Jul. 18th, 2006

chickenfeet: (spin)
The Lord's test predictably fizzled out into a rather dull draw after England batted far too long. There are times when I wonder whether Fletcher isn't related to M.Maginot. It was good though to see Panesar bowling with real menace. With just a bit more luck he could have had a fistful of wickets. Pietersen looked handy , if lacking in control, too. I reckon if he worked on it he could become another Ken Barrington, albeit an off rather than leg spinner.

The interesting issue now is the team for the Old Trafford test. Most of the pundits are suggesting that Flintoff will come in for Bell as there will be concerns that Flintoff is not really fully fit and that therefore they will need a fifth strike bowler. I imagine the pundits are right.

I think if Fletcher had his way Flintoff would come in for Bell and Dalrymple for Panesar because he will be concerned that Flintoff may not be in great batting form. If one is utterly committed to not losing this option makes a certain perverted sense.

I think both approaches are wrong. I think one has to assume that Flintoff is fit. If he's not he shouldn't play. In that case there is no case for playing Plunkett. Four seamers at Old Trafford doesn't make sense. It's been a hot summer and the pitch is either going to be flat as a pancake or, more likely, a bit dusty. I would pick Flintoff as a straight replacement for Plunkett. I'd also give serious consideration to playing Dalrymple instead of Bell. It would be brutally hard on Bell but perhaps give England their best chance of a win. Of course Read should come in for Jones too but that isn't going to happen.
chickenfeet: (death)
As seen on my largely PC f-list...

Welcome to International Blog Against Racism Week!

If you would like to participate, here's what to do:

1. Announce the week in your blog.

2. Switch your default icon to either an official IBAR icon, or one which you feel is appropriate. To get an official IBAR icon, you may modify one of yours yourself or ask someone to do so, or ask oyceter to do so as she has agreed to be the Official Iconmaker of the Revolution, or hop over to her LJ and pick up one of the general-use ones she's put up.

3. Post about race and/or racism: in media, in life, in the news, personal experiences, writing characters of a race that isn't yours, portrayals of race in fiction, review a book on the subject, etc.


Racism is a difficult subject for me to write about as it seems, like poverty, it's always with us but the definition is continuously adjusted.

I grew up in a time and place which thought of itself as reasonable, liberal and decent but which by the standards of 2006 was deeply and oppressively racist. I now live in a time and place that seems to me as racially tolerant as anywhere I have ever been but is still considered by some to be deeply and offensively racist.

The society I grew up in, England (apparently racism doesn't exist in Scotland) in the 1960s and 1970s was, unquestionably openly racist. There was openly racist immigration legislation. One major political part openly supported the racist regimes in Pretoria and Salisbury, the other did so tacitly. Racist violence was widespread in the inner cities (where the non-whites were effectively ghettoized) and, at best, ignored by the police. On occasions it was actively abetted. Non whites were invisible except in the lowliest of occupations. There were no black MPs or TV personalities and the odd pioneering black footballer was subject to all kinds of racist abuse. I can even remember the decision by the army to exclude blacks from the Brigade of guards because they would look wrong!

Most of that has gone even in Britain though I'm still struck by the amount of casual racism whenever I visit and I know that non-white friends there encounter on a daily basis a kind of racism that would be unthinkable in Toronto.

Now I live in a neighbourhood and a city that the UN has called one of the most multicultural on earth. In many ways race here is more noticeable as an enrichment than as a source of tension. We are proud of Chinatown and little India and little Italy and little Portugal and so on. It's not perfect. For whatever reason certain groups do experience measurable disadvantage in terms of poverty and crime though I'm not sure that the reason that Jamaican immigrants do less well than Trinidadians is necessarily a function of Canadian society. We also have to live with the negative side of people bringing their national prejudices and problems with them whether it's the Tamil Tigers running protection rackets to fund their war, certain synagogues running bond campaigns to fund theirs or the Ukrainians sheltering Nazi war criminals. On balance it's a small price to pay.

Maybe I'm being Pollyannaish but I think remarkable progress has been made in combating racism. We need to be vigilant, do more, keep progressing but I think we do have things to celebrate.

Swimming

Jul. 18th, 2006 04:21 pm
chickenfeet: (viking)
I went for a swim this afternoon. I can do breaststroke without too much trouble and front crawl, though that's a bit more awkward. I didn't swim very hard and I separated several easy sessions with reading by the pool side. This is good. Not only do I have another viable rehab exercise but a refuge from the heat!

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