Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Match Pricks takes a geopolitical turn ... yet brings it all back to football – somehow

There's a lot of things Colin and I here at Match Pricks want you to keep an eye out for as you go through your day. Colin would be appreciative if you kept on the lookout for a good curry somewhere in the area and dropped him a quick line about it. I'd prefer it if you took some time to watch the standup concert and Pakistan campfire scenes from "Looking For Comedy in the Muslim World" and laughed along with me.

But perhaps above all, we'd really like it if you stick it to Jintao. You've probably noticed if you've spent any time around these parts that Match Pricks aspires to continually fend off with whip and chair the oppressive efforts of Jintao. Seriously, do a search for "Jintao" on the site.

Usually, Jintao enters your brain at 5:45 a.m., there's a 6:45 a.m. kickoff and you called an end to Friday night about 90 minutes earlier. Of course, the match is on Setanta and you have to head down to the bar to watch it. Jintao's trying to keep you down, literally, in that warm, womb-like bed instead of celebrating the football.

Then there's times like Monday, when Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao (pictured above) spoke at Cambridge and had a shoe thrown at him (details in link are beyond priceless). Surprisingly, state media in China reported full details of the incident, but it'll shock no one what the tone of the coverage has been. This opinion piece from The Economic Observer with the headline "Put Down Your Shoes!" proved the most amusing that I came across:

"Nevertheless, China has never held a grudge against Britain. Chinese have traditionally advocated treating people with respect and burying the hatchet (between the shoulder blades – Match Pricks editor). Moreover, in terms of our foreign policy, the Chinese government has maintained neutrality, pushed for mutual-trust and respect, and noninterference in other countries' internal affairs."

Ahem ... This strikes at the heart of one of Match Pricks' core philosophies. So some Cambridge longhair threw a shoe at the Chinese prime minister (In your face, Jiabao?). He was immediately denounced by the audience and 1.6 billion Chinese, but I'd like to think he's just a frustrated West Brom supporter forced to endure a Saturday alone at the bar while some unhinged United bandwaggoners sing the praises of Wes Brown for the 9th time in the last 35 minutes. Or perhaps he's just a Fulham fan bemoaning the fact he'll never see Beijing because the Cottagers don't seem likely to drum up sufficient interest in staging a gobs-of-cash-generating Far East tour in the summer?

My point is, Jiabao and Jintao, we're not going to say "Oww!" any longer. Denigrate human rights while lying through your teeth, and pretend your very nature is more pure than all the ideals that Western free expression and the pursuit of happiness represents. I'm still banging back a couple of jiggers of Jameson when Liverpool lights it up. I'm still leering at too-young-for-me girls in tight-fitting clothes. And I sure as shit ain't gonna stop fighting with every ounce of my nature your operatives in Manchester and Milan.

Celebrate the football. Denounce Jintao. And don't ever let them stop this beauty or keep you from imagining something like this.

Now scroll down and check out Colin's excitement about Arshavin going (finally) to Arsenal. He's got some DJ Kool for you, and that's a great way to smack Jintao right in the mouth.


West Brom said...

I resent the insinuation that West Brom fans hurl footwear! What then? Do we hop home?

Jim said...

My apologies for being unclear on what I was getting at. The post actually supports West Brom fans in their efforts to stave off the heavy boot of Jintao/Jiabao.

Don't take any more guff from those swine – and keep your shoes on.

Anonymous said...

Tell Colin the BritInn has curry on Sunday nights. Or at least they did a few weeks back.

If throwing shoes is the new way to display contempt, can we get a life sized cutout of Sir Alex Jintao to throw our shoes at when Liverpool plays Man. U? I have a few old pairs I need to do something with.