June 1st, 2010

Getting A Life

It used not to be like this.

Until comparatively recently you didn't need to be a purring machine of gym-toned godliness to be a sport's star. You could live a normal life.

Sport- even at the highest professional level- was something people did for fun.

The money was less, the pressure was less.

Andy Murray is getting stick for playing the other night as if he didn't want to win. 

Would that be so terrible? He doesn't need the money. He knows he's capable of beating the best if he's in the mood.

If we couch potato sports fans choose to make a big emotional investment in him that's our look-out. He owes us nothing.

I don't presume to know what he was thinking when he allowed himself to be beaten so tamely- in the dying light on a claggy court-  but it might well have been, "Sod this for a game of soldiers."

Perhaps he had a book back home he wanted to finish, perhaps his favourite TV show was due on and he'd forgotten to set record, perhaps he had a date with his best girl.

There are more important things in life than being the best at smacking balls around.

Vicious Cycle

Israel has an entirely cavalier attitude towards its international friends. It doesn't trust them; it doesn't respect them.  It pissed off the USA by proceeding with contested settlements under Joe Biden's nose, it pissed off the UK by equipping an assassination team with stolen British passports- and now it has pissed off Turkey- its one ally in the Middle East- by shooting up its aid convoy.

There are reasons for the paranoia- we all know what they are- but they don't excuse it or make it anything but a stupid and self-destructive thing.
The more paranoid you act the more people hate you the more paranoid you become.