If You Can’t Say Anything Nice

As it turns out, I was extremely foolish to taunt Germany about the 2002 World Cup Match in my last entry. (And I should know better than to taunt Germans, being of Polish extraction and all.) Oh well — we still did better than anyone could have expected. What hurts is that the German team has been so lackluster. With a little more luck, I think we could have beat them. Coulda woulda shoulda. Ah, well.

The really nice thing about following the World Cup in the European press is that we Americans are such underdogs, and as such we are not as resented as we usually are. I think that the BBC football pages are the only place you’ll find us referred to as “valiant”, “courageous”, and “glorious” instead of “fat”, “greasy”, “lazy”, “imperialistic”, and so on.

Just for chuckles, when I was poking around the BBC site, I found that they had helpfully offered a detailed definition of “soccer”, presumably as a gentle introduction for newbie USA football fans:

soccer n. colloq. (esp. US) A ball game involving two teams of 11 players – only two of whom can regularly handle the ball, while the remainder must use their feet, heads, knees or chests to advance play…

PROPERLY KNOWN AS: Association Football, since kicking the ball with the foot part of your leg is where the real trick of “soccer” lies.

NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH: American Football, a debased version of rugby popular in the United States (and Canada) involving pads, helmets and hulking players in spandex – but precious little kicking…

Thanks, BBC! By the way, be sure to check out their other definitions, including “ideas hamster“, “pashmina politics“, and “airy-fairy libertarians“:

…CITATION: “We could live in a world which is airy fairy, libertarian, where everybody does precisely what they like and we believe the best of everybody and then they destroy us.” Blunkett, Nov 2001.

EXPOUNDED: by Labour MP Kevin Hughes: “Don’t you find it bizarre, like I do, that the yoghurt-eating, muesli-eating, Guardian-reading fraternity are only too happy to want to protect the human rights of people who engage in terrorist acts?” …

Yeah! Take that you yoghurt-eaters! Hmmmm. One must admit that while the level of British debate is perhaps even more debased and farcical than ours, their command of the English language remains as strong as ever.

Well, speaking of libertarians (of the non-muesli-eating, Guardian-avoiding variety), I’ve been managing to amuse M’ris by forwarding her a few links from some message boards about the Wizards of the Coast campaign setting proposal search. I think that if I’m reduced to amusing my friends by sending them message board threads to pick on, this is a very bad sign. Picking on message board people is shooting fish in a barrel. It means I’m tapped out on the humor front. I got nothin’. I got no game. I might as well be riding my little bicycle in a circle while honking a horn and spraying the crowd with seltzer water.

But I can’t help it. I mean, if you encountered an unpublished writer who states quite seriously that “I know 95% of what there is to know about writing…” but just not the “5%” involved in publishing their work, well… wouldn’t you pass it on? Call me mean-spirited, call me condescending, but I couldn’t help sending it on to someone who would get a cheap laugh out of it. Can you blame me? No? Allrighty then.