Monday, November 20, 2006

Jack the wobbler

Investigators believe that this
is the face of Jack the Ripper. Anyone with a passing interest in match-fixing allegations and wobbly knees will know that it's actually the face of
former Liverpool, Southampton and Zimbabwe goalie Bruce Grobbelaar, but with his moustache made a bit more impressive with a felt-tip. And anyway, those of us with even the most cursory knowledge of strange 70s sci-fi films that crop up late at night when you least expect them know that Jack the Ripper looked like David Warner, and that's the end of the matter.

Oh, and I was on Thai telly today. I thought they wanted me to talk about political cartoons, but they asked me what I thought could be done to solve the inter-communal violence in Thailand's deep south. I glanced at the monitor, and saw a small cloud appearing over my head, with a big question mark in it...

18 comments:

patroclus said...

Crikey - what did you say?

Tim Footman said...

I made some waffly noise about having to see events in the context of global Islamism, and was thankful it wasn't going out live.

dh said...

How about showering them with paper cranes?

Anonymous said...

I had a patient once when I worked in the East End who had a fantastic story about her granny meeting Jack the Ripper. She didn't mention anything about Bruce Grobbelar but goalies are a bit weird aren't they so I wouldn't be surprised.

Tim Footman said...

dh: (Note: readers may not be aware that one of the most startling ideas of former PM Thaksin Shinawatra was to bring about peace by dropping thousands of origami birds on the restive southern provinces.) Don't remind me. I had to interview a senior guy in Thaksin's party shortly before the big bird dump, and his office was swamped with the bloody things. All the admin staff were making them. Still, at least their fingers weren't in any tills...

Realdoc: Modern East Enders might have more spooky encounters with Teddy Sheringham. Well, he's old enough to have been Jack the Ripper...

Annie said...

I guess it's not likely that your Thai telly moment will be on YouTube?

I know this wasn't your point, but I HATE the Jack the Ripper fetishism. Hate it.

The Curve said...

Bruce Grobbelaar fought in the Rhodesian War in the late '70's. I think that explains a lot.

Tim Footman said...

Annie: I hate the fetishism (especially the lurid details of the murders themselves) but the whole thing does give a wonderful insight into Victorian and contemporary attitudes to sex, race and urban myth. Any conclusive proof of identity would bring the whole industry crashing down. (Have you noticed how people are getting bored with JFK conspiracies, and are now only interested in Bobby?)

Curve: Didn't he say something once about fighting a war making him realise that football wasn't that serious. Very tight shorts the Rhodesians wore. I think that's significant too.

First Nations said...

I shook Bobby Kennedy's hand five days before he was shot.
COINCIDENCE?

M. A. Peel said...

Maybe you could have redirected the question to talk about the problems Somtow Sucharitkul is encountering.

Via Soho the Dog (whose earlier post about your coup focused on the jazz creds of King Bhumidol Adulyade).

http://sohothedog.blogspot.com/

Tim Footman said...

FN: Presumably you used your CIA-issued wristwatch attachment to inject a top-secret self-destruction psychotrope into his bloodstream so that he shot himself...

MAP: In fact, I did talk about poor old Somtow as well. I compared his plight to that of Jerry Springer: The Opera in the UK. The interview was about 40 minutes... we covered a lot of ground.

I'll probably get arrested now.

Anonymous said...

My god, it was him ... Bruce did it.

Yes, the Ripper industry ... what's that all about?
Actually, true crime in general is a fairly murky area of (sub)culture.

The Murphmeister said...

This cloud over the head thing. I get that a lot in real life.

Anonymous said...

Wow FN my aunt shook Bobby's hand the day he was shot. Coincidence?

Tim Footman said...

Anthony: Yes, it's all unpleasant, but it does give us some interesting insights into the intereaction between media manipulation and mass hysteria. The iconography of Myra Hindley being one instance. And, more recently, OJ Simpson, who gets a few brownie points for taking 3 million of Murdoch by doing nothing.

Murph: This was real life. Except there was a camera rolling. Bloody hell, I'm discussing McLuhan with a dog...

Realdoc: Come along, now, form an orderly queue...

Annie Rhiannon said...

Oh my goodness, how nerve-wracking.

I like to think I can empathise about being asked questions "on the spot", having been asked what I like about blogging on the radio and answering, "Uh... I like blogging because it's nice".

Not exactly the same situation, I admit, especially seems I knew the interview would be all about, um, blogging.

They edited it out.

patroclus said...

I was interviewed by (oh, the shame of it) the Mirror yesterday, also about blogging, and I believe I also said that blogging was 'good' because it was 'nice'.

I asked if they were planning to mention my blog in the article (with a view to asking them not to, before you all leap to the conclusion that I'm a dreadful narcissist). The journalist said, terribly apologetically, 'well, I've had a look at your blog, and I don't think it's quite right for our readers'.

I must say I found this oddly reassuring.

Tim Footman said...

Annie R: Actually, I think that's an elegant summary of the whole thing. Blogging is nice. I feel like using that as my new catchphrase...

Patroclus: It's always good to have a handle on your readership, even if it takes the form of contempt. I once worked on a book about cinema, and I couldn't suss the target market. My boss said: "It's a book for secretaries to buy for their boyfriends as an extra Christmas present." And everything fell into place.