Ann Coulter, a few years back, told the world what she really thought of soccer.
I’ve held off on writing about soccer for a decade — or about the length of the average soccer game — so as not to offend anyone. But enough is enough. Any growing interest in soccer can only be a sign of the nation’s moral decay.
• Individual achievement is not a big factor in soccer. In a real sport, players fumble passes, throw bricks and drop fly balls — all in front of a crowd. When baseball players strike out, they’re standing alone at the plate. But there’s also individual glory in home runs, touchdowns and slam-dunks.
In soccer, the blame is dispersed and almost no one scores anyway. There are no heroes, no losers, no accountability, and no child’s fragile self-esteem is bruised. There’s a reason perpetually alarmed women are called “soccer moms,” not “football moms.”
Do they even have MVPs in soccer? Everyone just runs up and down the field and, every once in a while, a ball accidentally goes in. That’s when we’re supposed to go wild. I’m already asleep.
• Liberal moms like soccer because it’s a sport in which athletic talent finds so little expression that girls can play with boys. No serious sport is co-ed, even at the kindergarten level.
• No other “sport” ends in as many scoreless ties as soccer. This was an actual marquee sign by the freeway in Long Beach, California, about a World Cup game last week: “2nd period, 11 minutes left, score: 0:0.” Two hours later, another World Cup game was on the same screen: “1st period, 8 minutes left, score: 0:0.” If Michael Jackson had treated his chronic insomnia with a tape of Argentina vs. Brazil instead of Propofol, he’d still be alive, although bored. …
• You can’t use your hands in soccer. (Thus eliminating the danger of having to catch a fly ball.) What sets man apart from the lesser beasts, besides a soul, is that we have opposable thumbs. Our hands can hold things. Here’s a great idea: Let’s create a game where you’re not allowed to use them!
• I resent the force-fed aspect of soccer. The same people trying to push soccer on Americans are the ones demanding that we love HBO’s “Girls,” light-rail, Beyonce and Hillary Clinton. The number of New York Times articles claiming soccer is “catching on” is exceeded only by the ones pretending women’s basketball is fascinating.
I note that we don’t have to be endlessly told how exciting football is.
• It’s foreign. In fact, that’s the precise reason the Times is constantly hectoring Americans to love soccer. One group of sports fans with whom soccer is not “catching on” at all, is African-Americans. They remain distinctly unimpressed by the fact that the French like it.
• Soccer is like the metric system, which liberals also adore because it’s European. Naturally, the metric system emerged from the French Revolution, during the brief intervals when they weren’t committing mass murder by guillotine.
Myriad reasons are given for America’s lack of interest in the most popular game in the world. The lack of scoring makes for a boring game. The U.S. men’s team isn’t very good at it, and Americans only want to watch sports in which we dominate. FIFA, the international soccer governing body, is a snake pit of corruption. (It is.) …
[M]ore than anything, soccer offends Americans’ sense of fairness. Soccer is unjust.
In few other sports can a team completely dominate a game for 88 percent of the game and still go home a loser. Because of the paucity of scoring, a team that outplays its opposition (like the U.S., which possessed the ball for nearly 60 percent of the game against Wales) is always in danger of having nothing to show for it.
And this injustice is further intensified when a game hinges on an overly punitive penalty call based on where a player is standing on the field. Had Bale been standing ten yards closer to midfield, the only penalty the U.S. would have had to pay is to have a Welsh player kick the ball back into live play. But because Bale was too close to the goal, he was granted an automatic score equalizer. (About 78 percent of penalty kicks are made — for a superstar like Bale, it is almost automatic.)
In American sports terms, this would be like granting 10 points to a team if one of its wide receivers is held by the defense within 20 yards of the end zone. Or giving a basketball team the chance to shoot a 10-point free throw if a player is fouled in the lane.
This injustice is further intensified by the role that diving plays in soccer. In American sports, one’s toughness is determined by how big of a hit a player can take and remain on his or her feet. In soccer, a team’s most valuable player may be one who can react to being tapped on the ankle by dropping to the ground as if he had been hit by a sniper on the stadium roof. …
Soccer fans acquit the sport of the charge of being boring, noting that the lack of scoring doesn’t mean there is a lack of excitement. The fact that goals are so hard to come by makes each shot, counterattack, and corner kick even more important. For hard-core fans, soccer is the jazz of athletics — like the notes that aren’t played, it’s the goals that aren’t scored that provide the true drama.
But the lack of scoring does drive the inequity of outcomes. In soccer, one foul in the penalty box equates to 80 minutes of dominance on the pitch. In American sports, teams almost always have the chance to make up for a bad call — when football teams score 30 points and basketball teams score over 100, the team that dominates always wins. Prolonged excellence leads to large leads, which leads to victories.
Not so in soccer, where a 2-0 win is basically a blowout.
This does not conform to the American value of equal opportunity. We even make our schoolchildren pledge allegiance to the flag because it stands for “justice for all.”
In America, we promise that if you work hard and play by the rules, you will come out ahead. Losing a soccer game because a guy fell to the ground is like having to close the business you spent your life building because a guy pretended to slip and fall on an ice patch outside your hardware store. Both perpetrators are deserving of equal enmity.
Alec Marsh describes just how far the rot has set in in today’s Britain.
[In] Sebastian Payne[‘s] forthcoming book about the last days of Boris Johnson’s government…. [h]e tells the story of [Dominic] Raab arriving to counsel the Prime Minister during his last hours in Downing Street, dressed in white tie. ‘Raab awkwardly told Number 10 staffers he had to attend a white-tie dinner at the Mansion House in the City of London that evening, but required assistance with the outfit. An attendant was found with the skills to fix his bow tie.’
An attendant was found with the skills to fix his bow tie. Have standards of British public life ever been quite so damned in just 12 words?
Dominic Raab can’t do up a bow tie. And nor, it seems, could the coterie of those around Boris – or perhaps they didn’t want to get too close to him to do it? Either way, it looks bad.
Because to my mind, a Tory grandee who can’t tie a bow tie is like a Labour bigwig who doesn’t know the words to ‘The Red Flag’. They’re a bungee short of the full roof rack. And that’s because, if nothing else, the Tory party is still a very black-tie party – you know it, don’t you? The men at least. These are people who love nothing more than squeezing into a 35-year-old cummerbund and listening to an after-dinner speech having drizzled three courses down their dress shirts.
Raab stands for the party of Winston Churchill – he is a lineal political descendent of the man who, don’t forget, didn’t just wear a bow tie more or less daily but also masterminded the defeat of the world’s most fearsome war machine as well as the world’s most odious regime while doing so. It’s not going too far to say that Churchill saved the world while wearing a bow tie.
Eight decades on and of course things have changed, but not that much.
Not every man can carry off a bow tie in ordinary dress. But it is impossible to move in upper adult circles without finding oneself present from time to time at occasions requiring wearing semi-formal (black tie) and formal (white tie) attire. Few men today can afford valets, and wearing pre-tied ties is profoundly infra dig. Therefore, knowing how to tie (and adjust) a bow tie is an essential adult male skill.
Henri Lefebvre (1901-1991) was another French Marxist termite, gnawing at the roots of Civilization and producing numerous volumes filled with pretentious jargon in the distinctive manière française.
Even a blind pig, as the saying goes, occasionally finds a truffle, and Lefebvre did produce the highly amusing, posthumously published, Les Unités perdue (2004), translated by David L. Sweet as The Missing Pieces (2014), 83 pages listing belle-lettres and works of art lost through the vagaries of time and chance.
One (partially erroneous) example:
The sixteen drawings offered by Amadeo Modigliani to his lover Anna Akhmatova were “smoked” by the Red Guards, who used them as cigarette paper.
Found in John Alden’s house, built in 1653 using material from an earlier house erected in 1632, at 105 Alden Street in Duxbury, Massachusetts “in a secret protective cubbyhole near the front door of the home” during a 1924 renovation, this wheel-lock bears makers’ marks on the lock and barrel indicating it was made by the Beretta, family of Brescia, Italy, known to have been in business since 1526.
It is the only firearm brought over on the Mayflower known to have survived and it is preserved today in the collection of the National Firearms Museum operated by the NRA.