A Week in the Life of Gustavo

"Seems to think that if he fails to write, la migra will find him."--OC Weekly More merriment available at ronmaydon@yahoo.com

quinta-feira, maio 30, 2002

More asbestos, more asbestos! This one is particularly articulate, unlike some of the others

The problem with Sagastizado's rationale is that the most zealatrous supporters of the USian National Team are people like me who would
prefer the US Government not have conducted various actions (Guatemaulya 53, Chile 73, etc.).

He is aligning himself with the Ugly Ethnocentric Americans he loathes who also could care less about what happens at the highest level of
the most important sport on earth. Payback is only effective if it registers with the intended recipient. In this regard, the expatriate community in this country is pissing in the wind.

We, the Zealots, also understand the sociopolitical proxy which Football represents. We realize that all of the United States' cultural, technical, economic, socio-political, and military dominance would be eclipsed by orders of magnitude should the US gain respect at the highest level in Football.

Rooting against the US National Soccer Team will only continue to propagate the paradigm loathed by immigrants and Patriots alike.

For that reason alone, on the Big Karma Wheel, the Soccer Gawdz will bestow upon the USian Nats a sprinkling of positive karma. Will it redress our use of Nuclear Weapons on civlians? No. Will it redress the assasination of our own elected President in 1963? No. But the USian Nats will take all the karma they can get. They are trying to bring the United States well and truly in to the community of nations.
The USian Nats do not represent the Government of the United States, they represent the People of the United States, in spite of 98% of those
People being ignorant of the team laboring on their behalf.

Mr. Sagastizado like all immigrants who root against the United States, especially the ANIMALS (and that's a fair description) who patronize the LA Coliseum for Tricolor matches, wish to propagate a double standard: the people of their homeland are allowed to treat Football
as a proxy for sociopolitical anxieties, and they equate defeat of the United States with a socio-political victory. And yet they refuse to
acknowledge the right of the USian people to enjoy the same privelege. It does not matter that only 2% or less of the USian population wish to enjoy that privelege. As a citizen of humanity, a citizen of the planet, and a (sometimes) proud citizen of the United States, I am insulted by the double standard which denies me the privelege of the treating Football as a sociopolitical proxy to redress the karma deficit perpetrated on the International stage by my government. My existence and though patterns invalidate any argument to perpetuate the double standard, and I am not alone; the passion of
the Zealots has been on display for 6 years now in MLS supporters sections around the country, and at US National Team games since 1995. The immigrants in this country would be wise to reassess their continued dissing of USian passport holders who understand the meaning of Football as a sport, and the meaning of Football as a
socio-political proxy. A day may come when their world is turned upside down by USian success at the highest level. I'm not very
confident that it's going to occurr in the next two weeks. But it may very well happen in our lifetimes.

If Mr. Sagastizado does not wish to promote the "Globalization" of the USian Nation and the USian People, then what is he doing here besides earning a living? I have no respect for any one with Football knowledge and Socio-Political awareness who roots against the United States in Futbol.

Good luck to your favorite side in the World Wide One.



Thank you for your greatly written analysis and especially your non-geocentric referencing to your home side. You are correct in stating that die-hard soccer fans such as yourself are fully aware of the sociopolitical side of soccer to a much greater degree than immigrants (and "patriots") give credit. I am also glad to see that you understand why the immigrants would boo the States, justified or not. Most of the responses I have received so far have not been able to put it in its context--I'm assuming because most of them have not been from true soccer fans such as yourself. Thank you once again for an informative response; I learned much from it and hope that you took something good from my article also.
---
Not so nice is the next one (and neither am I, for that matter...

I read, with amusement, your attempt ("In World Cup, Why U.S. Immigrants Don't Cheer for the USA") to make noble the cause of immigrants that root against the U.S. National team. Presumably all Latinos will also be rooting against Spain -- or perhaps Latinos view Spanish treatment of their former colonies with nostalgia. Just as Iranians in this country are so glad that the Shah is gone and the benevolent Ayatollahs are in charge...
Face it, the knee-jerk reaction of many Latinos and other immigrants to root against the U.S. National team is nothing but unvarnished bigotry. Latinos and other minorities demean themselves when the fail to acknowledge that, like people everywhere, they are susceptible to the darker side of
human nature.
Ironically, the people with the most legitimate reason to root for
"Anyone But America" are also those with the most trivial complaint -- the Koreans. (Perhaps you assume that South Koreans wish the U.S. had left them to the tender mercies of the psycho father and son team in North Korea, but I'll ignore that possibility.) The Korean's beef with U.S. National sports teams stems from...here's the punch line...SPORTS! What a novel concept!
BTW, I was at the recent friendly at RFK between the U.S. team and Uruguay, and most of the Latinos that I saw at that game --and they were probably at least half the crowd -- were rooting for the U.S. These, of course, are 'Regular Joes', rather than those like you who are obviously products of the grievance industry that is so prolific on our college campuses.
So rather than Buchanan and Lalas, it is you that needs to lighten
up. Anyone who not only doesn't root for the home team, but in fact
actively, openly and obsessively roots against it, should expect some heat. Again ironically, America is probably the place in the world where the heat is the mildest. I'd love to see you try your act in the parts of the world where World Cup passions run wide and deep.

P.S. Based on your article, I'm reasonably sure what your plans for
"bettering this nation" involve. Before you draw up the blueprints, you
might want to give some thought to what those who came before you did in this cause. As an exercise, I wish you could come with me to Mexico City while I announced to the government there that I wished to become a Mexican citizen.

My response...

I'm glad to have amused you because you yourself also amused me with your understanding of world political events and how it might influence the feelings that people in general and immigrants in particular might have towards the states. Your attempt to pass off the Shah of Iran as somehow acceptable is laughable, especially in the context of how the Shah got to power (1953 U.S.-orchestrated coup of democratically elected Mohammad Mossadegh) and what he did with it. With South Koreans, you obviously have forgotten that maybe the Korans are angry about the DMZ zone that the States have insisted on patrolling for the past half-century despite South Korea's wishes. Don't forget that earlier in the year, the American government frowned upon South Korea's reunification talks with the North. Maybe this explains the massive student protests earlier this year in South Korea and editorials against this American arrogance in the American Korean press?

And since you seem to know more enlightened Latinos that are different from this "product of the grievance industry that is so prolific on our college campuses", I'll leave it to them to tell you about the various attempts at American imperialism in Latin America. It's not unvarnished bigotry; it's legitimate reasons to boo. And while I do agree with you that those who boo should be able to face the heat, it should go both ways. Fans of the American side are shocked (shocked!) when they discover that people might not want to root for this side. Immigrant fans welcome opposition and come out in full force. That in itself explains why the United States can't buy fans for their matches Statewide.
---
I wasn't able to respond to this one since I somehow lost the return address...

This may be a simplistic answer, but it really isn't all that complicated
an idea. If it's so great in your "home" country, PLEASE pack up and
leave! Go back! There's no one here who will miss you.

I'm a first generation immigrant here in the U.S., my parents immigrated
from the Philippines, and I honor their hard work and sacrifice by
supporting this country. My parents came here hoping to be given the
chance, just a chance, for a better life and this country provided that
opportunity.

Bless Alexi Lalas for having the guts to say what was on his mind. Shame on those immigrants who do come here for the work, the education, the financial benefits and then spit on the flag and the country.

Maybe he's unaware that the Philippines was a colony of the States and that his parents had it easier in coming to the States due to special visa grants for Filipinos?
---
One more...
I just read your article on line about recent immigrants rooting against the American soccer team. You're absolutely right that many native-born American soccer fans consider the immigrants' lack of support
for the American team to be tantamount to treason. I certainly understand why a recent immigrant from, say, Mexico, would prefer to root for his country of origin as against his adopted country, but to root for the United States to lose other matches against other countries is, to many of us, simply incomprehensible. Your article did a good job explaining some of the reasons why this attitude exists, and even though I don't agree with them at least they're logical in a
twisted sort of way.

My question to you is, is there anything that can be done to counteract this problem? Soccer is at best a niche sport in the United States and will have a hard time growing unless we can get new immigrants, particularly from Mexico and other Latin American countries, to support the American game. My feeling is that up to this point at least, immigrants after a generation or so either maintain their connection to
soccer exclusively through their country of origin, or they become more assimilated into American mainstream sports culture and simply stop following soccer altogether. The American national team and Major
League Soccer very rarely seem to attract this potential fan. This is a big problem for the development of soccer in this country.

You seem to have some understanding of these dynamics. Do you have any suggestions as to what I, as a supporter of American soccer, can do to make things better?

My response to this query...

Thank you for your response and I am glad you liked the article. I am glad to see that, while not agreeing with the reaction of the immigrants towards the American side, that you prefer to see the reportage of my article as a challenge to be met rather than an opportunity to bash immigrants like so many readers have done. I think that immigrants will eventually start following the American side as their own children start joining the red, white, and blue squad. People seem to forget that these are immigrants and that all immigrants never truly assimilated; it was their children who did. That said, I would advise you (I'm not sure if you're just a lay fan or actively involved in soccer) to reach out to the children of these soccer-mad immigrants. Most children of immigrants who play soccer are usually put in immigrant-only leagues, which (as you no doubt perceived) will put them on a track away from assimilating into the American soccer community. By letting the parents know of the benefits of joining the American soccer experiment, these immigrants will start to follow the American side. It will be slow, but I am convinced that such an approach will gain far more followers for the American squad than there currently exists. Thank you once again for your remarks.
---
I'm actually getting emotionally drained from responding to so many letters. Is a 23-year-old freelancer supposed to inspire so much controversy?