Groupon now going for a song on UK football terraces

groupon_crystal_palaceFootball supporters are not the brightest people (I love football), but the terrace chants were always good for topical wit.

When I was a kid at (super) Brentford FC in the Royal Oak end and was occasionally the one to start a chant, it was the most intoxicating feeling when people joined in. It may even be responsible for the way I’ve created my networks over the years. Continue reading

FFS, Apart from anything else Thatcher’s best mate was Pinochet

margaret_thatcherSo, I didn’t buy a newspaper yesterday, sick of media Thatcher-death, but this is a generational thing for those of us who were leaving school when she was voted in. Extraordinarily, her gender was never an issue, she was just the enemy.

For anybody five years younger than me, when they left their teenage years the country was in a false boom, the Clash had been replaced by Culture Club and like any non-recession in the UK, style was awful, fashion was worse and ‘yuppies’ were buying shares and braying like their heroine. Continue reading

Jellybook goes belly up and the social media dream unravels

jellybookBubble, bubble, toil and trouble, boom goes bust and turns to rubble… and the great Jellybook idea dies on its arse.

For those unfamiliar with Jellybook, the company was set up in 2011 as the first of many Facebook emulators and the ongoing of the great social media Gold Rush. Continue reading

Darkness at noon? For humans, more like one second to midnight

darkness at noonFor those of you who haven’t come across him, Arthur Koestler was a great writer who committed suicide with his wife at their Knightsbridge home in 1983.

Hungarian-born and a man of the Deep Left, his 1940s book Darkness At Noon was one of the first to recognise that the Utopian of a truly communist society was over and would always end in a totalitarian state. Think of it as a precursor to 1984.

Koestler was also a committed Zionsit (we can’t all be perfect) and in 1932 while drifting over the Arctic in a Zeppelin (as you do), dropped a Star of David flag onto the tundra of Russia’s Novaya Zemlya and claimed it as a Hebrew national home. Continue reading

NO? OMG squared, 4get cursive, it’s dead

handwritingIn 1994 I decided to throw my life up in the air, cut all my ties and head off out in the world again. I’d been living in the same place (London) for about four years and it was as if the I was a dead man walking; time to feel alive again.

I wanted to write a book. I did write a book. It took me 349 days and took in Perth, Colombo, Goa, Varanasi, Kathmandu, Lahore, Toronto, Vancouver and San Francisco. I finished the book on the Berkeley campus after typing it up on a friend’s Apple Mac. Continue reading