Soccer: a bridge to other cultures

Stavros the Wonder Chicken, a Canadian expat living in Korea, has been doing the occasional bit of what’s been happening with the World Cup off the soccer field in his blog, In his latest posting, he has this photo of a soccer player doing one of those second-grade-kid-who’s-never-been-anywehere imitations of his hostesses’ eyes:

His hostesses should’ve countered with Brazilian stereotypes: they could’ve had a cab driver hold him for ransom, or maybe they could’ve subjected him to a rabid monkey attack.


Gun-toting Catholic girls? Count me in!

Apparently, women and girls from Mafia families are helping out more and more with the Family Business. We’re talking well-dressed black-skirted women with a taste for blood. Being Italian, I’m sure they dig guys with accordions (especially since I play a mean Speak Softly Love, a.k.a. The Theme from The Godfather).

Or, given that neither of us can resist a good Mafia movie, this could be the germ for that sitcom George and I have been threatening to write. Whaddaya think, George — Gilmore Girls meets The Sopranos? Bianca the Slackjawed-fucking-rat Slayer? Work with me, paysan.


One Nation, Overseas

They “Look Asian, think Spanish, act American“. They’re called “flexible, industrious, and frequently skilled”. They’re long distance commuters, travelling thousands of miles away from home and sent back a total of US$6 billion last year. They’re OFWs (Overseas Filipino Workers — also called OCWs, Overseas Contract Workers, back home). As this Wired article, One Nation, Overseas puts it:

…the Philippines has discovered the future of work. At any given time, about 10 percent of the country’s 76.5 million population is hard at work – outside the country. During 2001, more than 800,000 people headed out on a commute that makes Rye-Grand Central seem like a milk run to the corner store. They went to Italy, Saudi Arabia, Canada, Singapore, and Uzbekistan. They went to Mongolia and Equatorial Guinea. Unlike Mexicans, who flock primarily to the United States, Filipinos traveled to 162 nations in all. Unlike Indians, who fill mostly tech and medical positions, Filipinos toil as domestic helpers, engineers, nurses, bricklayers, teachers, farmers, seafarers, stenographers, hairdressers, crane operators, cooks, and entertainers.

Using stronger foreign economies to help sustain their familes and technologies such as SMS and instant messaging to stay in touch with loved ones, OFWs make for a significant portion of the Philippines’ GDP. The price they often pay is terrible — between mistreatment by employers (especially in Singapore and the Gulf States) as well as long-term separation from family (especially rough on Filipinos, whom Neal Stephenson observed in Cryptonomicon as “incredibly family-oriented. They make Jews look like a bunch of alienated loners.”)

Check it out.


Compatibility test result #1

The first person to report his scores from the compatibility test I mentioned in a posting yesterday is my old pal of almost 15 years, George Scriban. His results:

George Tiberius Scriban, Esquire

  • you are 88% similar
  • you are 61% complimentary [sic]

(The word they want is complementary, not complimentary. Dumbasses.)

George writes:

big fucking surprise.

it should also add “you two think you’re funny, but you irritate others around you when together.”

I prefer to think of us as “the thinking man’s Beavis and Butt-Head“.


Your final reminder

Got this e-mail yesterday evening:

From: Global Pop Conspirator Kevin

To: AccordionGuy

I’m wagering you’re bringing the accordian tomorrow and I had an idea, if you’re into it… We cut the music at some point in the night, you break into the opening bars of a song and then we drop the original version of that song. I was thinking Just Can’t Get Enough (everybody and their grandma knows it). If you think that’s tacky (or not tacky enough), I understand. Anyway, let me know. Could be a moment.

There you go, yet another reason to go.


AccordionGuy compatibility test

How compatible with me are you, friendship- and relationship-wise? Take this test and find out. Feel free to e-mail me your results and any commentary; I’ll post ’em.

There’s an added bonus: by taking this test, the system gets enough enough to create a compatibility test just for you. That’s how I got my test, and according to my results, I’m 48% friendship-compatible and 89% relationship-compatible with a friend-whose-name-I-shan’t-reveal. Don’t tell her boyfriend.

(Special note to Adina: You’re just dying to find out who it is, aren’t you?)


Your Global Pop Conspiracy reminder

Remember, it’s at the Rotors Club, 593a Bloor Street West, west of Bathurst. The fun starts at 9, it’s a 19+ event, and there’s a cover of $5. Expect good music and me.