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another lazy Saturday

Well, I could have gone out for breakfast and a bank run this morning, but after examining my bank account and considering the next week's living expenses I decided that staying in this morning and getting a roll of quarters at Wal-mart later would make a lot more sense. So I stayed in, drank tea, surfed the Interwebs, played Civicrack, and blew off the job fair in Fairfax. Those things never do me any good anyway.


Whatever sins and stupidities he may have committed as editor of The New Republic, Foer has written a pretty good book that does exactly what it says it does: uses soccer as a lens to examine the effects of globalization. His main thesis, which is promptly rammed up the reader's snout in the first chapter, is that while globalization may have brought Western materialist culture to the world and enabled a general lifting of economic boats, it's also enabled/encouraged a return of tribalism and nationalism. Sometimes this is in extremely ugly forms, as when the fan club supporting the Red Star Belgrade team became one of the most reviled paramilitaries in the wars of the Yugoslavian devolution, namely, Arkan's Tigers. Sometimes it's in less violent forms, as with the exaltation of the Barcelona club as a symbol of Catalan cultural identity. Sometimes it goes against all common sense, as when Catholic Glaswegians sing the anti-Catholic songs of Celtic Ranger fandom, or when Dutch goyim flaunt the symbols of Zionism to support the Ajax club. Foer's book makes for an interesting read, and his review of European soccer hooliganism makes for some strange connections when one considers the uneasy cultural mix that is modern Europe.