Fußball Crazy!

Berliner Dom & Fernsehturm

Originally uploaded by elmada.

Wherever you go in Germany, it’s hard to miss the fact that Germany is hosting the 2006 FIFA World Cup.

Yup, it’s football time, and I don’t mean the American kind, I mean that kind Americans call soccer.

The trains are marked with the World Cup logo, as is bread, toys, and chocolates. Basically, it’s just like Christmas, only without Santa.

Heck, even ball shaped buildings, like the antenna in Berlin, are being decorated for the World Cup. And it’s nowhere near the June 7th tournament start date.

Which reminds me of two tangentially related things. The first is a Vancouver, BC, based website called “NowPublic.Com” It’s basically a website where people who find “interesting” news can share it with other visitors to the website—and then go off and find related news, photographs, or whatever, and link it to the news story.

Great—it might even be fun.

I became aware of this website when somebody posted a news story from Speigel about how Prostitution is going to increase during the World Cup (big surprise there—it increased in New York City when the faith-based-morality-imposing Republicans visited; these are going to be horny young men who love sport).

So in their effort to find photographs related to World Cup Prostitution, some NowPublic.Com contributor (specifically an idiot named conneticutkati), went to Flickr and found the above photo.

Yes, a photograph of the Berliner Dom with the Fernsehturm behind it—and yes, the Fernsehturm was in the process of being decorated as a pink football in order to promote T-Com’s sponsorship of the World Cup.

So we have a cathedral and a broadcast tower together being linked with an increase in prostitution at the World Cup.

Now in honor of free speech and the specific creative commons license I have given the photograph, as long as it’s a non-commercial (the website seems to be commercial free) use of my photo, I really don’t care. If conneticutkati is stupid enough to think that a cathedral, a broadcast tower, and prostitution are somehow related, he’s more than welcome to say so, but I’m not going to lift a finger to help.

So basically, my message to conneticutkati is that just because something is labeled “World Cup” doesn’t mean it is actually related to everything else that has the phrase “World Cup” included.

Conneticutkati’s mental leap actually reminded me of an incident back at the University of Wyoming when I was living in the dorms.

There was a period of time when I was living in 304 Hill Hall, that we had a really bad hall director—a moron by the name of Darrel P. (I know his last name, and I feel like typing it because he did a lot to hurt the quality of life in the dorm, but I am going to restrain myself for now).

Now DP was so bad that all the good Resident Assistants quit, and when he hired replacements, he hired only people who were dumber than he was—which was a trick, but he managed to do it. One of these mental giants was assigned to my floor, and fortunately for her, I’ve forgotten her name.

Immediately adjacent to my room was one of the floor’s bulletin boards and like any good RA, she decorated it with timely decorations—which for February meant Black History Month. (She earned points for this, since she could have easily gone with Valentine’s Day.) I like to imagine (and I’m fairly certain this is what she did), that she went to her computer, popped in one of those CD-ROM encyclopedias that were really popular at that time (we’re talking mid-1990s), and typed the words “African American” into the search box and then printed out everything that came up on the next page without pausing to consider what she was printing out.

Because that’s the only plausible way I could imagine a sequence of events that would lead to Muammar al-Qaddafi being honored on the “Black History Month” bulletin board.

The Follow-Up: To say the least, I was offended, so I marched down to DP and asked him to have the bio of Qaddafi removed, as well as one or two other questionable people. He declined to make the appropriate decision without having a meeting, and he also declined to have a meeting on this subject in my dorm room, wanting to have it at his office, something I was unwilling to do.

Fortunately somebody diverted me from going to the university president to complain (I knew him), and I ended up talking to the extremely nice and competent Director of Housing, Deb. She had inherited asshole DP when she was hired at UW. Shortly after I described to her what was on the bulletin board, it was gone.

Funny enough, DP was also gone a little bit later.

2 comments to Fußball Crazy!

  • Ed

    Many individuals would have either not cared who Qaddafi was or just shrugged their shoulders and ignored the pictures. I am glad you took a stand. Each time I hear about Black history month it reminds me that Blacks only have rights because the Federal Government forced the states to end their segregation practices. Every time they put on the ballot: Do you think that Blacks should have the right to vote? The White majority voted NO! Finally, LBJ came to the rescue and said they will be allowed to vote because it is the right thing to do. I am old enough to remember this. Today we need an LBJ to stand up for the Gay people and say we will give them equal rights because it is the right thing to do. Of course this will not happen while the RRR are in control. (Religous Right Republicans)

  • ChrisC

    In a few minutes I’m going over to my blog to write about the RRR. It is about an article I saw in the Washington Post today.