Wednesday, March 28, 2007

praying to lose football games

sorry, fans but to me, football (soccer) is not only infantile it is also awfully pedestrian. it is far less a sport than an occasion to group, identify, meld with the mass, strip off inhibitions guiding proper behavior and blow steam - both for player and spectator. myself? i hate crowds, groups, masses, dis-individuation of any sort, have few social inhibitions and i don't behave properly anyway, so who needs football? it takes too long (a minimum of two hours wasted? no!), is uncouth and unless you are watching someone absolutely special like the once-upon-a-time legendary pele, it is a totally frenzied flurry of what freudians would call sadistic activity.

worse, for cultures that allow few other outlets or "sublimations" for primeveal urges, it becomes a unique reason for participation mystique, situational and transient bonding, strife for a sense of superiority and in case of loss, occasion for venting out pent up violent anger at anything.

some 10 years ago, when galatasaray had just begun winning games outside turkey, after a so-called victory kalashnikovs were sounding in the streets. so i called 155 (turkey's natiional police dial-up, like 911 or 999) to complain. no answer for minutes. i then called the traffic number, 154 and told my story. "where do you live sir?" the man asked and i almost started citing the address of the friend's house i was staying, when he went on "we won the game!".

no, i did not feel like a tratior when the poor policeman said that but i did lower my national expectancy a few notches. now, we are more officially sensitive to football violence but since nobody can link "football" and "violence" mentally, everybody insistently abstracts each concept from the other and lays the blame on "fanatic supporters" as nevertheless violence spreads deeper every week of the league season. as the national gun association says, "guns don't kill people"...

just for reasons of basic survival and peace of mind, i pray for turkish teams to lose in all international events. i hate officiallly sanctioned hordes roaming mindlessly in traffic, jam packing already clotted city arteries, yelling incoherently, exhuming their libido barely buried under the surface into that forced co-ed camaraderie born of a shared affect, eventually leading to lewdness or worse resulting in fights over women or booze and of course firing guns into innocent bystanders of all definitions, including other stupefied merry makers.

even worse, a false sense of ephemeral superiority wafts in the air as flags dominate buildings, vows of allegience are sung and the media bleat or graffitize elegies for the victorious, with ill concealed glee implying the victory is immanent in the valor of the victor. we win because we are turks, galatasaraians and so on.

can anybody explain the weird existence of trabzon in turkish social - political and cultural life without touching on the phenomenon of trabzonspor?

now that turkey has beat greece 4-1 at home, and at that, after the "enemy" scored first, the football jihad is in full force flow again. next to be brought on its knees is norway. there is no need of course, to compare the quality of life in greece or norway with turkey or commit similar intellectual acts of treason - ours not to reason... ours to kick and cry... period.!

the glee over the victory over greece reminds me of burcu sunar's master thesis, where at one point she puts forth the proposition, based mostly on c.g. jung, that the turco-greek love/hate affair is a gendered relationship / rivalry, with everything reaching into sexual overtones where turkey, the masculine beast, tries to establish its phallic dominance over the feline femininity of greece with his penetrating (goal posts and willowing nets?) strength. greece, more clever and conniving gets her behind bitten at times but usually hisses and spits at turkey perched on a high wall he cannot attain; such as europe!

one last word on football: i totally disdain the national team coach, fatih terim. he stands for everything that i hate in this community, which i believe, is what chains the country to a stagnant and putrid time frame that will never pass unless all that mental garbage is disposed of. however, i take my hat off to fatih terim this once, for what i (the zap freak) caught him saying on the eve of the match: "whatever the outcome, we will shake hands and congratulate each other once the game is over". and i admit that it was less the words than the authority behind the statement. it was his personality that made what he said sound "true".

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