Thursday, June 14, 2018

Football aka Soccer and My media diet

There’s only one title to be won in the World Cup, but there are still thousands of opportunities for poems.
↩︎ Poetry Magazine

Ahead of the World Cup, Russian workers are being coached on how to smile—in order to combat a dour stereotype.
↩︎ Business Insider

Sean Connors, not O'Connors, Cars for sale: QLD man's hilarious ad goes viral 

Photos of "some smaller and more unusual" soccer fields from around the world

A thoughtful, surprisingly inspiring primer on this year’s World Cup and World Cups generally.
↩︎ The New York Review of Books

My media diet for Autumn 2018

For all its faults, the World Cup in Russia is worth celebrating

It also rewards good government. ... possible reason for the failure of its men's teams is that America's professional soccer league is a cartel.

Who to Root for in the World Cup...


THE ONE ARTICLE YOU SHOULD READ ABOUT THE WORLD CUP: It is by the sublime Brian Phillips, in the New Yorker, with the title: "Messi vs. Ronaldo, Magic Cats, Iceland!!, and the Entire Emotional Context in Which Much of Human Life Transpires." I'm not kidding. This World Cup, kicking off this morning, is big. It's strange. It's hosted by Putin. Here's Phillips' lead: "Ladies and gentlemen, start your psychic octopuses." If you're still with me, here's a schedule.

World Cup 2018: Russia vs Saudi Arabia a stinging insult to USA, Italy
RUSSIA entered this year's World Cup as the lowest ranked nation among the 32 competing teams. The next worst side according to FIFA rankings?

Rampant Russia pummel Saudis 5-0 in World Cup opener
After a nine-month winless run, FIFA World Cup hosts Russia roared their intent to the rafters with a 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia.

World Cup 2018: Day One Wrap - Russia thrash Saudi Arabia, Vladimir Putin already a meme, Mohamed Salah, video, highlights
2018 World Cup day one got underway in Russia with a controversial opening ceremony and a one-sided match a...

World Cup: Russia thumps Saudi Arabia 5-0 thanks to brilliant Denis Cheryshev brace at Luzhniki - FIFA World Cup - Russia 2018
World Cup host Russia gets the FIFA World Cup off to a tremendous start with a clinical 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia, in a major step forward for its hopes to ...

World Cup 2018: countdown to opening ceremony and first game ...

The Czech failed to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, having ended third in their continental qualifying group.  

world cup 2018 on Twitter

*SBS World Cup plans for new frontier for Aussie sport broadcasting

Australia - Here's how to watch the 2018 FIFA World Cup live, online, and free in ...

2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ -


Story image for world cup  2018 from Fortune

Here's How to Watch the 2018 World Cup


The story behind the BBC’s remarkable World Cup trailer begins some time ago, with a 12-year-old on a day trip to a boat show becoming entranced by an embroidery machine. Many years later the boy, now working in animation and also the singer and guitarist in a rock band, produced a Kickstarter-funded, Channel 4-backed fully embroidered animated video for one of their songs. It was, he says, “the most ridiculously stupid idea”, one that took seven months to bring to life. Four years later, the BBC called.

Quick reviews of some things I’ve read, seen, heard, and experienced in the past month or so. I was out of town for a few days so there are more books on here than usual. I’m trying to keep it up…reading right now but too early to call: Broad BandAm I There Yet?Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet. Oh and I’m really glad The Americans is back on, even though it’s the final season. (As I’ve said before, don’t pay too much attention to the letter grades. They are subjective and frequently wrong.)


The Wedding Party (Birth of a Book) by Henry Koerner (1915-1991)

Star Trek Voyager. Not in the same league as Next Generation, but it hums along nicely after they get going. (B)

Mr. Robot. I watched the first episode of season three and then got distracted by other things. Anybody watch the whole season? Is it worth circling back? (TBD)

Annihilation. I enjoyed this more than many people I know, but not as much asMatt Zoller Seitz. Eager to watch it again since reading the book (see below). (B+)

Lincoln. I love this movie. One of Spielberg’s best. (A)

Ugly Delicious. I wanted to hate this, but it’s really interesting and David Chang wears you down with his, well, I wouldn’t call it charm exactly. The episode that really hooked me was the Thanksgiving one, when he’s wandering around a massive supermarket with his mom, who’s mockingly calling him “David Chang” (you can almost hear the appended ™ in her voice) and then refers to him as the “Baby King”. Also, for a chef, Chang is weirdly incurious about food but harangues people for not appreciating kimchi. I really should write a longer post about this… (A-)

Murder on the Orient Express. Better than I had heard, if you choose to embrace its slight campiness. I really enjoyed Branagh’s Poirot. (B+)

Geostorm. I love disaster movies like this, but I kept checking my phone during this one and a day or two later I couldn’t have told you a single plot point. That will not stop me from watching it again because (see first sentence). (C)

Sunsets. I recommend them, particularly on the beach. (A)

Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward. Great book, deserving of all its accolades. (A-)

Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer. This is likely an unpopular opinion, but I liked the movie more. Upon finishing, I was not inclined to read the sequels. (B)

The Odyssey, translated by Emily Wilson. As I mentioned here, I’m reading this aloud to my kids, which feels a little like a time machine trip back to antiquity. (A)

An Incomplete History of Protest. Inspiring collection of objects related to the protests of everything from the AIDS crisis to Vietnam. Fascinating to see how the disenfranchised leveraged art and design to counter their neglect by the powerful. (A-)

Grant Wood: American Gothic and Other Fables. Fun to see American Gothic up close, but I was more impressed by some of Wood’s other work, particularly his illustration-like landscapes. I showed the kids a photo I had taken of one of the paintings and Ollie said, “that looks like a 3D rendering!” (B+)

Stephen Shore at MoMA. I’d label this a “must see” if you’re into photography at all. Shore’s shape-shifting career is inspiring. (A-)

Red Sparrow. I was texting with a friend about how cool it would be if J. Law’s character in Red Sparrow was Paige Jennings from The Americans all grown up, but the timelines don’t match up. (B-)

Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle. I don’t play a lot of board games so maybe this is a common thing now, but I really like how all the players have to work together against the game to win. But once you get past the first couple of decks, the games take *forever*. (B+)

The Royal Tenenbaums. Rushmore will always be my sentimental Wes Anderson fave, but Tenenbaums is right up there. (A)

Consider the Lobster by David Foster Wallace. I have been listening to the audiobook version while in the car, and Wallace’s reading of the first story, Big Red Son (about an adult video awards show), made me laugh so hard that I had to pull of the road at one point. (A)

Logan Lucky. Much better on the second watch. I don’t know why I didn’t appreciate it the first time around…I love Soderbergh and this is basically Ocean’s 7/11. (A-)

Moon. I saw this when it originally came out but didn’t like it as much the second time around. Great soundtrack though. (B+)

Sleep. An 8-hour-long album designed to be played while you sleep. I listened to the entire album while working, and it’s pretty good for that purpose as well. (A-)
Simon and the Whale. Wonderful room and service. Really good cocktails. I know the kitchen crew and they still blew me away with the food. (A)
Girls Trip. I haven’t laughed so hard at a movie since I don’t know when. Bridesmaids maybe? Can’t wait to watch this again in a few months. (A-)
Ready Player One. I very much enjoyed watching this movie. Spielberg must have had fun going back through the 80s pop culture he had a large part in shaping. (A-)
Electricity. I’m writing this not from my usual home office but from the lobby of the local diner/movie theater. We had a wind storm last night, which knocked the power out at my house. That means no heat, no water, no wifi, and very poor cell reception. And a tree came down across the road I live on, so I was “stranded” for a few hours this morning until someone showed up with a chainsaw. I unreservedly recommend electricity (and civilization more generally). (A+)