Unlike most liberals, I “get” Ann Coulter. She is fairly smart, actually has a good sense of humor, and knows what she is: a provocateur. She’s also vile and politically pretty much a fascist. She’s nationalistic, anti-diversity, and she fetishizes “strength” and “power.” But like me, last week she decided to go after America’s recent interest in soccer. Of course, although we were equally snarky, I at least made sense, You Don’t Care about World Football. My article was complaining about how Americans get all excited whenever “their team” (how ever that might be defined) is doing well. Americans are now more interested in soccer because our national team is reasonably good at it. But soccer like all professional sports is popular simply because it is popular. People watch it because other people watch it. Sheep, that’s what we are.
Last week, Coulter wrote, America’s Favorite National Pastime: Hating Soccer. Much of it is quite funny, but she actually shows a great ignorance not just of soccer but of games that True Americans™ care about. Let’s look at her description of Soccer:
That doesn’t really sound like soccer to me. I think she’s describing her sex life.
Anyway, she goes out of her way to label soccer as French, “They [African Americans] remain distinctly unimpressed by the fact that the French like it.” The truth is that soccer is not a particularly loved game in France. It is not more popular there than it is in Germany, Ireland, or the United Kingdom. This line actually is disappointing. Meaningless complaints about the French are so 2003. She really should get up with the times. That’s just lazy.
She also complains that what sets humans apart from other animals is that we have opposable thumbs. Well, actually, there are a lot of animals with opposable thumbs. (She also mentions that humans have souls unlike the “lesser beasts,” but she would hardly know, would she?) But her point is that soccer is stupid because you can’t use your hands. She wrote, “Here’s a great idea: Let’s create a game where you’re not allowed to use them!”
There’s a major problem with this idea. All sports have limitations. Baseball would be a lot easier to play if the bat were thicker, for example. But more important, the game she seems to think screams “America!” is football. But in that game, offensive linemen are not allowed to use their hands. Here’s a great idea: let’s create a game where the guys who protect the quarterback aren’t allowed to use their hands! Brilliant!
The truth is that Ann Coulter doesn’t know any more about the traditional American games than she knows about soccer. She just knows that soccer used to be unpopular in America and now it is getting more popular. Of course American football was not popular at all back in Coulter’s good ol’ days before the income tax. And it is just a variation on a real man’s game: rugby. It was altered for the pussy Americans who can’t stand a tap on the shoulder without six inches of high tech padding.
Oh, did I just write, “six inches”?! That’s another thing that upsets Coulter: the metric system. She spends three brainless paragraphs complaining about the metric system. No one is requiring Coulter to use the metric system. If she wants to measure her cadaverous body in inches, no one will complain. Or care! My guess: she’s a perfect 22-22-22. But it is interesting that she is embracing measurement units from an imperial system that we fought a war 238 years ago to escape.
The truth is that Ann Coulter is the ultimate conservative. She’s totally in favor of how ever things are. Football is great because it has been popular in the United States for her whole life. She doesn’t care about it enough to actually know anything about it. Similarly, she’s a “Christian,” but one doesn’t get the impression she takes that any more seriously than she does football. William Buckley famously said, “A Conservative is a fellow who is standing athwart history yelling ‘Stop!'” But in his case, you get the impression that he knew something about what he was yelling about. With Coulter is just the robotic belief that whatever Americans have done must be great, whatever they are starting to do is terrible, and powerful fascistic leaders are sexy.
Well, if Ann Coulter is really lucky, one of Chris Christie’s balls might accidentally go in.