The finest book ever written about boxing imho was this, by the great George Plimpton, who has long been a hero of idle's combining as he does a love of literature, sport, journalism and the human condition. A supreme stylist and a great American man of letters, right up there with Alastair Cooke in terms of style and sagacity.
Plimpton knew Muhammad Ali, warts and all, and thought him exceptional. The Tuscan has a low opinion; perhaps he's seen When We Were Kings - if not, see it - but read this book and you might see Ali in a different light. Possibly the best book ever written about sport.
Friday, 26 October 2007
Thursday, 25 October 2007
Letter to the Torygraph from the usual suspects
Sir – Today a statue of David Lloyd George will be unveiled in Parliament Square. Lloyd George was Prime Minister between 1916 and 1922. During this period Britain used planes to bomb: Mashud, on India's border with Afghanistan; Dacca, Jalalabad and Kabul; Egypt; Enzeli in Iran; Trans-Jordan; and, of course, Iraq. Today these vicious policies continue unabated. [Blah blah yadda yadda]. All of which makes today's celebration of Lloyd George's legacy highly topical and disgraceful. Harold Pinter, John Pilger, Denis Halliday, London N1
Dontcha just love these pompous, sanctimonious, humourless twats? As I remember, 1916-22 was a slightly unsettled time for the world and our empire. Bombing by plane had just caught on as an offensive and defensive tactic. Gold medal winners in wrong-headedness almost all of the time, these fools. They have spent much of their lives revering Stalin and Castro and the other evil bastards who arrived at dictatorship from the left rather than the right. I think they wrote this letter simply to show off their triffic grasp of the early history of aerial bombing.
Dunno who Halliday is, so no dartboard picture of him. Maybe Johnny's pa. What we do know is that he is a fellow-traveller of The Pint and The Pilge.
création d' idle at 9:37 am
Friday, 19 October 2007
Monday, 15 October 2007
Scrobs is right - avoid a warm wine cup like the plague, unless you happen to be at Cliveden; a teetotal Lady Astor instructed her butler to arrange for a wine cup to be warmed up using a first growth, for the estate drinks at Christmas.
The butler refused and felt it his duty to offer his resignation immediately. "Of course you can't resign, Hargreaves", exclaimed Lady A, having recanted her suggestion, "if you go, I go".
création d' idle at 9:52 am
Saturday, 6 October 2007
Yes, it might have been the cheese-eating surrender monkeys that beat them, but even then, I couldn't hide my joy as the country that used to be a byword for robust good sense and modest courage got kicked into touch and onto the Sunday Air NZ flight from Heathrow.
Why and how did New Zealand become the PC, petty, coalition-of-the-willing-dodging, and utterly WET country (spineless, not damp), that it is in 2007?
Answers on a postcard, mostly from Auckland, no doubt.
création d' idle at 10:16 pm