I'm watching the tele. Why? Because the World Cup is in the tele. And Argentina is in the World Cup. And I am in Argentina. So, you know.
As expected, the entire country is World Cup crazy this month. Everyone's got their best baby blue and white outfit on. As we passed the cops menacing Cabildo, they blasted the national anthem through the P.A. Two kids rode by on bikes screaming "vamos, Argentina!" -- Argentina wasn't even playing that day. My friend Bryan's in Bangladesh and he says it's the same, "there are motorcycle gangs of kids terroizing the city waving argentina flags and beating drums." Wait wha?
Background check. I don't like sports so much. I not only don't like them, I resent them for the detrimental effect they have on society. Beyond distracting citizens from real and consequential issues and providing an environment designed for passive viewing only, like most entertainment, professional sports foster an "us vs. them" mentality, and encourage passionate identification with a team based on arbitrary factors like the country one lives in, all which lends quite nicely to nationalism, jingoism, and xenophobia. However, I think that the more one is aware of the absurdity of rooting for a team because they carry the name of your hometown, the more acceptable it is to root.
I know all about the absurdity, so it's cool if I root. Now, for who?
Yesterday the U.S. played Ghana. I rooted for Ghana, because in Castellano, "ganá" is the imperative of ganar, to win, and it's really fun to yell "Ganá Ghana!" Ghana ganó.
Today Argentina's playing Mexico. I've been to Mexico more times than I've been to Argentina, but I've spent more total time in Argentina. Mexico's got tacos. Argentina's got mate. Mexico's got the Zapatistas. Argentina's got worker-run factories. Mexico's geographically closer to my official home, but right now I live in Argentina. Everyone around me is rooting for Argentina. That's it. Let's go Mexico!
Mexico just lost. 3 - 1. What a racket.
Eh, fortunately the arbitrary process of team selection failed to procure within me a deep sense of attachment.