Monday, November 17, 2014

Break away from FIFA!

World Cup: Former FA chief David Bernstein calls for boycott

The English Football Association has been urged to lobby Uefa for a European boycott of the next World Cup - unless Fifa implements meaningful reform.  
Similar views have been expressed by German Football League president Reinhard Rauball, who suggested Uefa could leave Fifa  if the findings of the two-year investigation into corruption claims are not published in full. 

I have been dreaming about this really, and however unrealistic it may sound, I am glad that someone at some senior position says something radical like this publicly. FIFA is so corrupt that it is impossible for it to correct and fix itself. Even if Sepp Blatter steps down (he won't), the corruption culture is so deeply embedded in the organization that the only way to change it is to take it apart and build a new one from scratch.

I have given some thoughts about this, actually. Obviously England cannot do it by itself. But if we can get the western Europe together, plus a few civilized countries like USA, Japan, etc, they should try to form a breakaway faction and run their own World Cup or whatever other tournaments at country or club level. There is no reason why FIFA should have monopoly in running world football. Let it face some competition. Essentially the world will then have two football governing bodies, a civilized one consisting of the above mentioned countries, and an uncivilized one containing, well, you know who those countries are. Let the uncivilized one have whatever bribery or corruption they like, as long as it is contained within themselves and don't affect the civilized world. Hopefully more countries will switch sides over time.

Of course there will be huge difficulties, for example FIFA will not allow "their" members' national players to play for Europe's clubs... but at the end of the day, it is about who has more financial bargaining power. Which of the following two is a bigger loss: the Premier League / Champions League losing some South American or African players, or FIFA / World Cup losing Germany, The Netherlands, Spain, France, England, and so on? (and don't worry, those South American or African players will find a way to change their nationality, as we all know already).

I know, it is just my dream, is it? Will someone have the courage to try to pull it off?

PS. And I forgot to mention, the civilized one can then do sensible things like using video replay technology and so on...

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

15/10/2014 警察暗角拳打腳踢示威者 Pro-democracy protester beaten by HK Police

Starting at 00:06, a protester, whose hands were already tied-up, were taken to a corner and beaten up by HK Police. This is real footage from TVB (a local TV channel)(brightened up for easier viewing).

Saturday, September 06, 2014

人冇夢想同鹹魚有咩分別之 - Our Zoo

From the first episode it seems it will be a pretty good TV programme, even though probably 90% of it is going to be completely made up. But at least the real part (as written in the article) gives people a feeling of hope in this dire world.

Doctor Who 8.1 Deep Breath: Some Unorganized Thoughts

  • I think they are trying too hard to tell us "I know the new Doctor is old but you should still watch the show". A majority of the episode is pretty much lecturing us right in the face about this, especially Vastra's speech. I mean, if you don't have confidence about this then maybe you shouldn't cast Peter Capaldi in the first place.
  • In fact, the audience numbers seem to be dropping consistently over the last few seasons which is of some concern. Somehow, Steven Moffat can make Sherlock 'event TV' but not this.
  • The episode is quite philosophical, about change. The droid, just like the Doctor, has changed faces so many times, and there is the question of "is it still the same broom" not just about the droid but the Doctor. When the Doctor holds up a plate in front of the droid and suggests that he may not even remember where he got that face from, the camera is actually showing the Doctor's face on the reflection, which is a subtle nice way to express the point.
  • As for the big debate, my opinion is that the droid jumped himself. (Not that it makes much difference - either the Doctor pushed him or talked him to death, which is pretty much the same, plus the Doctor clearly killed many people before - so I don't know what the fuss was about.) My take is that: the droid repeatedly asks "How would you kill me ", as if he has wanted to kill himself for a long time but unable to do so because of its basic programming; the Doctor then make him realize that he's changed so much that he's no longer bound by that. When the Doctor says one of them is lying about their basic programming and they know who that is, the droid's "Yes" was very emotional, signifying this.
  • There are more than the usual number of Scottish independence jokes, from eyebrows "independently cross" and "set up their independent state of eyebrows" to  "still don't think you've got a vote".

Sunday, February 09, 2014

Thursday, January 09, 2014

Moffat's Sherlock 3 and Doctor Who

Anyone who watches both these programmes cannot fail to notice the parallels. From the obvious

SherlockDoctor Who
Faked his deathFaked his death

to the equally obvious

SherlockDoctor Who
Left John and Mary's wedding earlyLeft Amy and Rory's wedding early
"I don't shave for Sherlock Holmes." "You should get that on a T-shirt""The angels have the phone box", I've got that on a T-shirt.
"Do you always carry handcuffs?"Why would you even have - handcuffs? (Ok, that was River Song but still...)
No one actually dies - even though there are two (attempted) murders"Everybody lives!"

Once you realised this it is obvious how the rest of Sherlock's plot is going to be. Namely, this Mary and her baby isn't real, it's only a goo replica; the real one has already been kidnapped. The baby girl is then trained into a psychopath dominatrix called Irene Adler and sent back in time to defeat Sherlock. The plan almost succeeded, only for her to fall in love with Sherlock. As for how Sherlock faked his death, obviously none of the explanations given in The Empty Hearse is correct; the real explanation is that the one falling off the roof is a robot version of him...

OK, seriously. I think the latest episode, The Sign of Three, has unfairly got quite some stick. True it isn't your typical Sherlock episode, but to say it has no crime investigations, turned into a sit-com, etc, I cannot agree. The episode is very carefully crafted together, where all the apparently unconnected ends are tied up together at the end, like how a proper detective story should be. The way that the (attempted) murder stories were interwoven into the best man speech is fascinating. There isn't a more ingenious way to put together murder detective stories, a best man speech and exploration into the character's development into one episode really. (I do feel the stag-night scenes are a bit too long, though.)

The two cases that Sherlock picked to describe, the Bloody Guardsman and the Mayfly Man, he only intended to use them to illustrate how good a man John is (and they served this purpose nicely); he did not know at the time that it actually is related to what is happening right at the wedding, and the fact that they are (though a very unlikely coincidence in reality) is surprising to the audience after 70 minutes of "sit-com". The best man speech (gee I can only find a cached version!), by itself, is an excellent one even if you remove all the flashback scenes. Particularly the way he says all the bad things about marriage, bridesmaids etc only to turn it round a moment later. (The crying scenes are too fake though... is it really that moving?) The writer, Steve Thompson, should be congratulated about that. (I know this is written by all three of them, but one could assume, at least initially, that this episode is meant to be written by him?) (Btw, his Doctor Who episode, The Curse of the Black Spot, also got some heavy stick but I also thought it was unfair: the surprising reveal that the other thing is a medical ship in another dimension is very interesting.)

I hope time will do it justice, and that this episode will go down TV history as a classic - not necessarily because it is "the best" but because of its uniqueness.