This short post has three elements: self promotion, self indulgence and humour amusing only to its author (‘no change there’ I hear you chorus). If you have anything better to do with your time (eg watching paint dry, re-reading the Thompsons business directory, removing the Madonna or Queen songs which have unaccountably got on to your ipod playlist) I strongly advise you to do so.
On Tuesday I went to Leyton Orient to see the West Brom second string win 2-0 in the Inter-city Poundstretcher Vase (aka the Carling Cup). Apart from a great last minute goal from New Zealand wonder boy, Chris Wood, it was a pretty grim game, of which it could fairly be said ‘neither team deserved to win’. Still, at least there were two chances to go through the West Brom fans’ goal celebration ritual.
This comprises the supporters jumping from one foot to the other and punching the air out of time shouting ‘boing, boing’, followed by a discordant but strangely uplifting rendition of Psalm 23 (The Lord’s My Shepherd) and ending with the ungrammatical but elegant simplicity of ‘The West Brom’ clap, clap, clap ‘The West Brom’ clap clap clap. The whole thing lasts about a minute and has over the years occasionally been rudely interrupted by the opposing team equalising.
The next day, as is my habit, I visited Boing - the excellent unofficial West Brom supporters’ site - to see whether my player ratings matched those of other fans. As you will see if you visit it, Boing is to website graphics and technology what West Bromwich town centre is to urban aesthetics.
So…imagine my surprise and delight when a colleague at the RSA (presumably looking for a rise, clever girl) referred me to a link to my 21st century enlightenment talk (‘46,000 views and counting’ now you ask). The link is on what it turns out is one of the world’s most hip blogs (formerly a 'zine and web site). Its slogan is ‘brain candy for happy mutants’ and its name is?
No really, this is worth waiting for…
Oh, how I laughed. Oh, how I patted myself on the head. Oh, how I marvelled at the inability of my long suffering PA Barbara to see this as the most exciting thing to have happened all week.
We shouldn’t underestimate how far our societies have pulled apart. Yet there is hope for renewal, says Anthony Painter. The question is not whether we come together – but how.