Via Norm Geras comes news of perhaps the dumbest thing written about the World Cup this year. Step forward Professor Eagleton in - where else? - The Guardian:
If the Cameron government is bad news for those seeking radical change, the World Cup is even worse. It reminds us of what is still likely to hold back such change long after the coalition is dead. If every rightwing thinktank came up with a scheme to distract the populace from political injustice and compensate them for lives of hard labour, the solution in each case would be the same: football. No finer way of resolving the problems of capitalism has been dreamed up, bar socialism. And in the tussle between them, football is several light years ahead.
I confess I thought this had to be some elaborate attempt at self-parody. But it appears not to be, not least since that might demand the discovery of a previously-unsuspected sense of humor somewhere within the Eagleton soul. And anyway he demands that: "Nobody serious about political change can shirk the fact that the game has to be abolished."
So there: Jon Chait, your anti-soccer screeds, entertaining and unpersuasive as they may be, are also Pop Warner* league stuff in comparison to the guff peddled by some. Up your game, man!
*An organisation that calls itself a Youth Football [sic] and Cheerleading organisation. Soccer may be for wimps and dorks but at least you play the game...