Tuesday, June 15, 2010

watching, ready, contrast

Posted by PicasaStarling and two dandelions outside The Town Hall.

"Ready for the match tonight!" says a delivery man outside the TunbridgeWells Bar and Grill to a passing friend. It's football of course. All the pubs in the town have big tv screens so that people can watch together and drink steadily during the match. It is not a game that they are watching but a tribal ritual  in which they can partake accompanied by unrestrained  and generous libation. Now that the World Cup matches in South Africa are  played to the continuous sound of the vuvuzela, a traditional African horn, which has become part of the spectator contribution to the game in the Republic, the impression of a ritual performance becomes all the more intense.  As the sound is successfully communicated by the television transmitters, British football fans are being initiated into what must be seen as a new dimension of the game. The sound, if you haven't heard it, is like the buzzing of an enormous swarm of insects raised to a level, which some people might find excruciating particularly as it seems to be unbroken and emitted  regardless of what is happening on the field.

In Chapel Place I catch sight of a man about my age. He has a trim white moustache and wears a yachting cap. Hanging from the lobe of one ear is a porcelain ear ring.

1 comment:

marja-leena said...

In North America, we call your football "soccer", as opposed to the American football. Amazingly this year, FIFA has become more popular than ever here in Canada, with scenes in pubs like you describe, especially the Italians and other immigrant groups from countries that are participating. It truly seems to be an excuse for the kind of male bonding that calls for lots of libation and noise, as you describe. A few young women too, I notice!