Monday, June 30, 2014

Teaming Masses

I had a good laugh this morning, googling Ann Coulter’s rant against soccer and reading it aloud to my spouse.  I kept saying, “She’s being funny, right?  She’s not serious with this.”  It read like good satire.   Soccer, a sign of the nation’s moral decay???  A liberal conspiracy?  No room for individual expression?  Non-athletic?  Please.  Is she watching the same sport I am?

I’ve never been a sports fan, but somewhere in my long and eventful life, I did start watching soccer.  It rubbed off on me, like things do.  And I guess it had mostly to do with living overseas, in Ecuador and in Germany, countries that took the game seriously.   Living around all that fervent passion, I had to start paying more attention.  And now I like the game, although I’m still not all that sporty, and you’d have to tie me down to get me to watch baseball or football. 

One of Ann Coulter’s points against soccer is that it’s foreign.  Which for her means it’s un-American.  Why do those two things go together, for her?   What’s so terrible about “foreignness”?

Coulter was raised in a wealthy white town in Connecticut, and to her that’s the American Normal.   When she complains about foreigners infecting these shores with the soccer virus, she’s saying she doesn’t altogether trust anyone who doesn’t look, speak or think like her.  I’m sure the first inhabitants of this country had that same sinking feeling, when they saw those big white sails on the horizon, and then those smelly guys climbed down from the boats, muskets in hand.  It doesn’t always go well, when strange people arrive. 

But change is inevitable, and demographic change is the norm, all through history and everywhere in the world.  Coulter’s desire to keep this country as her pristine little enclave is as unrealistic as that of the indigenous people of the Americas.  Moreover, there are ways and ways of invading.  Invading with soccer balls and ethnic restaurants is way friendlier than with musket-balls.

And one reason that I’m back in the States is that it is a country that’s changing.  If it wasn’t, I wouldn’t be living here;  I’d be in Canada, where my spouse and I first planned to immigrate, about seven years ago  – because we could get married there.  The changing demographics, the leftward popular bent, and yes, the soccer – all that has made the US a place where my wife and I can live – happily, comfortably and safely. 

It’s clear that Coulter is on the wrong side of history, but she’s not alone.  There are a lot of people who see some lost paradise in the all-white suburbs or the small towns of their youth.  Whatever they didn’t have back then, nobody needs. 

As July begins, Jupiter is in Cancer, the sign of Home and Family, the most sentimental sign in the zodiac.  It’s been here for a year, and we’ve seen a lot of nostalgia during this time, on both sides of the cultural divide.  New families come to the US, carrying their traditions, planting them in new soil. Sometimes children come across the border alone, hoping to rejoin families they haven’t seen in years.  And established families learn, or don’t learn, to adapt to the changes in their towns and cities and neighborhoods. 

Some are scared, some are really deeply scared, and some have guns.  But sporadic gunfire doesn’t change the fact of change. 

That aspect of dramatic transformation, the Uranus/Pluto square, isn’t over yet.  But it’s not a strong influence in July, since Pluto has been retrograding out of range.  And so this month, you get a lot of politicos repeating the same message over and over, marking time, fighting with each other without much conviction, like scrappy but well-fed dogs.  When Pluto goes direct again in September, some new life will enter the political arena, one way or another, and it looks like a hard-fought election season. 

However, there is a definite stylistic change in July, with Jupiter entering Leo in mid-month, just a few days after the final match of the World Cup.  It will be in this sign for a little over a year.  Leo is the sign ruled by the sun, an open-hearted sign given to celebration, ritual, art, and drama.  It’s a good time for all of us to cut loose, to live larger.  As a fire sign, Leo is not always peaceful, but it encourages activism on all sides, so it keeps things moving. 

Last time Jupiter was in Leo, millions of people were in the streets protesting the impending war in Iraq.  That didn’t prevent the war from happening.  But there are lessons in failure as well as in success, and political activism is a skill that takes time.  And this is a different era, and we live in a different country, demographically speaking.  We live in a country where people watch soccer.  

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