I had a trivial realization of interconnectedness today. Not too long ago I read a book called, How Soccer Explains the World; An Unlikely Theory of Globalization, which happens to be an interesting read if any of you enjoy soccer and politics. The book has peaked my interest in the unassuming relationship between the two social structures and lately a blatant example has reared itself like a flaming dragon in the night. I am slowly becoming a bigger fan of international soccer (football) and over the past couple years have been keeping up with the sporting news and scores. In seemingly unrelated news it so happens we are upon Thailand's one year anniversary of the former prime minister being forced out of office through a royally endorsed peaceful military coup. The junta has relocated the asylum seeking former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra to London where the 58 year old billionaire bought the Manchester City Football Club earlier this year, which for those not familiar with English football is the equivalent of buying a NFL team. Although it's still early in the season the team is doing unexpectantly well (they are currently 2nd in the English Premier League), in large part it seems because of the new owner/former prime minister, Dr. Thaksin Shinawatra, pouring money into the club. Without going into details, I'm not endorsing nor condemning the actions or characteristics of him, but do find the whole situation interesting. He is accused of corruption and cronyism in Thailand, yet has fervent support from a large population of working class farmers. He also has some questionable human rights violations as prime minister. I wonder if his actions are any more perilous than the business actions and politics of the elite in the States? The UK doesn't seem to think so, as the former prime minister has satisfied the inquiries and background checks that have permitted him to make the purchase.
There are hyper links above for any interested in reading more.
Side note: Thailand and most of Asia are football crazy, for those curious as to why there would be a Thai owner of an English football club. There are also American owners and shareholders at: Manchester United, Liverpool, Aston Villa, and Arsenal. And the owner of Chelsea FC is Russian. These are some of the oldest most successful football clubs in the world.
When Andreas was in town a few weeks ago we stayed at Lynn's beach bungalow. Lynn was entertaining her dear friend, Sue and family from Manchester. Sue (and Morris') son, Greg plays with the Manchester City Football Club's youth academy (although he's a Manchester United fan), and was the ball boy at Manchester City's last home game against Aston Villa. Andreas played some beach soccer with the boys and at 11 or 12 years old Greg has got some nice skills. Greg's also an outgoing, hilarious, energetic smart kid.