Monday, July 21, 2014

Dance on the Tables

I’m always impressed to realize again, and yet again, that the farther out in space you go the more alike we look and even more so, the more alike we behave and react to that behavior. This time last week, I was all smiles watching World Cup 2014 draw to a close because while the US Men’s National Team had fallen short, making it to the Round of 16, my “adopted club”, Die Mannshaft from Germany, had pummeled Brazil on their way to the finals where they would, a week ago yesterday, triumph in a hard-fought victory, over Argentina.

I’ve never won the most popular sporting event in the history of the planet-an event followed not by millions, tens of millions or even hundreds of millions of people but by billions so I profess to no idea or frame of reference for how one should behave.

If I were on the team that captured the Cup, I estimate my victory celebration would be measured in days-the opening moment of the Yippee! We Won! Dance, alone, would last for seven hours or more.  Be advised I have an aging white man’s sense of rhythm so some of it would be tough on the eyes, at the very least and the rest, kinda rough on the ears, too.

The Germans who historically have more baggage by themselves than the rest of the world’s population has altogether threw themselves a party for the team and hundreds of thousands of close personal friends in Berlin, earlier this week upon the team’s return to the capital. 

In Berlin, some of the team members offered chanted doggerel and desultory choreography that translates roughly as “This is how the Gauchos walk” (group bends in a simulated creep) and “This is how the Germans walk!!” (exaggerated stride). Politically correct? Undoubtedly not but obviously intended as good fun and nothing else. Or not.    

You can hit Google translate on that if you want or trust me when I tell you it’s a news story on the mixed feelings the Gaucho Dance provoked among Germans, old and young. Here’s a good version of the story in English and by all means, check out the hash brown (you knew what I meant) #gauchogate.


In a world with 99 Problems, while I “get” the concern, this ain’t one. Take a breath Germany, and enjoy the view from atop the soccer world you worked hard to get there and the rest of us will work harder to knock you down. Meanwhile we who struggle should seek solace from an all-too brief reading from the Book of Lineker. He called it, he really did.
-bill kenny

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