Saturday, 10 June 2006

Sweet Saviour, Bless Us Ere We Go

I had always assumed that the chant often used as a prelude or accompaniment to mindless violence was derived from this lovely old hymn, but apparently not.
Anyway, ‘ere we go: the World Cup has started. My wife has announced her intention of following it all closely, so it is fortunate that we have more than one TV set.
I am pleased to see that Gary Younge in the Guardian will be giving advice on Who to Cheer for When the Football Doesn’t Matter. This to me means all the time, so I shall read the articles carefully. I mean, I don’t want to have nothing to say when people engage me in conversation on the current topic to which I am totally indifferent; almost nobody I know wants to talk about anything else and it would be frustrating to have to remain mumchance for the next few weeks. But if I can comment from time to time on where my sympathies lie at least I can appear to be taking an interest.
Take yesterday’s Germany v Costa Rica, for example. Costa Rica is “a tiny strip of Central America that has no army, universal health care and a recently-elected centre-left government led by a president who refused to let the US use his country as a base for the Contras in 1980”. Sounds good to me, so they had my support and I was sorry to hear later that they lost.
Today things were more complicated. I know England is a greater nation (or part of a nation) than Paraguay—the most corrupt and impoverished country in South America—and I don’t need a bunch of millionaire louts to prove it to me by kicking a ball about, so I shan’t much mind who wins.

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