Filed under: Urban Advice | Tags: awaydays, casual, casuals, dressing, football factory, green street, hooligan, hooligans, man city, manchester, manchester united, soccer, survival, The Firm, urban survival
Football eh? Big business these days, clubs worth hundreds of millions, players earning hundreds of thousands of pounds A week. Its a long way away from the 1980′s of tiny shorts, bad hair and groups of lads smashing up towns, grounds and other lads every weekend, all over the country. It doesn’t surprise me that books have been written on this subject, some romanticizing, some honest and some fantasizing. It doesn’t surprise me that some of these books have then been turned into films.
In turn, I suppose I shouldn’t then be surprised that bad idiots up and down the country have taken to emulating (or should that be aping?) the characters and events in them. I made the mistake of going to watch Football Factory, during the film we had a group of scruffs in front of us chatting away, amazed at what was going on. After the film they were all geared up, banging on about being in a “firm” and going to the “footie” etc. I was properly embarrassed for them as they talked of getting Burberry caps.
So lets move on a few years, more books are out, more films have been released celebrating the football hooligan lifestyle, a couple even try and capture the whole “Casual” thing (Away Days). Kids that watched these have grown up, they go to the match now. Easy to spot. Very easy to spot. Usually they’ve got some generic hooligan wear on, Stone Island (possibly snide) maybe a shit Fila re-issue tracky top and some generic adidas (normally them snide quality re-issue Forrest Hills). I’ve seen them, home and away, grouped together with their shit spiky haircuts like they’ve come from an X-Factor audition. Shouting at opposition fans from behind the safety of the police.
Now if they want to act like bad balloons, fair enough, its their lives. But when they start infiltrating my day out at the football or my away days, then they have to start living with consequences. For example, I went to an away match at the San Siro earlier this year, as aways go, it was a top laugh until we got in the ground. Then all the idiots that had made the trip made their presence know. One even had the cheek to have a go at my mate Stan for not being in his allocated seat, then tried to have a go at him, calling him “grandad”. They obviously had no idea of the standing etiquette of an away match. Then at the end, some of the younger “lads” at the front, near the perspex barriers set fire to an Internazionale scarf.
They seem to think this behaviour is acceptable, they’ve seen it in films, so they want to do it. When I was an 18 year old lad going on a euro away, I travelled with a group of lads from my age up to seasoned veterans in their 50′s. I was schooled in how to behave, and what to do, my mate Nog telling me the following “If its the normal police, you fight, if its the riot coppers, run like fuck” to his slightly less maniacal “When you’re having breakfast or eating somewhere, try and keep loads of bread rolls on you for later when yer starving”. Its advice that has served me well over the past decade and I impart it where necessary.
Due to cheap flights they don’t have to rely on trips organised by a rabble of older lads, just whack the flights on a credit card and you’re off to play merry hell with dibble all over Europe without a care in the world. The same with domestic travel, how much for a coach to London £20, a few cans for £10, match ticket £40, few beers in London £50.. Its a fair bit of money, but to lads living at home with Mam & Dad, disposable income is in abundance.
Saying all this, I suppose we’re partly to blame, some of us slightly older people have highly elitist attitudes towards support, not in the sense that anyone is more of a “proper fan” but in the sense that its hard for us accept new people into our groups for fear that they’ll be disrupted. Maybe its time for us take some of these idiots under our wings to teach them a few things. Show them how to behave, how to avoid and how to get away with things. Jesus, I’m turning into me Dad.
Filed under: Urban Advice | Tags: bear grylls, dressing, humor, humour, ray mears, shine, survival, tyre, urban survival, windows
1: Change a tyre on a car/bike: Piece of piss this, if its a bicycle tyre, you need the three levers to get them on and off. Not so sure on changing a car tyre, but I reckon it would be a piece of piss.
2: Re-install Microsoft Windows: The technological equivalent of a tyre change, handy if you fuck your PC up and desperately need to get it working. Different for every PC like, but know the basics and know what drivers you need and you’re good to go.
3: Cook a steak: don’t cremate the bastard, hot pan, touch of oil and two minutes either side should do it. Remember if its a sirloin, or another cut with a nice piece of fat on, to sear the fat as well.
4: Stare down a dog: Glare at it and don’t waver and you’ll be in control of the soft canine shithouse. Just remember to stay far enough away that if it suddenly lunges for you, it can’t bite your nose off.
5: Shine shoes: Another skill people neglect these days. Get yourself some Kiwi polish, a yellow duster and two brushes (label the brushes on & off). Remember to wipe any residual dirt off first, let them dry, then apply a layer of polish with the on brush, work it in, then buff with the off brush, do this a couple of times to build up a layer of polish. Once you’ve got them buffed up with the brushes, you can smooth buff them with the duster. No need to get Armed Forces and go for a mirror shine though. Unless you want to, you oddball…
Filed under: Urban Advice | Tags: humor, humour, pen, swiss, swiss army, tools, ursb, watch, watches
I spend a lot of my time thinking, and I was thinking the other day, in between what I’d do to Jessica Alba, about stuff I couldn’t do without and in turn, what every man needs to hand on a 24/7 basis.
1: A USB drive: For the price of things these days, and the size of them, there’[s no excuse for not carrying one to back up all your essential work to and to carry round a healthy selection of your favourite music/videos/porn.
2: A pen: Handy for making notes, jotting down info or getting Patrice Evra’s autograph as he’s queuing to buy a Italian BMT in Subway
3: A Watch: Real men wear watches, and on their left wrists. Doesn’t have to be fancy, just enough so you actually know the time and so you don’t have to look at your phone/iPod/sundial to work out what time it is.
4: Tools: Whether its a Leatherman, a Swiss Army Knife or just a small selection of screwdrivers, you need something. You’ll more than likely never use them, but when you need them to take apart your mates laptop because he’s managed to bend the fan, and they’re not there, you’ll know I’m right.
5: A sense of humour: Bit of an abstract one, but fuck it. Far too many people these days are miserable choads. So don’t mope about in the dole queue, crack a joke or two and have a laugh. It really is the best medicine (unless you’re asthmatic, then its ventolin).
Filed under: Urban Advice | Tags: apathetic, bored, boredom, doing nothing, Enigma, hang over, hangovers, humor, humour, nothing, ray mears, survival, urban survival, weekend
So its Autumn and the nights are growing long, the weather is going to shit and the recession (or Moneygeddon as some are calling it) means you’re larry flint. So what to do with your spare time if you’re bank account is comparible to that of an American owned Mancunian football club…?
1: Read: Not enough of you fuckers read (real books, not random crap written by hacks like me). Pick a literary classic and get stuck in, I heartily reccomend Joseph Hellers Catch-22 & Don Winslow’s The Power Of The Dog.
2: Clean: Judging the populace on Channel 4′s cleaning/horror reality show “How Clean Is Your House?” I have deduced that most of you are quite happy to bathe in your own shit and breed salmonella in your sinks. Get the fucking bleach out and get scrubbing. For added “this smells like me Nana’s house” wash the kitchen floor with Jeyes fluid.
3: Walk: Not enough people ramble these days, so print out a few maps off google, get your boots on and enjoy the sights. Even you inner city lot can get in on this, check out http://www.28dayslater.co.uk/forums/ for ideas on urban exploration. This will also help stave off the onset of Cabin Fever.
4: Play: Get around some likeminded and similarly financially fucked mates and get some games on the go, Video or otherwise. Play poker for spare change, or gamble on Mario Kart, could be a decent way of scraping together enough money for a bag of chips or 4 cans of Tesco own brand super strength lager.
Filed under: Style, Urban Advice | Tags: casual, dressing, fashion, football casual, one upmanship, paninaro, sartorial, sartorialism, sartorialist, Style, the sartorialist
Fashion? Style? Sartorialism? What is it? To me style is a complex yet simple thing, a paradox if you will. I like wearing good quality, crafted garments, made by people who give a shit (Albam for example), simple enough? Wrong. I can’t just throw this stuff on me and expect it to work now can I? You can’t wear red with green, or a brown belt with black shoes, my top more or less has to match my footwear (unless its a suit). Its a complex formation of rules, that sometimes, not often, I’ll fuck off and wear whatever. But if I can adhere to a combination of classic styling rules, slightly skewed by my own take on this nameless thing, then why do others seem so bent on ripping up the rule book, setting the shreds on fire, then pissing on the ashes?
Its not like traditional looks can’t be twisted and fitted to your individuality. Look at the Sartorialist (www.thesartorialist.blogspot.com) and see the pictures of the Italian men putting their own twist on a classic look and tell me that they don’t look good. So why do lads today insist on using the likes of Hollyoaks and The X Factor as inspiration? Skinny jeans, dirty white pumps or deck shoes, lumberjack shirt, shit haircut copied from Mark Ronson… Yeah you look great fella. Oh you want to look a bit more formal, copy George Lamb, just bin off all your socks, get a trendy grey streak in your greasy mane of hair, and roll those trousers up so you can see the best part of your calf.
Fuck. That. The Italians are a fan of the roll/cuff/turn up, and so am I (to a certain degree), but anything above calf height is fucking ridiculous and unless you’re an olive skinned, aviator wearing “Paninaro” wear some socks. But I digress. Style is individual, and I appreciate individuality, I just don’t like to think about people wearing the same clothes as me, let alone see it (I’ve gone home and got changed when that’s happened before).
So adopt things you like, just try and do it with your own twist or look for something that no one else has, and don’t be afraid to ask about what someone else has on, its a compliment. And I’m not telling you what to wear, but just don’t go out and copy people especially me because I’ll smash your fucking face in. Joke, I won’t, I’ll just leave you behind and move on, looking as fresh as ever.
Filed under: Urban Advice | Tags: hang over, hang overs, hangover, hangovers, humor, humour, ray mears, rough, survival, the hangover, urban survival
So its the monday after the first weekend of September, you’ve drank for 3 days straight, and now you’re a shattered mess, with heart palpitations and the water content of a bag of crisps. So how do you get over it?
1: Drink: Water that is. You’ll need to muscle through loads of it to flush all the shit out of your system, maybe give an isotonic drink a whirl, not too many though, I had four Powerades in one evening once and the following days err ‘faecal matter” was more like blue ink.
2: Eat properly: No doubt whilst you were out on the keg, you just ate whatever shit took your fancy and now you’re the worse for it. So get some wholemeal pasta on the go, a nice selection of veg, maybe a nice piece of fish, don’t resort to KFC like the Author did last night, it’ll just make you feel even worse.
3: Exercise: Hold on, hold on, hear me out, you’re feeling fucked and shattered and don’t feel like moving, but having a quick half hour blast of cardio will get the endorphins flowing, which will in turn make you feel loads better. Plus you’ll burn off some of those extra calories you got from supping Stella all day Sunday.
4: Steam/Sauna: Probably best to do this last, well certainly after you’ve re-hydrated. Going for a ten minute blast in the steam room or a 5 minutes blast in the sauna or even both, followed by a cold shower will leave you feeling ace because you’ve sweated out all the filth you’ve had in the previous days.
5: Sleep: Don’t neglect this, you need approximately 8 hours a day kip, so say it takes half an hour to nod off, and you need to be up for 7, you should be in bed for half ten, even set an alarm for GOING to bed. Getting a proper nights sleep will help you recover loads. Just don’t try and bring it on with more drink as you wont sleep proper off that either.
Filed under: Urban Advice | Tags: cfc, chelsea, football, humor, Kakuta, manchester united, soccer
So Chelsea have been banned from registering new players for the forseeable future for tapping up a young French player (http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/c/chelsea/8236187.stm). Quite a drastic measure for something that is endemic in football, but is this the turning point for employment laws in the modern game and has it got the other clubs quaking?
Firstly lets look at football and its employment structure. The way I understand it (and correct me if I’m wrong) but clubs contract (employ) players they then register to play for them, its these registrations that then change hands for big money if a player is in contract. Now that’s not how employment works for the rest of us. If I want to go and work for a rival firm, they don’t ring my current employer and go “I’ll give you a million quid and a 25% sell on clause for Phil), I just give my resignation, work my notice and go. Why can’t footballers do that? The EU think the same and have tried to argue for it in the past. Will this current furore bring about a change where clubs don’t have to resort to underhand methods to entice players? Unlikely but it will make clubs think on…
Clubs like Manchester United and Liverpool. Both clubs are in massive amounts of debt (United approx £700m & LFC approx £350m) and both aren’t able to splash serious amounts of cash to buy players unless they sell (United sold Ronaldo then bought Valencia). Both clubs are also (allegedly) guilty of tapping players up, in fact I reckon most clubs are. Now with the advent of the decision against Chelsea, will CFC start dragging other clubs into the mess and will these clubs actually be arsed?
Well with Manchester City and Real Madrid spunking money on anyone and everyone who’s had a decent season, a ruling like this on a few of the big clubs could be advantageous to debt ridden teams for two reasons. 1: It levels the playing fields, if they’re all hamstrung then no one can use their arab/russian oligarch/mental spaniard money to buy the best players 2: They don’t have to spend on bringing players in, no agents fees, no transfer fees, signning on bonuses. So more money to service the debt.
In turn does that mean that clubs would appeal against these rulings properly? They can be seen to appeal, but just enough to get the fans off their cases… Strange times and I’m more than likely wrong but I do love a good conspiracy, after all, the queen is really a lizard.
Filed under: Urban Advice | Tags: bear grylls, cooking, cooking for beginners, food, humor, humour, ray mears, survival, urban survival
Cooking is possibly one of the easiest and best skills you can cultivate, great for impressing a potetntial partner and you get to eat stuff how you like it, so here’s some tips.
1: Don’t use shit food, Findus crispy pancakes aren’t food, and neither are Birdseye potato waffles smothered with beans. Get some free range chicken in, some fresh veg, a few herbs and spices and have a mess around.
2: Cook your food: “Oh aye, Bamber Gascoigne is in…” is what you might be thinking, but you won’t be fucking laughing when you’ve lost 2 stone from a week long bout of the shits and vomiting due to undercooked chicken.
3: Keep it simple: Don’t think you have to start off by doing a rack of lamb, practice the fucking basics. Boil an egg, make an omellette, fry a steak. Doesn’t take Stephen Hawking to bake a few spuds and cook a steak up.