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World Cup Blight


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It is with a considered sense of dread that I report we are now fewer than 50 days away from the start of the World Cup.

Already the streets of my home town have been polluted with foul Anglo Saxon chauvinists draped in their exclusive flags and paraphenalia with their "Engerlands" and "here we goes" warming up to what no doubt will become a very ugly sound indeed.

I can barely bring myself to walk past a parked car with one of those stupid crosses of St George displayed without snapping it off and stamping up and down on it.

The reason for my strength of feeling on this issue?....... my utter contempt for the nationalism it engenders.

George Orwell once wrote in "The Sporting Spirit"

" At the international level sport is frankly mimic warfare. But the significant thing is not the behaviour

of the players but the attitude of the spectators: and, behind the

spectators, of the nations who work themselves into furies over these

absurd contests, and seriously believe--at any rate for short

periods--that running, jumping and kicking a ball are tests of national

virtue. "

Thus in the days ahead we will no doubt here more absurd comments about the "national game", the ethnic make up of premiership teams, the nationality of the England manager.

and how both may have negative effect on how we do.

I for one beg to be excluded from this notional and hideous "we".

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Guest Stephen Turner

Shakespeare, on this very theme. Sport as a metaphor for nationalism.

TROILUS & CRESSIDA. NESTOR TO ACHILLES.

"Though't it be a sportful combat, yet in the trial much opinion dwells,"

"For here the Trojans taste our dear'st repute, with their finest palate:and trust to me, Ulysses"

"Our imputation shall be oddly pois'd in this wild action, for the success, although particular,"

" shall give a scantling of good or bad unto the general;"

" And in such indexes, although small pricks to their subsequent volumes,"

" There is seen THE BABY FIGURE OF THE GIANT MASS OF THINGS TO COME AT LARGE."

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Guest Stephen Turner

further thoughts.

I am particularly looking foward to all public houses being taken over by the troglodite hoards, shaven heads glissening with sweat, faces painted with the cross of St George (a typically crap, English patron Saint who doesn't even warrent a bank hoilday) Whose only aim is to be so drunk by 8-00pm, that they will remember nothing of their foul behaviour the next day, Ah to be in England, gingerly stepping over the pools of vomit, and blood that these mighty sons of Arthur deposit in such copious ammounts, to hear their well reasoned thoughts concerning asylem seekers, Women, Gay people, anyone of a slightly darker hue than themselves, the Irish, and drink-driving laws. Yes, this and so much more comming to a hostelry near you. OH BLISS......

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further thoughts.

I am particularly looking foward to all public houses being taken over by the troglodite hoards, shaven heads glissening with sweat, faces painted with the cross of St George (a typically crap, English patron Saint who doesn't even warrent a bank hoilday) Whose only aim is to be so drunk by 8-00pm, that they will remember nothing of their foul behaviour the next day, Ah to be in England, gingerly stepping over the pools of vomit, and blood that these mighty sons of Arthur deposit in such copious ammounts, to hear their well reasoned thoughts concerning asylem seekers, Women, Gay people, anyone of a slightly darker hue than themselves, the Irish, and drink-driving laws. Yes, this and so much more comming to a hostelry near you. OH BLISS......

Quite so.

But perhaps worse even than what you have described is the effect all this nonsense often has on those you once thought to be sane - what Orwell might have called the "transferred nationalism" of the educated elite.

To such people being bellicose and malevolent about "foreigners" both within and without these islands is suddenly OK because it is about the "national game" and the "national team"

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So are you two going to watch any of the Weltmeisterschaft? Just the games without (wivaaht?) Engerland? :clapping

Or will you watch it all and hope Engerland loses? (personally I predict a loss to Germany in Munich, but couldn't say whether or not on penalties).

It always amuses me (provided I'm not too close) to see the shaven headed, Engerland-shirt-wearing lout all but crying into his (almost exclusively male) beer at an England defeat. It must do wonders for their (white?) England supremacist ideas for a few hours. ;)

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