I am enjoying the sweep of the World Cup. The closest I got before was the final of the Qudditich World Cup scene in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Ireland vs. Bulgaria. It seemed “their” thing, the European thing. Now it feels more like something we are a part of.
South Africa Vs. Mexico
I watched the opening match of South Africa vs. Mexico on the big screen at the Paley Center’s free screenings. Workers, friends and family of the South African consulate came over, and it was an exuberant, emotional experience for everyone in the room. The roar of the crowd was thunderous from the first overhead shot of Soccer Stadium in Johannesburg through to their goal against Mexico, ending in a tie. We shot some footage of the fans breaking into song, to the drone of the ubiquitous vuvuzelas (which is annoying fans around the world to different degrees.)
England vs. USA
The experience wasn’t as musical, but packed with its own colonial backstory. I live tweeted for the Paley Center, which was fun because I saw some pretty clever tweets from the world community. The best, of course, referred to the English goalkeeper’s epic blunder that allowed US to score.
“Now that’s embarrassing” from ubertweeter Stephen Fry
and this, from BillWeirABC (quoted from memory, Twitter is down):
"For the rest of his life, whenever he goes for fish and chips, he will wonder about the purity of the tartar sauce."
I love that Andrew Sullivan is breaking his own 'we don't cover anything that involves a ball' rule. His World Cup posts are great.
Existentialism and the English Soccer Fan
He quotes from Gideon Rachman of the FT.
"One of the masochistic pleasures of watching England, however, is the sheer familiarity of the narrative. We build the team up, we convince ourselves that this time we’ve got a real chance, the team get off to a decent start and then it all falls apart. It’s like having a recurring nightmare. And I think the players are as spooked as the fans - you can see their self-belief collapsing, as soon as things start to go wrong."
Come on down to to midtown at 9:30 and 2:00.