Meet Mr Inquisitor [Redux]
Hello and welcome to this week's Small Screen Surfin; where I will be reviewing some trite on channel 5 in a vaguely interesting wa...
Do not attempt to adjust the set. I control the horizontal, the vertical and quite probably the diagonal, although depth as yet remains a mystery to me.
I am the all singing, sometimes dancing Mr Inquisitor, who in no way steals HPB's mannerisms, ideas or dinner money. This week I am joined by none other than the <insert Parkinson-esque fawning verb here> Egon, a man who allegedly supports every football team on the planet, and has a hand in the modifications to this very site, so, Dr Anthea and anonymous other reader, I present Egon!
Ahh, Mr Egon. The man who foolishly gave me my first foray into the Post with my match report in the lamented 'Sporting With Egon'. I guess the obvious first question, given that you've recently stopped giving us our weekly sporting fix is this:-
Who would win in a swimsuited wrestling match in a paddling pool full of baked beans? Britney or Christina?
Well obviously it has to be Christina. She clearly has
the better muscles for grappling with. And she
obviously has the ability to get dirrty (sic) if necessary.
Very good reasoning there Egon. Now, my next question would have to actually be about your retirement. After all this time as a Post stalwart, why give up your sports column? And why let Master B of all people take over??
Sorry about the delay before this answer, I've just
been to the Sunderland game. Anyway, to answer your question, I no longer enjoyed writing about sport. I wanted to be able to enjoy watching without having to analyse. And of course I have started my new
TV column1. And Master B had contributed to the column in the past and was a regular reader so when Shazz asked me to nominate my successor I emailed B and
asked him. He doesn't do any work for his recipes so he
Sunderland eh? My friend nearly got lifted at the Stadium of Eternal Darkness last time we were there... Anyway, on the subject I saw a repeat of a Christmas 'They Think It's All Over' featuring an Official Sunderland FC Miners lamp. Do you think that merchandising for sport has gone a bit far, and that the people at the top think we're stupid enough to buy any old tat with a club crest on it?
At smaller clubs, I have no problem with using
merchandise to keep the club competitive. Hell, I own
a Cowdenbeath coffee mug, so I cant really. But when
you see overpriced baby clothes with the name of
Manchester United, one of the worlds richest clubs,
you've got to wonder just how gullible we fans are. And
then you think about what they actually spend our
money on! Your club, Leeds2, are for example. I remember the club paying thousands a week for the
exotic fish in the boardroom. It's really a matter of
value for money. If a clubs spending genuinely
benefits performance, then fans should buy anything
they wish. Any club that wastes such funds is ripping
its fans off. We're a strange lot, but our loyalty
shouldn't be exploited to fund the luxury of the
player. There is too much merchandise funding top
Well, our new Chairman claims to have eaten said fish, which is good. Looking at your PS, it says you're an official tester for BBCi. Is there anything in the pipeline for Hootoo that you can tell us about? Or do they make you sign the official secrets act?
We haven't been told anything of new plans recently. The strangest thing was when we were testing Single Sign On - you may have thought it was crazy when it came in on the live site - it was worse on the test
server - You'd sign in and find yourself as somebody
else and stuff like that. It was very weird. But no
new plans I know of. And I presume I'm allowed to talk
Single Sign On. The bane of many a researcher. Given that the powers that be managed to mess that one up totally, how would you improve the H2G2 experience if you had the chance?
Well that's a tough question- we all like to have a
good bitch, but what specific things would I do? Well,
I think the improvements I personally would like to
see would not be around the technical side of the
site, although of course it does go kerplooey every
now and again. I'd look to enhance the community
aspect. I'd make the function and conventions of the
site clearer to new users - I think we've all
experienced someone signing up, flinging something
inappropriate into Peer Review or entering the first
conversation they find and acting contrary to the
perceived netiquettte. Then they get people's
backs up, and their introduction to the site isn't a
In fact, the recent update to another of the DNA
has added a 'hints and tips' box to the posting
screen, with tips such as don't write in capitals,
steer clear of text speak, address people by name if
you're responding to them, don't overuse smileys, keep
to something approaching the topic, and so on. I
personally would love to see something like that spelt
out so clearly on h2g2.
Well, I suppose that the ACE's could help with that, although it seems to be a bit of a sore point with established researchers that new users come on to use this as a glorified chat room. The statistics currently lie at 196710 Researchers and 6266 Edited Entries in the Guide. That's not a fantastic matchup. So do you have any entries in the works you'd like to draw attention to?
Well the entry I'm currently working on (I say
'currently', it's had a run through Peer Review and I
took it out as I've got lots of university work to do,
and I need to re-jig it a bit) is about the band The
Red Hot Chili Peppers, and I'm also planning one on
Cowdenbeath Football Club to come next. I tend to
concentrate on music and sport as the topics of my
entries as, I suppose, they're the things I'm most
interested in, and my six entries so far are two
collaborative sport ones, two solo sport, and two solo
music, which seems to demonstrate that fairly well.
Well that's what the Guide's about. Sharing what you're interested in. Well, you've mentioned Cowdenbeath in passing once or twice, but I don't think many people know about that illustrious football club. Care to try and get them a few more wellwishers3 (if not supporters)?
Cowden are my second favourite football club, behind
Everton and ahead of Sunderland in my top three. I first heard of the club in the early or mid-90s, when I read a newspaper article about them. The club were dreadful - they were on course to their (I think)
third straight year of finishing bottom of the Scottish leagues, they were getting crowds of less than 200, but they still went out and played every week and the people left in this small, desolate
mining town in the middle of Fife still followed the club.
I instantly knew I loved the club. I started watching
out for their league placings, I managed them on
Championship Manager and Ultimate Soccer Manager
computer games, I knew their player's names and started
looking up the club's history. I saw them gradually
move up the third division table year on year - just
up a place or two each season - under the management of
Craig Levein. Hearts then made Levein their manager during the season that Cowden went up to the Second Division, staying there a
couple of years before unfortunately dropping back down under player-manager (now just manager) Keith Wright,a former Scottish international.
And then, early this season, I finally got round to
going to a game. Got the train to Cowdenbeath, went
to Central Park, saw the Blue Brazil lose to
Stranraer. I was one of 252 people, but it was great. The players tried harder than a lot of Premier League players, fans weren't segregated, there are still terraces, it's awesome.
It's a level where football isn't all about money, where there are no £10m transfers and no 20 grand a week players. The highest paid Cowden player is on less than £200 a week. They recently sold two star
players, Graeme Brown and Craig Winter, for a combined fee of less than £20,000.
There's also a very evident sense of humour. The club are nicknamed 'The Blue Brazil' and the programme is called The Blue Brasilian. The comparison between the club and the home of some of the most naturally gifted footballers ever shows the fan's humour, and
the fact that the club's away kit is the same as Brazil's home (yellow shirt with green trim, blue shorts) and the home kit is branded 'The Blue Brazil' shows you the club are happy to laugh at that as well 4.
Well, after that extraordinarily lengthy answer, I guess it's time for us to wrap up your interview. So to carry on the proud tradition started by my forebear Awix; What's the most important thing you've learned through being a member of h2g2?
Now, I've been thinking about this since I volunteered
to be interrogated for this column. And I've reached
the conclusion that what I've really learned through
h2g2 is what the internet is capable of. This massive
community of people from all over the world
contributing, discussing, debating, it's fantastic.
That it is somewhere on the internet which manages to
have as much of a sense of community as any real life
community, and has all these subsections, and that so
many people get together and travel long distances
for the meetups, that people share their knowledge of
the world to create this ongoing, evolving organism
through the magic of the internet. Before h2g2, I used
the internet from time to time. It's thanks to
Douglas Adams' appearance on BBC Breakfast News in
2000 that I'm obsessed with it.
There you have it. Egon does in fact only support three clubs, as opposed to all of them, and has an internet obsession. Next time you will be treated to either Dr Anthea, Number Six (as I keep promising), Werekitty or Joe C. Should you want to be added to the ever lengthening list, Shazz is your man/gal/robot5 so drop her an email.
Until then, I've been Mr Inquisitor!
The Blue Brazil.5Has anyone ever met Shazz? Does Shazz exist?