pallas_athena: (Default)
US-siders already know about this, but I thought it might prove interesting to the UK contingent. Here's the background:

After a years-long fight, same-sex marriage was finally legalised in Maryland this year. However, opponents of the new law managed to get enough signatures to put it to a referendum on this November's election ballot: a final chance for them to strike down the law before it is due to take effect on 1 January 2013. The campaign is heating up on both sides.

Brendon Ayanbadejo, a football player for the Baltimore Ravens, has been vocal in his support for marriage equality, even offering a pair of game tickets as a fundraising incentive. This has provoked the ire of one Emmett C. Burns Jr., a local politician and church leader who called on the team "to inhibit such expressions from your employee." (Single-page pdf of letter here.)

The team, of course, is rallying behind Ayanbadejo. But the real cherry on the sundae is an open letter written to Burns by another NFL player, Chris Kluwe. With Olympian eloquence, Kluwe writes:

I can assure you that gay people getting married will have zero effect on your life. They won't come into your house and steal your children. They won't magically turn you into a lustful cockmonster. They won't even overthrow the government in an orgy of hedonistic debauchery because all of a sudden they have the same legal rights as the other 90 percent of our population [...] You know what having these rights will make gays? Full-fledged American citizens just like everyone else, with the freedom to pursue happiness and all that entails.

That's just one abridged paragraph from a truly glorious panegyric, the full text of which is available here. I heartily advise clicking, though the text does contain language that may offend any prudes reading over your shoulder at the workplace.

I take away from this incident a certain optimism: it seems NFL football culture has come a long way since I was a kid. Polls show that a narrow majority of Marylanders support same-sex marriage in principle, which makes this primarily a fight for turnout. I very much hope that the state on my doorstep will show itself an enlightened place come November.

Not cricket

Jan. 8th, 2011 07:42 pm
pallas_athena: (Default)
Looking back on it, yesterday's poem seems like a lazily obvious choice. Anyone know any better cricket-related poems?

Also, I should confess that I really hate Henry Newbolt. This is not entirely Newbolt's fault (though his tendency towards horrible sub-Kipling bombast doesn't help.)

I fucking loathe Newbolt largely because of the guy who introduced me to his work.
A tale of relationship horror lurks below )
pallas_athena: (Default)
I'll be liveblogging England vs Germany at 3pm today! (This definitely counts as "having a life." Shut up.)

Some pre-match links:
Psychic Octopus Predicts German Victory; England Helpless Against Might Of The Great Old Ones

Vuvuzela Concert by gentlemen of the Konzerthaus Orchestra Berlin. If you haven't heard Ravel's Bolero performed on the vuvuzela, then it is my sad duty to inform you that you have not lived.
Excitement under here )
pallas_athena: (Default)
It was all the quidnunc kid's fault.

It was he who, in this MetaFilter thread, proposed a bet on the England/USA World Cup game: loser to write a sonnet in praise of the winner's nation.

Personally, I think he must have been inspired by Insomnia, Muse Of Amazing Ideas That Come To You At Around 4 In The Morning When All You Want To Do Is Sleeeeeep. That's the level of genius we're talking here. This scheme makes football interesting to poets. It also meant the Universe got to behold the beautiful spectacle of Quid grinding out a fourteen-line encomium to the nation that beat his birthplace 4-0.

For the full sonnet duel, including two by me, I refer you to the MetaFilter thread. In the meantime, I'll shamelessly steal Quid's idea and run with it. Who'll bet? Name your match, name the winner, and you're on. Fixtures here.

(Even if you don't usually write poetry, feel free to join in... nobody said it had to be a good sonnet, right?)
pallas_athena: (Default)
I'm liveblogging the match between my two countries this evening. The excitement!!!!! Er... yeah, I know nothing about soccer. Football. Whatever.
Under here )
pallas_athena: (Default)
When I am in Britain, I care about sport. I care, specifically, about the England football team. I care about them losing as severely as possible so that they'll be knocked out of whatever tournament they're in and I won't have to deal with buses, Tubes and streets full of aggressive, loutish fans. This is the extent of my involvement with UK sport.
Wholesome, muscular American pursuits below )


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