Category Archives: The Wider World

Guilty / Innocent / Both

I really, truly do not understand the Football Association (FA).

In today’s news, John Terry has been given a four-match suspension, and a £220,000 fine for racially abusing Anton Ferdinand during a match last year.  Fair enough, racial abuse is never right (even among footballers), and those doing these things should be punished.

Ah, but. In this case Terry had already been cleared back in July by Westminster Magistrate’s Court of the exact same offence.

So what I don’t understand is why someone can be cleared in a court of law, but punished by a player’s association?  Or have I missed something relevant?

Play the Daily Mail Game

In yesterday’s Daily Mail, a woman called Samantha Brick wittered on wrote an article about how life was so difficult for her ‘because she was so beautiful’. (That’s a link to the story, if you really must read it – but hang on before you do so)

Predictably, t’internet – and Twitter in particular – frothed up about it massively, and the story went viral. Which is exactly what the Daily Fail wanted.

According to their own follow-up story, that original article garnered 4,500 comments. And the ‘top-rated’ comment received 18,000 ‘green arrow’ upticks. (Think of a Green Arrow as being similar to a Facebook Like)

The Daily Fail lives by advertising. The Mail Online ratecard shows that they charge a minimum of £20 per 1,000 advert impressions – and it can be a lot more.

The original story had (at the time of writing the follow-up) received 1.5million hits – that’s a minimum of £30,000 they’ve made on the one story. Of course, the original story/page is still live, and there’s also a follow-up piece from Brick herself. From the Fail…

And today she is sure to provoke another avalanche of strong reaction as she defends herself in a fresh article on MailOnline, insisting that: ‘While I’ve been shocked and hurt by the global condemnation, I have just this to say: my detractors have simply proved my point. Their level of anger only underlines that no one in this world is more reviled than a pretty woman.’

So to all the people who comment, or even just click through to read the story, I say this.

YOU are the people who fund the Daily Mail. Every single one of you. Now, don’t you feel proud?

Recently I’ve noticed a similar ‘message’ in at least two songs on Radio 1‘s current playlist. I know, I’m way outside the target demographic for R1, and blah blah, but I just can’t bring myself to switch to either Radio 2, or some godawful commercial hunk of crap.


First is Lana Del Rey’s “Video Games”…

They say that the world was built for two
Only worth living if somebody is loving you

Second is Nervo’s “We’re all no-one”

We’re all no one ’til someone thinks that we’re someone
‘Til then we’re no one

Notice the similarity?

In both cases, supposedly there’s nothing good in the world, unless we’re with someone else.

And that really pisses me off.

Hidden Messages

Intrusive Rudeness

I’d forgotten about this ’til now, but it annoyed me at the time.

Over the weekend, I went in to the local Asda store.Along with some other things, I bought some Diet Coke in 500ml bottles. I prefer them that way for drinking in the car, or whatever.

Anyway, I got to the till, and put them on the conveyor belt thingy. At which point the woman stood behind me pointed at them and said “Osteoporosis“.

*shrug* OK, weird. I know, but frankly what business is it of yours, lady?

Obviously she hadn’t stuck her nose in enough yet…

That’s really bad for you, you know

Yep, I know. Mind you, I’ve always said that it’s either Diet Coke, or I can take up heroin instead.

Her daughter laughed out loud.

And I can’t imagine all that chocolate and sweetener you’re buying is going to do you any good.



But really, how fucking rude do you have to be, to shove your (unwanted) opinion in someone else’s face in the middle of a supermarket?

So, I’ve now linked this site to my Twitter page

With luck, this will be the first Fat Al post to show on Fat Al’s twitter…

Twitter Connected

One of the things I’m working on at the moment is my identity on social networks.

On Twitter I’m already FatAlDotCom – although there’s not much going on there yet.

On Facebook I’m also FatAlDotCom – and again, there’s not much there yet.

Social Network stuff is just another of the facets of this entire project, but it’s something that has to be done.

Social Identity

Deleting Your History

On March 1st, Google’s privacy policy is changing.

If you don’t want your web history stored past that date, you need to delete it in the next week. If you leave it ’til 1st March, it will be too late – you need to have done it by the end of 29th Feb.

The EFF has a useful page here about how to delete your Google web history.

Thirty Percent

“For every £100 I’m paid, £30 isn’t mine.”

Over on MoneySaving Expert (MSE) Martin Lewis has a piece about how freelancers and the self-employed need to remember about Tax, and save it away rather than treating it as ‘just another bill when it comes in’.

It’s a really good point – and it’s something that does need to be remembered. That ‘bill’ can easily run into thousands, and cause real hardships and issues. Just think, if you’ve earned £10,000 in the year then it can be a £3,000 bill. Earn £35,000, and it’s a £10,500 bill. Scary amounts, scarily quickly.  And if you’re VAT registered, that can be another chunk.

Every time you get paid, put 30% of it into another account, ‘the taxman’s account’, and don’t touch it. As Lewis says, it’s not your money, it’s the taxman’s. Don’t even think of it as ‘my money’ – otherwise you’ll be tempted to use it ‘on a rainy day’. Keep it separate, and pay the bill when it comes.

It’s something I’ll need to remember as time goes on, whether for work or for writing  – and even more so when/if my writing becomes my work (oh please, oh please) – so I figure it’s best to put it here now, and remember it every day/week/month/year.

Internet Safety

Today is, allegedly, “Safer Internet Day“.

Surprisingly, it’s not being mentioned or promoted by CEOP, the Child Exploitation and Online Protection bunch of muppets Centre. Not a thing.

Wouldn’t you think that – if CEOP were actually any fucking use at all – they’d support and cross-promote this Safer Internet Day? Or even have created the concept themselves.