Notyalcsdrawkcab’s Weblog

February 28, 2009

woo hoo, 4 corners, shady oz!

Filed under: Life in Japan — notyalcsdrawkcab @ 12:39 am

had a good look around the abc website, and found 4 corners.  used to like watching that when i was home.  its a bit heavy, but they look under the surface and think things through …

currently watching a piece on the nsw crime commission … no watchdog, top cops as drug dealers, secret, warrantless searches, no right to silence, no right to a lawyer,  …a cocaine bust where the commission put more drugs on the street than the people who went to jail.

while we may think that the machinery of government and whatnot is inept, for the most part we think it is clean …

but take a look under the surface, and how clean is oz?  very very interesting …

i know a lot of people don`t worry about loss of rights and stuff … “i am not a criminal, so i don`t need the right to silence – cos i haven`t done anything” … well, not everyone who is charged with a crime is guilty as charged … and even before that, being a criminal means you go to jail, it doesn`t mean you lose all rights as a citizen …

the idea that corners should be cut to get the bad guys is popular … but popular doesn`t automatically make it right


February 26, 2009

the lie of jogo bonito …

Filed under: Football — notyalcsdrawkcab @ 9:34 am

spend too much time reading the sbs website and you will start to dream of all the beautiful football played by the artistes and fantasistas in brazil, argentina, spain, 70s holland and so on and so on …

the ball is glued to their shoe as the sun shines and birds sing … playing for the joy of the game, the joy of life … that despite the risks involved, they believe in a higher calling than mere winning and aim to become gods amongst men on the football field … and would rather lose playing beautiful football than win playing ugly.

bullsh!t.  its all about winning.  and these countries have developed footballing cultures that most efficiently place them in winning positions. 

once upon a time, pre-adriano, brazillians were rather small (many still are).  and pele and co weren`t gonna beat the swedes (relative giants) by knocking the ball down the middle.  hence a game played with speed, deception and movement … love of the game my @rse.  they wanted to win, and developed a style of play that would give them best opportunity to do so …

the same goes for lionel messi.  he is not a guy who is gonna win too many headers.  even in an under 15s match.  the guy plays in the most effective way that he can. 

same goes for the bunch of mini-mes who just won the eurochampionship. 

does this mean that strapping big people like us aussies should just keep on kicking people and knocking it down the middle?  well, no.  c. ronaldo has size and technique.  why have just one when you can have both?  somebody in africa is gonna figure out how to win trophies sooner or later, and it will be through a mix of flair and brawn …

but the idea that “beautiful football” is based on love of life or something and is inconsistent with a killer instinct has to go. 

it is just a highly effective approach to getting trophies …

nothing more.  nothing less.

February 25, 2009

scores don`t lie

Filed under: Football — notyalcsdrawkcab @ 3:56 am

they never tell the whole story, but they don`t lie.

aus v japan 0 – 0.  they couldn`t finish.  we couldn`t create.  fair score.

au v qr 1 – 0.  they took one of the few chances they made.  we didn`t.  fair score.

a lack of composure in front of goal is a damning criticism, not an excuse for failure. “we took more shots than them” really, really, isn`t a positive.

“the better team lost” is one of the most ridiculous things i have ever heard.  if you can`t put the ball in the net more than the other team, how can you say you were “better”?  “deserving” the win deserves just as much sympathy.

“dominating possession” is another great football meme.  i think it is short for “dominating possession, but doing nothing with it”.  you don`t really hear it about the team that wins.  usually the phrase “dominating the match” is used for them.

barcelona ramblings

Filed under: Life in Japan — notyalcsdrawkcab @ 3:27 am

back in chrissy, i took my first trip to euroland.  to barcelona … why barcelona?  i was dazzled by that barca side that won the cup, back when ronaldhino was the best player on the planet.  i saw some pretty pictures on flickr, and had heard that public art and architecture were important there.  i had read orwell`s homage to barcelona(? or was it catalonia?) about the amazing happenings of the spanish civil war.  one of my favourite restaurants in brissy is called spanish tapas bar.  and i figured the weather would be mild at christmas.

as the name of the blog attests.  i like to obsess.  before the trip, i bought and read 4 guide books (of varying sizes), a learning spanish book (that i never got into), and 2 novels set in barcelona, and a set of short stories by an author from barcelona …

and last but not least, an irishman`s set of essays on barcelona – what it was and what it is, through his eyes.

the essays didn`t come till last month.  part of me wishes they had come before the trip, another part of me is just glad they came at all, and that now some things that didn`t really make sense now do.

eg.  the ridiculously long time the sagrada familia is taking to build.  its on purpose – it is an expiatory church; i don`t quite get it, but it is something like the building of the church is an atonement for the sins of barcelona – and each day of building is another day of atonement.  they aren`t really slowing it down on purpose, but there is a reason for not rushing it either.  why one facade on the sagrada familia is so ugly.  hint, it is the facade that gaudi didn`t work on.

and the list goes on.  an interesting corner building i saw where you could see down into the basement area through huge glass windows and see very old looking walls and ruins.  i couldn`t find the entrance and just figured it was odd.  its a display of old roman walls.  and there is no entrance.

and more.

but one thing of interest for me is catalonian nationalism.  once upon a time catalonia was a separate kingdom from spain (the dominant region in spain, castille, was another kingdom).  and especially through the franco years, catalan language, culture and politics were repressed, people were killed, all very nasty.  but, go back through catalonia`s history, and in its dominant era in the middle ages, they also “governed” (repressed?) huge swathes of europe.  many in catalonia thought of cuba as “theirs”.  and in the mandatory use of catalan in schools and government offices, the many migrants to barcelona from other parts of spain are unable to use their preferred language of choice and have to learn catalan.  if the migrants from other parts eventually outnumber catalans and make spanish the language of government and schooling, will it lead to a loss of catalan culture?  would that loss be worth worrying about?  it is the migrant`s city too, so much of barcelona from the 1800s on was built by poor migrants from other parts.

is the difference between repressed and oppressor merely one of who had the biggest gun?

February 24, 2009

life goals n stuff …

Filed under: Life in Japan — notyalcsdrawkcab @ 2:25 am

when i first thought about this topic, my mind went straight to work related matters.  but for me, life is bigger than work (or am i fooling myself on that one?), so i am dropping that one to the back …

in no particular order

– stay healthy

– laugh

– stay in love

– a snowboard trip at least once every 2 years, ditto for an overseas holli

– a job that combines presenting, research and writing, n if i do overtime, i can have a short day later

– an apartment or house that i like (own or rent dont matter to me)

a weird mix of general and strangely specific … but i can`t think of anything else atm

hehe, when i hear the phrase “time is money”, it makes me think that time is precious and i should savour it.  i don`t get any particular urge to rush or work harder … am a bit of a free time whore … love me some free time.

February 22, 2009

boom blox damn just paid for itself …

Filed under: Videogames — notyalcsdrawkcab @ 12:23 pm

had some buddies over for a wii party/afternoon …

spent 3000 yen for a copy of boom blox.  laughed my head off watching my friends try to play that game.  genuinely laughed.  you`d spend more on dinner out, or kareoke, or drinks at a bar …

1 afternoon`s play and i got my money`s worth out of it.

a football fan`s lot …

Filed under: Football — notyalcsdrawkcab @ 12:18 pm

while everyone focuses on the trophies, and the champagne, the natural state of a football fan is not victory.  every victor has to slay several others … my joy is only as great as your sorrow.  in the a-league season that has just been (well, its over for my team, and has been over for most other teams for a while too), fans have feasted on a range of emotions …

some teams underperform fans expectations, leading to depression

some teams perform about where expected, which neither excites or depresses, but leads to an emotionless ennui

some teams overperform, leading to excitement

some teams blow hot and cold, giving their fans false hope … leading to depression

you should sing when you are winning, cos chances are you won`t be for long.  simple fact is that most fans in any league will have some kind of disappointment any given year.  hell, even winners can feel like losers – real madrid won back to back titles through grit and determination, and their fans were almost as depressed as the teams that got relegated … your supposed to win titles when you are that fabulous n rich n good looking, win them in style.  anything less is a disaster …

newcastle fans must have gone through a mix of excitement, shock and then dismay …

sydney fans too …

central coast fans would have been dreaming of dizzy heights, but then crashed back to earth.

wellington fans thought “here we go again”, only to realise they had a decent team, which just fell short

perth fans would have had similar feelings … except their team fell shorter, and they have lost more pieces, again

victory fans … enjoy the ride.  already have the first silverware of the year, probably gonna get the other trophy too

reds fans … god knows how they feel, they should be happy because this team is so much better than last year`s squad, the asian adventure, still in the running (but against their bogey team …)

roar fans … deflated?  the start of the year was pretty shocking.  i didn`t think they would get into the four.  but i am happy.  they played some good footy along the way.  could they have gone further?  yeah, but they didn`t.  oh well, there is always next year …

February 21, 2009

beware of greeks bringing gifts?

Filed under: Football — notyalcsdrawkcab @ 11:59 pm

a couple of little bits and pieces from the blogosphere and forumsphere have been rattling around my head without really coming together …

the melbourne hearts proposal

con constantine`s wankerdom

anything bout the nsl days

sydney united (i thinks?) trying to hock its players to croatia rather than the a-league (justified given the arbitrary, limited transfer fees on offer from a-league clubs)

and a recent piece against an upcoming victory v olympiacos friendly.

some people really don`t like wogs.  new soccer can feel like an ethnic cleansing at times.  sometimes its couched in a more acceptable manner, sometimes not, but i really get the feeling some parts of oz soccer don`t like wogs or wog clubs. the long history of football in oz, all of the players who have come through (including all the current socceroos except harry k), all of that gets thrown out of the window because of bad management and some fan violence? or is it just the anglos clearing out the wogs?

seems like we still don`t have peace in australian soccer, but rather a protracted cold war … the calendars aren`t particularly aligned (ok, that`s hearsay, but it sounds cool), the state leagues are still rotten (in some cases … cough, nsw, cough), and we aren`t celebrating the long history we have as a soccer nation.

congrats adelaide united …

Filed under: Football — notyalcsdrawkcab @ 10:18 am

queensland roar was measured.  and found wanting.  hell.  i am writing this before the game even finished.  but even if we jag a goal, go to extra time and win it, we still have been found wanting.  oh, there is the whistle.  1 – 0 to AU.  they won.  qr lost.

i felt a strange satisfaction at barbiero`s goal.  when i saw adelaide`s line up, i was worried about barbiero in an advanced midfield position.  that other goal he made this year was a cracker.  so was this one.  next year he`ll get a header.  his only goal of the season.  it`ll be from halfway. and he`ll score a tap in next year too.  sorry, starting to say crazy stuff.

welcome back jonas.  would you like a game at the roar next year?  so much for him playing as an anchor, he spent a lot of his time fairly forward.  very very handy, strong player, quick, short passing game that really gives adelaide something extra.

mullen did some excellent work on zullo.  doesn`t get forward much, but his defensive work on a guy whose last game was a cracker was something.

sash and cornflakes took van dijk out of his game.  and they did it with by the book defending.

as for the roar?  that lovely composed passing game that the roar showed recently was gone.  a much slower game from the roar.  was it because of AU`s defensive abilities, or because the roar were trying to be cagey?  did the roar buckle?  or did AU meticulously take the roar out of their game? maybe a more analytical mind knows, i don`t.  van dijk was taken out of the equation, so was zullo, with some very good defensive work.  devere stood up.  nichols buckled under the pressure (good kid, maybe he`ll grow because through this experience).  murdocca and mckay were strangely anonymous.  isaka cernak looks an interesting one for the future.  not a speed merchant like minniecon, but rather a guy with a short passing game and close control … a very different fish.  how far has kruse fallen this season?  cernak gets the nod over him, henrique too.  a season ago he looked a better player than zullo.  they really have taken different paths … zullo in NT squads, kruse watching roar games from the sidelines.

February 20, 2009

they don`t all have to be game of the year … chocobo wii wasn`t, and i am glad i played it.

Filed under: Videogames — notyalcsdrawkcab @ 4:16 am

with the cost of game consoles (or heaven forbid, a gaming pc), and the cost of new games, and peripherals, there is a real temptation to stick to the tried and true …

triple A, game of the year contenders.  you could quite happily get 6 of those and have a year`s worth of quality gaming in your hands for about $400 ish.   but you would also be missing out.  its like watching the 6 biggest selling movies of the year.  or reading the year`s 6 biggest selling novels.  you`ll be getting a high quality experience that is aimed at a very wide market.

you will miss out on the quirky, adventurous underside of the market.

chocobo wii.  it is a low risk, random dungeon generating rpg.  you look for treasure, you beat monsters and level up, you buy stuff … its all been done before.  and usually with much more risk.  unlike traditional random dungeon generating rpgs, you don`t lose your experience points upon death, just the items you are holding … BUT it is a simple, seen it all before game that does a lot right.  the art design, the music, the overall charm of the game really comes together nicely.  and its a wonderful change of pace after playing something with more action.  i think i played this after playing mario galaxy.  this game was like a blanket and cup of warm milk and milo … and cookies.  not a great game by any means, but it really scratched an itch.

i have got too much stuff going on to play everything that comes out that piques my interest.  same thing goes for music, books or music.  so i leave a lot of stuff unbought and unplayed.  i don`t mind missing out.  but i will continue happily mixing gaming of the year contenders with flawed, lesser but quirky games …

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