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).
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.
Posted by: Francesca | 06/23/2010 at 01:49 PM
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.
Posted by: Mac | 06/23/2010 at 02:30 PM
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).
Posted by: Francesca | 06/23/2010 at 02:56 PM
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.
Posted by: Mac | 06/23/2010 at 04:34 PM
Aussies have the right idea about vuvuzelas.
Posted by: Mac | 06/23/2010 at 09:15 PM
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..."
Posted by: Louise | 06/24/2010 at 12:18 AM
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...
Posted by: Louise | 06/24/2010 at 12:20 AM
"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.
Posted by: Mac | 06/24/2010 at 09:18 AM
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.
Posted by: Mac | 06/24/2010 at 02:53 PM
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.
Posted by: Paul | 06/25/2010 at 04:53 PM
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).
Posted by: Mac | 06/25/2010 at 05:05 PM