Beyond the magic

Eight years ago, if you can remember that far back, there was another World Cup in football (soccer to y’all North Americans). Another World Coup for advertising gimmicks and general all-out consumerism. I was cheering for Brazil – which self-respecting Indian was not? However, I was living in England at the time, and a friend – who happened to be Irish and studying French literature (a combination that was nearly as fascinating as his accent) – asked me to reconsider. It would transform politics in France, he said, to have a winning team whose core players were immigrant, Muslim and non-white. I cheered for France in those finals, and I did so this time too (once Brazil had been knocked out, of course). Though politics in France seems to have suffered far beyond French football in the last few years.

Zizou does weave magic. No doubt about it. He also head-butts with ferocity. No doubt about it; no excuse for it either. There might be explanations beyond the lack of excuses, though: the doubts are in the whys and the wherefores. Was it sledging – a continued stream of racist abuse? Till he breaks the silence, we won’t know for sure. But I hope he does tell us what happened. Icons can be human, but they have to speak up for their own human-ness and for the human-ness of others. It might make sports – and the rest of the world around it – a little more humane. And a little less racist.

4 thoughts on “Beyond the magic”

  1. I’ve been trying to look for blogs that discuss politics… could someone point me to where they are? Technorati’s not very helpful. Oh and BTW, I’d appreciate it if you could check out my website: it’s a discussion forum for politics, pro sports, college sports, television, movies, videogames and much more.

  2. Alo, glad to see you online. Looks like Ashwin’s finally having a good influence on someone! I love your poems. I’ve been lazy about writing poems, though I did write one for Kelly on our first anniversary (2 days before yours, in May;) ). Take care.

  3. Hi Scott, thanks for dropping by. I’m probably not the best person to ask considering my infancy in this area – there are others reading who might be much more upto suggesting political blogs (particularly those that relate to N.America) – but here are some I’ve found interesting in my recent explorations:

    http://bodyandsoul.typepad.com/ – a thoughtful blog on politics and people
    http://www.crookedtimber.org/ – a great collection of different bloggers
    http://www.ethanzuckerman.com/blog/ – more on africa and international development
    http://fbc.binghamton.edu/commentr.htm – immanuel wallerstein’s commentaries twice a month
    http://www.freewayblogger.com/ – what great slogans!
    http://www.madkane.com/ – funny funny satirical
    http://www.juancole.com/ – insightful political commentary on the middle east, history and religion
    http://www.ruminatethis.com/ – more political commentary

    Hope this helps.

  4. Manu, great to hear from you, da! And glad you liked the poetry. In yours and Kelly’s honour, I’ve just uploaded the phamus pome that we used for our celebrations two years ago (And All That Jazz)… I must admit, I haven’t managed to be as creative in the anniversaries that followed, but I’m sure Kelly’s thrilled with what you wrote… 🙂

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