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Tuesday, June 13, 2006

the (not so) beautiful game

Just when I was starting to a) undertand and b) enjoy football, the world cup happened to me.
That may sounds terribly narcissitic, but in this country you can feel the influence of the football world cup acting upon you. It has many effects.

It acts differently on different people. Some (read most) are entirely consumed by a kind of fever. Houses everywhere are virtually wallpapered with st george's crosses, and cars fly flags from every window. Its like a month-long parade. This effect, while annoying to the more cynical, is fairly harmless.

The most serious effect is racism, and a palpable surge of xenophobia. I have been seriously warned about what we'll see if Germany beats England. I heard about some guy who got dragged from his car and beaten for driving a merc (which to offish football yobs equals being German).

Morning news shows have been warning citizens that WW2 songs and swastikas are somewhat inappropriate, and after the England opening game the newsreader happily reported that there had been only 12 arrests of British citizens in Germany. Only 12??!! In a couple of hours? Well, why didnt you say? And to think I was getting worried- how silly!

Grrr!

Just a small addition:

A good friend of mine actually quit his job so that he could watch the whole world cup without being distracted by silly things like real life. He's South African, and we didnt even qualify.

Can you stand it?!

2 comments:

nick said...

racism is in no way an "effect" of the World Cup, though the occasion provides an excuse for its demonstration. I don't need to take you through the fallacy of confusing cause and correlation again, do I? ;)

Read this for a more optimistic view:
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,28806-2224934.html

Kate said...

oh piss off, philosophy boy! :)

I get it, and agree - but you know what I mean, dammit!