Please, don’t feel you have to support England

June 13th, 2010 § 5 comments § permalink

Oh for fucks sake.

If you don’t want to support the England team, don’t. It doesn’t fucking matter. It really doesn’t.

The trouble with football (collapsing a whole long list into a handful of bugbears) is that its mindset bears an uncanny resemblance to the belief in “my country/party right or wrong”. It appears designed to programme the collective brain out of thinking and nuance, making those same synaptic connections that can only deal with black and white, binary three-minute hate. Us (good) and them (bad).

And what’s wrong with that? What’s wrong with enjoying something that is adversarial, is black and white and in the end is inconsequential?

Coming out of the Second World War, which devastated huge swathes of the globe, we valued our intellectuals and artists for helping to make the world a better place.

Nowadays, changing social conditions means social engineering, militarising society and the creation a nation of gladiators. From Sky to Skynet, turning you into a combat machine. Prepare to be assimilated.

What? How are we being turned into a ‘combat machine’? We have the most restrictive gun laws in the world. The army, even though actually deployed overseas in armed combat, is not exactly enjoying a surge in popularity and the fledgling gladiators are all stabbing themselves over fags, cheap cider and mobile phones. Even if I believed the last to be true I still wouldn’t think our society was being prepped for war.

It’s like living in Spartacus: Blood and Sand. Existence reduced to sex and death as we close ourselves down. All hail the sacred ground where you mash the opposition into the dirt, whether on the field, in the ring or at the dispatch box.

I can see the metaphor with Sparticus and it works well, but then it falls… *nods off*

Huh? Wha…? *ahem* Sorry, where was I?

Do I really want to identify with massively overpaid narcissists and their big-buck masters?

Well if you don’t want to, don’t. The overpaid narcissists don’t give a shit. And neither do I really. I enjoy the games, usually, but don’t feel I have to ‘identify’ with any of the people involved. Why should I? What would I be doing any different if I did identify with them? They’re overpaid, usually arrogant, more often than not womanising cunts. So fucking what?

I don’t pay any money to watch them play except when go to a game, and then if the ticket costs too much or there is a player that is a particular shister, I won’t go. Anything else in their personal life is their business.

How does victory for one set of businessmen over another set improve my life?

It doesn’t. Do you make all you decisions like this? When you decide to who to support in athletics, do you decide which of their sponsors will improve your life?

I love the artistry of great footballers. Watching George Best run rings around his opponents like he was occupying a different time and space was a joy to behold. But the small local football team that was part of the community is a myth, destroyed when British soccer emulated the American sports system and became a money-spinning industry, making your passion something that could be bought and sold. It bears the same relationship to the beautiful game as porn does to sex. So your team can spend millions on a talent from Nowheresville, Abroad? Well done. That means you are the best because some oligarch had deep pockets

So watch the tournament for some great football. Have a moan about how the way TV money isn’t distributed in a way that gets down to the grass roots of the game. Have a moan about that, then. Oh, by the way, don’t get confused between the national and international games. You cannot buy any player to play in your national team. To whinge about the way the money men have gone into the national clubs and buy up the best players from around the world in a post about why you’re not supporting England in the World Cup belies a lack of knowledge that means you do not really understand football or how it really works beyond what makes the front pages of the press, rather than the back, and so should shut the fuck up.

I cheer England on in athletics because it isn’t about two sides crushing each other. It really is the best man or woman winning through skill and it is possible to appreciate the accomplishments of the winner even if they aren’t on your team. Same with British culture when we do something great in film or music.

So individual competitive sports are fine but not team sports. You can, believe it or not, support a team and not go in for all stuff about grinding them into the dirt. You can even appreciate when an opposing team have played brilliantly and outplayed your team, or you own team were lucky to win. You would be amazed at the amount of England games where I haven’t called the opposition a bunch of foreign cunts of some sort or another.

I’ll probably succumb, though, and watch the bloody thing out of curiosity and an indulgence of my own pack instincts…

The pack instinct doesn’t mean you have to behave like a wanker, though. If you’re on a demo and someone chucked something through a window would you join in with it? No. So you don’t need to with the World Cup. Enjoy the football that’s on display. If you don’t want to support your home team, don’t.

After all, despite being told the contrary many times before, it is just a game.

*that* World Cup song

June 10th, 2010 § 3 comments § permalink

Remember scenes like this…?

James Corden, Dizzee Rascal and Simon Cowell obviously don’t. Why else would they include the chant…

Come and have a go if you think you’re hard enough

in a football song?

What does that line bring to mind? It brings to mind some meathead challenging you a fight. Didn’t they even think to change the line to ‘think you’re good enough’

The song, as far as I can work out, is about, actually I have no idea what it’s about except for the chorus of ‘shout, shout, let it all out’, and how that fits with the rest of the ditti, I’m clueless.

It’s one thing for this type of confrontational chant to be sung on the terraces (are there still terraces?) but to have put it out in a song is, I want to say irresponsible, but that doesn’t quite do it. The football institutions, the FA, clubs etc, have spent decades and an enormous amount of effort into getting the violence out of the game and the last thing they need is for the validation of a chant like that.

Although I have gone to a few games I’m not really a football fan, so I might be missing something. Please, tell me I’m missing something.


James Corden has claimed that he turned down the chance to record a song for the World Cup.

The Sun says that the comedian was approached to re-record New Order track ‘World In Motion’, but he said no because he is a big fan of the original.

“I thought, why do that? ‘World In Motion’ is the greatest song ever,” he said. “What next, re-record ‘Three Lions’? It’s pointless. Those things have to happen organically, to come out of a feeling.”

He added: “You can’t try and manufacture a chant for the terraces or a song that a whole nation will adopt”

How is anything to do with Simon Cowell ‘organic’? How can the song Cordons’ done with Dizzee Rascal come out of a feeling? You can’t understand what they’re singing about most of the song. The only bit that could be sang on the stands is the ‘shout’ chorus and having that sang at me from across the pitch would not impress at all.

Cordon is nearly right about not being able to manufacture a chant or song for the terraces. Some people can, he can’t.

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