Friday, November 26, 2004

Golf In Jakarta

Golf in Jakarta is great. There are plenty of courses, they are relatively cheap and the caddies are usually pretty helpful. It is also fun to read about golf while living in Jakarta.

Recently I have been following the controversy surrounding comments made by English golfer Paul Casey about golf fans in the US and "Americans" (I am pretty certain he meant people living in the US and not Hondurans, Canadians, Argentineans and all the other Americans living in the Americas) in general. This entire situation and the unsavory behavior of the USA fans Casey referred to pales in comparison to recent events involving some of Casey's compatriots’ behavior this past weekend at a Premiership match between Blackburn and Birmingham City. Casey recently remarked that "Americans" were insular and naive and generally "have a tendency to wind people up". He even managed to involve his "American" girlfriend stating that she considers many of her compatriots to be "uncivilized idiots". Very thoughtful of him to drag her into this mess. I am sure she is enjoying the damage control. This coming from a guy who considers Scottsdale, Arizona an oasis in the otherwise culturally barren wasteland of the US. Casey, a resident of the primarily white, upper middle class, scrubbed, coifed and manicured residential suburb says this about his adopted home: "In Scottsdale, it's not so bad, because the people there have traveled and you can have civilized conversations with them, but the vast majority of Americans simply don't know what is going on." Boston, New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Scottsdale.... right on.

This weekend a Mr. David Ashcroft and a Mr. Jason Perryman, both sporting fans from Casey's homeland of apparent civility, were recently arrested for making racial gestures towards Dwight Yorke of the Birmingham City football club. Apparently they directed monkey gestures toward him from the front row of seats in direct view of several very visible TV cameras. Bloody brilliant! Well done lads! Perhaps we can borrow a few words from Casey's "most likely not very popular in Scottsdale right now" girlfriend and deem these fellows "uncivilized idiots". And isn't England known for some other bit of spectator behavior..... Oh yes, the football hooligans, the most infamous fans in the world of sports.

But all this bickering is wearisome. It is time to mend. I encourage Americans wherever you are to find an English person, or anyone who speaks English, or knows someone English, or even knows someone who speaks English - or just grab anyone - take them to a professional basketball game, buy a super size American beer and a jumbo hotdog and fries - make that cheese fries - combo option, eat the giant dog and pile of fries and then throw the beer at the player of your choice. Enjoy the show as lots of people join in and begin behaving like "uncivilized idiots".

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