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Tony Grist

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Public Beatings [Jul. 13th, 2019|11:10 am]
Tony Grist
Can it really be the case that watching tennis makes me irritable? 

Could be.

Sport works on the nerves- and wakes the tribal instinct. I would like to think I watch tennis as a display of skills- and am indifferent as to the outcome of matches- but the fact is I did want Roger to win.

Or- to use less regenerate language- to "beat" Rafa. Not very high consciousness: to enjoy watching one man "beat" another. And not so far from what went on in the Roman circuses. 

Here's the essential difference between sport and art- that no-one ever came out of the theatre wanting to beat someone up because Lear and Cordelia are dead. 
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: pondhopper
2019-07-13 01:46 pm (UTC)

I hate it when I consciously want one side or the other to win. I'm more a football fan than tennis but same principle whether it's one person or a whole team.

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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2019-07-13 03:29 pm (UTC)
There have been a lot of matches these past couple of weeks that I've watched without caring too much about the outcome- but when it comes to the top singles players I find I have my preferences.
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[User Picture]From: halfmoon_mollie
2019-07-13 02:03 pm (UTC)
A great big raspberry to you. I wanted Rafa to beat the crap out of Roger - because I'm thinking he hasn't got too many years left as a tennis player.

But since it's going to be Roger against that mannerless poor sport Serb, I will hope Roger wins that one.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2019-07-13 03:24 pm (UTC)
The Federer story is so extraordinary- a guy who won most of his titles ten years ago and is still hanging on in there, playing at the highest level and every so often winning a major; it would be a fabulous achievement if he could add one more Wimbledon title to the total.

I like Rafa too. It's tough to watch either of them lose.
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[User Picture]From: madman101
2019-07-13 04:21 pm (UTC)
Sports can be great when competetion is transcended by fairness, as in the Olympic ideal. And, I think it serves basic human drives, be they reptilian, including achieving goals, gaining health, and even matching an opponant.

Sports, like everything else, has fallen prey to money, avarice, drugs, cheating, and so on, because it is worshipped or covetted, losing its essence, which is similar to that of art, to nourish the soul. Art, in general, however, tends to appeal less to the limbic brain and body, than to the neocortex or heart. What is art, (and what is sport), is a blurry question - there is a Ven diagram overlap.

Having lived with many artists, I know that some of them can be, or become, highly competitive and dissolute. I have known art-snobs who were vain, petty, angry people, moreso than would be justified in the real world outside of their community. And, there has been a lot of stuff called art which has triggered much discord, and sometimes hate bordering on the energy of a soccer riot. - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Mapplethorpe

(Another confusing meld: Video games!)

I really do agree with you about the negative effects of sports, for some reasons mentioned above. I also think a major problem is that spectators empathise vicariously and thus, (like experiencing stress in the office), they often do not have a physical or real release for their ramped-up energy. The negativity can internalise and even encourage illness or violence. I had a UK minister LJ friend who enthusiastically watched a big game on TV, and later wrote of a serious fight he had with his wife, never connecting the two. And, of course, alcohol was involved.

I get bored watching sports on TV, and long lost the fantasy of liking them, (goaded to do so by society). Other people seem naturally interested. Some people are negatively affected. But I do believe it is possible to watch sports without the negative effects, especially in the 'Olympian' way, as many people otherwise uninterested will come over to watch on very special occasions. (Paired up with professional watchers might not be a good idea, lol).

To some degree, it can be external factors which turn the sports viewer into an angry Hun. These may be social, psychological, economic or environmental. Meat. Beer. Kids. Watching and feeling all-powerful, whilst being relatively powerless in reality, can be a big factor. But, teasing out all of these factors would require a whole lot of reseach, which any sports-craving population would refuse to fund.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2019-07-13 06:18 pm (UTC)
I believe incidents of domestic violence peak in the aftermath of big football matches.

I have mixed feelings about the Olympics. On one hand it shows us functioning as One World. On the other there's massive corruption and lots of nationalistic chest beating and flag waving.


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[User Picture]From: madman101
2019-07-14 02:15 am (UTC)
Right. I have gauged the phenomenon of various violence, arguments, etc., after the Superbowl, in this neighbourhood, etc. It's very real. Maybe not so much lately, though, as sports are losing some popularity, (for the moment).

I feel the same way about the Olympics. They also eat up land, money and harm the poor. The earlier games were more modest and closer to the ideal.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2019-07-14 07:11 am (UTC)
I've never understood why the Olympics have to cost so much money.

I'd cut back on all the razz-matazz and establish a permanent site for them- preferably in Greece.

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