Saturday, November 06, 2021

Farewell Facebook and Instagram!


So, if you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, then you may have noticed that I'm not there an awful lot anymore. This is not an accident.

I've gradually come to the conclusion that 2021 will be my final year on both Facebook and Instagram.

If you'd like to know why, you can carry on reading. If you'd just like to find out how to stay in touch with me beyond 2021, you can skip to the bottom of the page. And, if you really don't care about either, then I'm guessing you ended up here accidentally while looking for Eurovision drinking game rules...

So, why are you doing this Oliver? 

Well, my malaise with social media probably began during the divisive 2016 period where the world (in my opinion) went a little mad and voted for both Brexit and Trump. The levels of vitriol rose across the board. The ability to have civil conversation and discussion diminished. And, while I made a pact with myself not to delete anyone simply because I disagreed with their views, that wasn't the case for a number of my Facebook 'friends' who deleted me when I wouldn't accept their (alternate) facts.

But, by 2020 with Covid-19 in full swing, I had to abandon my policy of not deleting people because I just simply couldn't deal with all those people in the early days insisting coronavirus was a 'hoax' or 'less harmful than the flu' or 'invented by Bill Gates as a means to vaccinate us with a chip that would allow us to be tracked by 5g' (I'd love to pretend this wasn't real). 

So, that's part of the reason. 

Then there's the fact that it seems difficult to reconcile my feelings on how humanity should be building towards a better future with my continued usage of a platform that knows the damage it is causing and seems to simply not care as long as it's profitable.

But, amid all those vaguely noble intentions, is the simple fact that I just don't really care enough about it anymore.

I've been with social media since the early days; Friends Reunited, Myspace, even Google+; but - to quote BB King - the thrill is gone

So, there you are. Vitriol, ethics, and boredom if you want to boil it down to keywords.

Should you want to keep in touch with me, then I'll still be keeping my LinkedIn open (for now) - so, feel free to add me there if we know each other professionally.

I also will be keeping this blog running (and possibly finding time to update it a little more frequently).

And, I also have a more work-centric website that I update far too infrequently but which I hope to find time to work on slightly more frequently in 2022.

And I have email; so if you'd like to stay in touch through the power of the written word then you can always contact me via this blog (or message me on Facebook/Instagram) to get my address.

And that's about it. I won't attempt to proselytise.

Curiously, there's a small degree of nervousness as my finger hovers over the button that will publish this, but I guess that's natural when you've been on social media for more than two decades. But it makes sense to me, so I guess I'll see some of you elsewhere in 2022 and some of you not at all. Best of luck, no matter which group you're in! 

Saturday, May 15, 2021

Eurovision Drinking Game - 2021 Rules!

So, here we are again. After a whole year without the musical madness that is Eurovision, we're now only a week away from Eurovision 2021 and the Netherlands having a chance to show the world it can Eurovision with the very best of them! 

Now, there may be some of you who say but is it really the same with only a fraction of the fans and with pre-recorded backing vocals? Is it the same when Australia's entry isn't even going to be on the same continent, let alone the same stage?

And to those of you, I would say - who cares? Let's ignore the things that have had to change, and let's focus on enjoying what we have. For one night, and one night only, let's try to put all the Covid-19 business to one side and just have some fun.

Now, as with all the previous years, some of the rules are a tad UK-centric so, if you intend to play this in another country, just ignore rules 1 and 28 and knock back two shots before you get started for good measure. Or, watch it on BBC and pretend to be British for the night so you too can feel our pain.

Finally, I need to issue my (now) customary words of warning; this game is based upon the consumption of a great deal of strong alcohol. I cannot, therefore, be held responsible for your health (or lack of) if you stringently follow the rules of my game and drink yourself into oblivion. You play this game entirely at your own risk...


A. A shot glass for every person playing (probably best to have a couple of spares in case people get overexcited).

B. The national drink of the Netherlands is allegedly Jenever (which I don't think I've ever actually tried in my time here), but if - like me - you prefer to stick to the old favourites of the Eurovision drinking game, then I would recommend the ever reliable support of vodka or tequila. The bottom line, pick something suitably alcoholic and to your tastes.

C. If you're feeling particularly brave, why not add to the Dutch feeling by serving up a plate of a true Dutch delicacy: bitterballen. What on earth is in a bitterbal, you may ask - but, frankly, you probably shouldn't. It's best not to know. It's also best not to pop a whole one inside your mouth, unless you want to experience a feeling akin to molten lava exploding, coating you, and then incinerating you from the inside. Actually, the more I explain bitterballen, the less confident I am in my recommendation. You can always fall back on cheese cubes and mustard if I've scared you off...


The rules are really very simple. You take a sip of your chosen spirit:

1) Any time the British entry - James Newman - is mentioned. Drink an entire shot if they mention the fact he won a Brit Award in 2014 for co-writing the British Single of the Year.

2) The host(s) demonstrate that the secret of comedy is timing. By having none.

3) The host(s) attempts to sing.

4) The host(s) pretends to be surprised at something that's going on in what is clearly a vaguely-rehearsed piece of improvisation.

5) The host(s) loses track of their autocue or mess up their timing.

6) The video shown before an act manages to put you off the act before they've even taken the stage. Drink a shot if tulips or windmills are in shot at anytime during said video.

7) The singer is barefoot.

8) A country is represented by a singer from somewhere else in the world. Drink an entire shot if a country is represented by what seems to be a random person (or persons) scooped up off the streets and then pushed out on stage.

9) The act involves people on stage banging large drums or objects acting as large drums. Drink a shot if person playing aforementioned drum is bare chested.

10) An item of clothing is removed on stage. Drink an entire shot if it is removed by someone else.

11) The act is bald. Drink an entire shot if they are also female.

12) The act possesses a large moustache. It has to be said, there has - in recent years - been a dearth of large moustaches. I may have to start a petition soon...

13) Someone is wearing sequins.

14) The act is dressed in leather. Drink an entire shot if they are dressed in leather and have a large moustache.

15) If you hear a language used other than that of the nation who is singing (for example, English words in a song by Ukraine). One sip per language. If in any doubt, just take a sip.

16) You recognise the song immediately as being a blatant rip off of a previous winner of Eurovision.

17) The song is clearly an attempt to be 'hip' and 'contemporary' - and thus sounds like something that might have charted at the outer reaches of the Top 40 more than a decade ago.

18) The song is an ode to world peace. Drink three shots immediately if there are any images of children on the screen in the background.

19) There are dancers on stage who, by their movements and lack of synchronicity, appear to have perhaps had three dance lessons as a child and have never heard the song before tonight. Take a shot if they're wearing an especially outlandish costume.

20) People are pretending to play instruments on stage. Drink an entire shot if they take a pretend solo.

21) Every time there's some kind of pyrotechnic on stage.

22) Every time someone employs the use of a wind machine.

23) If the act attempts to distract attention from the paucity of quality in their offering by getting some kind of celebrity on stage with them (for reference: see Germany in 2009 who employed the services of Dita von Teese to absolutely no effect whatsoever). Take three shots if San Marino actually manage to persuade Flo Rida to join them on stage in Rotterdam.

24) Every time what's showing on the LCD screen behind the act, or in the augmented reality effects, is considerably more interesting than the act that's on the stage.

25) Every time a former Eurovision entrant appears during the interval act.

26) Every time there is an awkward silence and/or miscommunication between the hosts and the people reading out the votes. Drink an entire shot if the votes get mixed up. 

27) Every time one of the people reading out the results of a country’s voting attempts to secure their 15 seconds of fame by babbling on incoherently and generally delaying things and winding a few hundred million people up. Drink an entire shot if they try to milk things even further by singing.

28) Every time it’s "Royaume-Uni? Nil point!". Drink a shot each time, at the end of a voting round, the UK is in last place overall.

29) Every time a country gives top marks to someone for geographic, political or ethnic reasons.

30) If there is any alcohol left once the show is finished and you’re physically capable of coordinating the movement of alcohol from the bottle to your mouth...take a sip!

As ever, have fun and please don't blame me for the excessive pain and misery you will have to endure...not to mention the apocalyptic hangover you'll be suffering the day after!!