Constantly Risking Absurdity
Wednesday, May 25, 2005
 
Soccer, Mozart, Hiatus

Hiatus

I will be travelling westward tomorrow morning on a weeklong retreat/vacation, sponsored by these people. I'm going on a media fast, so no blogging 'til I return (I doubt I could get access to a computer over there anyway). I will be driving to my destination, which of course means packing a copy of this book with me, because to read On the Road on the road is just too cliche not to do. Sort of like discussing Radiohead in a college dorm.

Mozart

This rendition of the Requiem is worth the price just for the essay by Luigi Giussani found in the liner notes. It's called "A 'Fount of Mercy' for Making Man Anew." An enticing passage:

Every phrase of the Requiem (as the music makes evident) begins with the undisupted affirmation of the dominion of justice and truth, and then is as though suddenly interrupted by something that comes in and mitigates unexpectedly the harshness of justice, the acrid affirmation of truth, softening it in a request, a supplication that knows it can be made.

I can't find the essay online, so you'd probably have to buy the CD to read it.

Soccer

From Zenit:

German Soccer Defers to Pope's Trip
ROME, MAY 25, 2005 (
Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI's visit to Germany for World Youth Day has led to a change in the country's soccer championship calendar. All games scheduled for Aug. 20 and 21 have been postponed to the following week, the German Soccer Federation announced. The Pope is scheduled to travel that weekend to Cologne, for the event expected to attract hundreds of thousands of young people. Both first- and second-division games have been deferred. Soccer is Germany's national sport.

It really tells you something about the Great Game of Soccer when a simple rescheduling makes for international news. I read somewhere that that great Argentine, Jorge Luis Borges, famous writer and famous soccer hater, deliberately scheduled a conference at the same time as the World Cup Final--when it was being held in his own city of Buenos Aires in 1978--as if to say, "There are greater things in the world than even this, the World Cup Final." A consensus on whether there actually is something greater than the World Cup Final--or better than winning the World Cup Final---probably does not exist among soccer fans worldwide. But it's nice to see that the Bundesliga (the German soccer league) respects the sacred enough to defer to it for this important occasion. They exhibit a sort of existential humility that Borges himself may have lacked.

(A Note to the Purists: I understand that many of you may cringe at my use of the word "soccer." It's football, I know. But here in America that word has not caught on yet. I am sorry.)

More Soccer

Watching AC Milan's breakdown and debacle in today's Champion's League final with an authentic Rossoneri from Milan was not easy. My poor, frustrated Italian friend Carlo had been yelling at Andrea Pirlo since the 40th minute of the game, but Pirlo did not listen, did not pick up his game, and, alas, missed a key penalty in the tie-breaking shoot-out. Shevchenko's miss was more of a surprise. On the other hand, Liverpool's rally from three goals down--unprecedented in the history of the Final--is as inspiring as any sports-themed Disney movie ever made, with the added bonus that there was no silly sideplot, no saccharine music score, and, of course this really happened.

Santiago
 
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The intimations of a mild-mannered Paraguayan undergraduate, studying Eng. Lit. and philosophy in a small, midwestern Jesuit college.

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