What a hilarious story – good man

<– cool haircut too

Brazilian football star Ronaldo has been caught up in a sex scandal with three cross-dressing prostitutes.

Having dropped off his girlfriend at her house in Rio de Janeiro on Monday night, the 2002 World Cup winner picked up three prostitutes.

When they all booked into a motel, the AC Milan striker discovered that the prostitutes were in fact men.

According to Rio police, he alleges that the transvestites then tried to extort money from him.

Local press reports quoted one of the prostitutes, Andreia Albertine – otherwise known as Andre Luiz Ribeiro Albertino – as saying that Ronaldo had threatened to hit him, on discovering that he was a transvestite.

‘Extortion’

Ronaldo “reported that Andreia had taken his car documents and demanded $30,000 [£15,000]”, said Rio police superintendent Carlos Augusto Nogueira.

Transvestite André Luis Ribeiro Albertino, also known as Andreia Albertine

Albertino is accused of taking the footballer’s documents

He added: “Ronaldo admits the facts. He said he just wanted to amuse himself, that’s not a crime. To pay to have sexual relations isn’t illegal.

“There’s a strong chance that Ronaldo has been the victim of extortion.”

When the footballer refused to pay the prostitute, the latter claimed that Ronaldo had taken drugs, and had threatened to hurt the three transvestites.

Under Brazilian law, while pimping sex workers and running establishments where sex is sold are illegal, prostitution itself is not.

In a statement Ronaldo is reported to have denied ever using drugs, and reiterated that he was a victim of extortion.

The three-time Fifa world footballer of the year is in Brazil recovering from knee surgery.

He told police he was having some psychological problems linked to his injury.

Timequake – Kurt Vonnegut

By his design, his last book. The story itself isn’t much, mainly focused on time travelling back 10 years and seeing your life again. But the story isn’t important. Vonnegut re-wrote the chapters here many times and you can understand why. He wanted this to be his last book and he had much to say, to say it once and then be at peace. It’s mainly a book of recollection, nostalgia, jokes and laments over his life, work, friends and family. there are some pertinent remarks here over how society has changed but mostly its the wisdom and turn of phrase that stands out. A melancholic book from a man who saw much.

Melbourne Victory v Gamba Osaka

The girl who sits next to me at work just came back form skiing in Japan in Hokkaido, the Japanese island I know least but the home of one of my greatest memories. I paid through the nose for this but watching England grind out a tough but deserved win over Argentina in the Sapporo Dome in 2002 was an important moment for me. I had forever wanted to see England achieve something of this magnitude and wanted to be there. And I was, with Shaun my old Uni mate.

It’s been over 5 years since leaving (asked to leave) Japan but I’m getting myself back into the culture again. I’ve been taking trains across the city, munching on the takoyaki, reading up on the news, learning the language again. Not necessarily the aboves but on reflection and from discussions with friends, Japan permeates your own psyche. It’s a touch awkward returning home. The cleanliness, ordered convenience, lack of crime and ease of life casts a shadow over your own society. You don’t make active comparisons. Japan is too different for such. But Japan is not the kind of place you stay forever. The differences are so obvious and consistently reinforced, its near impossible to ever feel fully comfortable there. Yet on returning home, you don’t feel quite right.

Partly for when you return, you’re at a slight loss. Wondering what to do and where. Some know why they are in Japan and therefore what to go back to. My friend Matt needed money to finish his architecture degree and spent 4 years in Kansai and now back in Australia, he is a qualified architect. Others, in fact most of those I know or knew find themselves at a looser end than before. It takes a few years to get the base re-set and ready for later life. I am not there yet; some are but I’m getting closer.

Anyway back to the point of this blog. Here in Melbourne, I’m trying to see as much as possible. Melbourne is Australia’s cultural city, home of the arts, comedy, food and hundreds of nationalities. But above all, sport. You’ll see joggers alongside rowers on the river and cyclists, all geared up, streaming past you. I’ve done my bit, walking throughout the city and using the gym at my house. I feel better.

So I’ve been to the MCG for Melbourne v Western Bulldogs Aussie rules game, the Australian Open tennis at the Rod Laver Arena, live kickboxing and finally some football. Of course I’ve been watching the live feeds from the 6 Nations and the English Premier League but it’s on so late, it’s a killer for the weekend. (and one of the reasons, Australia is just too far away)

Melbourne Victory are the football team here and playing in the Asian Champions League. They were playing Gamba Osaka, the second team in Japan. The game was held at the 50,000 Telstra Dome but only sold 24,000 tickets, a decent turn out for the third sport in this city. With little affection for the Melbourne supporters and a curiosity for the Japanese, I got tickets in the Japanese section. The Japanese supporters were very genki and vocal, if predictably so. In true Japanese group style, Gamba had their own tubby, male cheerleaders carrying megaphones and flags and starting 10 repetitive songs.

The game itself was a cracker. Neither team could defend crosses. The score went back and forth, each team answering with yet more simply crafted goals. Both teams worked hard, covering the ground and defending zonally. In the 90th minute, Gamba headed in the winner. The Japanese descended into craziness, hugging and high-fiving all round. They deserved it. Just about.

Well back to the big league. God’s team Newcastle United play Sunderland. We invite the shitesters up to Newcastle and civilisation for Keegan to continue his consistent winning record over Sunderland. It’s howay 5-0 right now for Keegan and I have no doubts it will continue on Sunday night.

 

Oh me lads, you should’ve seen us gannin

Passing the folks along the road

And all of them were starin’

All the lads and lasses there

They all had smilin’ faces

Gannin along the Scotswood Road

To see the Blaydon races

Howay the Lads.

Welcome Johnson, Roll over Bacon

So Martin Johnson, a plain but direct leader of men is coming to take charge of the English national rugby team. Johnson is presumably coming in like Woodward did; in charge of team management and strategy and dealing with the players 1-on-1 while leaving the day to day coaching to others. That’s fine. His lack of experience is worrying though and should he fail, you have to wonder what kind of compensation we are talking. The RFU never seem to learn.

And further to that I would echo Brian Moore’s call that Francis Baron should resign. he wont of course. he thinks he has given the fans want they want but even football doesnt deal as callously as we have dealt with Ashton. And if Robinson and Ashton are considered failures, then who appointed them? Added to that why are the board even involved in all this? Wasn’t Rob Andrew appointed to take care of all this?

The usual committee incompetency of English sport!

What a difference…

Two weeks ago seems a long time doesn’t it. 3 wins, 9 goals, one conceded, Owen, Martins and Viduka scoring freely, one touch football carving apart well organised teams, Beye rampaging down the right, the midfield controlling the game. Where do we go from here? I still want a few wins for the rest of the season and we have a few teams coming up (Everton, Portsmouth, West Ham) who are good measures of what we can achieve next season with this squad. We should be looking at competing with these boys, beating them to the ball and being more creative. I am optimistic. With only Chelsea and Sunderland as the wild card games, I’d like to get close to 50 pts (38 right now) for the season.
Of course it can’t hide the fact that we were atrocious for a few months and the squad is still weak in some areas, most notably at left back, centre back and in the middle we need reinforcements, but with N’Zogbia, Milner and Emre looking to come in there, we have a decent squad. Some guys should leave if we can get a price for them. mostly important is not lose any of our present stars (Owen, Martins, Viduka, Beye, Faye, Barton and Butt).

We have only beaten Spurs, Reading and Fulham but the aim should be for a top 6 position next season. That will take reinforcement from the chairman and verve from the manager. 20m should be enough for the guys we want. We offer a lot now to prospective players; money, support, an attacking manager, a winning team and some well-known players. It’s early days. I’m not jumping the gun but we have an opportunity now. Let’s hope we make the most of this window, Mr Chairman.

RIP

Charlton Heston died yesterday. Admittedly he wasn’t exactly of my era and didn’t star in many of my favourite films but still and I didn’t like his gun stance but he was a big civil rights campaigners in the 1960s. Its another chapter of the old school dying away and leaving us with the likes of Britney Spears and Tom ‘psycho’ Cruise.

I see it as part of the death of an era of Hollywood. When I saw an old film when I was young, it could have Charlton Heston as a Roman, Burt Lancaster as a pirate, Kurt Douglas as a slave, Paul Newman playing pool, Steve McQueen being cool, Tony Curtis as a woman, Yul Brynner as a Cossack, Clint and Mitchum as cowboys, Cary Grant on the run, Brando as a gangster or Greg Peck as a great teacher. Only four of those guy are alive now. that a little makes me sad.

The day Harrison Ford kicks the bucket, part of my childhood will have died.

What are you bloody waiting for? What? Oh just for it to stop fucking raining, that’s all. Blustery, stormy day yesterday. I got caught in it with a mere, thin shirt and battled the wind and rain home. then hit the beers and went to see Modest Mouse with the house mates. great gig and great to see Johnny Marr playing. Apart from, been working (ok) been to see an Aussie Rules game (ok), Ross Noble (barely ok) and Daniel Kitson (excellent). apart from that just looking for the exit door. May 24th me thinks.

The Act of Laughter and Remembering

There are some moments or people that stick in your mind for a long time. They inspire, repel, console or pain you. Like thinking elephants, fathers and sons, we are destined to live with these thoughts long into our dwindling days. They maybe albatrosses or crosses to bear or joyful times that reminds us of our perceived found raison d’etre but they remain with us, holding up our hopes and follies.

Milan Kundera, the great Czech French emigre, the writer of The Joke, the Book of Laughter and Forgiveness and The Unbearable Lightness of Being offers immense insight into human relationship and psyches. As a writer and dissident in his homeland of Czechoslovakia, under the Cold War communist government, Kundera was forced to leave the country for his inability to conform to the wishes of the state. in short; he would not say what he saw.

So he left, emigrated to France and continued to write. As he aged, he wrote less satire and became more melancholic, and wrote more about memory and the influence our memories have on our lives. For as we age, we do look back, we do see the timeline, the produce of our days. We speculate, regret, laugh, forgive and forget.

Daniel Kitson is a English comic of a newer school. He isn’t political; political is old school yet he isn’t light. He is intensely passionate over his subject matter. He pains for the human race, simply wanting to make society a better place and believes with a few simple unselfish acts in our everyday lives we can do that. The story he tells is a fable, ending the show with the conclusion of the story he starts the show with. This is no act; he’s serious. He has clearly thought about life and our roles in it deeply.

And it is intensely funny. The part covering how we think and otters is genius. His stories make you laugh and you are applauding before you know it. His theories charm and impress the audience into admired listening. He wishes and calls for a better world; a more considerate world. The story thread is impressive, the tone and emphasis is warming. It’s always funny; he is too intelligent for it not to be and to aware of his duty to let it run long without a joke at the end.

When finishes he walks off directly. Everyone leaves quickly. You don’t have calls for an encore for you know none will be given. He is finished. He has said what he wanted to say, what he considered important. It took 2 hours but you never noticed. You leaves through the talking crowd, proud of the performance and proud to have been there. A philosopher, humanist, slight nerd and funny man rolled into one. Most comedians have jokes to tell; Daniel Kitson has a whole philosophy. The man is a genius. I don’t say that easily. It’s been 5 days since the performance. It remains my thinking still.

 

China and the Olympics

I got asked my opinion about this early and thought I’d write it down. I have been thinking about this and think it’s too late to boycott the Olympics. after all if we were so concerned about Tibet we should have raised this issue years ago along with the repression in NE China, the threats over Taiwan, the support for North Korea, the endless espionage convictions, the prison factories, the pollution etc etc..

But we didn’t we all bowed down and said yes, sure a country like China which is doing all the above right now (lets not even delve into the history in just this century). what we should have done is never given the Olympics in the first place to China. These events are grand national spectacles where a nation can promote itself and celebrate its success. Sure China is succeeding right now and is no longer communist, just authoritarian. But show pieces on such a global scale should be reserved for democratic countries. after all athletic sport in itself should be entered into freely. People may criticise the US (well with that President!) but I’d rather have a world where the US is the major power rather than the Chinese. (that though doesn’t mean the States should have got the Atlanta or Salt Lake City Olympics after all the dodgy dealing there.

so in short, its too late and as usual we will do little for Tibet cos a) its tricky b) we want cheap goods which keeps our inflation down, keeping interest rates down, promoting house buying and general spending but without inflation. isn’t globalisation a wonderful thing! as long you aren’t Tibetan! for world leaders to bother to boycott would be hypocritical on as grand scale as us lay people asking for the same.