Knowmark Blog

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Whores, hamsters and head-butts

Finally, some commentary that makes sense of this senseless incident ...

Tabatha Southey in the Globe & Mail:   Three weeks after Italy took the World Cup from France, after witnessing first-hand the joy on College Street in Toronto, having heard the chart-topping Head-Butt Song (Coupe de Boule) with which the French are currently consoling themselves and after considerable reflection, I realized that there was a lesson to be drawn from all of this, and I called my two young sons to my side.

Basically I said, "Look boys, there's something I have to tell you, and I want you to listen carefully. If it should ever happen, and I know it seems unlikely, that either one of you should find yourself playing for Canada, final game, in extra time for the World Cup, and someone from the opposing team should sidle up to you and call me a whore -- don't dismiss it out of hand.

"All I'm saying is, at least consider the possibility. After all, do either one of you really know where the money comes from? No, you don't, do you?"

I told them: "This is certainly not a confession, and I don't mean to alarm you. But I do want you to promise me that, if someone, particularly in a high-stakes situation, ever calls me a whore, you will, before you lower your head and ram it directly into your fellow sportsman's chest, take a second to consider whether your worthy opponent is perhaps employing the word in its less literal sense."

"Perhaps the other player does not really mean that I am a woman who sells her sexual favours on the street to strangers for cash, although again, what do you really know about my finances?" I said, looking at their sweet, bashful faces. "Exactly, that's what I thought.

"Perhaps the player means it in a more metaphorical sense, as in 'Your mother has no firm values and has debased herself by doing things for purely monetary reasons.' You know, like shopping at Costco.

"Perhaps he just thinks I look slutty. So, maybe we should agree now that your strategy could be to just play out those last 10 minutes, and then later, after the game, ask if he has any first-hand knowledge of my whoring. Does he have tapes -- or receipts?

"Also," I continued, "you don't have a sister, but, if you ever did and she was on the game, I would have to say that's her life choice and no reflection on you. Do you understand?

"After all, you are good enough to play for your country, so if your mother and sister are both whores, then that would only make you look better. You would have overcome some pretty tough odds, my little men, and your sister and I would be total lost causes -- just a couple of no-good whores, walking the streets to keep you in cleats.

"There'd be nothing to be gained by defending our honour," I assured them, "except -- considering Zinédine Zidane's punishment -- a three-game suspension and a £3,260 fine.

"Do you have any idea," I chided, wagging a finger at them, "exactly what I would have to do to earn £3,260? Don't even think about it.

"Finally," I added, "and I think this should be all I need to say on the subject, if supposing, with 10 minutes left to play in the match that may well decide your legacy -- will it be twice a World Cup winner or mere novelty-song subject -- someone should call me, your sweet mother, a hamster, I would want you to let it go, boys, let it go.

"It could be that he's calling me a hamster because he knows that, in all your years in bad neighbourhoods and then pro sports, that might be the one thing you have never heard me called before. Which is why, from now on, just to be on the safe side, as a pre-emptive measure, I want you to start calling me 'Hamster.'

"That's right. No more 'What's for dinner, mum?' Not if you want an answer in this house. From today forward, I want to hear, 'What's for dinner, Hamster?' Or maybe even 'What's for dinner, Hamster, you whore?'

"Have I made myself clear?" They nodded, and I thought I'd done my duty, but after a wee bit more reflection on the FIFA judgment, I had to call them back in one last time.

"Boys," I said.

"Yes, Hamster," they replied.

"Sit down and listen up. I have to cover yet another base with you. When Marco Materazzi apologized for provoking Zidane and accepted his own £2,170 fine, I recall now that he maintained that his comments were not 'racist, religious, or political,' and that he'd said 'nothing about his mother.' Which means, my lads -- and this is woman's intuition here and it has been eating away at me all week -- that whatever he did say must have had something to do with the size of Zidane's penis.

"Now there's no need to press me on the whys and wherefores of this one, but well, my darlings, it just so happens -- long story -- that I've seen a fair number of penises in my time and if, in the decisive moments of a World Cup match, in the final game of your remarkable career, someone tries to provoke you by saying something about the size of your penis . . . well," I said, with a breezy gesture of my hands, "based on a random, and I do mean random, sampling, you certainly have nothing to worry about in that department.

"So, please promise me now that, if it happens, you'll just let it go, boys, let it go."

Tabatha Southey is a Toronto writer and columnist for Elle Canada magazine.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

images will not be displayed

Richard Rathwell at Blue Orange: "The solution to this problem would be to first temporarily close the US borders to prevent egress."

Friday, September 16, 2005

We must not be blackmailed by Merkel's neoliberal gang

Günter Grass in The Guardian: "The chancellor and foreign minister were not swayed. To this day, they have stood by this responsible decision and at the same time shown themselves to be loyal to the role of the UN."

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Everything we heard and saw until the dead rose was false

Richard Rathwell in A Partisan Diary: "One man in parliament mentioned the war. He was called a serpent with his tongue in a poison pool. That seemed excessive. A placard at the parliament building linked the bombs here with the bombs there."

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

No escape from the war

Andrew Murray in The Guardian: "First, we must bear witness to the fact that on every point, the 2 million people who demonstrated against aggression on February 15 2003 have been shown to be correct, while those making the case for the war have been proved disastrously mistaken at best, reckless liars at worst."

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Why are we welcoming this torturer?

Victoria Brittain in the Guardian: "Why has no public figure had the honesty to admit that the democracy and freedom promised for the Middle East are fake and mask US plans to leave Washington dominant in the area?"

Monday, December 06, 2004

Save us from the politicians who have God on their side

Max Hastings in the Guardian: "Christian Crusaders were a menace to international peace in the 12th and 13th centuries, Christian missionaries in the 19th. God spare us from assertively Christian - or Muslim or Jewish - national leaders in the 21st ..."