One of the aims of City Srolls and the Glasgow User Manual is to point towards how things are connected with each other. It is for this reason I have added a sports section and a fashion section to the site. It should be of interest to anyone in the pursuit of spreading socialism, or improving the health of our communities, that, they communicate with people, within folks on experiences and interests. it is a fact that a lot of the population after a weeks toil head for the fashion outlets of the city, in order to spend there well earned cash. It is also true that a lot of people fill up sports stadia most saturdays, watching games of sport. and in the off season spend time watching sport on TV. Why not, sport is good fun. Sport can also be very emotional, which is why every newspaper dedicates half a dozen pages to it. Emotion sells.
Sport is also about big business and therefore politics. And indeed some of the most ferocious anti corporate rants against big business, are found on the back page, not in the front page or the editorial. What about the dedicated Manchester United fans. Supporters whose family members have followed the team for generations, deciding to give up their £400 season tickets, because they are sick of what the team now represents in the service of corporations. ( A brief visit to MUs site, you will see quickly what they mean)
So what did they do.They started their own football team. They can attract crowds of 5,000 to there games, families, kids in prams. Their idea – to bring community back into football.
What about Mohamed Ali, who gave up his world heavyweight boxing title and refused to fight in the “white mans war”, in Vietnam. Or;
The sports commentator, who interviewed some middle class Brazilians on their teams chances in the world cup. Who was answered. “We want our team to do well but we don’t want them to win the cup.” It was lost to the commentator to ask the next question – Why. If he did, he would have discovered. Each time Brazil, takes home a world cup, poor people suffer. Political machinations, business fraud, crime, murder and violence, reach new levels – while football victory, saturate the Brazilian, media – blotting out the plight of the poor, whose voice is lost in the fanfare. Why do oppressive countries invest in great football teams. It is not all to do with the skill of the nations players…
What happened in Athens, converting the city to world cup splendor”…In the last push of round the clock preparation alone, 13 laborers were killed at the service of making Athens, in the words of one Olympic official, “habitable for a global audience”.
Why are lots of New Yorkers, happy that the city didn’t get the Olympic games.
Watch what happens in London as the authorities unroll another fantasy that will make the “Dome” look like a coffee stall. And what of the reincarnation of Glasgow, into a “major conference centre” and the colonisation of the east end into a sports village (commonwealth games) If it goes ahead, will last about two weeks, then the real estate, will be left to the feeding frenzy of of developers.
People don’t go to sport events because they’re stupid. Sport is good fun, to watch and play and offers a relief and break for lots of people from the humdrum of working. What is bad about the culture of “sport” is the business interests that control and run it.
Of course telling people who enjoy sport, that the Olympic games, are bad news, will only get them looking at you as if you’re daft. The Olympic games coming to London, for a lot of hard working people, is a wonderful thing. What is crap about it is the amount of community infrastructure that will be destroyed in accommodating the event. But you can’t discus this aspect of it with people who enjoy sport, without first engaging in some conversation with the thing they like, or even love, before enlightening them about the down side of their pastime.
Like it or not the other side of sport is offering up political and business machinations that we all will sooner or later experience the effect of, as yet more cultural colonialism eats up our cities, under the banner of regeneration, of bank accounts. Maybe it’s time for the phobic, as well as the fan to look closer at these issues. Who knows they may have more in common than they think
Details of anything touched on here, can be found in the sports section. Send info to: