Tag Archives: parody

World Star Admits Strong Link to Leeds United (Not Maradona) – by Rob Atkinson

In a completely non-sensational non-revelation, world famous movie star Russell Crowe has admitted to being a Leeds United fan. 

Lately, there have been a rash of teaser headlines appearing on NewsNow, transparently calculated to grab readers’ attention before disappointing them with a right lemon of a non-story. I am sorry to have done this on what will be one solitary occasion; I do it only to highlight what I consider to be a deceptive practice, one which I find intensely annoying.

Any advertising revenues attributable to this article will be donated to the Alzheimers Society. I do not wish to profit by deception, unlike certain other online publications. Please click the link above if you also wish to support the good work of the Alzheimers Society.

And please – think carefully before clicking on headlines such as the one at the head of this piece. They’re just after your attention and they’ll get it any way they can.

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Mail Exclusive: “LUFC Owner Cellino is Clone of Saddam” – by Rob Atkinson

In a story that will rock the football world for its breathtaking lack of any supporting material, the Daily Heil can reveal that Massimo Cellino, previously supposed to be an Italian corn billionaire, is in fact a genetic mutation of executed tyrant Saddam Hussain. It is further thought – although this publication has seen no actual evidence – that the purchase of Leeds United in 2012 was funded entirely through secret funds generated by the proceeds of the sale of Weapons of Mass Destruction, transported clandestinely aboard Cellino’s evil yacht, Nélie.

Whilst the Heil is unable to prove any of these cast-iron facts, we are quite happy to go into print with them. We strongly believe that slurs and smears against Leeds United – fabricated and groundless though they may be – are firmly in the realm of public interest journalism, as per the best tradition of our current proprietors and their card-carrying Nazi forerunners.

Now it is firmly established, beyond any reasonable figment of our sports editor’s imagination, that Leeds as a club is owned by the living clone of Saddam and funded by the proceeds of his evil if non-existent WMD, we at the Heil are calling upon the gentlemen of the Football League to act – and to act now. Leeds United has for too long been a stain on our national game – although this publication has seen no evidence of this. Nevertheless, the continued existence of Leeds reflects badly on the Football League and its venerable administrators and officials, money-launderers, jailed tycoons and convicted rapists.

Your super, soaraway Heil will not rest until the Son of Saddam and his vile crew have been dispatched to the nethermost pit of Hell where they most assuredly belong – although this publication has seen no evidence of this.

Paul Dacre is the holder of the Iron Cross.

“The Damned United” – David Peace’s Cult Take on The Emperor’s New Clothes – by Rob Atkinson

Books can be long.  Sentences can be short.  Repetition beats inspiration.

Books can be long. Sentences can be short. Repetition beats inspiration for commercial success. I’m David Bloody Peace.

As any avid reader will know, it’s frequently the second or subsequent reading of a book that gives you a real insight into what it’s all about. Equally, giving up on a book part-way through tells you all you need to know about that work. But all too often, you’ll read a book just the once and walk away with an experience that might actually be quite misleading. Such, I suspect, is the case with David Peace’s “The Damned United”.

I read this once, seduced by the subject matter and what sounded a suspiciously extravagant claim to “get inside the head of Brian Clough”. The prose style was – well, let’s say ‘different’.  But it survived a one-off read and, give or take some fanciful fictionalising together with a legion of liberties taken with history, it got me through three or four evenings tolerably riveted.  And I got a perverse jolt out of the title.  The Damned United. That’s us, that is.  I guessed there and then that Leeds fans would take it up as a badge of honour.  I guarantee that is not what was intended.

Then a short time ago I heard that Peace had written a similar book on Bill Shankly and I read some distinctly lukewarm verging on unimpressed reviews.  Intrigued, I asked my wife what she’d thought of the author’s bleak crime series set in West Yorkshire in the seventies, at the time the Ripper was active.  She pulled a face that spoke a thousand words.  So, I decided to revisit “The Damned United”.

Many will be familiar with the storyline.  Some from this book, others less helpfully from the lamentable film of the same name.  Then there are those lucky few who actually lived through the events described, or who are students of Leeds United history; they will be the best informed of all.

Whatever the rights and wrongs of the narrative, whatever injustices were done to the likes of Johnny Giles, Don Revie and Clough himself, whatever the departures from historical accuracy – it is the style, for want of a more appropriate word, that I want to address here.  So let’s see if we have any more success in getting inside the head of David Peace than the author enjoyed in his attempt to read the character of Brian Clough. As a task, it should be a lot less complex.

Into the office, sit at the desk, boot the computer.

I sit staring at the screen and wait for inspiration.  No ideas.  No Clough speaking to me. Not here.  Not today.  It’s the first day of a project.  The first day.  Of how many days? The project is Clough.  But he’s not speaking to me. Not here.  Not today.

I write down some random sentences.  Pick them up later, use them where I can. Use them again and again.  It’ll do.

Don’s office, Don’s bloody desk, Don’s chair.  Brown envelopes stuffed with cash. Whispering in the corridors of Elland Road.  Elland bloody Road.  Under ugly Yorkshire skies, an ugly Yorkshire stadium.  There I am.  Don’s office, Don’s bloody desk, Don’s chair.  Brown envelopes stuffed with cash.

That’ll do, I can use that.  I just need to get inside Cloughie’s head now.

But Cloughie’s dead.  He’s not speaking to me.  Not here.  Not today.

I have a break.  Clear my head, make room for Cloughie, if he decides to talk. Out into the garden, breathe some clean air.  Then it’s back to it.  Back to the project. Back to that damned United, waiting for Cloughie, though Cloughie is dead.  Back to it.

Into the office, sit at the desk, boot the computer.  Brian is in my head.  Brian is swearing. He’s the Leeds United manager but he hates it.  Hates it.  Hates Leeds United.  I can hear him. Hating Leeds United, hating Don bloody Revie. There he is.  Don’s office, Don’s bloody desk, Don’s chair.  Brown envelopes stuffed with cash. Whispering in the corridors of Elland Road. Elland bloody Road.  Under ugly Yorkshire skies, an ugly Yorkshire stadium.

I can do this.  I’m David Peace.  David bloody Peace.  Author.  Huddersfield Town fan. Hate Leeds United, hate, hate, hate.  Hate them for what they were, for what they are. Cloughie is the same as me, like that.  But Cloughie is dead. And now he’s gone out of my head for the day.  But there’s always another day. Always. Always one more bloody day.

Into the office, sit at the desk, boot the computer.  No ideas.  No Clough speaking to me. Not here.  Not today….

And so it goes on, that style.  In parodying it, I actually cut down on the repetition, minimised the number of stock phrases, decimated the profanity count.  But it gives some idea, I feel, of David Peace’s formulaic approach to establishing his own “style”.  There, that troublesome word again, “style”. Some authors have an inimitable style because it’s genuinely unique to them, it can’t effectively be reproduced by other writers.  Some authors’ styles should be inimitable because nobody would really want to imitate them – except in parody.  Mr Peace falls into the latter camp.

On first reading, it’s something you can live with and the narrative bumbles along, reinforced, it seems, by the constant repetition, the continual use of pre-packaged standard buzz-phrases.  It’s meant to convey the turmoil inside Clough’s head, the way he continually questions, cajoles, reassures himself.  At first glance it appears to do that.  But on revisiting this book, I found myself irritated by the repetition, wearied by the recurrence of the buzz-phrases, disillusioned with it all.

In “The Emperor’s New Clothes” everyone marvels at the Head Honcho’s wonderful new invisible costume, right up until the little boy, unhindered by years of training in subservience and hypocrisy, calls out “But that man’s bare naked!” – and the illusion is shattered.  One re-reading of “The Damned United” was enough to shatter the illusion created by my first reading, and I know now what David Peace is all about.

I’d be interested to learn how long the book would be without all the padding. Not exactly of epic length, I suspect. If you were also to subtract the ubiquitous profanity in Clough’s speech – in real life he was not, apparently, a profane man – then Peace’s Meisterwerk would be shorter still. Honest, Brian – it’d be none the worse for that.

Leeds United’s “Life of Brian” – by Rob Atkinson

Image

LIFE OF BRIAN

In honour of our frustrated Manager, may I proudly present:

Leeds United’s “Life of Brian”

The “What Have the Bahrainis Ever Done For Us?” Scene, for those conspiracy theorists who maintain that the GFH regime is just more of the same old Bates crap. (With sincere apologies to the Pythons.)

ImageThe interior of COOPER’S house. A darkened room with a very conspiratorial atmosphere. BILLY and BIG JACK are seated at a table at one end of the room. EDDIE, dressed in Activist gear — white robes and a blue & yellow sash around his head — is standing by a plan (of a palatial residence in Bahrain) on the wall. He is addressing an audience of about eight MASKED ACTIVISTS including unsuspected double agent LASH. Their faces are partially hidden.

Eddie: We get in through the underground heating system here… up through to the main audience chamber here… and Haigh’s bedroom is here. Having grabbed him, we inform GFH that he is in our custody and forthwith issue our demands. Any questions?

Lash: What exactly are the demands?

Billy: We’re giving them two days to dismantle the entire apparatus of GFH Capital’s management structure of Leeds United and all related offshore companies, and if they don’t agree immediately we execute him.

Cooper: Cut his head off?

Eddie: Cut all his bits off, send ’em back every hour on the hour… show them we’re not to be trifled with.

Billy: Also, we’re demanding a ten foot mahogany statue of Brian Mawhinney with his cock hanging out.

Big Jack: What? They’ll never agree to that, Billy.

Billy: That’s just a bargaining counter. And of course, we point out that they bear full responsibility when we chop him up, and… that we shall not submit to blackmail.

All: (Applause) No blackmail!

Billy: They’ve bled us Whites white, the bastards. They’ve taken everything we had, not just from us, from our fathers and from our fathers’ fathers.

Big Jack: And from our fathers’ fathers’ fathers.

Billy: Yes.

Big Jack: And from our fathers’ fathers’ fathers’ fathers.

Billy: All right, Jack. Don’t labour the point. And what have they ever given us in return?

Lash: Luke Murphy?

Billy: Oh yeah, yeah they gave us that. Yeah. That’s true.

Masked Activist: And got rid of Bates!

Big Jack: Oh yes… Bates, Billy, you remember what he used to be like.

Billy: All right, I’ll grant you that buying Luke Murphy and getting rid of Bates are two things GFH have done…

Cooper: And Scott Wootton.

Billy: (sharply) Well yes obviously Scott Wootton … Scott Wootton goes without saying. But apart from Luke Murphy and getting rid of Bates and Scott Wootton…

Another Masked Activist: Ticket prices…

Other Masked Voices: Closing Bates FM… cheaper season Tickets… Fan re-engagement…

Billy: Yes… all right, fair enough…

Activist Near Front: And bringing back Radio Leeds…

All: Oh yes! True!

Eddie: Yeah. That’s something we’d really miss if GFH left, Billy.

Masked Activist at Back: Social media – a Facebook and Twitter presence for LUFC!

Big Jack: And it’s nice and quiet sitting in the North Stand now.

Eddie: Yes, they certainly know how to keep order… (general nodding)… let’s face it, they’re the only ones who could in a place like this.

(rueful grins and more general murmurs of agreement)

Billy: All right… all right… but apart from Luke Murphy and getting rid of Bates and Scott Wootton and closing Bates FM and re-engaging with the fans and bringing back Radio Leeds and social media and stewards shutting everyone up and Stadium Security making us sit down or chucking us out…. what have GFH Capital done for us?

Lash: Student tickets!?

Billy: (very angry, he’s not having a good meeting at all) What!? Student tickets?? Oh… (scornfully) Student tickets, yes… shut up!!

More Honours For Man U

Jones (Left)       Beaker  (Right)

Jones (Left) Beaker (Right)

If anything could possibly top-off another fantastic season for the Mighty Man U, it has to be the news that their young and heart-meltingly handsome player Phil Jones has been honoured by Hollywood, not once but TWICE.  In a glitzy ceremony in Beverley Hills, Jones – described by well known but demented judges as potentially Man U’s greatest player – was awarded the Top Prize for the prestigious 2013 Hollywood Awards (Man/Muppet Lookey-Likey Competition) for his uncanny representation of Beaker.

The President of the Honors Panel, his voice shaking with emotion, stated “This is a wunnerful moment for me.  I’m a big fan of those there Uniteds, all of us folks hereabouts are just crazy about those boys.  They have to be the winningest Franchise on the Englandish side of the Pond, and we’re real proud to be able to honor Phil this way.  He makes a great Beaker, just great – I plumb could not tell them apart when we came to judge this category. We hope that Phil will enjoy this accolade, we’re all real happy for him here in the US Manchesters Franchise fans family.”

When we tracked down the genuine Beaker for his comment on the matter, he confined himself to a rather cryptic “Meep.”

The Jones boy has been successful in another category of the Awards, walking away with “Best Gurn” for the same image used to compete for the Best Muppet Award.  The Honors Committee pronounced themselves “very impressed” by Phil’s winning gurn, describing the look as “a face like the smell of gas”.  One judge who wished to remain anonymous enlarged upon the panel’s captivation with the stalwart defender’s mobile features.  “Phil is a phenomenon,” he gushed, “and we’re truly thinking of passing on his credentials to NASA – because that there boy, if they gave airmiles for having a face like a smacked ass, why he could be the first man on Mars.”

Phil Jones was unavailable for comment today, as he was on duty at the Theatre of Hollow Myths.  It is understood that retiring Man U manager Alex Ferguson may figure in next year’s Muppet Awards, but no confirmation has been received; however he is already posted as an early favourite in the “Animal” category, just ahead of Luis Suarez in the advance betting lists.