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The Hoddle of Coffee: Tottenham Hotspur News and Links for Wednesday, February 2

a very weird car

Tottenham Hotspur Unveil New Signing Dejan Kulusevski Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images

Hello, everyone!

Here’s a quick pizza story to start the day.

Ramble of the Day

Let’s play a little game. I’m going to share a picture and provide you absolutely no context. I don’t necessarily want you to guess what the picture is of or where it’s from, but you’re allowed to guess. What I want to know is your opinion on the car you’re about to see. Opinions on the man are optional.

I suppose I’m asking this: What do you think of the way this man decorated his car, and what do you think it says about him? I will give you the answer, but I want to give everyone as much time to digest this photo and come up with their thoughts before I share.

Everyone get their initial thoughts in? Here’s your context (and of course, my thoughts).

This is a picture of actor Salman Khan from the 1994 Bollywood movie Hum Aapke Hain Koun..!, which I like to consider the most wholesome movie ever made. It’s 90% vibes, 10% plot by design; director Sooraj Barjatya said he aimed “not to make people feel that they have come to see a movie, but make them feel as if they have come to visit a big joint family that is preparing for a wedding.” I’d say it’s a shocking choice to put such little plot in a movie that’s almost three and a half hours long, but it was a pretty popular film in its time. (I will say, though, if you want a theatrical introduction to some Indian wedding traditions, this is the movie for you.)

Khan plays the wholesome film’s wholesome protagonist, Prem. (The character’s name is sloppily scribbled under “I LOVE MY FAMILY.”) The main item of character development for Prem, and just about every other character in the movie, is that he earnestly loves his family. I believe him and the other characters completely, but that car is a big record scratch for me while watching a movie that’s all about wholesome vibes.

Rajshri/YouTube

That is not a wholesome car. The nicest thing I can say about the car is that it’s weird. The most honest thing I could say is that if I saw that car in passing, I’d probably be freaked out by it. I will forgive the game of tic-tac-toe on the car, and will ignore the fact that it says “COOL RIDER.” I will even let it slide that Prem has written his phone number on the car — from what I remember of the movie, he doesn’t work in a field where he needs to advertise his phone number like that, but Google wasn’t an option in 1994 so I’ll forgive it. I’m going to instinctively read “TRY TO CATCH ME - NO CHANCE” as a little bit of a threat, especially when spray-painted sloppily in red.

Here, wholesome descended into unhinged pretty easily. It’s the only thing in the movie like that, which I found awfully distracting. For a while, I thought it maybe signified that extreme earnestness was closer to being deranged than one might anticipate. I don’t think I was right about that, though. To me, this feels like one of those oversights that would be funny on a sitcom about an overly sincere person interacting with the harsh world around them — Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt springs to mind. It’s just that an entire movie is the overly sincere character and I’m the harsh world around it.

tl;dr: Don’t you think that car is super weird? It’s even weirder once you know it belongs to an extremely wholesome character in an extremely wholesome movie and that everyone’s being earnest about it.

Stay informed, read this: Ken Belson and Jenny Vrentas on football coach Brian Flores, who is suing the NFL and its teams for allegedly discriminating against him and other Black coaches for The New York Times

Links of the Day
content warning: sexual assault

Scotland’s Raith Rovers saw the captain of its women’s team quit and its shirt sponsor withdraw support after the men’s team signed a player found guilty of rape in 2017.

Greater Manchester Police expanded its investigation of Manchester United’s Mason Greenwood to include sexual assault and threats to kill.

Barnet players said the club threatened to fire them if they went ahead with a strike to protest a staff member who racially abused an opponent.

South Korea qualified for the 2022 World Cup.

Angel City signed Stefany Ferrer from Tigres, and is believed to be the first women’s team to pay a transfer fee through cryptocurrency.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang left Arsenal by mutual consent.

A longer read: Fabio De Paulo and Steven Bloor’s photo essay covering the women’s FA Cup third round tie between Stoke and Nottingham Forest for the Guardian