Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Congratulation Shane

For the first time in my life, I voted for the BBC Wales Sports Personality of the Year. I duly telephoned the advertised number, and cast my vote with the recorded voice of Jason Mohammed. It made no difference of course. It was entirely predictable that Shane Williams would win, and I cannot really argue. He's good. But I voted for Nicole Cooke, because she has been Wales' outstanding performer for each of the last three years. Seems to me that if she ran down Queen Street, sidestepped Daniel Carter, leapfrogged Aneurin Bevin's statue, and then knocked out Joe Calzhage with a right uppercut, she still wouldn't win. Anyway I did my bit. Congratulations Shane all the same.


Dr. Christopher Wood said...

Talking about voting - I'm giving serious thought to encouraging a good and honourable friend, a Chicago/Illinois lawyer to run for the vacated Congressional Senate seat - in light of President-elect Obama giving up his Senate seat, and further in light of serious political developments that have unfolded today in Chicago in the Land of Lincoln, the State of Illinois.

I can write a LOT more about the developments today, particularly by way of deep background, but this is a Welsh blog, and I'm not sure if Glyn wants thousands of hits on his website over what are essentially American matters.

I have briefly thought of running as an independment myself, but I would have to re-establish sufficient nexus with IL to be in a position to run. Would be something though - a son of Cardiff running to win Obama's old Senate seat.

Ioan said...

I agree with you! Not because of the Olympic Gold, but the last 20min of the World Champ road race was the best sport I have seen all year (which has been a very good one!). Are you going to bother voting for her in the UK contest, or do you think that this should be a devolved matter?

C-Man said...

Short bit: read this:,0,301469.column?page=1

Long bit: since President-elect Obama and his connections to Chicago Machine Politics are likely to be in the news throughout much of his first term, it might prove instructive to learn Chicago smooch talk – the Chicago Way … of ‘doing things’. It’s a whole new language of politico-speak – somewhat akin to Frank Herbert’s reference to “battle language” in DUNE – Desert Planet.

The Chicago Tribune has had some very great writers that helped me, and no doubt many other new Chicagoans. For a quick exposure of what I mean – read:,0,301469.column?page=1

When I moved to Chicago it was Mike Royko that taught me about Chicago’s ways – the Chicago Tribune journalist who had a famous caustic sarcastic style, but always on the side of the reader of which he counted himself as one, when he wrote about the Chicago Machine – about “Clout Street”. All the ordinary words but with different meanings – well, in Chicago! It’s all going in my book, “Welshman in America”.

I realize that this has next to nothing to do with anything Welsh, but Obama was and still is a major topic of interest to many in Wales and few Welsh people understand the political machine that Obama grew out of, and hopefully is not tainted by, Chicago machine politics, or as an Chicago Tribune article (about “Clout Street”): “… exercise of political influence in a uniquely Chicago style”.

When I first traveled to Chicago I bumped up against a Chicago language that for a while seemed unfathomable – but help was at hand in the form of Mike Royko who grew up in an apartment above a Chicago bar, son of Polish and Ukrainian immigrants, the classic Chicago story.

I bought his book, which included a sample of his past pieces of word-art. Royko, through his many articles, became for a short while my mentor for understanding the way things worked in Chicago or more precisely, what the word “clout” means – from a Chicago perspective.

Royko wrote with a caustic sarcastic edge – especially when he was going on about City Hall politics – I later thought those Tribune journalists were brave people – after a couple of years one learns how the Chicago Machine works and boy, it pays not to step on certain toes, even in news articles – ‘clout’ traveled far.

I did not know that Mike Royko had passed away a few months before I moved to Chicago, to me he was very much alive – I even read he was still working in his office above the Tribune Building’s arch facing North Michigan Street, but I must have been reading a past article of his so I guess most of what I read were in fact republished articles.

Looking back, it seemed every Christmas the Chicago Tribune put a big Christmas decoration on top of the Arch, and I wondered what Mike Royko thought about it as he sauntered into the Tribune Building to slave one more day over a typewriter - but then again he probably drove to work and went in by a rear entrance and used a word-processor! And I have to accept now, that he was dead when I thought he was alive. Dead or alive, I figured him to be techno-averse. Why I don’t know. Maybe he said he was in one of his many hundreds of Chicago word-art.

Mike Royko – a Chicago Institution, would have been great to talk to ya.

Glyn Davies said...

Christopher - Even more significant - a visitor to my blog setting out on the road that might lead to the White House.

Ioan - I thought she should have won the UK award last year. I think I'd go for Chris Hoy or Rebecca Adlington this year.