Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Stalinists under the bed

I Have a Cold and I Must Blog

with 4 comments

* Forgot to mention yesterday that Chrome for Mac is out, and it’s crazy fast.

* Time one-ups the Onion by including both Planetary *and* The Walking Dead on its best-comics-of-the-2000s list. But the price is losing Chris Ware, Marjane Satrapi, and, as Bleeding Cool notes, any sense of variety at all.

* R.W. Johnson writes from South Africa to report on the World Cup for LRB.

As one observes this huge event being put together one realises that soccer has become a matter of trying to defy gravity. Everything about the event – the expenditure on the stadiums, the players’ enormous wages, the vast sums for the TV rights, the glitz and glamour of all the WAGs and celebrities, and even the reasoning behind closing key city roads for Fifa or Blatter – indicates that extraordinary concentrations of wealth and power are involved. Everything we know about human behaviour when it is subjected to such powerful pressures and incentives leads us to expect that cheating and violence will become virtually inevitable. Not just handballs and diving, but crooked referees, crooked draws and all the rest. Yet we also know that it’s vital that the TV commentators are able to enthuse about ‘the beautiful game’ with at least a margin of credibility: think how disastrous it was for cricket when match-fixing was exposed, or how badly the Tour de France has suffered from all its doping scandals. In most countries in Africa and Latin America such pressures have led to the ruin of local leagues, while the match-fixing scandal currently being investigated in Germany suggests that the results of hundreds of matches in Central and Eastern Europe were also fraudulent. The number of countries in the world where a game of soccer is still a fair contest may be quite small.

* Marc Ambinder heroically risks his own sanity to annotate Sarah Palin’s climate change op-ed. Media Matters goes there, too.

* Related: It’s Always Snowing on the Drudge Report. P.S.: Watch out for Stalinists under the bed.

* Sotomayor’s first Supreme Court opinions are making news in part for her refusal of the term “illegal immigrant.”

* And Candeblog has the clip from David Cross’s pitched BBC show The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret that he played at the end of his show in Raleigh this fall.