The Semi Finals
After last time, 28 of the 32 teams who had taken part were elimated. Just as in the real competition, the Asian and African teams had all taken an early bath — looking at the pairings, there was still the possibility of the TC World Cup having the same final line-up too. But not everyone has been quite as impressed — witness the following email from Tom, presumably located somewhere in America:
The only reason you Scotspeople (and everyone else in the world, according to you) don’t like basketball is, you can’t play it – it takes athletic talent. I suppose non-American football is good for something: war vets with no arms can play. American games require arms, legs, and often brains.
Hmmm. The World Cup is the biggest sporting tournament in the world. More countries take part than in anything else, and the Final is the most watched sporting event. How does this compare to the NBA finals? Or the “World” Series (snigger — America and Canada!). I’ve never denied you need athletic talent to play basketball. However, the problem is that at the highest level, you almost inevitably have to be freakishly tall, and this reduces the game to a farce.
There’s also no such thing as ‘non-American football’. There is football, and there is American football. We’ve been playing the game of football since well before your Civil War, so we kinda have rights to the name. As for American games requiring brains, it that why American football scholarships have to get their results fudged so often? Oh, and “war vets with no arms” would have problems playing in goal. 😉
Right, having disposed of that little matter, on to this:
Brazil vs Germany
To quote one reader, “In view of what actually happened perhaps Brazil should win through if only in the interests of maintaining Anglo-Brazilian relationships (or relationships with Brazilian babes?) and continuing supplies of corned-beef! However, don’t try the one that contains sweet pickle – bought by accident and fairly disgusting. Tastes more like tinned salmon (ie vinegar) with the occasional lump of turnip.
I suppose getting the pickle already WITH your corned beef would save a few seconds in preparation time, but in general, the warning above is probably somewhat superfluous. But I am also impressed by Drugstore, whose Brazilian singer performed her World Cup song (one long piss-take of England/paean to Brazil) live on Radio 1 for a room full of drunken Scots in St Etienne last week. It was ‘warmly received’.
Against this, however, we have the following in favour of Germany: “Lexx, particularly Eva Habermann (Zev). Incidentally, do you know Jorg Buttgereit is working on the new series? I’m not sure in what capacity, but this has the potential to be Trash TV par excellence. Claudia Schiffer. Okay, this one is a bit vague (spot the understatement) but I’ll call the next entry ‘Germany’s answer to Traci Lords’; I once saw a German porn film with a blonde, school uniform-clad Teuton (at this point I’ll quickly point out that although she was *playing* a school student she was about as convincing in the role as Janet Krankie – how come *she* got left out of the Scottish entry? – and that the comparison to Traci Lords is purely based on physical appearance!) whose large, but completely natural, breasts wobbled in such a mesmerising way during the more vigorous ‘action’ scenes that, for that reason alone, my heart (if not a certain other part of my anatomy) has a soft spot for Germany, penalty shoot-outs notwithstanding.”
Brazil have managed to get through this far with a limited squad, consisting of some strippers and a tinned meat — which must prove something, and it’s probably not how much I love corned beef. However, despite the callous disregard for English sensitivities (not to mention the gratuitous reference to Janet Krankie — quite put me off me kebab, that did), Germany get the nod, for strength in depth, tactical superiority and, yep, Eva Habermann.
France vs United States
The host nation always performs above standard, and here we find a nation famed for good food, good wine and good women, even if they couldn’t organise a piss-up in a brewery, if selling tickets was involved. [Though since they got to the final, they can probably claim that keeping all the seats for themselves worked out okay in the end…] But despite the babes – an area in which they are unrivalled: Beart, May, Adjani, Cash, Miou-Miou circa ‘Les Valseuses’ – you really have to ask very, very serious questions (this works best if you say it in an Alan Hansen voice) about their trash capacity. Even their film-makers…Besson, Jeunet + Caro, are they just too COOL? I do recall seeing a rather disturbing film called ‘SexAndroide’, but that was probably Belgian: every other gross and icky film in French seems to be.
Such worries are unlikely to pose any threat to the cultural vacuum which is America; I love the place deeply, but never cease to be amazed how tacky, shallow and banal the place is. Which is probably *why* I love it. Just spent five days in Orlando, which proved my point perfectly; our attempt to head for the coast was somewhat screwed up by bush fires, providing the local TV stations with superb opportunities to ask people incredibly dumb questions. I almost found myself wishing the firestorm would spread, just so that the po-faced panic coverage would continue. And our readers apparently agree:
I’ll pass over the scurrilous reference to J.J.L. being “fucked up” and just mention; Frederic Brown (pulp fiction writer without whom Dario Argento’s early works could have turned out rather differently – ie plagiarism free), particularly for ‘Night of the Jabberwock’. Bill Hicks (RIP), Michael Moore. Going to ValleyURL, typing in the URL of a Diana tribute site and watching the heartfelt expressions of grief turn into vacuous valley speak; “It was, you know, grody to the max when Diana, like, croaked. Totally.”. Minutes of fun for the whole family.
Well, it amused me. Works quite well with the TC home page too. But that’s not important right now. America’s problem lies not in its breadth of trashness, but more its depth, or lack thereof. A lot of stuff is *fairly* tacky, but there isn’t much that stands out of the mire. It’s a volume thing: for example, given the sheer number of films put out by Hollywood, it’s inevitable that some of them will be good — at least in a TC sense. But is this any more than the cultural equivalent of Brownian motion?
On balance though, we here at TC Towers simply don’t CARE. We cherry-pick the best stuff, and the 99% of everything which is shit just doesn’t concern us. America may have produced more of said excrement than anywhere else, but when even the remaining 1% is pitched against the charms of La Belle France, it is with much regret that we must sent Beart and Co. to the showers for a rub-down with a moist towelette. And so, we reach the final pairing:
Germany vs United States
I was going to sit and do the final now, but it’s 02:35 on Sunday morning, and I’m thus about to get even more incoherent. So, instead, I’m going to finish with the usual plea for comments, votes, suggestions and input, to be sent to the usual address, and we’ll wrap up this whole sordid affair next weekend.
Yours, Ref Hunter J.