Tuesday, July 11, 2006
Now that the World Cup has passed, there is a large mundial-sized hole left in the lives of millions. The four weeks of football has allowed me - and many others, I imagine - to concoct excuses for putting things off. I should, at the very least have gone looking for a new job. It also allowed me to drink way too much and thus spend way too much money. The rest of the month of July is looking rather bleak as a result.
Of course here in Paris the loss is particularly acute as les Bleus fell at the very last hurdle. And though the final was probably the best in twenty years, and though the grand drama of Zizou headbutting the pantomime villain Marco Materazzi provided a fascinating close to a great career, the anti-climax was palpable. Many French people did not really care all that much, as could be witnessed from the way the bars emptied almost immediately after Gennaro Gattuso slotted away the decisive penalty. But the French also needed something to cheer them up after the pretty awful year the country has had: the rejection of the European Constitution (though some of us view this positively), the riots in the banlieues, the CPE protests and the Clearstream scandal. What many French people found most frustrating was the way that France was viewed around the world; a win in the football would provide even a modest shoring-up of the ill perception of France and the French. Now that is gone, Zizou is gone and surely Thuram, Makelele and perhaps even Viera will join him in retirement. They have to play Italy again in October in the Euros.
And so I decided to start a blog (and fix my bike). Two ways of breaking with the stagnant haze of the past month. I was a bit reluctant to start blogging as I find something arrogant about people imagining that what they may put online is in any way of interest to anybody. But of course there are some that are compulsive reading. And even if nobody actually does read this damn thing, well it will serve some purpose as it sits here unnoticed in cyberspace. What that purpose might be, I am not too sure.