We are four games into the 2022 World Cup and what a couple of days it’d been. Let’s go over what we have seen so far.
First we found out that the fan accommodation was still being built on the eve of the tournament. And it was mainly tents! £175 to spend a night in a tent with a single bed, a fan, a tarp on the floor over gravel and no water. In a plastic tent. In the desert. With heavy machinery still digging things up not far away. I’ve been in a tent in this country and had to get out pretty soon after the sun was up because the tent got too hot. Imagine that in the desert! And tents do not dampen sound at all, so good luck with the construction they only had 10 years to complete going on all night.
Then, FIFA announced that there would be no alcohol served in the stadiums, a last minute decision. The obvious joke is that all those supporters have been spared from having to drink Budweiser. But the more serious point is that Qatar is an Islamic country and as per their laws and traditions, alcohol is strictly controlled. And can you blame a country for standing up to a giant corporate machine that is forcing them to go against their values and beliefs? If Qatar don’t want alcohol in their stadiums, that’s up to them. Unless you are in the corporate hospitality, where there is still alcohol, because they don’t really care and values mean nothing when obscene amounts of money are involved.
The other news was that a number of European countries announced that their captains would wear an armband that had something that looked a bit like the gay pride flag, but not enough like the gay pride flag that it could cause trouble, to show support for LGBTQ+ fans who are illegal in Qatar. And then FIFA said they’d give any player wearing it a yellow card. FIFA have spent a lot of time telling us that football is for everyone but they don’t really care and values mean nothing when obscene amounts of money are involved.
So, of course, the football teams involved decided not to wear the arm band, especially as two yellow cards means a suspension in this tournament. Now, I think wearing the armband anyway and receiving the yellow cards and forcing FIFA to admit they are happy to ban players for implying that it shouldn’t be illegal to be gay would make a hell of statement! It’s what non-violent direction action to stand up for your beliefs and make a change is all about. But the national teams won’t allow the captains to do it because they don’t really care and values mean nothing when obscene amounts of money are involved.
And just this morning, after I had already written this whole ranting blog, we find out that after discussions with FIFA, Belgium won’t be wearing their away kit in this tournament because it has LOVE written on the collar. FIFA are even banning love because it’s too gay. And of course Belgium could just wear that kit and take a punishment to stand up for love (of all things) but they don’t really care and values mean nothing when obscene amounts of money are involved etc etc et-fucking-cetera.
We are two days in and this World Cup is already shining a light on everything I am growing to hate about the world. Mega corporations constantly preaching about inclusivity and diversity when in reality the only thing they care about is making obscene amounts of money. They don’t care about your race, gender, sexuality or anything else. It’s all marketing, They don’t even care if you are alive or dead, they just want more money. I grew up in the 1980s and 1990s in Essex surrounded by Mondeo men and even I think this self-centred greed is too much!
And this isn’t a left vs right, woke v gammon thing, inclusive vs proud of being racist for some reason thing. This is an unashamed, obscene greed thing. This is something we should all be getting more angry about. There are gullible people who lap up the diversity and inclusion stuff and hand over their money who should be looking at it all with a more critical eye. The corporations are just saying what they think you want to hear and whatever will get them the most money. Corporate populism. On the other hand, there are the idiots who hate the idea of diversity and inclusion because they are arseholes and they hand over money to celebrities and corporations who are using exactly the same tactics and just whipping people into a frenzy whilst the cash rolls in. It’s all a grift.
It shouldn’t be illegal to be gay. Black lives do matter. Women should feel safer in society. Man made climate change is clearly real. We should just stop oil. These things are all correct and we should be holding companies and governments to account every time they lie to our fucking faces. Why are we not rising up and having a violent revolution when Shell and BP announce record profits and not one person in those companies stopped and said “Should we absorb at least some of the rising costs?” They just said fuck it and passed everything onto us. They don’t care if you freeze or starve to death just send them more money.
Why haven’t we done anything? Because we can’t. We are just miserable little cogs in the giant machine, and all we can do is try to get enough money to not be miserable and have a car and a house and look after your kids, but not everyone is making it, more and more cogs at the bottom are falling out of the machine. It sucks and you just have to keep on sucking it because the people with all the money have got us all arguing about characteristics you are born with and have no control over and are keeping us divided. They got spooked by the occupy movement 10 years ago and have had us all calling each other racist online ever since, just in case we realise it’s them we should be after.
What? Oh yeah the predictions league!
I’m not going to go into any matches or scores but seeing England win 6-2 was great. All you need to know right now is that after 4 games, two of the previous winners and myself are the only people who have got 100% of their predictions correct. Come on everyone else, sort it out!
I’m not doing this everyday, so we’ll take another look at the league after a few more games.