Would You Use The Y Word?

In the UK a great deal has been done in the last few years to stamp out racism by so called supporters at football matches.

The re-emergence of the debate over Tottenham Hotspur supporters’ use of the word “Yid” was not a surprise.

It has popped up periodically over the last few years, a testament to the lack of a satisfactory resolution as to how the Jewish originating word can and cannot be used (if at all). It is a particularly complicated subject for a club that shares such historical links with the Jewish community.

The Football Association’s recent statement on the matter felt that the use of the word was totally unacceptable.

The last couple of weeks have seen an assortment of views offered on whether Tottenham fans chanting the y-word deserve to be judged as being guilty of committing a “criminal offense”—as the FA suggested they could well be.

Most notably, Prime Minister David Cameron told The Jewish Chronicle last week that the chants were OK by him  as they were not “motivated by hate.”

Only Cameron could find the use of this word to be acceptable. Unsurprisingly that has not come anywhere near close to resolving the matter.

A Jewish contributor to a recent article on the Kick It Out website labelled the Prime Minister “an absolute disgrace.” Given the historically negative connotations associated with the word, she found it “hard to believe that some Jewish Spurs supporters call themselves ‘yids’.”

Andy Lines a journalist for the UK’s Daily mirror newspaper, spoke to Tottenham supporters who traveled to support their team at on Sunday and noted that A sizable portion of the fanbase have persisted with the chants, supplementing it with their own protest song: “We’re Tottenham Hotspur, we’ll sing what we want.”

A Jewish Spurs fan, Roger Maltz, said it was a “defense mechanism. We are just reclaiming our identity.” He believed he was well within his right having experienced anti-Semitic behavior following the club over the years.

Evidently, there are a few Jewish supporters who feel this way, and will happily join non-Jewish fans in referring to themselves, fellow fans and the players as “Yids.” Others fans remain uncomfortable with its prominent place in the Spurs songbook, at White Hart Lane and on the road.

In the minds of some fans it might well just be something that, as well as claiming back a part of the club’s heritage, has become a colloquial term among fans. But as “claiming back” suggests, there is obviously a different side to use of the “y-word.”

The dislike between Tottenham and Chelsea fans has—at its worst— manifested itself in the anti-Semitic behavior that is fueling the current discussion around the "y-word."
The dislike between Tottenham and Chelsea fans has—at its worst—
manifested itself in the anti-Semitic behavior that is fueling the current
discussion around the “y-word.”


Spurs fans are not without sin when it comes to distasteful and offensive songs and chants. Few clubs can claim to be as such, with these unfortunate elements just a sad reflection on parts of society.

However, a degree of sympathy can be afforded the club’s fan base within the current situation.

As noted, most who join in the use of the “y-word” are harmless in their intent. Those who are more aware of its significance can be partially commended for attempting to claim it as a badge of honour rather than just stand back and let it be used derogatorily against them.

However, it is hard to get away from the following conclusion.

Anything that is capable of causing any number of supporters, players or general staff to (validly) feel genuinely uncomfortable at a football ground is difficult to defend in its long term use. Be that in matters of faiths, race or sexuality.

The  process of the word  ceasing to be used can only really originate from the fans discussing it among their own (that has partly started at Spurs with a survey on the subject being issued to season ticket holders).

Until that time, it is up to anyone who follows Spurs home or away to decide how much the “y-word” really means to them.

rain stopped play 2…

Dear diablog,

In an earlier ‘rain stopped play’ post I spoke about the wet stuff kinda wrecking the Chelsea Autolegends this year.

Same goes for the Goodwood revival the following week – but how Engine Room would have enjoyed this one!!! Although most of the pics were taken before the cloudbursts there was still much to see, particularly his (still favourite) Cobras


and loads of other stuff where we were parked (there’s the Glynsky SS at 0800 on a leaden skyed day!)


but as usual the main stuff was happening all around

goodwood 2013 2

both off and on the track

goodwood 2013 1

despite the appalling conditions

goodwood 2013 3

(I had to show this Aston as it was being driven by Brian Redman – an all time racing hero and particularly to me as he rescued one of my really good friends from an overturned burning Marcos. The poor bugger had 65% burns but luckily  his face was untouched thanks to the helmet. The petrol had seeped up into it but at the back and luckily his hair regrew).

Back to Goodwood and…

Continue reading “rain stopped play 2…”

i get around a lot…

Dear diablog,

I have just realised (with shame) that it is quite some while since I returned to our treasure chest of the life of our seriously cool hero, Sasha Fisher.

sasha on set

To briefly remind you, after all this time, I quote bits from the speech at his funeral:

Born in Russia, prewar, worked for Columbia Records travelling and collecting folk music from the whole of the Far East – joined RNVR in 1939 – became Lt. Commander of HMS Caverhouse (torpedoed once, mined once!) – loaned to South African Navy – seconded to Special Branch – liason with Russian forces  and and…

Enough for now, but a seriously interesting and varied life – add all his films and the mind boggles!

Amongst his ‘stuff’ were some documents that some while ago Smiles translated for me. Since the Computer Crash of ’13 these have been lost – maybe he’ll do them again for me.

They include 2 in Russian

Sasha Docs Russian

which interestingly enough are 20 years apart! We know he was born in Russia, but what are these all about!

The earlier probably during a visit, whilst the later was in the middle of the war – phew!

Yours, diablog, using acrylic


Bach will be back

Dear Reader,

Pete and I are fans of Bach. It is part of my favorite Sunday morning music. And for most piano players Bach’s well-tempered clavier is part of the fundamental training. Mozart and Schumann studied and appreciated the collection. My all time favorite, Beethoven, is quoted:

“Whenever I get stuck while composing, I look at the well-tempered clavier, and immediately I have new ideas.”

So, pretty much every classical composer was inspired by it. Or stole from it, as the copyright idiots would say. Which gets us to the point of this post. Although written almost 300 years ago, the 48 pieces are still under copyright protection.

Sounds nuts? It is.

Robert Douglass of http://www.opengoldbergvariations.org/ wants to change that. Here is the plan:

“We are creating a new digital score and studio recording of J.S. Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier (Book 1), and we’re placing them in the public domain for everyone to download, own, share, and use, without any limitations.”

You can support the project via the by now famous Kickstarter, here:


Please go and spend a buck or two or more. So Bach will be back and liberated.

Stay tuned,

Engine Room

Bullshit Bingo in Papers

Dear Reader,

After reading an interview with a CEO of a big media company I felt like puking. It was nothing but a senseless collection of meaningless phrases. Here are two quotes:

“What we are planing is big. We are radically thinking content. Big, important sentence. Really.”

“I cannot rule out anything. Anything is possible. It might be warm on Christmas, who knows.

If you as an employee are lead by a bullshit artist like this, you have my pity. This person is taking bullshit bingo to Olympic levels.

You are familiar with Bullshit Bingo, aren’t you? It has been around since 1963. It was re-introduced 30 years later and made popular again by Dilbert.

For the benefit of our younger readers, who still have to prepare papers, here is a nice list of bullshit phrases, found on imgur.com:

Continue reading “Bullshit Bingo in Papers”

Only in …

Dear Reader,

Since we are doing “Only in …” jokes, and Pete and Iren seem to agree, that people in the USA are particularly stupid, here are some answers given by British woman regarding paternity on forms of the Child Support Agency:

“..I don’t know the identity of the father of my daughter. He drives a BMW that now has a hole made by my stiletto in one of the door panels. Perhaps you can contact the BMW dealers in the area to see if he’s had it replaced..”

“..I have never had sex with a man. I am waiting for a letter from the Pope confirming that my son’s conception was immaculate, and that he is Christ risen again..”

“..[XXX] is the father of child A. If you catch up with him can you ask him what he did with my AC/DC CD’s?..”

“..I don’t know the name of my child’s father as all squaddies look the same to me, although I can confirm he was a Royal Green Jacket..”

“..I thought it was [XXX] because we definitely had sex at a time which fits with the birth of child A, but since discovering he is gay I am not so sure..”

“..Regarding the identity of the father of my twins, child A was fathered by [XXX]. I am unsure about child B but I believe he was conceived on the same night..”

“..It’s difficult to remember because I was drunk on holiday in Tenerife , which was months before I got properly pregnant..”

“..I do not know the name of my daughter’s father. She was conceived at a party on [date] at [venue] where I had unprotected sex with a man I met that night. I do remember that the sex was so good I fainted. If you manage to trace the father can you send me his phone number? Thanks..”

Continue reading “Only in …”