A couple of years ago I was having a clear out and I was amazed at the number of magazines I’d collected over the years. They were mainly my Classic Rock mags, and part of my decision to have a clear out was that I’d been getting more and more disillusioned with that particular publication.
At the time, I was on an annual subscription, but Planet Rock had just launched its own magazine and that did exactly what it said on the tin – it covered rock music. Classic Rock acquired a new editor, and she made it clear in her introductory piece what she was planning. Subsequently, any rock music they covered had to include at least half female acts – meaning it became obscure and far from ‘classic’, at best – and they also decided that (as just one example) Depeche Mode somehow ticked both the ‘classic’ and ‘rock’ boxes at the same time (actually, they decided twice in the space of just a couple of months with that one example). Then they did their ‘best 100 female artists of all time’ issue, and necessarily had to include non-rock genres to fill it out. That was it from me, and I cancelled my sub.
Before any feminists start frothing at the mouth over this, I go to see lots of female artists and bands with female members. I actually seek them out if I hear them on Planet Rock and like the sound. Like Samantha Fish, Haim, Paramore, Evanescence, Courtney Love, Joanne Shaw Taylor, The Lounge Kittens… I just don’t need any feminist magazine editors trying to filter out the men for me. And if you don’t like the fact that I don’t like that fact, click the back button and go somewhere else.
Planet Rock mag suits me fine, but when the lockdown came along, it also came with a lot of extra time for reading and finding tips on how to do stuff I wouldn’t have otherwise had time for. And going out to buy magazines wasn’t an option – even if it would have been of benefit with the ‘current’ issue on sale (you usually need a series of them).
A few years ago, as a result of my quest to find some authentic German food recipes, I came across a subscription service called Readly. It carries – and this is no exaggeration – thousands of UK titles. They’re all the ones you see on the newsstands (and many you don’t), from TV Times, OK!, Hello!, through all the photography and amateur DIY magazines, through to music and musicians (including Classic Rock). They cover specialist computer and technology subjects, gaming, weddings, cycling, fishing, horse riding, pets… everything (but no X-rated adult stuff). Including back issues, too, which multiplies the content by at least ten. And as I already implied, they have similar numbers of publications from Europe, Asia, and America. They’ve also recently started including newspapers, though it’s only The Independent and Evening Standard right now.
My normal Readly subscription is less than £8 a month, but they offer a two months for free trial. Even so, at £8 a month, that’s the newsstand cost of just three magazines! If you were after foreign magazines, you’d probably pay more than that for a single issue once shipping was included.
You can get the Readly app with the offer through Amazon (it’s free), and you can read on your phone, tablet, or computer. You can also read offline by downloading the content.
Europe captain, Thomas Bjorn, said:
Some people say golf is boring…
Yes. Yes, it is. Especially on the radio.
I got up this morning and received a text from a pupil about booking his test, and he added the footnote “Wenger’s going”. I immediately flipped to the BBC website and discovered the full horror contained in those two words.
Arsene Wenger is leaving Arsenal at the end of the season. This is truly the absolute worst day in the whole of the last 22 years of my life.
Following on from recent events in South Africa, it is understood that the Australian Cricket Team has cancelled orders for specialised Test Match equipment, shown above, it was due to take delivery of.
Anyone tell me when it starts?
I mean, I know all about the GB women (well, I would if I’d bothered to read it), the South Korean women, the North Korean women, the synchronised North Korean cheerleaders (women), the joint North and South Korean women’s ice hockey team, a bronze medal a British woman won in Sochi in 2014 in something that’s nearly a sport, and women from a few other countries who have already won medals this year. Oh, and a woman from Britain who won’t be taking part because she broke her foot. And a pointless vlog by some woman competing in something else that’s also nearly a sport (look, winter sport is caning it downhill as fast as you can on TWO skis – long ones – and maybe weaving in and out of some poles stuck in the snow, perhaps even ending up in intensive care – not poncing about on short skis (or even just one fat one), doing somersaults, or doing it to music).
But I was, like, wondering when the proper sport begins.
Or, he will have if some people get their way.
He told his (young) nephew, who was wearing a pink princess dress and holding a magic wand on an Instagram post, that “boys don’t wear dresses”. He’s since apologised, etc., etc., etc. But as you can imagine, that’s not enough, and more blood needs to be extracted before he can still not be forgiven.
The world gets madder by the day, and there are calls for Hamilton to be stripped of his MBE.
What’s funny is that if he’d have said boys must wear dresses, no one would have batted an eyelid. Or, if they had dared, they’d have quickly been slapped down.
It’s hard to believe that only 6 months ago Claudio Ranieri was being hailed as a god for leading Leicester City to the unlikeliest Premiership title ever. In all honesty, he deserved that accolade. What he achieved was incredible, and it showed what a great manager he is.
I was amazed that Leicester maintained their run of form last season. I fully expected their bubble to burst, and for them to finish mid-table. But they didn’t – and they won the title comfortably. It wasn’t a fluke, and their success was down to both Ranieri and the players.
This season didn’t start (nor has it continued) so well, and even just a handful of matches in there were calls from Leicester supporters for Ranieri to be sacked (I heard one dickhead on 5Live saying that). Given that these same supporters had, less than three months earlier, been dancing in the streets as a result of an almost impossible Premiership title, words such as hypocrites, scumbags, idiots, backstabbers, and so on sprang to mind.
For the first time ever I agree with something Jose Mourinho has said (in a tweet):
CHAMPION OF ENGLAND and FIFA MANAGER of THE YEAR⚽️.sacked. Thats the new football claudio.keep smiling AMICO.nobody can delete the history you wrote.
Gary Lineker adds:
After all that Claudio Ranieri has done for Leicester City, to sack him now is inexplicable, unforgivable and gut-wrenchingly sad.
The people who have failed are the ones who run around on the pitch.
Those morons calling for Arsene Wenger to leave are just as bad as those who turned on Ranieri.
Original story published 7 January 2015, updated October 2015. Updated again as a result of Evans’ successful appeal as of April 2016 and subsequent date for retrial in October 2016. Updated again in June 2016 after Evans is signed by Chesterfield on a one-year deal.
Further update after Ched Evans is cleared of rape in October 2016.
I’ve been trying to steer clear of this, but I can’t. Before I start let me make one thing absolutely clear: RAPE IS WRONG.
For background, Ched Evans is a footballer who used to play for Sheffield United. A few years ago he was convicted of rape and sent to prison for five years. He served about half of that sentence
and is now out on probation [this was written in early 2015]. He is trying to rebuild his career. Initially, it looked like Sheffield Utd would take him back, but there was an outcry and they backed down. A Maltese club wanted to sign him, but the Ministry of Justice said he couldn’t play abroad. Currently [see update], Oldham Athletic are in talks about whether or not to sign him, but they are under intense pressure not to.
Evans still maintains his innocence, even though he was convicted. He is preparing an appeal [see update].
The reason I have decided to comment on this very sensitive issue is down to this article I saw today [January 2015] on the BBC website. Of course, the first thing I did was locate the Jean Hatchet blog mentioned in that article –
it’s here, if anyone wants a look [it doesn’t run properly in Microsoft Edge, but it does in Chrome].
What immediately struck me about the blog – and in all honesty, I just wanted to see a selection of Jean Hatchet’s writings to find out what sort of things she wrote about – was that in spite of the BBC’s label describing her as “a blogger” she has, at the time of writing, only actually published five articles. The first was produced in November last year – less than three months ago, which hardly makes Hatchet the fount of all blogging knowledge the BBC story implies. All five posts are essentially foul-mouthed rants, and all but one of them is specifically to do with Ched Evans, with the other one certainly being along related lines. Jean Hatchet’s main claim to fame (other than being a self-proclaimed “radical feminist”), and the main reason the BBC sought her out (though being a self-proclaimed “radical feminist” was undoubtedly part of the equation), is that she is the one who started the online petition that is trying to force Oldham not to sign Evans. I have no doubt that she would start any number of additional petitions if any other football club showed an inclination to sign the player.
On her blog, Hatchet makes the following statement:
It is evident that Mr Evans, and men like him, do not understand the notion of consent.
This is the crux of Evans’ conviction. The girl he is said to have raped was allegedly out of her skull on drink. She had already gone with one of Evans’ friends – presumably while she was still capable of thinking and walking – and was having sex with him when Evans turned up and joined in. The friend was acquitted, but Evans wasn’t. The girl says she couldn’t remember any of what happened. The whole situation is far from being black or white, except in terms of the Law and Evans’ subsequent conviction.
The issue with “consent” is far more complex than Hatchet seems capable of realising. You see, it is absolutely possible for a woman to consent to sex with a man, then to have regrets the following day and make allegations concerning non-consensual intercourse (possibly throwing in a few comments about being drunk). Intercourse may not even have taken place for such claims to be made, and the motive may well be financial gain or some sort of retribution, but it will immediately be labelled as “rape”. The man’s name will automatically be published in every newspaper in the land, whereas the woman will automatically be granted full anonymity. Even in cases where the woman is proved to be lying – and it happens quite often – her anonymity often remains in force, yet the man’s life is in ruins. But what makes this even more frightening is that Hatchet (and, increasingly, the Law) actually seem to believe that that rape of some sort has still taken place… if not in actuality, very nearly so.
At this point I will say again: RAPE IS WRONG. If a man forces himself on a woman, he should rot in prison for a long time. But should that still be the case if there is any doubt at all over consent?
The girl involved in the Ched Evans case is no exception as far as official anonymity goes (she’s even been given a new identity). However, it isn’t difficult to find her name (it actually appears in Hatchet’s blog in several of the comments). Assuming that what I have read has even a grain of truth in it, the woman in question appears to have a previous (failed) history for attempting to blackmail sportsmen. At the very least, she went willingly with Evans’ friend and was not quite so comatose when the friend picked her up in the chip shop or wherever it was. Much is being made of the fact that she was possibly – not definitely – around two and a half times over the drink drive limit, but that doesn’t automatically mean you are unconscious. It also appears that the girl in question tweeted that she was “going to win big” on the run up to the trial, and made various promises to friends about how she would spend the money on them. If you Google it you can dig all this up – including the tweets that the girl had apparently attempted to delete (and it is worrying that the new identity she has been given is perhaps partly an attempt to side-step this Twitter history without actually considering any of it). I’m not aware that any of this was brought up in court. Interestingly, Welsh police arrested 23 people for naming the victim, and to date nine have been convicted. The full case is described on Wikipedia, though you can see numerous side stories in the media.
None of this proves that the judgement against Evans was wrong [as of January 2015, when the original conviction still stood], of course, but it does make you wonder. Well, maybe not those like Jean Hatchet, but certainly normal people. The girl who was apparently raped certainly didn’t seem to have had her life damaged the way rape victims’ lives usually are judging by her tweets, and that doesn’t make any sense. The point is that this wasn’t a case of a man kidnapping a woman in the street, dragging her into an alley, and forcibly raping her. It’s much greyer, and as I say it all hinges on the issue of consent and the court’s interpretation of that in this particular case. Evans’ guilt appears to have been as marginal as his innocence would have been.
Irrespective of this very important background information, the big question to me is: should Ched Evans be allowed to have any sort of career?
There is one sensible argument that says he should wait for the outcome of his appeal before trying to play professional football again. However, no matter what the outcome of that appeal, Evans will be hounded by the feminists until the day he dies. You see, the big grey area of the Law that deals with the matter of consent has a bottomless chasm on one side (i.e. you’re totally guilty). Unfortunately, on the other side there isn’t the expected “totally innocent”. Instead, there’s another chasm almost as deep as the first which merely says “you’re nearly guilty, but not quite”. Feminists like Jean Hatchet make sure it stays like that with their foul-mouthed tirades.
At the present time [January 2015], Evans is being prevented from working by people like Hatchet and the British Legal system. Even Ed Miliband has stuck his nose in – all I can say there is that Miliband is bloody lucky that my
support of Labour goes deeper than him [that was then, back in 2015 – Labour doesn’t have my support while Jeremy Corbyn is leader]. Effectively, people would rather Evans die on the street than rebuild his life. Oh, I’m sure that people like Jean Hatchet would argue in favour of the rebuilding that his victim has got to do – and I’d agree… if only the unused evidence didn’t suggest something more.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t know Evans personally, though everything points to the usual problems of a young man acquiring fame and money, and having it go to his head. Even without the issue of rape coming into it, footballers getting involved in sexual activities that are bordering on the realms of pornography are not uncommon. But it takes two to tango, as the saying goes, and young females are increasingly drawn willingly into the same world.
Yesterday (7 January 2015), Oldham had all but signed Evans in the full knowledge that some sponsors would pull out. Today, they have withdrawn the offer due to threats to staff and their families. They cite the sponsors, but the threats are the main reason. The people who made those threats are scum. The worst kind of scum. And the type of scum that is far lower down the evolutionary chain than Evans could ever be.
I see that Ched Evans’ case is going to be reviewed by the Court of Appeal (as of 5 October 2015).
As of 21 April 2016, Ched Evan’s appeal has been successful and his earlier conviction for rape has been quashed.
Reporting restrictions are still in place because he is now back to being “the accused” and will have to be re-tried on the original allegation – but this time, with important and relevant evidence being heard which had been deliberately ignored the last time.
It goes without saying that Jean Hatchet still openly considers him to be guilty. Indeed, in Hatchet’s mind, any man who ever has sex with a woman is guilty of something. In fact, people like Hatchet just need an accusation for guilt to be proven.
Hatchet should maybe try to remember that people are innocent until proven guilty. Even if they are men. The quashing of Evans’ previous conviction means that – at the moment – he is not a convicted rapist, which is more or less the only thing Hatchet ever has to say.
Ched Evans’ retrial is set for October 2016.
As of June 2016, League One Chesterfield have signed Ched Evans on a one-year deal. Jean Hatchet hasn’t picked up on the story yet.
Ched Evans has been found not guilty of rape in his retrial which concluded 14 October 2016.
I wonder if those involved in the witch hunt previously – such as Jessica Ennis-Hill – will alter their opinions now that he is legally not guilty? Mouthpieces like Jean Hatchett won’t accept it, I’m sure. He/she/it was happy to point out that Evans’ retrial simply meant he hadn’t been proven guilty yet – not that he was innocent.
Well, now he is. Legally.
Amusingly, someone found the blog this afternoon on the term “ched evans is a lying rapist”. Erm. No, he isn’t. He is legally not a rapist. And that means that – since the original conviction was quashed – he never was.
He is (or was) an immature, overpaid, testosterone-fuelled idiot – in much the same way that his alleged victim is clearly in possession of a few extreme character flaws of her own. In fact, she is the one who has been shown to be the liar.
And Jean Hatchett’s “blog” appears to be no more [I take that back – it is so poorly constructed that it doesn’t run in Microsoft Edge, but it does in Chrome]. For a moment I thought he/she/it may have drowned in their own bile.
Ched Evans has disassociated himself from those who keep posting the woman’s name on the internet. Personally, I am surprised he isn’t seeking compensation for having had his life ruined by this woman, the police, and the judicial system. A police spokeswoman is quoted:
Supt Jo Williams of North Wales police said: “We are aware that once again the victim has been named on social media.
“We would remind people that it is a criminal offence under Section 5 of the Sexual Offences Amendments Act to do so, and that the victim has the right to life long anonymity.
I don’t know if it is just me, but with Evans’ original conviction having been quashed, and with him being found not guilty, surely there is no “victim” in the sense being used here?
You may regard Evans as a scumbag who – at the time of the original event – had no morals worth speaking of. Indeed, the 21st Century’s new breed of “empowered woman” is feeding off this image and proceeding to libel Evans every chance they get (and unfortunately, such libel is perfectly acceptable when coming from women these days). But the fact remains that he is not a criminal.
The point that all of these idiots ignore, though, is that even if Evans did have the morals of a rabid dog as a result of his actions towards his “victim”, she also scored a perfect zero on the same scale! She wanted a “good time”, and the facts show that she had one fairly regularly. If women want to be considered equal, they’d better start considering such matters on an equal basis – the artificial bias against men is a joke.
Evans and his “victim” – in the absence of any conviction – were identical as far as morals and egotism were concerned.
Information in the public domain from around the time Evans’ appeal was lodged alleged that “the victim” was trying to score a big payout, had tweeted this and then tried to erase it (at one time, you could actually see these documents online), and it was also alleged that she had attempted the same thing with other sports stars. None of that was mentioned this time around.
As a footnote, according to the Wikipedia explanation of the case, each person who was convicted of naming the woman was “told to pay her £624”. At the moment, she’s nearly £6,500 better off from this source alone – even though the outcome now implies that she lied.
“Equality” doesn’t have the same meaning it used to.
As of 24 October 2016, this article on the BBC – who persist in referring to her/him/it as a “blogger” instead of the vile and foul-mouthed misandrist (that’s the female equivalent of a misogynist) that he/she/it really is – reports that Hatchett has started some sort of crowd-funding appeal for the “victim”.
I say again that the supposed “victim” has a now-known (and proven in court) history of sexual behaviour easily on a par (in the gutter) with Evans’. She has been shown (in court) to have been a willing participant in what she later referred to as “rape”, and to have made a habit of behaviour which – but for a simple word in the right ear – was infinitesimally close to destroying the lives of at least two other men in the recent past in much the same manner she nearly destroyed Ched Evans’.
It seems that the woman’s behaviour appears to have the total support of Jean Hatchett for the simple reason that – to Hatchett – all men appear to be scum. Why else try to crowd-fund something which has been shown – in court – not to have been the crime (or, indeed, any crime) that it was originally claimed to be?
The BBC’s definition of “blogger” is laughable – they daren’t link to such foul language that is used by Hatchett, though these days they’re absolutely desperate to be pro-female on every conceivable topic. Hatchett is anything but a “blogger”.
Well done to Arsenal, who walloped Nottingham Forest 4-0 last night in the “League Cup” – in spite of certain Forest supporters convincing themselves Forest would run up a cricket score and get Arsene Wenger sacked.
In the words of the inimitable Fry in Futurama – the Bicyclops Built for Two episode:
Kicked YOUR ass!
Imagine this. You’re competing at the Olympics. You’ve won a few gold medals and you’ve left the Olympic Village to have a few drinks with your team mates one night. You end up pissed out of your skull – or at least pissed out of it enough to allegedly do a bit of vandalism and pee up the wall behind the petrol station you ended up in. You forgot you were in a country where security guards carry guns, even though you come from one where anyone above the age of five is allowed to, and when stopped at gunpoint and told to pay for the damage you opted for an alternative solution.
The alternative you chose was to claim you were robbed at gunpoint and add some stuff that made you out to be Rambo. However, you were too dumb to consider the possibility that CCTV might be operating in the store where it allegedly happened. After changing your story several times, the CCTV was seen and you were identified as the cowardly liar you really are.
Lochte managed to escape back to the States after his false claim. Bentz and Conger had almost made it when they were removed from their flight by police. Feigen has ended up agreeing to pay around $11,000 to a Brazilian charity so that all charges can be dropped. The full story is somewhat confused and Feigen, at least, appears totally innocent. Lochte would appear to be the least innocent.
True American Heroes they ain’t. And at least one of them should be stripped of any medals he won. He’s already lost a lot of his sponsorship.
If Lochte and his gang of masterminds represent one stagnant pool of humanity, their actions certainly have highlighted another.
Most of America is appalled by what they did. Unfortunately, some of these “appalled” Americans don’t have a limiter on the pendulum which determines how they feel about something, and they allow it to swing freely from one absolute extreme to the other.
The simple truth is that Lochte and co. are merely a bunch of over-privileged assholes. That’s all there is to it. But this is the internet age, and things are never that simple when there is a whole heap of conspiracy theories to run with. Therefore, the events in Rio have stirred up the usual crowd of web loonies.
Loony #1 – Tariq Nasheed tweets:
If Black athletes pulled that… stunt, the headlines would read “Black Lives Matter Thugs Caused Terror At The Olympics”
Loony #2 – WendyBrandes tweets:
If Ryan Lochte lied about that robbery, how can we ever believe any man’s allegations of robbery?
I reckon that second one is a certifiably insane man-hater (I admit I’m reading into it with “man-hater”).
On a related note involving a different story, Ellen DeGeneres posted a tweet a few days ago showing herself piggybacking with Usain Bolt, with the comment:
This is how I’m running errands from now on.
Ms DeGeneres, who I have always liked and still admire, is married to another woman, and is probably all too aware of the problems that come with prejudice. I don’t think for a second that she was referring to anything other than Bolt’s speed but I seem to be in a minority on that. You see, American historical media libraries contain numerous images from the 19th and early 20th centuries of white people sitting on the backs of black servants and slaves. Many images simply show white children sitting on the backs of black servants playing “horsey”, though there are some unsettling ones of adults treating black people as furniture. The net loonies have drawn an immediate parallel and pilloried Ms DeGeneres.
But Ellen DeGeneres couldn’t win on this. If she’d have posted a picture of Usain Bolt riding on her back, these lunatics would accuse her of parodying those archive images.
A few months ago, Ms DeGeneres got caught up in a similar fiasco when she collaborated with clothing firm Gap. The advertisement had a simple and innocent photograph of four children, and yet the net loonies managed to read into it and declare it “racist”. Why? Simply because a taller white girl was apparently resting her arm on the head of a smaller (and younger) black child. The loonies had a field day over that – even the fact that the black child was shorter than the white one was somehow “racist”. No one mentioned that by the same token it was also sexist, since it showed four white girls (or possibly three and one boy). The loonies reckoned it was “passive racism” (their new Big Phrase). I charge – with my tongue in my cheek – that is was “active sexism”.
Although it is ugly and wrong, racism is something which on the whole just happens – it isn’t calculated and constructed like a complex machine, and to suggest that a company like Gap (or Ellen DeGeneres, who has had to endure prejudice herself). Most racists couldn’t explain the mechanisms involved in their prejudice if they tried (which is probably why “passive” is used to describe it). Most would have trouble writing their name, though they could probably just about manage to put an “X” in the “Leave” box on a voting form.
But that’s a different subject.