Monday, July 20, 2009

David Beckham: an argument for non-monogomy

I am talking tomorrow with Gustavo Arellano (KPFK 90.7/4:00pm) about David Beckham, one of my favorite subjects. [Archived show can be found here.] Becks, of course, is much in the news for his reappearance on the LA Galaxy roster in an exhibition match against the other team in his life - AC Milan. (See Nick Green's match report.)

While watching the game on television this afternoon, I couldn't help noticing that the man seems happier. He looks great and seems generally more fit. At the moment, he makes a great case for sleeping around.

It's a foreign concept for the American sports fan, but in the global economy of the beautiful game, players are loaned out all the time. The motivations for such deals are complex, but at least two desired effects can be seen plainly in this case - the guy seems happy, and playing the field drums up interest.

As one sports writer after another leaps on the booing Galaxy supporters as a sign of his failure, Becks manages to do what no other MLS player can: force U.S. mainstream media to pay attention. [For more on this side of his abilities, read this great When Saturday Comes story about Beckham and media coverage of his transfer from Man U to Real Madrid.] Of course, some complain that not enough attention is being payed to the game itself - but, well, you could say that about media coverage of the sport globally as transfer rumors, crazy club finance and WAG antics dominate headlines from London to Rio.

Watching this youtube video of Beckham reacting to booing fans (one of whom responded to Beckham's taunt by trying to scramble onto the field), I couldn't help but think that the Galaxy and the MLS have let themselves be cast as the staid, uptight American housewives (Carol Brady) to AC Milan's dynamic, knowing, and confident Italian lover (Sophia Loren). As if to confirm this, at 50 seconds you can see one fan holding up a sign displaying the word "COMMITMENT" (and something illegible) to scold Beckham for his bad behavior.

I don't know about you, but that'd have me checking out flights to Milan pretty quick.

Of course I have more to say about Beckham & his continental lovers - but I'll save it for the interview.


  1. Why can't we play sexy soccer? Nice interview of KPFK.

  2. I heard the interview on kpfk,very interesting. I'm a big big time galaxy fan and I did not know some of this stuff and I like to know more how do I subscribe to this blogg.

  3. I was so engrossed I missed my exit off of the 15 freeway. Passed 4 exits and realized I was on my way to nowhere fast. Go figure. Fascinating mixture of thoughts tethered to a couple of dense morsels of thought.

  4. Hi Steve, check out this article ("We can't play sexy football at LA Galaxy" - I referred to it in the interview -

    Whatever you think of Gullit, it's interesting to learn what MLS coaches/teams have to deal with.

    There is a subscribe button at the top of left column.

    I love doing these interviews with Gustavo and look forward to appearing on the show again.

    Thanks for reading From A Left Wing!

  5. Gracias again for the interview, Jennifer: you were GREAT! Hopefully, your next dreams of Becks and Posh are a bit nicer...

  6. i still can't believe how accurately you read my dream - i am totally Los Angeles in that story - the figure being "played"!

  7. Even though I've only known you for a couple of blog days, I'm convinced that I'm thoroughly equipped an in-depth alternative dream analysis:

    First, what fun. In addition to whatever else you're enjoying in your dreams, as you note in your Becks-Lesbian-Icon post (which was SO BRILLIANT!!!), the two seem to have wicked senses of humor.

    However, you simply can not be LA Galaxy in this dream. They wouldn't be keeping you hidden at home if you were (don't worry this comes good in the end). If anything, LA Galaxy is their beard, the one they take out and parade around in public. The one they thought would be fun because he/she would always be available to come out and play and not torture them with the agonies that can often come with the deeply passionate love Becks had with his two previous teams.

    They treat her/him respectfully and honor their "commitment," because they have good manners, and probably care deeply about many of his/her finer attributes (Chris Klein <3 for example) but they aren't truly in love with her/him. This is what too-smitten Galaxy fans may sense, but as Becks has always said: you can't help who you fall in love with -- especially if, as in the case of the Galaxy, their paymasters try to kill you when you first meet (note rubbished Fielding an Injured Player Rules of Etiquette).

    AC Milan, England, high level football, represent a true love he thought he'd never have again, and obviously thought he could well do without. (Oops.)

    Fortunately for you, or unfortunately if you've always wanted to be a football team in your sleep, you are something else entirely in this dream. You've clearly read enough Becks/Posh interviews to know that they view their relationship and family as a "bubble" that contains everything they love most, safe from prying eyes and predators and, best of all, the only place they can truly be themselves. Your dream isn't symbolic at all. You are fabulously dreaming that you are the third lover in the Beckham marriage. Yum.

  8. Wow. Thank you. I do tend to dream pretty literally. And brilliant discussion of Beckham's restless quest for true love - perhaps he's just never recovered from being sold by Man U?

  9. As you point out, its the mixing of love with money and politics. Thank GAWD that you and Mrs B are there to comfort him when the thrill overwhelms...


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