El Pibe de Oro

News today that Diego Maradona is under intensive care after suffering from respitory failure – maybe the result of an overdose.
To a generation, such as mine, which never saw Pele play live, Maradona was the greatest ever.
World Cup 1986: We dragged the teevee out into the back garden. Amma would go to sleep and late into the night PTV would show feed from Mexico. We watched the quarterfinal match against England where Maradona scored the best goal ever. No, I am not talking about the Hand of God goal. The fact that it was England getting their tail kicked some years after the Falklands “war” was just gravy.
World Cup 1990: Again with the teevee in the back garden. Ok, the deal there is that the antennae reception was excellent outside because our house used to be pristine open country (not so much now). Again, I watched Argentina beat Brazil in the rounds and against all odds, a broken Maradona led Argentina to the finals. But no further.
1991, Maradona got caught snorting cocaine. He made it to the USA for the 1994 World Cup. This time I actually got to see some live World Cup action (remember Pontiac Dome, Steve-o?). Maradona had brilliance, people – the match against Nigeria. But, he got thrown out for drugs or steroids this time.
I hope Maradona pulls through to take part in the Athens ceremony.

Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries.

Blasting loud rock (what, no LimpBizkit?) and insults at the Fallujah uprisers is the current state of psyops in Iraq.

At night, the psychological operations unit attached to the Marine battalion here sends out messages from a loudspeaker mounted on an armored Humvee. On Thursday night, the crew and its Arabic-language interpreter taunted fighters, saying, ≥May all the ambulances in Fallujah have enough fuel to pick up the bodies of the mujahadeen.≤
The message was specially timed for an attack moments later by an AC-130 gunship that pounded targets in the city. Later, the team blasted Jimi Hendrix and other rock music, and afterward some sound effects like babies crying, men screaming, a symphony of cats and barking dogs and piercing screeches. They were unable to draw any gunmen to fight, and seemed disappointed.

It seems like a weird tactic (do the insurgents even know english?) designed to provoke more than prevent. But that seems to be the modus operandi in Iraq. There is no attempt at all to connect to the Iraqis as people with a proud heritage who have yet to achieve their freedom. The tactics of war are good for just that: war. You cannot have a peace and reconstruction mission carried out by marines and soldiers. They are trained for something else.
Fallujah is a fiercely tribal place that will answer only with aggression. Wiser heads than mine, Juan Cole, have written on the need for temperance and restraint in Fallujah.
Here is another account of a briton in Baghdad pointing out the absurdity of peace-keeping with military tanks.
All this is, rather, academic. Iraq has toppled into the chaos that was predicted before the war. Bush/Blair are leaving come July. Iraq belongs to the Iraqis. Afghanistan belongs to the Afghanis. We have done our job. To give them freedom.

Orientalist details

Details – The Most Irrelevant Magazine Ever – pissed off Asians in their April issue [full disclosure: in 1993, i had a Details subscription that lasted 8 months]. The culprit was a Gay or Asian? style guide featuring a metrosexual (!) oriental and blurbs like “A bonsai ass requires delicate tending”. Indeed.
Needless to say, the East Asian community protested their metallic snickers off in front of the Details office yesterday.
All this is barely amusing and i only have a couple of incidental observations. First, what happened to us south asians? how come we haven’t cracked the Habib-gas-attendant and Patel-KnightsInn-clerk glass ceiling? When can we be cool enough to be slurred wearing $400 jeans and Dolce&Gabbana Suede Jackets (“Keeps the last samurai warm and buttoned tight on the battlefield”).
I would love to go protest such injustice in manhattan.
Secondly, as gerry would attest, I use with glee the 18th and 19th century descriptions of the Asian races (wily chinee, crafty hindoo, savage mohammadin) and in that regard i appreciate Details trying to put a 21st century spin on it.
I insist that future posts in Details should include “Terrorist or Paki?” and “JobStealer or Bharati?” as well as hard-hittin’ investigative pieces such as “Curry: The Thais stole it from the Indians” and “Queer Eye for the Mullah”.
hmmm…maybe I should work on these myself.