Archive for category Football

Sterile Worlds

Sky did apologize, because Wayne Rooney spoke in foul language right in front of the camera. This is not supposed to happen. TV-worlds aren’t like that. TV world’s show only the best of man’s behaviour. Certainly, they don’t show a “role model” like Wayne Rooney using expletives. But reality sometimes defies ideology and so it happened: Foul language, completely audible, in front of a camera, transmitted throughout the world, beyond believe.

Or isn’t it? Sometimes I wonder why some of these people who populate e.g., broadcaster’s facilities, think they must correct reality, beep-out for instance the swearwords everybody knows. It’s a part of the real life to express emotions. But in official broadcasted life, it seems that real life is only present in its cleansed version: Show (com-)passion without being (com-)passionate. Show your compassion in a politically correct way, e.g., by weeping your eyes out for someone you never met in your entire life, but whose death leaves you utterly devastated. Three C’s, as Theodore Dalrymple put it, rule this world imagined: “compassion, caring and crying in public”.

Correct utterance of compassion is a compassion imagined, it is in the words of Patrick West “projecting one’s ego, and informing others what a deeply caring individual you are. It is about feeling good, not doing good” (West, 2004, p.1). It is no compassion at all. It’s a substitute for compassion, because compassion needs doing something, something you can be compassionate about. Real emotions, especially if they are passionate not compassionate, are not for public display and, therefore, broadcasters flock around like chicken, when confronted with the real thing. Original and substitute won’t fit. So you have to denounce the original in order to retain the substitute.

As to me, I do not want to inhabit this surrogate world where passion is only present in peoples’ imagination. I prefer Rooney’s outburst to the hysterics of people who want you to believe that they deeply bemoan the fatal consequences of children’s witnessing Rooney’s foul language or the loss of Patient X in Ward 12.


West, Patrick (2004). Conspicuous Compassion. Why Sometimes it Really is Cruel to be Kind. London: Civitas.


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Improper conduct

What could be a better starter for a new blog labeled “against newspeak” than FOOTBALL? Did you watch the Arsenal game the other night? I did, and I was totally fed up, though I am Tottenham fan! This gives my argument some credibility, it’s not tainted with devotion to Arsenal, I am not biased, but I am starting to believe that UEFA and FIFA are biased – against everything that would make football in general and refs decisions in particular accountable. This is quite remarkable given the cobweb, FIFA and UEFA officials designed to rule (or kill) the game. If a player waste’s time, yellow-card him. If he celebrates in front of his fans, yellow-card him. If he does not appear to be penitent, red-card him. What’s the use of this system of rules that may please lawyers, but warps results time and time again? Maybe some rules started a life of their own? Maybe, FIFA and UEFA officials find more pleasure in  punishing rule violations than in the game itself? Maybe the entire FIFA and UEFA system has become a totalitarian system that endangers freedom of speech? By the way, Samir Nasri and Arsene Wenger will be fined by UEFA, because they dared to tell what they experienced, a ref who wasn’t up for the job (or who did not want to be) and a result flawed by the very same ref. It is deemed “improper conduct” for “inappropriate language” by UEFA and it’s deemed a violation of freedom of speach by against newspeak.

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