Google comforts me: not the only confused super injunction searcher

Some of you (bear with me, it’s a conceit whether or not there’s an audience) may have been aware of the story over the past few weeks about Ryan Giggs, Manchester United midfielder extraordinaire, using a super injunction to try and quash press coverage in the UK of his exploits, ah, playing away from home.

(If you’re not familiar with super injunctions, they are a legal mechanism designed to let one not just suppress a story but even the announcement that a story is being squashed. I haven’t seen anything more concise and to my mind accurate than Marina Hyde’s take in the Guardian, should you be interested in the actual story: The Ryan Giggs story was not run with any noble intentions | Marina Hyde | Football | The Guardian.)

In any case, late one night I was reading about this and gave in to prurient interest: I searched to see who the lady in question might be. I saw that it was one Imogen Thomas, opened a new browser tab, typed in “Ryan Giggs Imogen,” realized that I had forgotten the last name, then saw the auto-complete “Imogen Stubbs.” So I followed it and found: Continue reading

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The Eleventh Hour of the Eleventh Day of the Eleventh Month

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of tired, outstripped Five-Nines that dropped behind.

Gas! Gas! Quick, boys!—An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling,
And flound’ring like a man in fire or lime…
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,—
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.

– Wilfred Owen

Last weekend’s theme song: Washington State

I felt bad for Washington State this past weekend. Not bad enough to stay at home and watch the game as penance, but bad because even though SC called the hounds off, it was Wazoo’s worst loss in decades and the end of a home-game-scoring streak theretofore alive since 1984.

So plainly the only appropriate theme song would be something that sounded like they were singing about something good while describing this thing as complete crap… ladies and gentlemen, I give you the masters of singing about how wonderful the UK can be:

Recherche du temps Tuscaloo

Having inherited family traits of depressive moping and obsessive compulsiveness, I make every effort to lead an unexamined life – who needs that constant reminder of everything that’s gone wrong?

And yet this morning, a brief flash of memory while shaving answered two mysteries for me.

The first mystery is my preference for SEC football. Conference rivalries are supposed to be all consuming, but I revel in the madness of the top-end of the SEC, as opposed to the near-random variability of the Pac 10 when teams can completely change their complexion from week to week.

The second mystery is why I am such complete putty in the hands of southern belles. I mean, beyond the obvious fact that so many of them are charming and so on, but still… I used to work with a woman from South Carolina who had deliberately taken on a neutral-ish mid-Atlantic mien to avoid being treated as if she were stupid. Since I’m not dead, I was aware that she was an attractive woman – but when she demonstrated her use of her “actual” accent to persuade people to let her off the hook from something, I was ready to leave home. Fortunately the missus arrived home before I finished packing my bags, I regained my senses, and order resumed.

It’s not that either of these phenomena is unusual in the global sense; it’s the “why me” part that remained unclear – or least it did until I was shaving this morning and something reminded me of the source. When I was but a little DC Trojan and we lived in Holland, my parents had friends (he was a career NCO in the Army) who were from Alabama. They presented me with my first college football t-shirt – though to this day I remember experiencing great confusion about what a Crimson Tide was, and why you would need to involve an elephant. And they had a very cute teenaged daughter who used to babysit me and my brother sometimes… and now that I think about it, the adults were plainly laughing at how I was completely smitten with what seemed like a very exotic blonde southern-ness about her.

So it’s all clear now. The Akins set me on a path, but I was redirected by my father getting a job in California, and I didn’t even know it at the time. Still, given the state of my blood pressure and so on, perhaps it’s as well I didn’t end up in SEC country. Between the football rage and the fried food, I’d be dead already. (Better that than life in the ACC, though.)

Third verse, same as the first

There hasn’t been much point in adding my 2 cents’ worth about USC’s season. Plenty of people have identified injuries, penalties, and sone questionable play calling as being the difference between a season that’s heralded versus treated with either befuddlement or disdain depending on how much you 1) thought USC would do well and 2) were upset by that assumption. The game-by-game melodies may vary, but the overall structure of the composition remains consistent.

Odds are that SC will not go to a major bowl, and given their erratic play, that might be just as well. A lot of people made noises of disdain about losing to Stanford, but in some regards they did SC  a favor by getting a team that had no business in the top tier out of that tier. Plus, Stanford’s not really a rival, and Pritchard will dine out for many years on the strength of that game. That latter part is what being a college athlete should be about.

In the meantime, the defense is looking good, the receivers are starting to make some catches, and Mark Sanchez shows real passion for playing for SC – hopefully that will translate into a more dynamic approach from next year’s starter… I like JDB a great deal but I think we could do to switch to someone a little less laconic for next year. I’ll be interested to see how the year turns out… I expect them to struggle with and beat Cal and UCLA, and lose to Arizona State… which probably means that exactly the opposite will happen.

There’s a reason I don’t test my prognostication with the pitiless assessment of the bookies.

Smurf turf

You may have noticed that we’ve been a little light on the Oregon side of the aisle lately. Thistle71 has been on the road for work; he goes to the real exotic hotspots of the west, which is why I got a text message from him (you can take the boy out of the Euro…) to say that he was attending the Boise State – Sacramento State game in Boise.

He wanted to let me know, it turns out, that the Smurf Turf in Boise State’s stadium looks significantly less BLUE!!!! in the flesh, so to speak.

So now you know.

what’s next for this blog

The original subject of this site was USC football, but the World Cup was too much of a lure. Now that Thistle71 has been gracing the site with his wit, wisdom, and so on, I’m thinking that it’s time to expand the site’s scope to include Oregon football (as young Thistle is a Duck) and continue and extend the soccer content as well.

Some time ago I read some useful advice on writing a better blog, most of which I have (obviously) ignored. My preference is always to read content that is plainly inspired by interest rather than just tightly defined scope, so in that vein we’re going to pursue what interests us, and hopefully it will interest you.

Even if, God help us, it’s Canadian football.