Run with Eric + TV


So then, this is the 25th (kinda) and last Week Spot blog post as you know it. From next week, it will be updated as and when something in the news catches my eye - as, indeed, a blog should be.

Maybe I'll do a weekly round-up again, but I doubt it. So until that day does or doesn't come, here's a bumper final edition of strange stories for you.

And everything's changing, mainly to do with people being removed from the public eye. OJ Simpson's been locked up, Diana Vickers has been voted off X-Factor and Darren Anderton's retired from professional football.

I think that's good, good or bad and bad news respectively, but I'd appreciate your input on that. What do you think?

OJ loses common sense, freedom
The British public loses another Diana
Official: left-handers plagued by statistics
Andy Fordham hits the maximum in weightloss
The Discman makes a comeback
Sicknote Anderton hangs up his boots

OJ loses common sense, freedom

Dear oh dear. Opinion still seems to be divided over whether OJ Simpson murdered Nicole Brown and Ronald Goldman, of whose deaths he was found innocent in 'the trial of the century' in 1995, but we can all agree on something – he's stupid.

Surely OJ should have known for more than a decade now that every move he makes would be watched like a hawk by people aggrieved with the 'not guilty' murder verdict, the authorities and conspiracy theorists. He should have been wary of picking his nose in case it turned out to be holding evidence against him.

So with this in mind, his reaction to the supposed theft of some memorabilia was, well, a bit special. For a start, it's not like he was actually robbed. Two people were trying to sell memorabilia from OJ's footballing days and he claimed it still

belonged to him. Now, what do you do in that situation? Get legal on their arses? Let them peddle the useless wares? Or kidnap them at gunpoint and force them to give the stuff back? The latter, apparently. I think he's started to confuse his life with the movies he's been in.

Yet OJ claims, "I did not know that I was doing anything illegal." Uh... really? What part of it did you think was nice and legal, OJ? Was it the kidnapping or the armed robbery? Honestly, it's like he thinks he can get away with murder or something.

And so this time he's been sent down – down for 33 years (though it'll more likely be nine, when his parole is heard). Interesting. What's yet more interesting is that he was found guilty of this charge 13 years to the day after being acquitted in the murder trial. Some will call this justice; I just think it's the most beautiful irony.

Still, he's got only himself to blame. Silly boy.

The British public loses another Diana

So, Diana has been voted off X-Factor just one round before the grand final. I hear Mattel are desperate to get her voice into a range of Barbie dolls (complete with claw-like hands) to capitalise on the publicity. And the reaction of the rest of us is... conflicting, to say the least.

I haven't been watching X-Factor at all – I've drying paint that needs monitoring – but like many sceptics, I've been dragged in a bit by the drama. From the couple of performances I've seen, I know that some of them can sing, some of them can't, and Diana Vickers is definitely memorable.

That is to say, I don't know if I like her or hate her. She somehow manages to sound bloody awful and absolutely amazing at the same time – something not done since Bob Dylan, albeit in a very different way. I think yesterday's show proved that faster, louder songs don't suit her, which may well be why she was voted out (well, that and she annoys people), but she can belt out a ballad in at least a distinctive way. Put it this way: I don't know if I like it or not, but I still have her version of Coldplay's Yellow in my head. And since the winner is going to sing Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah and you know no one's going to do it better than Jeff Buckley, at least hers would be different from the norm.

The winners are generally dull. Leon? What's happened to him? At least he could sing, I think, which sets him apart from Ray Quinn, who is without a doubt one of the worst singers I have ever heard, and yet he came second a couple of years ago. Listen to him sometime. He doesn't sing any consonants.

Anyway, like her princess namesake, Diana's gone now – cast aside like the proverbial rag doll she physically resembles. As if it matters – she'll get a record contract and, like her 16-year-old rival and potential squeeze Eoghan, will add to the list of people more than 5 years younger than me (she's 17) and phenomenally more successful than I am.


Official: left-handers plagued by statistics

More useless education statistics emerged recently. After the classic that was 'pupils born later in the year do worse in exams' (I've already written an article on that one), we're now told left-handed students don't test as well as their right-handed counterparts. Oh good, so we'll just make sure our children are right-handed, shall we? I'm sure a return to the 19th century will do us good, and make sure we all grow up in a right-handed utopia. But just to make sure, let's move back in time and culture completely and burn lefties at the stake for being witches.

This goes out to the BBC and educational researchers: STOP SPREADING ALARMISM. Non-stories of non-studies like this just lead idiots to worry, and they don't need the persuasion.

I'm not left-handed. But 7-10% of the population are, and please, just leave them alone. Five of the last seven Presidents of the USA – Ford, Reagen, Bush Snr., Clinton and Obama (and McCain as well) – have been left-handed. No one talks about that. Actually, that's probably for the best: the rednecks have enough to go on without our telling them the world is not only in the hands of a black guy, but a left-handed black guy.

I wonder if they've had to move the red button on his desk.

Andy Fordham hits the maximum in weightloss

What the hell has happened to Andy Fordham? I am really, really glad he has decided to kick the drink (seriously, 23 bottles of lager a day?) and lose some weight but he looks emaciated. I mean, I suppose that's what losing 17 stone does to you, but I genuinely don't recognise him. I think it's an actor.

Oh well, good for him, I suppose. But he does look terrifying.

So the lesson here, kids, is if you want to avoid inevitable surgery, don't play darts.

The Discman makes a comeback

And yet I can't find N64 controllers anywhere.

Sicknote Anderton hangs up his boots

So. Farewell
Darren Anderton.

You have played
Your last game. 599. You
Scored a volley in the dying minutes to grab a dramatic win for Bournemouth.

Well done.

Sicknote. That
Was your name.
People called you that
Because you were always

Now you're
But you're not dead.

(With apologies to E. J. Thribb, 17½)

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Ch-ch-changes + TV