Monday, 28 June 2010

World Cup Dream Over For England

It never really felt right, did it?

Finally, after yesterday's 4-1 drubbing by Germany, English fans must face the reality that our team just wasn't that good.

Sure we had stars, all of whom had a proven pedigree (though never on the game's most important stage).

But that's life ... and that's sport.

Now the biggest problem seems to be how to remove Fabio Capello from his contract without swallowing a multi-million pound pill.

Which shows only too well that when you want something too bad, things never work in your favor. Who in their right mind would negotiate a contract before a world cup ... and not take into account the eventuality of exactly what just happened?

Answer ... a nation whose desperation trumps all common sense.

Anyway, I'm sure we've got a host of talented youngsters coming through to fill the boots of senor Lampard, Gerard et al.

Haven't we?

Well ... er .... no.

While I'm on the subject of the world cup (and spelling it without capitals is deliberate here) ...

Why won't Fifa agree to use replays?

We saw how wrong that was when France cheated their way into the world cup after Henry's handball. Fortunately, karma had its way and the French went home hanging their heads just as sales of Guiness went through the roof.

Yesterday (and this is no excuse, just an observation) we saw an English goal disallowed because of human error). This was not even debateable. And yes, Mr Seth, it does take away from the beautiful game!

I'll also say this ... I liked Germany as a team up until the point their goalkeeper realised that he could pull the wool over the official's eye and pulled an "Henry".

Man, I am so sick of professional athletes cheating. What glory could there possibly be in an advantage gleaned from a technicality?

Come on. We are surely more sophisticated than that? Aren't we ...?

Maybe not.

And then there was Argentina's obvious offsides.

Again, they surely would have won regardless.

OK, so Brazil and Spain are still in ... and I can't be mad at Argentina because offsides is not as blatantly intentional as pretending that a ball has not crossed a line when it has. See ... even my morality is getting screwed up here now!

Why can't we just have replays. It works for rugby. How 'bout it Sir?

Go Messi. Go Villa. Go Kaka!

And sorry England ... but you'll just have to look in the mirror on this one.

Friday, 11 June 2010

Why are We all Still Milling Around In a Coma?

No question ... the saga in the Gulf just keeps getting more sordid by the day.

First (but in no particular order of "ouch!"), the BP share price has fallen to a point where the oil giant has lost about 53 billion of value. This affects the pensions of about 17 million people in the UK, though the effect is relatively tiny at this point.

Now we hear that the rate of oil loss is actually more like 40,000 barrels a day, twice the previous estimate and far more than the guesses made at the inception of the disaster.

This of course begs the question ... does anybody actually have a clue, or is it all just "educated" guesswork? I think you know my answer on that one.

President Obama has "invited" the Chairman of BP to discuss who pays the cleanup bill. The media likes to call it "summoned" and keeps referring to President Obama "kicking ass". This has led to prominent business people in Britain now saying that this is all very uncool and getting dangerously close to anti-British sentiment.

Bet that goes down like a lead balloon in the US ... I can almost hear the collective yowling!

Of course, the face of BP operations, Tony Hayward, has hardly endeared himself to the US public by declaring that he just wants his life back ... this after 9 of his staff lost their's on the day of the catastrophe. Oh yeah, that was unfortunate.

Of course, BP is the whipping boy in the whole mess, which is convenient as the company is foreign. Allegations of corner-cutting have been bandied around as part of the cause ... and the other companies making vast profits in the Gulf don't cut corners now, do they? They're all just there for the good of mankind.

Where would civilization be without them?

Then there's the issue of the chemicals dumped in the gulf in an attempt to disperse the oil. "Corexit" has now been revealed as being highly toxic ... no surprises there. What is surprising is that the EPA permitted its chemical makeup to be veiled in secrecy up until this point.


Good question ... I guess there were no other gentler alternatives that were cost effective and there always had to be some sort of plan just in case something like this happened. Duh. Expedience.

With fuel costing GBP 1.20 a liter in my neck of the woods, I'm not sympathetic to the economic woes of any oil company. The fact that people even discuss this in economic terms pretty much turns my stomach.

Lives were lost and a giant tract of ocean will be (has been) turned into a cesspool of death and suffering because of our insatiable appetites for stuff we only think we need is the far bigger picture.

With no sign of the spill being contained any time soon, I can't help feeling that eventually at least some people will get that no-one, no matter how powerful they are, can be given a licence to take risks anything like this.

Until we stop seeing every problem from a human-centric perspective, we will continue to miss that disrupting the natural order will actually have a far greater impact on our species than anything we currently can predict.

And no, I am not being some hokey profit-of-doom bearded wierdo. Anyone who fails to see the gravity of what's going on right now needs a reality check ... one for which no superlatives can possibly do justice!

People ... think! Stop! Act! Show that you deserve the intelligence you have been gifted with. The world is at a point where we are creaking at the seams with "only" 7 billion inhabitants. How do you think things will be when there are 9 billion?

Does anyone have a clue?

I sure don't. I'm just a peon. Our only hope for a better world is a collective sentiment.

Why are we all still milling around in a coma?