Neutrality

In the 65th minute of this afternoon’s Women’s World Cup match between the United States and Brazil, Brazilian striker Marta earned a penalty and American defender Rachel Buehler a red card for a bit of wrestling in the American penalty box–but the dashing, heroic (and only slightly crush-inspiring) Hope Solo saved Cristiane’s weak penalty.

Then, something strange happened: Australian referee Jacqui Melksham indicated that the penalty needed to be retaken–an American defender had entered the penalty box before Cristiane’s strike.The penalty is a funny thing–awarded by the referee, almost always leading to a goal, its outcome has a varying significance. Saved, it becomes an invaluable trophy of a goalkeeper’s dominance and a striker’s mystic impotence. Converted, it is often merely banal chance–80% are, after all.

Had later events not intervened, the match would have been ruined–once a sporting contest, now only another instance of capricious life as the proud American women succumbed to a conspiracy of Brazil and referee.

Why would a referee in the quarterfinals of her struggling sport’s World Cup make a decision which both robbed the game of such a supernatural moment as Solo’s save and promised to have a major impact on the game’s score?

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Transformers

Not shown: cell-transmission-induced population collapse

Don't you wish your first car did this?

A nerdy-but-wealthy high schooler goes with his father to visit a local used-car dealership run by a humorously sleazy Bernie Mac. The son, Shia Labeouf, is drawn to an ancient-yet-alluring Camaro, but his father (whose tightfistedness might lead us to the conclusion that his multimillion-dollar-mortgage is underwater) refuses to move past his stated $4000 limit. But soon a burst of sound, seemingly emanating from the mysterious Camaro, breaks all the other windows in the lot and the dealer agrees to settle for $4000. On its steering wheel is a strange logo, presumably aftermarket: the angular outline of a face.

How have the ‘Transformers’ films, despite their generallyagreedupon narrative awfulness, made nearly $2 billion dollars worldwide?

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Photographers

'Man with a Movie Camera'

A transaction

On Monday evening, I went to a local indie show. There were two drummers, two bassists, one saxophonist, one guitarist, and two graphic artists. There were also two models, sitting in the corner smiling at people, and about eighty of–well, of us, the hipster detritus that collects somewhere like Sarasota. Most of stood quietly, sipping beer and wiggling uncommitedly. But a few people, without asking, walked among the musicians, brushing past them when they felt like it and constantly shoving gadgets in their faces.

Why does carrying a camera excuse egregious violations of norms regarding personal and social space?

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