Monday, August 23, 2010

A Little Arjy-Bargy Goes a Long Way

I have read and watched a fair amount about hooliganism, yet I don't feel that it is something that I can really get a handle on. It is a discussion that I have frequently with my British band-mates, who are fellow fans of the footy. America is a terribly violent nation in so many ways and our sporting culture verges on the cromagnon at times. How then have we seemingly avoided this tumor of numskullery? Is our senseless violence already sated in gang warfare, racial hatred and school shootings? I am not going to pose any theories just state the question. I had the good fortune to attend the University of Alabama, whose football rivalry with Auburn University is often described as the largest sports blood feud in America. I attended several Iron Bowls, and while they were raucous affairs, complete with a temporary jail within the stadium, neither team had factions seeking out violence. Most of the police presence was to protect drunken fans from themselves. I don't know if I am more surprised that this dark undercurrent lies in British society or that it has never reared its head in ours.

1 comment:

The Morholt said...

Maybe there is a catharsis in the Aristotelian sense, as he described in Poetics; the spectacle of violence leads to a purging of violent emotion. Soccer is not violent in the same way as Football.
Another possibility is simply that in the US, particularly in the South, if you start a violent confrontation, you need to be prepared for the very real possibility of being shot. I generally reject the notion that if everyone is armed it leads to a less violent milieu, but it is worth considering. The sorts of people in the USA who get worked up about sport are often the sort who keep a gun in the truck.
Neither of these suggestions are researched or established or even my real opinions, just the things that occur to me as i think about your question.

attempting to silence the voices in my head.