JohnMark . Org Headquarters


August 2007

Announcing: Ubucon Germany

Ich liebe Deutschland… and I’m very excited to pass on some news regarding the latest announced Ubucon, which will take place in Germany. Specifically, it will be at the Hochschule Niederrhein in Krefeld, Germany, and it takes place on October 20 and 21. For further info, see these links:Ubucon Germany Home – register wiki page – includes links to brainstorming sessionsBlog post (in English) on the Ubucon GermanyAnnouncement on the Ubuntu FridgeAnd of course, what would a Ubucon be without…#ubucon-de – IRC channel on freenode.netEdit: Oops – I corrected the IRC channel. I had erroneously listed it as #ubucon

Futbol Hating: a HOWTO

It’s hard work being a sportswriter these days. You spend your entire life living in fear of something, and you bash it at every turn as you clutch to the hope that your worst fears will never come true… and then it happens. Bit by bit, drip by drip, one gringo at a time, your worst fears begin to come true. At first, gringo futbol was non-existent. And then that idiot Pele came around here, and folks just had to flap their gums about how futbol was the future, how it would eventually eclipse all other sports, including gridiron football. As a hater, you were briefly relieved when Pele went away, with the rest of those gum-flapping gringos following soon after.

But then we had a World Cup – “it’s just a one-time event!” you screamed. And then a new league started – “Americans won’t watch soccer week after week.” And you thought they were on the ropes when teams started folding and moving around – “aha, I told you so! I told all of you!” But they’re still here. And the gringo team has improved by leaps and bounds – “They’re just a flash in the pan! See? They flamed out in Germany!” And yet, the gringo team is the king of Norte America. And just when you thought it was safe to walk around in your Jim Rome bubble, along comes becks-mania. It’s hard work being a hater.

So for all you haters, I wanted to lend a helping hand, because you must be in a world of hurt. Because, after all, the thing you despised the most and couldn’t fathom – that the gringos would, in fact, get it together and support futbol – is here. That futbol has been succeeding the entire time, spreading from one gringo to another, right under your nose, with nary a hint on your beloved sportscenter – dah de da, dah de da! And now, even that isn’t safe. So without further Adu (sorry, kittie!), here’s a template for your next futbol-hating article and a day-to-day guide to surviving la nueva orden del futbol:

  1. Never give up. Never ever give up. Repeat to yourself and to your frightened audience, “There is no futbol here. Do you see any futbol here? I don’t see any futbol here. Beckham is here for movies. Only foreigners watch soccer.” There, doesn’t that feel better?
  2. SAY IT REALLY LOUDLY – If number 1 above doesn’t work, surely that just means you need to yell it more loudly. Yelling something over and over again definitely makes it more true, because it shows the depth to which you feel it is true. And if you really really really wish it to be true, and wish upon a star, and yell it a little more loudly, it will come true! Uncle Disney wouldn’t lie to you.
  3. Remember, futbol sucks – It doesn’t hurt to remind yourself and your audience of just how badly futbol stinks. Hello, 0 – 0? Puh-leeze! Occasionally, you might find your audience beginning to succumb to the futbol siren song, so you may want to add the occasional barbs about slow play, the best ath-a-letes never play futbol, most soccer players (and fans) are gay, and never shy away from your ace in the hole: diving Latinos who writhe in pain at the slightest contact
  4. History repeats itself – Nothing has changed since all those other crappy futbol efforts failed. History repeats itself, and those that fail to remember history are doomed to repeat it. If only the gringos would just listen to you! Remind your audience how smart they are by understanding history… even if they need to be reminded of particular events.
  5. You really really really don’t care – In fact, you care so little and couldn’t care less, that you’re prepared to write multiple articles about the exact depths to which you really really really don’t care. And if that doesn’t work, see points #1 and #2 above: shout to everyone within earshot ABOUT HOW MUCH YOU JUST DON’T CARE. Repeat.
  6. If it happened en espanol, it never actually happened – the logic is brilliant. You may have been reminded by some gringos about some futbol event with tens of thousands of fanaticos in attendance. However, it’s a well-known fact that highly attended futbol events are composed of a mostly Spanish-speaking audience. Therefore, the audience could not have been an English-speaking majority. Ergo, an insignificant number of people care enough to drive up ticket prices, thus rendering it completely irrelevant to your audience. In fact, you might even say that it never actually happened. In fact, there’s no point in even mentioning it to your audience, due to its insignificance and complete irrelevance. After all, you wouldn’t want them to come to the wrong conclusion. *Whew* you’re safe!
  7. There are no futbol supporters – You may on occasion receive correspondence from some gringo idiots who take issue with your well-reasoned, articulate arguments. Just remember, they’re all written by the same person. Every single one of them. There’s this one guy in Utah who writes every single futbol-supporting letter in existence. Scout’s honor.

And remember, some people are a little bit slow on the uptake, so you may need to repeat any and all of the above a few times. So whip out your selectric, get a new typing ribbon, and educate your audience until the futbol threat is passed. After finishing your article/podcast/youtube rant, put away your typewriter for safekeeping, because you will need it again. You see, due to a massive failure on the part of our beloved history teachers, you’ll need to remind everyone – once again – of futbol’s irrelevance, sucktitude, its status as a bastion of homosexuality, and most of all, how you could really really care less, in fact you could give 2 flying figs because you just really really really don’t care. Not one whit.

“estrella del equipo gringo”

It all started with this image blasted across Univision after the USA beat Mexico 2-1 to win the Gold Cup:

And then it occurred to me – we *are* the gringos. We are the other, the unrecognized. Even among soccer fans in the US, we are a distinct minority, a subset of an overall despised minority. We don’t worship international players in foreign leagues. We don’t follow the family’s historical teams in the old country. We are fans of the American team, the gringo team. And when the gringo team plays in our own country, we are still outnumbered, a loud, vocal minority among the passionate ex-pats from other countries. We are derided by the futbol-ignorant mainstream, and we are discounted by those fans who feel the gringo team is beneath them.

There are those who chafe at the term gringo, but I say wear the gringo badge with pride. Embrace it:

Yo soy un gringo! Yo soy un fanatico del equipo gringo!

And the next time you are disrespected either by those who fear futbol or those who feel their futbol is above yours, just remember, not everyone can be un fanatico del equipo gringo.

Hair be Gone!

I did it –

Blog at

Up ↑