Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Pulling no punches

A compelling graf (rare these days) from The New Republic:

. . . Zizou turned, then crucially, he paused. This was no red mist--as neither was there in [Eric] Cantona's moment in 1995; back then Cantona had paused too, considering his best options (which turned out to be studs to sternum--we still shout, hurrah for it!). What was in Zidane's pause, more than a decade later? A consideration of centuries of unfairness, years of cheating and back-passes and Cattenacio, of Mussolini and the horrors of Sicily and rats in Naples; of the current, only-in-Italy scandals of entire organizations paying off referees; of how Fiat cars rust before all others; of grown men attending business meetings in leather shoes of the highest quality, but no socks? Against this Zinedine might have weighed the power of French wine, the sweep of the Loire, the heroic Résistance, and Paris. He was charged, at that instant, with bringing intellect to bear upon brutes--he used his mind against muscle, he had no choice--he, in the words of The New York Times, "approached Materazzi and head-butted him in the sternum." Oh, oh, down my joy, my heart! We were so proud of you, Zizou! Even the Times thought to choose its words carefully--the sternum!--the exact locus of Cantona's studs years earlier--Zidane, at that instant, showed how well he knew his history. It was not a cheap shot, Mr. Z--we love you for the cost of that pause--in that pause, you spoke to us all, all of us straining in our own lives against the inane, against hatred, against the numbing power of negativity.

Source: Luke Dempsey, TNR Online

No comments: