Friday, June 25, 2010

USA vs Ghana

The karmic collision. An intrinsic sense of solidarity with the American lads, their upbringing on suburban soccer pitches or grade school gravel stone playgrounds similar to my own. Yet the raw cultural baggage of this nation's intercontinental aggression weighs heavily. How root for the Monster?

Ghana. Africa's last hope this 2010 World Cup, this billion strong pageant of sport. The first African World Cup, a competition dominated for decades by Europeans - except for Brazil's periodically puncturing the balloon of plenty.

Landon Donovan might have played soccer with my nephew on Jersey Shore town fields. Youth leagues. Babysitting leagues. The embarrassment of riches. The Corporation - entertainment a-plenty. Where do we go from here? What if the USA wins? How celebrate? How revel in the vanquishing of the last African nation in the first World Cup in Africa?

But this IS sport, and to engage in sport is to compete. So compete we must. Football will never replace warfare  in deciding the globe's conflicts, but such ritualistic engagement does break down cultural barriers. Stadiums of cheering, chanting, singing spectators engaged in the ritual of Sport. Along those lines we pretty much all measure out. It's in the grim minutiae of the Haves and the Have Nots where the poison percolates.

So from the nation of Have, the Monster oil slick nation, the Toxic Nation Apocalypse, I deliberate my allegiance, shrug my red, white, and blue shoulders, muse my black, red, yellow, green solidarity Ital oneness, and decide to embrace whatever outcome emerges from tomorrow's epic clash of Africa and North America on a football pitch at Royal Bafokeng Stadium, Rustenburg, South Africa.

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