Meet Mr Inquisitor
Hello everyone, and welcome to another edition of the only Post interview feature hosted by someone currently covered in bits of apple. Debasing himself for your momentary entertainment this week is Psycorp603, who is a member of the football supporter's club, a lover of all things American, and a Jedi Knight. (One of the preceding claims is a lie, but probably not the one you think.) As a lover of the beautiful game myself (I only very rarely get the Charlton brothers mixed up with the Kennedys), there was no question as to what I'd be asking about first…
Well, another football season is upon us and there are so many stories and issues surrounding the game today - the new owner at Stamford Bridge, this year's Premiership, Wales actually looking like qualifying for a major international tournament. So, bearing all this in mind, let's start with the obvious question - how
exactly does that offside rule thingy work?
The technical bit is that you need two opposition players between the player receiving the ball and the goal when the ball is passed. In reality it means that the defender tries to con the ref by waving like a fool when a striker beats him to the ball. And seeing as you brought up Chelski, here's a tip, don't bother betting on them for another season or two. And Wales? They may be the second best British team, but when you've got Scotland and Northern Ireland for competition, that's not saying too much.
Ooh, controversial views, outspoken opinions. (Shazz, help.) Okay - how would you react to the suggestion that once upon a time football was the focus of a kind of benevolent tribalism, bringing the people of a town or district together, building communities and social ties, and that the globalisation of the game - with many players now coming from abroad, and support not necessarily going to the local team - has severely damaged this?
Well, as a Mancunian Leeds fan I wouldn't be able to criticise people supporting non-local teams, because I'm not much of a hypocrite. But I'll tell you one thing about foreign players and the way fans view them. At the Leeds-Newcastle game, the Kop cheered louder when local hero David Batty came on than when Ozzie import Mark Viduka scored. Probably because you tend to connect better with the 'local lad done good' than the jet-setting international superstar. And at the end of the day, it's the shirt that ties the fans together, not the people wearing them, so there's still that unification aspect in the modern game.
How much do you think one of David Beckham's legs would fetch on the black market? (For readers outside of the Manchester area: David Beckham is a football player, who recently had to move abroad in order to get work. And the British press criticises economic migrants who come here!)
Well, I wouldn't buy them, but I suppose somebody out there might pay a few grand. Depends on how rich your average leg-buying Beckham sycophant is I suppose...
If Bill Gates and Richard Branson both wanted them then they could fetch a few million.
Moving on from the beautiful game, you have a job as a Customer Service Advisor with the Royal Mail. I bet you have some funny stories to tell about that.
Well, not many, apart from a repeat complainer going by the name of Joan Bastard who always gets a laugh. You always get a few people who don't seem to get the whole postal thing and make complaints like 'I sent this envelope to the wrong address without a stamp, please can I have £20' and you just think what for? We compensate for loss, we don't reward stupidity. I'm moving on from the Royal Mail at the end of the month anyway, the hours don't fit in with my college work.
Well, I expect anyone who's either born with or marries the surname Bastard is bound to be a bit on the tetchy side. What was the last CD you bought?
It would probably be Comfort in Sound by Feeder, but that's only because we have very little regard for copyright protection in my house. Why buy what can be gotten for free?
Hmm, it does occur to me that one could use exactly the same argument to excuse any act of theft, but this probably isn't the best forum to discuss ethics...
If you had to choose the sitcom character you had most in common with, who would it be?
At the moment? Gary from Men Behaving Badly, seeing as I've got a jobless mate living in my back room who drinks my beer, smokes my cigarettes, and suchlike. That and we both have mind-numbing jobs surrounded by morons (only joking RMCS workers).
Once upon a time, if memory serves, your U-space mentioned that you were a wargamer. Would this be good old-fashioned dining-room-table-and-a-bucket-of-dice wargaming or the newfangled kind with rinky-dinky computing machines?
That would be the traditional toy soldiers and a bucket of dice wargaming, which I still enjoy from time to time, but sort of gave up on principle. Like most people who have played Games Workshop wargames for more than five years, I got irritated by the 'pay more, get less' marketing strategy that they seem to have adopted, and the fact that the target audience is now 12 year olds. Most of the fun's gone out of it now, there's no narrative with the new players, just 'daddy bought me these because they are big' as opposed to 'here's my army based on the British force at Rourke's Drift' or whatever. It's still a bit of a laugh with the old-school gamers like Asmodai Dark, but even they sometimes go to the opposite end of the scale where the emphasis is on War, not Game.
Whoo, it felt good to get that rant off my chest...
As a veteran player of GW games myself, there's a good chance this'll get terrifically geeky, but let's take the risk anyway... What kind of player were you? The 'sit back and lure the opponent forward onto the guns' kind or the 'kamikaze charge across table' type?
I played with a Tyranid army1. Sitting back wasn't an option, but throwing unit upon unit upon unit of cannon fodder into massed guns was the tactic of choice. It usually made for some fun games, especially against the 'daddy bought me a big thing' players, because 8/1 outnumbering (at least) used to make them whine.
Personally I make a point never of playing anyone who isn't old enough to shave, but I've spent many happy hours channelling the Hive Mind myself. Do you think a person's choice of army or playing style says something about their character?
In some cases, yes, it does. Like I mentioned Asmodai before, he's a four foot tall Viking, never seen without a flagon of Guinness, so what army does he play? Dwarfs! Then of course, the players with a bit of flair play with either Elven or Eldar armies, and the power gamers just find a good stat line and take as many of that troop type as is possible. The playing style is where it gets interesting, the players who are less confident in 'real life' are usually more desperate to win at any costs, possibly to prove something to the world. Now with comments like that, I have to wonder why I failed Psychology...
Hmm. Is any act, no matter how relentlessly self-aggrandising or artistically bankrupt it may be, justified if it's done for charity?
Erm, let me just look up what that means. Ah, so self-aggrandising means to bring attention and I'd presume adulation onto oneself? Well, no, it's not always justified, like the way aim number one of the McWimpeyking Corporation's 'charity' is to 'create positive advertising for McLard products and increase public brainwashing on the subject of McLard products'. Then again, as far as I'm concerned McWimpeyking could single-handedly abolish world poverty and I'd still be against them. Vive la Revolucion! Oh, so the answer to your question is no.
Hmmm, I was thinking more in terms of Bobby Davro doing handsprings or Westlife's last charity record. By the way, I've taken the liberty of changing some of the names in that last answer, as the corporation in question is notoriously litigious and I've a horrible feeling I'm personally liable if we get sued.
In his classic hit of the same name, the late Marvin Gaye sang 'And when I get that feeling / I need sexual healing'. Should sexual healing be available on the NHS, and what would constitute an overdose?
Hmm, well now. First up, where exactly are the government going to get the money from to afford hookers for other people? And wouldn't it be a bit unhygienic? And I suppose the amount needed for an overdose would vary from person to person, I mean, if the rumours about Sting are true, is there a woman alive who could give him an 'overdose'? Erm, I dunno, yeah, probably?
Any women who would like to try to give Sting an overdose of sex should report to my personal space where auditions will be held as soon as I can get the time off work.
Well, anyway, Psycorp, our time together is drawing to a close. Before I wrap this up, though, do you have any talents such as the writing of bad verse, or singing, that you'd like to demonstrate for the readers? Or, failing that, anything you'd like to plug?
Well, I did write the song 'El Porno' but the moderators didn't like that very much, so I can't repeat it here. I'd just like to plug the Jedi Academy because HPB wouldn't be impressed if I missed this opportunity. That and my personal space, people might want to read some of my more strange views...
I doubt he'll be very impressed by the way you've just got his name wrong, but I wouldn't worry too much about that...
And so we come to the traditional final question of each one of these undertakings: what's the most important thing you've learned through being a member of h2g2?
Well, on a personal level it's that despite the fact I'm a notorious underachiever, I can actually write, which does cheer me up quite a bit. That and the exposure to other h2g2ers such as Werekitty and reading some of the Post articles every week which shows me that maybe, just maybe, there are people out there a bit weirder than I am.
Thanks to the relentlessly bloke-ish Psycorp603 for taking the time to answer my silly questions. If you too would like the chance to be ridiculed in a fairly public forum, please contact me via Shazz the Editor's email account. Or, if there's someone whose brain you would like to see picked, feel free to nominate them at the foot of the page. Until next time, I've been Mr Inquisitor - ta-ta!