Saturday, July 22, 2006

Fine Metaphors Abound

Whether or not the entrenched Democratic establishment truly fears the uprising against Lieberman or is trying to stop a movement they fear they may end up fearing, in the message sent in their hysterical reaction - that the littles need to remain little - they exactly demonstrate what Conservatives say is the Democratic Party’s attitude toward, say, African-Americans. It provides me a personal insight into the meme of the Democratic intellectual bigot who knows better than his constituency what his constituency wants and needs. In exchange for my dependable vote they’ll look after my interests, which, Lordy knows, I don’t know how to do for myself.

I myself thought better of Lieberman longer than most of my friends and the people I read. I actually do - and so do most of my friends and the people I read - think that the Democratic Party needs honorable hawks, far more hawkish than me, hawks that may sometimes support policies I passionately disagree with but whose position I can respect because he respects my disagreement. What I don’t want is a hawk of my own party implying I’m a traitor for voicing my opposition, especially when he’s fully aware that the propagandists on the other side are joyfully employing his implication to state as a state fact that my opposition is treasonous.

The Right’s opinion-spouters are gleefully declaring a revolution on the Left, with inquisitions and kangaroo courts and public executions to come. As of yet, I’ve heard no calls for the breaking of Lieberman on the wheel and have yet to see executioners blocks delivered to town squares. For the opinion-spouters of my party to trot out their Lanny Davises and the ultra-icky Marshall Wittman (The Dog says The Moose is a Tool) to echo rightwing talkingpoints is to amplify, as only the media can, exactly why we are infuriated at the current state of American culture and politics. There is something terribly wrong, terribly disheartening, and potentially crippling if not potentially fatal in domestic and international politics right now. To scream at an entrenched elite, of either party, who either honestly believe that the policies that brought us to this point are worth continuing (to give them the benefit of the doubt) or whose only concern is to maintain whatever power they have no matter what the consequences, does not make us mud-caked sod-farmers screaming to burn a witch.

The irony is that if Joe Lieberman had declared, once the Lamont candidacy began to look to viable, that he would honor the results of the Connecticut primary regardless of the outcome, he’d probably have won relatively easily AND diminished the threat of the growing influence of the grassroots Left and the blogofascists. There are some anti-Joes that became and would remain anti-Joes no matter what, but for some us the final proof of Lieberman’s apostasy was his choice to proclaim, behind some morality of imperiousness and entitlement, that he’d run as an independent if democracy let him down. Nothing could have reminded the activist Left more of how the Democratic Party considers that Left as nothing but nuisances. Donating nuisances, voting nuisances, sometimes useful nuisances, but noisy, embarrassing nuisances nonetheless.

Here is the irony of establishment Washington’s fainting vapors over the anti-Joe revolution: Nothing could have granted the grassroots Left more legitimacy and power. The more the establishment bitches and protests, the more they make it so.


Um, is United going to pay for my plane ticket to Seattle so I can use my special game B season ticket to see DCU play Real Madrid? Real won't play in Baltimore because Barcelona is playing in New York at the same time? (Well, given a choice, all travel inconveniences being relatively equal, I'd rather see Barca than Real.) While it's still good that DCU might play Real, even in Seattle, all I can say, after anticipating the prospect of seeing the game in person, is, Damn.

A game day article in the Post on Adu. Freddy has made himself an integral part of an excellent team. Though he's only scored once, he's hit the post or crossbar a number of times, and he's been involved in several United goals either directly with assists or in the flow down field towards goal. His defensive skills are still lacking, though that may be unfixable totally because of his size. Last week against Columbus, Marc Burch, the rookie from Maryland, was simply too big and strong for Adu to contain, and Nowak had to sub in McTavish for Adu to help hold the lead.

Freddy's never going to be what he was unreasonably packaged to be, a magical player of legendary status. He's small, and what's more he's slow, way too slow to be truly great at his size. Which is not to say that he can't eventually go to Europe and make a fine career and get into the USMNT pool and play in South Africa in 2010 and (supposedly) Brazil in 2014. And for now, he's a key component on United, and I'm sure that every other team in MLS would love to have him.

No bottom notes in the article itself on tonight's game in Chicago. The pregame box lists the same probable line-up as started last Saturday v Columbus, with Adu up top with Moreno and both Simms and Olsen in midfield. Which means nothing, with Nowak, of course, but of note is that Erpen is listed as starting. Since I have not read or heard anything about whatever injury took him out of the game at half last week, I'm happily assuming that everything's fine.

Chicago desperately needs this game. They need the points, they need to start winning in their new stadium. I expect United to come out with attitude. It ought to be chippy.

Friday, July 21, 2006


I think this,

Evangelicals *So Gone* is my favorite album of 2006 so far. Here's what I hear: Imagine a combination of The Flaming Lips and Animal Collective and The Sea and Cake, a combination where the excesses of The Lips are contained within the discipline of The Sea and Cake and the discipline of The Sea and Cake is liberated by the whimsy of Animal Collective and the joyousness of The Flaming Lips.

(I have no idea whether these guys have ever listened to The Sea and Cake, but man, do I hear Sea and Cake. I am willing to bet they know Animal Collective and, being from OK, The Lips.)

I've posted their songs before. Look, I'm doing it again:

Here Comes Trouble
(though this is less like the rest of the album than)

four songs over on myspace.

Have more:

Amadou and Mariam

Regina Spektor
(click on music: very generous)

Yo La Tengo

Be Your Own Pet

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Emma's 68 Today

Still the crush that still pangs best.

and now, the National Anthem of Egoslavia

Just Saying

When all the evidence has been presented and nothing’s left to be said that hasn’t been said, what to say? State sponsored hysteria is easier to generate and easier to manage than boring hard work of peace, and besides, peace reveals the problems of governance that hysteria obscures. It is easy to be brave with other people’s children when such bravery, and its defense, demonizes all calls for honest accountability.

Yesterday the Attorney General announces that the President himself quashed an investigation into the suspect legality of the actions of the President. Unlike Nixon’s AG, Eliot Richardson, who resigned in principle rather than fire Archibald Cox, Gonzalez just smirked and moved on to his rehearsed impugning of the patriotism of anyone who questioned the President’s integrity, and no one seems to care. And there's more. You know there's more.

Your wife is pregnant with your first child, and in that child’s genes are odds for Parkinson’s or diabetes or heart disease or cancer or Alzheimers, and because the President is either beholden to the Religious Right and/or actually believes their mythological nonsense, the cure for your child should she be afflicted by any of these diseases is now postponed (if not scrubbed), and as far as your brother with Parkinsons and your aunt with diabetes and your uncle with heart disease and your father with cancer and your mother with Alzheimers, let’s just tell them that Baby Jesus wants them to suffer.

CNN is reporting that 14,000 Iraqi citizens have been killed in the first half of 2006. Since the logicians of Cheneystan deduced a direct connection between Iraq, al-Qaeda, and the attacks of 911, that makes 4.66 innocent Iraqi civilian death for every 1 innocent American citizen death in the twin towers. Just this year. Now there are reports that Turkey is preparing to invade Iraqi Kurdistan, taking advantage of the general shitstorm to mop up their own agenda, and increasing the likelihood of a general civil war in Iraq, which there is already, depending on semantics.

And the Right is pissed at the President. More war is the answer, as predicted, and they’ve little faith that this asshole is asshole enough. The clenched sniffiness that is Charles Krauthammer’s madness demands that Israel attack and destroy anyone and everything in the Middle East that displeases Charles Krauthammer. Max Boot, who probably regimented his bug-torturing as a child (and who was handed a serious smackdown on Tuesday’s Diane Rehm show by Bill Odom), seems unaware that the US military can’t handle what he's dismissed as a low-grade insurrection in Iraq, while damning Syria to obliteration with the clicks of his brave keyboard in Los Angeles.

There are the Armageddonists, hankering for end-time, justifying their racism and bloodlust with scripture. And there are Krauthammers and Boots and severely religiously retarded morons on the other side, wishing right back on America gruesome pain and anguished death infinity, may vultures eat your liver and maggots feast on your eyes.

Just saying. Just because cycles of history suggest that all this will pass, past cycles of history did not have a ubiquitous media competing for immediate and sensational gruesomeness and an ever-present internet and everything surveilled always and a video-gamed public triggeraddicted to graphic synaptic gratification. Something going on. Beyond the solipsism that makes each of us think our time is crucial, something significant is going on. Some of us keep saying this and saying this and saying this, and I hope we're wrong. I'll gladly be proven wrong. Until I am, I'm just saying, over and over.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Today I Need Beautiful Things

Music by John Martyn
and on the same page Lieberson sings Handel
and on the same page John Adams

The Dance

by C.K. Williams

A middle-aged woman, quite plain, to be polite about it, and
somewhat stout, to be more courteous still,
but when she and the rather good-looking, much younger man
she's with get up to dance,
her forearm descends with such delicate lightness, such restrained
but confident ardor athwart his shoulder,
drawing him to her with such a firm, compelling warmth, and
moving him with effortless grace
into the union she's instantly established with the not at all
rhythmically solid music in this second-rate cafe,

that something in the rest of us, some doubt about ourselves, some
sad conjecture, seems to be allayed,
nothing that we'd ever thought of as a real lack, nothing not to be
admired or be repentant for,
but something to which we've never adequately given credence,
which might have consoling implications about how we
misbelieve ourselves, and so the world,
that world beyond us which so often disappoints, but which
sometimes shows us, lovely, what we are.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Careful What You Wish For

A certain me wrote, this past Sunday:
I wonder if they've rung Bruce Arena yet. While it'd bitch my craw to see him on the Metros sideline, if MLS hasn't at least put out a feeler to Arena's agent they're more grossly incompetent than the current state of what should be one of the flagship franchises of MLS suggests they already are.
Such influence!
Bruce Arena, widely considered as the most successful and decorated U.S. men's national team coach ever, was named as Red Bull New York's new sporting director and head coach on Tuesday morning. Arena will oversee all of the club's soccer operations, including the first team, reserve and academy teams and youth development.
This is a very good thing for MLS. As for DCU, with Arena taking control 8/12, that makes his first game as head coach of Metros on August 16 against, um, DCU. They'll be visiting RFK September 23.

And maybe, now, as the fourth place team in the East for a first round playoff game in October.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Monday Wants Tranquility,
Settles for Calm

New short story by William Trevor!

Encore posting of my current favorite song by Rogue Wave!

Ives Galarcep on the Arena - USMNT divorce.

More Lists! Guardian's 50 most influential albums of the past 50 years! Velvet Underground and Nico #1.

Freddy Adu OK after wrecking his BMW!


Now, back to calm:

Sunday, July 16, 2006

DCU 3, Columbus 2

Since when did MLS rules allow other teams to score against DCU?

Now we've seen what happens if one of the back three in DCU's defense gets hurt. Of the three - Boswell, Erpen, Namoff - I would have guessed that an injury to Erpen (and as I type this I don't know how serious he's hurt) would be the least worrisome for DCU to manage, which is a compliment more to Boswell and Namoff than a slam at Erpen.

Facundo's reliable for a one or two dvmbfvcks a game (though someone
told him to stop bicycling at any backflipping opportunity), but his strengths outweigh his weaknesses, and now, with him subbed out at half after torqueing what looked like a knee in the first half (Goff in the linked article says minor foot injury), it's apparent that - at least without a week of practice - DCU can't play three back if one of the back is John Wilson. Yes, the two Columbus goals were freaky (especially the first, when Erpen WAS on the field, hobblingly), but Eddie Gaven had two headers, both sitters, late in the second half. Perkins came out and deflected the first, but the second, late, almost in stoppage, Gaven just gakked. Both were on Wilson's watch, and that second came on Wilson's watch after Nowak subbed in McTavish for Adu to help. And that sequence of that last Columbus corner kick, with twenty seconds left in stoppage. Jeez.

Perhaps it's a blip, perhaps Erpen will be OK, perhaps a week of practice as a unit with Wilson getting the minutes will help the defensive organization and cohesion if Erpen can't go. Nowak has shown that he's capable of adjusting his system, so until I see another game with such defensive breakdowns, I'm calling this an injury-related blip.

(An aside: three years ago I thought the future of American soccer would certainly have included Eddie Gaven. I remember a couple of Metroscum games where he made absolutely brilliant runs into the box, along the endline, and clearly was among the most skilled, if not the most skilled, players on the field, and he was, what, seventeen? Eighteen? But he's not even in the USMNT pool now. What the? I'd love to see what Peter Nowak could do with him over the course of a couple of years.)

I'm not sure what I make out of this game. DCU is so much better than Columbus, and dominated all the stats, dominated possession, had two goals taken (rightfully) away, should have scored more, that at 3-1 I thought the game was headed for 5-1. On the other hand, Columbus could have, should have, drawn a point. I believe DCU is too professional to have quit in the 60th minute thinking they had won; on the other hand, I'm shocked that DCU, up 3-1 at 60th minute, ended up sweating this out, injury to Erpen or no.


Special Game B in my ticket book, what's it gonna be for, I was wondering. The Post article, way at the end, says negotiations are on for a game v Real Madrid at Camden Yards. Woot!


One note from this past week from the NYT's weekly soccer note column:

On NYRB, who this week had a Saturday night home game rescheduled for 2pm Friday afternoon so that Giant Stadium could be readied for a Jon Bon Jovi concert this coming Tuesday:
Midway through the season, the Red Bulls (2-6-8, 14 points) are dangerously close to becoming irrelevant for another season. The team has no director of soccer operations, no permanent replacement for the fired coach, Mo Johnston, and no Youri Djorkaeff, the midfielder who remains in France on extended leave to attend to personal business. The team has no timetable for Djorkaeff’s return.
One can hate the Metroscum and still wish for a vibrant, successful, and annually competitive MLS team in NY. I don't see how MLS reaches a level of comfortable confidence in its survivability - a true and assumed level of comfort, as in "we're here for good" and not have to cross fingers - without anchor franchises, and one of those anchor franchises NEEDS to be in NYC or environs. It's shocking to me that MLS has let this franchise become so neglected and irrelevant.

I wonder if they've rung Bruce Arena yet. While it'd bitch my craw to see him on the Metros sideline, if MLS hasn't at least put out a feeler to Arena's agent they're more grossly incompetent than the current state of what should be one of the flagship franchises of MLS suggests they already are. Which wouldn't be good for anybody concerned about the future of soccer in the United States.