2010 World Cup Soccer Final: Action, Dreams and Desires

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Who says tomorrow never comes.   Here it is.   The day of the final of 2010 World Cup Soccer.   I’m not thinking about sports, much, though.   Pretty preoccupied with action today, dreams and desires.   Mind you, I guess that’s what the World Cup has been about.

Joyce Dunn from – yes, you guessed it, Searchwarp – left a comment on an article I wrote “why wish for a loaf of bread when you can wish for the grocery store”.    Why indeed.   I guess it’s the same as imagining standing at the edge of the ocean with a receptacle, and a measuring thang.   What do you imagine?  A bucket and a teaspoon?   Or a receptacle bigger than an ocean, and an atomic powered hydraulic pump?

There’s no right or wrong about it, it’s just about what you believe you’re entitled to.   It’s a bit of a cliché, but there’s something to it.   7 years ago I had a very small bucket and a tiny teaspoon.   Go figure.

Or imagine a banquet.   Are you at the table as an honored guest amongst other equally honored guests, having a grand time, or are you outside looking in wondering how you get an invitation.   Whatever the banquet means to you, of course.   Is it winter outside, are you cold and hungry and alone?   You get the drift.

Here’s the thing about taking action.   Everything within you that believes you shouldn’t be doing whatever you’re doing lights up like the main drag in Las Vegas.   Dead if you do, dead if you don’t.    That’s why action is so good.   You might not have realized that you had those inner messages, those beliefs.    So then you couldn’t do anything about them.    But they controlled you and your experience of life, oh yes.

Desires and dreams.   If you let yourself have them and take action, you meet everything in you that says you’re not allowed to have them.   So you get a chance to correct it.   Take this Paypal thing.   I thought I’d settled the debate “is it okay to ask” until somebody said “sure, I want to help you”.   Oh god, then all the nicely constructed rationalizations tumbled to the ground.   Now I’ve got to work on “is it okay to say thanks, and to be happy about it, and feel loved”?   I’m going to take a chance here and say “yes, it’s okay”.

Because underneath the debate is just a very old fear “you’re going to be punished for this”.   It lies like a coiled snake in my belly, poised to strike.   It’s got nothing to do with the present, it’s just the shadow of the past.   V. controlling, though.  V. irritating.   Gotta get rid of that fear-snake.   Snakes are fascinating to look at but they’re v. dangerous in the belly.   Not much fun to play with.   Like Harry Potter’s Dementors.

Well, good luck Netherlands and Spain.   May the team that has the most fun win.


2010 World Cup Soccer and Life Works in Mysterious Ways

If you read yesterday’s blog about FIFA’s deal with South Africa, this should amuse you:  Sepp Blatter has said that this world cup illustrates the love affair between FIFA and Africa, and that South Africa was chosen to host the games because FIFA trusts and has confidence in Africa.

Oh, that’s so moving, Sepp.  It wouldn’t have anything to do with what a sweet deal South Africa gave you, now would it, or the fact that your profits will be up by 50% on this round?

Right, onto not-soccer things.  It’s “thank you jesus” day – or else the planets are all aligned perfectly, or maybe I’ve just miraculously stepped right out of history.  Take your pick.

Total Bank Triumph!  Have been trying to persuade bank to stop looking at me and treating me like the insolvency criminal that I clearly am, and give me ordinary account so I can link up with Paypal and receive money for work I’m doing.   How criminal and socially irresponsible of me.  My logic being that this will be good for me and bank, much better than continued ostracization and refusal to give me account I need so wouldn’t be able to earn.

First I got – “not possible”.   Then I had a tantrum, which produced a fit of sulks.  I matched sulk for sulk and got an interview with the bank’s relationship manager.   Sat there waiting for her to pitch, and felt another tantrum coming on.   Yelled at somebody else – who happened to be the bank manager! – who went to find Relationship Manager.

It’s not my fault, they made me do it.

Relationship manager was very school marmish and disapproving doyenne-type woman.   Don’t really know what a doyenne is, but it sounds good.  Can’t be done, she said.  Can’t have the kind of account I need to link up to Paypal unless I have a signed contract for a job earning at least R5000 a month [subtext because nobody can trust you]  and a letter from my insolvency trustee saying all my creditors have been paid out.

Now the problem is I have a job, and some money waiting to be paid to me for work already done, and it will earn me more than R5,000 a month but it’s not a contract type job.   And my trustee is away on holiday.  Grit my teeth but walk out of bank determined to Find a Way.

Trustee gets back but won’t return my calls – 12 of them in two days.   Hmm.   Secretaries all hint he ducks and dives.  Dark storm clouds gathering again.   Manage to be nice, patient and keep GRRRRRR to myself until get v. prissy, bossy PA-type woman who clearly doesn’t approve of insolvents.   I let some GRRR out and she promises to get my trustee to call me.

Hallefuckinglujah he does.  And says the bank doesn’t need a letter from him.   I could have powered a vehicle to drive to Cairo on the energy piling up inside my body.

Then something happened.  The planets all realigned or jesus said hey dad, give a girl a break, it’s been 7 years of this kind of crap you know.

Trustee says get the bank to call me.  So I call relationship manager and she’s busy.  I fax her a letter.   Sit impatiently chewing nails, get up, pace around.  If she leaves it too long, trustee will be in meeting and will be impossible to catch for next 10 years.   Tell self to let go and let god but self doggedly refuses.   Control freak that I am I take matters into own hands again and call the bank.

Man answers.  I ask for relationship manager.  He says she’s busy but can I help you with something?

Excuse me?  Did I say somebody say the word help?  “well, I think you just might be able to” say I cheerfully.  Didn’t want to speak to the Disapproving Doyenne anyway.   I tell him what I want.  Hope he doesn’t remember that I yelled at him!

“Leave it to me” he says, I’ll get back to you.”  Double take – it could be that easy?  Fine by me.   A couple of hours later, tring tring.  “Right, you can have your account, somebody will call you in a day.”

Just like that.  No problems with needing work contract, no questions about my earning, no disapproval of my insolvency.   Mr. Nice Guy personified.   In a bank????   Whoopee.   Went in today and the manager was kind of cute, joked with me, said I can’t have credit, but I can have the account I need.    Just had a thought.   Maybe he’s jesus.

The consultant was an absolute darling, said she fought with head office for me.   Was v. weird experience to be treated by bank people with respect and as if was normal person for first time in about 9 years.    Even weirder experience to feel human prejudice obstacles melt away.    Weirdest of all was to be treated as an equal.    Huh.   Must be that my brilliant personality has finally emerged from its chrysalis.   I’m recognizably a woman of substance.

Came out with an account.  In a few days I get the card and can Open.  Up.  A.  Paypal.  Account.   Feel sure the Relationship Manager wouldn’t have done this for me, if I’d got her on the phone.   She wouldn’t have tried to find a way.  She wasn’t a solution finder.

So life got her out the way for me, and put me in the path of somebody who could hear me and take me seriously, see me as an equal, and look for a solution.   It words in mysterious ways, does life.

2010 World Cup Soccer – An Inside Job

Here’s something to celebrate – not.  The deal between the South African government and FIFA is out the bag and it’s a horror story.  The terms are so not in South Africa’s favor that I can’t help wondering why they were agreed to in the first place.

The cost to South Africa of hosting the games is now at $8.6 billion.  The most South Africa is predicted to make is less than the $2.5 billion FIFA will make.  That leaves a huge shortfall, in a country where 21,560,000 people live on less than $2 a day (40% of the population).

The event is predicted to bring a .5% increase in SA’s GDP, whereas FIFA’s profit will be .7% of SA’s GDP.  Something doesn’t seem right.

How did this happen?  How was the South African government persuaded to sign an agreement where they shouldered the entire cost of the new stadia and infrastructure demanded by FIFA, yet will have no share of the tickets and television and marketing deals?   Furthermore, how did FIFA manipulate that their profits would be exempted from tax?

Surely a government makes a deal like that if they’re getting something in return?   FIFA didn’t get away with this when they dealt with Germany.  They’ve done well for themselves here; their profits have allegedly increased by 50% since the 2006 World Cup in Germany.  They’re registered as a charity in Switzerland, where they’re exempt from tax.  They have $1.1 billion in equity.  They refuse to reveal the salary of president Sepp Blatter.  Rumors have it that he earns in excess of $1.12 million a year.  Smart guy.  He must sleep well at night.

But there’s worse.  750,000 people were expected to come to the World Cup, but that projection has now dropped to 370,000.  Oops.   FIFA is rumored to have completely booked out two major top class hotels in Cape Town, but have now withdrawn all of them, leaving both hotels with not a single booking for the event.  Hmm.  I hope the hotels got deposits.

So who in the South African government made the deals?  Somebody perhaps who didn’t really care what the cost was to the country because they made their kickback?  Now politicians are blaming FIFA.  It’s pass the buck time now.  Yes, FIFA have sucked us dry and suckered us for fools in this one, but somebody helped them do it.  I call it an inside job.

2010 World Cup Soccer in South Africa

I really like my Bridget Jones take-off idea.  If I do it well enough maybe I’ll get a Colin Firth type man in my life.  And a job with a screwball producer.  Hmm.  Not so sure about that part, but for certain I’d get a film deal and become important woman of substance.

Last night I scrabbled about for a justification.  Why can’t I copy her?  Apart from all the obvious reasons which are too many to list.   Then I saw it.

Aha!  Helen Fielding slyly and patently obviously took her inspiration to satirize – let alone a character’s name – from Jane Austen.  Cleverly, unabashedly, unashamedly.  Got applauded for it, and I’m included in the applauders, I’m one of her biggest fans.  But what if Jane Austen had been alive, though?  Would her book have been labeled a rip-off?

So why can’t I do the same, only I’ll take my inspiration from Helen Fielding?  I know what, I can call my heroine Bridget Jones.

If Fielding’s publishers ever came after me I could plead a pretty good case in court, don’t you think?  Then she and I could jointly write a book about the war between us – and get another film deal.  Bridget Jones vs. Bridget Jones.

I want Mark Darcy!”  “No, he’s mine!  I want him!  Give him back!

It’s a brilliant idea,  Yes!!!  At Last!  My troubles are over, am woman of substance.  Am confident, world famous and important script and novel writer.  Ooooh.  Phone.   Probably it’s Oprah, or Robert de Niro.  Unless it’s Colin Firth of course.

What’s all this got to do with the title of this blog?  Nothing.  I got sidetracked.  I’ll tell you about 2010 World Cup Soccer in South Africa tomorrow.  If I’m still around.  If I haven’t already been hauled away to Hollywood.