Oh my goodness, am I going to learn to like Kerouac?

Derb on Soccer

I am linking to this anti-soccer rant from alienated Englishman (and all-around curmudgeon) John Derbyshire because I think it's funny, not because I agree with it (my view is here, in case you missed it—and care). Sample:

The very inconclusiveness of soccer is, I suspect, what has made it the pet sport of the repulsive bobos—David Brooks' "bourgeois bohemians."... In their soft, money-addled minds, these deluded wretches associate soccer with things "civilized" and European: with French wines and Danish pastries, with tiny, fuel-efficient cars and eighteen different varieties of coffee, with universal health care and the prohibition of handguns. How wrong-headed is all this? One hardly knows where to begin.

In fact, it seems to me that attention paid to the World Cup in the US by non-bobos is noticeably higher than at the last go-round. And I’m glad we won this morning (USA 1, Algeria 0).


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No offense to the USA, but I was a little sorry Slovenia didn't make it into the second group (which would have happened if the USA had not scored). Not at all on anti-American grounds, but just as supporting underdogs, in an English sort of way. I back little countries.

England had an opportunity to lose to Slovenia, didn't they? So not our fault...:-)

Now that you mention it, I suppose the rest of the world might be just as happy if we stay on the margins of this sport. There are quite a few of us, and we tend to go at sports in a fanatical way.

I find Derb's article odd, as coming from an Englishman. In America, it might be bourgeoise (can't spell it) Bohos who take up a liking for (European) football because it makes them different from normal Americans, but in England and Scotland, just about anyone might or might not like football. I suppose you get a similar tendency, of intellectuals pretending to like football to seem 'of the people', but it is by no means universal. I was at an exam board meeting in Cambridge last Friday and said at the lunch, rather mournfully, 'I'm flying back at 7 pm and will miss England play Algeria', to which a very well known Church historian replied, 'England play who?' He was genuinely shocked that I was following the world cup. I tried to explain that all I ever follow is the world cup, as a sort of four yearly ritual, but I clearly fell in his estimation until I remarked that my mother had thought the Mexicans or some such had played well the day before - he thought, 'she was brought up in a household which watches football'. Still, the England flag has been flying at No 10 Downing Street, and I doubt if that would have been the case 30 years ago - though it is often said that Harold Wilson won the election on a surge of joy after we won the cup in 1966 (I think it was).

That's part of his point--looking down on it as a lower-class thug-ridden entertainment. Like your historian. Now, as a transplant to the USA, he can indulge his lifelong dislike of the game and its fans AND make sport of American liberals who think it's a genteel affair.

Aussies have the right idea about vuvuzelas.

Oz is out. Bummer.

Worst of all - we have now (today) our "first woman PM." Whoop-di-do. Never mind that she's pro-abortion and belongs to a party that does not normally permit its members to vote according to conscience. This is a bad day for women in Oz. And a worse one for "unwanted" females in the womb.

Bad bad bad...

"Put not your trust in princesses neither..."

Francesca, on the positive side of things, my beloved husband is home. He was in Scotland for almost 3 weeks. He brought home a copy of the Scottish Catholic Observer! Naturally, I thought of you...


"Put not your trust in princesses neither..."

heh. That would make a good sign for an anti-Hillary rally, if she ever runs for prez again. I wouldn't blame people for using it on Sarah Palin, either, though I like her better. Don't especially want to see either of them in the Oval Office.

Yet more on the game's increasing popularity in the US:

I don't know if "World Cup Fever" is quite justified, but there certainly seems to be more interest this time.

I saw the "highlights" of the Netherlands-Cameroon match after the news last night, and it almost made me wish I'd watched the whole thing.

I'm afraid I didn't pay any attention to that one. Well, to be honest, I haven't paid any attention to any games outside the group the USA is in (aside from reading a bit about the French soap opera).

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