who can say.

greengrass said...

Mouth,
a lot of forwards for a small club. Is Vaughan Frankie's youngster?
If so, he should have a decent kick in him.

gg

munni said...

er, thanks greengrass, that interpretation of my name hadn't actually occurred to me. It's actually pronounced with the u like in "put", and is short for my real name. Ok, back to football...

mimi said...

Thanks for this gg - just what I needed on a day that has seemed dull and colourless and my spirits remaining low. Couldn't agree more with comments re the GU Blogs - where once they were bright, fun and quick-fire exchanges, they seem to have gone all sludgey and although I still read, I seldom post.
Here is much more fun, and I'm drawn to read most things, even if not anything I know about.
I still get confused by those of you with multiple identities, but of course, I'm still a relative newcomer, and will sort it out in time.
The Hack for a day gig sounds like it could be fun - depends on the subject for me though as football would bring 500 words on what I don't know about it!
See you all for drinks in the taproom soon.

andrewm said...

.... and today on GU we see the re-emergence of Hollins, plus totally unwarranted attacks on Miro.

I don't know why I even read it. It doesn't even beat working anymore.

mimi said...

andrewm: where are the attacks? Some of us can't be bothered wading through the whole lot anymore, but if you tell us, we get a chance to respond, maybe, or maybe it's just too much fag. I dunno really

andrewm said...

mimi, it's probably not worth it, but on Jonathan Wilson's extremely interesting thread about a great Austrian footballer some clown decided to single miro out for no reason at all. For those like me who used to get that kind of stick constantly it's a reminder of the old days, that's all.

mimi said...

andrewm: I have read now, and it rather seems to be another example of why many of us are more than a tad fed up with the GU blogs. Sincere remarks apparently deliberately misread in order to attack the blogger and then a culture of meanness.
I was tempted to post an appreciative comment on Andy Bull's ICC blog, but just knew I'd open myself to attack, so sent him an email instead. It's just not worth the hassle, especially as there's an alternative place to come.

guitougoal said...

Andrewn, the clown,is it still the same guard annie hired last week to take on Miro,i mean guardani?

postern said...

what I like about Pseuds':

1. you don't know what you're gonna get each morning
2. you find real personality
3. there are a variety of writing styles

i can take or leave some of the conversation - sometimes the club feels a little too cliquey - but i always appreciate the straight-up thinking. what i'd like to see are more voices and constant innovation - how do we get more new people writing?
we're not running a newspaper here, it can be what the contributors make it.
podcasts, audio clips, digi pictures...is there a home for this kind of stuff?

Ebren said...

Photos I can do, the rest I am less sure about. But bluedaddy and Mouth probably know more about this than me and might find a way.

Rise's just scored a cracker. PSV look lost and Pleat is muttering about Malcolm Allison and Plymouth.

greengrass said...

postern said:
"what i'd like to see are more voices and constant innovation - how do we get more new people writing?"

I agree - any ideas?

gg

P.S. Yes - I can understand if it sometimes feels a bit cliquey. Maybe we can get our cliquey rocks off in the taproom - if so, we'll hopefully become a bit less cliquey
on the other pieces. But the fact that a "clique" defected almost intact from GU accounts for some of the warmth on here.

mimi said...

postern: this is a long way from cliquey. I'm a newcomer here, just the last few weeks or so, but been made to feel welcome. I think there was a kind of sea-change in thinking recently when GU had "tech problems" and the whole blogging experience with them went weird.
Here you're not asked to "Think before you Post" and so spontaneity and a certain amount of total madness rules.

postern said...

GG: the clique thing isn't too big a problem, i'm just worried it might seem a little too clubby for newcomers. but the 'all fiends in here' thing is a good one.
some of my favourite parts of BB and Pseuds have been the stories from different parts of the world on different sports - Argentinian football, GOAT basketballer, AFL drugs...I'd like more of this stuff. Anyone know someone who can write 500 words on Indian cricket, horse racing or retired former greats? throw open some topics and see if we can find some takers.
maybe someone would like to write on the subject 'did Peter Crouch's nose surgeon teach him how to head the ball?'

mimi said...

postern: you didn't really mean fiends did you???

offside said...

Of course we're all fiends in here, outcasts, misfits, rebels, offsiders, etc...

greengrass said...

postern -
former greats? Like George Best? I suppose I could do one about Les Kellet. Or Bernard Ganley. Billy Boston? Or how I saw my Rugby League idol - Alan Davies - get the worst of
a match against Reg Gasnier.
On second thoughts - forget that last one!

gg

MotM said...

Anyone seen the documentary by Werner Herzog describing his relationship with Klaus Kinski? It's called "My Best Fiend" and it's every bit as good as you would expect.

MotM said...

andrewm - I've posted something in support of miro on the Wilson blog.

pipita said...

Mouthy
That hardly surprises me...Cant imagine anyone being Kinski's best fRiend...it would have been out of characheter. Back on to the topic of GU, I fear Miro is really worried with the sliding levels at the GU sports blog, and I think he considers that Pseuds is not exactly the same, as much as he may like the bloggers who participate in it

offside said...

Have you read Kinski's autobiography? I can't remember the title but he was a scary customer.

pipita said...

Amazing, telepathy again. Mouthy you read my mind!!!Im getting worried this is happening too often to me lately...

guitougoal said...

pipita,sue him for thinking faster.

pipita said...

Guitou

Yeah, Im definetly going to take legal action here...By the way, do you think your compatriot will ever answer THAT question??? Must confess the suspense surrounding this quiz is beginning to get on my nerves......

offside said...

I will answer. Just not right away. I'm enjoying watching you stew for a bit. Think. Both Ebren and Guitou were thinking along the right lines, sort of.

mimi said...

Kinski wrote a book called All I need is love. Would that be about his relationship with Herzog?
As far as I know they both count as mad, but superbly talented German film-makers.

pipita said...

Okay Orsai. I await as patiently as I can. Does it have to do with wearing a green and white vertical Kimberley kit???HA,ha,ha,ha

marcela said...

zeph -
alice's restaurant; perhaps more relevant than you imagine...!
lovely :)

mimi said...

Marcela: that'd be Arlo guthrie then? Why are you here not in the taproom?

pipita said...

Marcelita

allo, allo. Are you spaced out or something?? Zeph hasnt been around for ages here

guitougoal said...

I am off soon to alice's myself....

mimi said...

Well get going - I've got 22 mins before bedtime, and I was hoping for a chat in the taproom before retiring.

MotM said...

Kinski on Kinski I think it was called in english and it's a helluva read, though not one that you want to have someone read over your shoulder on the tube! There's a photo of Nastassia's mother in it that I can't shake from my mind even now.

In the mad German stakes, Kinski is a notch ahead of Wilhelm Reich whose biography "Fury on Earth" is another sensational read.

BlueinBetis said...

I have three pieces swirling around my head at the moment, don't know if any will come to fruition, one of them is on Ghanaian league football. But at the moment Mrs Betis has me painting the front room. Somehow she found out I had a week off work... I think it had something to with that turtle that came for supper last week!

lemonshark said...

That turtle is a snitch.

And I don't trust that offside character either.

Zeph said...

Marcela (if you should pop back on here) - glad you liked the link. I was astonished to see that song seems to be regarded in the US as a cutesy number to play on the radio for Thanksgiving... perhaps they only play the first half and don't get as far as "you want to know if I'm moral enough to join the army, burn women and children, houses and villages.." Vietnam, Iraq...

marcela said...

zeph -
there once was a youtube thread which escalated with its images of violence. nothing wrong with it, but noticeably so.
i posted a clip of guthrie - the reasons are many, but among them was a sense that bluedaddy's pub analogy always made me think of alice's restaurant (where you can get anything you want) and also partly because when you land in a youtube clip you have many other options on offer as part of the screen...
anyway, to cut a short story long, my comment with the guthrie clip was deleted, allegedly for being 'off-topic'. i was gobsmacked. but not as much as I was the following day when i heard ebren and greengrass had been banned...

Zeph said...

Ooh... a circular thread...Marcela has brought it back perfectly to where it started...!

offside said...

yeah, and look what you've done now! We have to start all over.

Drink?

greengrass said...

zeph -
let's start again, then!

gg

offside said...

Well, come on Zeph, don't just stand there, write something.

Zeph said...

I have something in Ebren's virtual in-tray, so there.

How do they celebrate Easter on Easter Island?

Zeph said...

That last question was a piece of random musing, by the way. It's not the first part of a joke.

Well, not yet, anyway.

offside said...

The same way they celebrate Christmas on Christmas Island.

Zeph said...

mdr

greengrass said...

These island jokes are tiresome. I'll just park myself at scilly mid-off and watch us bravely lose to those Aussies, I think.

Tweet it, digg it