Algernon Mouse Merca Queixo Galego Nos Ultramarinos De Galizalbion

In this blog we interview Charlie Gordon aka Steve McCartney, a relatively recent convert to the AG Cup multi-verse. The questions have been set by Porcos Bravos themselves. Here goes:

1) Blades or Owls? I don’t like shaving so it’s got to be the wise owls!

2) Brunettes or Blondes? As long as it’s frothy for a good head and hoppy for an alluring and satisfying body. I like to savour the smoothness and slightly tart bitterness that proves a seductive combination. After enough socialising with blonde and/or brunette, I am usually inebriated enough to recite a couple of lines of a John Keats poem. Then I’ll be looking for a draught to cool my inflamed ardour. If I am feeling frivolous, it’s a blonde, sometimes called Leffe, if I am more serious, it has got to be a stout brunette so I can get lost in bluesy shadows.

3) Ten Beers After or Gog and the Telepathic Hyienas? After ten beers I often think I’m a telepathic hyena because I smile so much before, during and after listening to excellent music.

4) Is Sunderland the best team in the North East? No. Is there a team in Sunderland?. I’d say, on a good day, they might be the fourth best in the north east behind Middlesbrough, Newcastle and Marske United.

5) What happened at Yardley Gabion? As far as I can remember, we all became much bigger than we thought possible, and communally enjoyed the feeling.

6) What is your favourite pub in England? The Golden Smog, Stockton on Tees... A superbly atmospheric micro pub down a little conduit called Hambletonian Yard. If you don’t get the feeling you are in a Dickensian narrative before you go in, you certainly will after you have partaken of the convivial chat with strangers whilst imbibing some ecclesiastical gems from Belgian monastic recipes. You will gladly rub shoulders with Stockton’s finest hoi polloi, especially when there are more than twenty-three people in the diminutive yet vibrant space. I’ve witnessed some skilled beer-belly dancing to get to the bar. The owner is very discerning so the atmosphere is one of mutual appreciation of socialising with an alcoholic glow in your heart, your pancreas, and your liver.

7) Favourite pub in Sheffield? Fagan’s. Well known to AGCup, The music room is a wonder to behold.

8) What do you think of Brexit? A political obfuscation designed to allow the right wing of the Tory party to shed its skin, to emerge as even more extreme, using the turmoil as an excuse to be dismally elitist in their approach to class politics, whilst abandoning The Human Rights Act.

9) Can the lack of diversity in the Anglogalician cup be considered racism? No. The intent of the AGC is to enjoy other cultures through the earnestness of sport.

10) The Richard III banner was a Wild Boar because he supported the Porcos Bravos? Quite possible. If he’d met the people who constitute Porcos Bravos, he would have embraced them and exalted their humanism.

11) Should there be an independent Scotland? Yes. Their approach to welfare and society is radically different to Westminster.

12) Which football team do you hate the most? Any team that cheats. If I want to watch diving I’d go to the National Theatre or Ponds Forge in Sheffield during an appropriate aquatic event. Also, if I want to see a better result of drug induced genius, I replay music videos from the 60s. Modern sportsmen and women let everyone down when they chose to win by any means. It is an indictment of a culture when it exalts those taking part in chicanery and legerdemain as heroes and worthy of respect, when they perpetrate acts of simulation -what a euphemism- in order to better an opponent. Sadly, so-called top-class football is leading the way, even though a couple of high-profile Aussie cricketers have brought the game into disrepute recently. You only need to watch the English first division -laughingly called the premiership for advertising and marketing purposes- for a short time and you will see some form of deception through simulating injury or faking impedance from the least amount of contact. I chose to watch non-league football in order to get away from such dismal behaviour and even more disappointing punditry from the elite so-called experts in TV studios. If we can’t play sport for the pleasure of earnest competition, then maybe we should play online games instead, where the randomness of event would surely not include deliberate acts of desperation to win without integrity.

13) What is your favourite book? A really difficult choice: Flowers For Algernon by Daniel Keyes. It is a charming and engaging tale of enhanced intelligence that has a fleeting lifespan, seen through the eyes and mind of a man of low intelligence who has aspirations to be a genius. The novel superbly tracks the ascent to hyper-intelligence and the agonising descent back to his former state of slow-wittedness, and has the eponymous white mouse as his major companion through the interesting and ultimately tragic journey. It’s a science-fiction narrative with a heart of gold.

14) What is your favourite movie? Another dilemma: Manhattan by Woody Allen. The funny fellow gets so many aspects of storytelling and cinema right in this film, from the black & white nostalgia for classic drama to the brilliant humour throughout. There’s one of the best comedy scenes of all time when the leading character is berating his friend over changing his mind about taking up with the Diane Keaton character, Mary. The dialogue is sharp, witty, poetic at times and all the wonderful music of George Gershwin. Another scene where Woody is dictating into an old-fashioned tape recorder, and listing what he thinks makes life worth living is a tremendous piece of pathos. The whole film is a masterpiece wherein you can luxuriate in the bathos.

15) Old England is dead? Sadly, no. The old anachronistic institutions are still far too influential in suppressing STEM: Freedom of speech, thought, expression and movement.

16) What do you think of AGCup blog and connected blogs? I’m fascinated by the diversity of imagination the blogs offer. A number of blogs that are rendered in grand poetry and prose evoke feelings of being in a nether world akin to Middle Earth. There are so many interesting voices in what I call the world of word craft to make any need for electronically rendered adventure games redundant.

17) Why in England do you eat so badly? Infantilisation and a lack of sense of authentic self.

18) If you could resurrect a famous English person who would it be? In the absence of a plethora of talented Irish folk -who talk to me through their literature- and any bold donkeys with one hind leg missing, TS Eliot so I can ask him, in a psychoanalytical interview in a local pub, just what the fluff was The Wasteland about!

19) What place or places would you recommend for the Porcos Bravos to visit next year? The Pembrokeshire coast in Wales -the cliffs in the Gower Peninsular are spectacular, and Tenby is particularly beautiful. A visit to Laugharne, where Dylan Thomas wrote poetry is recommended; Durham, for its old-world architecture and beautiful river walks; York has so many points of interest, from its museums and ancient wall walks to its theatres and pubs; North Yorks Moors Railway routes. The ride on an authentic steam train is a rare delight; Knaresborough is another wonderful place to visit. It has an old world tenor and Mother Shipton’s Cave is fascinating; The Scottish Isle of Arran is really interesting -you could walk the whole extent of the island in a couple of days; also, I have it on good authority that Cheddar Gorge in Somerset is well worth a visit...

20) Do you win a lot playing Santa Claus when Christmas is coming? Sadly, no. I lack presence, have no gifts and cannot convince even ingenuous children with my Ho Ho Ho!