Mais pourquois?

I've watched it a dozen times and I'm still not sure how I feel about it.

If you somehow haven't heard, France's Zinedine Zidane completely lost his shit yesterday and rammed his iconic, widow's-peaked dome into Italian defender Marco Materazzi's chest. This happened during extra time of the World Cup final, with the score level at 1-1.

Part of me is saddened by the sudden (though not at all unprecedented) flash of violence from Zizou. He's probably the best player of his generation, the consummate playmaker and a true artist on the ball. And while he hasn't been at his best for some years now, he somehow found his old, magnificent form in the knock-out stages of this year's Cup to lead his team to an unlikely spot in the final. I can't tell you how much I wanted France to win, just to see Zidane's career get the fairytale ending it deserved. (I also despise Mauro Camoranesi.)

Materazzi, a ruthless, studs-up-tackling prick also known as "The Matrix," must have said something pretty awful to provoke that sort of reaction, and my initial reaction was the he probably deserved what he got, if only for the innumerable reckless challenges he's made in his heavily tattooed career. But as Zidane walked past that ugly little trophy and out of the stadium, I found I no longer cared who won the match. Seriously, was there anyone else on the pitch for les bleus worth rooting for? Thierry Henry is a remarkable talent, but his diving and shameless face-clutching earlier in the tournament were just too much for me. Gallas and Makelele carry about them the unmistakable stink of Chelsea. Barthez ... okay, I like Barthez, if only because he's absolutely out of his mind.

And so I found myself happy-ish for the azzurri, particularly Cannavaro, a 5'9" colossus and my player of the tournament. Walking through Brooklyn after the match was over, I even raised a hand to a car full of flag-waving Italy supporters honking their way up Clinton Street. It was more an offering of congratulations than a celebration, though, as some part of me still wished Materazzi's heart had exploded right there on the pitch.

Like I said, I'm still kind of conflicted about the whole thing. One thing I am sure of, though, is that we should not only remember Zidane's career for a moment of madness at the whistle. That's only part of the story (and what a story it is).

The video up there will grab the headlines for now, but this is what the world will remember forever. (Feel free to mute the video, though - the music is more offensive than any head-butt I've ever seen.)

[video removed]

30 is the new lazy.

Spinning: Neko Case, The Tigers Have Spoken.

With my birthday about three weeks away, I figure it’s time to set aside my sloth (it’s only my fifth-favorite deadly sin anyway) and update this incredible burden site with a list of a few things I feel I will require to properly celebrate this momentous occasion. If you are in a position to make any of this happen, I strongly urge you to do so.

I want the bastards at Fox to pull an end-around and renew Arrested Development for at least another three seasons; I also want everyone involved in the production of Stacked to accidentally shoot themselves in the face.

I want NYC to smell like breakfast foods more often. And if this turns out to have been some sort of terrorist chemical-weapons plot, I would like to inform our peaceful and in-no-way-backward-or-bat-shit-insane Muslim brethren that I would happily bleed to death from the inside while basking in the aroma of vinegar-soaked hot wings. If I have a choice, I mean.

I want David Spade to finally do the honorable thing and trade places with Phil Hartman.

I want Sarah Silverman to win the Nobel Peace Prize.

I want Robin Williams to join the cast of Stacked. And Kenny G is welcome to compose the new theme song.

I want to see a 30-minute infomercial for this stuff.

I want to end my five-year quest to find the perfect T-shirt for my “Tom Waits Is My President” iron-on.

I want to be cleared of any obligations, work or otherwise, for the month of June 2006. During this time, I would like to be: 1.) In Germany, drinking beer and getting fat and watching the World Cup, or 2.) On my couch, drinking beer and getting fat and watching the World Cup. I also want England and the U.S. to meet in the final, where Michael Owen will score nine goals to propel England to an 11-3 win. (I'm all for American soccer growing in international stature, but we'd be such unbearable pricks if we won. Ooh, we suddenly care about soccer! No.)

Okay, that’s enough for now. Maybe I’ll think of some more later. In the meantime, you can prove you really love me and buy me all this shit.