It was all too much today – one great goal (Lampard) ignored and one totally, unambiguously offside goal allowed (Tevez). We watched some teams exploit their good fortune, and others collapse in the face of their bad luck.
It’s become a World Cup scripted by Emile Zola. I am thinking of his utterly depressing novel L’Assommoir (the word means a dive-bar one goes to only to get hammered). At a key juncture in the story, the lovable drunk Copeau is doing his best to get his life together, but takes a bad fall at work and breaks his leg. His life is a fast downhill slide to abject poverty from there. He just doesn’t have the constitution to overcome the kind of bad luck that in fact breaks a lot of people. My students always dig that novel, because this story feels real – the story of bad things happening to decent but very flawed people.
Is it in the service of realism, I wonder, that why Sepp Blatter wards off all pressure to use technology to, say, to confirm that, indeed, the ball has crossed the goal-line? Is that what he means by human drama – Life is not only unfair, it’s a cruel and pointless venture?