Arsenal’s Shitty, Awful, No-Good Season Crawling To An Ignominious End

Apparently too much Carling causes hangovers that last for months.

It's ironic that my NFL team's owner is a profligate idiot while my soccer team's manager is an equally stupid tightwad.

Our title bid went out with the wimpiest of whimpers, and instead of ending the season on some kind of high, the team seems to be determined to have us all reaching for the bottle by season’s end. Yeah, we were on the receiving end of some really appalling refereeing decisions, but refereeing decisions don’t use up every 90 minutes of 38 games. Ultimately, the team has no one to blame but themselves.

Between Squillaci proving to be by far the worst buy Arsene Wenger’s ever made, Cesc making it clear he’d rather be pulling Barca’s midfield strings, and Wenger’s fucking idiotic stubbornness in refusing to buy at all, not even the badly needed goalkeeper, or experienced players for the defence, this season has stretched my faith to the limit and broken it. So much so, that I now firmly believe that Wenger has taken this club as far as he can go, and he needs to pass the management on to new blood before we actually start going backwards.

And Arsenal: how about winning some silverware before deciding to jack season ticket prices up by 6%? People are already struggling to pay for these tickets, they don’t want to spend precious money on a team that serves up the kind of spineless, heartless football we’ve seen all too often this season. Or cut the wages overpaid primadonnas who play like they don’t give a shit if you need extra money. Except Robin van Persie, that man deserves a pay raise for the way he’s played this season. One goal every 97 minutes of Premiership football is simply amazing. He deserves better than this.

Everyone who loves Arsenal deserves better than this.


Pro-Cuts Rally In Britain Is Fail

One of the many, many benefits of having no Fox News equivalent over here is that the few people actually in favour of  the Government’s cuts can’t spin this to claim Whitehall took on the properties of the Tardis as 10 million people rallied there in favour of cutting spending.

Being Right Isn’t Enough, Or Why Yes To AV Went Down In Flames

My friend Cory nurses his post-election hangover and analyses in painstaking detail why Britain’s best chance for electoral reform was crushed 61-39% in the referendum. I strongly advise my British and Anglophile followers to read this.

My two cents: the Yes to AV campaign pretty much exemplified everything that frustrates me about liberalism.  Insinuating that people who oppose what you believe in do so because they’re morally degenerate, not because they have principled and reasonable objections is not only exceedingly arrogant and insulting, it leads to a dangerous obtuseness where you believe that you are so obviously right, people can’t possibly disagree with you and will support you. Not the case, as we found out. And as someone with conservative parents who gave good, logical reasons for voting against it, I got very, very sick of my ideological teammates implying that there was something wrong with them.

The biggest mistake of all, of course, was bringing a knife to a gunfight. Yes 2 AV was effectively doomed from the start because it chose to deploy celebrities and ragtag groups against skilled, ruthless and experienced political operatives. A greater mismatch there has not been since the Light Brigade charged the Russian cannons in Crimea. What certainly didn’t help was the spectacle of Simon Hughes and Chris Huhne calling their coalition partners liars and raging in public, revealing once again the depth of the Lib Dems’ political naivety. While the Tories were certainly guilty of fearmongering and spreading lies about the AV system, they did so subtly, so that when the Lib Dems’ went on the very public warpath, they came across as unreasonable and bitter, which can only have helped harden attitudes against AV.

So, while might does not make right, right certainly needs some might, or least some brains behind it to triumph.

London 2012 Ticketing = EPIC FAIL

The Olympic Games don’t come to one’s country that often, so I leaped at the chance to buy tickets for it. From the start, the process annoyed the hell out of me – I could only use a Visa card, I must choose what tickets I wanted before the end of April with no guarantee of getting any of them, as oversubscribed events will go to a ballot, basically forcing me to go for more tickets than I actually wanted to improve my chances. And of course, I must pay for it over a year in advance. Or no tickets. Still, I sucked it up (it is the fucking Olympic Games after all), but the latest news has really pissed me off:

Applicants were originally told to make sure they had enough money in their accounts from 10 May to 10 June. But London 2012 says people will not be billed until next Monday at the earliest while they carry out ballots for oversubscribed events. About 1.8 million people applied for 20 million tickets, yet only 6.6 million tickets are available.

Applicants have already been advised they will not be told which tickets they have until the money has been collected. The latest date to hear is 24 June.

In other words, that massive hole in your bank balance you discovered could mean you won that awesome ticket to the 100m men’s final…or got several dozen tickets to see shooting and archery.

So to sum up: first they set up a really awful process where people feel they have to buy a shedload of tickets to stand a chance of seeing the Games, and now they will have a secret ballot to allot tickets, the results of which we will not know until we check our bank balances, and even THEN we won’t know what the hell we’ve been given. It really is outrageous that the organisers are going to charge us without giving us the bill first. The organisers have had this whole ticketing process ass backwards from the start, and it’s only gotten worse.

All I can say is, I hope to God the Olympics themselves are run better than this.