Not A Safari

South Africa's World Cup, as seen from New York City


In the neighbor’s yard, a lonely white football sits in the white sun, abandoned from some child’s game. It waits, as I also wait, for the main event.

The Mundial begins in exactly one week. The last Mundial was a zone of delights, as they always are, but it was also a zone of melancholy, ending with Zidane’s decisive moment, a moment sweet in conception and execution, having something of the character of an anti-colonial rebellion, bearing a long and sour afterlife.

The melancholy of this new Mundial is a preemptive melancholy that flits around the joys to come, a placeholder before we lose ourselves in the game itself. Many advertisers have chosen to set their videos in landscapes inhabitated only by noble savages or wild animals. Analysts are interested in evidence of African economic incompetence. This nonsense is going to require saintly patience.

Futbolistically speaking, an unusual number of highly-rated teams, teams that depend on a single hero—Drogba’s Côte d’Ivoire, Essien’s Ghana, Ballack’s Germany—seem destined to do battle as did the Achaeans without Achilles: headlessly, futilely.



Filed under: peroration, , ,

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