Monday, July 24, 2006

Changing Tact

As the most perceptive of you have no doubt noticed the heading and description of this blog has now changed. With the World Cup over one must move on, but in what direction?

*Stay with Soccer?--Not when the three authors of this page live at great distance from intense rivalries and passion (Unless you count Chicago V. LA or Goa V. Dehli) with even fewer opportunities to watch soccer on a regular basis. (Law Student/Grad Student/English Teacher...these are not the careers designed for cable subscriptions)

*Broaden our range to all sports?--Possible, but again, unless there's a rabid audience out there for commentary on Cricket/hopeless college programs think again.

*Broaden our range to all topics, just so long as we can bicker about them?--Now there's an idea we can get behind.

Conveniently enough I've just read a book that could start debates at least between ourselves and perhaps among others as well. How Soccer Explains the World by Franklin Foer is superbly written, eloquent, charming, personal and intelligent. It chronicles the development of socer aorund the world and it's relationship to the new global culture exploring the struggles of hooligans, the corruption of leaders (including a prediction of the fall of Juventus/AC Milan before it happened), and the opportunities now afforded to Africans, Arabs and Americans.

It's the last one that I want to mention. Foer mentions that the class/culture struggles in the U.s. can be traced (in part) to a schism between Liberal/ Yuppie/ East & West Coast/ Elitest/ Smug/ Globalized/ Soccer Fans, and Conservitive/Red Neck/ Fly over Country/ Down home/ Countryified/ Insular/ Fans of everything else. This is a simplification of course, but it's an interesting point (and besides, this is a blog, simplification is my bread and butter).

I read this and became befuddled (a nice change from my normally fuddled state), I've always lived in "Fly over country," and I like to think of myself as down-home, countryified and an Uber-fan of all things baseball/College basketball. But after thinking about it, I am hyper-liberal, upper-crust and so Gloablized that I'm part of an outsourcing of teaching positions. So naturally there's a middle ground.

So my question, veering from Soccer to everything else is this: "Can those of us with dual personalities (Red Staters with liberal beliefs and standards/Blue Staters with traditional beliefs and standards) bring harmony based on what we know and understand about both sides of the issue or are we doomed to be fenced in by Barbara Striesand on one side and the ever expanding mustache of Denny Rehberg (R-MT) on the other?"

Put it another way: "If the Moderates challenged the extremists to an atheletic olympiad who would win?" Given of course a moderate team of: Jon Stewart, Joe Biden, John McCain (maybe) and 80% of the populace against left-wing radicals led by: that white guy in College with dredlocks and a 5 foot aura of funk around him and 80 % of Hollywood, and right-wing radicals led by: The honorable Rev. Falwell and the 5 foot aura of funky bigotry around him and of course Denny Rheberg's stache.


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