The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

June 14, 2010

he's leaning back

he's leaning back, he's staring into space, his hands almost enveloping,
his face neutral, his legs landing after a difficult move, a bustiere or
torso encompassing his own, a halter riding askew holding everything in
place, there are two boots of different colors adjacent to his naked body,
whatever might be thinking there, a cone or protuberance between them, not
a codpiece or penis, wrong-headed for that, he's dancing with these or
behind them, or they're pulling him into place, it's a new ballet, or he's
motivated, intent and intended, he'll be drawn into them, or they're
motivating him, or they're uncaring, nonchalant, or he'll transmit the
dancing to julu twine, to julu someone, or he'll be transmitted or the
dancing will be transmitted or he'll be leaning back falling and turning,
or they'll draw him forward, draw him forth, or they'll be comforting him,
or he'll be clothed and comforted, he'll be held singing lovely lovely,
he'll be held singing lovely, or they'll be holding him, they'll be
singing to him, they'll be doing lovely singing, lovely lovely singing to
him and leaning back

< his face neutral, his legs landing after a difficult move, a bustiere or
> his face neutral, his legs landing after a difficult move, a boustier or
< his face neutral, his legs landing after a difficult move, a bustier or
"nulu": plucked kemanche: you'll like this.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 14 Jun 2010 22:05:51
From: moderator@PORTSIDE.ORG
Subject: Glenn Beck's Blues: Why the Far Right Hates Soccer

Glenn Beck's Blues: Why the Far Right Hates Soccer

By Dave Zirin The Nation June 14, 2010

Every World Cup, it arrives like clockwork. As sure as
the ultimate soccer spectacle brings guaranteed
adrenaline and agony to fans across the United States,
it also drives the right-wing noise machine utterly

"It doesn't matter how you try to sell it to us,"
yipped the Prom King of new right, Glenn Beck. "It
doesn't matter how many celebrities you get, it doesn't
matter how many bars open early, it doesn't matter how
many beer commercials they run, we don't want the World
Cup, we don't like the World Cup, we don't like soccer,
we want nothing to do with it."

Beck's wingnut godfather, G. Gordon Liddy also said on
his radio program,

`Whatever happened to American exceptionalism? This
game ... originated with the South American Indians and
instead of a ball, they used to use the head, the
decapitated head, of an enemy warrior."

Dear Lord, where do we begin? First of all, I always
find it amusing when folks like Beck say, "We don't
like soccer" when it is by far the most popular youth
sport in the United States. It's like saying, "You know
what else American kids hate? Ice cream!" Young people
love soccer not because of some kind of commie-nazi
plot conjured by Saul Alinsky to sap us of our precious
juices, but because it's - heaven forefend - fun.

Among adults, the sport is also growing because people
from Latin America, Africa, and the West Indies have
brought their love of the beautiful game to an
increasingly multicultural United States. As sports
journalist Simon Kuper wrote very adroitly in his book
Soccer Against the Enemy [3],  "When we say Americans
don't play soccer we are thinking of the big white
people who live in the suburbs. Tens of millions of
Hispanic Americans [and other nationalities] do play,
and watch and read about soccer." In other words, Beck
rejects soccer because his idealized "real America"  -
in all its monochromatic glory - rejects it as well. To
be clear, I know a lot of folks who can't stand soccer.
It's simply a matter of taste. But for Beck it's a lot
more than, "Gee. It's kind of boring." Instead it's,
"Look out whitey! Felipe Melo's gonna get your mama!"

As for Liddy, let's be clear. There is not in fact hard
anthropological evidence that early soccer games were
played with a human head.  Interestingly, though, there
is an oft-told legend that the sport took root in
England in the 8th century because the King's army
playfully kicked around the detached cranium of the
conquered Prince of Denmark. Notice that this tall-tale
is about Europe not "South American Indians". I think
we're seeing a theme here.

But maybe this isn't just sports as avatar for their
racism and imperial arrogance. Maybe their hysteria
lies in something far more shallow. Maybe the real
reason they lose their collective minds is simply
because the USA tends to get their asses handed to them
each and every World Cup. After all, as G. Gordon
asked, "Whatever happened to American exceptionalism?"
When it comes to the World Cup, the exceptional is
found elsewhere. Could Beck, Liddy, and company just
have soccer-envy? Is it possible that if the USA was
favored to win the World Cup, Beck himself would be in
the streets with his own solid gold vuvuzela? I feel
that to ask the question is to answer it. In fact, this
is as good a reason as any to hope for a mighty run by
the US team. It would be high comedy to see Beck and
Friends caught in a vice between their patriotic fervor
and their nativist fear.

Copyright c 2010 The Nation _____________________

Dave Zirin is the author of Welcome to the Terrordome:
the Pain Politics and Promise of Sports (Haymarket) and
the newly published A People's History of Sports in the
United States (The New Press). and his writing has
appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Sports, New York Newsday and The Progressive.
He is the host of XM Radio's Edge of Sports Radio.
Contact him at


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