i admit that sport has always been adifficult idea for me.when i was a mere lad i remember that when peers came to choose teams for any sport i was always amongst that handul of youth who would not even come last in the team but would be left on the sidelines.some of us developed and awkward squad mentality as a self protective measure against abuse and jibes from those with more talent and the teachers( i developed the idea that teachers taught and sports teachers didnt because they were too stupid)
i could have ben good at javelin but i juust missed the teacher.the nearest i got to boxing was a pair of gloves.i never found away to actually gert to try it,but i have kind of residual interest in it to this day-although its not "pc".i was a cyclist at various tiems in my life but regarded it as an instrumental activity rather than a sport,though i can get fanatical about the tour de france,and plan to "meet up with it"next years as i did when a stage came to london.whilst i have no interest in driving,i have been a"tifosi"and F1 fan since my early teens.
id call my interest in sport,something which is despite sport.i latched onto orwells views quite young too,which seemed to deflate all the pompous ideas sport was meant to represent...like peace and the olympic ideal.
what strikes me now is how all sports have been literally and ideaologically taken from the fans and active participants,and that they have then been sold back the empty husk.its not just politics and democracy which have been emptied of content.its more important things too.
i think the process of ticket sales here in the uk for 2012 olympics illustrates this brilliantly.its easy for me to belive that the main promoters are just going through the motions cynically,but to be reasonable(im not any more)even if i dont doubt their commitment,it would seem that anything under capitalism becomes "difficult"and problematic.
stage 1 seems to have divided the total tickets into various portions including britain,all other countries(each seperately),sponsors,and possibly participants.all interested and able in the uk the took part in alottery applying for tickets of choice.it seems 18 or 20+million tickets were applied for,with only 6 million for sale.application depended on access to computers to register and order,and then a particular kind of credit card.so my wife ordered for herself and our children using my credit card.over the lats week or so tickets have been allocated.yet because i dont use the computer to "bank"i cant find out whether my family will have recieved tickets.only at some point in the future will they find out what they have got,if anything and its very likley to be nothing.some families have gone to complex and risky ends to get tickets,clocking up predicted expenditure of up to £36,000.in some cases each member of extended family groups may have made exactly similar applications,so the permutations of outcome is itself mindnumbing.someone those who got nothing get another chance on a first come first serve basis.it also seems that some sports stars have not even recieved tickets for their children or partners or other clsoe family to see their own events which really does seem bizarre.but again is suggest this illustratse how capitalism does and does not work.everything is "alienated"and "commodified".whether it is true or not it might look like a conspiracy against the ordinary people,tipped to certain others advantage including inevitably the sporting and business elite-and that does not include the sportswomen and men themselves.many working class londonmers will live within yards of the venues but wont get sight or take part in any of it.initiatives to bring (local)schoolchildren in seem to have failed.
london in 1948,the last time the olympics was here could not have been more different.that was when orwell was railing against the connection of sports/politics/peace.if he was wrong then,he was prophetic abot how it happens now.
i suggest that a look at any other sport now might lead to similar conclusions.if my family and me wnet to the british grand prix this year basic costs would probaly near £1,000 with ease.its no longer pocket money for a child to go to football on a saturday,its a hefty credit card transaction.at the top of the sport F1 drivers and footballers get paid millions,and at the bottom even in professional sport its still low workers wages.
capitalism is absurd.and i believe if we take away"being reasonable"or accepting that the connection between a description and its object is at best fuzzy or approximate,then it remains absurd.
so dont get me started on the bankers!
i can only home that socialism might fully return sport to a different reality in which those tsesting their own and other human endeavours might return to a meaningful "place"it has never inhabited before,or at least since classs society which alienates everything from itself.
i would also hope it might help each individual construct a better more healthy relationship between mind,body and human spirit.i dont know what sport does for the self image of women but sport under capitalism does nothing to help me feel comfortable with myself or the world.but then what can i expect.this is alien,alienated capitalism which is absurd.