Always good to see the French beating crypto-Nazis. Vive la Resistance!
For those of you wondering what the hell I’m doing mixing politics and sports (after having slammed the practice), read this article by The Economist — see how Croatian football is inextricably linked with genocidal politics.
From the article: ‘For years Croatian footballers and fans have been chanting: “For the Homeland! Ready!” That slogan is indelibly linked with the genocidal quisling Ustasha regime which ruled Croatia during the second world war.’
So when I use terms like ‘crypto-Nazis,’ it’s not an exaggeration. The facts speak for themselves. Follow the chants, the allusions — the links are there, in plain sight.
Granted, not everyone associated with Croatian national football is a racist, collaborationist, crypto-Nazi thug, but this national sport’s body is tainted enough to warrant unmitigated condemnation. The Croatian team’s defeat gives me pleasure. Their inability to become champions is crucial. Make genocidal causes small again, kick them back into obscurity, them and all affiliated causes and bodies, everyone who thinks he or she can sneak in jingoism through the back door, through the normalization of politicized sport — make them understand they can’t do that. Ustasha regime slogans? Go fuck yourselves!
When the body of Croatian football cleans up its act we can applaud the massive achievements of this small country in the world cup arena. Until then, all eyes on the nasty energy underwriting the culture of Croatian national football, no quarter given. No free pass to slogans associated with genocide or anyone associated with them.
Or, as the poet once said: Go home! Allez!
From your delightfully unyielding and historically-slash-culturally aware Spin Doctor,
Eyes open, mind sharp.