Interesting times

“May you live in interesting times” is an English expression purported to be a translation of a traditional Chinese curse. While seemingly a blessing, the expression is normally used ironically, with the clear implication that “uninteresting times” of peace and tranquillity are more life-enhancing than interesting ones, which from historical perspective usually include disorder and conflict.


So it says in Wikipedia,so it must be true! It also suggests that to be apocryphal,as are so many familiar quotations or sayings. Does the Chinese word for crisis translate as opportunity? I think we’ll find out soon enough,when $200bn of tariffs take effect. I certainly think some of their neighbours will view it as an opportunity;Trump clearly expects China to view it as an insurmountable opportunity which will force them to a negotiating table. I think he’s on to plums.


Indeed,there seem to be few certainties left in life. Football clubs and the world’s biggest companies have taken the saw about death and taxes and tossed it contemptuously aside. The current generation is unlikely to be as well-off as its parents,for the first time since Napoleonic times. And now Eliud Kipchoge has slashed 78 seconds off the world marathon record,raising an interesting conjecture…

I recently found a commerative 50p in my change,for Roger Bannister’s famous four minute mile. That happened in 1954,and was viewed as an impossible goal when the Olympics began 58 years earlier. 27 years later,another British athlete,Seb Coe,had taken over twelve seconds off the record. In 37 years since,only another four seconds has gone.

Similarly in the 800m,his record from 1981 has had less than ONE SECOND shaved from it. Those two bald statistics suggest that athletics is nearing a plateau of achievement,possible improvements mainly through technology only. But a more comprehensive view of progression in athletics is surely via a more comprehensive event-the decathlon.

Daley Thomson was definitely a hero of mine,even though I had little interest in athletics in general. At the end of WW1,the record points total still hadn’t broken through 7500-it would take until 1950 to surpass 8000. Thomson was a magnificent athlete,as were many of his contemporaries. Jurgen  Hingsen and Thomson broke each other’s records regularly,with Thomson having the last laugh. He would push the record to 8798 in 1984,a record that stood until 1992. Even now it is only at 9126,less than 4% better.

And yet the human race is considerably taller,fitter,better nourished than the bare improvements above indicate. The big improvements in athletics records seem to have occurred in the forty years post-WWII with only incremental changes since. And although the article I referenced earlier hints at a huge barrier being lowered in the marathon,I’d contend the theory to be correct,that we aren’t improving as much as we think.

But then you look to other sports. Could Alex Higgins or even Steve Davies live with the new wunderkind of the baize? Could Arnold Palmer or Ben Hogan master the new kids who can hit a six-iron further than they could drive? How would the heroes of the ring fare against today’s speedy warriors? Different times indeed,and no less interesting for that-watch some YouTube videos for proof of that. And as for rugby,there’s some big lads out there nowadays!!!

Then we return to our first love,The Beautiful Game. And the reason for this article. Paddy McCourt just had an interview with Simon Ferry. In days gone by,Paddy would have been a legend in The Hoops,revered for his skills and mastery of his art. Instead,his achievements with us were few,our memories fleeting. Because the game has “moved on” with scant room for the tanner-ba’ player and the emphasis on fitness levels. That might actually help explain the number of unfortunate deaths on the field in recent years,as players push their bodies past the possible. Of course,we still get players who remind us of The Beautiful Game,of the stars from our past. Messi,Ronaldo-both of them!-Kaka,Ronaldinho,these players would grace any era. But they are few and far between,and I think the game is much less attractive for that.

Football needs its mavericks,the fans adore them. And in this day and age,they would get managers sacked.

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Above post by majoc


Does the Chinese word for crisis translate as opportunity?

The short answer is NO- it does not.

Its persistance as a theme in motivational speak and business conferences, is testimony to how little research is done or expected in those arenas and to wishful thinking.


Thats what I meant by-
“So it says in Wikipedia,so it must be true! It also suggests that to be apocryphal,as are so many familiar quotations or sayings. Does the Chinese word for crisis translate as opportunity?”
So much accepted wisdom is merely the result of repetition. You and I have discussed that at length over the years-and without a hint of irony!!!


Smashing article pal I gotta say.
“Mavericks would get a manager sacked”,,,,,maybe. I would say it depends on the club. Pushing for silverware and every game is vital then probably aye he could cost the gaffer his job.
But take a mid table cup team, they could set up for a maverick to do his thing . Give him a platform , 2 defensive mids behind him and tell him the parks his , and it might work more times than it doesnt . Perhaps the fans would be a lot more forgiving if they preferred to be entertained rather than set up not to lose.
Theres been quite a few players that have had a free role over the years but thats a little different . For me anyway a great example was Cantona , thon was a maverick indeed. Glad we got to see him shine for a while and boy did he strut around OLd Trafford like he actually was a King !

On mankinds improvements I posit the reason we no longer improve much physically is because we are nearing peak ? Things like multi vitamins and protein powder shakes are commonplace now . 100 years ago men were in trenches with cans of corned beef and not much else to keep them healthy. Most are aware of daily dietary needs and how to best keep the body properly nourished and exercised.
For athletes add technology to that list , which can monitor your performance and break it down into percentages and numbers in nano seconds and we have a winning formula.
Many adjust their game and training based on their stats nowadays were yesteryears guys had the trainers voice and guidance . They couldnt record and watch their performance from a hundred angles . Old Mick should actually have been telling Rocky to work the body early and take the damage from getting in close because it will bring you joy later 😉

Paddy Mc Court could have made it if he wanted to someone told me. He wasnt serious. Did well enough for someone not taking it serious , or maybe he did too late. But whatever way you slice it , he should have dedicated himself as a teenager and didnt I heard. Wont be the first and certainly wont be the last.

Trump,,,now I have a rule not to talk politics . I wont. But I will say a couple of things about this country. In the 70’s and 80’s when I was growing up America seemed like a different planet . It was a shining beacon ,,, liberal ,technologically advanced , trend setting , I could go on . It was the place to be and lead the world .
Somewhere between then and now , things changed . It no longer leads, at all . Many do not want to live here. Time has not brought the different cultures together very much and hateful rhetoric has brought back old divisions . Most of the goods I buy are not from this country .
But I can and do put up with this because I live my life in my own wee bubble were it doesnt really affect me whats going on in those fields .
But , since the 80’s we have had a series of politicians yet the country slid from under them. Politicians have not helped here. When I first heard Trump I thought a hardnose successful businessman might actually be what the country needs. He was right when he said America doesnt win anymore. And I have zero problem with anyone who wants to make America great again.
Now I am sure we all have our own theories on how best to get any given country on the right track but I agree with my President that getting the American people to work is a hell of a good start and a big leap in the right direction. He focused on creating and keeping jobs for the American people . Toyota , who have the most cars on the road in the USA , where about to take their factories elsewhere to save millions. Thats just one example. He held a meeting and stopped that factory moving . Done the same for other factories.
Stats show unemployment has dropped under his reign and job openings are up .
Thats good news even if you dont like “ the Donald “ .
A trade war with the Chinese though,,,not a road I would go down . I suspect the next president will diffuse it and we all sing along like before.

Hail Hail and regards

Good stuff again.
Will post later just in the door. Granada again.

I knew that 🙂


Scottish football has never been so crap because Scottish football is setup for the benefit of one club and that club has been bust financially for 20 years and imorally for 80.

The industry however outwith Scotland is booming. Celtic have never made so much money due to it. It is this tiny corridor of opportunity that Celtic PLC are currently exploiting. It will not last long.

So professional football is all about winning for the need for financial gain not glory. See our lack of CL ambitions.

Football has also changed in the park. There has been numerous rules that have been tweaked and changes in how the game is legislated to make it a better product to sell to the armchair fan. Technologies in and off the park an important aspect too. Especially the arm chair fan of the bigger 5 nations. In my opinion most of these developments have been good for the game and enhanced the viewing.

I also reckon there have never been so many truly world class players playing the game as there has been recently. The improved quality is there for all to see.

I think it is unrealistic and naieve to hope for any kind of chivalrous act within an industry ..the football industry …that is one of the most corrupt in the world. Is free from policing and government interference.

Entertaining players, magicians will always be sacrificed at the alter of winning. Whether it’s Paddy McCourt, Paddy Roberts, Lubomir Moravcik, Jimmy Johnston winning and the financial reward that comes with it takes predence.

To go against this grain is to increase risk. That will never happen at a local level again until Scottish football is bankrupt.

The problem with the tanner baw players is that thier parents are too busy buying STs, Merchandise, TV subscriptions, European tickets etc.

What will it take for a level playing field in scotland ?
It’s never gonna happen anytime soon, it may never happen, part time football is on the horizon imo, the last time I said I could see things on the horizon I was ridiculed for saying it, I saw court cases, government intervention and was proven right.
We need to get the eff out, it’s our only hope of survival.
The huns always said they would bring the game to it’s knees rather than let us be the top dogs, they are getting there slowly but surely.
If they go bust again I can see that happening quite quickly, they will not survive another liquidation and carry on like they did the last time.
The clock is ticking Celtic.


A level playing field will only happen once Celtic AND Rangers leave for a bigger league.

big packy

awenaw. spot on again hh bruv.

Sadly that was always the case, as the OF we are box office, hence the same club myth et all.

big packy

THE EXILED TIM, think we both no there will never be a level playing field in Scotland, we are irish catholics and they want us to go home, well fuck them I was born in Scotland so im a Scottish catholic celtic supporter, that will never change so ftsfa, hope you are well by the way we got another adition to the family on sunday, 9 week old Donnie the west highland terrier.hh.

big packy

AweNawNoAnnoniOan luv you posting pal like canamalar on the other side straight to the point please keep posting you and canamalar can put things across with words that sadly I cant do.hh.

Garry Duncan

Try to remember that Irish Catholics are a small percentage of our support. Scottish Catholics and Scottish Protestants form the bulk of our support


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big packy

sorry garry just seen your post, your right sometimes we forget we have quite a lot of protestants in our support.hh,