Catch Seventy7

Sports news and views, and other stuff in life…

Weekly Musings: Twitter, Michael Jackson, and a little bit more

What Catch Seventy7 learned after another week wondering when the wedding season begins, or ends… 

Twitter: Narrate your life, in 140 characters or less...

Twitter: Narrate your life, in 140 characters or less...

Twitter opens another window to the world

Whether Twitter is simply enjoying its extended 15 minutes of fame or is around for good might be debatable, but what cannot be denied is that while it is here it has it uses.  The mainstream media for one have certainly embraced it, catapulting Twitter into the public psyche thanks to the spotlight many national newspapers have put on the micro-blogging site’s coverage of the Iran elections. 

You get the feeling no one, least of all the Twitter honchos, know exactly how the site can carve itself a niche as a breaking news website, but many newspapers were happy to use it nonetheless — even if it meant quoting from Twitter feeds that had not been verified, say, for instance, a certain David Miliband’s comments on Michael Jackson’s death. Unfortunately for the Times, it turns out David Miliband doesn’t even have a Twitter account. Which, for those who think Gordon Brown should quit jabbering on about Susan Boyle and actually do some proper political work, is probably a relief.

Indeed, light relief is perhaps what Twitter is good for. This week alone, twitterers could witness as Shaquille O’Neal found out about his trade to the Cleveland Cavaliers on the site. Golf-minded fans could also get a unique first-hand account of what life is like playing at the US Open, thanks to the irrepressible Englishman Ian Poulter.

Mainstream media might be desperate to get Twitter into their reports, but for now the site is little more than window-dressing. But there is a lot to like about window dressing.

 

Michael Jackson: The King of Pop (well, except for Elvis…)

Catch Seventy7 was going to write a rather over the top eulogy to the man newspapers couldn’t decide was the king of pop or not, but then it read this account from our friends over at Apocalypse News and released little more needed to be said. Some of what is said is brutal and uncompromising, but anyone who argues against its core truth is woefully misguided. Here is just an excerpt:

“Jackson’s death is undeniably tragic. What is utterly repellent, however, is the gushing nature of this morning’s press coverage, the glowing tabloid obituaries for a mentally ill man they have heckled and mocked as a paedophile and a freak for a quarter of a century. Facebook and Twitter will today be riddled with bad taste jokes and mawkish tributes as the confederacy of dunces that is the social networking generation seeks to score points off the passing of a damaged boy genius whose only goal was to spread a simple message of universal love and tolerance.

 

MJ: The man who moved the internet

MJ: The man who moved the internet

Jackson was a genuine, if confused, innocent who was butchered and crucified by a cynical, prurient and mercenary media every day of his adult life. “Wacko Jacko” they crowed, making fun of the facial surgery and erratic behaviour that marked out a sick man crying out for help and understanding. The same idiots who stormed the gates of Neverland and hounded him from the Wishing Tree where he wrote his songs are now queueing round the block to pay their worthless respects, just as they tore Jade Goody to pieces as an ignorant racist then buried her a saint.” 

They might do little to nuture it, but they sure know how to discover talent at Brunel…

 

Top Gear: If Michael Schumacher is the Stig, I won’t believe it…

Oh Top Gear, once a rather pedestrian motoring programme aired on the abandoned highways of Thursday evenings, now sent to thrill naive men and women of a youthful age that really should know better. The jokes are scripted, the tasks are too, and the fact the show is more popular now than ever is probably another reason (if one was needed) for Mr. Apocalypse News to blow a gasket.

This week, in the first episode of the new series, it was revealed to great fanfare that the Stig was in fact, er, Michael Schumacher. What is worse is that, for the first few days at least, people genuinely seemed to believe it. Because, you know, it is not as if a seven-times Formula One world champion has better things to do ever week then anonymously give TV audiences enjoyment by ragging a continuous stream of cars they will never own round a track that is actually an airfield.

If only Juan Manuel Fangio had been around in the Top Gear era, he would have gone for that gig too…

The reality, of course, is that Schumacher is not the Stig, but presenting him as such proved a convenient ratings boost for the maligned BBC. It wasn’t a coincidence that he was on the show at the same time as Top Gear were allowed to thrash a £1m Ferrari round their test track, just as it wasn’t a coincidence that Schui said he currently owns a Fiat 500 (Fiat being the parent company of his ’employers’, Ferrari). No, Schui is not the Stig, but it worked for all parties for him to revealed as such on Sunday.

 

Women’s Cricket? I will not write about such trivial fare…

According to Michael Atherton (a former England cricket captain, and therefore as reliable source as any man), one high-profile correspondent this week refused a request from his sports desk to write about the England women’s Twenty20 success on the grounds that women’s cricket was not a sport worthy of the back pages of any national newspaper.

Whether that view is valid or not is debatable, but the real question is who was this mystery dissenter?

Catch Seventy7’s money, for what it is worth, is on the Daily Mail’s Martin Samuel. £400,000-a-year demands the very best in sports-writing, but it also gives a man the room to square up to his employees even in these troubled times…

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June 28, 2009 - Posted by | Weekly Musings

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