Monday, January 19, 2009

Margin - Laaa Laaa La La La La La Laaa...

Margin – Laaa Laaa La La La La La Laaa….

We’ve seen a couple of righteous articles on Pseud’s Corner recently following Kanoute’s t-shirt incident. And while I have replied to them in comments, I thought it might be time as some one paid to write about politics to opine on this matter in full.

So let me start with a question or three for Mr Kanoute.

Why stay silent while Israel showed months of restraint under fire from Gaza as the world’s press turned a blind eye to the deaths of innocent Jews?

Why stay silent while those Gazans overwhelmingly elected as leaders a terrorist organisation committed to the eradication of Jews in the Middle East?

Why stay silent while Fatah worked hard to re-establish trust and dialogue with Israel so as to further the aim of creating a Palestinian State, against the will and violent efforts of Hamas in Gaza?

I ask these questions because the responses are self evident.

And most important among the likely responses is that we don’t know that stayed silent at all.

Taking my first question, he might have jubilantly declared in private that the only good Jew was a dead Jew. Or he might have expressed despair at the sins of his fellow Muslims and the damage they were doing to the cause of a Palestinian state while assuring their own eternal damnation by committing murder.

What he did or didn’t declare we don’t know. He never told us. And why should he? He is not a politician or a journalist or a philosopher. Or at least not one of any public interest. He is just a private citizen. And like all private citizens we leave him to his views and make little judgement of the degree of his bias and extent of his knowledge.

But by using the publicity machine that chance has provided, he somewhat loses that right does he not?

I commented on other articles here about this matter and was quickly challenged on my views by personal investigation (for example, what did I think about Spurs fans being homophobic, and so on).

And that is just and right. I expressed a view, and in challenging me on that view my motives and by biases are fair game.

So, I want to know if Kanoute is anti-semitic. I want to know if he backs Fatah’s efforts to establish peace in the Middle East. I want to know if he supports Hamas’ shelling of innocent children.

And I want to know these things because he tried to make his politics, which might for all I know be abhorrent, my business.

But of course there is no place for such a debate on a football field. I’m not even permitted to cross the white line onto the playing surface and engage in a civil conversation with him.

So here is my prejudice.

My questions were the questions of some one who has been touched in his life time by terrorism. They were the questions of some one who has long supported peaceful efforts to gain long overdue justice for Palestinians. And they were the questions of some one who despairs at the self righteous pomp on display among those who protest against Israel but didn’t speak up two months ago while Hamas was killing Jews.

And that is what politics is about. It isn’t a field of right and wrong answers. It is a place for divergent and conflicting opinions based on variable perspectives and priorities. It is a place where views come together because different people see the world differently. Not rightly or wrongly. Just different.

But of course Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Expression go far beyond the Middle East.

In the House of Commons it would be perfectly legal for any member to stand up and declare that ethnic minorities need to be removed from the UK to protect the biological distinctiveness of the indigenous population.

On Speakers Corner in Hyde Park anyone can stand and argue that homosexuality is a sin and should be banned for the moral protection of our own population.

And so to Spurs.

This weekend Spurs played Portsmouth, and it is one of those rare matches where Spurs fans turn their attentions away from hating Spurs players, and towards hating an opponent.

Sol Campbell is to Spurs fans the ultimate example of everything that is wrong with modern football. He showed no loyalty to his club when he left to join their rivals. No honesty when he signed a contract with that club while telling his existing club he would never do so. And he showed no integrity when turning out in an FA Cup Semi final against the team he had already signed for, and playing a part in their success that day.

So Campbell is hated not for his alleged homosexuality, but for his football. However, that has repeatedly turned into homosexual insult, along with the general referencing of him as Judas who so far as I know was not gay either.

The club were clear that homophobic abuse would be punished, the police boosted camera numbers, and the fans responded by not singing Sol Sol wherever you may be… but instead performing the song as “Laaa Laaa La La La La La Laaa….”

And so to hypocrisy.

I fundamentally believe racist and homophobic abuse should be kept out of football. The football authorities agree.

I fundamentally believe fans of any sexuality, nationality, race or religion should be able to enjoy football without facing the sort of offence one can generally expect not to face in daily life. The football authorities agree.

And I fundamentally feel that because football thus can’t be an open policy forum, politics must be kept out of the game. The football authorities agree.

So I call now on one person who backs free expression for the campaign for a Palestinian State, to be consistent.

I call on one such person to say they would equally back a footballer displaying a swastika.

I call on one such person to say they would equally back a footballer displaying “Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve.”

And most of all, I call on one such person to say they think that fans should be able to sing at any match they like the words “Sol, Sol, wherever you may be - Not long now till lunacy – don’t give a ^%$£ if you’re hanging from a tree – you Judas £$%^ with HIV”

Because that would be consistent.


Margin said...

Bit of a rushed lunch hour job this one. So I apologise in advance for that. But I hope it stirs debate.

zephirine said...

For anyone who didn't see it, this article from the Guardian is well worth reading.

ringo37 said...

Think I agree, Margin.

This is t-shirt politics; that is, it isn't really politics at all. It's sloganeering. 'Palestine' isn't an argument - in fact, it's rapidly becoming a brand.

Some convictions - I support United, my favourite colour is blue - are acknowledged as being pretty arbitrary, and don't require much in the way of a supporting argument.

At the other end of the scale are words like "Palestine" or "Israel". The use of these words is always going to need explanations, qualifications, clarifications - careful thought and precise expression, in short.

To use "Palestine" (or "Israel") as a slogan is simple-minded and exploitative; in an ideal world it would also be meaningless, but the fact is that, if a footballer (or a singer or a film star) says something, it resonates. Once people joined tribes; now people follow brands, but the effect is much the same (I might add, in passing, that the suggestion that Kanouté made his protest because of his Muslim faith rather supports the charge of witless tribalism).

I can understand why people do these things, and I hope it goes without saying that I don't consider myself qualified to comment on the depths of suffering people in the region have experienceed over the last however-many-it-is years.

And I'm not interested in arguing whether or not these protests should be banned; the question is whether they are right or wrong, and I think they're wrong.

But then some of you might think that I could have saved a lot of time and thought if, instead of writing this, I'd put on a t-shirt saying KANOUTÉ WRONG and run about in front of some football fans.

mountainstriker said...

I deliberately refrained from commenting on BtP's latest self-regarding epistles on Kanoute and Palestine - I always assumed that the use of 'Pseuds'' in our title was ironic - but am moved to offer my lightweight if heartfelt support to Margin and Ringo on this.

Kanoute is entitled to his opinion but, if he expresses it publicly he, and it, are open to counter argument. Moreover if he uses the platform afforded by the nature of employment, particularly when such expressions are explicitly forbidden, then he should be sanctioned no matter how 'right' he is.

This is not a matter of freedom of speech - he would be welcome to come on here and debate us for example - it concerns whether he does so as an individual citizen or as a footballer and/or a representative of his club/league.

If I worked in a supermarket and stamped 'meat is murder' on every packet of mince I'd get the sack. If I came on here and said it, I'd get several broadsides from the tapir lovers amongst us, but I'd still be in employment. I think the distinction is important.

beyond the pale said...


Thank you for that link to a Guardian blog that highlights once again all the complication of human agony involved in this matter.

(And for those with short memories, on the subject of that complication,
let it be recalled for the record that in a comments post on Jan. 16, BTP--evidently the object of this present polemic-- said to Margin, "I don't think that killing people with rockets--or for that matter with popguns--is justifiable. I believe in peaceful mediation through language. That's why I'm writing to you.")

May I respond to your link, Zeph, by offering, for those who may not have seen it, this from today's Guardian (Jan. 19 '09), posted by correspondent Rory McCarthy in Zeitoun, Gaza:

"In Zeitoun, close to the site of the former Israeli settlement of Netzarim, abandoned in 2005, great numbers of apartment buildings and homes were damaged or completely destroyed by tank shells or machine gun fire.

"Among these was a flattened house identified as having belonged to the extended Samouni family, 48 of whom are now believed to have been killed when their home was repeatedly shelled by Israeli forces, an incident first described by UN officials 10 days ago.

"The shelling of the house was subsequently highlighted by Navi Pillay, the UN high commissioner for human rights, as a possible war crime. She called for an independent investigation into the incident.

"Nearby was a badly damaged two-­storey breezeblock home which had clearly been used as a temporary forward base by Israeli troops. It was littered with bullet casings, empty ration packs marked with Hebrew writing and plastic waste bags.

"Inside and outside the home, graffiti had been daubed in Hebrew and English, with slogans including 'Arabs need to die', 'Arabs: 1948 to 2009' and 'Make war, not peace'.

"The death toll among Palestinians during the three-week assault by Israel is now known to have exceeded 1,300, with about 5,000 injured."

Margin objects to t-shirt politics. He and others among us have, perhaps just a wee bit disingenuously, lamented that Frederic Kanoute's t-shirt message did not extend into a full discursive unfolding of a political opinion. As though a word ("Palestina") which, by naming a place from which all the pain on earth now seems to radiate, stands clearly as the symbol of present historical suffering--and is recognized all across the planet as such--needed a long accompanying fine-print opinion-piece, unfolding as might a bride's train across the inviolable purity of the football pitch, to elaborate this simple "position": Stop the Killing, please.

One senses then that this was an urgently and sincerely felt if simply stated message.

Margin said...

Thanks for the comments guys. About to go play some football (no slogans to display.)


You misunderstand entirely. I'm not making a case about the middle east.

I'm making the case that football can't be an open discoure on politics, and as such is right to make itself apolitical.

But again, does anyone think fans should sing that song and thus match Kanoute's free expression?

If not then how do they maintain such an inconsistent view?

ringo37 said...

BtP. I'm going to limit myself, for now, to observing that the word "Palestina" does not mean "Stop The Killing, Please". It might conceivably mean "Stop Killing Palestinians, Please".

Perhaps "Peace" is the word you're groping for?

We're all aware of the suffering caused by war; as Margin has pointed out, this isn't an argument about the Middle East, it's an argument about opinions and the ways in which opinions are expressed.

beyond the pale said...


Thanks for limiting yourself, and for your helpful word-substitution offer. But the words I chose were the ones I meant, to express an interpretation which, like everyone else's, is necessarily somewhat subjective. I'm human and see through the only set of eyes I was given. I've been using them quite a while now, perhaps they've become a bit blurry. But though not perhaps a "professional" like Margin, I am in fact a writer, and as such I'd hope never to "grope" for words, but to pick exactly the ones I mean, and then say them. However, if you'd prefer to put that word "Peace" in my mouth I'll thank you for it, and die a happy man if no one ever replaces it with a worse one.


The central line of your argument as I hear it seems to be an insistence on equating all messages with all other messages, and a consequent suggestion that, because some messages are plainly abhorrent, no messages of any kind should be permitted in or near the sporting arena.

This is a fairly undiscriminating line of argument.

The implication is that the message, say, of the Spurs racist homophobic chants--and too of their aborted scatological "protest" against Sol Campbell on Sunday, when, as the Guardian reported, Spurs fans had to be deterred by police from defecating in public in (a somewhat unsubtle) symbolic acting-out of the message "Shit on Sol" (Campbell's "crime" being the "disloyalty implied in his daring to leave the club)--is in some way equal to the Kanoute t-shirt message ("Palestina").

(And is mine the only mind through which has crossed, during this discussion, the memory that Frederic Kanoute was once guilty of this same "crime"?)

Over the course of this debate-in-a-bubble, some of the greyer older heads in the house have had the courage to raise those old heads and remind us that once upon a time--as at the 1968 Olympics--sportsmen acting out of conscience in response to the complex pressures of history by issuing symbolic messages have been seen to offer content rather more uplifting than "Shit on Sol" (etc.); and have, as a result, affected the history of their times in its unfolding.

Reporters are now being allowed into Gaza. Listen to them, not me. They're saying: this is a site of great historical suffering.

Munni, posting on this site, has accurately suggested all of us may well be doing a a bit of reading-in, interpreting Kanoute's t-shirt according to our several predispositions. This is perhaps true and perhaps also sadly unavoidable. See above, under "only human."

But, speaking once again as but a mere subjectivity-bound human, I would insist that while we have no choice but to interpret each sign and symbol put before us by what limited powers of understanding are available to us, still those powers are not so limited that we can't differentiate "Palestina", in times like these, from "Sol is Shit" (in any times whatsoever).

I believe it's simple tunnel vision on the part of those who are now closing ranks behind the "Sports Must Stay Pure" banner to say, in effect, "No messages please--just leave our precious footie alone, no matter the world's going to hell around us."

Generalizations like "No messages in sports" are merely that--generalizations.

Margin, I don't know if you've ever visited Pseuds' sister site Other Stuff (a relatively more peaceful place, I've found). I do enjoy the company over there, and post poems there from time to time. In one of these, "Born Yesterday", posted last Nov.6, two days after the US elections--I wrote these lines: "Exceptions/ Prove rules are basically dumb,/ And really, that's the trouble, after all,/ With generalization."

I will leave my fellow Pseuds to ponder what truth, if any, there may be in those lines.

Zephirine said...

Well, I've thought about it, and I'm still of the same mind. Let's step out of the sacred realm of football for a moment.

Suppose I go to a West End theatre to see a musical... not a political play but a piece of sheer entertainment... and at a certain point, an actor pulls open his costume shirt to reveal the word 'Darfur' on his t-shirt. How do I feel?
I would certainly feel that the actor must have very strong sympathies with those suffering in Darfur, to risk the displeasure of the management and perhaps the audience in that way.
I, personally, would also feel that his gesture was inappropriate.
I might feel that I'm quite capable of being aware of the sufferings of people in Darfur without someone I've indirectly paid to entertain me taking it upon himself to raise my consciousness.
It would also tend to make me think more about the actor and his motives than about Darfur.

But I wouldn't call for his arrest, or his dismissal, and if I heard that he'd been dismissed I'd protest to the theatre management.

If I happened to meet the actor outside the stage door and he said "I don't care what you think, it matters so much to me that I had to express it", I would shrug and go on my way.
Would it change my feelings about Darfur? Not one bit.

So I feel that this kind of solo demonstration, in an entertainment venue, is just that, a personal statement. Its usefulness to the cause is limited IMO.
If I heard that another actor from the same show had donated large sums of money to the relief of orphans in Darfur, or was using his fame to be a UNICEF ambassador, I'd be more impressed.

On the other hand, if I went to another performance of the same show and George W Bush was there, and at a certain point every single member of the audience stood up, turned towards him, and revealed a t-shirt saying "The ghosts of thousands of dead Iraqi children are watching you everywhere you go, you bastard" - it would still be inappropriate, it would achieve nothing politically, but by God it would be satisfying.

ringo37 said...

Apologies, BtP, for my sarcasm; facetiousness, it seems, is contagious. And I certainly didn't mean to impugn your vocabulary, which I'm sure is interfrastical.

An interesting phrase, "historical suffering" - your own? When does suffering become historical suffering? I'm not being snide; I'm genuinely interested, not having come across the term before.

Anyway. Do you not accept, then, that the word "Palestine", written on a t-shirt, might be seen by some people to be somewhat provocative? - if only on account of its Protean nature - that is, the variety of interpretations that, as you point out, can be imposed upon it?

Whatever your political views, isn't it true to say that Kanouté, in displaying the message, "took sides" with regard to one of the world's most divisive issues? And wouldn't that by definition make it provocative?

To address your historical comparison: to be honest, I'm not all that comfortable with the sanctification of Smith and Carlos, either. Of course, it was an astonishingly brave and impressive thing to do, and - particularly in retrospect - we can argue that the totemic nature of the gesture and the wider issue of civil rights for black people justifiably eclipse the rather thornier details of exactly what a 'Black Power' salute represented; but I suppose my point is that what they did on the podium in '68 wasn't an argument, it didn't reason with us or tell us anything about anything other than the character of those two men - it was, on the contrary, a blunt instrument.

Intelligent reasoning is (you might be surprised to hear) the be-all and end-all, for me, where political questions are concerned; all the rest - symbolic gestures, slogans, flags - are, for all their undoubted romantic appeal, attempts to bypass such reasoning. So, in conclusion, I'm not a fan.

I forget how all this relates to Sol Campbell.

guitou said...

Let's play some football wearing pseuds Tshirts,but for dog sake forget about football authorities as a valid support for your moral standards, they got it all wrong lately.
I totally agree with your suggestion that the tolerance level should be the same for everyone on each side-
However I won't have fun debating with people on the "political" side of the social framework if they are using their own blog as a cathartic expérience. Since you draw several lines of questioning assuming you know all the answers as far as I am concerned I don't, hence I am having a hard time to draw a clear line defining this debate-
To me it is apparent that we are confusing the rights of people to express themselves with the way they should use them rightly.
Assuming we are clear about the rights of Israel and the Palestinians as well, showing compassion for one side doesn't necessary means that we are against the other.

ringo37 said...

Excellent post, Zeph.

As I mentioned at one point, I'm not in favour of banning these things (or particularly opposed to banning these things). I just think they're not right.

guitouchauve-souris said...

I swear I don't have one grey hair on my head- few pseuds with absolute credibility can testify -It is not a secret also that I am a close friend of Vidal Sassoon (btw a very active supporter of Israel). He is taking pride of my hair cut-

guitouchauve-souris said...

I swear I don't have one grey hair on my head- few pseuds with absolute credibility can testify -It is not a secret also that I am a close friend of Vidal Sassoon (btw a very active supporter of Israel). He is taking pride of my hair cut-

Zephirine said...

If a thing's worth saying, it's worth saying twice, Guitou:)

sorrylate said...

anytime I am goofing up I get caught-
is this what we call double jeopardy?
sorry, could't delete but you may use your sovereign and disciplinary power as u wish-delete delete please beforeI have to pay the price-

Zephirine said...

I have no powers here, Gui, only Lord Ebren can delete on Pseuds (andrewm too?). But hey, it doesn't matter, what's a double post between friends?

guitouchauve-souris said...

ya, but some of them can be ferocious........ using their freedom of speech....:-)

Margin said...

OK - a few things to respond to here.

firstly BTP

I should state for the record that Kanoute did not commit the same crime as Sol Campbell. He did not lie about how much he loved the club and he did not play on for us having secretely negotiated a deal to join our biggest rivals behind our backs.

I state that because football remains more important and interesting to me than the Middle East since I can engage with football and can't engage with the Middle East.

However, the specifics of that case are somewhat insignificant.


The fact is that, through our human and thus biased eyes, Palestina means many different things. To you perhaps it means peace. To me it screams publicity whore. To some it could reasonably mean that killing Jews is OK but not Muslims.

And hence why football does what it can to eliminate politics from the field. Even when people articulate detailed views well in the political arena, many people intepret their view differently.

When that view is boiled down to a mere collection of nine letters, that problem is all the more severe.


I have no problem with t-shirt politics and protest movements and so on. I have a problem with it in football.

The reason for that is that people who might reasonably interpret the timing of his protest to mean killing jews was fine but the jews shouldn't fight back, would be understandably somewhat offended while engaging with an activity that they should impose an expectation that one might be offended for taking part in.


And hence the problem. Who is it up to to decide which politics is and isn;t offencive? Surely it is up to everyone and at the same tim no one.

it is up to everyone to take offence or not when faced with a political view. And it is up to everyone to accept that in politics we may all face offence.

But it should be reasonable to undertake some activities without having to face offence. And sport should generally be one of those activities. It tries really hard to be. And it sometimes fails. But it is a worthy aim in its own right.

And finally - note that the 'keep sport pure' view is not a high minded principle. It is a pragmatic decision to ensure as many people can enjoy sport as possible. Because otherwise we risk alienating people from an activity. Amd we risk doing that because every political view is offensive to some one. And football has no sane process for deciding which offence is OK and which isn't.

Margin said...


You make an interesting point about the theatre. It would be innapropriate. And it would somewhat damage the play.

I wonder though if your sympathy for the actor might be different if he didn't care how you felt because he felt so strongly that his t-shirt message of "wogs go home" was right.

Because that's where the case for keeping politics out comes in.

If "i feel really strongly about it" is an adequate excuse then I challenge anyone here to find anyone who feels stronger about any cause than numerous BNP members feel that that the "descendents of immigrants" as the BNP now calls black people should 'go home'.

Indeed - you'd be hard pressed to find much that some spurs fans care more about than their hatred of Sol Campbell. So surely they can sing what they like about him if the feel it strongly?

- In case it isn't clear, I don;t buy the 'i feel it strongly' defence of innapropriate actions. Humbert feels pretty strongly that it is ok to have sex with Dolores in Lolita - but paedophillia is still wrong.

Margin said...


I have two responses for you.

One is that I take the view I take because I don't know the answer. I don't know what politics would or would not offend lots of people or how widely specific messages will be misinterpreted. No one does.

So I take the view that we should thus keep such offence out of football completely rather than trying to draw arbitrary lines about what is and what is not acceptable.

My second response is this.

I would assume Kanoute meant his gesture as a heart felt act of solidarity with people who were suffering. And I would likewise assume that he understandably feels no such solidarity with those who suffered from the rickets launched from Gaza befor it.

And that' fine. He has his views and politics and they should be his own.

But I would also imagine a great many people would be offended by his rather one sided show of solidarity and humanitarianism. And They shouldn't have to be offended by politics in the pursuit of football.

ps - the fact that the football authorities take the same view I do is probably because on a pragmatic basis there is no other option. They can't decide a list of causes that are or are not acceptable. But my defence of my point is entirely seperate from the fact that Fifa has arrived at the same conclusion.

Margin said...


And I'd like to say that was a brilliant article you posted. It shows stunningly how emotional a matter politics is when the chips are down.

He acknowledges that there is no rational basis for his sympathies laying with Gaza and not with the little girl whose family he knows, but that they unquestionably do.

I'd imagine that's a tough thing to square with one's self. Let alone with others.

Stuff like that is what the Guardian does best.

Zephirine said...

Margin - it is a very moving article. The whole situation is complicated and hateful and one can see no end to it.

re my theatre example, I deliberately picked a cause that most people would sympathise with. My tolerance of inappropriate behaviour in such a cause wouldn't extend to illegal activity, and if the person displays a racist slogan, he can be prosecuted under existing UK legislation for inciting racial hatred or at least breach of the peace, and I would want that to happen.

If he displays a t-shirt saying 'Vote Cameron', I could just about tolerate it but I certainly wouldn't be chatting to him at the stage door.

guitou said...

if you keep tap dancing around the issues as you do I am
going to stop the music on two simple notes. Do-Re.
Do- do not think about a football field as a holly temple protected by sacro-saints rules it's not what it used to be anymore, it's a circus.
Re-remember Lazio, the nazzis salute, their fascists friends, they are still there, and that shouldn't be tolerated-
So give Kanoute a break for reminding the world something
Wrong is happening in Palestine.
Tomorrow the world is celebrating a champion of civil rights
I'll be watching with a special interest but that's another story-gobama

guitou said...

the above comments were adressed
To Margin-

offsideintahiti said...

Should politics be kept out of sports forums?

Ah la la la la...

Margin said...

there are plenty of causes to sypathyse with Zeph - but when you talk about banning some and not others then the basis for political discourse breaks down.

and since football has to do that i see no place for politics there at all.


I don't tap dance round the issue - nothing wrong is happening in gaza - at least so far as some people believe and feel quite strongly.

is that not the point? We all disagree on politics and so football is not the place for us to discuss such disagreements.

offside said...

I liked it better when we disagreed about sports.

beyond the milquetoast margin said...

"I thought it might be time as some one paid to write about politics to opine on this matter in full.
Bit of a rushed lunch hour job this one. I'm not making a case about the middle east. I should state for the record that Kanoute did not commit the same crime as Sol Campbell. Sol Campbell is the ultimate example of everything that is wrong with modern football. He showed no loyalty to his club when he left to join their rivals. No honesty when he signed a contract with that club while telling his existing club he would never do so. And he showed no integrity but paedophillia is still wrong. I want to know if Kanoute is anti-semitic. The football authorities take the same view I do. Palestina means many different things. To you perhaps it means peace. To me it screams publicity whore. I don't tap dance round the issue - nothing wrong is happening in gaza..."

My dwarf grand little man--professional writer, don't make me laugh!

Climb down from that bully pulpit a moment, stop your insufferable law-and-order sermonizing-in-the-mirror, be aware your lugubrious bark and slaver give away the fact your words possess no bite, and admit that what you are is a cricket steward on his tea break wishing he were a policeman so that he could arrest whoever's responsible for incorrectly trimming the crusts from his cucumber sandwiches. In short, writing-wise, as amateur as they come!

Ebren said...

beyond the milquetoast margin - Margin does write about politics for a living. It's worrying, but true. Sadly, his days as a cricket steward (and as a football steward) are long behind him.

We have quite a few professional writers and editors kicking about here (of the screen, print, verse and news variety). Although only two that I know of so far with Wikipedia pages (alas, I am not one, and neither is the site)*

Teachers, translators, lecturers, printers, the odd wandering minstrel, at least one professional Frenchman, a transvestite barmaid and others I do not know about make up our little (or not so little) group. But I've always felt the ideas here were at least as important as the people.

So - while I accept that Margin brought his profession onto the pitch with that ill-advised "I write about politics" T-shirt - can we attack ideas not people from now on.

And while we're on the subject, I'm not sure 1+1 does actually = 2.

I mean, as soon as you define "1", you preclude the existence of another "1" which could be added to the original to make "2". Unless you define "2" as two "1"s. And that's just too much of a headfuck for me before my first coffee of the morning...

Ebren would like to point out that he does not Google writers, but that this was brought to his attention during unrelated stalking activities

Margin said...


I think you are the first person I've ever seen post on Pseud's that I don't like.

That said - far from bully anyone, I actively encouraged people to question my biases and my background on this. I certainly didn't mean to suggest that because I deal with politics day in day out people showed not question my view.

I stated openly that I write about politics, along with a number of other backround issue that form my bias, because that helps set my comments in context, something that Kanoute has not done.

And of course, if you read carefully, you will note that my article, rushed as it was, was not about politics. It was about sport and the right of everyone to enjoy their sport without being unreasonably offended.

Margin said...


I quite agree. But then I guess that's why I ended up taking the view I have on this still somewhat sport related issue.

All back to normal soon enough now that Israel have stopped.


Margin said...


my spelling has always been poor. And when I write quickly that is always exposed.


file said...

long time no squeak but it's nice to see that Pseuds is/are all tikketyboo

FK could have exposed a T that said Peace in the East but then we wouldn't have got such a spiky thread

personally I'll save my transfer kitty for the first player to lift his shirt to reveal a lacy Wonderbra, but that probably says more about me than I'd want to let on

guitou said...

1 + 1=may be 2 may be not , how about that ? I love it. I always thought they were 22 players on the pitch.
If they are 44 according to Ebren's theory, that explain why Arsenal can't score against an 18 men defense.
The hardest part it's to accept the fact that I am a bigamist - In case 1=2, I'll go home with two gifts tonight I am starting to love the maths too........forget
the politics:
obama, obama, ooops, obamas, obamas, obamas,-

ringo37 said...

Admirable restraint, Margin. Might be time to let this one go, I reckon...

guitou said...

ringo, margin,
on a serious note,
may be it's not a bad idea (to let go)
I think we pushed the envelop as far as we can and it's time to end the Kanoute right or wrong game-
Reviewing the above comments I realized how redundant I was by trying to make my point across and I am sorry.for being so repititive-
- "whoever sows the wind shall reap the whirlwind"
we did and we got a Tornado-
Let's stick to football for peace sake:it's almost safe-
For ex: on Feb 08, Arsenal is visiting the Spurs at White Hart Lane: I am sure they are going to cream your team to a point that you wish you'll have Kanoute in centerfield regardless of the underwear he may display as long as he scores-
voila, Done for good-I'll get my hat and go home-

beyond belief said...

"Nothing wrong is happening in gaza"

"The sky isn't up"

Ebren said...

"The sky isn't up"

Not in Australia it isn't. Unless you are in Australia. In which case it probably is.

ringo37 said...

Beyond Whatever:

"Nothing wrong is happening in Gaza - at least so far as some people believe and feel quite strongly."

Margin said...

I fear that at least one of the 'beyonds' has not yet managed to grasp the nature of political debate, and the complexities and massively divergent but strongly held views it often involves.

So I'll agree with Guitou

We should perhaps switch off the politics option and get back to sport.

In particular we should turn to the ludicrous repetition of Ar5ena1's boast that they will beat Spurs easy.

Fibreglass was clearly spot on that we wouldn't get a draw against the 4RSEN4L womens last time out.

But hey, isn't the new Wembley great Gooners? Oh sorry, my apologies.

offside said...

He's big, he's black
Now he's got hamstring-whack
Ledley King! Ledley Kiiiing!

Margin said...

Now you've highly offended me...


offside said...


Now, to get back to the serious stuff for just a minute.

To be honest, I nearly took you to task yesterday for your "Nothing wrong is happening in Gaza" phrase. I had to read the sentence a couple more times to get your point. I can understand why it made BtP angry, but I agree that his distorting your words is unfair. He may have a point when he suggests (however obliquely) that by mixing the Kanoute story and the Sol Campbell abuse case, you may have muddled the issue somewhat.

I wouldn't dream of speaking on his behalf, but I hope he realises his last post was way too harsh. I also hope you realise his outburst is borne of anger and indignation following the unfathomable suffering visited upon the Middle-East in recent times.

In other words, I hope you two can settle your differences (if you can't, what hope is there for Israel and Palestine?).

After all, today seems to be a perfect day for reconciliation and hope.

He's tall, he's black
Let's all clap for Barack
Obama, Obama!!

offside said...

OK, I promise to refrain from rhyming for at least a week.

Zeph said...

I should hope so too indeed, Offie.

Well said in your comment above (at 8.33)

bluedaddy said...

holy moley. I go away for five minutes and what happens?

see me after school the lot of you.

My only comment is to echo that here at Pseuds I believe we play the ball not the man/woman/marsupial.

Hoping to soon set up a blog about my days here in Devon learning to cook. Will let you all know when/if such a thing goes live.

To bed (venison and rabbit awaits on the morrow)

offsideintahiti said...

BD, I wish you all the best in overcoming your addictions, but do you seriously believe this is the best plaice and thyme to reveal your problems with zoophilia?

I mean, poor bunnies...

Margin said...


My comments were intended to highlight that offending people is part of politics and should not be part of football. It is basically the entire point of my position on keeping politics out of football. So I'm sorry it shocked, but only slightly sorry.

And my equating Kanoute and Sol Campbell followed on from arguments made in other articles on here. I hadn't put the two together until people like Beyond the Pale did elsewhere, mainly as a challenge to me to justify my club's fan's behaviour, which I haven't done. (I hate that HIV chant and refuse to sing it)

I also don't want to assume that all of the Beyonds are the same person. That doesn't seem fair in case Beyond the Pale is some one else and is innocent of the crimes of his near-name sake.

oh - and that is a shocking rhyme.

But then decent chanting was sadly missing from yesterday's circus/inauguration/second coming or whatever you might consider it to be. (An excuse to enjoy more brandy than normal in my case).

Zephirine said...

Here's a nice comment on Brand New ObamaWorld, from my favourite London blogger - wry but not too cynical:) The 'other stories' are specially good.

Dylan Greengrass said...

I've never seen a worser crime
Than Offy doing his best to rime

offkeyrhymer said...

I was working on something with "Burnley" and "Wembley", but unfortunately I had to shelve it at the last minute.

I do have something else with "Spurs", "goalkeepers" and "disasters", but it doesn't scan, so I'll spare you.

bluedaddy said...

I tink it's tha pakalolo
That makes him wanna flow so

Where's HenryLloydMoon when you need him?

bluedaddy said...

Brilliant advert in an Aussie paper (scroll down if necessary. oh and Veet is an 'unsightly hair' removal cream for those who may not know of such things)

Margin said...

Excellent piece that Zeph,
I always read the Mash first though...

offsideintahiti said...

Jaysus, bluedaddy, Veet? Is that what you skinned the rabbits with? I'm calling the RSPCA.

Prudence said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
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