Saturday, May 02, 2020

Ramblings

I have been alone in my house for more than one month. I am ok at spending my time alone; I am Generation X - we were built for this! I am not bored (I frankly do not understand how people can even get bored), but I have been feeling increasingly like a Robinson Crusoe with internet connection.
And with too much time, that someday will feel like too little time.
Talking about football, I have now become much better at FIFA19, and won the Serie A with Napoli in awesome style, and winning the Danish Superliga with Brondby. While I perhaps need to play online, I have to say one thing that makes the game very realistic: the referee totally and completely suck.
Also talking about football, among the so far 11 books I have read these days, Tom Holland's "The Shadow of the Sword" mentioned the 532 riots in Constantinople, when rival fans of two different teams in the popular chariot races nearly destroyed the ancient city. In the end the Emperor had to send in his most elite troops to crush the violence, leading to up to 50000 deaths.
The tradition of hooliganism lives on today; so a reflection is what in the world have we learnt from history?!?
Talking about history, besides the two online project management courses I have been taking courses in ancient archeoastronomy and modern world history. I guess football does not figure prominently (in fact none at all), but at the same time one can say that history is in everything, even as it happens all around us.
Have you ever read comic books? I have read all my old comic books. I always loved Asterix, but also had a few versions of Natasha, a sexy Belgian flight attendant that had plenty of crazy adventures. I had totally forgotten it, but inspired me to draw; despite all my drawing being crap, I have truly enjoyed drawing as I listen to a bunch of Ted Talk podcasts.
Ted Talks: they are great, even though some people talk a lot of shit, and are more full of themselves than their subject. I will never be able to talk like someone in a Ted Talk, so I greatly admire people who can talk so smoothly and without nerves.
Practice is not enough; I tell you from experience!
I have baked bread (it tasted like dry turd after one day) and I would like to learn to crochet. I looked at a video online (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Q7vKB3ENws) but the problem is that I can't get hold of any materials in my current home imprisonment.
I also made a lego movie: https://vimeo.com/413379220/1cafbe54a7
In this way I am contributing to the world of entertainment which is the one that will further explode with this crisis.
Really, football may be suspended; but did the world fall apart?
I am supposedly "working from home". But more than ever there is time to question one's own work; having read a book on "pseudo-work" by two Danish anthropologists, this entire crisis must surely be leading to questioning the meaning of and depth of a lot of people's employment and their contribution to wider society. At least we may have finally and thoroughly confirmed that utility is not rewarded in this world. Rich celebrities who are good at acting, singing and looking good, have been telling us how to "live through" the quarantine, just as they have been telling us for years what it means to be successful, how to look, what to eat, listen and watch; what is worth living, and even dying for. And when this whole shit is over, Messi, Ronaldo and many other second-rate entertainers like them will all be rewarded with the millions of Euros that will never go to the doctors, nurses, drivers, cleaners, delivery boys and girls, who save lives and make the world turn.
So... when is this thing ending? I am surely not the only person waiting eagerly, but at the same time one is also developing a fear of the "restart". All these media are telling us that the world will not be the same, but frankly, are we not just going to look for the pleasure of normality? Am I weird for hoping things to be as before? And what if things are not the same? How can I lock myself up again n into this imprisonment where I am not responsible for anything but myself? Quarantine is making is making us afraid to live beyond our currently limited horizon.
Anyway, when this whole thing is over we can continue consuming and destroying the world, and feeling good about what some hot celebrity tells us to do.

Monday, March 30, 2020

Two weeks....

In two weeks of quarantine I have read four books, eaten 12 pizzas, watched 2 full series on Netflix, and read so many news I that I have gotten sick and worried from them. And I have also played FIFA19 on Playstation, and have become quite fond of it: it took time to get the controls, and I am still not good enough to play on the highest level, but I have managed to win the Champions League playing with Valencia (I won the final on penalty kicks against Liverpool), the Danish Cup (with Brondby), and currently on second place in the Danish Superliga, with Brondby (behind FC Midtjylland).
I have only played online with a good friend (who was the main reason for me getting it), but I like the game a lot. It is much better than the original football sport. On Playstation there is Artificial Intelligence, which at least denotes some intelligence that real football totally lacks.

Friday, March 20, 2020

Football suspended and Corona Virus

While I have not watched any football for a long time I could not help to notice that even the arrogant world of football, untouchable and innocent, has had to take into account the arrival of the Corona virus. Football all over the world has been suspended, with people not even knowing if the major leagues can be played to the end, or whether we will even have a Champions League final this year (so far it has been postponed one month). Both national team tournaments, the European Championship and the Copa America, have been postponed to 2021.
Maybe it will be possible to get tickets in UEFAs totally weird ticketing system....

Football is the least relevant of the victims of this virus that is hitting hard on the entire world. Personally I am stuck alone in a big house, alone in a country where I have no friends nor even a moment of comfort or a good laugh. I am frankly already sick of it, and have started daydreaming of the day when I will jump on a plane, see family and friends, and forget this period of my life.
In the meantime, as other people, I try to make time pass (I have even written again on this near-dead blog....!!), reading a lot of books and playing Playstation. I have even taken up Fifa19! (wow, maybe that will lead to another post in a few days!).

Stay safe and cool out there if anyone ever reads this.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Fiction

It was the last match of Group 2 qualifier for the 2050 World Championship. Bulgaria was receiving Scotland at the Sofia Glorious People's Arena. The game was sold out despite the incidents in the previous match where eight fans of the visiting side had been killed (two of them lynched under the burning crosses outside the stadium), and which had led to a 500 Euro fine by UEFA, and the rule that no banners of the League for White Europeans would be allowed within 50 meters of the stadium.
Scotland's star player, Kwame McMurthy, had expressed that he did not want to go to Bulgaria: the previous year the Celtic striker Alastair Nsonowa had been incapacitated for life after a racist attack in the player-tunnel during a European match (this had led to a 100 Euro fine and two match suspension from online streaming). The threats were numerous and many right-wing fan groups (there were basically no other fan groups any longer) were openly displaying the weapons they planned to bring to the stadium under the resigned acceptance of authorities. A few Bulgarian newspapers even displayed large banners with pictures of the burning crosses from the previous match with the caption: "Welcome to OUR Sofia, Kwame".
Despite McMurthy's fear for his life, UEFA had publicly announced that his refusal to play the match would go against his contractual sponsor obligations, leading to a million Euro fine, McMurthy being disqualified from all football for life, and Scotland being banned from all football for ten years. The Scottish football federation had also asked that McMurthy be provided extra protection, but UEFA had said that they fully trusted the Bulgarian authorities to provide the necessary security.

Amid the widespread violence and death there are no news of the result of the match, but it is known that most of the Scottish players never played football again, and that after reiterating its commitment to fight racism in all its forms, UEFA fined Bulgaria 500 Euros and an unprecedented five matches were not to be streamed online.
But nothing helped, and within a few decades football was dead: Children and youth, growing up in a more diverse and tolerant society (if sadly not yet inclusive),  massively turned away from a sport that seemed to accept that it had become the exclusive playground of ignorant racism, xenophobia, discrimination and violence.
And nobody shed a f...ing tear.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Bulgarian disgust

Today I read about the dreadful match between Bulgaria and England, with the awful racist behaviour by Bulgarian fans. While I am happy that the English players decided to let the football talk by showing their superiority to the fifth rate Bulgarian side (just because of their lack of quality, personality and courage, every single player should be disqualified) by trashing them 0-6 on their own ugly soil, this remains unacceptable. I do not understand that UEFA at the same time say that they will "wage war on racists", while they can be in any doubt about the punishment: disqualify Bulgaria from all football for at least four years! This is doable and would send an important signal about UEFA's real commitment to fight racism, although I would go even farther and ban Bulgarian clubs and players from playing outside their own country (if they are so proud of it, why not...?).
Otherwise, this is just another example of football's disgusting appeal to the worst of humanity. The English players reacted the correct and gentlemanly way, but that is a rare exception in the game of football.