Fishing Poles

I cast it back but hte string doesn’t fall down into the water when i push it forward. I look back and the wire is gone. The hook is gone too. Did it get stuck? It probably got caught in one of the branches again. I pull on it once more and then I hear my dad cry out. I found the hook. It’s on my dad’s jacket. He yells to me in Spanish to get myself over there asap to entangle him out of my wire and his. It;s too hard. THere are too many knots. And its almost dark. We have to get back to camp…

We bough it on ebay. It was an auction lot of two rods and a completely filled tackle box. We were sure we were going to catch ourselves some dinner. We were wrong. For years, we’ve been trying to catch a single fish, but we’ve never even gotta  bite. Now, it just sits tehre on the floor of our garage. Gathering dust, losing its old red clor. We’ve added brothers and sisters, but they’re no use either. We’ve never caught a fish. It’s disappointing. We go to different places every year to try our luck, but we still come up short. But hey, at least it was cheap. And it does bring back the memories I’ve shared with my father.

I’m tired of waiting for fish to bite my bait. Completely given up. I throw the pole into the ocean in a fit of anger. The pole dives into the sea. It breaks the surface of the glistening water. It interrupts a school of fish, and nearly impales a little clownfish. Nemo? Thud. It hits the sand. Sand covers it– the useless fishing pole. It is finally out of my hands.

Fresh Paint – “The Art of Soccer: Sculpture in Paris Captures Notorious Incident”

Six years ago, I was left speechless after seeing one of the most prominent soccer players at that time ungraciously head-butt another player at the 2006 World Cup in Germany. Zinédine Zidane, who was captain of the French national soccer team, was ejected out of what he would later reveal to be the last game of his soccer career. But before this incident, Zidane was France’s pride and joy— he was the son of Algerian immigrants who chose to play for France and would later lead a multicultural French squad to their only World Cup win in 1998. However, just one moment later, all of Zidane’s achievements seemed to be all forgotten, and instead replaced by the memory of a disgraceful act.

It almost seemed that Zidane’s head-butt was the dawn of France’s downfall. After he was ejected, France would go on to lose the game and the title to Italy in extra time. In 2010 World Cup in South Africa, France’s national team was plagued by racial tensions and conflicts between players and coaches that culminated into a player walkout. A usual World Cup favorite, France did not even make it out of the group stage at South Africa. And now, to make matters worse, a French artist has created an 18-foot sculpture of Zidane’s famous moment, displayed in the Pompidou Center in Paris.

Recently in the New York Times, Scott Sayare covered the controversy regarding the new sculpture. Standing in the middle of the Pompidou Center’s courtyard, the sculpture enlarges the two players involved, Zidane and Marco Materazzi into two massive bronze figures. Adel Abdessemed, the creator of the sculpture, named it “Coup de Tête,” a double-entendre meaning head-butt or an impulsive decision. The sculpture is almost real life—the same pained and anguish face is chiseled onto Materazzi’s face and the same stern and angry Zidane as was what happened six years ago.

The sculpture has ignited heated controversy in French politics and society. Critics have said that the sculpture has added onto the ongoing racial tensions and class structure in France. In 1998, when Zidane led the team to their first World Cup victory, the squad composed of black, white, and Arab Frenchmen. It was their success that inspired racial unity in France. However, just a year prior to the incident, racial riots in the poorer neighborhoods of France had begun. The sculptures, critics say, adds on to the racial aggravation.  Some have also claimed that the sculpture idolizes bad sportsmanship and “an ode to violence.”

In retaliation to the criticism of his art piece, Abdessemed, who holds both Algerian and French citizenship, said that his art pieces should not be looked at politically and is not a response to racial tensions. Abdessemed said that “[Zidane] expressed himself as a man,” and that is what his sculpture tries to embody.

In my opinion, I think that the sculpture should not be celebrating Zidane’s action. Although Zidane had good reason to head-butt Materazzi (Materazzi made some snide comments on Zidane’s sister), I think the sculpture embodies bad sportsmanship and should not be cherished. Adding on the racial and social problems that come along with the piece, I think it devalues the admirability of the sculpture and Zidane himself. Zidane was an exceptional player and arguably one of soccer’s greatest, and this sculpture does him not justice. However, I do think that it would be interesting to hear Zidane’s opinion on this sculpture and his reaction to it. Do you think we should be celebrating this moment in history as this piece of art? Do you think that this sends the wrong message? How do you think Zidane will react?


vivian :3

Hi, I’m Vivian (all the way to the right). I’ve lived in New York all my life, but I aspire to explore the world one day. I am a huge movie buff so during my free time I like to watch a lot of movies. I love listening to all types of music. I like keeping an open-mind and trying new things, so I think I’m ready for whatever this class throws at me.