All posts by Dougie Brimson

Best known for penning the multi-award winning film, Green Street, I have fifteen book on my backlist as well as a further two films. Details of my work and extremely varied life can be found within this very blog!

Football…. enough said

I have recently received a number of emails asking me why I rarely seem to blog about football these days. It is after all the subject of most of my books and given that the bulk of the content is forged from my opinions, it is reasonable to expect that I will have comments to make on most things relating to the great game and that a blog is the perfect place to put them.

There is however, a significant difference between the two. Yes, I know I’ve written entire volumes which amount to little more than a series of rants about this or that but books take time to research and construct and even longer to make the leap from my laptop to the shelves in Waterstones. Blogs are more instantaneous and as such, the risk to both my blood pressure and my bank balance are immeasurably greater. After all, I am knocking on a bit and I’ve almost been sued twice for things I’ve put in books and they were viewed by lawyers before they went into print! I can have a blog online in seconds so who knows what trouble that could get me into!!!

As a consequence and in a rare fit of common sense, I realised long ago that if I’m going to rant about anything in my blog, it needs to be about things into which I can try to inject either some humour or some sarcasm. Possibly even both. That isn’t to say that whatever I write isn’t genuine or heartfelt because in the main, it will be but if I’m going to do it, it’ll only be because I enjoy it.

That’s the problem I have with blogging about football. For there is so much about the great game which just simply pisses me off that I fear that at my age, my meagre brain would go into meltdown if I went off on one about it. Call me old-fashioned, but life as a gibbering wreck doesn’t hold much of an appeal.

For example, everyone knows that football has been destroyed by greed, that agents are vermin and that most players seemingly have little in the way of morals or basic intelligence. Furthermore, a significant number would almost certainly be working in MacDonald’s or languishing in prison if things had gone slightly differently for them.

On top of that, anyone with an ounce of intellect knows that the majority of football fans are so blinded by passion and loyalty that they allow their clubs to treat them in a way which would have you calling Watchdog if Tesco’s tried it. I could go on, but I am sure you get my drift.

And so as a consequence, these days I tend to dismiss everything which doesn’t happen on the field of play no matter how ridiculous or outlandish it might be as being well, sadly typical whilst anything which happens on the field is largely irrelevant because if it doesn’t involve my beloved Watford, I don’t really care anyway.

There may of course be odd occasions where I won’t be able to help myself. In fact, when I heard news that the odious John Terry had been reappointed as England captain and was busily giving it the large one to sections of the media about how harshly he’d been treated in the past, I not only almost vomited but started to reach for a keyboard.

But those occasions will be few and far between. Football has after all, become a parody of itself these days and there are only so many ways you can say that without it getting boring.

Besides, there are so many more fun things to blog about these days. Oh yes indeed.

 

It’s me!

As you may or may not have noticed, the level of work I’ve been putting into my blog in recent weeks has slowed to what can only be described as pathetic.

In my defence, to say life has been manic of late would be an understatement as I’ve had various producers champing at my creative backside in an effort to secure either revisions or my services.

Not that I am ungrateful of course, but sometimes, I do wish I had half-decent time management skills or better still, the ability to say NO to people who are being, for want of a better word, twats.

Indeed, it’s fair to say that one of the worst things about being a writer is that you are usually the first link in the creative chain of a project and the last one to get either paid or recognised. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve made the point to people that without writers, there would be no…… well, anything. Yet as a breed, we are quite possibly the most frequently shafted group within any creative field.

I’m not sure quite how we have allowed ourselves to end up like this but it is certainly something I’m keen to change even if it is only for my own sanity.

However, in the meantime I will do my utmost to update my blog on a more regular basis not least because I have a few things I really do need to get off my chest.

Oh yes……..

It’s me!

As you may or may not have noticed, the level of work I’ve been putting into my blog in recent weeks has slowed to what can only be described as pathetic.

In my defence, to say life has been manic of late would be an understatement as I’ve had various producers champing at my creative backside in an effort to secure either revisions or my services.

Not that I am ungrateful of course, but sometimes, I do wish I had half-decent time management skills or better still, the ability to say NO to people who are being, for want of a better word, twats.

Indeed, it’s fair to say that one of the worst things about being a writer is that you are usually the first link in the creative chain of a project and the last one to get either paid or recognised. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve made the point to people that without writers, there would be no…… well, anything. Yet as a breed, we are quite possibly the most frequently shafted group within any creative field.

I’m not sure quite how we have allowed ourselves to end up like this but it is certainly something I’m keen to change even if it is only for my own sanity.

However, in the meantime I will do my utmost to update my blog on a more regular basis not least because I have a few things I really do need to get off my chest.

Oh yes……..

Football YES, Women NO!

As someone known for being somewhat opinionated on the subject of football, it can come as no surprise to hear that in the wake of ‘Sky Gate’ I received numerous requests to comment on the issue of females and the great game. It might shock you to discover that all such requests were declined.

The reason has nothing to do with either Richard Keys (who I always thought was the luckiest not to mention hairiest man alive) or Andy Gray (who I’ve regarded as nothing more than a cheating bastard since the 1984 FA Cup Final) but the actual subject matter. It’s not that I have an issue with female officials who as far as I have seen, have generally done a decent job, it’s the fact that as far as I am concerned, they shouldn’t even be there in the first place.

Now I know I have blogged on this subject before, but for reasons too boring to go into, I have recently been re-reading my book ‘The Geezers Guide to Football’ which for those who do not know, is a bluffers guide along the lines of ‘How to behave like a proper bloke at football’. Contrary to what certain reviewers think, it was never written as a serious examination of the male of the species but was instead, a piss take of how stupid we can be when it comes to the great game.

Of course lots has changed in the world of football in the 13 years since the book was first published but I was amazed at how much of my book still rang true with regard to football fans. That is especially true when it comes to the subject of women and with that in mind, I have included that entire section below.

To put the extract in context, it is part of a chapter which introduces the novice football fan to the different categories of supporter he can expect to encounter on a match day. Categories which include lads, sads, old gits, young gits and anoraks.

Read on…

Up to this point I have broken down the support into a number of specific types, but there is one group that has yet to be mentioned and that is women, and there is a reason for that. I have said it before, and I will say it again: women and football do not mix. As a geezer, you will spend your day in the company of other men, and therefore women who go to football are to be totally and utterly ignored. Furthermore, if you are unfortunate enough to find yourself sitting near a woman, you should never moderate your language. In fact, it is your duty to become even more colourful as she may well move, which would be a bonus. To be perfectly honest, if I had my way women wouldn’t even be allowed inside grounds, and I certainly believe that if a ground is sold out and a male of the species is locked outside, someone should go in, grab the nearest female and throw her out so that the bloke can have her seat.

I have to say at this point that I get into a lot of trouble for my views on women at football, but I’m afraid that’s too bad. I have yet to be told by any football-loving male that my opinions are contrary to theirs and that is good enough for me. And let’s face it, being a geezer is about being a bloke and doing blokey things. That’s one of the attractions. Women who watch football will, of course, argue this point until the cows come home. They will argue that they love the game as much as me, go to every game home and away and can discuss tactics with anyone who cares to listen. Unfortunately by this time I am not listening, as I simply do not care about anything a woman has to say on the subject of my obsession. However, at some point or another during your life of geezerdom you will have to defend this stance, and so I will explain the reasoning behind it once again.

Generally speaking, men live for their football. They sleep it, worship it and, if they can, they play it. When they watch the game, they go through every emotion known, but in the background there is always an element of frustration. This frustration is borne out of the fact that if they had practised harder as a kid, they could have been out there doing it while some other sad git watched them. Women cannot do that because they can never play football and that is the difference. Men love football: women like football. It really is that simple. If ever you get into an argument with a woman about football, you do not need to sink to the level of ‘you only go to look at the players legs’, but merely ask her to explain how she can possibly talk about Beckham dropping a 40-yard pass on to the feet of Owen when she could not kick a ball with any degree of accuracy over a distance of 40 inches. That will shut her right up. Alternatively, if a woman begins talking football with you, merely look at her and say, ‘Yeah, right-oh love,’ before returning to your paper and you will be unbeatable.

In any case, there are only two reasons why most women go to watch football. For the married ones, it’s the only chance they get to spend time with their old man whereas, the single ones only go to spend a few hours surrounded by men in a testosterone-fuelled frenzy. This is clearly the case; because most single females who go to football are pig ugly.

A brief mention here about women’s football. Football is, and always will be, a man’s game. It is played by men for the enjoyment of other men and it is hard and aggressive, fast and skilful. All things that women’s football isn’t. The argument that women’s football is all about grace and skill is a joke. I mean, have you ever seen any women footballers? Having studied the subject at great length, it is clear to me that women who try to play football fall into three categories: they are raving feminists and play the game because, if men do it, then they should have the right to, or they are geezer-birds. And by that I mean women who really want to be men (if they were under 11 we would call them tomboys).  Or, they are lesbians. Women’s football is crap. If it were any good people would go and watch it, but it isn’t and they don’t. And, to be honest, I doubt they ever will.

End… Please feel free to comment!

2011!

Apologies for the lack of any fresh blogs recently but life has been a bit hectic in Brimson Towers of late and time to sit down and work on anything creative which doesn’t involve soldiers, nurses, war, football or hooligans has been in short supply.

Anyway, I would like to wish all and sundry a belated happy new year and the very best for 2011. If all goes to plan it should be a very good one for me but then again, I say that every year!

I am certainly confident that some of the hard work I put in over the last 12 months will start to pay off and have high hopes that by this time next year I’ll have at least two if not three movies completed. I’m also extremely keen to do at least one more novel this year but again, as with all things it comes down to time.

More news as and when…..  Onwards and upwards! 🙂

Hillsborough… and other stuff.

Time wasting

The other day, whilst trawling the internet in one of my all too frequent bouts of boredom, I stumbled across a link which took me to a message board. Nothing unusual in that you might think but this particular one was overflowing with vitriol aimed at a journalist. Mind you there’s nothing unusual in that either.

However, what captured my interest in this instance was the reason for that vitriol. It was the fact that the journalist had written a piece about the Hillsborough disaster.

Now as any football fan will know, Hillsborough is an emotive issue, especially to the people of Liverpool. And as someone who has written extensively about it in the past and being one of the few people who question some of the sentiments which have come to cloud opinion surrounding what happened, I know better than anyone that if you write about Hillsborough, unless you want to get slaughtered you had best get your facts right and/or be prepared to back up every letter you commit to paper.

Sadly, this journalist fell foul of both of these golden rules because to say his article was ill-informed and poorly researched would be to give new meaning to the word ‘understatement’. To make matters worse, the inevitable negative response to his article was discussed on one of those dreadful news debate shows the US media love to produce and if anything, that was even worse! Because whilst their defence of their colleague was stout, their references to the disaster were equally flawed! Not surprisingly, the subsequent response was, to say the least, equally colourful.

The problem was however, that the bulk of those responses were based on a particular perception of what happened on that fateful day. One which placed every single ounce of blame on the police. And as anyone who has ever read any of my work will know, in spite of my sentiments toward the thin blue line, I don’t subscribe to this view at all.

Normally, given that Hillsborough is one of the subjects I tend to shy away from these days (extreme right-wing politics, immigration and women drivers being amongst the others) I would have avoided becoming involved in this debate. However, on this occasion a heady mix of irritation, boredom and a desire for amusement sucked me in.

Even more unusually, rather than make tongue-in-cheek comments designed simply to get people fired up, (as I said, I needed a bit of amusement) the fact that it was about such a serious and controversial issue actually resulted in me behaving myself. The consequence being that aside from resulting in a quite reasonable debate with a guy who eventually almost conceded that I had a point (which obviously I do) I suddenly realised that I had wasted an entire day.

And that, in a nutshell, is the point of this blog.

No, it’s got nothing to do with Hillsborough. It’s to do with time management. Because that day is a day I’ll never get back and it really should have been spent doing something more productive.

Yet all too often in recent years, I have fallen into the trap of getting involved in pointless debates with even more pointless people and if I should have learnt one thing by now, it’s that to anyone who is self-employed, Facebook and Twitter are the tools the devil has devised to exploit our inherent weaknesses and steal our valuable time.

So please excuse me if I frequent them less from now on. Indeed, if I am to make a new years resolution it will be to stay away from social media sites. Although saying that, I do have this idea for a fabulous book about Facebook.

No honestly, it’s genius. It just needs a bit more research……

Cooking the books (and the telly)

For some time now, I have watched bemused as the cult of the celebrity cook has taken an increasingly tight grasp hold on the consciousness of this country.

Almost every evening these days our television channels are swamped with programmes made by smug twats showing us how to cook pretentious food which no one other a wannabe smug twat would ever even attempt to try and cook. As if that isn’t bad enough, a visit to any bookstore or supermarket (sic) will see shelves positively sagging under legions of weighty tomes written by the same smug twats for the delectation of the same wannabe smug twats.

Quite how this cult ever came to pass escapes me and normally I would say a hearty fair play to all of those currently making fortunes off the back of the great British public. After all, I’ve done much the same thing albeit on a (much) smaller scale.

However, the fact that both television and publishing have become obsessed with celebrity chefs is becoming an increasing irritation to me. Not least because some of those at the ‘sharp’ end are seemingly so far up themselves that I’m amazed they can actually see daylight. Saint Jamie Oliver clearly believes that he alone (well, with a bit of help from Sainsbury’s obviously) can save the nation whilst Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall definitely lives in a different world from me. River Cottage my arse.

Antony Worrall Thompson has a face you would never tire of hitting, Gordon Ramsey, clever though he obviously is, brings new meaning to the word annoying (really Gordon, saying ‘fuck’ over and over again might have worked once, now it’s just tedious. Ask Roger Melly) and as for Heston Blumenthal (a man so ‘talented’ he doesn’t have a kitchen on his show, has a lab!) he’s quite possibly the most annoying git on TV.

Aside from being irritating, the one thing all the above have in common is that they are male and hereby lies my biggest problem. It’s not that these ‘cooking’ shows are inevitably slanted toward women (which if nothing else, reinforces the idea that the average bloke can’t or won’t cook) nor is it the fact that by virtue of the fact that these blokes can cook, they are elevated to god-like status in the eyes of the female population. It’s the fact that when you add together the amount of time cooking shows consume on our airwaves and then combine that with the hours of soap’s and home decorating shows which increasingly dominate our evenings viewing, it is clear that the nations broadcasters have forgotten that 50% of the population are actually male! And aside from Top Gear (and even that’s arguable these days) there are next to no programmes on terrestrial TV which are actually directed solely at men! Daytime TV is even worse! Some of the shite on there is bordering on anti-male! Loose Women… please, do me a favour and piss off!

It’s got to the stage now where if we men want to watch something made for ‘us’ then we have  to go to satellite TV and channels such as Discovery, Dave and the History Channel. That’s just not right.

So the next time some woman moans about the amount of sport on TV, feel free to show her the TV schedules and give her a bit of a reality check. Better still, inform her that having wasted countless hours listening and watching as some smug twat instructs her in the art of stuffing a hedgehog with stewed venison tongue coated in elderberry jelly or some other such bollocks, she might actually put some of her new found knowledge to good use by heading for the kitchen and rustling you up a meal. 

After all, you might as well get something out of it. Even if it is inedible.

Something Fishy….

As I have previously stated, I am not an animal lover. Aside from being a source of food, they are as far as I’m concerned, fairly pointless.

Truth to tell I actually find those who do like animals slightly odd. Let’s face it, if you have to rely on a dog (or worse, a cat) for affection then life must be very drab indeed. I mention this now because the other day, I heard a discussion on the radio which referred to the price of tinned tuna and the fact that the price has recently gone through the roof. One of the reasons cited was that fishing for said fish had become more problematic for the poor fisherman because of the need to protect dolphins.

Now as a lover of the odd tuna sandwich (with salad cream and cucumber obviously), I immediately questioned the reasoning behind this but before I could say anything, the interviewer responded with the point that dolphins have to be protected because they are very intelligent and have an IQ in of over a hundred. I’m sorry, but unless turning up and making a few clicking noises, giving the examiner a smile and a nudge with your nose is on the test system at MENSA, this is clearly bollocks.

If dolphins are that clever you would have thought that by now they’d have realised that if they see a couple of boats moving along on the surface being followed by a wall of fish swimming in a ball, it’s a good indication that there’s a net involved so it might be a good idea to give it a swerve. The fact that they haven’t speaks volumes to me.

Inevitably, this led onto another question and that’s that since dolphins look quite meaty and there are obviously loads of them around, why don’t we eat them?

Leaving aside the vegetarian issue (and trust me, you really don’t want to get me started on veggies) the answer of course, has nothing to do with their so-called intelligence and everything to do with the fact that they are cute. Which is exactly the same reason people use for not eating dogs, cats or even monkeys (although if you type ‘monkey rapes frog’ into Google you will soon question the validity of that statement!)

Now I might not have the IQ of a dolphin (sic) but there is certainly a lesson to be learnt here. Not by me, but by the pig, cow, sheep and poultry community. Because if humans only eat cute animals then it might be a good idea to get working on a bit of evolution in the beauty department. In the short term a trip down to MENSA might not be such a bad idea either.

Just make sure you practice those clicking noises first! After all, if it works for flipper, it’s certain to work for you guys.

Grovelling time!

Apologies for the lack of any blogs recently but I’ve been engrossed in writing a new screenplay as well as re-writing an existing one ahead of production.

When you are as lazy as I am and have zero time management skills, deadlines are terrible things. However, even I realise that it is far better to have them than not. Indeed, if the latter were the case I would never get anything done!

Normal service will be resumed shortly. Unless something else crops up!

The 80’s Bloke.

I need to make something clear from the outset; I am a male….a proper heterosexual one. I love football, anything with an engine, eat meat, drink alcohol (albeit occasionally) and in the past few weeks have been called amongst other things, a flirt and a letch. Both of which I took as compliments.

But if you were expecting some kind of spirited defence of the male species or even some kind of anti-female rant, you are going to be disappointed. You see in spite of the fact that I am a ‘bloke’ in pretty much every sense of the word, I would go so far as to say that I far prefer the company of women to men.

Most of my best friends are women, the bulk of my working colleagues including my editor and my agent are women and not so long ago I was best man at the same-sex wedding of two of my bestest (female) chums which was, I have to say, a truly delightful experience. Rammed as it was, with women (albeit some of whom had little or no interest in men but each to their own).

The reason for this is that in my experience, women are a lot of fun whilst men are fairly hopeless, especially where women are concerned. And yes, I do lump myself in there with, as most of my female friends and colleagues will agree, good reason. For like most men, I have no idea how women think or work, am prone to saying the wrong thing at the very worst time and cannot for the life of me understand the fascination with either shoes, handbags or celebrity magazines.

Furthermore, as I have previously mentioned I have no concept of how much fun shopping is (for the most part, it really isn’t), have no desire to even think about why a bed needs to be covered with cushions simply because they look nice nor can I even comprehend why anyone would need to curl their eyelashes.

Oh, and since I have no uterus, I cannot possibly have any idea what it’s like to have PMT and have no real explanation as to why something so obvious is so frequently thrown at me as if it were an accusation. Don’t even get me started on the menopause or the pain of childbirth.

I could go on…. and on…. and on.

What I hear you asking, has any of this to do with the 80’s? Well on the face of it, nothing. But in truth, it has everything.

You see, to state the obvious, men and women are different. Very different. At the beginning of the 80’s, everyone knew that, accepted it and even embraced it. It was a time when real men (or ‘blokes’ as they shall henceforth be known) did manual work, smoked, drank beer and looked after their families whilst the vast majority of women once married, kept home and acted as mothers.

Yet by the end of the decade fuelled by Thatcherism, consumerism, liberalism and feminism, we were seeing the first seeds of the god-awful ‘Ladette’ culture and were just a couple of years away from the first mention of the most loathsome cult ever to infest the male race, ‘the Metrosexual.’ The final nail in the concept of masculinity which by the turn of the decade had all but ebbed away along with good manners, common courtesy, respect and most importantly of all, romance. All to be replaced with… well, nothing.

And as the 80’s ended, women everywhere suddenly found themselves wondering where all the real men had gone whilst the real men were living in fear of having their seemingly old-fashioned advances rejected. Rejection being of course, the greatest contraceptive known to man.

So it has continued, with the traditional roles of male/hunter, woman/nurturer now almost an alien concept and as a bloke, I find that very sad. I mean, what’s wrong with holding the door open for a woman or perish the thought, offering one your seat on the tube? It’s what a gentleman does yet these days, you do it at your peril. Equality, whilst an admirable idea, has a lot to answer for because in many respects, no one wins.

Thankfully, all is not lost. For there is a saviour at hand. A real man in the old fashioned sense who blokes look up to and women have come to regard as something of a sex symbol.

No not me…. Step forward the legend that is DCI Gene Hunt. The politically incorrect, foul mouthed and most definitely sexist copper who stars in the BBC TV series ‘Ashes to Ashes.’ He is as good a representation of the early 80’s male as you will possibly ever see on screen but more importantly, he is often mentioned as the ‘bit of rough women would like a tumble with.’

If true, this is a welcome sign. For whilst much of modern day society has its merits, the relationship between men and women remains slightly blurred. Middle aged men especially are still struggling to come terms with things and the fact that a fictional television character has come to be regarded with such affection by both sexes proves that deep down, those old school values have not been totally extinguished. Or to put it another way, sometimes the good old days were actually good.

The question of course, is does that kind of Alpha male have a place in modern day society. Well speaking as one myself, I would obviously hope so but I know plenty of females who would certainly go for a bit of old fashioned looking after.

But then again, back then we never thought things that deeply did we. And maybe, like proper sized Curly Wurly’s, Tiswas and Brit–Funk, that was something else that was better back in the 80’s.

Happy days indeed.