Saturday, July 01, 2006

We made a grown man cry

I give up.

I am now, officially, a bloody supporter of the bloody World Cup.

There, I've said it.


The reason I found it so bloody annoying is, we are a disgrace as a nation. Our economy is in shambles, our life quality is distressing (we pay as much taxes as the Germans and make 40% less), our social and moral values are fickle (we are the European country that works the longest hours and produces the least, lovely work ethic) , our drive, as a people, is non-existent. And we're PROUD of it.

Except, find 22 men and a stupid little round ball and every Portie who finds it too exerting to walk a few metres to throw his wrapper in the rubbish bin, thereby being forced to just weakly let it float to the nearest piece of ground available, will get off his arse and become energetic and make sacrifices and - do you know how many men flew to Germany for the cup? How many men from not so well-off families? We'll be forced to eat pasta w olive oil till December but by Golly I'll be there to support our men! !!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We have an identity now, and it's centred on a little rolling piece of leather, and it vanishes the moment the more recent memories of the Cup do. And that breaks my heart and makes me mad, it makes me so bloody mad bcs we could be better than this, we used to be better than this and where did it all go, exactly?

The Porties, the Seafarers, could now circumnavigate their home sinks, maximum, and even that might prove too taxing. I have long been ashamed of Amnesty in Portugal, and recently of Amnesty as a whole. That isn't all, sadly. [Maybe I have a lower disgracefulness threshold?] When I say that we are the greatest nation in the North of Africa - that is no joke. I am ashamed of my country as well. I wouldn't be if we were poor and helpless and trying. But we're not. We're poor (yet expensive), and weak (except re little round ball) and trying? Wha? What others think of us is terribly important, what we think of ourselves - well, as long as we still manage to fly to Cuba every year all is well. Nacional-porreirismo is what we call it, no easy way to translate this. Porreiro means cool, good. How are you? I'm porreiro, pá, and you? How's the job? Porreiro, pá, they don't give me much grief. And there's a fair amount of shrugging involved, Shoulder Shrugging elevated to an exact and multi-faceted science, with many a gradation. You could go for a minute without needing to actually speak. Basically, national-porreirism is the quintessence of Portieness, and it amounts to I don't care what happens as long as it doesn't happen to me, and even if it does doing something abt it might just be too much of a bother.


Football, as the very last bastion of our national identity, is a depressing sight. But there is a certain beauty to how much they care, and to, during the Cup, having the bloody little round leather ball approach either of the goals. Even my heart skips a bit, and Loverboy's misses an MI for reasons not yet understood. So, yes, I hope we win. It would make my men happy, and we haven't fucked with the Brazilians in centuries. That isn't right. [Note: we'll have to kick froggie ass now, Brazil's just been eliminated. Oh well.]

Plus, today we did make the Brits cry. HA! Nothing warms my heart more than teary hooligans.

Oh oh! Almost forgot, the hooligan bit reminded me, this is the best, di absoliute bést! One of the neo-na*is I wrote abt in April is actually my neighbour. Porreiro, yes? A few weeks ago I was grocery shopping and what do I see? Said neo-na*i in full regalia, i.e.:

- Black t-shirt
- Black combat [ha!] pants
- Black combat [ha!] boots
- Bad hair
- Short stature
- His mummy

That's right, that fierce example of humanity was CHOOSING PRODUCE WITH MUMMY, isn't that adorable? I love my neighbour as myself.

[Excuse my absence from blogs, exam Monday and 4 more on Friday. FOUR. On Friday. 3 Pharmac, 1 Biochem, latter will attend to circle random answers. Too ominous. Also, anon commenters no longer allowed, sorry, bcs some people STILL have not realised I find them ugly and vulgar and wish for no part of them on my blog, no matter how disguised they think they are.]


At 1/7/06 21:18, Blogger Alcuin Bramerton said...

Absence excused. Good luck with the kiddiepuzzles.

At 2/7/06 02:45, Blogger Panda said...

When MOnkey Boy told me the Porties were through I did a little internal jig. Like I care about the soccer at all but I decided to root for you guys after we were robbed ROBBED by Italy.

Good luck with the circling.

At 2/7/06 03:28, Blogger Lilian said...

OK, so now you made me cry, and I'm linking to this post after I finish writing this comment (and my sad post about today - which will be my third and last post on the world cup, I don't know if you saw my previous ones)...

I'm not really crying about Brazil. I'm actually REALLY glad I didn't watch the game today*, though my husband and dad are watching a video recording of it right now. I'm crying because I TOTALLY understand what you're saying about being in a poor country and having soccer become something really important for the country. I SO wanted Portugal to win, I'm SO glad you did it. I knew Felipao would do a good job, I really like him.

Anyway, of course as far as soccer goes, Brazil is generally great and they don't really want us to win anymore because then World cups would be boring, but for us Brazilians, it's sad for exactly the reasons you outlined in the post - soccer is basically one of the few things we're good at, and when we loose, it's devastating. My husband is even saying this may influence the presidential election and hurt Lula - it might as well be the case.

Anyway, I'll stop hijacking the comments. GREAT POST, and it was good to shed a few tears. In honor of our team as well...

* We didn't watch because we're Sabbath keeping Christians and we didn't want to watch the game on Sabbath.

At 2/7/06 03:29, Blogger Lilian said...

Oh, and regarding Panda's comment, I was extremely mad that Australia lost unjustly to Italy.

At 2/7/06 04:42, Blogger Dale said...

To me, Portugal is the country which had the glory of producing you -- so I think of it as a magnificent nation. For heaven's sake, how much glory do you want for it?

At 2/7/06 05:21, Blogger brooksba said...

Portugal is my favorite country to visit. It has you. I loved the time DM and I were there and wish I was back.

I'm rooting for Portugal in that sport that I'm not really paying any attention to. But it's better for me to not watch. Tends to go to the teams I like if I don't watch.

Miss you and best of luck with the more exams.

At 2/7/06 10:06, Blogger brooksba said...

I meant to comment about a couple other things when I posted that earlier comment. So, seriously, the wanker was with his mom? That's HI-larious. What a putz. It doesn't surprise me though.

And the anony comments - still? Really? All I can do is muster a look of "what are you thinking?"

At 2/7/06 11:40, Blogger Lori's talking said...

well, I try to be as ignorant as I can considering the WorldCup but hey, what can I do, I live in Munich and you just can't get away from this crazy, happy atmosphere and please, yes lets just forget about all the sh*t going on everywhere, all the problems and yeah well, lets just kiss the cheeks of this sweating unshaved Australian who now - that his team had to leave - is supporting the German one for some unknown reason. Gosh, I love Jens Lehmann, this was the nicest heart attack in ages, WE (yes, all of us) won against Argentina. And now, Portugal did beat England and how come your goalkeeper is much cuter than ours??? Why do women watch sogger again?? So if Portugal plays Germany in the final I cannot help but feel a slight sympathy for Ricardo & Co. :)

At 2/7/06 14:36, Blogger Diana said...

Well YOU certainly don't embody what you put forth as the Portie work ethic, do you dahling?

This was an absolute scream. I'm going to make Charles read it.

Go Portugal!

At 2/7/06 22:15, Blogger Thalia said...

Well now you've given me a completely different perspective on yesterday's game and my husband's current state of depression.

Am a bit confused by Lilian's comment though - the game was on saturday so why was that the sabbath for a sabbath-keeping christian? Maybe I'll go and ask her...

At 2/7/06 23:04, Blogger Udge said...

I would just LOVE to see a Germany/Portugal final! Go whup them Frenchies.

Funny how the damn WC gets under one's skin, I too have become a follower - though still without actually watching a game. There are limits.

Good luck with the remaining exams.

At 3/7/06 06:34, Blogger Lord Chimmy said...

Well, hurrah for Portugal...

I don't really care about footie, but if the Porties win it all I'll be thinking about you.

At 3/7/06 10:56, Blogger treppenwitz said...

And here I had always thought of Portugal as the country that had the balls to wait an extra four hears before expelling its Jews. :-)

Oh, and by the way...

"Maybe I have a lower disgracefulness threshold?

I am so totally stealing that line! :-)

At 3/7/06 10:58, Blogger treppenwitz said...

Er, perhaps I meant 'years'.

At 3/7/06 11:36, Blogger Kath said...

Dear Lioness, what a great post! It really made me think about soccer nationalism and all its uses and abuses. Here in Germany, it's kind of a breath of fresh air right now -- patriotism has been a severely loaded subject here, as you can well imagine, but now it's just nice to see "normal, happy" flag-waving around here. (Even by Turks! It's truly amazing.) It's like a big celebration, and something to lift the German mood, which has not been that great lately.

(As for Portie sentiments, I'm afraid the Portugal-Holland game completely put me off my feed, so there is some lingering "blechhh" there... Man was I a wreck. Besides, I thought you weren't interested! Darn now I have to rethink my position.)

At 3/7/06 12:06, Blogger Ana said...

I know what your saying, I really do, and it makes me so sad. But hey, at least we beat England right? Foi porreiro.

At 3/7/06 22:14, Anonymous Coelho Buda said...

I agree with all the reasons you present and exactly because of those I can not support football or the bloody world cup. When money is spent that could go towards solving so many of the problems that plague the country (the Education, Health and Social Security areas come to mind) like we saw a few years ago when those 10 stadiums where built, it makes me mad we, as a people, still glorify that stupid sport and unite around it. We unite around something that does not have any meaning, will not help the country progress in any way and actually helps degrade the already poor manners we have (honking bloody car horns, at all bloody hours, littering, being generally obnoxious, and so on). Come on people… there are far more worthy causes out there.

Stop supporting that stupid sport. It is not worth it. Also, I do not like the way the flag has been being treated… it should not be something you can write publicity on and should not be used as a rag you can hang anywhere.

As for porreiro, think you can use groovy or gnarly as an approximation. Bodacious even. Which, football is not. At all. ;)

At 4/7/06 00:19, Blogger Serialangel said...

You made my best friend's boyfriend cry!! My country is distraught. We hate the world cup. I didn't even know that Brazil was knocked out until just now. All the grown men are now just quiet and withdrawn, defeated....


lol for giving me peace...

...jokes aside, I know what you mean about national pride contained within a leather ball. I can never understand it. What happened to the importance of the standard of health or how the people on the bottom of the pile are treated?

I don't know about Portugal, but footbal was a national obsession created by the state to occupy the working class in unision (as part of some cultural nationalism - football spirit and its "values") from the creation of the 2 day weekend - thats where the FA and sunday football comes from. It's origins are all about state control, which has always made me a bit wary of the more irrational bits of football that make people do nutty things for their football team, and creates a sense of ownership. Noticed how it's always "us" when people describe "their" team? It's very dodgy, isn't it?

At 6/7/06 18:28, Blogger CarpeDM said...

I have some song going through my head about don't make a grown man cry and I don't know it at all and it is driving me MAD! Is it even a song?

This was beautifully written. It explains a lot about sports on a whole.

Miss you so much. Want to come back now. I cannot believe that person still is trying to comment. Do they not get the hint?

At 7/7/06 03:52, Blogger portuguesa nova said...

Loved this post. Loved it. And the comments too. I just read it outloud to Antonio who said, "How the hell does she speak English so well? Nacional porreirismo is something I can't even talk about without chain smoking."

I sometimes view Portugal as my brilliant, literary scholar of an alcoholic uncle...done great things, so much potential, so many problems.

I have high hopes that our--or your, more specifically, since I'm not Portuguese--generation can do good things for the country.

My husband's and cunhada's friends are so incredibly bright and intellectual and hard working and ambitious...seriously, I know nobody really like them in the US. There seems to be such potential. The trouble is, they (marido included) are all fleeing the country, fed up with the very things you're talking about here.

Everytime we go home for Christmas we get the national patriotism lecture from the sogros themed "How the hell could you live away from this beautiful country with great weather and delicious food and all your friends and family? And it's cheap too!!" And the one part of their shpiel I take issue with is the "cheap" part. You are the first person who has ever validated what I've thought--how in the world are salaries so low and prices soooo high??


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