Matt Taibbi waited patiently until everybody got super mancrushy for Landon Donovan, and then he pushed the button. Couldn’t take it no more. So splat, right there in the middle of “Men’s Journal” — which is some kind of collective ancestral memory about getting laid inside homebrew mud-huts, I believe — there is a big grunty Matt piece about how much he hates the World Cup and soccer is dumb and involves people wearing capes and falling down and stuff. Grrrrrr! Matt really hates soccer, because it’s gay! And it’s gay because he hates it! See?!?
The piece is not utterly worthless, solely because Matt Taibbi can write like Jesus. But he’s so deeply wrong in this piece (there are no injuries in soccer? Really now. I’ll be sure to let these guys know) that after I’d got to the end of it I actually started questioning everything else I could remember that he’s written. Was he really right about credit default swaps in his epic throwdown with Byron York, for instance? I forwarded that sucker to everybody I knew, for fuck’s sake. How about this more recent thing on derivatives in an increasingly impressive Rolling Stone return to real journalism? Because I really want Matt to be right. And on the subject of soccer, he’s an idiot, just another shock jock in search of cheap laffs from the Joe the Plumber section of the behavioral short bus.
So that’s kind of disappointing. Matt has a godawful tendency to channel not Hunter S. Thompson, but a frat boy on vacation in Daytona Beach dressed up exactly like Hunter S. Thompson, but he’s also the first real contender we’ve had in that vacancy for a pretty good long while. And that job was up for grabs well before the Good Doctor permanently created the opening himself.
But when the talk turns to something he doesn’t understand, the drool cup comes out. This article isn’t just bent, it’s completely dismembered at approximately the neck area. It’s the journalistic equivalent of my dog ate it. Matt forgot to write an article today, signed Taibbi’s Mother.
In the entire thing, and it’s a completely depressing chore to get through, there is only one passage that rings utterly true, and it is this bit about awful World Cup mascots, of which there are thousands, and Taibbi is not exaggerating here when he says:
“[I]t can be argued that the all-time nadir of mascot history was reached at the 1974 Cup in Germany, when the mascot was two pubescent German boys in midriff-baring shirts with their arms around each other.”
Because look up at the top of this article. Look at that shit. Look.
So you get one point, Matt. Don’t spend it all in one place.