Sky's got an excellent post--as does Pitts--about how World Cup soccer is affecting everyone in the world, and/or how we here in the US just don't get it. I'll admit, I'm only recently getting into it, and that because I can relate it so much to hockey in terms of basic similarities of strategy (centering pass to slam in a shot past the goalie, man-on defense, etc). I just wanted to see what all the fuss is about. Me likey.
But I'll tell ya'...when the USA scored a goal (both times, if memory serves), there was no pandemonium in the streets, no audible screams from neighbors' houses down the street...in Brazil, apparently, the cities become ghost towns and, when a goal is scored, the buildings scream. When Brazil would win, the streets would be flooded with celebrating fans who would party until the next morning, or something to that effect. People who otherwise had no other common bond than football (which is enough in other parts of the world) were hugging each other, jumping up and down, crying, etc.
The only time I've seen people who otherwise wouldn't readily converse with each other was at Steve and Luda's wedding reception a month or so ago. Joy over a union, good booze to lubricate conversation and music to dance to...this was all the excuse we needed to find a common point of reference and come together in fellowship.
I guess I'm just lamenting how America in general--most likely due to our diversity--lacks such a common point of reference--a sport, a religion, a cause, an event--that will cause all of us who identify so thoroughly with this one, distinctly American thing to drop whatever else we're doing for however long is necessary in order to participate in this unifying ritual, this common cultural dance. It's lamentable enough that we can't join el baile futbolístico with the rest of the world, but even sadder is the fact that we lack even a dance of our own.