Gutsy demand

By Alex P. Vidal

“I request the audience to not mix cinema with politics.”—Ram Charan

The case of a contrabida becoming an “important character” in the movies was exemplified in the call by the Iranian state media for the United States to be kicked out of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 after the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) changed the Islamic Republic of Iran’s flag on its social media platforms to show support for thousands of protesters in Iran.

It’s like the riding in tandem motorcycle killers telling the cops to leave the check points or else. The nerve.

Iran’s saber-rattling came at least two days before the much-anticipated US vs Iran match in Group B on November 29.

If it was as psywar tactic meant to demoralize the American booters, we will know during the match at Al Thumama Stadium.

Iran must have been infuriated when USSF had temporarily displayed Iran’s national flag on its official Twitter, Instagram and Facebook accounts without the emblem of the Islamic Republic.

CNN reported that a now-deleted graphic of the Group B standings posted on November 26 displayed the Iranian flag only bearing its green, white and red colors.

US Soccer told CNN on Sunday that it wanted to change the official flag for 24 hours to show “support for the women in Iran fighting for basic human rights” but always planned to go back to the original flag.

The change “was a one-time graphic,” US Soccer told CNN. “We have the main flag on our website and other places.”

The emblem is currently back on the flag on US Soccer’s social media channels.


Just when impulsive shoppers thought they’ve survived temptations after the “Black Friday”, they were in for a big surprise: there’s a deadlier animal called “Cyber Monday.”

I managed to “survive” these post-Thanksgiving Day shopping tsunamis by pretending they didn’t exist, and by not opening the links of the tempting offers sent directly to my email and cell phone by retailers.

If I accidentally opened one, I refused to further scroll down in order not to be magnetized by the shopping list’s mouth-watering deals.

As I mentioned in my previous article, stores were willing to dive down to as low as 81 percent discount during “Black Friday.” The discounts offered on “Cyber Monday” were almost identical.

Following the Thanksgiving weekend in the United States, “Cyber Monday” is an e-commerce term for discounts, special promotions, and sales only on that particular day as online retailers’ answer to the

brick-and-mortar stores’ “Black Friday” shopping extravaganza.

On this day, traditional retailers offer exclusive, website-only deals.

The result suggests to some that “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday” have merged into a combination of in-store-and-online shopping experience that has blurred the distinction between the two days.


It falls four days after Thanksgiving and was created to encourage consumers to shop online. Although “Black Friday”—the day after Thanksgiving—remains the busiest single shopping day of the year, the arrival of COVID-19, perhaps combined with other factors, resulted in $9 billion in online spending on “Black Friday” in 2020 and $10.8 billion on “Cyber Monday,” according to Investopedia.

Traditional brick-and-mortar retailers reportedly devote increasing amounts of time and energy to online sales to compete with each other as well as with their cyber rivals.

For 2021, the National Retail Federation predicted online spending would amount to between $218.3 billion and $226.2 billion over the holiday season.

This represents up to 27% of the $843.4 billion shoppers are expected to spend in November and December.

Consumers reportedly relish “Cyber Monday” for several reasons. Many people don’t want to spend time away from family during the holiday just to get a bargain, while others don’t want to wait in the long lines that form on “Black Friday.”

“Cyber Monday provides consumers with a convenient, hassle-free way to shop and cash in on some great deals. And with most retailers now offering free shipping as an incentive to shop on Cyber Monday, it makes shopping online even more attractive,” Investopedia reported.

Although Cyber Monday had its origins in the United States, it is now an international concept.

Many e-commerce companies around the world use the term to market promotions to boost their sales at that time of year.

(The author, who is now based in New York City, used to be the editor of two local dailies in Iloilo.—Ed)