Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Words in Summer

June 30, 2010

I have sometimes thought that “A Word from the Rector” should be restyled “Far Too Many Words from the Rector” or perhaps simply “Verbosity”. I’ve enjoyed a break (including a break from blogging) but have been gratified by the fact that some of you have noticed and commented that you miss these ruminations.

A fair bit has been going on in the field of Anglicana, but none of it as interesting as the World Cup. My earliest national sporting memory is of watching the World Cup final in 1966 during which England beat West Germany 4-2 in London. I remember that there was a controversial goal in that match scored by Geoff Hurst of West Ham United. It seems that history has reversed itself with controversy in the recent match in which Germany saw England out of the cup.

In the 1070’s there was a Campaign for Real Ale in England known as CAMRA with the goal of reversing the post war trend toward fizzy keg beer, and urging a return to ‘pure’ local brews. I remember going to a finalist in the Pub of the Year competition in London as a guest of a CAMRA member. The place was crowded and smoky and we drank Flowers Beer from kegs mounted on the bar. We were served the dregs evidenced by the fact that the bung was removed from the barrel to get the last drops into our mugs. It was an indescribably filthy drink. My host declared that “one of the great things about real ale is that it is unpredictable”.

Now I’m a fan of limited production, well kept, local brews. (My favorite is Abbott Ale by Greene King, a brewery in Bury St. Edmunds in Suffolk). There is, however, something to be said for technological innovation that ensured a reliable product as well. The governing body of World Soccer (FIFA) has resisted the use of technology to confirm or alter the decisions of referees arguing that the absence of technology is one of the attractions of the sport. I’m not among those who are attracted when in game after game television shows game changing decisions to be in error time after time and from every conceivable angle. My guess is that some kind of official television review will be in place for the 2014 World Cup as has been allowed in other sports. It will not detract from our enjoyment one whit as best I can tell.

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