Fashion (turn to the left) 28.2.2011


I was talking to my mate Graham over a pint in town. Unique your Graham, as all who know him will testify. He somehow manages to fuse together an intellectual insightfulness with Geordie docker’s vocabulary. For example I, rather pompously, said the Da Silva brothers at Manchester United look like models in a Caravaggio painting and he said, “You mean they both look like they are getting bummed off an auld painter?”
His latest gem was an observation of the likely participants in any Newcastle/ sunderland pre or post match fisticuffs. “Modern football hooliganism is a game of British Bulldog in thousand pound clobber.”

A Da Silva brother at Carrington yesterday.

I lay awake thinking about this, which made a change from trying to scratch my itchy foot with my brain, thinking about dragging a reluctant donkey across a desert and wondering how or why snooker was invented. Is that why I have never been in any bother before or after a match for such a long time? I’m not dressed for the part: in my lucky match gear: the fashion equivalent of; bike jacket, tutu, flippers and fez, I probably don’t look like I’m up for a bundle.

Surely in this age of austerity, fashion is the first thing that goes out of the window, given that it makes little sense when you have got any money. In a world full of CDs, downloads, beer, video games, untried food and exotic places to visit only a fool would spend more than a hundred pounds on a shirt. Especially in Newcastle where it’s the law that the first time you wear an expensive shirt, it will get ripped or permanently stained outside a kebab shop. But the evidence suggests people’s urge to buy into fads is, if anything, accelerating; take the depressing amount of our women-folk who have taken to wearing those awful old-lady boots. Those clumpy fabric and fluff things (that cost up to £240 a pair) that look like they are designed to keep a gal’s foot warm in the winter but actually let the wet in like a cheap slipper as soon as we have more than an inch of snow. Why anyone would aspire to resembling a 97 year old who smells of cats, despite not actually owning a cat, whose highlight of the week is putting her bins out because all her friends are dead, is lost on me. And don’t try and tell me they are warm and practical – half these people would strap live herrings to their knees and wear a dog-turd hat if some vacuous WAG-twat was pictured wearing the same get-up on the front of one of those magazines for dismal office drones.
Oh and ladies don’t have the market cornered in fashion-victim-ness – what the f*** is the point of paying hundreds or even thousands of pounds for a watch? Sweaty guinea-pigged-faced, knicker-picking grunter Rafael Nadal wears a million pound watch to play tennis in, are you going to beat that for “showy” and why the f*** would you want to? If you hear someone is wearing a million pound watch do you think “cool” or do we all think “cock”? Does an expensive watch make time better? Does quarter past two on a Monday afternoon have an extra resonance? Are the passing seconds until your inevitable painful death slightly less troublesome?
Phones! Mobile phones have got so loaded down with apps that you can now buy a device that can house all the apps but isn’t actually a phone anymore. So you have to carry what around with you as well if you want to call somebody? Handy then that our friendly retailers now supply gentlemen’s hand-bags to put all our things in, which brings us back to girls. Thin girls specifically with outsize sunglasses on their orange faces clutching thousand pound monstrosities that look like they have been stapled together out of Dame Edna Everage’s sleeping bag, which they simply “had to have” because it’s got the right logo dangling from the strap. Idiots.
“Oh you are getting old” – you say. And you might have a point, I’ve never knowingly quoted Bowie in the title before (I would go back to pretending to like Mumford & Sons but the depression would likely kill me). But I have always hated fashion and the great thing about hating fashion is you always win because as soon as the fashion Nazis move away from something the scales start fall from the eyes of the brainwashed (except in Stoke) and bell-bottoms, rah-rah skirts, Burberry caps and CB radios become laughable relics. What larks to spend life shouting, “I told you fashion was shit” at people, with only MP3 players, Gore-tex and Rastamouse contradicting my feeble smuggery.
So it was with a heavy heart that I approached the world of Twitter. Surely apart from (our unelected head of state) Mr Stephen Fry it was merely a forum for 14 year olds to talk about snogging. But I was so pissed off that some weasel was on calling themselves Billy Furious, who had followers who I know, that I had to do something. So encouraged by my friend Ken to expand billyfurious.com globally, (with the assured reasoning of “look it’s not as bad as f***ing facebook”) I tentatively put up some links and tweets. I assumed nobody would be interested, and for the most part I was right but now I’m addicted to the point that I might have to buy a poncy new phone to keep a more regular interest going. Ask a question and people will answer it, say something daft and someone will say something dafter and I have been in contact with people in Tokyo and Miami who I hadn’t spoken to in ages. You can follow link to link to link for example; Doug Stanhope (unelected King of the Planet) took me to Charlie Brooker who took me to Jimmy Carr who took me to somebody pretending to be The Real IRA which doesn’t sound like it is going to be funny, but it is. (“Nobody likes being followed by The Real IRA”).
Unfortunately The Big Sam site has been suspended so if you haven’t seen it you’ve missed it, allegedly the actual Mr Allardyce disapproved which is a shame because it was so irreverent, brilliantly observed, obscene and hilarious that the sight of the actual Mr Allardyce had started to make me smile instead of wanting to throw things at my telly….. no wait, the site’s back up – the printed media can’t be expected to keep up with this.
If you put the words “Billy” and “Furious” into Search you get “Miley Cyrus is furious with father Billy Ray”. So you have to go to Billyfurious1st if you want to be bored by my irregular musings but there is a link to my mate in Miami who has archived some classic Big Sam quotes. And there are Mags from “arl owwer,” as Graham would say.


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