Lakenheath Old Boys

We are all former students at Lakenheath High School and other public schools in East Anglia. We were in school in the 70s and 80s and drank deeply from the well of British culture of those decades - the pints, the telly, and of course the footie!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

LOB Book Club - David Sirota - Final Comments

The discussion on Sirota seems to have ground to a halt, so let me just post one more quick thread to round off the book. In the last section, Sirota deals with race - what he considers the prickliest issue in American society today. I do feel fortunate to have gone to reasonably diverse DoDDs schools. It wasn't always comfortable but I felt that we were confronted with issues that the students I'm teaching today - who tend to go to de facto segregated schools - aren't. As a result, they consider themselves "colorblind" but often fall into the traps that Sirota describes of thinking that race is over as an issue and that any non-white family not thriving is responsible for its own failures. Your thoughts on these or any other lasting issues from Sirota's presentation?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Pythons are Back!

Despite my coming through with valuable data for his current research project on New York State license plates, UWS is still pretending that he doesn't know how to post to the LOB. Still - he did unearth some startingly good news today. The Python gang are back and they're bringing a brand new animated 3-D film with them! The film - titled A Liar's Autobiography is based on late Python Graham Chapman's memoirs. Sounds like a corker. More information from the Torygraph from the following link:

Click HERE

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Best Day in Tennis

It's the second Monday of Wimbledon - IMHO the best day in tennis each year. Round of 16 - every player surviving on court in one day. It always brings me back to watching the championships in Britain as a kid. Too bad McEnroe, Borg, and Ilie Nastase aren't still playing, eh? Join me if you're watching this morning.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Women's World Cup 2011

Anyone else up for a bit of women's footie over the next few weeks? As the Gold Cup fades into the memory banks, the women take the field today in Deutschland. Everything gets started this morning with Nigeria v. France and later at noon the hosts v. Canada. Here are the groups:

Group A:


Group B:


Group C:

North Korea

Group D:

Equatorial Guinea

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Gold Cup 2011 Final Live!

It's CONCACAF SuperClassico time with the US meeting Mexico in the final of the 2011 edition of the Gold Cup tonight from the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. It's a late one, starting at 9pm EST. Join me for all the usual LOB coverage of the proceedings.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

LOB Book Club - David Sirota - Part III

Moving along with our book club discussion of David Sirota's Back to Our Future, Part III featured a subject that is close to our upbringing - the military. Sirota argues in this section that 80s culture made us more susceptible to the policy of permanent war. There has been a vigorous discussion this week following the President's speech last night about whether the U.S. needs or indeed can afford to have permanent bases around the war. We're all products of those bases. What's your feeling about the policy of continuing to have American troops in places like Lakenheath? And does having watched the likes of "Top Gun" in the 80s make us more sympathetic to what Eisenhower called "the military industrial complex?" Looking forward to your comments.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Gold Cup 2011 Semi-finals Live!

It's all on the line tonight as Bob Bradley's boys look for some revenge for last week's debacle v. Panama. Join me from 7pm onward to see if they can do it. It's immediately followed at 10pm by Mexico v. Honduras.

All time club team tournament

Jonathan Wilson is a Guardian contributor and editor of the new webzine, "The Blizzard." Here's part 1 of the utterly pointless, but massively fun piece he wrote for Sports Illustrated where he mused on a tournament pitting Messi's Barca versus Pele's Santos and Van Basten's AC Milan versus Puskas's Honved among others. He writes match reports that are alive and you end up wishing that such a thing were possible.

Here's the LINK!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Colbert Summer Concert Series!

Stephen Colbert is favoring us with a week of top quality music. It all started with Bon Iver last night and continues tonight with Florence and the Machine, tomorrow and Jack White and whatever band he's involved in this week on Thursday. Here's the version of "Skinny Love" that wasn't on the show last night (they did "Calgary") but was posted later on the CR site. Enjoy!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Does Andy Murray Have a Hope?

I enjoyed a bit of early morning first day Wimbledon action today before work. You know the narrative by now - "Britain Has Its Best Hope of Winning Since...." Yes - all of Britain's hopes rest on the narrow shoulder's of Andy Murray this fortnight. But does he really have any hope of beating Nadal and Federer? I don't rate him - how about you lot?

Sunday, June 19, 2011

USA v. Jamaica Live!

Happy Father's Day, chaps! We've got a super footie treat on tap this afternoon. It's the Gold Cup Quarter-final between faltering USA and resurgent Jamaica. So, have someone fix you a nice lunch and join me for the festivities from 2:30pm EST onward on FSC.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Gold Cup 2011 Quarter-finals Live!

We've reached the Quarter-final stage of the 2011 Gold Cup. Univision is favoring us with both fixtures tonight - Costa Rica v. Honduras at 5pm and Mexico v. Guatemala at 8pm. I'll be in and out of the first one but glued to later match to catch out the scintillating form of El Tri. Join me if you're watching.

All Songs Considered Mid-Year Review

Just a quick heads-up that this week's "All Songs Considered" pod includes a "Best of So Far" round-up by Bob and his usual cohort including music critic Ann Powers. You'll hear the more obvious choice - Fleet Foxes, Adele, e.g. - as well as some more off the beaten track picks.

Friday, June 17, 2011

2011/2012 Premiership Fixtures!

Never fear, footie junkies - the 2011/2012 Premiership fixtures list was announced today. Hurrah! Champions Man Utd begin their defense of their title with a nice easy run out at the Hawthorns against WBA on Saturday, August 13th. Arsenal also have an away fixture at St. James's Park against Newcastle on the same day. In the weekend's most intriguing fixture, Citeh start at home to promoted Swansea City.

Dropping down to the Championship, my beloved LUFC gets started on August 6th at St. Mary's against Southhampton while WHR's Hammers start their last season at Upton Park with a tricky home match against evil Cardiff City.

You can check the full fixtures list for all of the leagues at this excellent Guardian site:

Can't wait! Roll on the new season!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

80s TV and Film Characters Quz

David Sirota provides us with a nifty little quiz on pp. 95-96 of Chapter 4. Have a look at the list of 80s television and film characters below and name the actor/s who played them and the films that they were included in: (no fair peeking at the footnote on p. 96, which has some of the answers!)

1. Tango and Cash
2. Axel Foley
3. John Rambo
4. Crockett and Tubbs
5. Marion Cobretti
6. Simon and Simon
7. Thomas Magnum
8. John McClane
9. Murtaugh and Riggs
10. Michael Knight
11. Maverick and Goose
12. Turner and Hooch
13. Hunter and McCall
14. Dooley and Kane (aka Pinkus and McCarthy)
15. Alex P. Keaton

Good luck, folks!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

LOB Book Club - David Sirota - Part II

Part II of David Sirota's Back To Our Future focuses on how 80s culture has influenced today's policymakers to adopt an egoistic, individual stance toward solving society's problems. Although Sirota focuses on the Republican Party, I strongly believe that this anti-government nonsense is a bi-partisan position. I just have one question to ask this week - what's with the obsession with Ayn Rand? I don't get it. Having waded through the turgid prose of both The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged I scratch my head when I hear that people like Paul Ryan are influenced by this fringe philosopher who clearly never got over the experience of her Russian family having their property expropriated by Stalinists in the 1920s. Can anyone explain to me her continuing relevance in the 21st century?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

USA v. Guadeloupe Live!

The group stage of the 2011 Gold Cup wraps up tonight with Panama v. Canada at 7pm EST and the US trying to redeem itself against lowly Guadeloupe. Unless there's a big surprise in store, the US will likely qualify for the Quarterfinals, albeit second, and will meet Honduras in the next round. Join me on FSC tonight for all the action.

Monday, June 13, 2011

GOP Debate Night in the Granite State!

The GOP candidates are set to invade the confines of St. Anselm College in Manchester, NH for the second scheduled primary debate. The head-lines are all about the introduction of Newt, Mitt and Michelle Bachmann entering the fray. I'll be popping up some corn and cracking open a few summer wheats. Care to join me at 8pm EST on CNN for the festivities?

Saturday, June 11, 2011

USA v. Panama Live!

The second round of matches in the Gold Cup 2011 comes to a climax tonight with the US side meeting up with Panama. I'm back from escorting a group of British student teachers around the local mall, so I'm going to pour a cold one and sit back to enjoy this. Join me from 7:30 onward on FSC.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

David Sirota's Podcast

As you're mulling over David Sirota's Back to our Futurethis week, you might take a moment to listen to the podcast that he does of his daily syndicated radio show on KKZN-AM in Colorado. You can download the whole 3-hour deal or in hour long chunks from iTunes or other outlets. If you've been enjoying his writing, check out his pod. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Eno Guest DJ's All Songs Considered!

I had a terrific time listening to this week's All Songs Considered pod featuring Brian Eno as I was driving home from DC. Eno's always been a bit of a hero to me, and - as you can imagine - his musical knowledge is encyclopedic and his taste eclectic to a fault. Check out the results by downloading "All Songs Considered" from iTunes and other venues. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

USA v. Canada Live!

It's been a high scoring affair so far in Gold Cup 2011, so I'm expecting the boys to put at least eight goals by the Canucks tonight. Join me and the Gooner for the goalfest from 8pm EST onward on FSC.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Back to Our Future - Part I

In Part I of Back to Our Future, David Sirota uses the Michael J. Fox sitcom Family Ties to frame his main thesis that the 80s cultural products that dominated television and film helped to reinforce the Reaganite "Morning in America" program by portraying a misty-eyed nostalgia toward the 50s and a hostile and exaggerated view of 60s turmoil. He writes: "Pitting that bleached snapshot of an arcadian, patriotic, benevolently capitalist, conservative, Caucasian, and therefore good fifties against the psychedelic cartoon of an anti-American, malevolently collectivist, permissive, diverse, and thus awful sixties came to be far more than an overused cliche of Hollywood scriptwriters....Thanks to the 1980s, it has become the foundational allegory in our red-white-and-blue theology - the creation tale subsequently referenced by every shaman, prophet, and zealot in our civic religion."

So far, so good, I thought. Sirota is a gifted writer and he sketches out his thesis clearly and compellingly. The quotes from the political sphere that Sirota uses, particularly on pp. 20-22, provide ample evidence of the use of 50s nostalgia and demonizing 60s movementism. However, the cultural references seem forced at points. Of course like any cultural critic, Sirota is painting with a broad brush and I'm willing to go with him on the obvious Vietnam-era revisionism of movies such as Rambo, but other references seem to be a stretch. Perhaps it's because I enjoyed movies such as Animal House and Diner, TV shows such as Happy Days and even the occasional Stray Cats tune. If I enjoy the occasional chili dog at the Johnny Rockets in the mall, am I supporting 50s nostalgia? I don't know.

It seems as if we've got four contributors on board at this point, so I'll be interested in your thoughts on this issue and others in Part I. Once we've digested this chunk, we'll probably be up to speed and can move on to Part II (pp. 31-104) next week. What do you think?

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Gold Cup 2011

Rejoice, footie junkies. Even though the regular European season has ended, there is still plenty of live stuff on tap. Last night, the Gooner and I watched the US get humiliated by the world champions Spain. And today starts the CONCACAF Gold Cup, a bit of a joke competition but when we're starved for live footer, it'll do. Here are the groups:

Group A:

1. Costa Rica
2. Cuba
3. El Salvador
4. Mexico

Group B:

1. Grenada
2. Guatemala
3. Honduras
4. Jamaica

Group C:

1. Canada
2. Guadelupe
3. Panama
4. USA

Saturday, June 04, 2011

England vs Switzerland

The league season is done but we still have one more treat. England have a crucial Euro qualifier at Wembley this morning.
Wayne Rooney is suspended so who will start up front for the Three Lions?
FSC will be showing it so please join me for kick off at 11:45

Join me


PS I picked this picture because I know a few of us were actually at this match!

Thursday, June 02, 2011

80s TV Catchphrase Quiz

As we're dipping into some serious 80s nostalgia with our LOB book club, I thought it might be fun to post a quiz on the most awesome 80s catchphrases.

Who is known for the following catchphrases?

1. "I know you are but what am I?"

2. "O-tay!"

3. "I pity the fool!"

4. "Whatchu talkin' 'bout, Willis?"

5. "Ze plane, ze plane!"

6. "Shazzbot!"

7. "Well...isn't that special."

8. "We'll be back in two and two."

9. "Make it so!"

10. "Holy Macanoly!"

Good luck!

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Congratulations, MUR!

A doff of the chapeau to ManUtd Rules who is the big winner of our Premiership Plus Predictions Game for the 2010/11 season. He was able to get the top seven Premiership clubs in exactly the right order as well as predicting Barcelona as CL winners and Carlos Tevez as the Golden Boot winner. After chatting with UWS over the weekend, I decided to award two points for all of those who picked Liverpool or Everton as Europa League qualifiers even though they were edged out this season by Stoke, Birmingham and Fulham. I also awarded the six points to the three of us who guessed Carlito as Golden Boot winner even though he tied on 20 goals with Dimitar Berbatov. Thanks for all who played - roll on next season!

Here are the final standings:

1. ManUtd Rules - 45 points
2. Thomas - 39 points
3. United We Stand - 36 points
4. Blue Devil - 32 points
5. Gooner71 - 28 points
5. Someone Said - 28 points
7. Simon Burke - 27 points
8. West Ham Rising - 26 points
9. AZ Kicker - 24 points
10. Matthew - 20 points
11. Blubber Boy - 10 points