Sunday, May 29, 2005

Revenge Of The Saarrfff

I have extremely depressing news to relate today. Southend United (correct pronunciation: Saarrfffend), the representatives of a town so extraordinarily unattractive that even a county with the almost infinitely relaxed moral standards of Essex (which disturbingly continues to allow both Basildon and Wickford to exist) has repeatedly attempted to reject it, have 'won' promotion to League One, enjoying an increasingly maddening, infuriating and implausible amount of luck throughout. Southend United, of course, once 'won' a two-legged LDV tie with Colchester by taking the aggregate lead in the second game with a goal which incorporated the following sequence of play:

a) A monstrously huge Southend striker/donkey given the role of shattering defender's ankles and elbowing anyone in the face who dared to challenge for any of the gigantic hoofs from the Southend goalkeeper follows his designated gameplan to the letter - namely by elbowing one of our players in the face, leaving him in agonising pain on the floor.

b) The ball, which was possibly in the vague area of the striker/donkey at the time but most probably nowhere near, is returned to a Southend defender, who of course employs the well-honed and refined tactic of hoofing it straight back upfield.

c) The other Southend striker/donkey, realising in a moment of uncomfortable self-awareness that he does not possess the ability or the intelligence to control the ball, elbows one of our remaining defenders in the face and temporarily employs basketball rules, stretching out an arm and tapping the ball to the floor with his hand.

d) Donkey/Striker B, temporarily discovering a modicum of basic human intelligence, passes the ball to Donkey/Striker A, who is nearly but not quite played onside by the original prostate defender. By this point, therefore, an offside, a handball, two fouls and a head injury have been ignored by the blissfully unaware/awe-inspiringly stupid/generously bribed referee.

e) Faced with an open goal but naturally lacking any kind of composure or finishing ability, the striker somehow endeavours to hit the Colchester United goalkeeper from four yards, the ball spinning over the unfortunate custodian and extraordinarily ending up, via the medium of a post for maximum ludicrousness and sheer, brutal unfairness, in the Colchester United net.

Somehow, in an admittedly impressive victory of determination, never-say-die-spirit, unity, uselessness, violence and cheating, Southend United have managed to maintain the application of this hoofball and hacking maxim throughout the whole season without inducing the ire of referees and, even more astonishingly, while winning the vast majority of their games. Inexplicable. Presumably the complacency and hilariously misplaced sense of superiority (based entirely on being in the old Division One once and, er, possessing a stadium which is superior to Colchester's in that it is not actually four poorly constructed cow sheds overlooking a large pile of manure with painted white markings and two goals but simply four poorly constructed sheds overlooking a large pile of manure with painted white markings and two goals) which inevitably, if mysteriously, always afflicts Southend at the slightest sign of success, will lead to their immediate and deserved relegation next season. And of course the two meetings (laughably titled 'Essex Derbies' by Southend fans desperately deluding themselves that these games will be remotely competitive) with Colchester should enable them to be firmly disciplined for their extraordinary cheek. This kind of behaviour is simply unacceptable.

Secondly today, I intend to present my thoughts on George Lucas's latest installment of everyone's favourite corporate bastard cash cow mega-franchise, Star Wars MCXVIII: The New Hope, Return, Attack And Strike Back Of The Jedi Empire And Revenge Of The Phantom Sith Menace Clones

Oh, he hasn't quite reached that number yet? I apologise.

STAR WARS III: RETURN OF THE SITH

An immediately noticeable aspect of the new film is that Hayden Christensen has improved his acting one-hundred fold for this installment. By that I mean that he can now connote evil by wearing a hood at a socially unacceptable angle in the manner of a thinking man's chav with a vague sense of individuality and scowling moodily like a small child denied his sweets. A massive improvement, I'm sure you'll all agree, from his distressing inability to distinguish himself from the resident irritating droids, C3-PO and R2D2, in the preceding film. Natalie Portman, of course, is absolutely gorgeous, so no-one cares if she can act or not.

The film follows the inexplicable descent of Anakin Skywalker from smug, annoying and impetuous Jedi to brutal child-slaughterer Sith Lord Darth Vader, attempting to wring sympathy for the hero's plight by the fact that his temptation to indulge in the dark side is provoked by the Emperor Palpatine's insistence that only by indulging in these arts can Anakin save Padme from an otherwise inevitable death from childbirth. This is an idea which appears particularly ludicrous when we see possibly the most absurdly sanitised film birth ever, Luke and Leia arriving so easily and bloodlessly that they could conceivably have been dispensed by a Jedi drinks vending machine. However, infuriating as this admission is for the sake of my usual sardonic witticisms, I actually found myself becoming emotionally involved with the plight of both Anakin and Padme and having to accept that the film had wrestled back the initiative that the previous two useless installments had lost, rediscovering the connection with the audience that the original trilogy was so successful in creating. Ian McDiarmid, who petrified me as a seven year old in episodes V and VI, is outstanding when reprising his role as the Emperor. Similarly, the fight sequences are the most impressive of any Star Wars film thus far, galling as it is to watch the tedious inevitability of the enduringly annoying and smug Ewan MacGregor beating any opponent (including those blessed with four windmill arms, each with an individual lightsabre) instead of receiving his just deserts of being brutally shredded into millions of far less smug and far more thoughtful and humble Ewan MacGregor pieces.

However, despite its clear superiority to the two preceding modern day Star Wars productions and its recommendation from me, Star Wars III has the problematic caveat, possibly as a consequence of being so emotionally involving, of also being astonishingly depressing. It is far easier to appreciate than enjoy the closing sequences of doom, death and misery. But unless you incomprehensibly watch nothing but those soul-churningly happy-clappy and spectacularly unfunny romantic comedies with about as much depth as an S Club Juniors lyric that only the most infuriatingly girly of females could possibly like, you will want to see this.

YODA: To see this you want will. Annoying pointless green glorified puppet son of annoying pointless unmarried green puppet parents am I not? Yes.

Ed's Rating: 8/10

Ed's Mood: Sarcastic

Ed's Incessant Auto-Repeat Musical Tip: Adam Kay and Suman Biswas - Paracetamoxyfrusebendroneomycin

3 Comments:

Anonymous bob said...

oh ed!

Good to see you with your lovely lady friend at George and Jane's birthday bash. It was at this event that I learned of this blog as well as discovering that nickmb's words of wisdom are still ongoing.

thoroughly enjoyed the tale of your epic journey to save an unconcious dani. keep it up, good luck in your exam results too

bob corlett
X

ps i see you mention runrig below. they are a danger and a menace to society!

5:34 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Concerning Portman's undeniable attractiveness.

Might I point out, on behalf of the female population, that Hayden Christendon is also absolutely gorgeous (especially now that he seems to have discovered the gym), and so we don't care whether he can act or not either.

4:40 PM  
Blogger Chandler said...

True! Though, applying your theory negatively to the musical world, you've just confirmed my view that girls dislike my favourite bands simply because the unequivocally outstandingly fantastically majestically magnificent musicians are all, without exception, spectacularly ugly bastards :-)

Similarly, my Natalie Portman theory probably explains why there is no such thing as an ugly popular female musician.

See! I can't even, after a dramatic pause, name one to put as a humorous exception in the last sentence of my comment. Bollocks.

Ed

10:48 AM  

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