It's hard to think about anything else today other than Australia's ludicrous 1-0 defeat this morning by Luis Medina Cantalejo, oops I mean Italy. All through our World Cup run I had this nagging voice in the back of my mind telling me that the old demons of the so-called beautiful game would surface to drag our spirits under. So the hammer fell, just as Fabio Grosso fell over the supine form of Lucas Neill.
What does this have to do with Web 2.0, you ask? I can't help but see the analogy between the Socceroos' attack-minded, hard-working brand of soccer 2.0 and what the Web is currently going through. Just as the boys in green and gold had their bubble burst at the end of 90 minutes of the Italians' highly defensive catenoccio gameplan, even the most fervent proponents of Web 2.0 practices have to worry that this new way of thinking is encouraging a bubble of its own, which will be popped by the commercial reality of boring big companies dominating everything.
The Australian team was criticised for not pushing home its early numerical advantage after Marco Materazzi was deservedly red card for a late, two-footed, studs-up challenge on Marco Bresciano just outside the penalty box in which Materazzi's entire body had left the ground, a sure sending-off offence if ever there has been one at this World Cup. Australia's attackers were dismissed as lacking a cutting edge, and Italy were characterised as being technically superior, as in this whitewashing, one-sided analysis by a member of FIFA's Technical Study Group.
Reading much of the old, mouldery thinking about Web 2.0 feels like watching Francesco Totti line up for that unwarranted penalty. The old men of the Web to me are like the old men of FIFA and Italian football: they should be irrelevant, but somehow people keep on listening to them. Snark blog ValleyWag calls them crazy uncles, and notes that Mike Arrington of TechCrunch has been sucked in to their "little club". Send them off to the retirement home where they can obsess over their catenaccio crud, and let the young people play for the joy of life.