I may not love any soccer team, club or country, any longer, but I sure can still hate them, the Brazilian national soccer team most of all: the biggest divers, cheaters, whiners, cheap-shot artists (in a sport of divers, cheaters, whiners, cheap-shot artists) who are rewarded for diving, cheating, whining and cheap-shotting with unearned penalty kicks and oppositions' wrongfully disallowed goals. Do I think Sepp Blattner whispered into the Japanese referee's earbud to get Brazil a second goal and disallow on a ghost foul any second Croation goal? No, but to imagine referees aren't aware of who FIFA wants in the quarters and semis and know their future tournament assignments depend on the decisions made in the current game and consequently if unconsciously skeeve for Brazil (or any bigger shark playing a minnow, or any bigger shark playing a smaller shark, and Brazil is the biggest) is silly. Fine metaphors abound.
In any case, if viscerally despising the Brazilian national men's soccer team yesterday (and it was delicious) was the strongest soccer emotion I've experienced in recent memory at least I know soccer is still alive for me if for the wrong reasons. There's a reason I've always compared my soccer fandom with my fandom for motherfucking politics. I'm curious to watch my reaction to the USMNT: I hope they make a deep, surprising run for a myriad of reasons, the first to gauge my professed damnlessness (I don't think they're getting out of group so I don't think I'll have the chance to gauge said damnlessness), the second to watch Americans who are indifferent to soccer at best, badmouth soccer at worse, get sloppily and jingoistically bandwagon patriotic and then watch my damnlessness turn to visceral hate, to name two.
As for the club team I loved, I'm grateful they are competitive, enjoying a dramatic run of good play after last year's disaster. It makes my abrupt disinterest more compelling to think about.
- Paul Lynne was born 88 years ago today.
- Of course they are: A US Department of Defense (DoD) research programme is funding universities to model the dynamics, risks and tipping points for large-scale civil unrest across the world, under the supervision of various US military agencies. The multi-million dollar programme is designed to develop immediate and long-term "warfighter-relevant insights" for senior officials and decision makers in "the defense policy community," and to inform policy implemented by "combatant commands." Who didn't think they were? Have been? Will always?
- The Iraqi Blitzkrieg and the Cult of Violence.
- Right and Left: threats to the nation.
- The new anti-anti-imperialism.
- A Jacobinghazi recap.
- Let's talk discipline.
- Let's listen to Discipline.
- Massive science-fiction blog post, for those of you who scifi.
- Now here's a wacky World Cup conspiracy theory: Brazil triskelions said to FIFA triskelions, civil disturbances will be difficult enough to control if Brazil wins, imagine what the disturbances will be like - after taking billions of dollars and spending them on enriching Brazilian and FIFA triskelions instead of feeding the starving in the favelas - if Brazil crashes out in the group stage (the Round of Sixteen, the quarters, the semis....).
- On boycotting the World Cup.
- Polaroid vacation.
- On Berryman's sonnets.
- Dear Friends urging me to give Deep Space Nine a second chance: in last night's episode, Sisko and his son flew a ship (that looked like a Yes album cover) Sisko made in a storage room into Cardassian space. Along the way, Sisko, when it was time for rest, actually said, "Hammock Time." Once in Cardassian space, the Cardassian set off celebratory fireworks. I shit you not.
- Lordy, I love the Delgados, here for the kazillionth time, one of dozens of my five favorite pop songs:
I hate you truly. Truly I do.
Everything about me hates everything about you.
The flick of my wrist hates you.
The way I hold my pencil hates you.
The sound made by my tiniest bones were they trapped in the jaws of a moray eel hates you.
Each corpuscle singing in its capillary hates you.
Look out! Fore! I hate you.
The little blue-green speck of sock lint I'm trying to dig from under my third toenail, left foot, hates you.
The history of this keychain hates you.
My sigh in the background as you pick out the cashews hates you.
The goldfish of my genius hates you.
My aorta hates you. Also my ancestors.
A closed window is both a closed window and an obvious symbol of how I hate you.
My voice curt as a hairshirt: hate.
My hesitation when you invite me for a drive: hate.
My pleasant "good morning": hate.
You know how when I'm sleepy I nuzzle my head under your arm? Hate.
The whites of my target-eyes articulate hate. My wit practices it.
My breasts relaxing in their holster from morning to night hate you.
Layers of hate, a parfait.
Hours after our latest row, brandishing the sharp glee of hate,
I dissect you cell by cell, so that I might hate each one individually and at leisure.
My lungs, duplicitous twins, expand with the utter validity of my hate, which can never have enough of you,
Breathlessly, like two idealists in a broken submarine.