Hands across the sea

7 05 2011

The internet can be a fabulous thing, it allows people from opposite sides of the world to develop connections very easily. This idea allows people to experience culture in a way that would have been unimaginable a few deacdes ago. Sharing culture is undeniably a good thing as it breaks down the mythical barriers between people. 

Take the article  I read yesterday for example. It was written by an American and I was made aware of its existence by the WSC  message board. The article contains the following section;

“…..The problem is (and again, I’m not the first person to notice this) that for a lot of people, that rage-tap is getting harder and harder to shut off. Anger is increasingly becoming a default element in how people interact with the games they follow, and that’s true for soccer fans to a much greater extent than most sports fans. That’s my impression, anyway, though admittedly I don’t spend much time in water polo forums. It’s becoming a constant. The ubiquity of the unhinged managerial press conference is an obvious symptom of this. It’s as if flashes of brief, intense fury still occur, but instead of dissipating all the way, they now leave behind a weird residue of obscure rage that releases itself in conspiracy blather and persecution complexes. Real Madrid fans think the universe is against them and for Barcelona. Manchester United fans think referees are out to target them (why? because they’re Manchester United); fans of other teams think Manchester United get all the breaks (why? same reason). When you become a low-grade-rage fan, your club is always in the right, and truth has nothing to do with it. “If you simply look at the evidence…” was the cry I heard from both Rangers and Celtic fans after my piece on the Old Firm rivalry last month. Earlier this week, when I was writing for Slate on El Clásico, it hit me that soccer has devolved into a realm a little like politics, a realm where fans’ access to preconceived explanations that suit their emotional allegiances is drowning reality out of the discourse.”

That’s the thing about the internet, without it I may not have been exposed to fantastic writing like this. Without the internet I certainly would not have known that people in America feel the same way as I do  about football. It’s almost humbling to realise that you are not a lone voice in the wilderness, especially when the other voice comes from thousands of miles away.

This feeling returned earlier today when I noticed that I had some visitors from the left-wing message board TAL . Comrades from Portugal (Low Profiler 16) had posted a picture from here on that message board. Again it’s very humbling to be reminded that we are all part of something bigger.

It’s good to know that when you’re swimming against the tide there are others with you.



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