Forum, singleness and graffiti, pt I

Whoa, it’s been a long time since I’ve written anything. Consequently I have a lot to write about, although whether any of it is of any consequence is another matter. I’m sure you’ll let me know if it’s not…

So Forum came and went in a bit of a blur 2 weeks ago. It was a truly mad week. Arrived Sunday to find that some of the PA gear (including the mixing desk) had been nicked from the tent the night before. Set up as best we could given lack of mixing desk, power and staging (the latter 2 because of ancient by-law governing grounds where Forum’s held prohibiting any work to be done on Sundays…), drove into Wrexham Sunday night and collected hire gear to replace stolen stuff. Monday evening students arrive, first session goes off ok, Nathan & Lou Fellingham and Jos (their guitarist) arrive and demonstrate much grace before I get their in-ear mixes approximately right. After hours session goes off ok… crawl into bed.. get up early.. spend next 3 days trying to work out why sound in tent is terrible, crawling into bed late and getting up early. Empire Biscuit stash runs out Tuesday, and have to make subsequent sorties into local village shop to get chocolate for sustenance. By Friday morning sound is still terrible but recordings of the open mic night on Thursday prove to be semi-decent and so I leave with some sound engineering pride intact. But not much. Crawl into work Monday morning more exhausted than when I left… yep I’ll probably be back next year. Mugs like me don’t grow on trees y’know…

Those of you with your finger on the cricketing pulse will have noted that Inzamam-ul-Haq spent yesterday and today defending his honour (and, if you believe the rhetoric) that of the entire Pakistan nation in front of an ICC hearing in London. He was charged with ball-tampering (a murky, evil practice in the eyes of cricket’s administrators), and bringing the game into disrepute by refusing to bring his team on to the field after umpire Darrell Hair had penalised Pakistan for the same murky practice during the 4th Test at the Oval. Inzy was found guilty of the latter and innocent of the former. I happen to agree with this judgement – clearly, even as a former cricket captain of Bellevue, I have not been allowed to see the match ball in question, but the fact that none of Sky’s myriad cameras at the ground picked up on any malpractice by the Pakistani bowlers or fielders, and given that Hair would have been able to inspect the ball (as umpires always do at the fall of a wicket) a short time before he decided to change it and award 5 penalty runs to England, yet appeared not to have a problem with it at that point, make it unlikely in my view that the ball’s worn condition was due to tampering. For those of you without your fingers on the cricketing pulse and yet still reading, bowlers have been known to raise the seam of a cricket ball, or scratch it with bottle tops and the like, in order to make it deviate more in the air and off the pitch, and thus make it more likely to get the batsman out. This is ball-tampering. Now, whether a cricket match (particularly a Test match) is exciting or not depends heavily on the balance between bat and ball – e.g. if the bowlers are rendered ineffectual by a flat pitch then the batsmen will score mountains of runs, it will probably be fairly boring, and the game will most probably end in a draw. In order to actually win a Test match, a side has to bowl the opposition out twice – i.e. take 20 wickets. Personally I find cricket matches more enjoyable when the bowlers are marginally on top – by my reckoning this was the case for most of the Ashes series in 2005. Whether that was due to helpful conditions, great bowling, or lack of application from the batsmen is not clear. But it matters little. It was a great series, some say the best Test series ever. So my point is, why not let the bowlers modify the condition of the ball a little? There is a strong argument that says that all of the recent innovations in cricket have been to the advantage of the batsman. I am on the bowlers’ side in this one.

Still on cricket, sort of. Read a great article this week in the Telegraph. And another one in the Guardian, just to even things up politically. The last cricket side to visit Australia on tour was South Africa, earlier this year. The South Africans copped a fair bit of racial abuse from some of the Aussie supporters. In light of this, and in advance of the forthcoming Ashes series, Cricket Australia have been forced to consider whether the words “Pom” and “Pommies” could be deemed racist.. they have decided not. However, our genteel Australian counterparts “must avoid linking the P-word with anything “hurtful… racist, offensive or humiliating”. So “filthy Poms” will be considered unacceptable, but “whinging Poms”, and the outstanding phrase “dry as a Pommy’s bath-towel” presumably won’t…

Oh dear. I’ve only written about Forum so far before getting heavily distracted by cricket…. Part Two to follow!

3 thoughts on “Forum, singleness and graffiti, pt I”

  1. I want Part Two ASAP as I only understood content from the first paragraph.

    Is reading your blog on cricket how people feel when they read my blog about geek stuff?

  2. Hmm.. The more I learn about ball tampering the more suspicious I am becoming. I notice that come the 7th over, when I have to leave the room to get the pizza out of the oven. On returning someones bowling has become rather trickier than I recall it being on the previous 6 overs.
    Not pointing any fingers, it could have been anyone left in the room, but I shall be frisking for boiled sweets and pockets of earth from here on in.

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