What happens after England lose….

There is more to life than football.

If you got angry at the football last night then you’ve probably got stuff going on in your own life that needs sorting out.

I think a bit of perspective is always helpful.

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5 things more unjust than Brazil vs Croatia

The neutral would have felt there was a sense of injustice against Croatia in the football last night.  I certainly did, though I do have a Balkan bias.  In fact it got me more angry than I have about much for a long time.  You know that sense of righteous anger when you know you have witnessed some huge injustice but you can’t really do anything about it?  That is what I was feeling.  I vented on facebook and twitter a bit, and waited for the likes, comments and re-tweets to help me feel justified in my anger.

And then it hit me – why do I feel so angry about a game of football when there are so many other injustices going on in the world that are infinitely more serious than a bad refereeing decision or two.

Here are my top 5 issues (with links) that I would rather not watch or read about:

  1. That the Syrian Civil War has been going for over three years
  2. That real people, including children, are trafficked for slavery and sexual exploitation
  3. That it’s likely that more than one child on my street has been abused recently
  4. That while you have been reading this blog about 6 children have died because they were hungry
  5. That this very World Cup that many of us are so excited about is the showcase event for one of the world’s most powerful, corrupt and down right evil bunch of humans – FIFA

Of course the list could go on.  They’re just headline grabbers.  Behind all of these are individual humans, suffering horrifically.

It’s just a bit overwhelming really.  What to do?

And getting angry about football….really?

World Cup Silliness

I love the World Cup.  I remember Italia ’90 with Bobby Robson, Roger Milla and those little Coca-Cola footballs.  I love the World Cup draw, so much so that I would usually do my own mock draw before the real one and then predict all the different results and decide who would win the World Cup in my world.

Maybe I’ve got a slightly better perspective on life, maybe not, but what a load of faff just for a few balls and a few excitable old men.  I mean, is it really worth all the glitz and glamour and ceremony?  Is it really sensible flying 1800 of the world’s media in to cover it all?  Sport is wonderful for so many reasons but I think we allow it to loosen our grip on reality and what is important a bit too much sometimes.

And then you get all the middle aged men ‘back in the studio’ debating for hours whether England should fly straight into the Amazon from Miami or stick to the original hotel in Rio.  And then they move onto whether it is better for us to actually finish second in the group so the climate in round two will be a bit better but then we might end up playing a stronger team.  It really is ridiculous.  I think we all know that the only factor that matters in deciding whether England will qualify for the second round or not is whether the players can actually be bothered or whether their egos remain the only thing bigger than their bank balances.

I am really going to enjoy the World Cup, I will be up at 2am in the morning cheering England on against the Azure.  However, let’s please keep it all in perspective.  It is only a game, and a pretty silly game at that.

Michael Palin v Fat Watchdog Conman

Did anybody watch any Monday night TV and see the chauvinistic socially awkward dodgy facial hair mobile car repair conman on Watchdog?  The stuff coming out of his mouth about women made me cringe.  And, never slow to take the moral high ground, the Rogue Traders presenter made an absolute fool of him.  The message – how dare he make comments like that about women!  And I totally agree…

…however, just minutes later up pops Michael Palin on his well publicised travels around Brazil.  The first thing he does is take a trip down the beach with some sort of guide to go, as he puts it, ‘girlwatching’.  The guide says how you have to look out for girls with backsides like melons and Palin guffaws along.

Why is it wrong for an eccentric, ugly and socially excluded guy to make these comments about women but it’s ok for one of our national treasures to be just as bad?  I think it shows that if the packaging is trustworthy and charming then we’re easily fooled into missing the blatantly offensive and oppressive.

Palin’s attitude goes back to before my time, to stories that are rife now of sexual harassment in the work place in the 80’s and before.  In everyday life today I don’t think Palin’s attitude would be tolerated yet as a nation we’re quite happy to watch along and turn a blind eye – what we let in through our eyes and ears influences us massively.  Everything needs to be watched with discretion otherwise out integrity, judgment and attitude will easily get damaged.

South Africa 2010 Draw?

The following is what are likely to be the seedings for the draw for the World Cup on 4th December:

Pot 1:    South Africa, Brazil, Germany, Italy, Spain, England, France, Argentina

Pot 2:   Portugal, Netherlands, Switzerland, Slovenia, Greece, Denmark, Serbia, Slovakia

Pot 3:   Uruguay, Chile, Paraguay, Ghana, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Algeria

Pot 4:    South Korea, Japan, Australia, North Korea, Mexico, USA, Honduras, New Zealand

What do you reckon would be good, and bad for England?  Can you spot any potentially juicy ties?  What about Spain v Portugal?

I think a fascinating, and historical, group for England would draw us with Portugal, Cameroon and Australia.  What are your thoughts?