Thursday, May 28, 2015

Politics By Other Means

So apparently the USDOJ has decided to step in and do something about widespread corruption in soccer's governing body, FIFA. Anyone else find this a bit weird?

In America, we decide who will be imperial custodian for the next four years -- thus serving as the figurehead for the decisions on where our perpetual-war-for-perpetual-peace campaign will touch down next -- by letting billionaires throw impossible amounts of money at a permanent-campaign machine, in order to provide the illusion of choice, between two maroons whom you wouldn't trust to clean your rain gutters. It is a system rife with incompetence, hypocrisy, nepotism, influence peddling, voting fraud and intimidation, ignorant and deceptive analysis from unqualified commentators, and worse. Its principal figures would, in a rational universe, be frog-marched to the nearest penitentiary, or at least be forced to find an honest means of employment.

The rest of the world, weary from the industrial-scale death and destruction of the previous century, have chosen to place their collective faith in institutions, especially international sports institutions, such as FIFA and the International Olympic Committee, both of which abide banana-republic levels of corruption as a matter of routine operations. That the appropriately-named Sepp Blatter is a crude peddler of thick envelopes is of little concern to the billions of fans who sublimate their violent urges through a frequently scoreless game that gets decided on penalty kicks.

Where the average 'murkin, steeped in his usual jingo juices and misunderstandings of history and geopolitics, really doesn't know all that much about the finer details of what his country's up to (not that it would matter; even if he knew, he still wouldn't care), the average Euro knows exactly what FIFA and the IOC are all about. Last year's World Cup in Brazil, with practically single-use stadia being built out in the middle of nowhere, and favelas being cleared both for last year's Cup and next year's Olympics, made it pretty clear that this is How Business Is Done in much of the world -- a stroke of the pen, the passing of cash-stuffed valises, the barrel of a gun.

Not that we're shocked at the morality of all that, come on. Our problem is that we got left out. The US Soccer Federation lobbied pretty hard for the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bids, we obviously already have high-capacity football stadiums all over the country, and to get shut out of those opportunities was unacceptable. Especially to lose out to a sweaty, oppressive bunghole like Qatar, which will have to spend an estimated $220 billion (yes, $220B; that is not a typo) to build transport capacity and temperature-controlled stadia, presumably with the bones of their enslaved, abused migrant workers.

There is some serious money to be made here, and some openly corrupt dickhead Euro with a silly name has decided to shut American interests out of the picture, precisely because we already have the highways and venues. These sports events have become nothing more than a way for international construction conglomerates to get excuses to build make-work infrastructural upgrades. There's not nearly as much money in holding these events in places that already have those things. That's all any of this is about. Dio Fa!

No comments: