Sunday, July 11, 2010

The World Cup, as a down payment on a nation feeling upbeat about itself again, was money well spent - GUARDIAN

SHOOT: I beg to differ. We're facing a period of global contraction, global financial crisis. This attitude of congratulating oneself on a short term happiness reminds me of someone who has lost a parent, who successfully buys a very large chocolate, or a particularly effective anti-depressant. Good for you, but how real and enjoyable is the thrill within the broader context? First fix the context, then celebrations will flow naturally.
Wherever we are we need to invest in energy, in changing our living arrangements to more walkable, multi-disciplinary structures, and to expanding our ability to grow food.
We also need to redefine ourselves - we're no longer consumers. And we have to admit that greed and growth is bad, and sustainability and managing depletion and conservation is the new cultural imperative.
clipped from

There have been moments in South Africa's recent history – the release of Nelson Mandela from prison; the first free elections; winning the 1995 Rugby World Cup – that built great stores of national optimism. That stockpile has, sadly, been much depleted by persistent crime, poverty and corruption.

Might the World Cup be another such event, topping up the "rainbow nation" spirit from the early 90s? The tournament has been a triumph for the host nation. That is to say, it has satisfied football fans everywhere, which, given multiple forecasts of doom, is a happy defiance of expectation.

Before the contest, visitors were told to expect obstacles ranging from inadequate transport facilities to murderous gangs. In fact, the chief difference between fans' experience of the 2010 World Cup and any previous one has been the ubiquitous fanfare of the vuvuzela. Opinion among foreigners is divided over whether this has been a welcome addition.

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