I am honored to contribute Eight Photographs of Chicago
to the “Chicago Is” Exhibition for I Paint My Mind.
The Installation runs from October 17 to December 12, 2013.
Gallery Hours to be posted shortly.
I am honored to contribute Eight Photographs of Chicago
to the “Chicago Is” Exhibition for I Paint My Mind.
The Installation runs from October 17 to December 12, 2013.
Gallery Hours to be posted shortly.
Cascade Drive-In Movie Theatre
Double Feature : Elysium + 2Guns
Good Day to everyone. There has been much in the happenings of Futbol over the past week, and we should get down to business on addressing some of these occurrences. Firstly, I would like to address the Lionel Messi promotional tour. The Messi & Friends Promotional Tour of Columbia, Peru, and United States was deemed a disaster, and fault was thrown around to all sides. I believe the exhibition tour scheduled Four Games in Six or Seven Days? This is very tight itinerary. Nevertheless, the Columbia and Peru matches went off without a hitch, but there was an unknown minor altercation in Lima, that led to some discussion – and then cancellation of the Los Angeles date. It seems all the discussion around the LA Fixture is in regards to it’s poor promotion and planning, and this is why it was cancelled. The website for the fixture was reportedly ill conceived, and poorly translated. The Lima, Peru match was scheduled the day before the Los Angeles, California fixture. The planning actually called for the entire entourage to arrive in Los Angeles from Peru three hours before the match. Not Good.
The Chicago match was played as scheduled, but the teams had to be filled with players that most people would not deem stars. I believe the “& Friends” Team started five current and graduated players from Northwestern University. I am proud to have deep connections at Northwestern University, and was even more amped to see the GOLAZO perpetrated by Northwestern University All-Time Leading Goalscorer Matt Eliason. In fact, this is one brilliant goal. Yes, it is an exhibition, and yes he is completely unmarked. This is a very skillful and technical goal, in which Matt may have struck a once in a lifetime shot – which makes it all the more brilliant. It took some huge cajones to not only attempt, but finish this brilliant goal fiercely. Unreal. I am only bummed out that more people didn’t rush over to hug him. Florent Malouda gave him big hugs and smiles, and you could tell he was stoked. Eliason received other hugs from Song (I believe), Henry, and Roth – but it wasn’t like he was mobbed. Again, this is not an easy goal under any circumstances – if it were, we would witness them more often.
Alright, I digress. The real main issues with the Chicago fixture were both “Star” players dropping out of the match, and Messi’s no-show to his own $2,500 a ticket VIP Party in which people were paying to meet Messi and other players before the match began. If you are familiar with this story, then you know the outcome : Messi did not appear, while people waited in a hot windowless room deep in the stadium for three hours. These VIP’s, I believe there were 70-80 of them, were told fifteen minutes before kickoff that the meet and greet would not happen.
There are many things to address here, but truthfully the ultimate answer in my opinion is that Lionel Messi is stretched too thin. The people around him are not considering his rest, fitness, and state-of-mind of pre-season La Liga which actually begins this weekend. Why would anyone choose that schedule directly before the Football Season? I don’t believe anyone would. I understand that this Messi & Friends Tour was for charity, but where does Messi’s Charity Money go, and what is the real deal with his Tax situation in Spain? I don’t really want to discuss this any further than asking the question : What Is Really Going On? Why can Star people get away with anything, including fulfilling contractual agreements, like meeting the people who make you who are : The Fans, The Supporters. If you throw those people away who is going to love you ?
In the end : The Messy Messi Tour, and the Spanish Tax Problem will be solved with money, and forgotten with future on-field performance – but let it be known : If Messi had scored that Bicycle Kick- his entire team would have run to him, maybe even some of the other starting eleven as well. Why do we bias our support for the same brilliant-ness? Just because you don’t expect that strike from Eliason, doesn’t mean it’s any less gracefully beautiful. I Understand Eliason is no Messi, but he is Northwestern’s All-Time Leading Goal Scorer, and conquered his place in Football. We are only able to conquer the Mountains that are in front of us. Now that I type that, I realize the entire match was strange : with the last minute drops/additions of players, the failed meet-and-greet, and the fact that it Wasn’t Messi Who Scored The Most Brilliant Goal of the Match (Month).
The actuality of Eliason’s Goal is that the audience was forced to realize that while Lionel Messi is a brilliant footballer, and his greatness should be witnessed – there is brilliant football and greatness all around us, we just have to be willing to witness it, and embrace it. Eliason’s Goal is still a beautiful picture in my mind. Just like Marcelo Balboa’s near miss in the 1994 World Cup against Columbia. The most brilliant goal that never was. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=grEolyX9f9g
I understand one is an exhibition and the other is the World Cup Finals – but does that make Balboa’s miss better? Nope, they are equal displays of The Beautiful Game. I suppose I wouldn’t say the same thing if Balboa Scored and Eliason Missed, but that is not what happened.
Okay my bad, I am totally tangenting – my matches of the week are the final three Gold Cup Matches : The Gold Cup Final taking place on Sunday, July 28, 2013 at Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois, and the two semi-finals taking place on Wednesday, July 24, 2013 at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. There are four teams remaining : United States v. Honduras and Panama vs. Mexico. The universe has predicted a USA vs. Mexico Final. Yet, don’t count Honduras or Panama out yet, both of these teams are capable of advancing, and I look forward to witnessing the results.
The USMNT (United States Men’s National Team) have played exceptional football as of late, and are operating on all engines. Jürgen Klinsmann looks especially astute with his Eddie Johnson Substitution against El Salvador. Johnson scored just fifteen seconds after entering the pitch, and scored with his head off his first touch from a corner kick. It was an act of sheer power and authority. Incredible Finish. I sat here stunned – still questioning the actual substitution itself, and Eddie Johnson’s choice of hairstyle. Brilliant Goal and Incredible Substitution. USA is operating as a unit, and it is lovely to see.
THE BEAUTIFUL MUSIC
For this week’s beautiful music I am going to direct people to Joshua James, and his outstanding record album : From The Top Of Willamette Mountain. I believe this album to be a hidden classic amongst our current generation of artists. Every song on the album is heartfelt and true, with patience and begging. James’ voice like no other – It will capture and intoxicate you, make you believe and celebrate life with all its wonders and desires. Joshua James in May 2013 has recently released an EP titled : Beware, and with that I said, I don’t want From The Top Of Willamette Mountain to be forgotten.
Joshua James is one of the most radiant men I have ever met, and I am honored to call him a friend. The first time I met him, I had the pleasure of interviewing him here :
The English Premier League begins in less than a month. We will have even more madness to talk about very shortly.
Have a beautiful week, enjoy some beautiful football and some beautiful music.
Bright Days to everyone -
contributed to www.rootfire.net
So much has happened in the past seven days. Where to start? Again, beginning with Futbol does not seem to be fitting of this day. I still do not know where to start. What has really been on my mind, is the gun violence that has permeated Chicago, and our Nation as a whole. What can be done to redirect this violence? What can be the output and the energy release for our Gun Culture other than Guns? Where does the disconnect originate? First of all, we need to discuss the three types of Gun Owners in America, and maybe the world. These are my three types, and I have no idea what I am talking about, so please hang with me.
Number One is the Outdoors person, a Hunter. Gun owners such as these use their weaponry for hunting wild animals. The scenario involves dressing up in fatigues, with a bright orange vest, and entering the Woods to track down animals. Usually from a Treestand or Hunting Platform, involving scents, and pheromones; participants spend the day quietly socializing, and discussing the hunt. Animals are killed and presented as trophies. No people are purposefully killed, but horrible incidents (involving the firearms) occur both in the Woods and in the Home.
Number Two is the person of Self-Defense. Gun owners like this have a weapon to protect themselves and their family. This is often straight forward, where the firearm is hidden in the home in case of a predator, or is even carried on the hip concealed or visible (depending on the Gun Laws in your American State). Humans are killed or wounded when entering a domain that is not theirs, and terrible accidents do happen. All types of people are harmed in these incidents : Young, Old, Rich, Poor, Marksmen, and Poor Shooters.
Number Three is the Street Soldier : Policeman, Private Security Guard, and Vigilante. These gun proprietors are certainly amongst the category of Number Two, as these weapons are carried for Self-Defense. Yet, the guns involved here are also carried to instill Fear, Control, and Mayhem. They are part of the Uniform, and carried with a Badge of Honor. With this pride, comes the fall – and the majority of America’s Gun Violence seems to be contained in this third group.
From this point in the conversation we can take it anywhere. Everyone can disagree with how I’ve laid it out, which is totally acceptable, too. I am just trying to figure things out
We can also discuss the National Rifle Association, Gun Laws, and Gang Activity. We could discuss any number of avenues, but to me, the real discussion begins when we can address the Power, Control and Violence that is synonymous with Guns. How can we re-direct this desire for these Feelings and Actions? How can we re-direct this Anger? Golden Gloves Boxing Tournament? John Madden Video Game Competition? City-Wide Soccer Championship? Neighborhood Street and Park Clean-Up? What actions or events will instill as much pride and power as firing a gun at someone? Where is the re-direction? One thing is for sure: Guns Are Not Going Away, as that is a fight for Sisyphus. So where is the beginning? Where do we start? How do we still have this outlet, without people dying? People are getting killed everyday here in Chicago (and the World), and it’s disturbing me greatly. How do we change Street Soldier Gun Culture? Can we communicate the bravery and earnestness in Boxing? People need to live longer. The Rite of Passage of Gun Ownership is Violence, no matter what level. The Killing of anything is Violence. Are people able to disagree or have beef without killing each other? Our Nation has seen every level of Gun Violence in these past six months: from High-Profile Athletes and Tragic Court Cases, to the Forgotten Deaths of Our Cities’ Poorest Neighborhoods. There is no beginning and there is no end, this is our World now. How do we re-direct the Desires of Power and Violence ? I do not pretend to have any answers, I only wish to spurn my own thoughts – and maybe create a discussion.
It is my belief (and millions of others) that Team Sports are one of the greatest ways to build Healthy Competition, Sportsmanship, Teamwork, Pride, Self-Confidence, and Core Values. These are vital human conditions that have alluded some of our population, especially in the impoverished areas of our Nation. It is possible to nurture Gangs into Teams? Is it possible to create a competition that instills more pride than gunfighting over street corners, drugs, and reputation? Gangs, Guns and Drugs are not going away, but I believe we can re-direct that violence to a more Peaceful and Diplomatic Platform : Team Sports. This might not work with the Gang Leaders themselves, but their Children and the Neighborhood Youth would desire greatly for the organization and play. This action itself would bring the beginnings of Diplomacy, especially if started at a young age. The Neighborhood Rivalries are set in stone by Middle School, so these conflicts need to be addressed earlier and often.
As a parent, once you see your offspring running around playing with other children, there is something in your heart that feels a greater compassion for life, and the desire to experience life again, through your own child. This organization and action would, in turn, bring more life and understanding to everyone within the “Village.” I understand I speak in utopian terms, and blissful ideas – but I won’t apologize for that. Something needs to change, and maybe my thoughts are unrealistic – but Sport has always been the grand metaphor and unifier for Human Kind, and I believe Inner City Futbol Competitions could begin to break down some of these traditional violent Rites Of Passage. I don’t mean to sound simple-minded or ignorant that a plethora of other Official and Unofficial Protocols need to align with this idea.
Not be shortsighted, I also understand that Sport can also be the Great Divider, and can infuse the impetus for Wars. I also realize that Ultras Supporter groups can operate like Militias or Gangs, and can perpetrate the exact violence I am discussing we re-direct. There are many Issues to Conquer and many Mountains To Climb for all of us. We are at the beginning.
After working as a Soccer Coach at the Chalmers School in the North Lawndale neighborhood of Chicago, I know these goals can be accomplished on a neighborhood level. With greater finance, support, and exposure – generational change can happen on a larger scale. It simply takes dedicated people who love what they do, and the desire of all people involved to begin changing how we think about these issues of Guns and Gun Violence. I don’t believe that “Gangsters” want to chase each other down and shoot each other, I believe they are victims of an environment that continues to feed upon itself. This quote from “The Wire” of a discussion between Cutty and Dukie sums it all up for me, and brings me to tears when I see it, and now as I type it.
CUTTY : “I guess what I’m trying to say is, not everything comes down to how you carry it in the street. I mean, it do come to that if you gonna be in the street. But that ain’t the only way to be.”
DUKIE : “Yeah, round here it is.”
CUTTY : “Yeah…round here it is…. World is bigger than that, at least, that’s what they tell me.
DUKIE : ” Like…..How do you get from here to the rest of the World?”
CUTTY : “I Wish I knew.”
I know I am beginning to talk about many different things at once, but that is my point : It Is Everything at Once. There is no one solution, or one answer, or one idea. It is many Resolutions, Ideas and Answers coming together at once. The Desire and Will for everyone involved to change our current Rites Of Passages. If a person doesn’t believe they can actually go anywhere else, what are one’s inner feelings of change, and the desire to re-identify oneself, when the daily battle of life is enough to kill you. One is barely thinking of change, one is thinking of Survival. We need to provide options for people who have no options. In doing so, everyone will be saved.
This is an issue I will continue to address, and I only wish for the safely and constitution of all human-kind.
Thank You for letting me share my thoughts on this matter.
The Gold Cup and The Under 20 World Cup
There is Futbol this week, aside from how my first paragraphs read, and my love for The Beautiful Game is still in warm temperatures. The Gold Cup is entering the last matches of the Group Stage, and the Quarterfinals are almost set. On Tuesday, July 16, 2013, The US Men’s National Team battle against continental stalwart Costa Rica in the race for first place in the Group. This will be a confidence builder for both sides, as they enter the second round. Both teams want to finish first in the group – and both want to continue good play. I believe Costa Rica can win this match taking place in Hartford, Connecticut. In a friendly fixture that is grander than the game itself, Japan and China PR square off in Seoul, Korea on Sunday, July 21, 2013. The history between these two countries is historically significant, and such things always are portrayed in the build-up, game itself, and post-game. This will be a great match to watch, and here in America, once might have to find that on an internet stream.
The U20 World Cup Final was a fun match to watch, yet was kind of a cagey affair in which Uruguay created the most danger. France’s massive size was obvious on set pieces, but they could not convert. The game ended nil to nil after extra time – and France won very strongly in penalties. Goalkeeper Alphonse Areola displayed his grace skill in defending two penalties, not to mention his two beautiful parrying saves in regular time.
The Third-Place match was dominated by Ghana’s Black Satellites. It was a tremendous success for Iraq to qualify for the final, but during this 90 minutes it seemed as if the tournament had taken its toll on them, and fitness was issue. There was no Fire Fire Fire, that we had previously seen in their matches, and they kinda fizzled out in the final. Congratulations to both Iraq and Ghana for having amazing tournaments as well. I do believe the Third-Place match was the first time a Team Won Three to Zero, with the three different players’ names beginning with the letter “A” : Assifuah, Attamah, and Acheampong. I should Insert A+ Joke. These guys ruled the pitch.
Stop The Violence
For Inspirational Music this week, I turn to the Old-School Hip-Hop Classic from The Stop The Violence Movement : Self Destruction. This collective features MC’s : KRS-One, Kool Mo Dee, MC Lyte, Doug E. Fresh, Just-Ice, Heavy D, Chuck D, and many more.
This song was released when I was 17 years old, and it still resonates with me today. The beat may be slightly archaic by today’s Hip-Hop standards, but frankly I love it, and the bass still gets my head bobbing. But wait, there’s more : A Message. A Message to stop our Self-Destruction.
Please Read this snippet from YouTube Video : The Stop The Violence Movement was begun by rapper KRS-One in 1989 in response to violence in the hip hop and African American communities. In 1988, during a concert by Boogie Down Productions and Public Enemy, a young fan was killed in a fight. The killing occurred shortly after Scott La Rock, a founding member of Boogie Down Productions, was killed in a shooting. KRS-One responded to these tragedies by forming The Stop The Violence Movement, to advance a vision of hip hop that would restore hip hop’s “original principles” to the music industry. Composed of some of the biggest stars in contemporary East Coast hip hop, the Movement released a single, “Self Destruction”, in 1989, with all proceeds going to the National Urban League. A music video was created, and a VHS cassette entitled Overcoming Self-Destruction – The Making of the Self-Destruction Video was also released. “Self Destruction” was produced by KRS-One and D-Nice of Boogie Down Productions.
Thank You again for reading, and sharing some of your time here.
Next week we’ll discuss more Futbol and more Music. I promise. Everyone have a beautiful day, and treat each other well.
Contributed to Rootfire
Brazil – Confederations Cup Champions 2013 – Lego Version
The protests have quieted slightly in Brazil – but with their next Presidential Election in less than a year, more changes are on the horizon. There is still much to be revealed from all sides of these events. Past, Present and Future. This story needs to followed, and I will continue to discuss these issues over the next year. For further information – please follow these links :
THE GOLD CUP
The Gold Cup began yesterday in the United States, and the tournament already has some glorious goals and upsets. Mexico was handed a loss by a very confident Panamanian Side. The Canal Men played extraordinary football, and certainly deserved the win, 2 – 1. It was a beautiful match to watch, yet El Tri have been underachieving for some time. Mexico need to find the key elixir to stir their team – or they will be outside looking in. Earlier, in the opening match of the tournament, Martinique defeated Canada with an incredible stoppage time goal. Martinique had been threatening The Reds final third for most of the match – and really dictated the tempo in the second half. They finally got a breakthrough in the dying moments of stoppage time. Off a corner kick, the ball was cleared outside the penalty area and fell directly to Thirty-Eight Year Old Fabrice Reuperne, and his left foot. He made no mistake, and volleyed the ball with glorious perfection. It was a beautiful golazo, that has potential to be goal of the tournament – even after the first day. http://youtu.be/JnjYeoOV4ws
The United States begin their Gold Cup on Tuesday, July 9 against Belize. This will be a huge challenge for Belize to play the United States in Portland, Oregon. Soccer Support and Fandom has hit Nationwide pinnacles in the Pacific Northwest. Witnessing these supporters and their behavior, I realize America has come a very long way since 1994, when we hosted the World Cup. Check the Tifo from when the United States hosted Panama last month for a World Cup Qualifier in Seattle. Wicked Stuff Man. Supporter Knowledge and Respect for the The Beautiful Game is at an all-time high in the USA, and will only continue to grow. It is a wonderful thing to see and be amongst. The Gold Cup 2013 will be running for the next few weeks, and we will discuss these matches further in seven days.
FIFA UNDER 20 – WORLD CUP
The Under 20 World Cup taking place in Turkey has been an incredible tournament and has reached the Semi-Final Stages. In the first contest, France will take on Ghana. France won three to one in the group stage against the Black Stars and now Ghana looks for vengeance, and for a place in the Grand Final. This will be a very eventful match. The second semi-final features Uruguay and Iraq. The Lions Of Mesopotamia are playing incredible football at the moment, and have a hefty chance of earning a trip to the Final. This would be amazing for the Middle East and their love for Football. Upon closer examination, these final four teams represent different federations around the World : Europe’s France, Africa’s Ghana, South America’s Uruguay, and Asia’s Iraq. Pure Awesomeness, and perfect for cultivating Love and Knowledge of the The Beautiful Game. These are my matches of the week – the Under 20 World Cup Semi-Finals : Wednesday, July 10, 2013 . The Under 20 World Cup Final and Third Place Match take place on Saturday, July 13, 2013. I really dig the use of the Nazar in the U-20 World Cup Logo. Warding Off The Evil Eye.
In honor of Panama’s bold win over Mexico on Sunday, this week’s Beautiful Roots Music will focus on the incredible sounds taking flight in Panama in the 1960′s and 1970′s. Panama has a tremendously diverse musical history. Originating with the indigenous tribe populations, combined with the incredible diaspora who relocated there. Panamanian Music was not only influenced by such genres, but made Global contributions to Cumbia, Jazz, Salsa, Funk, Rock, Calypso, and Soul. This week I would like to focus on the compilation : PANAMA! Latin, Calypso and Funk on the Isthmus. This record was released in 2006, and features many songs that have never been made available outside of the country. This music beautifully represents the Culture and Diversity that is the people of Panama.
Please have a beautiful week, and Enjoy the Futbol Fixtures and Musical Vibrations.
Get The Groove. Get The Funk. Have a Kick around the Park.
THE CONFEDERATIONS CUP
It was a match that Brazil had to Win. Everyone knew they would win, but Did We Really? For 90 Minutes the World was at Peace, as The Beautiful Game was just that. The Globally Dominating Spanish got Dominated by the Brazilians. The Seleção have not lost a competitive home game since the mid-1970′s. That is an INCREDIBLE statistic, and frighteningly long streak. I am very happy that Brazil won, if not for only one reason: The Brazilian people can celebrate their cultural identity as World Champions for another year. They won their own tournament and game. Okay, I understand Spain are still World Champions, as they won the last World Cup, but c’mon this was a serious handling by Brazil. Furthermore, Italy had every chance in the World to beat the Spanish as well. Futbol can be a cruel game, and it was yesterday for the La Roja.
The Confederations Cup Tournament has ended in Brazil, but the work has just begun. Brazil handled Spain astonishingly too easily, with intangible help; as many of the referee’s calls went their way. The match was owned by the home side from the very beginning, and they opened the scoring in the second minute. Italy set the template on how to defeat Spain and the Brazilians enacted it. In the first half, it was incredible to watch : Three Brazilians sprinting to every ball that had One Spanish player working it. The hosts dominated every part of the first half, and were rewarded with a Two – Zero lead at halftime. Even down two goals, the Spanish are certainly still in the game, and the World was ready for them to display their skill. Well, it only took two minutes into the second half for the Brazilians to secure a Three to Zero lead, and ultimate final score. Yet, another training ground goal that opened the Spanish defense way to easily. Later in the second half, Sergio Ramos had a chance to get one back for Spain on a Penalty Kick, but predictably missed the net. At least I predicted it with Coach Dean. Why was Ramos taking that dead ball anyway? Nevertheless.
Simply because the futbol competition is over, does not mean the battle or event has ended. The Brazilian People have started something that everyone must finish, with Justice. Now that word has many different definitions and applications, but the most important to me is Equality. If everything is equal, in spirit or reality – fairness happens. Over the next year Brazil will experience many growing pains no matter how these events continue to sort themselves out. The climax is still on edge, and only the Gods know how this will turn out. We will continue to discuss Brazil and The World Cup over the next 346 days. Please stay updated on this matter here :
Congratulations to Brazil and all the teams who competed in this year’s Confederations Cup, especially Tahiti. It was a wonderful tournament to watch, a brilliant appetizer of futbol for next year’s World Cup Tournament. It is also a prelude of things to come in regards to Brazilian rebellion and uprising. With just under a year for all sides, the strategical planning will be calculated and steadfast. Please be safe Brazil. The World Loves You.
Relocating The World Cup 2014 to Australia and New Zealand
Last week I discussed the notion of relocating the World Cup 2014 to Australia and New Zealand Co-Host. In all likely scenarios the relocation from Brazil will not occur, but I wanted to illustrate that in regards to stadium infrastructure, the World Cup could take place in Australia and New Zealand with a few FIFA rules probated like size of stadium, team travel, and fixture scheduling. Australia could use six existing stadiums : Melbourne Cricket Ground or Etihad Stadium (Melbourne), ANZ Stadium (Sydney), Suncorp Stadium (Brisbane), AAMI Stadium (Adelaide), and Patersons Stadium (Perth). New Zealand would use two stadiums : Eden Park (Auckland), and Westpac Stadium (Wellington). A couple of these stadiums have capacities well below FIFA Standards, but does that matter? Westpac Stadium in Wellington holds 38,000 people – would FIFA rather have a packed Westpac, or a half-full Castelão in Fortaleza? Three of the selected stadiums in Australia are ovals, which means they are suited for Cricket and Australian Rules Football, but without much turmoil, I think a football rectangle could be painted inside that humongous pitch.
Another sweeping change would be that all of the Eight Groups of Four Teams stay located in their “Host City.” So instead of Brazil playing their group matches in Syndey, Perth, and Auckland for example, the team would set up a base camp in one city, and focus on Futbol, rather than travel, hotels, and red tape.
For the Knock-Out Stage teams would travel to the stadia that were selected best suited to host more matches. The Two Semi-Finals could be in Auckland and Melbourne, and the Grand Final could be hosted at the 100,000 person Melbourne Cricket Ground. That would be a sight to behold. I know personally that Aussies and Kiwis can throw tremendous parties, while simultaneously enjoying them. It would be a Beautiful World Cup.
This is a very brief peek into what the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand could be. That’s not to say there wouldn’t be infrastructure updates, and citizens against the instability, but let’s not ruin the idea yet. Smile.
There are several good matches this week in MLS – but I will stick with one: Chicago Fire vs. San Jose Earthquakes on Wednesday, July 3. Unfortunately the match is not televised, but one might be able to find a close circuit feed somewhere. The quality of MLS Soccer has improved greatly over the past five years, and the league itself is becoming very enjoyable to watch.
THE GOLD CUP
The Gold Cup, a tournament of National Teams begins next Sunday. The Gold Cup is a regional tournament for CONCACAF, and this year’s teams: United States (hosts), Mexico, Canada, Cuba, Trinidad and Tobago, Haiti, Martinique, Costa Rica, Honduras, El Salvador, Belize, and Panama will battle in two groups of four. This is always a very exciting tournament, and I really enjoy watching my home Federation Compete. This is Belize’s first appearance in the competition, so they will be the beautiful minnow to keep our eyes on. The United States and Mexico are early favorites, but that goes without saying for CONCACAF. One day, that will change. Teams like Costa Rica, Panama, Honduras, El Salvador, Trinidad and Tobago, and even the hockeycentric Canadians are getting better.
The Gold Cup Fixtures begin on Sunday, July 7, 2013 : Canada vs. Martinique + Mexico vs. Panama, both games live from the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.
For this week’s music inspirations, I will focus on CHEGA (Não é pelos vinte centavos) IT ARRIVES (It Is Not About The 20 Cents) an incredible homage to the Brazilian Uprising, and a Rally against the Violence and Vandalism. Written and Performed by Seu Jorge, Gabriel Moura, e Pretinho da Serrinha.
Catch me next week protesting American Unemployment outside Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey. Unfortunately just kidding, I will be hustling for a job, man. I don’t have time to protest…. yet.
Everyone, listen……Last week, Jonathan Tehau scored a goal for Tahiti.
It does not matter how many goals Tahiti conceded, it only matters that they appeared and scored.
As we enter the second week of the 2013 Confederations Cup, the civil unrest in Brazil has surpassed the events on the pitch. The people of Brazil are disgusted with the disparity between the classes, and have literally filled the streets and town squares to illustrate their justified frustration. The protests have been peaceful, and the protests have been violent. We have heard stories of the Police joining the protesters in their movement, and there is no denying the use of rubber bullets and tear gas by the Police in their mission to relocate and remove the protesters. Brazil is a powderkeg.
I recently learned about FIFA Exclusion Zones. These are 2-3km diameter areas around the stadia in which FIFA can essentially create a Police State where they decide who can enter and who cannot. Furthermore, the Exclusion is levied against unlicensed, local vendors that sell wares, as well as restaurants and cafes that try to display FIFA Logos that were not purchased from FIFA directly. These are just a couple of the rules and regulations that FIFA instills upon itʼs Hosts. Strangeness of Power.
Is this real? What is really going on? Does FIFA control Governments to benefit themselves and #TheUglyGame? It certainly seems so. There might be some truth to the notion that FIFA is the most powerful governing organization on Earth.
We could discuss the corruption of the World Cup Bidding Process and all of the FIFA resignations past, present, and forthcoming – but I digress. The People Of Brazil have Risen and we need to witness these events with great inspection and absorption. Could you imagine the American people disgusted enough to protest outside hundreds of different Sports Stadiums, in 45 States to vocalize their displeasure with the way things are being handled home or abroad? I cannot. It would be a revelation of American Humanity. Something far larger than this is happening in Brazil right now.
Futbol is Brazilʼs Game, and they define every aspect of what makes it The Beautiful Game. Please do not misunderstand me, there are many, many, many footballing Nations; but there are none like Brazil. Brazilian Football is what other Nations aspire to be. Brazil ARE #TheBeautifulGame. Futbol is one of the binding and unifying Cultural Identities of the People of Earth, and Brazil is what represents all of us.
So if the Worldʼs Greatest Footballing People, Culture, and Nation do not want the World Cup Tournament in their own country, we need to examine this sentiment deeply. The People in Brazil are outraged with a system that has been like a vampire for far too long. Their voices are being heard, by the World. I want to absorb more information and history. The following two articles explain, in brief, what is happening in Brazil right now.
This situation in Brazil will not simply disappear, and it will take long term solutions and compromise from every side involved to find resolution. The issue now, is that even if the World Cup 2014 relocates elsewhere : How can the money in Brazil be reallocated to the People and proper Infrastructure of Brazil?
Hasnʼt the majority of the money been spent on World Cup Projects? Thousands of families have already been bought out cheaply and relocated from their homes; or without proof of ownership, simply displaced from the Favelas and relocated nowhere. How can The People, The Families be reinserted into what was their former neighborhood, their former homes? What are the resolutions? There are no simple answers. Some actions cannot be undone. Some actions take generations to undo.
For me, it is difficult to preview the two Confederations Cup semi-finals, without first discussing how the peopleʼs game is being stolen from the Brazilians. We, the people of the World cannot let this happen. If football is stolen from the Brazilians, What is left?
The People and the Protests are not stopping, and will not stop – and will continue to roll in waves. Participating Confederation Cup players are confined to their hotels, and experience little freedom. In one case, six Spanish players say their hotel roomsʼ were robbed during the Tahiti Match.
If the protests simmer down on Monday and Tuesday, they will certainly rise up again on Wednesday and Thursday when the semi-finals happen in Belo Horizonte and Forteleza.
On Wednesday, Hostsʼ Brazil and South American counterpart Uruguay play in a very relevant football contest; a re-match of the 1950 World Cup Final, in which Uruguay won 2 – 1 at the Maracanã, in Rio de Janeiro. This match will be something far greater than a Game. The match will represent the People of Brazil and Uruguay, plus the World of Sport, Humanity, Justice, and Injustice. This match will be called the Battle Of Belo.
For Ninety Minutes, the world will examine the sporting event that represents everything that is right with the world, and everything that is wrong. The Human Microcosm: The Beautiful Game.
Thursdayʼs Semi-Final features two Global Football Powerhouses : Spain and Italy. One Team; a recent addition to the status of Elite, and another Team that has been King of The Mountain many times. This is a fascinating encounter between the previous two World Cup winners. This match will not disappoint.
Two Nations. Two Champions. If anyone can defeat Spainʼs superior possession and attack, it is Italyʼs adhesive defense, and the wild card known as Mario Balotelli.
update : Mario Balotelli has been sent home from the Confederations Cup with injury. His tournament is complete.
This will make for huge changes to the Italian Front, and hopefully he will be replaced with Egyptian/Italian Stephan El Shaarawy. The twenty-year-old plays the game with serious speed, flair, and skill – and would provide some dramatic moments for the Semi-Final.
The Semi-Finals of the Confederations Cup 2013.
Four Teams, Four Matches remain. The Third Place and Final Matches are scheduled for Sunday, June 30, 2013. Sunday has the potential to be the most eventful day of the tournament. The World is Watching beyond the Stadium.
This week, for Inspirational Roots and Rebel Music, I look to the beloved Rockers Soundtrack. There are several songs of outcry on this compilation, all of which represent the uprising and rebellion of any movement of equity. Rockers is an intoxicatingly wonderful film, and always brings me forward into positive spirits. The music, the long camera takes, the authentic environments, and the fairy tale story are all Beautifully Crafted. The movie has strong themes of Justice and Teamwork – and that if one is Righteous, lives life with kindness, charity, love and compassion – Righteousness will Prevail. This resonates through everything, and this music will unify and inform people, while opening oneʼs third eye.
Junior Bylesʼ “Fade Away” lyrically exemplifies all the superlatives:
The rich are getting richer every day,
And the little that the poor man got,
It shall betaken away.
Do you hear what I say? Yeah, hear what I say.
The man who worships silver and gold,
Shall surely, surely, surely lose his own soul,
Then fade away. (Earl “Chinna” Smith)
“Fade Away” with lyrics : http://youtu.be/oXt7xGzmw60
The soundtrack is a tome of empowerment, truth, rebellion, and joy. All of which have deep relevance to Jamaica and the artists that perform them. Inner Circle, The Maytones, Junior Murvin, The Heptones, Peter Tosh, Jacob Miller, Bunny Wailer, Junior Byles, Gregory Isaacs, Kiddus I, Burning Spear, Third World, and Justin Hines and The Dominoes all contribute anthems to this classic soundtrack.
Next installment, I will discuss my proposal for the World Cup 2014 to be relocated to Australia and New Zealand for an Oceania co-host. Eight Stadia. Eight Groups of Four. No Travel. Simplify Everything.
I wish the greatest Safety, Resolution,
and Justice to Brazil, Turkey, Syria, and the Earth.
Thank You to Dean Lothian,
and his love for The Beautiful Game and Junior Byles.
Love, Strength, Support, and Safety to my dear friends
who live in Brazil : Karina and Demian.
This question was recently asked to me by my friend VandLSavage.
Both Living in America, his spelling of Futbol was a declaration to his
love and understanding of the Beautiful Game – and his interest in mine.
Well, I have great difficulty answering this question. My reality is this :
I have attended more Chicago Fire matches than any other professional
futbol team, yet the Fire would not be my first answer. There is something
about witnessing the world and the way they play the game. At different
times in my life I fell in Love with Zinedine Zidane and Didier Drogba.
So that was impetus to support Bordeaux, Juventus, Real Madrid, Marseille,
Chelsea, Galatasaray, the French National Team, and the Ivorian National
Team. This is just naming two of the Earth’s most renown players, and
some of the teams they have represented. These players and teams don’t
bring us back far enough in the History of the Beautiful Game.
The likes of : Johan Cruyff, Ferenc Puskás, Eusebio, and Garrincha
make us fans of the Dutch, Hungary, Portugal, Brazil – but we are still
just scratching the surface. I could list more players and more teams,
but that would just confuse the matter more.
My point is that I simply love the Beautiful Game.
I adore the Gracefulness and Simplicity of the Complicated Encounter.
I love it when the Minnows defeat the Whales.
Like many others, I feel the game is the ultimate
metaphor of the Human Existence.
Sometimes one can a very productive day, yet still not be successful.
Occasionally, accomplishing a personal goal in life can feel like
climbing a very tall mountain, maybe even impossible.
It takes a village of people to accomplish everything in life :
One’s Family, Friends, Business Associates, Educators, Shopkeepers,
Doctors, Lawyer, Mentors are the modern day village, and in theory -
one’s teammates. Without this “team” – daily life would break down.
I believe these roles apply to the Team of Futbol players, and that
all have to work together to accomplish something greater than
oneself, the sum of the parts forming Legends and Myths.
I am fascinated how the Beautiful Game affects and effects
Human Diaspora, Cultures, and Politics.
I will continue to make my point over the next forty-five years.
I am totally ranting now, I apologize.
I support Chelsea and every Official World Cup Film.
The reason I really dig Chelsea, is that in the late 1990′s they
became an All-World Team in the English Premier League.
It was incredible to watch.
With that said, I could be witnessed cheering for Burnley as
they knock Chelsea out of the FA Cup with a glorious goal.
So, VandLSavage, who is your futbol team ?