The View of the Sea
By Viggo Mortensen and Fabián Casas - translated by Ollie
10 September 2013
What Ramon did was mean and typical of a cheat. It´s shameful that he now is acting so cocksure about how cups are played. River Plate flooded the pitch before the match - and I´m not saying they watered it, I´m saying they soaked it - so San Lorenzo, the only one of the teams ready to play soccer in the Monumental, wouldn´t be able to move the ball along the ground, and then the Gallinas [tr. note: River´s nickname] placed themselves at the back to support their great goalkeeper. These Gallinas don´t play honouring their colors; they are not worthy of their club´s history. Without Barovero, they would have 3 or 4 goals per game go past them.
It was a pity that Kanneman´s [kick] hit the post. One goal and River´s cowardly approach would have crumbled. But it´s also true that although the rival played an ugly and cynical game, we should have been able to handle it. Ah, that set-piece goal by Maidana in the first match! Well, it´s over. It´s not much of a consolation, but I doubt that River has a team or makes the effort to progress much in the Copa Sudamericana.
I just finished watching Spain in Finland playing their match in the elimination round for the World Cup. They´ve played harmoniously again, and I liked watching Casillas intercepting the ball, since his place in the team has been controversial to some people. He stopped a sure goal by sheer reflexes during the first half. The entire team was very solid. As opposed to what happened to CASLA yesterday, the Spaniards knew how to react to the very defensive game of their rival. At least their pitch in Helsinki didn´t look like a pond to fuck over La Roja´s [tr. note: Spain´s team nickname] nice, clean play, and the Norse also tried to attack the best they could, from time to time. Sportsmanship and men´s stuff, stuff that Pelado Díaz [tr. note: Ramón Díaz' nickname] doesn´t value. It seems to me that next year Spain will arrive in Brazil very strong. There are people who get bored with "tiki-taka" [tr. note: a style of play in soccer] or who have become accustomed to the precision and collective excellence that´s required to maintain an enormous advantage at the moment of possession. Cruyff´s Holland was boring? Guardiola´s Barça? The CASLA of 1946? Brazil in 1970? Those teams will be remembered in soccer history as legendary teams. Just like Spain´s national team from 2008 until now.
I love the fast, straight-for-the-goal dynamic soccer from the best Real Madrid or Bayern München [teams], but we have to recognise the beauty of the "jogo bonito" [tr. note: "beautiful game" in Portuguese] when it´s done by great players and coaches like Guardiola and Del Bosque. Pizzi is building something similar, and sometimes it has come out right for him in the matches. Despite the matches we have tied or lost, people in Argentine soccer are noticing that this San Lorenzo team is playing with talent and ambition, and that they are brave. That, as a Cuervo, fills me with pride and makes me happy.
Maybe it´s good that now the team has nothing to do but focus on the Copa Argentina semi-finals and the Torneo Inicial. We have to keep on playing well. There are beautiful things ahead of us.
Hello Cuervo: luckily I have the joy of writing to you. The match last night left me with several things. To begin with, as we said many times before, River came out again to play in a capitalist fashion, fearful, turning their back on their own history and giving the ball to San Lorenzo. They again played rightwing soccer, which rewards survival above the joy of living and playing. As Silvio Astier says in the final part of Roberto Arlt´s El Juguete Rabioso: "To me, God is the joy of living." Well, River hasn´t got that today. San Lorenzo tried in every way, but there was no passing Barovero; he´s a crack player. Ramón said today that the match ended up as planned. And you ask yourself: What had he planned? That Barovero would catch them all? He makes me see red.
I simply believe that when you attack and attack and it doesn´t go in, you have to change fast so the players don´t wear themselves out so much. I would have put in Romagnoli and Tito more quickly. Just think, when they came in there were only 10 minutes left of the game. And it´s very difficult to turn a game like that around in such a short time. For now there´s no arguing with Pizzi´s idea, which is an idea fitting for San Lorenzo´s history: forward movement and constant attack. The duo of Mariano Closs and Fernando Niembro broadcasting the match is another thing. Niembro is very much like the writer Carlos Fuentes. Both have a serious problem: they don´t like soccer; they like rugby. As much as in the first leg match as in the second leg one I had to listen to comments like this one "Be aware that the game is played by both waiting and going for the score. River goes for the score over and over and knows what it's doing. And sometimes they score in spite of themselves. That's also a way of playing..."
Niembro and Closs pissing around.
Anyway, I can´t wait to see Salinger´s documentary; I have already seen the trailer. And I read the article by Bergessio that you mentioned, in the Revista el Ciclón, and I was moved to tears, sitting with the laptop, remembering that immortal 8M. Since then, River´s been playing with fear, and when you are afraid, you become a right-winger. Last night, before falling asleep, I couldn´t stop the machine, the inner dialogue. And something happened to me that hadn´t happened since I was very young: I began to think of my own mortality and it terrified me. If San Lorenzo had won, I wouldn´t have been thinking stupid things. Hugs to everybody in your home.
Yes, Viggo, I think that we have to focus on the Cup that can take us to the [Copa] Libertadores and continue in the local championship. It seems to me that this Sunday with Central, Romagnoli will be there from the start. In any case, beyond the occasional results, one awaits the CASLA matches knowing that we are going to be looking for the leading role. It will be this Sunday at four and I hope I can watch it. I´ll tell you later.
I understand you, Cuervo. As far as I can recall, I wake up every day thinking about the suffering there is and probably always will be in the world: about death, about the ugly joke that physical decadence and mortality sometimes seem to be; I think about the family, I remember them, I miss them; I also miss the animals that are no longer here; all the stupid wars (there´s no other kind) weigh me down; the useless murders, the torture, human misery, loneliness, fear.... and when San Lorenzo loses, whether the defeat is fair or not, all that gets exaggerated and goes on and on in my mind. But I always manage to come out of the mental cave, many times by walking or working on something physical. With the plants in the garden, pampering the trees, cleaning the house, doing the dishes, playing soccer, listening to the things the children say or, if there are any near, living side by side with horses. There are people like you and other friends who can put things in a healthier perspective for me, but I recognize that sometimes it´s difficult to get over it. That´s life, brother. We were brought into the world and we have to live the best we can. Nothing more. We have to look for a way to take life seriously, but not to take ourselves seriously at all. Things are very simple and beautiful if we look at them carefully, if we see them as they really are. I love Bambi´s quote, speaking during a CASLA pre-season when he was our coach, for its simplicity and poetic beauty:
"Have you seen the set design, kid? Beautiful, this is truly spectacular. The view of the sea inspires the trees, and the trees inspire the kids..."
© Viggo Mortensen.
Viggo, Bambi´s quote made me die with laughter. I think that Frank Zappa said something like, "Life without music is a long and boring Sunday where the only thing to do is pay the bills." And, I´d say, music and humour are essential to suffering with grace, right? I've got a remarkable biography of Zappa here, written by Barry Miles. I´m trying to get Caja Negra, a great Argentine printing house, excited so they translate it. Yesterday I missed the match with Central because I went far away to an asado and there was no TV, and today I bought the paper and read that we won. It seems that the second goal was controversial. Did you watch it? What can you tell me about the match? In the paper today, there was the ordeal of a Uruguayan who got stranded in the Andes for almost a month and was just rescued alive today. He had been eating mice, grass and drinking melt-water. The guy wanted to cross the range to Chile and got disoriented. Luckily they rescued him and everybody was saying it was a miracle that he was alive. The solitary man, fighting against fate and nature... It seems like a Lisandro flick, right?
Yes, Fabián, it´s true what you say about Lisandro. I think that, up to a point, his films are all like that. Man fighting against nature and against his own mind. The only thing is that in our friend´s imagination, victory is not at all certain. Well, speaking of victories, we deservedly won a pisser of a match in Rosario. It must have been a somewhat psychologically complicated reunion with the Canalla [tr. note: Central´s nickname] world for Pizzi, but he and the team managed to stand the pressure in the Gigante de Arroyito [tr. note: Central´s stadium]. San Lorenzo had to win, and they did it really well. It doesn´t seem to me the rival´s complaints (and from all those who are jealous of the Cuervos) about the brilliance of Elizari who started Villalba´s great goal play, are correct or deserve to be answered. It was a really awesome goal, like Cauteruccio´s first one was. The good thing is that the team went on playing true to their style and now they are at the top in the [league] tables. Besides, I think that next week we could be the only ones leading, if Bicho loses in Lanus. Obviously, the trouble is we've lost Caute for the rest of the year because of his knee injury. It´s a very hard blow for him, and CASLA loses the top scorer of the tournament. Villalba, Correa, Ruiz and other kids will have to keep on playing brilliantly, with the help of Pipi, Piatti and the rest of the veterans. I´m sure they will. This team has more collective strength than any other in the First Division. One thing, now Romagnoli will have to play more minutes and set a good example as usual.
Be strong Caute, and Hold on Ciclón!
I´m going to bed right now after watching the US Open tennis match between Nadal and Djokovich. I think we have sometimes talked about Nadal. His way of playing, fighting, and his mental strength are at a high level, but his behaviour is also outstanding. He has always shown the humility of the great ones. I´ve never seen a sportsman who wins and loses so nobly. After recovering from a knee injury that cost him more than seven months in recovery, and that would have brought an end to the career of many other players, this bull from Majorca has shown again that he continues to be the best in the world. What he did tonight in the third set against the great Serbian was one of the most impressive comebacks I´ve seen in a long time. We have to make him a San Lorenzo fan, because he already has in him the warrior resilience of the Cuervos.
Last edited: 21 October 2013 10:49:01