Let the moronic horn-honking begin!

Well, it's the apex of the four-year World Cup cycle again, which brings the local yokels out in force to either a) drive around a couple of city blocks, honking their horns, screaming "WHOO! WHOO!" out of their windows, and doing their bit to ensure that everyone in Toronto has a better chance of developing lung cancer, or b) (if no vehicle is available) stand on the side of the road on either Dundas or College Street, scream "WHOO! WHOO!", wave flags and blow whistles at passing motorists.

For hours. And hours. There doesn't seem to be any boozing in the street (lots of police are around to actively prevent this) nor is there any indication of pot smoking (although police generally seem to tolerate this). So how are these people able to maintain this level of apparent euphoria for hours on end? They can't ALL be on mushrooms/extasy/whatever. It is a total mystery to me. The only thing I can think of is that they are, in fact, morons.

I shudder to think about what being a tourist at a real World Cup tournament is like, if this is any indication. However, at least those people are drunk. Which makes it a little more acceptable, especially since they aren't driving.

Sometimes people from other parts of town drive down to blow their own horns, wave their own flags (Korean, Croatian, English, Ecuadoran, Angolan, even Greek, perhaps in memory of their Euro 2004 victory), and generally contribute to the pollution.

The ironic thing, as usual with the World Cup, is that Holland were way better, and deserved the victory. If that ref wasn't in the pay of Portugal's sneaky José Manuel Durão Barroso, I'll eat my hat.

While Portugese seem like interesting enough people (and I originally moved to Toronto because I figured that if I am forced to live in anglophone Canada, at least it should be a place with lots of immigrants), I ultimately find this sort of celebrating a bit of a drain.

Especially since, once Portugal are eliminated, the Brazilian flag will join that of Portugal and the Açores on the roof of everyones' vehicles. That way, any Brazilian success is an excuse for more driving, and more WHOO WHOOing.

That is why I fervently hope for Brazil and Italy to lose. Their presence in World Cup competitions tends to be longer than that of Portugal.

Also, they are notorious 'floppers'.


David Beckham: Useless Tit

Luckily for David Beckham, we haven't been treated to the spectacle of him poncing around in a sarong for a while. Because, as far as I can tell, the guy is a waste of space on the pitch.

Joe Cole, another midfielder: now there's a guy that's "on the ball" (as my dad would say). He is like the English version of Branko Segota, a powerhouse of energy and aggression. Even freak o' nature Peter Crouch (I intend a separate posting on the subject of Crouchinho) is at least making some sort of effort.

This is the first World Cup where, thanks to the twin miracles of highspeed internet connections and person-to-person filesharing, I have been able to actually watch all the games I want. Which in turn means I can watch the England games over and over, if I want, when I want. And I do!

Perhaps the source of Beckham's failure lies in the fact that he is the squad's captain, and is over-sensitive to the pressure of being the focus of English hopes. Or maybe, like Michael Owen, he is an over-rated putz that should be dropped sooner, rather than later, despite how many endorsement contracts he has listed on his c.v.

Don't get me wrong, I am not saying that David Beckham is a useless tit in all fields of human endeavour. To quote an English guy I met while vacationing in Thailand a few years ago (shoutout to Ben!):

Besides David Beckham the Sportsman, there is David Beckham the Cultural Icon, David Beckham the Politician, and especially David Beckham the Thinker.

So David has got that going for him, which is nice.

Addendum: Go Ghana!


The Great Satan

I was recently reminded by someone, in meat time, that I habitually refer to the US as "the Great Satan" when I am speaking. For example, "I was last in the Great Satan for Teamsite training, spring 2005 I think".

I acknowledge the hypocrisy of using "the US" in this continuing journal, and will henceforth refer to "the US" as "the Great Satan".

Gosh, when you type it out, 'Satan' is a weird looking word.


I fail to understand how anyone can take these clowns seriously

From this morning's Guardian:

The deputy secretary-general of the United Nations was last night accused of making "a very, very grave mistake" after calling the Bush administration hypocrites who were feeding a right-wing anti-UN frenzy in middle America.

Washington's ambassador to the UN responded with undisguised fury to a speech by Mark Malloch Brown, the deputy secretary-general, in which he accused Washington of using the international body "almost by stealth as a diplomatic tool" while failing to defend it at home.

What I find really funny is wondering just what "Washington's ambassador to the UN" (John Bolton, pictured above) plans to do, bleed on him or something?


Is Marcus Gee a paid White House Stooge?

Remember when the U.S. administration announced a little less than a year ago (right around when Marcus became the Globe and Mail editorial writer) that they were going to start planting pro-USA articles in foreign media?

I didn't pay attention (therefore I have no immediate link for this). Why should I care overmuch if the US is attempting to upgrade their image in Cairo, or Jakarta, or wherever, through the sneaky payoff of foreign opinion makers?

I guess that acknowledging, and modifying (sp?), the injustice at the heart of US foreign policy would be too much. Instead, they are still beating the dead horse about how the US is a "light unto the world". (Maybe a "gaslight unto the world", considering how much gas issues through their collective blowholes.)

Anyhoo, a posting at What's Left got me thinking. In part:

According to the July 31st issue of Marcus's own newspaper,

"The office, which has been operating unofficially for months, will work with foreign journalists and broadcasters to create positive images of the US that do not appear to be propaganda." The office, the newspaper goes on to explain, reports directly to the White House.

Propaganda that does not appear to be propaganda, prepared by foreign journalists working with a US agency reporting directly to the President? Hmmm.

This is only a sidebar to the main thrust of the article, which is certainly worth a read.

Previously I have complained about Marcus Gee. This conspiracy theory confirms what I have always felt: Marcus Gee is the journalistic equivalent of Tom Jacobek.

And now that I think about it, I would be interested to know how well Tom and Marcus got along...

[Every day, I try to praise Wotan for the internet]
A cry from the heart!

Can someone supply me with the shot of Paul Martin (ex-Head Custodian of Canada) that was printed sometime, approx. 2 years ago on the front page of the Globe and Mail in regards to an international conference (maybe the OAS?) that showed him (apparently) giggling with glee, arms raised akimbo, as the bushman leans over and condescends to address him.

I know that shot is still out there, and I want it!