The Ugly Americans of soccer
In 1958, Eugene Burdick and William Lederer published The Ugly American. The book was written to expose the failure of U.S. diplomatic personnel in Southeast Asia. The American diplomatic corps were boorishly indifferent to local language, customs, and culture. The book caused quite a stir in the waning days of Eisenhower's administration, and Kennedy used it as springboard to launch the Peace Corps.
In one scene, a Burmese journalist says, "For some reason, the [American] people I meet in my country are not the same as the ones I knew in the United States. A mysterious change seems to come over Americans when they go to a foreign land. They isolate themselves socially. They live pretentiously. They are loud and ostentatious."
They are loud and ostentatious.
Hmm...does this ring a postmodern bell?
Somewhere in France today, a group of ugly American female soccer players are sipping tea from imaginary cups to mock a polite society they make no efforts to understand or respect. The Americans are loud and ostentatious. They are ugly Americans personified.
If the female soccer players are trying to be ambassadors for their game, they are failing miserably. I cared little for their sport before they arrived in France, and my interest has chilled considerably in the ensuing weeks. I'm not much for gaudy displays and vulgar language, so I'm not enamored of what passes for "personality" in our American women's soccer team.
My daughter played soccer for years, so I drove miles to attend games in support of her. My daughter is likeable, generous, and kind to everyone she meets; her personality is in diametric opposition to these grotesque attention hounds littering the pitch in France today.
I wouldn't raise a remote to switch channels on their behalf.
While the matches are going on, the media want to focus our attention on equal pay. This always comes up whenever women are performing a task done much better by men. Ever watch part of a Women's National Basketball Association game? Me neither. Why would I suffer warm sour milk when the local D.G. offers a chocolate malt of sublime refreshment? The men play way better and therefore get paid way better. Below average male athletes must claim transgender status in order to pin back the ears of female competition. I use the term "male" loosely in that last sentence; we all must these days as ordered by academic idiots and Twitter fools.
The female doctors of America, the female CEOs of America, and the female lawyers of America suffer no discernible pay gap. Do you want to know why? It is because they offer high skill in a service people need and value. Who needs soccer?
In point of fact, who needs insufferable egomaniacs of unexceptional skill and foul demeanor at all?
Like all things suffused in political correctness these days, the girls don't seem to feel joy in the simple act of playing soccer. Rather, they seem intent on winning as some kind of vendetta against the world in general and America in particular. This accounts for the mean edge that cuts through their statements, actions, and post-goal or post-game celebrations.
Well, girls, you didn't make me love soccer this year, but you sure made me dislike each and every one of your very ugly American profiles in pomposity. And you made it all look so easy.