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It's a fine line between living for the moment and being a sociopath.

Patricia B McConnell: For The Love Of A Dog.

Pema Chodron: The Places That Scare You

Daniel Wallace: Mr Sebastian & the Negro Magician

All paths lead to the same goal: to convey to others what we are. --Pablo Neruda

Sunday, July 09, 2006

All over for Les Bleus

Italy was out-played by a dominant French side, but deserved to win, anyway:

...because they survived through two bouts of extended time.

...because there is nothing more even than a tie-breaker shoot-out.

...because Zinedine Zidane behaved disgracefully to leave France un-anchored.

For those who didn't follow the world cup final, the unrivaled star of the French side, Zidane -- the Michael Jordan of French soccer, and retiring after tonight's match -- got himself ejected in disgrace after powerfully head-butting an Italian player. The ball, nowhere near them at the time of the incident, wasn't even in play. It was one of the biggest jerk performances I've ever seen, and it left France to play without their star.

One of the gentlest moments of the match happened after two time extensions had failed to resolve the 1-1 tie, forcing a spot-kick shootout. The two goalies, who would each in a moment face the best kickers in the world alone, met at mid-field and embraced each other. They, uniquely, could understand each other just then, carrying millions of people's emotions in their taxed reflexes, so they threw their arms around each other, then walked, each alone, back to their respective nets. After an otherwise violent match, by soccer standards, that embrace was a tender thing. As it happened, neither was a hero; neither blocked any of the missiles fired at them. Italy was rescued by the cross-bar of the goal deflecting a French kick just two inches from brilliance.

But it is Zidane, adored by a nation under the nick-name Zizou, who will be remembered for his untempered idiocy in the final match of his career: a man who couldn't lead his team through some heat-of-the-moment name-calling.

You might think the local result, here in the 17th arrondissement, would be a quiet night hung with a doleful silence. But when you're already drunk, and you've got fireworks and airhorns that have no alternate uses, well...

I've no doubt, however, it's louder in Rome.


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