Inception! Everyone is waiting to see Inception! If you haven’t seen Inception there might be something wrong with you!
I’m so excited about Inception that every sentence in this post will end with an exclamation point! Except this one. Leonardo DiCaprio is in Inception! He was in that other movie that everybody liked, and then a lot of movies that only some people liked! Then he was in Shutter Island, and he was kind of old!
I don’t know anything else about Inception except that 1) Leonard DiCaprio is in it and 2) it was directed by Batman! There is some kind of plot that involves massive awesome special effects and upside-down buildings! It’s called Inception! Everyone’s seeing Inception!
My wife is excited about Inception! This is important because popular culture is virtually a blurry smudge to her! When she tells you she is excited about a popular movie or other kind of thing you should really get interested in it quickly, as well, because this is a very rare and delicate condition! Also it could mean that they talked about it on NPR that morning!
Sometimes three months after a popular culture thing is in the hivemind, however, my wife starts to talk about that thing, because Mike Watt was discussing it on his podcast between bonghits with Brother Matt on the Watt From Pedro Show! And then I have to tell her that this thing is sadly no longer relevant and/or available, and we go watch an old episode of “The Office” on DVD instead! Not this time! She is very up to date on Inception!
So I think might have to go stand in line to watch Inception and see what all the hoopy is about! But not this weekend, because I am going to wear short pants and travel to Sacramento to visit the State Fair of California and watch farmers in overalls milk goats! There is also an actual Dog and Pony Show, and you kind of have to go look at that when it comes to your state!
But after that I’ll go see Inception! Or maybe I’ll wait until it’s on cable! I’m pretty excited about it either way!
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.