La Furia Roja

El balón, en el fondo de la red

I know some of you aren’t very fond of watching soccer. I have to admit I really like it, I’ve been one of those loosing their voices in the bars while cheering for their team. I wouldn’t pay 3,000 euros out of the blue to travel to South Africa like I hear some people are doing, but I took the afternoon off to watch the Germany vs Spain match, and I won’t miss the final on Sunday.

This is the first time Spain has made it to a World Cup final and, as expected, this has generated large media coverage with predictable overreactions from both the pro- and anti- soccer folks with whom it’s easy to disagree. I don’t think this is the most important moment in Spanish history, and I don’t think either this will prevent our generation from getting Nobel prices. Germany who we played against have won both several World Cup titles and some more Nobel prices.

It’s just a simple fact these competitions have a great impact in a country. It’s not the first time we have observed this and won’t be last one. Clearly it won’t be enough to fix the country and its mentality, but I believe the image above has changed Spain in a way few things have before. This accomplishment has squelched some of those empty excuses we had heard before about our defeats and I believe you will notice this change in the years to come.

Update: Interesting article related to this topic by Pere Estupinya (Spanish): “Si las elecciones en España fueran dentro en una semana, Zapatero tendría más posibilidades de ser reelegido“.

Control, what control?

Yesterday I had an odd conversation with a friend, he enumerated the ways Governments around the world control us. He didn’t mention laws “inspired” by corporations or lacks in our democratic systems. He spoke about satellites spying us, videocameras in the streets, Echelon reading our e-mails, the strange security measures in the airports, and I don’t know what about a new deal involving the European Union. You know what I mean, the classic conspiracy theories and big brother paranoia.

Sure they are violating our privacy (for better or for worse) but honestly, are they really controlling us? I wonder which one of these measures is stopping us from changing the world.