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Those things that divide us


Antoinette Connell

Those things  that divide us

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I enjoy watching The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.
Prior to his arrival, I also appreciated Jay Leno’s style of comedy. There is just something special about the way these two can turn an otherwise stressful situation into comic relief.
Funnyman Fallon has been able to transform situations which would be otherwise volatile into pure comedy. For instance he once had irate fans shout insults at giant-sized posters of the offending famous athlete.
In the midst of the less than charitable rants from the supporters the athletes emerge from behind the poster and the fan, still in full rant mode, is caught off guard.
You’d be surprised how swiftly the less than complimentary fans switch their mouths and happily greet the star athletes. You would also be surprised at how cheerful the athlete responds to catching the offender in the act.
At a game, hurling insults and booing an athlete would be sure to bring out the ire in them. But surprise, surprise! In a carefully controlled environment the reactions are far different and with much better results. Trust Fallon and his producers to come up with such an ingenious concept.
There is another extremely hilarious segment of the show– when Fallon against a musical backdrop catches up on his thank-you cards set to a melancholy tune. Of particular relevance is the recent reference to the FIFA World Cup 2014 mascot, fuleco.
I’ve seen the ambassador plenty of times but Fallon managed to thank Fuleco and simultaneously call him out for the cardinal sin of a “hand ball”. Handling is a preserve of the goalie. Or, perhaps if you are Maradona during the 1986 World Cup you can claim the intervention of the hand of God.
But (cue music) . . . Thank you American Fallon
for recognising that is against the rules but still continue to call your game American football even though you spend 99.9 per cent of the time running with the ball in hand.
My real point regarding football is the excited rivalry it produces around this time. Actually, the same applies for any major international sporting meet.
Fans of Brazil will clash with those of Argentina, Italy’s fans will debate France’s followers and Germany’s following will verbally clash with Holland’s or Portugal’s. There will be boisterous discussions about the best footballer. Is it Messi? Ronaldo? Neymar?
The matches will help drive the business of some sporting bars but wherever the gatherings are they are sure to foster camaradarie until the matter is settled by the boot.
It reminds of general elections but with one potentially fatal difference. While at the end of all the hoopla people settle back into regular life until the next big thing the same cannot obtain for politics.
During the intense election season there are heated political clashes from the platform which is eventually settled by the ballot. Then it seems we go back to our daily lives as is the case when the games are over.
What should be noted, however, is that while the winner of the game go on to enjoy the spoils of their hard work, an incoming government has to ensure that others enjoy the spoils of their hard work. Both forms of the games have a time limit before the teams are asked to give account of themselves again. 
Governments are there to improve the infrastructure of a country which has a direct impact on the quality of life for its citizens. Its order of business is not to continue basking in the glory of a never-ending win. Neither is it the purpose of the Opposition to carry on like a perpetual sore loser.
When the above happens things come to a standstill and hardly anything takes place because both teams are focus on other matters. That is not good for the country or its people. It is only a matter of time before apathy sets in. That can’t be good for anyone.
The point: enjoy the taste of victory or the pinch of defeat but life goes on, so please make a contribution.
 

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