Tag Archives: books

An interview with author Dougie Brimson (warning: it’s long!)

"not so hard bastard" sexy lover fighting books
A handsome devil…. not.

I’ve posted this as a page on my blog but thought it might be useful to post it as a standard blog as I know some people have connections set up.

So what follows is the text of an as yet unpublished interview I gave to a journalist just yesterday (Jan 9th 2012)! I’ve posted it simply because it provides reasonable answers to many of the questions I receive on a fairly regular basis.

I hope you enjoy it but if you have a question of your own, please don’t hesitate to mail me. Oh, and it’s quite long!

How and why did you become a writer?

I fell into it by accident really and it was certainly not an aspiration or anything like it! I had left the Royal Air Force after 18 years as an engineer and was ‘working’ as an extra on TV and in films. EURO 96 was on the horizon and I was on set filming an episode of Casualty for the BBC when the idea came to write a book about my experiences following football. That book eventually became ‘Everywhere We Go’ and it really was a case of right book, right time.

The rest as they say, is history.

How do you get your ideas?

In the early days, they were driven by the readership as I thought they would be. That’s why I wrote follow-on books about local derbies, England and the London clubs (all of which are now out in eBook format).

After that, I moved into fiction which largely came about as a result of an approach from the TV writer Lynda La Plante who wanted me to write something for one of her series and from that point on, I’ve tended to write about things which either interest me or which I am passionate about. Given the way I write and the fact that much of my work revolves around my own opinions, I think it’s vital to take that approach.

How long does it typically take you to write a book?

How long is a piece of string? I actually write fairly quickly but there are all kinds of things which impact on how long a book will take to complete. However, I usually aim to have a first draft of a full-length book completed in two to three months although I actually wrote the second half of my novel Top Dog in under ten days and some people say that’s amongst my best ever stuff! 

How do you write?

I’d like to tell you that I have a very clearly defined routine which involves writing at least 5000 words a day or a straight 8 hours at the keyboard but the truth is that I am horrifically ill disciplined and it doesn’t take much to distract me if I’m not very careful. Twitter for example, can keep me occupied for hours which is quite pathetic and if I know that there’s an old movie on telly it’s game over!

I actually had to sell my beloved motorbike because if the sun was shining I’d be out on the road, deadline or no deadline!

However, if I’m in the mood I’ll sit down and simply write for as long as I can and that can be anything from 2 to 20 hours in a day. All I need is tea, food and very loud soul or jazz funk music to keep me going but make no mistake, it’s bloody hard work sometimes.

So why do it?

Well it’s actually quite a decent way to earn a living! After all, I don’t even have to get dressed most days and you can’t say that about many jobs!

More seriously, writing can also provide a real buzz especially when I get in the zone and the words just come pouring out without me having to think too about them. Whilst writing ‘The Art of Fart’ for example, I was having so much fun that I actually had to keep stopping because I’d be giggling so much I’d get tears in my eyes.

It’s also fair to say that I derive a huge amount of pleasure from interacting with readers. That’s actually a huge part of it for me because having someone tell you that they like a particular book kind of makes all those hours at a desk worthwhile if only because it proves I’m doing something right!

You seem to have written books in pretty much every format there is which is quite rare amongst authors. Why did you branch out from non-fiction?

Simply because having written four books with my brother, I wanted to do my own thing. The problem was, I didn’t really know what and so I wrote a comedy book called ‘The Geezers Guide to football’ and then a couple of thrillers before going back into non-fiction. Now I’ve written another comedy book and my next project is also more humour so maybe that’s where I’ll settle. Who knows?

Where do your ideas come from?

Two places, my warped imagination and the market. Whenever I talk to writers I always tell them that if they want to write for publication it is absolutely vital that they get to know who their target readership will be, research what they are reading and then write something to suit.

That might sound mercenary but it’s exactly what a publisher will do when they’re deciding if a submission is right for them so why not make the process easier for yourself?

In my case, my target readership is lads and as a lad myself (albeit an older version!) I understand that we’re basically simple creatures who know what we like to read and more importantly, how we like to read.  I try to give them what they want, it really is as simple as that. Thankfully, it seems to be working!

However, don’t get the impression that I take my readership be they real or potential for granted because I don’t. As a professional author my readership is my livelihood and if I don’t keep them entertained, I’ll starve!

How much time do you spend on research?

That depends on the project. When I was writing non-fiction football stuff it was a 24/7 operation because football culture was and remains a constantly moving beast. Thankfully, I had loads of good contacts who kept me supplied with information and to be fair, I couldn’t have written half as much as I have done without their help.

For the fictional and comedy stuff, research hasn’t ever really been an issue because I’ve been able to draw on personal experiences. If you’ve read ‘Billy’s Log’ I’ll come clean and say that it’s very much an amalgamation of my own life and that of my mate who will remain nameless!

So are all of your fictional characters based on real life?

sexy lads romance love
Billy’s Log – autobiography?

God yes! Everyone in every novel I’ve written has been based on someone real be they family, mates or even celebrities. I ever based one character on my local newsagent!

Character creation is actually a really important part of my writing process because once I have the outline nailed down, the next stage for me is to fully construct the people I will be writing about and that starts with three things; their name, their face and their voice. After all, to all intensive purposes that character is a real person with a real history and real problems of their own and so you have to know what they will look and sound like! But equally, if you’re going to put them through something you have to understand exactly how they will react and what they will be thinking at that moment and all of that has to be built up.

That’s so much easier to do if you use a real life base-line to work from not least because if you’re struggling, you can actually ring them up and chat to them or even stick something on YouTube to give you a feel of them. It’s amazing how simply hearing someone’s voice can help you work through something. It certainly does it for me!

So what other writing tricks do you use?

Music is fundamental to my writing because I can’t write without it. But it can’t be any music, it has to be the right music. As a result, before I start work on a new project I’ll spend ages picking the right album or tracks which I put together as a playlist on iTunes. That becomes the soundtrack and it’ll be on repeat throughout the writing process.

It fairly quickly becomes almost hypnotic and I soon find that I’m able to switch in and out of a project simply by pausing the music which is an awesome thing to be able to do. The downside is that once I finish the project, I can’t listen to any of those tracks again without instinctively starting to type!

Your novels The Crew and Top Dog are two fast paced and very tightly plotted thrillers. How much work did you do in advance?

Ah….. well I actually spent a huge amount of time on these two books but the funny thing about them is that in both cases I wrote the endings first. You see I knew I wanted specific twists within the last few pages and once I had those straight in my mind I had to commit them to paper. The rest of the book was about how I took the reader to that point.

Judging by the fact that The Crew is frequently ranked at #1 in the kindle download charts for football books and is still receiving good reviews over ten years since it was first published, it clearly worked!

So why the move into comedy?

My dad was an entertainer and comedian so I think comedy is in the genes! Truth to tell, I love writing humour more than anything else although in real life, I’m desperately unfunny bordering on grumpy!

You spent a long time in the Royal Air Force. Will life in uniform ever feature in your future work? Or would you ever consider writing your autobiography?

I have a couple of ideas but at the moment, that’s all they are. I have a list of 3 or 4 books ahead of those.

As for my autobiography, it’s an idea that has cropped up a few times in recent years but the honest answer is that if I did write it, I doubt anyone would actually believe it because it would be like a bizarre version of Forest Gump! As anyone who knows me is aware, I’m one of those people ‘things’ happen to!

For example, I was quite possibly the first person in the west to know about the Chernobyl disaster! But if I tell you how, I’ll possibly have to kill you!

As a professional author, do you enjoy the part of your job which doesn’t involve writing?

I love the promotional aspect of writing and do everything I can to sell my books and spread the word about what an ex-editor once called ‘Brand Brimson’.

I also like to talk to writing groups whenever I’m asked but that’s about it really. I don’t get invited to literary functions and have never been anywhere near a literary festival of any kind.

I’m not really sure why that is but hey, that’s the literary world for you. It’s never made much sense to me.

How so?

I’ve been writing for 15 years now and one thing I’ve learned is that there are a huge number of people involved in publishing who fail to grasp the idea that the most important person in the whole process is the reader.

So does that explain why you were once quoted as saying that you’re not at the bottom of the literary ladder, you’re one of the rubber bungs underneath? What did you mean by that?

I made that comment during an interview in which I was asked about the genre of ‘hoolie-lit’ which in case you don’t know was the label tagged on to those of us who wrote books about the subject of football hooliganism.

Anyway, the point I was making that in spite of the fact that as a genre it spawned something like 60 books the bulk of which were by first time authors, drew loads of people back into reading and made a small fortune for various publishers and bookshops, no one involved has ever received any recognition let alone credit from within the literary world for what happened. Quite the opposite in fact, we just get looked down upon.

It still pisses me off to be honest. But that’s literary snobbery for you.

It’s well documented that your involvement in the Elijah Wood movie Green Street Hooligans did not go too smoothly. There have been various versions of the story but you have never really given your side of things. Would you like to take this chance to explain what really went on?

The brief version is that the director and I had a difference of opinion. She thought she knew everything and I knew she didn’t. Sadly, in the end I was forced to give up on it and walk away but the finished item kind of proves I was right because whilst it’s ok, it could have been so, so much better. That’s women for you.

Will you do more movies?

I certainly hope so!

I actually have a few screenplays on the production treadmill at the moment and would hope to do more in the future but I learnt an awful lot working on Green Street so won’t make any of the same mistakes I made there. I hope not anyway!

How did you secure your first publishing deal?

My brother and I had been writing some draft material and in the end, I walked into WH Smiths, took a book and wrote to the publishers asking if they would be interested.

That publisher was Headline and within a week or so they wrote back asking for some material and so I sent them some. They quickly came back asking for more and after two or three times I told them that if this carried on they’d have the whole book anyway so they best tell me if they wanted it or not. They wrote back and said they did and that was it.

It was only some years later that I realised how lucky we were and that it doesn’t generally happen like that!

How did you find your agent?

I don’t have an agent! Oddly, in spite of having 14 books published I’ve never been able to find one who wants to take me on so I’ve basically given up looking now. However, if anyone wants the job, I’d be happy to talk to them!

What tips would you give to aspiring writers?

The single most important piece of advice I would give them is this; if you can’t take criticism, don’t do it. Reviews can be brutal but so can reading or hearing simple feedback and if you think that you will struggle with someone slagging off your work, don’t put yourself in the firing line.

After that, it’s the basics. Write what you know, know your market, join writing groups, etc, etc. But above all, enjoy it! If you don’t, how can you expect your readers to?

What was your worst ever review?

Time out in London reviewed my first book ‘Everywhere We go’ thus: Everywhere We Go…. yeah right. Fuck off.

And your best?

I can’t remember the actual book but one of the English broadsheets (The Times I think) once called me ‘the hooligan’s pornographer-in-chief’ which I thought was quite cool. It’s certainly going on my gravestone!

Actually, the best reviews and in truth the only ones that really count are those from readers. I’m very lucky there and appreciate them all (but please, keep posting them!!)

If someone wanted to get a feel for your writing, which of your books would you recommend?

That would depend on who they were and especially what sex!

I do have a soft spot for my novels and to be honest, of all the books I’ve written ‘Billy’s Log’ is a personal favourite because it still makes me laugh. Indeed, I’m going to bow to pressure and write the sequel later this year.

What books do you read?

Autobiographies are a favourite of mine together although I steer clear of footballers and anyone under 40! I recently re-read Joan Simms book which is brilliant and very funny.

I also read military non-fiction and there is a book about the bombing raids on Port Stanley during the Falklands war called ‘Vulcan 607’ which is a particular favourite as I was there!

You have recently made the switch over to epublishing. How did that come about and how is it working?

I was approached by a company called the ebookpartnership.com who wanted to know if I would be interested in putting selected books from my backlist online.

I didn’t really know much about the process at that point but had a couple of titles which I knew I had the electronic rights to and so handed them over, more as a test than anything else. The reaction was amazing and now I have 12 of my backlist available to download. Two of those, ‘The Crew’ and ‘Everywhere We Go’  are actually free and although I was reluctant to do this at first, it has worked out astonishingly well as the ratio of sell-through purchases has been brilliant.

Is it working? Well I suddenly have full control over what I write and when I write it and it all happens at the speed I want it to happen as opposed to having to fit in with a publisher’s schedule. So hell yes! I’m a convert. So much so that I actually wrote ‘The Art of Fart’ specifically to release to the online market.

fart sex love anal "bodily functions"
The Art of Fart – Bargain!

Tell us about ‘The Art of Fart’.

As anyone who has read the opening chapter on Amazon will know, it’s yet another book which has its roots in my own life! After all, when you grow up in a house of 8, 6 of whom are male, farting is going to feature quite heavily!

But in all seriousness, it’s just a bit of fun. It was certainly hilarious to write!

So what’s next?

I’m currently working on another novel, this time a comedy about football and then I may well write the sequel to ‘Billy’s Log’ which I already have mapped out.

However, if life has taught me one thing it’s that it never runs smoothly so who knows? I just hope I’m around to find out!

The joy of an eBook author!

a kindle reader laughing at an orgasmic fart.
A Kindle reader in hysterics whilst reading The Art of Fart!

As anyone who knows me will be well aware, I have an intense dislike of the festive period and in actual fact, am something of a Grinch. There are all kinds of reasons for this ranging from my distrust of religion to the fact that my birthday is the 7th January (which meant crap presents when I was little) although to be fair, none of this has never stopped me planting myself in front of the telly for the duration and consuming both food and drink as if they were about to be made illegal.

However, as the ongoing farce that is my life meanders (or should that be bludgeons?) its way into yet another year, it might come as something of a shock to discover that I have spent much of this last festive period working feverishly.

The reason for this bizarre and totally unexpected turn of events was the launch of my latest book, The Art of Fart, which was released in December and is the first I have ever written solely for publication as an eBook.

Normally, when a new book hits the shelves, I leave the bulk of the promotional work to the publishers who will deal with all the pre-release publicity and arrange various interviews and appearances as well as sending out review copies to interested media outlets. The result being that they tell me what to do, I do it and all being well, books are purchased by the fabulous people that are the general public.

This time however, there is no PR department meaning that it’s all been down to me! Not only that but being an eBook it was fairly pointless doing any pre-launch work because there was nowhere for potential readers to even pre-order let alone download the finished article. The upshot being that I had to sit twiddling my thumbs until the day The Art of Fart hit amazon at which point, I went into a frenzy of self-promotion!

However, I quickly learnt that what little knowledge I did have with regard to the promotion of books was all but useless and so other than follow the bog-standard Facebook and Twitter route, I was faced with a fairly rapid learning curve. One which grew ever steeper the more I tried to climb it!

For having entered what was in effect a whole new world of publishing, not only did I have to totally rethink my approach to book PR but I had to take an entirely new perspective on the online writing and publishing world much of which I am ashamed to say, I had previously ignored. As a consequence, I have now become involved in various writing communities such as KIndleboards.com and writers-online.co.uk (which are actually good fun and involve all kinds of lovely, talented people!) and thanks to them, have been able to learn a huge amount about the delights of such mysteries as amazon tagging, twitter hashtags, etc.

Thankfully, it seems to be working really well and is actually having a knock-on benefit with my other ebooks as the number of downloads have all increased markedly. On which note, I am delighted to inform you that thanks to the good folk at www.ebookpartnership.com who I cannot commend highly enough, if you search my name on any ebook outlet you will see that my novel The Crew is a free download as is my very first book, Everywhere We Go. Indeed, I now have a total of 12 ebooks available online and not just for the Kindle but all other electronic readers as well as your PC.

Of course now that everyone is drifting back to work the next stage of promotion can begin as I will begin targeting the established print and broadcast media. Hopefully, that will secure some press exposure although it’s fair to say that the title of the book let alone the subject matter may well limit the opportunities available!

farts are sexy
farts are sexy

I also have a few other ideas on the backburner including one which I hope will be quite spectacular! That may well have to wait until it’s a bit warmer though!

Now whilst all of this is good fun and is hopefully spreading the word and selling lots of downloads, the problem is that doing all of this takes time which stops me doing anything else. And one of the most important questions I have to address is what to do next!

I have managed to whittle this down to three ideas now and all being well, will make the final decision over the next day or so. One thing I do know is that it will almost certainly be another eBook. Primarily because it’s such good fun!

On which note, if you haven’t read it yet, The Art of Fart is available for just £1.53 at http://www.amazon.co.uk/Art-Fart-Joy-Flatulence-ebook/dp/B006MISNFI/ or $2.68 at http://www.amazon.com/Art-Fart-Joy-Flatulence-ebook/dp/B006MISNFI/

If you do read it, please let me know what you think or better still, leave a review on amazon. They really do help!

Football’s fascists have finally gone too far.

football fans complaining about money and something else.
Bastard football fans daring to complain.

I will be the first to admit that I am something of a grumpy bastard and that I spend my days moaning about subjects ranging from the failure of HM Tax and revenue to collect money from the travelling community (why don’t they?) to people who illegally use disabled parking spaces (who should have their cars crushed on the spot). However, today I read something which hasn’t just irritated me, it has left me incensed. Yes, that’s right, incensed.

For on this very night, the 22nd of December, at White Hart Lane where Spurs will be playing near neighbours Chelsea, stewards will be wearing cameras in an effort to catch on film anyone in the crowd who uses foul, abusive or racist language.

Stewards….. wearing cameras….. Sorry, but I had to type that twice because I still don’t actually believe it.

To be honest, I don’t even know where to begin with this. The sanitisation of football is something I have written about extensively over the years and yet it continues apace. Usually it has to be said, hidden or at least cloaked under the ‘Kick Racism’ banner. But whilst I will be the first to jump behind anything which deals with either racism or racist abuse as I have done at length both in books and on this very blog,  this is something else entirely.  This is little more than fascism.

Like most people, I go to football to let off steam and part of that involves shouting, singing and occasionally, indulging in that little thing we fans call banter. Now in truth, many of the things we say, sing or chant could, when taken out of context, be considered abusive but inside a football ground,  when directed at opposing fans, players or even officials, they are little more than simple words. Many of these words have basis in either history or fact but they are above all, instrumental in the creation of atmosphere. And atmosphere is, above all, what makes going to football one of the great joys of life.

But now, all of that is in grave danger of being taken away and make no mistake, that’s exactly where this is heading. The question is, why?

The fascists’ case is that no one should be subjected to any kind of abuse which might be deemed unacceptable but this is bollocks. This is about context and in the case of football, the game is the context. Enter a ground and you should know exactly what you are walking into, play it professionally and you must know what you are likely to experience at some point. If you don’t like that, then either don’t go or watch the sanitised version on television or don’t seek to enter the profession in the first place! It really is that simple. Because you have no right to walk into a ground or run out onto a pitch and then cry foul because you don’t like certain aspects of what you find. The individual will never, should never and can never be bigger than the game.

Yes, of course there are things which are said, shouted or sung inside grounds which are unacceptable but shock horror, terraces aren’t politically correct places and nor should they be! Furthermore, history has proven time and time again that in the vast majority of cases, the line of acceptability is drawn firmly by the people sitting within earshot which is exactly how it should be anyway! It is not, nor should ever be, drawn by someone sitting in a control room viewing CCTV footage a few days later.

Equally, what will be deemed unacceptable? The girls in Hertfordshire do have tits and fanny’s but me singing about them doesn’t make me sexist just as the age old songs about Mickey Quinn eating all the pies hardly make me fatist.

But to some politically correct driven jobsworth, that might be exactly what they decide and what then? Bollockings? Bannings? Prosecution? Or will we all have to attend some kind of seminar outlining the ‘do’s and don’ts’ of football fandom.

It’s a joke. But of course, it isn’t. Because it isn’t funny at all. It’s potentially very real and it could well have major consequences for the game in this country.

The irony is that this is happening on the very same week that someone in the UK has finally seen sense and decided that a return safe standing might actually be a good idea. Of course it isn’t in England because that would mean relinquishing some of the control the game exerts over us but fair play to the Scottish game (and that’s something I never thought I’d say! ) for finally having the balls to give it a try.

Yet what is the driving force behind the safe standing campaign? Exactly, the demise of atmosphere inside our grounds! Which is of course exactly what this farce at Tottenham is going to erode even further.

Well I have news for those who ‘run’ the game. Start filming people and prosecuting them for using foul language inside a ground and you will be fucked. Because enough is enough.

This isn’t about the game or the police, this is about the clubs themselves. OUR clubs. They’ve hiked prices to ridiculous levels, make us sit not stand, shift games around without a moment’s thought for the travelling fan and each week seem to find new ways to part us from our increasingly hard earned. And now, as we have seen at Blackburn and numerous other clubs, not only are they starting to cry foul when we actually have the nerve to voice our opinions about what is or is not going on at OUR clubs, thanks to Tottenham there is a very real sign that they are seemingly moving toward the total control of what we can and cannot say inside grounds. OUR grounds. What next? Song sheets? Big screens being used as auto-cues? Fans being asked to sing adverts for sponsors?

You may laugh, but I wouldn’t put anything past anyone involved with the financial side of football because none of them have the remotest idea of what it is (or was) like to stand on a terrace and be spontaneous. That’s why what’s going on at Spurs must be stopped from spreading and if the FSA and those who claim to be supportive of the rights of fans had anything about them, they would already be screaming blue bloody murder.

So where are they?

Note: My new book, The Art of Fart is now available to download from Amazon at £1.53 (or $2.68 in the US). Please visit www.theartoffart.net for further details. Make a stunning Xmas present…… especially post-sprouts!!!
My ebook. A fucking bargain!
The Art of Fart – What a bargain!

No More Mr Nice Guy.

As requested ...

The other day someone levelled an accusation at me. I have, apparently, mellowed.

Initially, I dismissed this outrageous slur out of hand but as they pointed out, my blog, which was set up for the sole purpose of providing somewhere for me to get things off my chest, has recently become little more than a cross between a glorified diary and a series of plugs. And to be fair, as I pondered this later on, I realised that my accuser was right. The question of course, is why?

After all, I pride myself on my love of moaning and as plenty of people can testify, it’s not like I moan any less these days nor is it for want of suitable subject matter! Leaving aside my personal and working life (if only you knew the half of it!) I only have to pick up any national newspaper or turn on TalkSport and I guarantee that within 30 seconds I’ll be off about something.

Equally, I have always loved sitting down and tearing into something or someone but it is nevertheless a fact that my enthusiasm for letting rip has indeed waned in recent months. Which brought me back to the question of why?

However, before I could even begin the search for an answer to this most simple of questions, it landed in my inbox courtesy of The Purple Diva. An amazing woman and a fabulous writer who does things with words the like of which I can only dream about. And it came courtesy of a simple URL. A URL which led me to what I can only term a proper full bore championship winning rant.

It was sent in January 2001 by the famous author Hunter S. Thompson to Holly Sorensen, then a Production Executive at an independent film studio, The Shooting Gallery and related to the adaptation of his novel, The Rum Diary, to which Sorensen’s studio held the rights. Things had not gone well and eventually, Thompson reached boiling point.

Read on…..

Transcript

To HOLLY SORENSON / Shooting Gallery / Hollywood / Jan 22 ’01

Dear Holly,

Okay, you lazy bitch, I’m getting tired of this waterhead fuckaround that you’re doing with The Rum Diary.

We are not even spinning our wheels aggressively. It’s like the whole Project got turned over to Zombies who live in cardboard boxes under the Hollywood Freeway… I seem to be the only person who’s doing anything about getting this movie Made. I have rounded up Depp, Benicio Del Toro, Brad Pitt, Nick Nolte & a fine screenwriter from England , named Michael Thomas, who is a very smart boy & has so far been a pleasure to talk to & conspire with…

So there’s yr. fucking Script & all you have to do now is act like a Professional & Pay him. What the hell do you think Making a Movie is all about? Nobody needs to hear any more of that Gibberish about yr. New Mercedes & yr. Ski Trips & how Hopelessly Broke the Shooting Gallery is…. If you’re that fucking Poor you should get out of the Movie Business. It is no place for Amateurs & Dilletants who don’t want to do anything but “take lunch” & Waste serious people’s Time.

Fuck this. We have a good writer, we have the main parts casted & we have a very marketable movie that will not even be hard to make….

And all you are is a goddamn Bystander, making stupid suggestions & jabbering now & then like some half-bright Kid with No Money & No Energy & no focus except on yr. own tits…. I’m sick of hearing about Cuba & Japs & yr. Yo-yo partners who want to change the story because the violence makes them Queasy.

Shit on them. I’d much rather deal with a Live asshole than a Dead worm with No Light in his Eyes…. If you people don’t want to Do Anything with this movie, just cough up the Option & I’ll talk to someone else. The only thing You’re going to get by quitting and curling up in a Foetal position is relentless Grief and Embarrassment. And the one thing you won’t have is Fun…

Okay, That’s my Outburst for today. Let’s hope that it gets Somebody off the dime. And if you don’t Do Something QUICK you’re going to Destroy a very good idea. I’m in the mood to chop yr. fucking hands off.

R.S.V.P

(Signed)

HUNTER

Upon reading this, I immediately realised what my problem has been. Instead of embracing the concept that my blog allows me the freedom to say pretty much what I want about what I want whenever I want, I had instead begun to follow the ‘if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all’ ideal.

More worryingly, that had also begun to spill over into my working life. My god, I have lost count of the number of times in recent months I have encountered either ineptitude, deceit or even condescension and instead of sending off a Thompsonesque style missile aimed directly at the relevant anus, I have sat back and done pretty much sod all. In essence, I had somehow become ‘nice’.

Fuck off

Well fuck that. No more doormat for me. Normal service is about to resume.

Be warned….

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.

 

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.

 

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! 🙂

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.