The Chinese commentator for whom soccer brought pain


One further must consider the always complicated relations between interviewer and subject. These relations seem especially volatile between Wu, co-author of the Southern Weekend article translated by Soong, and Huang. Soong includes several pages of exchange between the two on their blogs. Huang calls Wu, among other things, “a dog-fart reporter who does not know Michael Schumacher.” She acknowledges puzzlement at Huang’s proudful nature, speculating that gender difference plays a role. “[M]any men are like that—full of confidence as well as flaws. Meanwhile, the women can only smile. This is a man’s world and this is the mainstream in the world—self-confident, loud, seizing the high point in speech, dominating and commanding. This is the era of the strong.” She says that the “wild and crazy” in her article’s headline, referring to Huang, “was too kind.”

Huang, for his part, seems to be taking the media storm in stride, if one judges by the music playing on launch of his weblog: the Beatles’ “Let It Be.”

I am very calm right now. My life is very simple. My original home is no longer there. This morning, I took my daughter to kindergarten. Then I read books and got on the Internet. I went out to meet friends. I played soccer. I ate. I picked up my daughter in the afternoon. I played with her. After she went to sleep at night, I watched television. I had some social events. There were some outside activities, such as rehearsing for the comedy cross-talk. I watch soccer on weekends. I update my blog …

The real hero in all this seems to be Soong, 56, tapping away in relative isolation in Hong Kong, supporting his 87-year-old mother and, one hopes, appreciating the humor in addled journalists’ war of words. He tells the BBC interviewer, quietly, that he views his dedication to explaining Chinese culture for the English-speaking world as part of life, not special. “I regard life as a series of forking paths, and people basically make decisions at different points in time. This is where I find myself.”

The famed railway line beneath one of the Lansdowne Road stands. (Flanker_SP | Flickr™)

Republic of Ireland | Bidding farewell to Lansdowne Road

The stadium with a railway line running beneath will be retired Dec 3 as a ground for football. Derry City FC and Saint Patrick’s Athletic FC compete in the FAI Cup final, the last match on a ground first used for soccer in 1900. Ireland played its last rugby test at Lansdowne on Nov 26. Redevelopment of the stadium is scheduled for completion by 2009.

The Dublin stadium, called “the great high altar of rugby” by former Ireland international Tony O’Reilly, hosted its first rugby match in March 1878. The Republic of Ireland had staged international football matches there since the 1970s, although capacity crowds were never possible because of the terraces in the north and south stands. Spectators are required to have seats for competitive internationals.

Plans for a new facility call for a 50,000-capacity all-seater stadium. Rugby and soccer teams will play at the Gaelic Athletic Association’s Croke Park until the new Lansdowne Road’s completion. (Reuters, Nov 28)

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