Back to previous post: Open thread 142

Go to Making Light's front page.

Forward to next post: F. Gwynplaine MacIntyre (presumed)

Subscribe (via RSS) to this post's comment thread. (What does this mean? Here's a quick introduction.)

June 24, 2010

Posted by Abi Sutherland at 02:42 PM * 208 comments

Those of our readers who are not living under a rock or in the US* may be aware that the World (Football†) Cup is currently gripping much of the planet. It’s certainly a matter of great interest here in the Netherlands, where the country is drenched in orange. Entire rows of houses have clubbed together to present a unified front. Banners flutter above the streets, strung from eaves to lampposts.

After a rather pathetic showing on the day of the first Dutch game, a couple of my colleagues seem to have got into the swing of things in their personal appearance as well. I was chatting to one of them in the kitchen, admiring his well-matched combination of an orange T-shirt and orange button-down shirt. “So where are you going to watch the match?” I asked.

“In an Irish pub in Utrecht,” he replied. (Note, in the pictures on the site, that he won’t be alone in that.)

I don’t even recall doing it, but suddenly I found that my hands were on my head and my eyes were wide. “You’re. Wearing. Orange. To. An. Irish. Pub.”

“Yeah,” he replied, entirely confused by the fact that I was convulsively running my fingers through my hair.

Now, in my conscious mind I knew it was just an Irish theme pub. But my maiden name is Foley, and I was raised among the Irish-Americans‡. It has taken me three years to understand that orange can be a “good” color.

And something inside me is still screaming.

* I’m kidding! I know there are at least three Americans following the US team as it moves into the last sixteen; they were flooding my Twitter stream during the last nail-biting match.
† You can call it soccer if you want.
‡ For clarity: we were West Coast Irish-Americans who never even considered getting involved in the politics of a country our ancestors had left, on any deeper level than choice of color to wear on March 17.

#1 ::: eric ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2010, 03:03 PM:

Well, it is a Dutch Irish Pub.

I wouldn't do that in a couple of the pubs in Seattle, especially the one with the handwritten cartographic change of London^H^H^H^H^H^HDerry.

#2 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2010, 03:06 PM:

More than 20 years ago, the Cambridge University Fantasy Society were (I am told) gently informed that wearing their long, bright orange, scarves to a convention being held in Ireland was - not a good idea.

#3 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2010, 03:08 PM:

Lord have mercy -- that's about like whistling "Marching Through Georgia" in an Atlanta bar...

#4 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2010, 03:10 PM:

And, I (so recently accused of being a Republican Sympathiser, elseweb) missed it, because I had the context of it being a Dutch Pub.

Though I think, what with being from a couple of Irish families, I'd have noticed it, were it in a slightly different context.

#5 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2010, 03:11 PM:

“You’re. Wearing. Orange. To. An. Irish. Pub.”

YYyyyyeah. I'm trying to remember where I last had that reaction... yes. It wasn't in an Irish pub, just in a regular sports bar, but I was having trouble with "orange football jersey... Notre Dame... the Fighting Irish? What?"

Except of course the Fighting Irish wear blue and gold. So I'm not sure why I was convinced I was seeing an orange Notre Dame football jersey. Except I had friends with me, and they saw it too. (They didn't understand my boggle, which made me boggle more--but they didn't correct my identification of the jersey.)


#6 ::: Tim Hall ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2010, 03:13 PM:

If orange is such a bad colour, why has orange been the predominant colour for the Irish Republic's trains since the 1970s?

#7 ::: Neil W ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2010, 03:14 PM:

It is, of course, the exact historical Orange one shouldn't wear to an Irish pub.

#8 ::: Mark ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2010, 03:18 PM:

Ow, my brain.

Does the publican keep his pet snake on premises too?

#9 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2010, 03:20 PM:

A (now deceased) former co-worker, family name Calhoun, always wore orange for St Pat's day. We learned to ignore it. (Nice guy, really. 'Hey, Merle, is eighteen inches one foot or two feet?')

But orange to an Irish pub, even an Irish-themed Dutch pub is ... not something I'd want to do.

#10 ::: Tania ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2010, 03:30 PM:

Wow. I'm just a bit gobsmacked here...

#11 ::: Steve Buchheit ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2010, 03:31 PM:

Neil W, because soccer hooligans and Nationalists are always concerned about the particular shade/tint and carry color wheels with them to verify compliance.

"Should we knock his teeth in, Shamus?"

"Nah, Dougan, he's wearing PMS471. It's all wrong, you see."

#12 ::: Dave Trowbridge ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2010, 03:33 PM:

@Lori #3: I had almost that experience years ago in Dante's Down the Hatch in Atlanta when a drunken fellow worker exploded her fondue pot and set the table on fire. When I "explained" that she was a descendant of General Sherman, the owner's expression was, well, indescribable.

#13 ::: colin roald ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2010, 03:38 PM:

So, okay, tangent question. Why *do* the Dutch wear orange? I get that yes, the Dutch royal family is named Orange-Nassau, and I get that yes, the actual Dutch flag is a red, white and blue tricolor that no non-Dutch person will ever recognize, and I get that, yes, orange is a rare color for national team kit and hence distinctive, but -- is that it? It feels like there must be more story than that for the country to have embraced it as thoroughly as it appears.

#14 ::: Marna Nightingale ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2010, 03:40 PM:

... and then he ordered a Black and Tan?

... disambiguate, defenstrate, they sort of sound alike.

#15 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2010, 03:40 PM:

Neil W is correct here. The Dutch orange is for William van Oranje, who is indeed the very same King Billy of the Boyne, as well as being the William of Mary and the Glorious Revolution. Busy man.

(Much as I love the idea of thugs with Pantone books.)

#16 ::: Will "scifantasy" Frank ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2010, 03:40 PM:


Last St. Patrick's Day, I wore blue jeans and a gray shirt. I explained that if I was going to wear the colors of a country's internecine conflict, I'd wear my own, thank you.

#17 ::: Dan ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2010, 03:42 PM:

One of the things I miss more than anything is being in the Netherlands when the World Cup is going on (I was in Eindhoven during the '94 and '98 contests, and there's just no place more fun to be).

#18 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2010, 03:48 PM:

For the guy on the next street over who keeps flying this flag, I have been tempted to fly this one.

#19 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2010, 03:49 PM:

my maiden name is Foley

That name makes me want to launch into the reenactment of a Busby Berkeley musical. As Dick Powell, not as Ruby Keeler.

#20 ::: Lylassandra ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2010, 03:50 PM:

My sister has never been all that interested in Irish history-- she leaves that to Dad and me-- and has occasionally come up with some doozies. Our dad and I were discussing whether Ireland should have northern and southern football teams, and she asked why they would need them. The look on my dad's face was priceless. A few years later, when she went to the east coast to check out colleges, she innocently commented, "Wow, there are a lot of Irish people in Boston..."

(Also, on Irish Americans on different coasts: a friend who moved here to San Diego from Boston commented, "Th Irish people here are crazy. The Irish in Boston, they may be criminal, but they ain't crazy.")

#21 ::: William Donohue ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2010, 03:51 PM:

#6 & #11 - Well, there's gold, which is the color on the flag and the color they paint the trains. Then there's orange, which is what you are aiming at when the Orangemen are out marching.

#22 ::: Mattathias ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2010, 04:01 PM:

USA World Cup television viewership figures are actually higher than the viewership figures for the basketball finals. It's a more popular sport in the US than you've been led to believe.

#23 ::: thanate ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2010, 04:04 PM:

Reputedly, there were people going around last St Patrick's Day in the US who were advocating wearing orange when they went out to party as some sort of a pagan protest against St Patrick. I only know this from seeing explanations of why this was a particularly bad idea, though, so I'm not quite sure what the rationale was supposed to be.

#24 ::: eric ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2010, 04:09 PM:

There needs to be a Bloom County Tribute Band called Billy and the Boyners.

#25 ::: david ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2010, 04:18 PM:

Dcb@2 - CUFS scarves aren't long at all - they're six feet _deep_.

#26 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2010, 04:26 PM:

I stand corrected! (I was only ever a member of CUSFS).

#27 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2010, 04:27 PM:

I did, once I realised what was going on, think... "and it's That orange."

The mind does truly boggle.

#28 ::: TomB ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2010, 04:29 PM:

The flag of Ireland is green, white, and orange. The green and orange represent the inclusion of the Gaelic and Orange traditions. White represents peace between them.

#29 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2010, 04:32 PM:

The (joking) conclusion we came to about the pub was that it was clearly a Dutch pub with an Irish theme. A true Irish publican would starve rather than compromise a principle, but a Dutch publican will keep the commerce going no matter what.

(Remember that during the 1600's, Dutch merchants distinguished themselves from missionaries—and thus earned the right to be in Nagasaki—by being willing to step on a cross in front of officials. The 1600's was not a time of widespread atheism in the Netherlands.)

#30 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2010, 04:34 PM:

Also re 16 (my other comment sort of was too): When father's NC relations would talk about Yankees my mother would bring up that she was related to Gen. Logan.

#31 ::: The Modesto Kid ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2010, 04:34 PM:

re. William van Oranje -- he was also the namesake of the NJ town where I live.

#32 ::: Raphael ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2010, 04:40 PM:

abi @15, hmmm, wouldn't the Dutch be more likely to think of that guy's great-grandfather first, if they make historical connections at all?

#33 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2010, 04:42 PM:

Raphael @32:

I think you might be right, actually. My bad.

#34 ::: Erf ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2010, 05:03 PM:

I admit I'm a product of my Canadian culture, but it never occurred to me that wearing green on March 17 might (originally) be an actual political statement. I knew about the meaning of orange vs green in Ireland, of course, but I'm certainly not steeped in it.* I always figured we were "supposed" to wear green because that's the Irish colour, which is (I thought) mainly because that country is so beautifully verdant that the colour became a national symbol. Which may have some truth to it, and I'm sure it's why we (in Canada) wear green now, but is there a political aspect to it? In other words, are we encouraged to wear green to say "Ireland is awesome" (green for shamrocks etc), or is it historically related to this particular conflict? (Wikipedia basically says it's about shamrocks, but I trust you guys more than Wikipedia...)

* I'm half Irish but my family's been in Canada for enough generations that the politics never comes up, at least not that I've heard. Very much love the music, but that's mostly as far as it goes, AFAIK.

#35 ::: Steve with a book ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2010, 05:04 PM:

Lylassandra@20: well, there is actually a single all-Ireland football team, if you awkwardly interpret 'football' to mean Rugby Football, or more specifically the soft southerners' version as opposed to the proper version. (Now, there's a partition that it'd take a hell of a peace process to undo.)

"When I say rugby of course I mean rugby league, not the other sort wherein wheezing off-duty policeman, solicitors and dentists bite each other's noses off, watched by retired headmasters in driving gloves. A friend of mine once said, perceptively, that rugby union has but one saving grace, namely that it's always nice to see coppers getting knocked about a bit on their day off."—Stuart Maconie, Cider With Roadies

#36 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2010, 05:04 PM:

Futbol is fetid with toxic memes, layers upon layers, like a bellicose, rancid lasagna.

#37 ::: Tony Zbaraschuk ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2010, 05:04 PM:

This is the part where I confess wonderingly that I don't know what intra-Dutch stereotypes are: what would be the Dutch equivalent of such a thing as wearing orange boots to an Irish wake?

#38 ::: D. Potter ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2010, 05:12 PM:

Somewhere around the age of 13, someone mentioned not wearing orange on St. Patrick's Day. And since the person (don't remember whom) never bothered to explain, I took it as a Silly Clothing Rule, not unlike the others the world was attempting to foist upon me; and I had a quasi-orangeish sweater I was very fond of. So for several years, while I didn't make a point of it (because that was a Silly Clothing Rule in the other direction), if the sweater was clean and I felt like it, I wore it.

But I am apparently exempt from the "Everyone's Irish on St. Paddy's Day!" Rule, (;-)) so nobody trotted out the historical explanation until probably the '70s, long after the sweater had undergone Spontaneous Existence Failure. (Thank you, Mr. Adams.) And I don't have that kind of bone-deep reaction, even though the Bloody Sunday report didn't surprise me at all, and I don't quite "get" that kind of collective animosity.

Modesto Kid @ 31: And South, West, and East as well.

#39 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2010, 05:18 PM:

I'm not entirely certain that there are intra-Dutch stereotypes that match the virulence of the Orange against the Green. The closest I could come up with would be wearing a hijab to a PVV meeting (or in Limburg, which gave Wilders 24 seats).

#40 ::: Steve with a book ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2010, 05:22 PM:

England play Germany on Sunday. To watch this in the pub in England, as I probably will, will be an... experience. There's only so many choruses of "Two World Wars And One World Cup" (x2, to the tune of the last two lines of Cwm Rhondda) that I can take.

#41 ::: Tammy ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2010, 05:35 PM:

I work in Belfast and I drew the Netherlands in the office sweepstakes.

It all feels quite odd. We're all fake-competative and flying our various colours. I keep wanting to explain to anyone passing through.

#42 ::: Charlie Stross ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2010, 05:37 PM:

Steve @40: the correct protocol is to drink yourself unconscious on alternating pints of Mitchell's Lancaster Bomber[*] and Shepherd Neame's Spitfire.

[*] Actually brewed by Thwaites these days, but I digress.

#43 ::: Cyrano Jones ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2010, 05:42 PM:

I'm not Catholic, and I admit that I've worn orange on the Feast Day of Saint Patrick on occasion to wind people up.

#44 ::: Fox ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2010, 05:49 PM:

When I was at the University of Edinburgh, the (I'm not making this up) Huggabugga Jaffacake Appreciation Society put on an Orange Tie Ball to raise money for some worthy cause (Jaffacakes, of course, being cookies made of sponge cake with a chocolate layer on one side enclosing a 'smashing orangey bit', i.e., an orange-flavored filling). Friend of mine bought a ticket and went to the ball ... in black tie, which, when I asked about it and he reminded me that he was from Belfast, was probably the best idea under the circumstances.

#45 ::: Darth Paradox ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2010, 05:49 PM:

My goodness.

I remember searching for clothes for St. Patrick's day one year in middle school, and my uncle - might have been my dad, but this sounds like an Uncle Paul thing - told me that green is what the Irish wear, but the proper St. Patrick's color for we of Scots descent was orange. (Which is of course a simplification even to the extent that it's true, but we Maxwells are Lowlanders anyway.)

Suffice it to say I went along with it, and I'm lucky that I was going to school somewhere in the Midwest rather than somewhere in Boston, and that my classmates were as ignorant of the gesture as I was. I learned later on that orange was in opposition to green in this context, but never bothered to really grok the historical symbolism until now.

#46 ::: Dave Weingart ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2010, 05:50 PM:

Not only was I watching the US play against Algeria (online, since I'm at a client site), I was wearing my USA jersey :) I'm going to have to sneak out of my Apollocon guest duties for a few hours on Saturday to watch the US play Ghana.

Something tells me that wearing orange in an Irish pub in Holland during World Cup is at least marginally acceptable. But only just.

#47 ::: Q. Pheevr ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2010, 05:56 PM:

Tony @37 and Abi @39: Here in Leiden, I think, a rough equivalent of wearing orange to an Irish pub would be waving a Spanish flag on the third of October.

Having moved here from Toronto, I find it very peculiar to be in a place where everyone is cheering for the same team in the World Cup. I'm used to seeing people driving around with South Korean flags and Portuguese flags and Senegalese flags and Italian flags and Greek flags and Croatian flags and Argentinian flags. (The maple leaf puts in a brief appearance around July 1, and then it's back to business as usual.) I'm used to being able to tell auditorially when a match has been won, but having to look out the window to tell by whom. But here everyone is wearing orange, and when they start singing what sounds to me like Auld Lang Syne, I know exactly which side has prevailed. The sense of community is all very lovely, but I do miss the variety.

Somewhere in the throng I glimpsed a woman wearing a bright orange hijab. Geert Wilders can kiss her ass.

#48 ::: Ulrika ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2010, 06:08 PM:

Oh, hey, the Dutch have turned their country into a giant used car lot. Nice.

I also like how the rotating slide show on the web page for the pub is showing all sorts of orange in it. Perhaps the publican is Protestant...

#49 ::: ianracey ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2010, 06:11 PM:

@21 William Donohue

No, the third colour on the flag of Ireland is orange, not gold, and the Department of the Taoiseach describe the use of any shade of yellow in place of orange a "misrepresentation of the National Flag [that] should be actively discouraged." (In the section titled "Design", paragraph 1.)

#50 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker to Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2010, 06:13 PM:

Marna Nightingale @ 14:

So that's what Wikidaleks blare as they go into battle: "Disambiguate!"

#51 ::: Sisuile ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2010, 06:13 PM:

The mind, it boggles.

Granted, I tended to braid an orange and a green ribbon through my hair for March 17, being both a Good Protestant and a McMullan. In St. Louis, that was dangerous enough - we still have the Irish quarter.

Re: World Cup - '06 found me watching the last few games near Kings Cross/St. Pancras Station, in a hotel owned by an Italian man (run with his family), surrounded by a group of German college students on holiday. It brought home to me in a way few other things could just how important this game was to the rest of the world. Also, I learned a lot about how it was played and some new German vocabulary. This year it has meant I haven't really needed to watch the games, as I get a play by play on the twitter feed.

#52 ::: Steve with a book ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2010, 06:35 PM:

ianracey@49: large sporting events are a useful test of whether some flags are too similar to others. Get the shade of orange on the Irish flag a bit too deep and it looks very like the Italian one. See this World Cup fixture list; no Irish flag here as the cheating French so-and-sos knocked them out, but it's still difficult to keep all the tricolours straight in your head.

Sporting events demonstrate how most national anthems are a bit rubbish, too. France, Germany and the USA have good ones, but after that you're soon scraping the barrel. England is lucky to have "God Save The Queen", which is merely very tedious.

#53 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2010, 06:38 PM:


I can't think of any clothing I've got that's orange, apart from a mostly-brown sweater that has a bit of orange and some white as accents. I go to Irish pubs only very rarely, generally when I'm invited to some kind of lunch gathering or a folk event. I'm not sure it would ever have occurred to me that there would be a problem in wearing something orange to an Irish pub. Now that you point out that it's problematic... oh, okay, got it. I mean, I know about "the Orange and the Green", but I didn't know that wearing something orange in an Irish pub -- especially in a different country! -- would be taken as a political statement.

I also don't usually bother wearing green on St. Patrick's Day. I mean, I'm not Irish, and I have no interest in most of the typical celebrations of the day.

#54 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2010, 06:42 PM:

I'm fundamentally against white people wearing orange, for pure fashion reasons. I, for example, really look like a corpse in that color (especially the bright Dutch orange).

Green was the symbol of Irish Nationalism before the Irish (in what is now the Irish Republic) managed to throw off the English yoke. You could be arrested just for being "green" back then. And the Orangemen were brought in to help suppress the Irish. Of course, the Curse of Macha is still upon the Ulstermen, even if they no longer feel the pangs of childbirth.

I would wear orange on St. Patrick's Day only if there were a chance that one of the old bastards in the Ancient Order of Hibernians (the doddy old farts who run the NYC parade and keep the gays from marching as Irish Gays) might catch sight of me and have a heart attack. NBL, of course, so I won't.

abi 39: Limburg, which gave Wilders 24 seats

Stinky people, those Limburgers.

#55 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2010, 06:47 PM:

In Hoboken you can tell if Italy wins the WC. Sometimes a Spanish-speaking country. It's the quality of the yelling, and whether the fweeble horns on the cars play a tarantella or that song about a cockroach.

#56 ::: Darth Paradox ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2010, 06:50 PM:

Confusion with Italy's only the beginning. Ivory Coast is in the tournament this year.

#57 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2010, 06:57 PM:

ObB5: "Purple!"

#58 ::: Kevin Marks ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2010, 07:01 PM:

As Flanders and Swann's song of Patriotic prejudice seems apposite here:

The Irishman now our contempt is beneath
He sleeps in his boots and he lies through his teeth
He blows up policemen or so I have heard
And blames it on Cromwell and William the Third

and for the World Cup:

And all the world over each nation's the same
They've simply no notion of playing the game
They argue with umpires, they cheer when they've won
And they practice before hand which spoils all the fun

(why yes, England do have to beat Germany and Argentina to get to the semi-finals)

I also wonder if Oranjeboom lager is advertised in Eire. Let alone the mobile phone company with the slogan "The future's bright - the future's Orange"

#59 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2010, 07:04 PM:

I live in a town where burnt orange is always in order as a fashion statement, as it expresses loyalty to the local Enormous State University. (All the Troubles seem so far away.) I've never bothered to find out what happens if you wear it into what passes for an Irish pub around here (few, far between, and decidedly ersatz) on St Patrick's Day, as I tend to stay off the streets during such events.

#60 ::: Kevin Marks ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2010, 07:05 PM:

Bruce (#50) Did the WikiDaleks make this page?
Disambiguation (disambiguation)

#61 ::: Heather Rose Jones ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2010, 07:19 PM:

I love when World Cup time rolls around at my workplace. They set up big screen TVs in the cafeteria and even the VPs have been known to dodge ... uh ... reschedule meetings to watch a critical game. I'd be willing to bet that at least 3/4 of the participating countries are represented among our employees by at least one first-generation immigrant (or non-immigrant temporary posting from abroad).

#62 ::: Darth Paradox ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2010, 07:30 PM:


Oh, excellent. I've been arguing for wider adoption of "precise" as a verb ever since I learned it was a reasonably common verb in French. I'm happy to at least see it in gerund form...

#63 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2010, 07:32 PM:

Nicole, #5: It occurs to me that gold team jerseys + a color TV mis-adjusted toward the red side could have produced that orange effect.

Q. Pheevr, #47: Somewhere in the throng I glimpsed a woman wearing a bright orange hijab.

I just want to say, that is AWESOME.

Sisuile, #51: Also, I learned a lot about how it was played and some new German vocabulary.

*snerk* I can imagine.

Jacque, #57: "GREEN!"

#64 ::: Janet Brennan Croft ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2010, 08:31 PM:

Y'know, come to think of it, both our major rivals here at the Big Old Midwest University wear orange. So one avoids orange any Saturday in the fall and winter as well as March 17.

(The last three colleges I've been associated with have all been red and white. Makes moving easier when you don't have to buy a new wardrobe.)

#65 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2010, 08:33 PM:

I have been quietly rooting for the Netherlands this Cup, although my son and all the folks at work are pulling for Brazil. We have a multinational group of employees, who were quite startled during the last World Cup, because I demonstrated more than just an interest in the games. This time around, I get to debate the merits of Argentina vs Brazil, or Netherlands vs Germany, and people come up to me with updates on the ongoing game.

My son hasn't really explained his support of Brazil, and somehow he persuaded me to buy a yellow jersey for him. I'm still looking online for a decent price on an Orange jersey, although I solemnly swear never to wear it around Xopher.

#66 ::: Jörg Raddatz ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2010, 09:03 PM:

Q. Pheevr #47
You are correct, it *is* sung to the tune of Auld Lang Syne. The Title is "Wij houden van Oranje", ie We love Orange.

Steve with a book #52
In my opinion, the Wilhelmus, ie the Dutch anthem is also very beautiful and impressive.

On a much darker note: Whatever the colour orange means in Ireland and to the Irish, in the Netherlands it was also a very honourable symbol of protest against the German occupation: from '40 to '45 Radio Oranje was broadcasting from the UK and wearing an orange piece of clothing (or even an upright match with its orange-coloured phosphorous head in a buttonhole) was a form of silent protest.

A Dutch friend of mine had an uncle who was murdered by German soldiers in '44 after Market Garden, basically for publicly singing that part of the anthem - "de tyrannie verdrijven, die mij mijn haart doorwondt" (to drive away the tyranny that thoroughly wounds my heart).

#67 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2010, 09:43 PM:

My high school's colors are orange and black. When my brother painted his trombone to match, he got a lot of attention. He kept the paint job for college, but either markered or painted over all the orange bits with red. It's an impressive trombone-- got him on TV a couple times during marching band.

#68 ::: Chris Ashley ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2010, 10:26 PM:

My first March in Boston, I was riding up from Dorchester to Cambridge the day of the parade. At Broadway, the nearest subway station to Southie, an Orangeman got on. For serious: Orange shirt, orange shorts, orange cap. The works.

He started complaining loudly to the pretty girl across the aisle. "Southie's gone soft!" he shouted. "It's all full of fackin' yuppies and college kids now. Nobody knows you're supposed to punch a guy wearing orange on St Patrick's Day!"

The girl, to judge from her expression, was at least as sorry as the dude that he hadn't gotten punched. I had to wonder whether gentrification might be the key to world peace.

#69 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2010, 11:16 PM:

Diatryma, what sort of paint does one use to paint a trombone? Your brother's sounds incredible.

#70 ::: Lucy Kemnitzer ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2010, 11:55 PM:

Orange is sort the 21st century color for any sort of political opposition movement, irrespective of ideology. Examples are Ukraine, Israel (can't find a link but the settlers who refused to go back wore orange), and some other places I can't thik of at the moment.

It's also the color my kid still wears preferentially even now that he is over thirty and well on his way to being a professional.

He's not making a statement when he wears it. He just likes orange. And making people laugh.

#71 ::: Chris Quinones ::: (view all by) ::: June 25, 2010, 12:51 AM:

I just have to link to my LJ post from St. Patrick's Day 2009, for reasons which should be self-evident.

#72 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: June 25, 2010, 01:28 AM:

My understanding is that you take the trombone or other brass instrument, rough it up a bunch with steel wool, then spraypaint. That's what he did, anyway, with solid orange in the bell then a nifty checkerboard grid on the outside leading to a spiral once the bell became tubey. Another trombone painted his with flames-- poorly executed, but points for ambition.

#73 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: June 25, 2010, 01:49 AM:

Charlie @42

Spitfire beer adverts

There's a bit of an ugly streak of jingoism running through them. And a revival of ancient jokes, which maybe depend a little too much on knowing the history, or old movies.

#74 ::: Kevin Marks ::: (view all by) ::: June 25, 2010, 03:30 AM:

Dave the spitfire ads remind me of the Carling Black Label ones from my youth, specifically Dambusters and this variant.

#75 ::: KévinT ::: (view all by) ::: June 25, 2010, 03:44 AM:

Re: William of Orange.

Orange is, of course, a small city in southern France, which used to be a principality.
That its name has had such an impact through history (and today) on completely unrelated events I find very interesting.

I've always been fascinated by the territorial and political complexities created by feudalism in Europe and the associated crazy quilt of fiefdoms.
How many more thousands of miles of borders were there, compared to our more topologically convex nation-states? It's hard to wrap your mind around what it was like.

#76 ::: Juliet E McKenna ::: (view all by) ::: June 25, 2010, 04:11 AM:

I was in Dublin some years ago when the Gaelic football* final was on - Co.Tyrone vs Co.Armagh. This was noteworthy as two teams from the North were playing in the Republic's capital.

What struck me most forcefully was the bright orange of the Armagh GAA shirts being worn around the city, clearly with impunity. Till I had it earnestly explained to me (in a bar) that the colour wasn't sash orange. So that was (apparently) okay.

Unlike the mobile phone slogan 'the future's bright, the future's orange' which I gather prompted approval/outrage/hilarity in about equal measure depending on age/background etc.

*Google 'Gaelic Athletic Association' for background on the significance on this, if you're curious.

#77 ::: Mark W ::: (view all by) ::: June 25, 2010, 04:56 AM:

In Ireland nobody would bat an eyelid if you wore a Dutch jersey or any shade of orange in the pub. Jerseys of English club teams are also very popular here (Manchester United and Liverpool in particular, also Glasgow Celtic from the Scottish league). Irish people have obsessive loyalties to English club teams. This does not translate into support for the English national team. Wearing an English jersey in public in Ireland is a major no-no. It is almost genetically impossible for an Irishman to support an English national team in any sport. Even though we might like to, it's not in our make up.

Reminds me of a story of a Cork man explaining this to an Englishman once. The Englishman asked was there any circumstances where he would support an English team. The Cork man thought for a moment and said "Maybe if they were playing against Tipperary".

By the way, I'm wearing orange right now.

#78 ::: Eimear Ní Mhéalóid ::: (view all by) ::: June 25, 2010, 04:57 AM:

Juliet@75; Yes, Armagh GAA have always gone for a variant shade, in recent years a very deep orange and before that a very light almost yellowish colour, the other side of "sash orange". I suspect this is of more semantic significance in the North and in border areas.

There would be no problem wearing a Dutch jersey to a Dublin pub and indeed I saw a bunch of revellers on Grafton Street last night clad in same. A Glasgow Rangers jersey, on the other hand ...

Wrt the mobile phone situation, I had a Big Brother moment a few years ago driving from Cavan town to Clones, Co. Monaghan. Both are in the Republic but the road crosses the Border about 4 times. At intervals my phone would beep and the incoming text message would read "Welcome to Orange".

It also occurred to me then that if we had been told 15 or so years previously that there would be devices that could track us crossing the Border we might have believed it, but we would have jibbed at the notion that we would all carry them around voluntarily.

#79 ::: Ray ::: (view all by) ::: June 25, 2010, 05:07 AM:

I think west-coast Irish Americans may have a stronger reaction to the colour orange than Irish people living in Ireland. I've never seen anyone blink at Dutch fans in Dublin.

#80 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: June 25, 2010, 05:35 AM:

I suspect it's Irish-Americans in general; in comparison to a Bostonian I am catatonic on the subject.

Mind you, I wouldn't have worn orange into a Hibs pub in Edinburgh either, nor a Celtic pub in Glasgow. My gender and my accent would probably save me from unpleasant consequences, but I don't think it would make for a relaxing pint.

#81 ::: Mike McHugh ::: (view all by) ::: June 25, 2010, 05:41 AM:

Ray@78: I think it's like ripples in a pond. The centre is calm long before the edges are.

Although I was a bit surprised the first time I saw Black and Tan described a a traditional Irish drink. Not in Ireland, it's not, so it'd probably be unfair to say the centre is totally calm.

#82 ::: AlyxL ::: (view all by) ::: June 25, 2010, 05:48 AM:

My Dublin relatives tend to refer to the national colours as "green white and yellow". I noticed this first in 1990, when Ireland qualified for the world cup and actually made it to the quarter finals. This was marked by mad displays of the flag by pretty much everyone; one of my cousins was married when it was all going on, and she had great difficulty in stopping the florist from making her a bouquet in the national colours. This year, I suspect, the world cup is much more of a sore point altogether.

#83 ::: Dichroic ::: (view all by) ::: June 25, 2010, 05:50 AM:

Yesterday in the halls at work I saw a woman who at first glance appeared to be wearing earmuffs. She had bright orange Beesies* wrapped around each ear. Last night we had the game on TV, but it really wasn't necessary; I live only a couple blocks in one direction from the Eindhoven stadium, and in the other from the big screen showing the game in the center of town. Every time there was a Dutch goal the whole city erupted.

*Beesies, for people outside the Netherlands: Albert Heijn, the biggest Dutch supermarket chain, is giving away little fuzzy orange critters, rather like a fuzzy earthworm with googly eyes. There's a wire inside so they can be posed. Also, Bavaria beer is giving away orange dresses/tunics, that apparently they got an actual designer to create, so during games half the women in the streets wear those. (Apparently this greatly annoys Heineken, who are the official sponsors of the Cup!)

#84 ::: Dichroic ::: (view all by) ::: June 25, 2010, 06:02 AM:

Tony@37: wearing hte colors of whoever the Dutch are playing in the World Cup games!

(In the unlikely event they end up playing the US I *will* be wearing red, white and blue, but since those are also the colors of the actual Dutch flag I don't see how anyone can complain. Unless I can find my American flag "tattoos".)

#85 ::: Mark W ::: (view all by) ::: June 25, 2010, 06:05 AM:

Dichroic@82, Be thankful the women are not in South Africa where they take the wearing of orange a little more seriously than mere annoyance.

#86 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: June 25, 2010, 07:22 AM:

Lori Coulson #3:

That would depend on which side of Atlanta the bar was located. There are quite a few people in Atlanta who have no objection whatsoever to "Marching through Georgia" since it was their ancestors who were freed by the men who sang it.

So we made a thoroughfare for freedom and her train,
Sixty miles of latitude, three hundred to the main;
Treason fled before us, for resistance was in vain
While we were marching through Georgia.

#87 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: June 25, 2010, 07:40 AM:

In the rather serious* world of Jamaican politics, orange and green are the colours one has to wear (or not wear) to campaign events. I'm not sure when this started, but it was certainly before my time. I am not exactly sure how the colour green came to be associated with the Jamaica Labour Party but it certainly dates backs to the days of the founder, Sir Alexander Bustamante, whose father was an Irishman named Clarke. Bustamante combined roguishness, beekeeping, an eye for the ladies, and Catholicism, with a liking for top hats and tails, and a strong reverence for the royal family.

His rival, Norman Manley, may or may not (I am not clear on this) have chosen orange as the colour of the People's National Party that he founded. His father, though, was a Yorkshireman, not a Dutchman. However, it has been observed by some that if you break into broad Yorkshire in the Dutch-speaking world you may find yourselves understood (say "coop o' tay" in a restaurant and see what happens...)

*As in "deadly serious", meaning that wearing the wrong colour shirt in the wrong place gets you killed.

#88 ::: Alex ::: (view all by) ::: June 25, 2010, 10:22 AM:

To make the link between politically unwise dress among the Irish and rugby's an example with reversed polarity.

During the 1994 Kangaroos' tour of Britain and France, one of the Australian referees involved took a side trip to Belfast, where he decided to take a walk down the Shankill his Australian RL squad tracksuit, which is of course a lovely rich Brunswick* green with gold, but not orange, detailing.

He wasn't actually placed in protective custody, but a patrol of either police or troops (I don't remember which) did make it clear to him that he was doing something Very Unwise, indeed, he'd become a VIP in the sense of Very Imprudent Person, and the best thing he could do would be to leave the area as rapidly as possible in the back of their Land-Rover and change his clothes.

For the full flavour, you have to realise this was '94, the troubles are in full swing, the IRA are shooting at army helicopters with .50 Barrett sniper rifles and at police stations with rocket-assisted mortars of their own devising, the assorted "Loyalists" are demonstrating their loyalty to the heirs of Orange by slaughtering their fellow subjects and HM soldiers and constables in various colourful ways, their mass support base is throwing major riots every time the bell strikes, and people keep calling Catholic taxis to the Shankill and murdering the drivers, and Protestant ones to the Falls.

Killer detail - the ref in question was Bill Harrigan.

*how ironic that green is also another Protestant prince and relative of the British monarchy, and the brand of the British army's light infantry

*when I read Geert Mak's Amsterdam, I was amazed by the fact that the most Orangeist Amsterdammers were shipyard workers. Now that's an eerie degree of synchronicity.

#89 ::: Raphael ::: (view all by) ::: June 25, 2010, 11:02 AM:

Mark W. @ 76, that reminds me of a link I stumbled on somewhere years ago: Someone had posted a diary of experiences at the 2006 world cup on an Irish soccer forum, and, well, to quote: "Thankfully all was peaceful and no problems with our Irish shirts. We did have a rather bizarre chat with Eamon from Tralee who was there in his England shirt and Kerry accent. He grew up in London of Irish parentage, started following England and still does despite having moved back to Tralee many years ago. It descended into the bizarre though when he mentioned he has a cousin in the IRA who served 8 years in jail and when speaking to him just before heading out to Germany he said why didn’t you tell me earlier and I’d have come with you?"

#90 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: June 25, 2010, 11:47 AM:

All this talk of orange jerseys, t-shirts, whatever -- Why am I thinking of the Chudley Cannons?

(Fragano, yes it would depend on which part of Atlanta indeed!)

#91 ::: Joyce Reynolds-Ward ::: (view all by) ::: June 25, 2010, 12:16 PM:

And then there's those of us in Oregon, where the two major state university colors are, respectively, green and yellow (Oregon, my alma mater), and black and orange (Oregon State). Makes me wonder about the origins of those color choices...especially when Oregon and Oregon State are playing each other, the color choice can be pretty intense.

As a middle school teacher, there's a more practical consideration to wearing green on St. Patrick's Day--the enthusiastic middle school tradition of pinching anyone who didn't wear green. It's been around for years, as I remember absorbing this lesson thoroughly in my elementary school years forty years ago.

#92 ::: slakko ::: (view all by) ::: June 25, 2010, 01:16 PM:

@25, 26: When I was there (1997-2000), they were twelve feet rather than 6. Is the shrinkage a recent invention, or the growth?

CUSFS also had scarves of a non-standard Cambridge length (9 rather than 6 though).

#93 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: June 25, 2010, 02:17 PM:

Brunswick Green--it's dark, but it's the label I recall being used for the green used on locomotives of the Great Western Railway. Checking, it varies a bit, and overlaps into British Racing Green. Here's the GWR colour scheme

Rifle Green is a very dark green, approximated by the rgb triplet (65, 72, 51) (8-bit colour values) Very similar shades were used by rifle troops in other European armies: it may have partly because of the limits of durable pre-19th Century dyestuffs. Theres a picture here that shows the colour. I don't suppose it hurts that the chap wearing Rifle Green is Sean Bean.

#94 ::: Jim Henry ::: (view all by) ::: June 25, 2010, 02:31 PM:

abi @29:

Jonathan Swift makes this the subject of a dig at the Dutch in Gulliver's Travels:

To this I added another petition, "that for the sake of my patron the king of Luggnagg, his majesty would condescend to excuse my performing the ceremony imposed on my countrymen, of trampling upon the crucifix: because I had been thrown into his kingdom by my misfortunes, without any intention of trading." When this latter petition was interpreted to the Emperor, he seemed a little surprised; and said, "he believed I was the first of my countrymen1 who ever made any scruple in this point; and that he began to doubt, whether I was a real Hollander, or not; but rather suspected I must be a Christian.

1. - Gulliver is masquerading as a Dutchman because the English aren't allowed in Japan.

#95 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: June 25, 2010, 02:44 PM:

Dave Bell: your link is not working.

#96 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: June 25, 2010, 02:47 PM:

Terry: I've fixed it.

#97 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: June 25, 2010, 02:56 PM:

I love that line in the bio, "Sean is currently divorced from...."

#98 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: June 25, 2010, 04:10 PM:

I don't own any orange and certainly wouldn't want to. In DC, because of the time difference, they're having watching parties for breakfast in bars (makes you wonder what the bosses will think). The WashPost says Bill Clinton is trying to get the World Cup over here soon, and in the process has started really liking it.

#99 ::: Nightsky ::: (view all by) ::: June 25, 2010, 04:36 PM:

Q.Feevr@47: I don't much like hijabs (though I like government-mandated dress codes even less), but I must admit that the orange hijab is just the tiniest bit awesome. :D Being Dutch in her own way, I guess.

#101 ::: Cat ::: (view all by) ::: June 25, 2010, 06:07 PM:

The Irish-Americans seem to be much more fanatic about not wearing orange than the actual Irish. There are other criteria for instant death here.

#102 ::: Roy G. Ovrebo ::: (view all by) ::: June 25, 2010, 06:39 PM:

However, it has been observed by some that if you break into broad Yorkshire in the Dutch-speaking world you may find yourselves understood (say "coop o' tay" in a restaurant and see what happens...)

It's been my understanding that if you break into any Germanic language in the Dutch-speaking world you may find yourself understood.

#103 ::: Bjorn ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2010, 01:17 AM:

I wonder why Earl Cooley's vile spewings at #36 are allowed to stand with vowels? As a football fan I am as insulted as if that had been directed at my nationality or race, in which case disemvoweling would no doubt be quickly employed.
As far as I can find, there have been more arrests at Wimbledon than the World Cup if you discount the women arrested for wearing orange dresses.

#104 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2010, 01:43 AM:

Bjorn, I think "vile spewings" is kind of OTT, don't you? And much as you may feel the same, sports fandoms are not the same types of categories as nationalities or races. Not all categories are equally protected.

I don't have Earl's deep hatred of futbol fans, but I do think golf fans are weird (I can see playing that game, sort of, but watching it?), and I think Ultimate Fighting fans are sick and evil (but then I think that alleged "sport"—which consists of two guys just ripping each other to shreds as best they can—should be banned outright).

Also, I think Earl's use of the word 'lasagna' they way he used it makes the whole think kind of hard to take seriously.

#105 ::: Björn Friðgeir ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2010, 02:00 AM:

Xopher: there is some history here: and which are both lasagna free and with added 'hooliganism festival'.
Mr Cooley hates jocks with a passion (which roots may be easy to discover, given what popular entertainment has taught me about American high schools) but what he's saying is simply disgusting.
Of course there are levels to protection, but in the 7 years I've been lurking here, baseless and witless insults like that have tended not to stand.

#106 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2010, 02:09 AM:

I still think those are pretty mild. And people HAVE gotten killed in fan-on-fan violence at futbol matches, to a degree that would be shocking for most other sports, IIUC. In fact it's damned shocking for futbol.

We'll see what the mods have to say about it, if anything. It obviously didn't strike any of them as worthy of action when it first appeared.

I just don't think anything Earl's said about futbol or its fans rises to the level that's normally disemvoweled here. Can you give an example of something on a similar level that did lose its vowels? And again, attacking someone's race or nationality is, and I think should be, considered rather more serious than attacking their favorite sport.

#107 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2010, 02:11 AM:

I also note... the attack was on a, relatively impersonal group. Sort of like blanket condemnations of soldiers, or republicans, or Libertarians, or liberals, or....

#108 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2010, 02:12 AM:

Also: I would have addressed you as Björn had you spelled your name that way the first time. Just polite.

#109 ::: Bjorn ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2010, 02:41 AM:

Xopher, I'm afraid you're right and I can't give examples. So I guess I don't have a valid enough point. As for violence, well, that's a long and complex thing. But EC is still exaggerating some way out of line afaiac.
Terry: true. But should any insult to such groups be allowed to stand?
Ah well, I'll just have to judge Mr Cooley on a personal level. A free standing almost-off-topic rant like the above is quite illuminating.
Oh, and re: Björn/Bjorn, I have always used Bjorn here, last comment just happened to be the first from this particular browser so it filled in the name as I would use it on local blogs. I wouldn't
subject foreigners to 'Friðgeir' even if they can quite happily cope with Björn!
On topic: While it's good to see that orange Dutch shirts are not unwelcome in Dublin, the comments re: colours in Glasgow are quite right. It's more than 10 years since I lived there and any pub that was not a known pub for supporters of one or the other of the main Glasgow teams had a quite clear 'No football colours' sign.
Football hooliganism may be a fact (and not what it was) but there are so many cases when it is simply a proxy for other social differences.

#110 ::: Hanneke ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2010, 05:01 AM:

I watched a CNN report about the orange-clad supporters in South Africa, and the interviewer clearly made one of them say that they "loved marching". To me, that was odd, as sitting around on a camping site and boozing together in a group of silly orange supporters is not exactly the same as what was implied by the combination of orange and marching. The Dutch don't see the connection between the orange of the English King William and all that "distant, historical" stuff in Ireland - and "our" orange of the first Stadhouder Prince William of Orange and the current royal family. BTW, I think King William and the whole later branch of the Orange family was a descendant of a nephew of William the Silent. I'm very sure the supporter never made the connection between Irish Orangemen and herself, by using the word marching.

What I found much more chilling and food for thought was that the reporter completely overlooked the fact that two supporters she was talking to were wearing blond wigs, even saying they were wearing orange because they were "proud of Holland". I don't think CNN caught the meaning of that... were they Wilders supporters in former Apartheid-land? That would have been something to report on... Is that the Dutch equivalent of "wearing orange boots to an Irish funeral" then?

#111 ::: Charlie Stross ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2010, 06:32 AM:

Bjorn @103: I, too, hate football with a livid, undying passion. But then, I grew up in Leeds.

#112 ::: Per Chr. J. ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2010, 07:24 AM:

What I find a bit bothersome about football (soccer) and skiing enthusiasts in my country (Norway) is that there are some of them that seem to assume that those that are not fans, should be made to take an interest in their hobby anyway. Not all are like that, of course, but I have had my share of "so you are a lesser man, then" stares in lunches at work when I've admitted that I haven't seen a single match this season, nor followed the Winter Olympics this year either.

As to football allegiances, Oslo is one of those cities that have been historically divided on a class basis (and still is, for that matter), which means that the two main teams are perceived as "posh" and "proletarian" respectively (funnily enough, it is the "proletarian" club that is now rolling in money, and the "posh" club that is almost broke). Modern social drift has blurred this somewhat, as you may be a successful IT entrepeneur identifying with the "proletarian" club, while a civil servant from a line of comparatively penniless civil servants may still identify with the "posh" club. When pressed as to my allegiance, I have somtimes jokingly said that I am a supporter of the "posh" club (I am not really), just to be contrary and get a lot of those "so he's a Death Eater, then" stares.

#113 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2010, 08:06 AM:

Good gods, Charlie. That's appalling. "Eight wheelchair-using Ipswich fans suffered injuries including a cut face and bruising after they were trapped pitchside by the hooligans who showered them with coins, bottles and abuse."

Beating up the wheelchair users. Classy.

An organized criminal gang, devoted not to profit but to a football team being #1, whether or not it's the best team in actual play, and using violence to that end (as well as just for the hell of it). I have never heard of such a thing associated with any other sport.

#114 ::: Bjorn ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2010, 08:42 AM:

Charlie Stross: Yeah, I can't deny growing up in England in the 70s and 80s gives anyone a perfectly valid reason to detest football.
But football is much bigger than hooliganism, and the vast, vast majority of fans are not hooligans.
I don't think I'm wrong though when I say that hooliganism doesn't happen because of football but rather is an aspect of society which in some countries uses football as an excuse. After all it is the most popular sport almost anywhere. It's great for planned fights too. A majority of hooliganism is fights between organised gangs, with some strange aspects, for example I understand the majority of Dutch football gang violence are organised fights taking place nowhere near stadiums on non-match days. The Dutch in attendance can correct me if I'm wrong.

#115 ::: Charlie Stross ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2010, 08:50 AM:

Xopher, believe it or not, that was after the LUFC fans cleaned up their act.

During the 1970s, Leeds United fans were notorious for being the prime recruiting ground for National Front (neo-nazi) thugs in Yorkshire. Early in the decade the club was banned from playing in European matches for two years following outbreaks of racist violence on an away match.

Yes, Leeds fans were also prominent in the early anti-racist pushback against the nazis, but. This kind of stuff stays with you. If you grew up Jewish in that kind of environment you don't associate football with fun; it gives the game an indelible association with roving bands of thugs who'd love to kick your head in, or worse.

(I'm also on the geek side of the geek/jock divide, but that's rather less significant.)

#116 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2010, 08:54 AM:


Earl insulted futbol, not futbol players. I've clicked through to your blog. You're not a football.

There are worlds and worlds of things to take offense at. An insult to futbol that uses an analogy to lasagna is very low on the list, in my book. I'm not going to disemvowel that, any more than I'm going to disemvowel your unflattering evaluation of Earl, which is much more personal.

#117 ::: Bjorn ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2010, 09:07 AM:

Abi: Fair enough, that was what I expected and accepted as you can see by the discussion above.
I stand by my evaluation of Mr Cooley, based also on the links in my post #104.
I may not be a football, nor am I a footballer. But Earl Cooley was not insulting an air filled sphere, to suggest that is... strange. He was insulting the entire culture of football. Of which I am proudly a member.

#118 ::: Xopher, who is not a lasagna ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2010, 09:11 AM:

I've clicked through to your blog. You're not a football.

abi, I'm laughing uncontrollably. Good thing I live alone!

Björn, I think you're kind of missing the humor in a few of these comments. In your position I would change my posting name to "Björn, who is not a football" for at least a few days.

But that, as you may be able to tell, is me.

#119 ::: Raphael ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2010, 09:30 AM:

My main problem with Earl's comment is not so much that it contained strong language, but that it was clearly an attempt at trolling (under a broad definition of trolling that includes cases where the trollish things the troll says really are his or her heartfelt beliefs). Thankfully, it was a fairly unsuccessful attempt- at least, until Björn took the bait. Without the follow-up debate started by Björn, Earl's post would have been a single one paragraph comment almost completely unrelated to the rest of the thread.

(For the record, I'm a not too passionate casual follower mainly during major events.)

#120 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2010, 09:33 AM:

(I'm also on the geek side of the geek/jock divide, but that's rather less significant.)

Off-topic digression: I always was, too. Now I work out and know all kinds of exercises, and have been called a jock at least once (by someone FIRMLY on the geek side). I'm trying to bring geek stuff to the jock side and jock stuff to the geek side.

Some jocks are smart! Did you know that? THEY mostly don't. There's a trainer at my gym who gets almost all my geekiest jokes and asks for explanation when he doesn't (and understands the explanations and sometimes laughs once he understands). He's a very cool guy. I wish there'd been guys like him in my high school. He doesn't think he's smart, probably because he didn't do the "smart" things in high school, but I'd have no hesitation bringing him among my geek friends.

A lot of geeks could do with a bit more exercise, and probably would be getting it if exercising weren't associated with humiliation. This sucks. I'd like to tell you that there ARE environments where people will accept you just as you are and teach you to do things that will help you live longer.

I want all my friends to live a long, long time.

I'll stop there. I just deleted a bunch of pro-exercise ranting.

#121 ::: Bjorn, who is not a football ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2010, 09:53 AM:

Xopher: Good advice, thank you. I would be a fool not to take it.
Re: geek/jock. I was very lucky in that the geek/jock divide pretty much doesn't exist here. I was a football enthusiast from the first, and so were my friends. Some of them played sports all the way to top local level, but also went to uni, and there are no sports scholarships (not needed anyway, but that's a discussion for an education thread). Other geeks had no interest in sports, but I never experienced or knew any of the horror stories told in the US. This very much colours my football fannishness.
Raphael: Yeah. I got trolled. For the second time too.

#122 ::: Joyce Reynolds-Ward ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2010, 09:58 AM:

Xopher @ 119 and off-topic digression:

I am so with you on the exercise bit. Since Worldcon I've managed to lose 40 pounds. Granted, a good chunk of it was due to what I jokingly call "stress anorexia" (which is in fact pretty accurate, considering the hellish school year I just finished), but I kept up with it by instituting a steady ballet/Pilates/horseback riding/skiing regime. I'm the skinniest and fittest I've been in my adult life, and it feels good. If I'd been introduced to Pilates and ballet as a kid, maybe I'd have been this fit all my life.

It feels good to be at this level of fitness, and I don't think it's that hard to maintain. At age 52, I'm painfully aware that this is the "use it or lose it" age where if I want to do something physical, I'd damned well better get to it now, or else.

OTOH, I have the example of happy skiers in their 80s schussing down the slopes at Timberline--and one fellow in his 70s who is a very capable and athletic ski instructor. Plus I fully intend to be like that lady rancher in Texas who died at something like the age of 100 or so--from a heart attack. On her horse. Out herding cows. Damn fine way to go, if you ask me.

#123 ::: Serge who was a geek but didn't know it then ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2010, 10:03 AM:

The school system I grew up thru didn't have a culture of sport beyond the basic phys-ed. So, no jocks as such, but I was definitely one of the geeks, except that I didn't know I was because there was no word for it in my native language. If there's no word for what you are, do you exist?

#124 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2010, 10:14 AM:

Serge, absolutely you do! I was a sort of proto-Goth, and would have been a total Goth had there been such a thing back then. When Goths sprang into existence in the 90s I recognized the phenomenon at once.

Words are important, but they only sometimes call new things into existence.

#125 ::: Xopher, who would have been a Goth kid if there'd been Goths when he was a kid ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2010, 10:21 AM:

Rats. I used the back button and it dumped my temporary name change.

#126 ::: Charlie Stross ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2010, 10:37 AM:

Xopher, goths were invented in Leeds, circa 1978-80. It is very weird to re-read "Count Zero" and realize that a certain famous SF author trend-spotted them when visiting the UK and figured it was a trend that might still be current in the 2050s ...

NB: what happens when this thread reconverges with the original topic and we get on to a discussion of whether it's possible to be a goth and wear orange?

#127 ::: Xopher, who might have been a Goth had he been in Leeds instead of Okemos, Michigan ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2010, 10:43 AM:

Charlie, I was out of high school by then. Had I gone to college (uni) in Leeds, perhaps I would have found Goths, but not back in Michigan. I'm told it got to this country in the 90s.

#128 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2010, 11:00 AM:

Was Winnona Ryder's character in 1986's "Beetlejuice" a Goth? If so, would that make her one of the first appearances of Goths in movies?

A friend on another blog once mentionned a Goth group who kicked out one of theirs on the grounds of too much smiling.

#129 ::: Steve with a book ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2010, 11:13 AM:

Charlie Stross@114:

> Yes, Leeds fans were also prominent in the
> early anti-racist pushback against the nazis,
> but. This kind of stuff stays with you. If you
> grew up Jewish in that kind of environment you
> don't associate football with fun; it gives the
> game an indelible association with roving bands
> of thugs who'd love to kick your head in, or
> worse.

I read the other day that some Israeli football fans sing The Internationale on the terraces. "Football fan" covers a very wide range of attitudes nowadays; those who actually turn up at the ground are a tiny minority compared to those watching on telly. You can slag off Rupert Murdoch—I always do—but one definite benefit of the middle-class-ization of English football was to at least knock some of the racism on the head. (Memories of Liverpool fans, those lovable chirpy witty working-class scallywags, throwing bananas at John Barnes in the late 1980s).

FWIW my dad stopped going to LUFC matches in the mid-70s, when Leeds fans IIRC set fire to a Corporation bus taking them back to the city centre.

> (I'm also on the geek side of the geek/jock
> divide, but that's rather less significant.)

The words 'geek' and 'nerd' hadn't made it into 1980s school vocabulary in my bit of Leeds. I was just called a swot...

#130 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2010, 12:07 PM:

Charlie Stross @125: What's wrong with black and orange? Other than the unbearable brightness of orange, perhaps; or the strong association with Halloween?

(Digression: if my school colors had been black and orange, our mascot would have made more sense. Whoever heard of a black and grey hornet?)

#131 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2010, 01:06 PM:

Björn, who I am glad is not a football:

More seriously, if I as a member of the Roman Catholic Church can take as much on the chin as I do on Making Light—without caring any less about the people who say these angry, hurt and hurtful things—then you can do the same about football.

Want to judge Earl? Why not ask him why he feels that way, listen to the response, and then consider the matter in the light of more information? That would be fairer and more courteous.

#132 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2010, 01:51 PM:

I must admit that despite knowing perfectly well what is meant by it, to my American ear "hooliganism" sounds of a piece with "perambulate" and "velocipede." I can just imagine some black-hatted, grey-whiskered gentleman thumping his cane on the floor while shouting, "This hooliganism shall not be tolerated, sirrah! Not tolerated at all!" I know the nasty history and all the mad violence it implies, but it still strikes me as so very old-fashioned and twee.

#133 ::: Bjorn, still not a football ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2010, 02:42 PM:

Abi: Good question, I shall want to think about that for a while, as I suspect my first, and many subsequent answers are all inadequate or wrong.
I don't feel particularily inclined to listen to Mr Cooley explaining himself, not that he seems to want to. There are precious few insights of football, hooliganism and other problems thereof which would be new to me and the way he is trolling doesn't speak of particularly deep knowledge of any of those.

#134 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker to Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2010, 02:55 PM:

heresiarch @ 131:

For anyone who's studied 20th Century Russian history (or lived through it), the word "hooligan" has a special meaning; equal parts disgust for juvenile delinquency and rejection of political incorrectness. As used by the courts and the police, not twee at all.

#135 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2010, 03:04 PM:

bzy doon rant rheesorch deconstructing memes rye-tin futbol pomes moar l8r sorry for delay

#136 ::: Charlie Stross ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2010, 03:06 PM:

Heresiarch @131: believe me, if you live in the UK for any length of time it will sound a whole lot less twee and a whole lot more frightening. (Think in terms of thugs, tanked up on cheap beer and/or speed, looking for someone to beat up.)

#137 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2010, 03:33 PM:

Xopher, #103, when my father was off the coast of Vietnam, they'd go into port in the Philippines every so often and he'd send us three rolls-worth of golf hole pictures.

Joyce Reynolds-Ward, #121, I've been losing weight and we don't know how (the doctors checked to make sure it wasn't a disease); then again, we don't know how I gained it. I was at 302 before the stroke last March where I was in the hospital for 26 days and gained 25 pounds. My last doctor's visit, 6/18, I was 295 -- first time under 300 since 1988.

#138 ::: Christian Severin ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2010, 03:48 PM:

> A friend on another blog once mentionned
> a Goth group who kicked out one of theirs
> on the grounds of too much smiling.

Sounds a lot like Gilly Woods, the Perky Goth from John Kovalic's "Dork Tower" universe.

#139 ::: Lucy Kemnitzer ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2010, 03:59 PM:

Charlie @125: what happens when this thread reconverges with the original topic and we get on to a discussion of whether it's possible to be a goth and wear orange?

It is definitely possible to be a goth and wear orange. You just have to do it in a gothy way.

Pruple is considered for reasons I don't pretend to understand as a goth color along with black and red. In the world of children's toys, purple and orange are the same color. (chjeck it out. Look at a set of pop beads. There will be five colors: red, blue, yellow, green and purple or orange. Likewise the stacker rings, xylophone keys, etc. The big exception is Walloween goods for children, which no longer come in black and orange, but purple and orange or green and black).

#140 ::: Constance ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2010, 04:05 PM:

Charlie -- There were goths in Albuquerque New Mexico by 1973.

They hung out by the University Laundramat on Central, close to UNM. Poor things.

Love, C .

#141 ::: Janet Brennan Croft ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2010, 04:10 PM:

On geeks and exercise -- in the same way cooking is more fun if you look at it as chemistry for hungry people, exercise is more fun if you can geek about it. I've gotten back into biking, and I'm realizing I need a bike book, and a stand so I can work on it, and someday a more serious bike, and and and... and then there's the belly dancing, at least once the place I go gets cooled down a bit. I'll need a costume and jingly bits, and research, and music, and videos, and and and...

#142 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2010, 04:58 PM:

Bjorn, unspherical:

It's not that I expect that Earl is going to provide some kind of insight into football that you don't have. Very few people tell me things about the Catholic Church that I don't already know.

What we might find out is something about Earl and what has given him such an aversion to the sport. Continuing my analogy, if I find that someone was beaten with a ruler by a nun every day at school, it may explain their virulent loathing of an institution that I care about.


You really might want to explain real soon now.

#143 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2010, 05:21 PM:

Serge @127, Beetlejuice was a Tim Burton movie, and Burton's visual aesthetic is very similar to the goth aesthetic. Goth started out as an offshoot of the punk music scene in the late '70s, and Burton's early work doesn't seem to have any punk music influence to it, which is why I suspect the independent origins. Since then, of course, goths have discovered Burton, and I'm sure Burton's discovered goths.

So when you ask about Ryder's character in Beetlejuice, well, I don't think there's any evidence that she's a fan of gothic punk music (though it's been a while since I've seen the movie), but she fits right in with the visual aesthetic of the goth subculture.

#144 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2010, 05:32 PM:

Lucy @138, red, blue, green, and yellow are the four standard colors according to opponent process color theory; that's why they tend to show up so often in children's toys. Boardgames, too, even those for adults. If you're going for a fifth color, you need something that stands apart from those, and purple and orange seem to be the two leading contenders. I occasionally see a second kind of blue, or blue-green, used instead.

#145 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2010, 06:13 PM:

Bruce @ 133, Charlie @ 135: Oh, I know it's a totally inappropriate association! Hooliganism is gang violence without the redeeming social value, organized crime without the profitability. It's quite undeniably awful. But I just can't help myself.

(Twee is one of those great adjectives that describes itself, like sesquipidalian.)

#146 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2010, 07:28 PM:

Purple is a Goth color because of the associations with half-mourning, if anyone needs a reason. At this point in the game, reasons are optional.

#147 ::: Mike McHugh ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2010, 08:00 PM:

heresiarch@144: it's not an unusual association though: the Bill Hicks hooligans bit is, wow, 18 years old now.

#148 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2010, 08:07 PM:

Christian Severin @ 137... Heheheh... By the way, did you know that 'dork' is a slang word for 'penis'? I found that out in a Gary Larson book. Also, I wonder when 'geek' stopped referring to a carny's guy who specialized in such entertainment as biting the head off a chicken.

#149 ::: Allan Beatty ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2010, 09:15 PM:

KévinT at # 74: I've always been fascinated by the territorial and political complexities created by feudalism in Europe and the associated crazy quilt of fiefdoms.
How many more thousands of miles of borders were there, compared to our more topologically convex nation-states? It's hard to wrap your mind around what it was like.

Those feudal boundaries haven't all gone away. Parts of the Belgian-Dutch border are practically fractal.

#150 ::: hapax ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2010, 09:37 PM:

ObShakespeare: "The Count is neither sad, nor sick, nor merry, nor well, but civil; civil as an orange, and something of that jealous complexion."

#151 ::: OtterB ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2010, 09:41 PM:

Avram @143 red, blue, green, and yellow are the four standard colors ... if you're going for a fifth color, you need something that stands apart from those, and purple and orange seem to be the two leading contenders

Huh. The Metro lines in DC have color names, and the five existing lines are red, blue, green, yellow, and orange. The addition in the planning stages near me (probably light rail rather than subway) is being referred to as the "purple line," while the extension being built out toward Dulles Airport is usually called the Silver line.

Never thought about the reasons for those particular colors before.

#152 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2010, 10:01 PM:

Serge @147 said: Heheheh... By the way, did you know that 'dork' is a slang word for 'penis'?

I was always told it was whaler's slang for whale penises, actually. Because they're large, floppy, useless, and always getting in the way ... though this guy disagrees, and think it derives from 'dick', basically.

But definitely penis.

My most favorite slang-words-meaning-penis one is the pair 'schmuck' and 'putz' ... and the fine distinction of meaning between them.

#153 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2010, 10:08 PM:

The light-rail lines in Los Angeles are, more or less by date, red, blue, green, gold, purple, and orange. Purple used to be part of the red line, but was split off and given its own color. The orange line is actually a bus line on a dedicated route.

They're running out of color names to use.

#154 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2010, 10:42 PM:

Bjorn and I have had some of this discussion before, back in OCT 2009. I believe that the extent to which organized sport encourages the worst aspects of tribalism is not sufficiently balanced by any positive traits organized sport may allegedly have. I believe that futbol is a particularly egregious example of organized sport because of its notable body count over the years; reports have been relatively scant this season, I think, because the practical experience gained by the law enforcement community in preemptively, ruthlessly, suppressing anti-globalists has been notably useful to them in this situation.

My personal reason for despising organized sport is envy; that is a sin which I do not believe I can be convinced to repent.

#155 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2010, 10:43 PM:

abi @141: Bjorn, unspherical

You had me thinking for half a second that Bjorn was an American football.

#156 ::: Bryan Feir ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2010, 11:01 PM:

@47: Q. Pheevr:
I live in Toronto now, and boy do I know what you mean. I live just north of Corso Italia, just on the edge of the Portuguese district in old York, just south of the Jamaicans, and not far west of the old money. (And for anybody familiar with Toronto, they can probably locate me within a few blocks from that.) Back in 1994 when it was Italy vs. Brazil in the finals... things got rather loud.

And I'm surprised nobody yet has mentioned the Irish Rovers and their song 'The Orange and the Green': "Oh, it is the biggest mixup that you have ever seen. Me father, he was Orange, and me mother, she was green!"

#157 ::: dlbowman76 ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2010, 11:16 PM:

"All I know most surely about morality and obligations, I owe to football" - Albert Camus.

Football is the ballet of the masses, wrote Dimitri Shostakovich - he felt that strongly enough to write a ballet "The Golden Age" about the subject. Football is a various, all-encompassing beast that wields subtle temptations, but ensnares its addicts hopelessly.

Last night I was haunted by Ghana's miraculous goal in Extra Time - trumping the valiant efforts of the US. The current headline of the Ghana Graphic - "We've Made It." The world shrunk, hyperlinked, immediate.

The ball is round, the game is ninety minutes.

The theory.

#159 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2010, 12:04 AM:

Elliot Mason @ 151... My most favorite slang-words-meaning-penis one is the pair 'schmuck' and 'putz' ... and the fine distinction of meaning between them.

Alan Arkin once gave this non-penile definition: "A schmuck is an idiot. So is the putz, but he's the one driving."

#160 ::: Mark ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2010, 01:13 AM:

Otter, PJ: Similarly, the T in Boston has Red, Orange, Green and Blue lines. The buses are yellow and the commuter rail trains are purple.

I don't know for sure whether the bus or light rail came first; Occam and the color wheel suggest the bus lines.

#161 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2010, 06:46 AM:

Speaking of Alan Arkin... A few years ago, he had a story published in F&SF. For all I know, there have been others.

#162 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2010, 07:43 AM:

Schmuck/putz: reminds me of the difference between a schlemiel and a schlemazl. The schlemiel accidentally knocks the flower pot off the window sill; the schlemazl happens to be walking by underneath. The schlemiel spills the soup—into the schlemazl's lap.

#163 ::: Christian Severin ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2010, 08:20 AM:

Re: Xopher@161:

Odd. The way I heard and learned it, a shlemazl is the mishap itself rather than the victim. To use your example: when Schlemiel knocks the flower pott off the window sill, it is a shlemazl for the guy underneath.

Possible origin: shlim [ger.: bad, dire] + mazl [yidd.: luck]?

#164 ::: Vicki ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2010, 08:40 AM:

Boston also has a bus rapid transit service to the airport called the "Silver Line." I wonder if they got the naming from DC, or vice versa, or if it's just chance.

#165 ::: Thomas ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2010, 09:43 AM:

Christian Severin #162

I'd heard the same as Xopher, and it seems to be well-attested and old. The C12th rabbinic scholar ibn Ezra* wrote# of the shlimazl "If I sold lamps/ the sun in spite/ would shine at night".

* who is Browning's 'Rabbi Ben Ezra (may his tribe increase)'.

# Or, at least, plausible secondary sources that say he did. For all I know he might be an attribution sink, the Rabbinic equivalent of Yogi Berra or Mark Twain.

#166 ::: Thomas ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2010, 09:46 AM:

D'oh. (may his tribe increase) is cross-contamination from Abou Ben Adhem.

#167 ::: Steve with a book ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2010, 12:16 PM:


> England play Germany on Sunday. To watch this in
> the pub in England, as I probably will, will be
> an... experience. There's only so many choruses
> of "Two World Wars And One World Cup" (x2,
> to the tune of the last two lines of Cwm Rhondda)
> that I can take.

Duff prediction: the England performance was too poor for any self-congratulatory songs about the war. Key terms noticed on Google News: humiliating, comfortably beaten, thrashed, poor defending, dumped... out... in emphatic fashion, etc. etc..

#168 ::: Cadbury Moose ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2010, 05:03 PM:

Steve with a book @166

This moose doesn't really care one way or another about football, but drew Germany in the office sweepstake.

If they win the compebreastion I'm going to take a large bag of jam donuts collect my winnings, announce "Ich bin ein Berliner" and hand the donuts around.

I suspect they won't get the joke[1] though.

[1] even if it is an urban legeng

#169 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2010, 05:25 PM:

My father-in-law was shocked when he found out that his French-Canadian son-in-law (that'd be me) had zero interest in hockey. In fact, I resented hockey when I was growing up because, if a game was going to be televised, the CBC would pre-empt my programming.

#170 ::: John Hawkes-Reed ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2010, 06:26 PM:

Wilful stream-crossing: Real Gothic FC.

Somewhere I'm sure I have the (not sure if it's a replica if it's from the same batch that the team wore) jersey from when they were sponsored by Co-Op Funeral Care.

#171 ::: Steve with a book ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2010, 06:29 PM:

Germany celebrates the win, drunkenly. Germans seem to be a lot more confident about waving their flag than they (understandably) used to be.

#172 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2010, 09:16 PM:

Serge @#168: I'm surprised your programming wasn't able to re-empt the hockey, what with controlling the vertical and controlling the horizontal and so forth.

#173 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2010, 09:22 PM:

Why is a goth called a goth?

#174 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2010, 11:07 PM:

Mary Dell @ 171... Whenever I tried that, the Ebonite Inquisitor would show up and wave his stick so I thought it safer to go elsewhere and read a book.

#175 ::: Bill Stewart ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2010, 11:24 PM:

Erik@172, I was wondering whether the football club was going to be made up of Teutonic barbarians or depressed young people wearing black...

#176 ::: VictorS ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2010, 11:49 PM:

Mark @159 -- perfunctory research on my part indicates Boston has had suburban rail from 1830, followed by streetcars in 1856, the subway in 1897, and elevated rail in 1901. (In modern terms, the 'D' branch of the Green line started circa 1830.) Buses didn't come into the picture until 1922; if they're yellow on the map, it's probably because there are many more bus routes and they'd swamp the other markings on the map.

#177 ::: John Hawkes-Reed ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2010, 06:16 AM:


Pete Scathe's history of goth is as good a place to start as anywhere.

#178 ::: David ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2010, 07:55 AM:

Slakko at 91 - yes, 12 feet deep, sorry. Joms clearly had severe scarf envy ...

#179 ::: Cat9 ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2010, 11:45 AM:

Perhaps some of these folks are just concerned about skin health:

"a woman whose creamy complexion bursts into freckles, as violent as they are hideous, at the first touch of the sun need no longer stay perpetually indoors in daytime, or venture out only when swathed like a Turk, if she knows the virtue in orange as a color that defies the sun’s rays. A thin veil of red-orange is more effective than a thick one of blue or black."

Emily Post has a digression about all the ways orange will safely shield you from the sun. As a fair skinned, orange haired lass myself, it's not advice I've ever taken though!

#180 ::: meredith ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2010, 03:00 PM:

I'm not online much lately and am just catching up on this thread. Since I just returned to England from Dublin, after spending a couple days in Belfast, this topic is exceedingly apropos and fascinating to me at the moment. :}

#181 ::: Sandy B. ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2010, 07:04 PM:

My understanding of "Where the term came from" is roughly the same as that link- gothic literature is full of moping yourself to death and the Sorrows of Young Werther and mad aunts and lying around being pale.

I hadn't heard the term in 1986 when I went to either my first or second concert- Mission UK, a band I knew nothing about- and showed up in blue jeans and a yellow t-shirt with, I believe, both a palm tree and a sunset on it.

Looking back, one suspects it was taken for irony. One hopes so, anyway. The eleven foot tall skinny pale people covered in leather didn't seem to have any specific problems with me that required interaction to resolve.

#182 ::: janetl ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2010, 08:42 PM:

Act 1 of this episode of the radio show "This American Life" is Sarah Vowell exploring Goth. She explains that she looks like a Nice Girl, and longs to - just once - look tough: American Goth.

#183 ::: ddb ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2010, 04:09 PM:

I'm curious about the association of hooliganism with soccer (I'm American). My father, born in England, was a soccer fan, and I've been to games in both England and Switzerland -- in the 1960s. My memories of the time and place don't suggest that violence among the fans was a serious consideration then. Was that simply not true then? Or did it develop more recently than that?

My anti-team-sport prejudices keep saying that that kind of serious fan-on-fan violence really ought to be associated with American football, but it doesn't seem to be; the occasional (quite rare) post-game riots are more in the form of celebrations than organized conflict.

Which gets to Earl Cooley's original remark; I suspect it of being a coincidence that hooliganism is associated specifically with soccer. While generally agreeing that the "fan" or "supporter" concepts in team sports do in fact bring out the worst aspects of tribalism, with little in the way of benefits, I'm doubtful that it's actually associated with the game. I suspect that it's associated with what was the "proletarian" team sport popular in the English groups involved in hooliganism, which happens to be soccer.

Proceeding to now argue against my own position -- is it possible that soccer has more-random outcomes than other popular team sports? It seems to me (not a serious fan ever, and not terribly current and these things do change over time) that the outcome of a game more often depends on one questionable (or just "bad") call by a referee, or a penalty kick, than is the case with American football, basketball, or ice hockey (none of which I'm expert in, but I've watched more of them than I have of soccer, though less live). If it's more random, and especially if it's questionable calls significantly more often, that might explain the fans getting more emotionally cranked up, which could lead to the other symptoms.

But I'm still inclined to think it's more of a random association with soccer.

I personally could certainly use more exercise. The geek/jock divide in school, and the horrible way "physical education" was taught (specifically, no teaching took place), have left me with a deep disdain for healthy exercise. This is particularly amusing since I'm such an Edward E. "Doc" Smith fan -- his characters strongly tend towards athletic prowess; Seaton and Crane met on the tennis court, and formed a doubles team that won local championships; Barbara Warner (I happen to have been glancing at the Gutenberg edition of the first half of the first "Subspace" book) is described as having "majored in P.E." and is not immediately laughed off the page, but instead marries the hero (about 5 minutes later). And of course Lensmen are the extreme example, unless you want to include the only person to ever receive a perfect score on the "thousand point test" used by the Service of the Empire to rank their top agents (and he's a circus acrobat and aerialist on the side) (Only the initial setup is really Doc Smith in that last example of course).

#184 ::: Per Chr. J. ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2010, 05:03 PM:


I believe that the decades especially marked by football hooliganism in the UK were the seventies and eighties, so it could well be that the sixties were a rather uneventful decade.

#185 ::: Michael I ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2010, 07:01 PM:


One thing about soccer and tribalism is that soccer is THE international team sport. It has a much broader geographic reach than any of the other team sports. And you have national teams, local teams, quasi-local squads, etc. So, even if other things are equal, there's simply more room for tribalism to come into play with soccer than with other team sports.

(I suspect you're right that soccer outcomes at least seem more random than those for other major team sports.)

#186 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2010, 09:03 PM:

It's not just soccer, the Blues and the Greens (if I recall the second color correctly) of Byzantine Racing were violent; and organised into gangs.

In Ecuador, as I recall, a goalie who missed a crucial goal in a World Cup match was murdered for it.

#187 ::: janetl ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2010, 10:28 PM:

Has anyone else read Bill Buford's "Among the Thugs"? I read it back when it was published in the early '90s, so my memory is a bit hazy. He joined the football hooligans in an attempt to understand what was going on. I recall him concluding that some men just really love the adrenaline rush of a brutal fight, and football crowds are one way to make that happen.

What I remember most clearly is his analysis of the skill displayed by different countries' police at handling mobs effectively. He concluded that the British were the best, and the Italians were the worst.

#188 ::: ddb ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2010, 10:22 AM:

Michael I@184: Certainly true that soccer is the big international team sport. It does sound like the particular thug rivalries are all fairly local, though; there aren't problems, in general, between Swiss fans and Bolivian fans.

The Ecuadorian goalie getting killed is very troubling, and rather a different thing from hooliganism at matches -- fan on player rather than fan on fan, and dissatisfied supporter rather than rival. But certainly something that can be cited as violence associated with the sport.

The degree to which violence is associated with the game internationally while the specific thug rivalries are fairly local does seem to point the finger more at the sport (a conclusion I am trying to resist, obviously).

Arthur Clarke's story "A Slight Case of Sunstroke" is about a referee at a soccer match being incinerated by the fans, using reflective covers on the souvenir programs. Some people seem to think it was inspired partly by the Peru v. Argentina match in 1964 (Olympic qualifier) which resulted in a riot at which more than 300 people were killed.

#189 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2010, 10:57 AM:

It's not just soccer, the Blues and the Greens (if I recall the second color correctly) of Byzantine Racing were violent; and organised into gangs.

You do. It didn't help that, just as in Glasgow, religion came into it as well. The Blues were Orthodox Christians and the Greens Monophysites. In the Nike Riots, they all but toppled the Emperor Justinian.
For a very good fictionalised account, see Robert Graves, "Count Belisarius".

#190 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2010, 11:04 AM:

The color rivalries go even further back.

In ancient Rome there were four chariot racing teams: the Reds and the Whites (the older two teams), and the later Blues and Greens. Support for them was...enthusiastic, and frequently messy.

#191 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2010, 11:29 AM:

What I like is the snippet that the Romans didn't think the theatre as suitable for children as the circus. Because taking your kids to the circus would toughen them up and inure them to the sight of real combat, as befitted a Roman, while the theatre was just pretend. And silly, and comic, and suspiciously foreign.
Makes me wonder what a Roman board of film classification would have been like.

#192 ::: Lexica ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2010, 02:40 PM:

Serge at 147, re "dork" — I was recently reading a near-future dystopian SF book intended (I think) for young adults and finding it okay enough, until in the middle of a chapter told from the POV of a mid-teenage, rebellious, up-to-the-moment, cyber-savvy kind of kid, the POV character made a comment about "some perv in an overcoat trying to lure kids over to wave his dork at them".

His dork? His dork? This coming from a teenager in roughly 2015/2020? Sure, slang goes in and out of fashion, but that booted me out of the narrative as effectively as if the author had had him describe something as "the bees' knees".

#193 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2010, 02:57 PM:

Lexica #191: His dork? His dork? This coming from a teenager in roughly 2015/2020?

What would be better near-future slang for that? "IRL epeen" maybe?

#194 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2010, 03:19 PM:

Lexica @ 191... Maybe the kid is supposed to be old-fashionned. And/or from Krypton.

"Gosh on the whole I'd say it's been swell."
"Swell?... You know, Clark, there are very few people left in the world who feel comfortable saying that word."
"What word?"
"Really? It always sounded kind of natural."

#195 ::: ianracey ::: (view all by) ::: July 01, 2010, 05:03 PM:

@185 Terry Karney

Is it possible you're thinking of Andres Escobar? He was a Colombia defender who scored an own goal against the United States at the 1994 World Cup; it ended up being the goal that knocked Colombia out of the World Cup, allowing the USA to progress to the second round in their place. Upon his return to Colombia, Escobar was approached outside a nightclub by a man who said, "Thanks for the autogoal," and shot him to death.

#196 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: July 01, 2010, 05:32 PM:

ianracey: Yes, that's the one.

#197 ::: Mike McHugh ::: (view all by) ::: July 02, 2010, 12:26 PM:

And the team in orange march on.
Netherlands 2 - Brazil 1

#198 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: July 02, 2010, 12:29 PM:

What's more, the Netherlands were down 0-1 at halftime, and everyone said they looked asleep on the pitch. So the second half must have been something. (I was at swimming lessons with the kids, and didn't gather in the cafeteria with most of the other parents. But one didn't need to; when the Netherlands pulled ahead they announced it over the PA system, and the cheer all but blew the roof off when the match ended.)

Lotta horns beeping and vuvuzelas blatting as we drove home.

#199 ::: Dave Weingart ::: (view all by) ::: July 02, 2010, 12:51 PM:

Quite the upset, too (although the Netherlands was ranked 4th worldwide). Brazil just fell apart in the 2nd half.

#200 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: July 02, 2010, 12:58 PM:

A couple of my co-workers are wearing orange shirts today.

#201 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: July 02, 2010, 12:59 PM:

It's 30 C and 55% humidity here in Noord-Holland, on a summer Friday evening after a World Cup upset.

Bet the ambulance crews are going to be dealing with a lot of heat stress, as well as a not inconsiderable number of people falling into canals while indifferently sober.

#202 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: July 02, 2010, 01:19 PM:

I was reading the BBC play-by-play while reviewing protocols. My son, who has been rooting for Brazil, will be so sorry to hear the news. I think my prediction of Netherlands v Argentina will come true after all...

#203 ::: Debbie ::: (view all by) ::: July 02, 2010, 01:37 PM:

For all the ribbing the Germans have been known to give Holland in the past, folks here are genuinely happy about the win today. You could also tell that the TV commenter was rooting for Holland.

#204 ::: Teemu Kalvas ::: (view all by) ::: July 02, 2010, 02:12 PM:

ajay@188: My religion requires me to mention that the Nika Riots were fictionalized with remarkable skill by Guy Gavriel Kay in the Sarantine Mosaic. Kay didn't feel too much constrained by actual history, though, but in this detail the original history informing the book is clearly recognizable. In other places, not so much. That, of course, ends up being part of the charm.

#205 ::: Throwmearope ::: (view all by) ::: July 02, 2010, 07:27 PM:

@Terry Karney--185

And to think I was embarrassed when Bronco fans would put broken (and, unfortunately, used) toilets by the dozen on poor John Elway's lawn after he fumbled a few times too many.

#206 ::: Maureen ::: (view all by) ::: July 09, 2010, 08:22 AM:

The old Romans objected to theater for children because of those things, but also because of all that actress/prostitute business going on. Calling the comedies and their presentation "ribald" is not really saying enough. Also, there were kid prostitutes being sold, so taking your kid to the theater would be asking for him/her to be importuned.

So yes, they liked violence a bit too much, and should not have taken themselves to the circus, much less the kids. But the theater was arguably less safe for children, and definitely was not suitable for them.

#207 ::: praisegod barebones ::: (view all by) ::: July 22, 2010, 02:49 PM:

It's rather late on this topic, but
this might interest some MLers who have been on this thread. (Found via the frequently wonderful
4 Stone Hearth)

#208 ::: crazysoph ::: (view all by) ::: January 12, 2012, 03:07 PM:

I had long cherished this comment - Somewhere in the throng I glimpsed a woman wearing a bright orange hijab. Geert Wilders can kiss her ass. by Q. Pheevr @ #47

So, when I saw this article about the Queen of the Netherlands, Beatrix, having provoked some fits of vapors among G. Wilders and his set, I had to come right here to share it. :)

Dutch Queen Beatrix calls headscarf row 'nonsense'

Crazy(and happy she can come back to threads like this, although it took some Googling before she found quite the right thread...)Soph

Welcome to Making Light's comment section. The moderators are Avram Grumer, Teresa & Patrick Nielsen Hayden, and Abi Sutherland. Abi is the moderator most frequently onsite. She's also the kindest. Teresa is the theoretician. Are you feeling lucky?

Comments containing more than seven URLs will be held for approval. If you want to comment on a thread that's been closed, please post to the most recent "Open Thread" discussion.

You can subscribe (via RSS) to this particular comment thread. (If this option is baffling, here's a quick introduction.)

Post a comment.
(Real e-mail addresses and URLs only, please.)

HTML Tags:
<strong>Strong</strong> = Strong
<em>Emphasized</em> = Emphasized
<a href="">Linked text</a> = Linked text

Spelling reference:
Tolkien. Minuscule. Gandhi. Millennium. Delany. Embarrassment. Publishers Weekly. Occurrence. Asimov. Weird. Connoisseur. Accommodate. Hierarchy. Deity. Etiquette. Pharaoh. Teresa. Its. Macdonald. Nielsen Hayden. It's. Fluorosphere. Barack. More here.

(You must preview before posting.)

Dire legal notice
Making Light copyright 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 by Patrick & Teresa Nielsen Hayden. All rights reserved.