The home culture advantage for the Black African teams isn't as strong as I figured it'd be so far. Japan got its first ever WC win sans home field against a Cameroon team that's usually pretty good. Go figure.
Holland looked very good in its first game, as usual, and will likely get its heart torn out in either the quarters or the semis, as usual.
Italy came back to tie Paraguay, which is typical for the Andiens, they usually hang tough against the elite teams but have never quite broken through. I remember the 98 cup, where they held a French team that went on to win it all to a 0-0 draw until the last minute of overtime. Poor bastards.
HP Lovecraft was a right-wing WASP supremacist you know. The entire Cthulhu mythos is based on the premise that trying to understand the 'exotic', instead of dismissing it as evil out of hand, is the way to madness. Certainly a poisonous moral to what is nonetheless a great series of stories.
I bring this up here because of G. Gordon Liddy's comment on the origin of soccer, "Whatever happened to American exceptionalism?" "this game ... originated with the South American Indians and instead of a ball, they used to use the head, the decapitated head, of an enemy warrior." http://mediamatters.org/research/201006110040
That's not exactly true of course. In fact soccer as we know know it today evolved in England, the land of Whitey to the Whiteys. It was there that the first soccer league, first written rules, and first governing association for the game all developed. Perhaps Liddy thinks that South Americans invented the games because they're so good at it; indeed the story of how various peoples in the global south learned the game from their colonial 'masters' and then proceeded to become as good or better than them at it is one of the epic tales of the modern age. It is in fact a great point of consternation among the jingos and xenophobes of Europe. People who rightfully should be the blood brothers of American wingnuts if only our assholes weren't so damned myopic.
But still I remember my Lovecraft, so in the interest of the national unity needed to beat Slovenia I'll allow Liddy to hold to his amusing delusion, allow him to live in his fantasy world where a handful of Caucoid warriors fight for their rightful dominion against a world full of effete commie savages. While it's true that an alternate universe as hateful, violent, and soul-crushing as Liddy's might not be yours or my idea of escape, it's certainly exciting as all hell. It is highly doubtful that this man has ever felt bored in his life.
American conservatives have long worried that the USA's gradual warming to soccer will cause us to lose our distinct national identity. Yet if they only had the slightest knowledge of football culture, how rivalries between clubs touch on all of the classic points of human hatred and division; race, religion, class, they would surely fall harder for the game than any Latin immigrant or urban hipster.
Take soccer in the UK for example, (Which is, after all, the foreign country that doesn't really count as foreign to the Right. I mean it isn't as not foreign as Israel, not anymore, but it's still special.) The British soccer world is one in which the Falklands War is still going strong, the War against Germany has just now reached an uneasy ceasefire, and the struggle of non-Anglo British Islanders for autonomy from London is pretty well guaranteed to last until the end of time. It is a world where love for one's own people is perfectly indistinct from hatred of everyone else. And this is just in Britain, one will find the same eternal tribal warfare in most any soccer community in any country. And let's not forget that this is sports we're talking about, a realm where entities exist for the express purpose of opposing and seeking supremacy over each other. It is in short everything that the right-wing heart finds good and decent in the world, if they only had a clue, but at least they have their Cthulhus.