Roy Edroso has always been my favorite source when it comes to documenting the right-wing obsession with reducing all aspects of culture to yet another political pissing contest, from food to movies to literature to rock music (so much so that I really wish he had all those posts grouped together in an easily searchable category). Today, via Jim Newell at Gawker, we find the theme again, this time in relation to the World Cup. You’re never going to believe this, but it seems our conservative friends are using the opportunity to complain about all their usual bugbears.
Among the wingnut soccer fans I know, the complaints around World Cup time often center on the fact that, due to a certain number of spots in the final 32 being reserved for each region, it’s not simply going to be a survival-of-the-fittest, absolute best teams in the world competition. Obviously, European teams that didn’t qualify, such as Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Czech Republic, Turkey and Russia are far superior to teams like New Zealand, North Korea and Algeria (and South Africa themselves, who only qualify by virtue of being the host country). Spending most of the intervening four years kvetching about affirmative action in American society, it’s easy for conservatives to switch over to moaning about deserving white Europeans (except Turkey, of course) being shafted by a quota system favorable to African and Asian teams who lack the inherent skill and work ethic to succeed on their own.
Of course, racial identification only goes so far, as most of those Yurpeans are godless socialists as well, so it’s not long before I have to hear whining about supposed media bias in favor of teams like Spain, who have the gall to make the game entertaining to watch, with plenty of insinuations that they’re all a bunch of weak, easily injured sissies over there, no doubt because their totalitarian sociafascist governments have banned eating meat and force citizens to subsist on tofu, granola and bean sprouts.
Here’s what I don’t get: politics is one of the least pleasurable things about human existence. A necessary evil, emphasis on the evil. What kind of miserable, bitter fuck do you have to be to want to make absolutely everything in your life a chance to revisit the same old political arguments, especially when they only make you upset? How pathetic is it to turn so many opportunities for enjoyment, for forgetting about all that for a little while, into another episode of railing against things that you can never change?