Philosophy is a lost art.

28 05 2010

When Saturday Comes is a reliable source of information and insight, a point they have proven over the last couple of days, even though yesterday’s information added to the Jet Set’s dread. With the World Cup hype nearly turned up to 11 a televisual feast has been planned. The subtle comedy stylings of the fat moron James Corden have been granted airtime in “The fat moron James Corden”s comedy world cup television programme“.

We thought that twattish football-related humour had ended with David Baddiel’s class tourism period (you remember David Baddiel, the smug, unfunny one from Newman and Baddiel) but the nation is being given a forced relapse. James, the fat moron, will present “his unique take on the World Cup along with some big name celebrity guests” Ye Gods!!! We deeply hate football for allowing this to happen.

A big thank you to When Saturday Comes for warning us all.

Today, there was another good article. For a while we’ve been struggling to articulate a certain idea, this article did the job. It’s main message was,  “why football can never make us feel happy“.  As the article insinuates football is not a philosophical exercise, it’s groups of people involved in physical activity. Of course football has been more than just physical activity for about 140 years but that still doesn’t alter the fact that it’s still a game at heart. You win, you lose, you draw.

As the article states, even though  it’s a game people seem to care when one team of millionaire footballers beats another team of millionaire footballers. Why does it matter so much when a team loses?  Why does football make people’s lives better?  You have to agree with the article here.

The authors of the article go on to make another good point. Will people feel better if England lose in the second round instead of the final? The author says that it would more bearable to lose at an earlier stage because it’s better to not to dream about what could have been. The article again has a point because England losing is usually followed with the lament  “We should have done better!!!!”

The article backs its points up with academic Psychology; after people experience periods  of great stress, pain or joy this period will soon become a past event and lives will stabilise.  Joy will be fleeting. Of course this is true, there can’t be many people still celebrating Sunderland’s FA Cup triumph in 1973 for example. To draw a conclusion, if joy is a transient feeling then there’s not much point in building something up until it’s massive.

To take issue with these points slightly, it’s difficult to be philosophical all the time, football can be linked with emotion without ging overboard. Take the Welsh Cup final of a few weeks ago, if Bangor had been knocked out in the semi final, quarter-final or even second round, this wouldn’t have been much better than losing the final? If we had lost the final after the position we’d been in (2-0 up) this would have been extremely disappointing, it wouldn’t have put us off football though.

This match is  sort of thing that keeps people interested in football. The joy we all felt when Dave Morley scored was literally indescribable. The joy had a narcotic quality that lasted for days or even weeks. If we were to close our eyes we could probably still picture the goal going in and have that warm feeling, like recalling Sarge’s last minute goal against Llanelli 2 years ago. Football produces countless opportunities for elation at every level and in any place so you cannot deny that “hope” in football makes football very enjoyable. But to reinforce the message in the article, we shouldn’t let this hope expand too greatly, or become overshadowed by entitlement. We certainly shouldn’t forget that our teams can lose.

The article is a timely intervention. The exaggerated way in which people want to experience football during international tournaments make the prospect of going through them really depressing. A bit of philosophical thought could solve this from all angles, less mental anguish on their part and less irritation in our lives. We won’t hold our breath about this.




2 responses

1 06 2010

The display should be American surely

29 05 2010

I have unrelated information.

If you’ve been to the local supermarket you may have noticed a neutral World Cup display and even an aisle devoted to the WC selling Welsh merchandise. Apparently the same is true of the clothing section. I have heard, however, that the store manager has been requesting that this store be treated as an English store during the WC. Phone calls have been placed to the company’s HQ but I am not sure if the request has been granted.

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