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Iraq vs. Australia

So the word on the street was that the Iraqi football team was out for Australian blood prior to their match last week. When I heard that, I thought, they (the Iraqis) have every right to want to bloody their noses, and by the sounds of it, the Australian side really did get humiliated quite badly. Wished I was there to see it, but I was out of Bangkok far too early for the match, and none of the public channels here seem even slightly interested in broadcasting the Asian Cup. I was hoping I could grab at least even a torrent of the match, but it looks like this one was completely bypassed. Saw the goals on the news though -- really point and laugh material. The Australians seemed to have spent the match concentrating on the opposing side so much they were depending on the goalkeeper to do their legwork. The Iraqis literally ran circles around Mark Schwarzer, kicking in at least two of their three goals with next to no opposition.

For a team that spent the entire World Cup 2006 annoying me, them and their Australian soccer commentators, I am GLEE. The Iraqis are currently tied at the top of Group A with the Thais. If any team out there truly deserved some luck, it's them. I think it would be awesome if the Iraqi team made it to the next round, as many rounds as they can manage from this point on. It's an awesome rallying point for their beleaguered country, an awesome bit of healing -- and news like this report is exactly the sort of stuff that makes one's day.

In obscurely related news, I got to hear B'z's last album, Monster, on the plane to Bangkok. Now, B'z has this habit of producing albums with one or two really awesome rock tracks, and all the other tracks turning out to be filler pop or ballads. True to form, I was on the third or fourth track on Monster and was about to go watch a movie instead when the title track came howling out of the complete blue. Monster is definitely a song that showcases B'z at their very best -- it's all Inaba Koshi screaming and jumping off the ceiling and wall-to-wall Tak guitars. Tak is supposed to be one of the greatest Asian guitarists there is, but B'z songs never nearly take advantage of that enough, IMHO, and it's just worth the listen when he does show up. The chorus is catchy as all hell too.

Then the rest of the album was tepid again. But the title song, it rocked. Listen to it here.