Friday, July 18, 2014

Circus Without Bread

Football is Coming Home published my "Circus Without Bread: Reflections on Brazil 2014," which touches on just some of the World Cup-related topics I have been covering for the last several weeks for American Independent Media.

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Brazil Bound

In a few days I'll be heading to Brazil for the 2014 World Cup. This is primarily a pleasure trip, but between my academic interests in sport, society, and politics and the fact that I'll be writing about the experience for a Texas newspaper group (I'll share links as I can) there is certainly a professional component involved (or that's my story, anyway).

I'm especially interested in comparing and contrasting the experience I had in South Africa with that in Brazil. Obviously not much will ever pass 2010 for me in terms of its meaning professionally and personally, but it should still be a wonderful opportunity.

I'm going to be based in Porto Alegre with my friend Jaime and his family, and as of now have tickets to three group stage games -- France-Honduras, South Korea-Algeria, and the one we are most anticipating, Nigeria-Argentina. I'll be supporting the Super Eagles, and all of the African sides while they will be all about Argentina. Then we have tickets to one of the knockout games, which will pit the winner of Group G (The Group of Death -- Germany, Portugal, Ghana, and the US) and the second place finisher in Group H (Belgium, Algeria, Russia, and South Korea).

I'll post occasionally and will try to link some of my pieces as I go.   

Saturday, May 24, 2014

South Africa's Political Playground

Today the Council on Foreign Relations' "Africa in Transition" Blog published the second of my pieces on South African politics, "South Africa's Political Playground." It was an honor to be able to contribute my thoughts and I especially want to thank John Campbell, who oversees the blog, and Emily Mellgard of CFR who helped steer my work to publication.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The 2014 South African Election

I had a guest post appear on the Council on Foreign Relations Blog "Africa in Transition" today. "The 2014 South African Election: Another ANC Landslide" is the first of two contributions on South African politics that they will publish.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

"Don't Be Forced to Transfer to Amherst"

Williams College Libraries (Go Ephs!) have produced a nifty homage to those cable tv ads (you know the ones -- they are like a shaggy dog tale meeting a Rube Goldberg Device, culminating in "don't sell your hair to a wig shop.") This one culminates in a fate in which the living envy the dead.


Monday, February 24, 2014

A Williams Soccer Player in Afghanistan

It is hardly news when a Williams alum takes a corporate job. It is news but not astounding to see a Williams alum play professional soccer. It is astounding news when just about any American not in the armed services takes a job in Afghanistan.

So it is especially amazing news to see the story of Nick Pugliese, a 2012 Williams grad who took a job in Afghanistan and then took advantage of the opportunity to play professional soccer for Ferozi FC of the Kabul Premier League. The telecommunications company for which he worked demanded that he choose between them and Ferozi FC. He chose to continue playing. You can see his story recounted here.  

Friday, January 31, 2014

Facebook Spammer: I Curse You

Ok, so I am the worlds worst Facebook friend. I almost never check my Facebook page, to the point where it always takes me a while to navigate the interface, especially since it is different between my laptop, iPad, and android phone. (Yeah, I have a Mac laptop, my campus office computer is a Mac desktop, I have an iPad, and my phone is an android -- what of it?) I take forever to respond to friend requests and messages. When I do check in, it's usually to announbce that I'm travelling someplace or to announce some accomplishment, and so basically my timeline is that of a narcissist. (On Facebook? The audacity!) Basically, I may as well not have a Facebook account.

So today I go in the respond to some friend requests. And I decide to keep scrolling down to send a few requests of my own, something I just about never do (again, that narcissism -- I don't request friends, I wait to be requested). And so I find folks from high school I'm still not Facebook friends with, and then start finding professional colleagues, college and grad school friends, that guy I met through that other guy who I know through that dude I met at a scholarly seminar.

And because people tend to keep Facebook open on a tab on their computer, some folks started responding right away, including one guy I sort of knew who was a year or two behind me in high school.

Minutes later, I get a message from him. "Hi." Then a vague inquiry about how I'm doing, to which I gave a nine word biography. Then the next post arrives: "I've been trying to reach you lately cause i have a great news to share with you." (Just assume "sic" from here on out.)

Um, ok, I have not seen you in 25 years and had not thought of you until I saw your name here today and sent the friend request, but ok.

Next message: "Did you hear the NEW YEAR good news about facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg?"

Um, nope.

"The New Month Promotion, it was made to some facebook user in other to benefit from them at large $150,00.00 did you get yours from them?" (Again, all "sic" up in here.)

Yeah, dude, not interested.

"oh really"

"when the UPS Company delivered the money to my door step. I saw your name on the list with the shipping company agent, so I thought I would see if you have gotten it."

And . . . Unfriended (something I have never done before, by the way, as since I don't go on regularly I can avoid most of the dumb stuff that many of the people with whom I went to high school -- and the crazy always comes from high school connections. Always -- tend to spew out.)

I am assuming that C*** B******* has simply had his Facebook page hacked or usurped. But whatever it is, screw you, "C*** B*******."