Uppance Coming

Hey! Listen to this! It's the latest Four at the Back!

Shep Messing talks Cosmos and Red Bulls, and it's, like, awesome. Even if you can't stand me OR Kenn, it's worth a listen.

"What if I can't stand you, Kenn, or Shep?" Listen anyway! Would it kill you to make a TINY bit of effort? Christ!

Also this week - I might have said something and Kenn might have said something, but who cares? Shep Messing for two segments.

So, having done that housekeeping....okay, the rest of this is going to be more intramural nonsense where I spend a lot of time on writers instead of soccer. Some of you, maybe most of you, hate that, and I honestly can't blame you. So, I apologize in advance. Meanwhile, here's Lucas With The Lid Off.

[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B5HOsnq_2j4"]YouTube - Lucas with the Lid Off (Michel Gondry, director, 1994)[/ame]

Okay, so. A comment I made on Aaron's post came back to haunt me something fierce. The topic was Steven Goff disapproving of lesser mortals who considered accepting an invitation by the International Marketing Council of South Africa to go see the Confederations Cup and a South Africa-England rugby game. And I said this:

And a fellow commenter said:

And I said...boy, I don't look good in this particular exchange:

And the same commenter - kdiff77, if anyone wants to send him or her accolades and hosannahs - replied:

And as my last word - I thought - was this:

Okay, however you feel about using comedy to comment on horrible issues you feel powerless to change, I can see how I might have missed the target here. What can you do.

Anyway, Goff's disapproval of the whole enterprise warranted a response from the IMCSA. Goff's taking a certain amount of heat for telling Barber that gee, he can't go, but here are people who can. And then posting about how holier he is than those who would take it. (I'm name-checked in Pitch Invasion's post about it.)

"Serves you right, Goff, you hypocrite," thinks I, before checking my spam filter.

Turns out that because of Goff, Barber had to go pretty far down his list to fill a plane, because he sent an invitation to me, c/o the Bottom of the Barrel. Which, for the record, I had to turn down, but, equally for the record, I would have strongly considered going.

Did I tell Simon Barber that I didn't want to go because I was concerned about South Africa's rape troubles? No, because if I didn't have a family I probably would have gone...except I kept picturing myself having an awkward conversation about a certain comment I made on the Fighting Talker blog.

Did I give Simon Barber a link to the comment where I made dark jokes at his country's expense? Slipped my mind. Does that make me as much of a hypocrite as Steven Goff? Yes. Okay, no, not THAT much, but yeah. There's a significant gap between what I told him and what I posted online, and that wasn't cool.

I'm pretty sure family wouldn't have been included in the offer, so I didn't ask, and I didn't want to gallivant off leaving my wife to take care of my infant daughter. And if family had been included....

You know what, can I have this one? Can I just get a free pass on this? I read a story about something truly horrible, and a more recent story of soccer-linked tragedy tangentially related, and so I don't want to take a ten month old girl there. That was several years ago. Well over 99% of the country was horrified and disgusted. It would be as fair as judging America by Elizabeth Smart or James Byrd of Matthew Shepard's ordeals. The odds of it happening to a guest of the IMCSA are beyond microscopic. Barber's offer was mostly to tell people "Look, the stadiums are fine," but partly to clear the air of ignorance and prejudice like mine. I know all that. If I was truly passionate about this issue, I could have asked Barber for his input, and made an informed judgment. I didn't. I just didn't want to take a baby to South Africa. I'm a cowardly weasel, and I throw myself on the mercy of the court.

Besides, it was still a stupid idea. If I had come back and said "The stadiums are great and your babies are safe," who would have listened or cared? And if I had come back and said "The stadiums are deathtraps and I was raped three times before halftime," they wouldn't have cancelled the World Cup or anything.

However, the real reason I regret making those cheap, ugly jokes wasn't because they were cheap or ugly. It's because I missed a golden opportunity to annoy Steven Goff by accepting that invitation.

Apparently the whole trip has been shitcanned, now, which is too bad. I'm not deluded enough to think that covering a sporting event means you're objectively pro-rape. Anyone who wanted to go - I would have had your back. Especially independent bloggers and such.

("Even MLS Rumors, Dan?" Oooh...I'm gonna have to think about that one.)

And if any of the more respected reporters in the country, ESPN freelancers and such, didn't accept because of Goff's snark - that's almost as shameful as Goff trying to blackguard those who accepted. Come on, guys. Do you wake up in the morning and think, "I wonder how I can please Steven Goff today"? If you can't tell when someone's looking out for number one, what kind of journalist are you possibly going to be?

So, anyway. Steven Goff got his wish - no one gets to go to the Confederations Cup without his permission. Anyone who wants to know if the stadiums are safe will probably have to take FIFA's word for it. And I played some small, tawdry, unpleasant part in it all.

Hedonism Bot, your thoughts?