Sport and Art

I have always been someone who thinks that we need to exercise the mind and body equally. I think it vital to have knowledge of nutrition and how the body works as much as to have say, a handle on the historical currents that create societies. To be healthy is far more important than one’s age, to be wise a goal we should all hold dear.

That said I have to admit I do not understand professional sport. Amateur sport between friends, between neighbours, between town I get. But professional sport where a person spends their whole youth and sometimes middle age, vying in a sport with other people for money, seems to me to be the absolute definition of a wasted life.

I enjoyed gymnastics, I enjoyed Judo and messing about on fields pretending to play rugby and I recently bought inline skates to keep fit. But when i took up crewing on a two man dinghy it was to be on the sea, not to go round buoys three times to beat the other boats. Utterly boring way to spend an afternoon.

My guess is it is mock war and that keeps men under some sort of control. It gives poor people with little education a chance to make money with their physical abilities. It takes dedication, but then so does reading.

And now I see the advertising, the merchandising associated with sports I realise it is another part of the Disney world we are being fed and a complete waste of time.


Sports traditionally have had nothing to do with the taking part and everything to do with gaining respect.

They started as part of the martial training of men and developed into a way for many people with poor outlooks but a natural talent, to become well known within their communities. Just as fine soldiers used to be feted so too were athletes of prowess.

It is also a way of gaining respect for oneself if one has few other talents. The idea though that sport makes one a better person, more adept and able, is a nonsense. The natural communication and experiences of life do not go away just because one is a sportsperson and the challenges and problems though different in character are not different in nature, to anyone else. Whatever one chooses to do in life will change you and make you into the person you become. Sport has no pre-eminence in this regard over any of other activity.

Sport is also a cure for nothing. It is a channel for talent and often anger, to mold a person into a sportsman or woman. Whatever that means.

Exams and Playtime

There is a report out that suggests that exam results are poorer if the exams are held during big football events. Never having been a  follower of sport I don’t exactly see the importance but I can see several things about this that show how weak our priorities are becoming.

For those who don’t revise properly there seems to be a feeling that there are not enough years to enjoy oneself and every possible time should be taken, including the ones in the few formative years when we take our initial exams.

There is an acceptance of this in the answer given that exams should be set at times that do not clash with big sporting events.

Worse it would seem to me that most of the students effected by this are only watching on TV so it’s hardly a problem of participation, more a problem of being able to say one watched so one can discuss the results with one’s friends. The wrong kind of results in this instance.

But then very few of the overpaid sports people have good exam results anyway but quite a lot of expendable income, so perhaps there is wish-fulfillment here amongst certain students.

But our Government wants a certain percentage of students to be poor students because they expect them to be the ones who collect our rubbish and clean our streets.

And it is Governments who give out licenses to TV companies and make the laws about examinations. They hardly care.

Just Play The Game

I was always taught at school that sport was wonderful for one’s health, matured the mind and taught one to play fair. Then I heard a senior boy saying to his rugby team, ‘I want you to come off that field with blood on your shirt and I don’t want it to be yours.’ Fair? Mature?

I realised that sport is not about the game but about winning the game and how to train the mind and body to win. It is about pitting yourself against another person or group and trying to outwit and outplay them by having superior strength, speed or luck. If it wasn’t then no accidental play or own goal would ever be allowed because the benefiting team or individual would waver it. Advantage is always taken, training is always pretty intense, concentration is maximised because these traits are the traits of winners.

And you only have to listen to fans to get an idea of what winning means. It is more than the game; it the shining name, the medals and accolades,the cups, the whole charade of feeling good about oneself.

The hardest game of all we play against ourselves. A striving of nature and ethics, pitting ourselves against circumstances and taking the loses not with a smile or a joke, but with the determination to continue. There are no half times in life, no time-outs and no changing ends and no one gets to jump the net at the final ball.

Sport doesn’t train you for life, it is a poor reflection of nature. It doesn’t espouse much intellect and is saturated with chauvinism.

And all that negativity disappears when you play with your friends for the joy of being with friends.

The New Frontier

I have often thought that the search for knowledge should not just be an International effort based at NASA, but truly International with every country paying what it can for access to the knowledge and everyone sharing all the information. Not that that would ever happen because some knowledge would contain properties that different countries would take to other locations and explore on their own  (think of the weapons they will make from new physical properties.)

And why would they do that? Why would  no one be prepared to work as a species on any one area of knowledge like this? Because the knowledge out there is potentially powerful  and everyone is angling for their own country over any other.

And the reason they angle for their own country and cannot see the greater idea of working for the whole human race as a race, is because we are taught allegiance to flags from baby hood. Reinforced by everything we do. Because sport, where we usually come together in a jamboree ‘as one world’, is nothing more that ritualised brainwashing. Countries don’t come together, they vie with each other. That’s the lesson.

And we take that lesson with us for a lifetime.

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January 2019
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