anotherlongshot (anotherlongshot) wrote,

On tennis and the United Nations.

I just watched the first set of the Djokovic/Robredo match which is happening right now. It was the strangest tennis match I've watched so far.

Djokovic is World #3 and the third seed in the US Open. He is the Olympic bronze men's singles medallist. He beat Roger earlier on this year. After I was finally done with my presentation stuff (which was after a prolonged period of pedantic procrastination [am I forcing the alliteration? But I AM very pedantic about procrastinating; i.e., I must do it]), I saw that he was playing and I was all excited because, you know, apart from the fact that he's cute, it should be quite interesting to watch.

Well, it was, but in a manner which I completely didn't expect. Djokovic looked like he was sleep-walking through the whole thing. He looked listless, disinterested, like he just didn't care. When he made an error he threw down his racquet like a petulant child, and when he was facing two break points by the other guy, his backhand returns were like...they looked sloppy and bored and weak. He practically handed the other guy the first set on a silver platter, much like the way he presented the break point to him that gave him the first set win.

On a brighter note, though, he's leading Set 2 3-0 so I guess he's sprung back from his funk. I half want the other guy to win because I loooove such dramatic upsets and I tend to root for the underdog. The only exception, of course, is when Roger is involved. Any upset involving his loss will upset me.

Speaking of Roger, I totally saw him signing autographs outside the stadium when he was on his way to the practice court. He's playing some Russian guy after Djokovic's match which hopefully won't use up all five sets 'cause then it'd take three hours or more and I only programmed my VCR to record until 6.30 in the morning.

Okay, I know, what? The next session is starting at 7 a.m. But what if I miss Roger's match point? I will just DIEEEEE. And of course he's gonna score a match point 'cause like, I don't even know who the Russian dude is? Yeah.

I think I should sleep. I'm really tired. I also got my period which is most inopportune, considering the presentation later on. I get mild cramps on the first day of the cycle which go away after a while, but they still hurt enough for me to wince and bitch about it. Hopefully they go away by the time I have to stand in front of a class of largely Masters students and read off my prepared script. HAHAHA.

I think a couple of my slides are too long. I suddenly added in this huge chunk of shit about Somalia under my "is it a good idea to make new international law" thing. The topic is on the responsibility to protect, which is basically the right to intervene or military intervention couched in a nice, benign and non-aggressive manner. Whatever, right? So apparently I'm saying that it's a good idea to make new international law in this area because the Security Council has acted inconsistently and ineffectively in the past, see Kosovo, Bosnia, Rwanda, Somalia. And because I was tasked to do research on Somalia, a task that I discharged with reference solely to Wikipedia because I'm freaking lazy, it suddenly struck me that the UN's intervention in that humanitarian disaster was really really quite terrible, and therefore it can be a nice point to bring up when I'm attempting to say that it's a good idea to make new international law. Obviously the Security Council is incapable of acting without guidelines and therefore we need guidelines, or something like that.

(Side note: This actually begs the question of how one consciously MAKES international law, though. Has there been a treaty drawn up which the UN has coerced people to sign? No. The UN Charter also doesn't provide for this responsibility to protect shit. It's supposedly an emerging norm, but only because the UN says so. How does one MAKE international law? No treaty, no jus cogen, what the fuck?! But whatever, I don't care about the intricacies; just do what I have to do. And our presentation is already damn long as it is.)

For all my cynical jabs at the UN and the responsibility to protect shit though, at the heart of things I believe in the UN as a theoretical idea. I think it's a good idea. I think the world needs a moral compass to guide it and shape its actions because we are inevitably affected by unrests that happen in other parts of the world, no matter how far they are. At the same time, it's quite sad to recognise how idealistic - to put it in a more nasty manner, naive - the theoretical basis of the United Nations is. It's supposed to be an organisation where nations are united; but states, their UN representatives, are primarily self-interested. Security Council resolutions aren't passed purely on the basis of what the world needs; they are passed with political agendas in mind and selfish endgames. China and Russia vetoed a resolution to do something in Burma which is probably why the UN hasn't done anything substantial in that country. Not only does one wonder why the fuck the PRC is even a permanent member of the security council when People's Republic of China does not equal Republic of China (i.e. Taiwan who was the original member until the West got hypocritical and wanted to kiss up to China to exploit its emerging market. Okay I'm just bitter), one also wonders why these five countries continue to enjoy this exclusivity. World War II happened more than 60 years ago. You'd think that, after all the criticisms the West has levied on China and its human rights violations and whatever, the United Nations would do something sensible and kick it off the permanent seat. China wasn't even the original member anyway; it was Taiwan. (And yes, I'll say it again: TAIWAN WAS NEVER AND WILL NEVER BE A PART OF CHINA.)

I'd bitch about Russia too but the truth is I know next to nothing about it so I'll keep my mouth shut. But anyway, what I'm saying is that it's hard not to be sceptical about the moral authority of the United Nations, especially the Security Council, when you understand that states are primarily self-interested. And it's not something that you can begrudge them for; governments are primarily responsible to their own people. But it really saddens me when the countries with veto powers exercise their veto in pursuit of some political end that has nothing directly to do with the responsibilities they have to their own country. China and Burma, for example. China wasn't going to authorise a resolution for some form of intervention in Burma because of its alliance or whatever with the junta government. It's things like that that get in the way of things that ought to be done, the "responsibility to protect", and what does the UN do about it? What can it do about it? What's the point of having all these principles and guidelines that sound so good and strong and persuasive on paper if, in practice, they're simply going to be obliterated by some country's political motives?

And yet, I involuntarily bristle when people diss the UN, and they don't diss the UN without a reasonable basis. It has been utterly useless in many aspects; but do we have a better alternative? Can we live without the UN? Does anyone even care?

Right, time for me to get off my soap box. I'm damn sleepy. I wanted to look at my presentation again and see if I can rephrase things 'cause I'm basically just going to read whatever I have in front of me when I'm doing the presenting since I can't think on the spot, but I decided to write this entry which was originally only going to be about Djokovic's weird first set (he won the second!). Somehow, and obviously, I digressed. I can't remember if I mentioned this already but in the very first UN Law and Practices class, SC was like, "Some of you are probably taking this course because you want to work in the UN."

I had a sheepish smile on my face when he said that because...yeah, talk about hitting the nail right on the head. Sometime last year, in particular when I was doing my Emergencies course, I formulated this grand idea of working in/for/at the UN "next time", whenever "next time" is. Maybe I still do. All I know is that I cannot live with myself if I let myself be stuck in Singapore for the rest of my life. International issues interest me more than micro ones which is why 4 out of 5 of my modules have some international element to them...actually, all. Conflict of Laws can also be known as Private International Law (I think?).

Ooh the third set has started and Robredo looks like he's gonna hold! Is he going to hold? I'm monitoring the match on the US Open website. OH MY GOD Djokovic is one point away from a break point. WAH LAU!

SHIT IT'S AT DEUCE. Ugh. I'm so sad there isn't going to be an upset.

On the bright side, the faster they end their match, the earlier Roger can come on, in which case I won't have to worry about the match ending later than 6.30 hahahaha. Yeah I'm damn kiasu. That's one of the very few Singaporean traits that I can actually peripherally identify with.

Wow, Robredo's game point opportunity took forever. The thing I don't like about deuce is that it takes, like, forever. I watched the last part of Nadal's victory over that American guy - Querry - and they had like, six deuce or something. I mean, yeah, credit to Nadal for defending his serve so aggressively, but he made so many unforced errors that it went to AD for the other guy, then Nadal got scared and defended, then it went back to deuce. Repeat five times. That game took about twenty minutes to play, and it wasn't even either player's set point. SERIOUSLY!

Okay yay Robredo holds serve. I hope he wins but Djokovic's going to win unless he screws up the next two sets.

I have no idea how I bounced from talking about international law to talking about tennis again. Quite clearly I need to sleep. My Bell's isn't actually fully recovered; I still feel the residual effects of the paralysis. And it's fucking annoying. But my point is, my parents are paranoid that it'd recur so they keep nagging at me to sleep early and some of that has found its way to my subconsciousness. It's 2.25 a.m. It's late.

Or maybe I'm just tired.

Roger needs to play some evening matches so that I can actually watch them live.

Okay I'm really going to bed now.

Tags: law, novak djokovic, tennis, united nations, us open

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