Friday, June 18, 2010

Futbol or Football?

American football is fifty times more complex than soccer, and so is a better reflection of, and training ground for, the complexity of the contemporary world.

11 comments:

Patrick said...

While I agree that American Football is a game filled with intricacies, it kind of surprises me that you take this stance.

Surprising in that, in most countries the world over, football (soccer) is the dominant sport. All kids in the street need are a ball and something to proxy for a goal. Sports like hockey and the like require lots of expensive equipment. Because here, soccer is seen largely as a middle class sport, nevermind that in Texas and the rest of the Southwest, it is mostly played by little brown kids or foreigners who wouldn't even be in college if they weren't playing.

So wow... way to be an ignorant American, huh? I get the feeling your view of the real world doesn't extend past the alley outside some bar in Philthydelphia.

But anyway, I love American Football.

King said...

??? Because I believe in American culture doesn't make me ignorant. I simply stand opposed to the notion of monoculture, which if you dig into it is tied into global monopoly, if not an imperialistic viewpoint.
No, I don't want the world singing "in perfect harmony," as the Coke commerical once said. I love the planet's diversity. I find the McDonald's in Paris as abhorrent as do many French people.
How is this tied into literature?
It's apparent that leading pillars of lit in this country don't want a unique American literature-- a unique American voice. What they peddle instead is a voice, a literature, which crosses all boundaries, and everywhere sounds the same. It's one path of many toward opening all the planet to the giant monopolies, which includes of course the Big Five media monopolies.
I could be talking Greek to most readers. Sad to say, your generation has been indoctrinated into the premises of global capitalism. There's never been a generation in American history so brainwashed-- perfectly understandable, because you've been bombarded with messages from Big Media, via computers, radio, TV, your entire lives, up to twelve hours a day now according to some studies. Can a mind accept such bombardment and be able to think clearly?
Before you answer, please read Jerry Mander's "Four Arguments," or at least, "In the Absence of the sacred," to understand the impact of electronic media on the brain.
Haven't read them?
Who's really ignorant?

King said...

(There's an almost total inability to think among this nation's intelligentsia. For instance, the way they're whipsawed by the "Good Cop-Bad Cop" of the two political parties, who in reality represent the same interests and are on the same side. And so, because Bush was incompetent and/or corrupt, they could never believe that the other guy is incompetent and/or corrupt. Not him! He's OUR guy!
Really?)

King said...

(p.s. No silly arguments, please. I'm busy with other things. I have no interest in people mouthing the company line. If there are any writers interested in recreating a unique American lit which can relate to the mass of the people-- "Pop" by my lights-- those are the writers I'd like to hear from.)

mather said...

Wenclas, your post seemed to me almost a bait for the pc commentor (even more than most your posts I mean). Shit, man, you can't diss FUTBOL or you're an ignorant American! Ha! And here comes old Patrick, fullfilling the pc slot like a piece of blue sky in a jigsaw puzzle.

Patrick said...

Oh Mather, haha... YOU are old. Vete a freír espárragos, viejo.

I didn't realize that asking someone to defend their claim-- which is nothing more than hyperbolic sound and fury signifying nothing-- was a PC thing. Seems a rather reasonable expectation to me.

But then I forget how touchy some people get when you suggest that they are ignorant Americans.

Wenclas, who's talking about monoculture here? I thought we were talking Futebol v. American Football. I was simply pointing out a reality that you chose to ignore. American Football is no more a reflection of the "contemporary" world than curling or cricket. You just say things and expect people to understand your liquor addled thought-process.

But this is what happens when you use anything BUT literature as a reference point for literature. Because instead of explaining your stance, you go on long rants about everything but the subject of the original entry.

"It's apparent that leading pillars of lit in this country don't want a unique American literature-- a unique American voice. What they peddle instead is a voice, a literature, which crosses all boundaries, and everywhere sounds the same."

This is what I'm talking about.

Define a "unique" American Literature. Because I'd say it changes with the times. Jack London, O. Henry-- all these writers you admire-- didn't live in the America we live in now. Strange to me how your idea of revolution or change is to go backward.

Also, I don't think you have any authority to speak on my generation. We're only working with what yours has left us. Think about that for a little bit.

P.S. You could be talking Greek, but then, you're too American to learn another language, right?

King said...

??? You may as well say that you have no authority speaking about ten year-olds.
The advantage to getting older is having a larger context or reference point from which to judge things, having seen and experienced for a longer period of time trends, changes, and happenings culminating in the present day.
Or-- I once worked for a commodity trader. I did hundreds of charts-- by hand!-- of short and long-term market swings. I got a great feel for waves and cycles. A day or weekly chart could be highly misleading if you didn't consider it in the context of longer trend lines. The longer the context, the more reliable the estimation.
In the 1930's Churchill was more able to predict future happenings because he'd seen more than most people, had a large body of experience to draw on, as well as extensive reading of history. He combined this of course with an active mind aware that the world is in constant change.
*******************
You're the product of many varied overlapping systems which are the engines of this civilization. Those systems were in part created by my generation-- though certainly not by me!
******************
Do you know that one could chart several happenings of society-- the gap between rich and poor, say, or, related, the strength of monopolies-- and see that things today are more like they were in Jack London's day, from an economic standpoint, than they were, say, in the Sixties. This is why novels like "The Iron Heel" and "The Octopus" have continued relevance. You know the maxim that literature is news that stays news. . . .

Patrick said...

"You're the product of many varied overlapping systems which are the engines of this civilization. Those systems were in part created by my generation-- though certainly not by me!"

Now who's soplipsistic? Who said anything about you? I was simply employing your tactics.

My point is that perhaps bringing up my generation and the clarity with which we can or cannot think (and your own theories as to why) is pointless in this discussion considering you've taken an innocuous subject like sports and turned it into a polemic based not on facts or even good analogy, but on your own tastes-- delivered hyperbolically.

(If that's not a symptom of muddled thinking, I don't know what is)

Fifty times more complex? Qualify that quantity why don't you? I mean, shit, there's lots of contexts within the two sports you could've examined to make sense of that, and yet... you didn't.

I was pointing out a contrast in your views re: the world itself v. something relatively small, like the insular world of American Literature. Your response? An anti-globalization, anti-capitalist rant. ¡Qué sorpresa!

For all this talk about context, you have been ignoring it when it suits you.

King said...

?? I can't say I can make much sense out of what you're saying. I've been responding to yr statements (and insults) that I'm somehow ignorant because I prefer football to futbol.
Keep in mind my main context is America. i don't want to see American culture lost in a generic tops-down global culture whose purpose is to serve elites and media monopolies.
***************
You seem to have a notion that a bilingual or multilinual society is superior to a one-language country.
History disputes this. Societies who've tried to be bilingual-- Austro-Hungary the classic example-- have been divided and weak.
The counter example is a country like Italy, whose unification and progress came about by consolidating around one dialect, one national culture and identity, when it had been for centuries before this a polyglot mess of dialects.
It's an old fashioned, un-pc notion, but I still consider myself American, and believe in the American ideal, whose slogan is "out of many, one."
Within America, we can have an American literature, and American culture, which embraces the nation's diversity.
For instance, rock n roll was a consolidation of all the many strains of American popular and folk music into ONE genre which embraced everybody. From Motown, "the sound of young America," to Elvis, whose influences ranged from blues to country to gospel to pop crooners like Dean Martin, and was marketed at first by RCA as a folk singer.!
There are advantages to learning a foreign language, if your intended field is in, say, international relations. Certainly, knowing Arabic or Russian today is a strength.
The upper classes for many years learned French, which was the language of diplomacy.
At the moment, though, the dominant language of diplomacy and business is-- English! So it's hard to see the advantage in what you advocate.
Some folks are in fact hurt by bilingual education-- Mexican immigrants themselves, who by being inhibited from assimilating into broader American society, are kept back in their low-wage bottom caste status. Previously, other waves of immigrants were forced to assimilate, simply to get a job and survive. One can't have access to the higher levels of American society (the legal profession, say) without being fluent in English.
This is a complex subject, and yes, getting way off topic. But, a knee-jerk calling of people "ignorant" often itself stems from profound ignorance and miseducation.

Patrick said...

No Wenclas. I didn't say you were ignorant because you prefer American Football to futebol. Hell, I prefer American Football to futebol. I said you were ignorant because you make sweeping statements (and don't defend them logically-- or at all), and you know dick about why soccer is popular the world over. THAT is why you are ignorant. You're also condescending and unrealistic, but hey... the world needs dreamers. They're usually just a lot younger.

I never said that a bilingual/multilingual society is superior. Nice straw-man, though. I understand the complications of a bilingual society. Rest assured that English is my primary language, and I'm pretty fucking fluent.

"Some folks are in fact hurt by bilingual education-- Mexican immigrants themselves, who by being inhibited from assimilating into broader American society, are kept back in their low-wage bottom caste status."

There's truth to this, but it has nothing to do with why I've chosen to explore other languages.

"So it's hard to see the advantage in what you advocate."

That I advocate being a curious and well-rounded and knowledgeable individual is ALWAYS an advantage. You have built your straw-man and turned it into a rant against the "pc-powers-that-be." Typical. You talk about risk-taking with regards to literature, but where is yours in LIFE, man?

Besides, you try living in an apartment complex where all your vecinos speak Spanish and see how far you get with, "hey man, if anyone is snooping around my door, let me know."

"Within America, we can have an American literature, and American culture, which embraces the nation's diversity."

I totally agree with you here. But I'm not sure as to whether or not you really believe that.

King said...

Life??? My entire life has been one of risk, of not taking the easy path.
If you need to learn Spanish, fine. But please don't look down on folks who use one language. My parents chose to assimilate totally into American culture, instead of ghettoizing themselves. They believed in the American experiment, as I do. Yes, they knew another language. Growing up, I knew quite a lot of it.
But my "dream" was the American dream, which for some still retains great meaning.