the baggy trousered misanthropist

missives issued from the lair

While true crime is enjoying something of a spike in popularity, let’s not treat it like a recently discovered, previously untapped mine of compulsive entertainment.  People have been getting their kicks from vivid descriptions of gory violence and proximity to psychopathy since the true crime section sprang up in WH Smiths.

I know. I was there.

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They were specks in the distance. He wouldn’t have spotted them but for the lone tern that drifted into his binocular sights, dipping with the air currents that clashed across the bay. Usually he wouldn’t bother focussing on a bird he routinely documented but this one’s insouciance caught his eye and he followed its progress until he saw them. Continue reading

Marc Albrighton has just scored Leicester City’s second goal of the night and, assuming they don’t go all Arsenal on us, will proceed directly to the quarter finals of the Champions League. Their performance has been everything part 2 of the Ranieri era was not; purposeful, competitive, pressing, intense. They’re irresistible.

How ironic then, that they should be the club representing football’s summiting of Peak Entertainment and beginning the long miserable march downward into unknown (if inevitably uncomfortable) territory.

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A view of the main entrance to Auschwitz camp pictured on the day of the 72nd anniversary of liberation German Nazi concentration and extermination camp Auschwitz-Birkenau. On Friday, January 27, 2017, in Oswiecim (Auschwitz), Poland. (Photo by Artur Widak/NurPhoto)

The pizza at Auschwitz is great.

I thought about the propriety of that sentence the moment it popped into my head, while sitting on a rubber block in the car park eating the aforementioned snack, which was a thin and crispy vegetarian slice cooked to perfection in a small booth to the right of the museum entrance. I tested it on my mother when I returned home and she curled her lip. I was admonished for saying it, as I expected.

It’s not what you go there for, is it?

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When was the last time you watched a film without having a clue what it was about before you started?

Time is so pressing these days and there are so many forms of entertainment competing for our attention that it’s almost essential to watch a trailer before committing two hours of your ever decreasing lifespan to something that turns out to be utter rubbish.

For example, if I hadn’t seen the trailer for XXX: The Return of Xander Cage which includes a scene in which Vin Diesel drives a motorbike through the sea, I might have accidentally gone to watch it.

Then I’d be dead and you wouldn’t be reading this.

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Imagine, for a second, that you don’t exist. Not in any meaningful sense of the term, anyway. You have consciousness, you have awareness, but no body, no sensation, no emotion. Like that scene in The Matrix where Neo wakes up in that vat of slime and realises he’s basically one fancy battery among millions.

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Stereotypes tell me that at least 50% of you are going to recoil from this post because of the title. Because you’re men and have a genetic condition that renders you incapable of seeing the word tampon without having a panic attack, let alone stride confidently through the aisles of the supermarket grasping the box of Tampax Super your other half requested.

I choose not to believe in stereotypes. They’re a luxury from a bygone age, when we didn’t use them to obfuscate and externalise our responsibilities.

You’re better than that.

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A few years ago, a fifteen year old boy telephoned my favourite football phone-in and spoke very eloquently about his team, Stoke City. Robin was passionate and offered commentary on Stoke’s playing squad, tactics and management structure as well as informed ideas as to what might improve their play even more.

Which, as you’ll know if you’ve listened to BBC 606 with Fletch & Sav for any length of time, is as rare as Mark Clattenburg keeping a low profile during a game.

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Do you like what you see?

Selected essays from The Baggy Trousered Misanthropist are now available  on the Kindle Store for the ecstatically accessible price of £2.26.

Order yours now, before it becomes really popular and you risk being accused of bandwagon jumping.

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