How Alexander Hamilton and a Swiss anti-Federalist created our country's capitalist system.
Speaking on BBC radio at the end of 2003, as his novel Absolute Friends was published in the shadow of the Iraq war, John le Carré compared himself to Victor Klemperer, the German-Jewish scholar and diarist.
The French team is heading home, ending the soap opera (As the Stomach Turns). Thankfully, they were in group A, and finished early, so we don’t have to listen to one embarrassing story after another. Au revoir, mes amis. I don’t know whether England will make it through or not. They should, but need to play much better than they have. There has been an abundance of analysis for the surprising lackluster play of the big European clubs—some interesting, mostly not, all rather speculative. I’m interested in the idea of playing ‘better’ because of the shirt you put on.
On Twitter this afternoon we had some fun remembering French embarrassments in Africa: the Battle of the Nile, Fashoda, Mers El Kebir, Suez, Bocassa, Rwanda and now, of course, South Africa 2010. Flippant, obviously, but France's meltdown this tournament has been richly entertaining (the shame of it is that Les Bleus cannot meet England. Now *that* would be a perversely amusing moment of anti-entertainment). Apart from the Irish, no one has enjoyed this tournament more than the French themselves. Few countries, after all, do self-mortification quite as well as the French.
Zachary Roth and Luke Dempsey's eloquent and honest posts about the USA-England match raise interesting questions about the roles of identity, citizenship, and fandom. Loyalties are strange things. Driving to play in a charity “World Cup” event over the weekend with a friend from Liverpool, he casually mentioned he was having trouble fully giving himself over to Wazza & Co. Why? There are no Evertonians in the squad.
As someone who, like Luke, grew up in England and now thinks of himself as an American, I can sympathize with his decision not to watch on Saturday, out of a feeling that there's just Too Much There. I also strongly agree that America is awesome. People have an attitude of openness to possibilities, and to improving their lives, that you don't find anywhere else. There's less cynicism and poorly-disguised jealousy when good things happen to someone else. American girls are more interested than are English girls in English men—and some even play soccer.
Chaos and Creation in the Backyard Paul McCartney The last time Paul McCartney made an album in the vein of his latest CD, Chaos and Creation in the Backyard, John Lennon was alive to hear it.