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but are we all Aztecas, really


Among the many, many things that fascinate me about the World Cup is the creation of team slogans. Partly because they reflect the event's ability to create a (somewhat) equal ground for countries that otherwise differ dramatically in global power, and partly because they are awesome.

The Washington Post did a pretty good roundup of the slogans, but I beg to disagree with a few of them. For example:

  • Australia: "Socceroos: Hopping Our Way Into History!"
    • Washington Post says: C+
    • Hillary says: A-. How can you not admire their commitment to something so profoundly dumb? Also, it's kind of fun, and games are supposed to be fun, the last time I checked.
  • Cameroon: "A Lion Remains a Lion"
    • Washington Post says: A- ("smacks of laziness")
    • Hillary says: A++++++. This is arguably the toughest and most menacing slogan I have ever heard, for anything.
  • Chile: "Chi Chi Chi Le Le Le! Go Chile!"
    • Washington Post says: B+
    • Hillary says: D. I'm pretty sure that this is just a thing you say, and not a slogan per se.
  • Ecuador: "One Commitment, One Passion, Only One Heart, This is for You Ecuador!"
    • Washington Post says: B (too earnest)
    • Hillary says: B-, for different reasons. I am actually a big fan of their sincerity, but much like Chile's "slogan," I don't think this one really qualifies. I mean, look at its length alone.
  • Ghana: "Black Stars: Here to Illuminate Brazil"
    • Washington Post says: B, for cheese
    • Hillary says: A+. It references the nation both symbolically and literally (black star on the flag), and it factually describes the behavior of stars. Plus it strikes a nice balance between being threatening and being terrifying. They're not going to eat you, like Cameroon! They're just going to show you how it's done. They'll show you the light. The black star light.
  • Greece: "Heroes Play Like Greeks"
    • Washington Post says: D, although they admit bias
    • Hillary says: Are you kidding? A++. It's not as breathtakingly baller as Cameroon's slogan, but it's in the same arena. Bonus points for the mythological allusion.
  • Mexico: "Always United, Always Aztecas"
    • Washington Post says: B+
    • Hillary says: D. First of all, why does Mexico get credit for its historical reference, when Greece does not? Secondly, this is not even accurate, as there were a multitude of pre-Columbian civilizations in Mexico, including the Toltec, the Mixtec, the Purepecha, and the Maya, all of whom could very well have been good at soccer. We don't know, because colonialism. And now we're even erasing them from our team slogans. 
  • Netherlands: "Real Men Wear Orange"
    • Washington Post says: C-
    • Hillary says: B. I don't know, I kind of like it. There's another historical callback in there, and also orange is not a color that America traditionally associates with masculinity. 
  • Portugal: "The Past is History, the Future is Victory"
  • Russia: "No One Can Catch Us"
    • Washington Post says: B+ (basically: too soon)
    • Hillary says: A, for chutzpah. Also, it's short and descriptive, which is how a slogan should be. (Are you listening, Ecuador?)
  • South Korea: "Enjoy It, Reds!"
    • Washington Post says: B-, for reduced expectations
    • Hillary says: B. They really nailed the essence of most of the English that gets translated from Korean - technically clear, but still a little puzzling.
  • Uruguay: "Three Million Dreams...Let's Go Uruguay"
    • Washington Post says: B+, because it accurately reflects Uruguay's overall position coming in
    • Hillary says: B+, but again, this is a concurring opinion. I like that it sums up the World Cup's importance as a global stage. But "Let's Go [team]" is not a slogan. I don't know how many times I have to say this. 

Anyway. I do agree with the Post that America's slogan ("United by Team, Driven by Passion") is stupid and probably better suited for a Chevy truck commercial. How about "At Least Our Country Is Kind of Paying Attention This Time"? Another option: "We're Still Not Calling It Football." Team USA, if you're listening, I am available as a brand consultant. Just saying.

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love is all around

AAAAHH. I love this commercial so much.

The cynical part of me says that Cheerios did this for publicity, because, as part of a multinational corporation, there is no way they were unaware of the existence of racist morons. My self-berating side says that, since my family has faced substantially less discrimination than a lot of others in a similar boat, I'm just riding the wave of someone else's righteous indignation. Call it sufferjacking.

But I'm going to tell both of those parts of my brain to simmer down, because I want to love this, and I'm going to. First of all, it's a really adorable and clever commercial. Second of all, I get excited when I see mixed-race couples, still, to this day. I can't help myself. Every time I see them I want to just give them the space to be a couple, a bad one or a good one with people who are right or wrong for each other, but that impulse is met with my desire to give them a solid high-five. I usually compromise by doing nothing, except grinning to myself a little bit. (Apparently I'm not the only one who feels this way.)

As previously noted, above and elsewhere, my parents (if you're new here: Vietnamese dad, white [Western European] mom) have dealt with a lot less than they could have, usually because people can't place my father immediately. Horribly but also hilariously, a lot of the things people say to him in Appalachia are the result of them thinking that he's Mexican, which is really confusing in terms of what to get mad about. But "less," of course, is not "none." Also, I think about this perhaps more than other people because eventually I'll be in an interracial marriage by default, unless I somehow manage to meet another person who is half White, 7/16 Vietnamese, and 1/16 Chinese. 

Also, Cheerios had to DISABLE THE COMMENTS BECAUSE THEY WERE SO HORRIBLE. So I guess as long as that's a thing, we still need media like this, and I'm still going to let myself high-five General Mills for it.

(Also, this is a good point for a useful side note, especially since my local football team is currently embroiled in a debate about this very issue. Hypothetically, let's say you wanted me to shut up about race - I don't actually talk about it that much, but I'll stand in for people who do. Here's a guide to whether or not this is an appropriate topic to broach.

Ask yourself two questions:

1) Are you the same race as I am, in whole or in part? 

2) Can we both agree that you have made a sincere effort to understand where I'm coming from on these topics?

If the answer to both of those questions is no, then guess what: NOT YOUR CALL.)