Football, tory intransigence & virtual reality head-sets

This morning I was listening to another

This is History


Tom Holland


Dominic Sandbrook

are running a World Cup series.

When I first saw

‘World Cup’

I moved-on.

Enough is Enough after all,

As we say

In England

That being the slogan

Of one of the movements

Bringing together the trade unions.

As in, enough is enough

With our lives shrinking, diminishing

At a time

When the oligarchs

Loosen their belts

And gain pounds,

Expanding their girth.

In the spirit of recent blogs,

I thought

You can’t criticise Qatar


Without the facts

Joe Lycett on Twitter

Is one thing



I listened.

Most of the podcasts – they are running 32,

Are not about football

Rather, the countries at the competition

Iran, Croatia, Germany, Tunisia (Carthage!), Uruguay, Costa Rica, and Australia so far

Telling histories of those places.

Germany was represented by the White Rose

The Anti-Nazi movement of 1942 started by Willi GrafKurt HuberChristoph Probst,  Alexander SchmorellHans Scholl and Sophie Scholl.

They tell Hans and Sophie’s story.

It is worth a listen.

(Incidentally, I’d never heard of the White Rose until two weeks ago when reading Ian McEwan’s Lessons; I’d thought the narrative fictional until my daughter described her GCSE history homework, on the White Rose. I later sent her the podcast, to discover her English teacher had also shared the podcast. B’shert, or as Jung would say, ‘spooky’)

Yesterday and today, I listened to the history of the World Cup, Nothing about the Tupamaros of Uruguay or Somerton Man.

1978, the World Cup was in Argentina (during the ‘dirty war‘). At the time ruled by an ultra-right-wing junta; It is unclear how many people were ‘disappeared,’ perhaps 30,000 critical of the government, vanished by means of torture, assassination or bloody murder.

An anecdote from the games was that dissidents were held at the Argentine Navy Mechanical School in Buenos Aires – where they were tortured, before being killed.

The school was close enough to the El Monumental stadium for the prisoners to hear the cheers of the spectators.

On one occasion the guards took the prisoners round central Buenos Aires to witness the jubilation, the lack of concern for them and their situation and the state of the country in general.

Oddly, they were taken for a pizza, I imagine not handcuffed but guns pointing, to see the events, a dig at the futility of your actions, ‘You will not defeat us, you are defeated, you shout injustice, liberty, we should ‘football,’’ or words to that effect – I paraphrase from my imagination.

And the same today.

Qatar with multiple human-rights abuses, the treatment of the itinerant workers, women, LGBTQ groups and others is, ignored.

‘Let’s focus on the game’ say the teammates.

‘Don’t bring politics into football.’

I despair.

‘They won’t allow me to wear the arm-band, it’s OK, it is all about winning,’ says the England midfielder of his Pride badge.

I shout, no, it is not about winning, it is not about football, it is a crisis of the moneyed minority dictating to the rest, it is the corruption of UEFA or FIFA or whatever the organisation with its deep pockets and covert operations, its behind the scenes deals for liquified gas and manipulation of currencies, weapons trades and backroom agreements to look the other way, it is part of what is wrong with our society when people are able to trick themselves into believing that ‘look the other way’ is OK, as food and house prices rise, rents increase and more and more are made homeless or unable to step-up. It is covering your eyes and ‘as if’ not to peeking. It is the reason, after 12 years of tory austerity people are prepared to accept more, ‘So long as it’s not in my back yard,’ dump your pollutants, poison your seas, rivers and land, erode the soil, destroy the air and environment so long as I can get to Tesco, so long as I can pretend everything is OK, so long as you don’t expect me to vote for you or change my opinion. I worked hard to get where I am and those people on the dole, on the charity, foodbanks, sitting in café’s to stay warm, they are the chaff, they do not matter; it is my pound (albeit weakened against the Dollar/Euro/Pseta) and its purchasing power that counts; I will watch Strictly or The Bake Off or other reality TV, and, when the programmes are over I will don my VR headset and pretend I am in the Caribbean or at the football itself, travel to Qatar without the cost of the flight, sitting in my mouldy cell (I’ve still not turned-on the heating, she says with pride). Cough, Aspergillus spores, cough; I don’t mind that this is killing me, I will keep going, I will remain on track, I will buy my football stickers even though I need to borrow money to get the whole set. And enough.

It is this glue,

This stickiness

That stops progress

That prevents change.




Poor me another drink,

Soothe me

Comfort me,

Don’t face me with facts.

A version of reality where millions are able to cognitively split what they know (human right abuses, etc) and pretend that bright green grass (Ultra HD 4K) grows in the desert; a demonstration of failed congruence, a representation of what is is what is not and truth is post truth and just because I tell you the vaccine won’t kill you is a reason for you to believe the vaccine will make me shed the virus and kill more people, just because you don’t eat meat is a reason for me to consume more, magnetic fields we repel logic. (For more, see here.)

How to win amidst the chaos, the hullaballoo?

Let’s go swimming.

It was 8C yesterday,

Maybe colder today.

Published by rodkersh1948

Trying to understand the world, one emotion at a time.

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