Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Novel underdogs

At The Atlantic, Hua writes about North Korea's soccer team:

Of course, after proclaiming this ["North Korea will win the World Cup"], he [the NK football association VP] added that it would be "because of the great support of our Dear Leader Kim Jong-Il that our national team will make this great achievement." Which is exactly the kind of statement—there are plenty more here—that makes the North Korean team the most novel underdogs of them all. Not only do they find themselves in the figuratively-speaking "Group of Death" (with one useless player, no less), they are near-delusional in their outlook.

(Via Arlo)

Speaking of matters Huavian, I don't know if I mentioned this before—the attractively persistent editors of PEN America squeezed a spirited (Hua)/sleep-deprived (yrs truly) e-mail exchange out of Hua and moi about all sorts of topics...I think we talk about e-mail...and Sebald...and...other stuff...Our heated exchange is in the current issue (#12), under the title "Linked Rooms." But the things we said are too controversial to be offered online!

Wait, I've looked at our actual e-mail exchange, and this will give you a rough idea of my lightheadedness. (I'm not sure if this passage made it into the published version.) Speaking of the first Mac I used, which was indeed the very first model (128K), I reminisce:

The only game was a program for slots and keno—a good way to unwind in the midst of an English paper, and how refreshing the primitive sound of "coins" when one hit the jackpot!

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