With little of note happening in Manchester beyond the end of the heat wave and the Manchester International Festival, which we dealt with on the main site, I’ve little choice but to revert to commenting on happenings of a more widespread nature.
Big news last week was of course the annual expectation and resulting disappointment that is Wimbeldon, Andy Murray valiantly fighting his way to the semi-finals but being beaten by another Andy, Andy Roddick, an American with a decent serve and seemingly something to prove. The days of Tim Henman struggling to get the ball over the net for any longer than the fourth round are far behind us but certain crowd members seemed determined to keep Tim’s legacy alive, shouts during many matches this year along the lines of the once ubiquitous, limply uttered, ‘Come on Tim’ or, a more recent addition to the courtside mirth, ‘Come on Rafa’, a reference to Rafael Nadal. Non-tennis followers should note that neither Tim nor Rafa were playing in the tournament this year, Rafa being injured and Tim happily retired – irony is, apparently, alive and well in the seats at SW19, if not always appreciated. ‘Idiots’ is one word I heard John McEnroe use at one point.
That last question is one that has been answered by an enterprising journalist who posed the question: Will Bubbles be going to the funeral? Apparently not – too large and potentially violent is the verdict. A tortured soul, the victim of his enforced lifestyle, abused by those to whom he should have been able to turn for guidance and support, some might argue. And the monkey’s had a rough time of it too.
The furore continues into this week with the bizarre circumstances surrounding a ballot to allocate 11,000 tickets to his official memorial, with over one million people applying from all over the world, many apparently oblivious to the potential logistical problems of getting to LA with 24 hours notice. Inevitably, lots of tickets have ended up on eBay prompting the again inevitable cries of immorality. Basically, it’s all gone Jacko mad and you can’t help thinking that’s exactly how he would have wanted it.