Friday, March 24, 2017

China beats South Korea in a 'politically' significant soccer match


For better or worse, a sporting event may have political or social significance above and beyond the game. For instance, when the Japanese women's soccer team beat the American women's team in the women's World Cup of 2011, that victory uplifted the spirits of the Japanese people after they had experienced an earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster. 

In 1980 when the US hockey team of amateur college players beat the experienced professional team from Communist Russia, Americans felt immense pride in their country after several years of depressing news. In 1982, Poland eliminated Russia from the World Cup and this also boosted the spirits of the entire nation of Poland, which was still under Russian control at that point. In 1956, when West Germany won the Soccer World Cup, the German people felt proud again after the disaster of the war. There are countless examples of this kind of situation.

Well, we have another example - China had never beaten the South Korean soccer team but were able to win 1 - 0 yesterday. I have heard that many people in China cried because of this. It was not just a matter of Chinese pride in finally defeating an opponent they had not been able to beat before. The Chinese government has been making a big deal out of a missile defense system that South Korea feels it has to set up because of the threat of missiles from North Korea. Because of this hot issue, the game had extra meaning for Chinese fans.

Here is an interesting article about the game.

https://www.ft.com/content/4599177e-0fe3-11e7-b030-768954394623

Vocabulary from the article:

a grudge match - this is a type of competition in which one side wants to get revenge or feels it has to win as a matter of pride and dignity.

clash fueled by tension - a clash is when two opposing people or teams meet each other aggressively and fight or compete. This clash was fueled (caused and made worse) by tension (fear, anxiety) between China and Korea.

to be deployed - to be put on duty.

tension - fear, anxiety, a feeling of emotional discomfort

a rollout - when something is no longer in the planning stage but has been rolled out or is now working

notoriously - famous for a bad reason (basically the writer is saying China is a military super power but has a bad soccer team - their team, basically, sucks)

nationalist clashes were avoided - Chinese people and Korean people did not fight because few Koreans traveled to watch the game.

derby - competition

economic sanctions - punishments meant to hurt South Korea's economy.

banning - prohibiting, stopping, preventing

a conglomerate - a very large business/company

impromptu - sudden, quickly planned

protests - when a group of people complain publicly

banner-waving - flag waving

vandalism - breaking windows, destroying property

the honor of - a sense of honor is the positive way a person feels; if a person feels a sense of honor due to his/her country, that person is proud of his/her country and feels good because of that pride

rational - in this case rational is the opposite of emotional, if you are rational you think and plan and do not act without thinking

shields and batons - a shield would protect a police officer from being hit with something and a baton is a thick stick the police officer can use to hit someone

to boo - to make loud noise meant to be interpreted in a negative manner. If you don't like a player you won't cheer, in fact you might boo.

designated for them - set aside for them

a lackluster performance - a boring, uninspired, not excellent (mediocre) performance

a slur - an insulting or offensive term for someone because of his ethnicity or national heritage

entrepreneurs - business people

unprecedented amounts - amounts so big they had never been spent before

boosting - improving

a remote prospect - it is not likely they will do it, remote - far away, prospect - a goal or chance or hope

a mogul - a wealthy person

fostering - developing

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Poverty went through the roof during the Obama administration (i.e. Baltimore)

Here is an amazing and depressing video from the BBC.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-39122283

25% of the people of Baltimore are living in poverty and there is more violence there than in Chicago (a city known for gun violence).

For 8 years President Obama was highly respected by the newspapers and TV networks in the USA. He was considered a saint in Hollywood. Over his 8 years, however, the situation for poor and black folks became worse and worse. These were the folks who voted for Obama, and these were the folks who suffered the most under him.


Here is another incredible video about poverty in Baltimore: