Sunday, 27 June 2010
Another Four Years to Add to the Hurt
That's when I turned off the TV. I'm not going to watch another game of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. What is the point? Fuck off to the irritating vuvuzelas (which I've been selling) and fuck off to the shitty plastic Jabulani ball (which I thinking about trying to sell). A ball not stitched but glued. Fewer parts and less possibility for spin. The cheeky Japanese have been using in it the J-league for a number of months prior to the Finals. No wonder Honda and the other Japanese dude were the only ones so far to get it up and down from a free kick. A shit World Cup with a shit sound track and a shit Adidas ball to compound it all.
There’s nothing sadder than impotent anger and I have it in spades. This is so English of me. I rail against injustice and cry for fair play, when what I really want is for my sodding team to beat the Germans. It is going to happen in a tournament eventually. Surely in my life time. That will be a sweet day. England’s chavish populace will go wild. And me too. Publicans will make a killing. The street cleaners will have to put in over-time the following day. Let me dwell on the vision of future victories in this dark hour of despair. Here I am punching at the keys of my laptop trying furiously to work this out of my system. Outside it is raining. After that nightmarish vision of some Polish or Turkish expletive scoring the fourth I went out in the rain in my shorts and crooks without an umbrella in search of alcohol and the promise of oblivion.
I get back and the flat is deafeningly quiet. My wife watches another channel with the sound down low. She knows that I’m looking to burst out in rage at the smallest provocation. I feel like a twat for behaving this way. But how can you turn off your feelings. I seethe at our defence. I rage at the ref for disallowing Fat Frank's goal in the first half. I curse Capello for being just as unimaginative as every other coach we’ve had for the last 15 years. I also hold it against James for not being able to save three goals that shot straight past his body only inches away.
My only solace is the thing I always tell my students when the subject of sport comes up. I tell them (I fear they don't understand despite me laboring the point) it is not your achievement. It is the competitor's or competitors' achievement. It is really nothing you can take credit for. It is a con. A joke. Designed to distract you from the shittiness of your life. These sports people that you love are having a laugh. You invest your hard-earned emotion on them and they get paid anyway. They live in luxury because you imagine stupidly that their achievements are somehow yours. That is the great lie of patriotism. As the war poet Wilfred Owen pointed out the clarion call to sacrifice spouted by Horace of: Dulce et Decorum est pro patria mori, is complete and utter shit. There is nothing noble and sweet about dying for your country. There is nothing sweet in cheering for your country. For the average person what they have got is what they have earned. They have paid their taxes to Caesar and owe nothing more to him. Don't worship your keeper and certainly don't step in front of a bullet for a vacuous ideal. Football is the ultimate in vacuous ideals. The world game is just escapism from a world where the 1% own 90%. Do you imagine that for a moment the 1% care less whether Frank’s goal was disallowed?
Oh well. Better this pointless stabbing at ideology then brooding on another disappointing World Cup.