Monday, July 12, 2010

What will we talk about now that the World Cup is over?

A gringo's perspective of the World Cup is unique, if only because the U.S. is the only place in the world that doesn't seem to give a hoot. Nothing will ever compare to the experience of living in a country that lives, breathes and dies by soccer.

So, on the day after the World Cup has ended, I give my review.

THE GOOD
  • I've never witnessed such a visceral feeling of togetherness and convivencia with friends and strangers alike. I've only seen equal fervor during the Obama campaign in 2008, but here everyone is voting for the same candidate.
  • Parties! The millions of friendly games working up to the World Cup, then the World Cup itself, make an excuse to drink beers and eat tacos any time. Even at 9 in the morning.
  • Speaking of tacos, the taco stand on my street corner opened at 6:30 a.m. on game days.
  • I liked that the U.S. tried to care, even though we had no idea what we were talking about. Case in point: David Letterman's interview with Landon Donovan. "You know, it just looks like it's fun to run around on that huge, green field. Is it fun?"
THE BAD
  • Nothing brings out the racism here like an international sporting event set in Africa. Every morning I had to watch news anchors, comedians and Mexicans impersonating bone-clad Africans mingle on the morning news. Watch a clip from the showout come Mexicans in full blackface at 0:36.
  • Gringos aren't any strangers to sexist TV ads during sports events, but I thought this one for Sol beer was just terrible. (But it's funny, so it can't be that bad, right?) Synopsis: men all over Mexico ask their girlfriends for a break in the relationship for about a month... let's just say from around June 11 to July 11. Translation: SPORTS ARE FOR MEN ONLY.

4 comments:

Gustavo Adolfo said...

3 cosas por decir:

El mundial de futbol es verdaderamente mundial, no como la "serie mundial" del beisbol.

El racismo en México es tan cierto como su desconocimiento y aceptación por parte de nosotros los Mexicanos.

Existe en México una lucha de poder entre los sexos (estúpida por cierto) y uno de sus principales rehenes es el futbol, de hecho existe la frase de las "viudas del futbol", de ahi viene esta satira que presenta este anuncio, habría que profundizar un poco más en el tema.

Meredith Veto said...

Agree about the first point -- but you know how we gringos hate participating in anything beyond our borders.

About racism here, I don't think Mexicans know what racism is, at least not in the way gringos think about it. If a national TV channel thinks putting people in blackface on TV is okay, then obviously the entire paradigm of racism is different. Gringos have to recognize this too -- Jesse Jackson doesn't come south of the border.

I get that the Sol video is satire. But what does it say to the little girls that grow up watching futbol with their moms? I saw this commercial at least 100 times on TV, so that means a lot of other girls and women did too. It made me feel not welcome.

Gustavo Adolfo said...

Es correcto, respecto del punto 3, tan aficionado puede ser un hombre como una mujer, de igual manera lo pueden disfrutar, y si es en pareja es mucho mejor, como tu y yo lo hemos comprobado ya más de una vez. Ahora entiendo el sentido de tu comentario.

Leslie Limon said...

I watched Primero: El Mundial every morning religiously. And everyday I would comment to Hubby about how wrong the whole blackface thing was. But I don't think Mexicans see it as being racist. And on the last installment, it was "revealed" that the villagers weren't really villagers at all. They were Mexicans whom Brozo had paid to "dress up" as villagers!

Now about that commercial. I thought it was funny as heck. My hubby's shop is connected to the house, and there is always a customer or one of Hubby's friends hanging out there. Every time that commercial came one, the men were in complete agreement. Most of them said that their wives/girlfriends didn't like futbol as much as them. (My hubby wasn't one of them, because I ♥ futbol!) :)