Friday, July 2, 2010

I Maintain My Objection to Popular Things

Theodore Dalrymple, besides having a spectacular name, is quite right about soccer (er, football). Towards the end of his entirely reasonable article on snobbery, he sums up my thoughts:
On the subject of football, I am a snob. I do not detest the game as such, for I accept that it can be played with skill and achieve a kind of beauty, but rather the excessive importance attached to it by millions and hundreds of millions of my fellow beings. Try as I might to expunge the thought from my mind that this enthusiasm is a manifestation of human stupidity, I cannot.

1 comment:

  1. Yeah, I'm not sure how much of a category distinction exists between warranted and unwarranted snobbishness. Sports are a good example for this. Can one be appropriately snobbish about (say) football, but inappropriately snobbish about tennis, without resorting to a "well, a better sort of people watch tennis than watch football" argument? Similarly for music. I mean, one can be snobbish about what sorts of contemporary music one listens to, but what does one say to the person who's undertaken to listen to Bach's near-forgotten contemporaries, any one of whom makes today's 'musicians' deserving of the scare quotes?

    All of that is just to throw this thesis out there: maybe it's not the game (or music, or book, or movie) we should criticize, but it's players and fans for the way they play and appreciate it. What think you?