As I was browsing my twitter feed earlier today, I saw that someone had posted an affirmative type of post that said that with growing maturity one argues less over pointless things. There are, to be sure, many arguments, and I am admittedly a fairly argumentative person, but today provided enough randomness when it comes to things to argue about that I thought it would be worthwhile to examine some subjects that have already come up today that are worth arguing about. Some of them are related to previous subjects that I argue about, and some of them are related to currents news that I would live blog to but don’t want to spend the time to do that and want to write at least somewhat longer comments on than is customary in my live blogging experiments . With that said, let’s go.
More Soccer Rants:
I commented yesterday  about the disappointing results for favorite teams at this year’s World Cup so far and I wanted to add some comments to that. On the one hand, some disappointing results (like England’s 2-1 win over Tunisia) come about because of bad officiating, where there should be more penalty kicks that punish overly scrappy play and that reward those teams that have more polish. An England win of 4-1 would have been just and would not have appeared disappointing to those looking at the scores. A similar problem happened in the 2006 World Cup in South Korea and Japan where South Korea in particular repeatedly benefited in its run from poor officiating in its homefield advantage. However, sometimes a heavily favored team just gets the boom hammer dropped on them, and that’s what happened when Poland fell to Senegal 2-1. I get the feeling that I’m going to be able to cheer on the Senegalese at least until the knockout round, and here’s hoping they turn in more beautiful performances like today.
Some Thoughts On Race
One thing that did bother me about Senegal’s victory and the massive amount of instant commentary it inspired was the racialist nature of so much of it. Poland’s loss to an African team was viewed as karmic justice for what is viewed as racism within Polish society. My thoughts on race are extremely complicated, and the subject has come up over the past couple of days in a variety of strange ways. One of my more left-leaning friends formerly of Idaho and now of Belgium requested some comments from her fellow white people about race and the inability we have of understanding the perspective of others. There are at least two aspects of perspective that are important to keep in mind. First, we have no ability to understand what life is like for someone else, anyone else, and must rely on their communication to us for us to be well-informed. In addition to this, just because someone feels uncomfortable or feels mistreated or aggrieved in some fashion does not mean that other people were trying to do so, or that their sense of outrage and victimhood is itself legitimate. Just because someone feels like they are the victim of some sort of discrimination does not mean that is actually so.
On The Other Hand…
However, there are times where racism appears particularly obvious. For some reason Italy appears to be seeking to make a registry of Roma in the country, and some Jews in Italy rather understandably see this as being akin to the registries in Fascist Europe that preceded the attempts to liquidate such unwanted populations. While I am in general very respectful of the right of a nation to determine what sort of people it wants to allow within its borders with the right to reject and imprison whoever tries to circumvent those restrictions as it sees fit, once someone is allowed in, there is a social contract that develops between them. On the one hand, people will be free of any sort of harassment that results from their identity and on the other those people who enter into a country are bound to live in obedience to its laws and to speedily adopt its ways so as to remove as quickly as possible any barriers of misunderstanding that would exist between them. It does not appear as if either side of this social contract is one that people tend to accept. After all, a nation would be absolutely and even criminally foolish to allow refugees if those same refugees sought to pervert the legal order of that nation by, say, pushing for the enforcement of barbaric sharia law. We cannot let appeals to pathos disturb the concerns and priorities of ethos and logos.
Everything Is Political
One reason, though, why everything becomes to heated these days is that it is virtually impossible not to enter into political problems. One has to live in a cave without wifi in order to avoid the continual political difficulties that exist in the contemporary world. And although these disputes are pervasive, they are not necessarily pointless. Most conversation, it appears, consists of two types. Either we communicate only with those who we basically agree with or we engage in increasingly unpleasant conversations with those we disagree with. Likewise, our judgment of the behavior of others largely relates to their political worldview and our own. To be just in a world like our own is a deeply difficult matter, especially because there is so much that does not come to our attention unless it is discussed by those who themselves usually have some sort of axes to grind and agendas to push. You can’t even watch a soccer game without dealing with political agendas and cheering of imaginary Wakandan greatness in order for people to feel better about themselves and to insult those they deem as hostile or different to them. Some people just want to enjoy our Juneteenth  in peace and watch some soccer.
 See, for example: