Six Nations 2008

by Chris Bertram on January 28, 2008

With the Six Nations starting this weekend, it is time for one of those prediction threads again. Here’s my take. There are only three possible winners: France, England and Ireland. Of these, England overperformed in the World Cup, and the Irish were shocking, but expect some regression to the usual level. France have the most skilful team, England are rebuilding, and a great Irish team is on its last legs. England have some key weaknesses: Regan has been dreadful at hooker for Bristol, and, once again, there’s no obvious scrum half. Since France have home advantage over both England and Ireland, and England have the same over Ireland, that should be enough to make the difference. So who to come last? I’m betting on Scotland to get the wooden spoon.

By popular request

by Henry Farrell on January 28, 2008

Harry’s mention “below”: of finding a comic strip from his youth on the internets made me think about the cultural ephemera that the Internet does and doesn’t preserve. Lots of stuff out there that people have scanned or Youtubed that I was delighted to find again decades after first seeing it. Lots of stuff, however, that isn’t available at all. Two of my favourite things that seem to have slipped down the memory hole (if I’m wrong, of course I would love to be told so, and more to the point, given the URLs).

(1) The famous ‘mothers of prevention’ confrontation between Jello Biafra and Tipper Gore when the latter was on her rampage against naughty rock lyrics and bad thoughts in teenagers. I remember this as having been a gloriously entertaining demolition job by Biafra (but the best part of two decades afterwards, my memory may be faulty or my standards of judgment may have shifted).

(2) Kevin McAleer’s sketches about the old days. These were broadcast on the comedy show ‘Nighthawks,’ which used to be on late at night on RTE, Ireland’s national TV station in the early 1990s. I suspect that you’d have to be Irish to really have gotten the humour – but the soft accent, the gentle, pixillated stare with which he’d not-quite-fix the camera, and the rapid degeneration of anecdotes purveying rural nostalgia into the most demented surrealism were pretty wonderful.

Neither seem to be available (although there are indications that the Biafra-Gore match was once to be found). Further suggestions of pieces of popular culture that ought to be, but aren’t preserved on the nets are welcome in comments, of course.