Once again, Donald Barthelme rules the mic:
Capitalism sure is sunny!” cried the unemployed Laredo toolmaker, as I was out walking, in the streets of Laredo. “None of that noxious Central European miserabilism for us!”
In the only other news happening in the entire world, Lindsay Lohan’s fingernails told a Los Angeles Superior Court judge to fuck off. Then she cried for the next eight hours.
Also an octopus picked the winner of a soccer match.
I think there also might still be oil whooshing unimpeded at great velocity into the sea or something.
Sure, his movie career is floundering like BP’s profit margins, but that guy can totally kick the crap out of a futbol.
Video, probably already removed by FIFA Information Retrieval Robots, here.
UPDATE: British funnyman Russell Brand clinched the win for Uruguay with a penalty kick!
Two big victories today for the Dutch World Cup team:
The first one, of course, was over the vaunted Brazilians. This was, to put it mildly, an upset, especially among casual soccer fans (read: Americans). Brazilians everywhere immediately boycotted Picanha for ten minutes in silent protest, then went back to their regularly scheduled leisure and group dancing.
Look at that man. You can basically see right through to the center of his soul. Can you personally even imagine such depths of pain?
I feel a broken man, completely disconsolate, frustrated and an unimaginable sadness.
Here’s Ronaldo suffering in Sardinia with Nereida Gallardo, with Paris Hilton in an LA nightclub, and with an unidentified woman you’ll never have in a location you can’t afford:
I am a human being and like any human being I suffer and I have the right to suffer alone.
In the next installment of The Unfathomable Pain of Being Ronaldo, the Real Madrid star drives ludicrously expensive sports cars at ridiculous speeds while weeping softly to himself.
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.
PORT ELIZABETH, SOUTH AFRICA–Displaying the poise and ball control that established them as early favorites headed into the group stage of the World Cup, England easily trounced a squad of inflatable obstacle dummies made up to look like Slovenia 3-0 today at Nelson Mandelay Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth.
The beleaguered squad bounced back from disappointing performances against the USA and Algeria earlier in the tournament, relying on its trademark passing skills and well-honed set-piece orchestration to foil the surprising Slovenians, who came into the game hoping for at least a draw to advance into the last 16.
The English side’s task was made much easier when Slovenia failed to answer the call for the opening kickoff, and were replaced by the towering balloon figures, each approximately three metres tall and filled with helium; the fanciful figures swayed gently with the cool South African southern coastal breeze as English players darted to and fro among them.
No official explanation for the substitution was immediately forthcoming; FIFA officials insisted a statement would be read by the Slovenian team’s manager at a later date.
Still, even though its opponent was inanimate, and appeared to be fixed in place by giant tethers and some kind of wobbly, sticky base, victory was far from assured by England. The entirely red-clad Three Lions clan struggled in the early going, forcing offsides on itself again and again as exasperated manager Fabio Capello looked on from the sidelines, fingers firmly rooted in his rapidly thinning hair.
An early chance by Wayne Rooney was waved off when the striker was called for a taunting foul, triggered, apparently, by a disparaging comment Rooney seemed to feel was issued by one of the inflatable defenders. Several other English players quickly appeared by his side to haul the Manchester United forward away from a possible second booking.
Although Slovenia was slow to press an attack of its own, several opportunities nonetheless nearly slipped through the hands of goalkeeper David James, a last-minute selection by Capello over his second choice, “Absent.”
The English side finally broke through in the 43rd minute of the game when Emile Heskey punched his way into the Slovenian box and headed in a clean pass from Steven Gerrard. A second goal before halftime was prevented, however, when Heskey failed to maneuver his way around an immobile Slovenia defender and take advantage of an empty net situation created by a slow leak on the part of the Slovenian keeper.
Although officials were able to reinflate the goalkeeper before the start of the second half, it was not enough to prevent a burgeoning blowout, as the suddenly rejuvenated English group sensed a shift in its fortunes and pressed its attack, scoring twice in five minutes when first Gerrard and later Rooney took advantage of well-managed corner kick opportunities to knock in the game’s second and third goals.
The score would stand, though, as Slovenia rallied for a spirited defense to quell the bleeding, although the damage had already been done. When the final whistle blew, the score stood at 3-0 England, with the jubilant English players confused only by their seeming inability to exchange shirts with the Slovenian side.
“Hopefully this gets things going in a positive direction for us,” Rooney said after the match. “I know people will say ‘Ah, they just beat a bunch of [deleted] inflatables,’ but I’d like to see them try. It’s a lot harder than it looks, mate.”
Capello later revealed that GK James would be replaced by a giant inflatable figure of his own devising during the team’s next round match.