the baggy trousered misanthropist

missives issued from the lair


 
I’ve never been particularly comfortable with Caitlyn Jenner’s transition.

That bothered me.

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By resigning from his position as technical director of British cycling, Shane Sutton has instantly become the poster boy for those who believe that women aren’t capable of coping with the rigorous, often unpleasant realities of competing in elite sport.

Phone-ins and social media networks are alight with righteous indignation propelled voices claiming that if women can’t stand the intensity of the motivational tactics (which may or may not include verbal sparring and insults) required, perhaps they should reacquaint themselves with the more suitable challenges of the kitchenette.

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toby young

Toby Young, Daily Mail 1st April 2016.

You could say that drawing attention to this sort of thing is giving the trolls what they want.

That Toby Young will be reclining on his chaise longue this morning, clad in smoking jacket and dragging on the big old Cuban parked between his educated lips while he cackles at the outrage his Daily Mail article provoked.

Rod Liddle will be sitting alongside him.

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head

It’s a great leveller, social media, isn’t it?

In olden times, before Facebook and Twitter were things, we had no portal to air our feelings on matters that we had no prior knowledge of, so we limited our explosive rants to subjects we were vaguely qualified on or just made a massive fool of ourselves down the pub.

At least then we kept our friends entertained.

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p01lcgws

At this point it’s just a rumour, but that didn’t stop me from recoiling in terror at a headline as it rolled by my eyes this morning.

“News and sport station could follow BBC3 in going off air, or even face closure to save its £66m budget?” it whispered in a beguiling, yet ominous tone. The story has since been dismissed by 5Live controller Jonathan Wall, but the damage is done.

The notion I might have to move through my life without the tones of BBC 5Live accompanying my every step has been introduced into my consciousness. The damage has been done.

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When news broke that Sunderland and England footballer Adam Johnson had been arrested on suspicion of sexual activity with an underage girl, the accelerated judicial procedure that is social media reached a verdict within seconds.

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David-Bowie-Last-Photo

I recently wrote a piece for my other love, The Football Ramble, about the minefield that is celebrating a sporting achievement by someone who espouses unconscionable views or, as is more likely these days, inappropriate sexual behaviour.

You can read it here, if you care to, but I know many of you instantly drop into a coma when football is mentioned, so I’ll precis it.

I conclude that there has to be a separation between achievement and the individual, because the alternative is to fully endorse everything the subject has done in their life, even if you don’t know about it.

It’s not a comfortable position, especially when you’re dealing with the likes of Tyson Fury, but what alternative is there? To not admire anyone or anything ever, in case the person involved turns out to have views that differ from your own?

I’ll take my chances, if that’s ok.

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When I were a lass, film premieres didn’t really exist.

I’m kind of glad they didn’t, too. I can’t help but feel the lure of the original three Star Wars films, which has remained constant throughout my life, was augmented by the inflexibility of the stories and the character roles. They existed within the films, and my job was to recreate them as faithfully as possible within the constraints of a deep pile bedroom carpet.

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