June 30th, 2006

cass, can you not

World Cup update

I'm not much into soccer, but Argentina? Roll together every single sport in the US, make everybody in the country a fan of a single team, make that sport the only true national sport for a century, and that's half of what soccer means to the national culture of Argentina.

Argentina (note how the correct way to say it is "Argentina", not "the Argentinean soccer team" - for people over here, the team *is* the country) has just been eliminated from the World Cup. It has happened minutes ago and I can still *hear* the eerie silence of a buildingful of crushed people going on with the workday (if you think there was a single person in the country working in the last two hours, you'd be very mistaken).

And I know the entire city, nay, the entire country, is like that right now. There'll be endless analysis later -heck, it's starting now- but for about thirty seconds, it was *silence*. Everywere.

It's kind of sad that this is what the country chooses to be passionate about (although it sure beats a lot of other options), but it's also a very powerful thing to watch and -a little- participate in, almost forty million people watching feeling the same thing with the absolute synchronicity of real time media. Not something deliberately induced by a party or an organization, but something that by now is as ingrained in national culture as almost nothing else.

Being as much of a chronic loner as I am, I don't think I could get it if I hadn't grown and lived here. Makes me feel somewhat of an outsider, too, to see it but not fully be *part* of it (while another part of me, in a very funny and barely conscious way, is), but, heck, I'm used to being an outsider.