A. It now appears I am officially invited to the 2012 Olypmics (even if I am not worthy)
B. I think I’ve worked out what’s going on with Me vs Sports Fans
Once, when I was depressed about the direction of my life, I remember watching a bus go by with a movie advert plastered along the side of it and thinking to myself, “well, things could be worse, I could be an actress; then my life would be really pointless.”
And the poster featured Kristen Scott Thomas – who I ADORE, so that’s how black and white and tragic my thinking was at that time.
I mention this now — with respect to a question of sport, because the trouble I’ve had taking the sporting industry seriously is a bit like thinking actresses have no purpose.
There are things in life I’ve considered “real” and things I’ve considered “not real.” On the real end I would’ve listed work, health (and death), family, friends. On the not real end I would’ve listed fiction, TV shows (even reality ones), theatre, the movies, sporting events. I would’ve parked politics somewhere in between. Fairly unreal but with real consequences.
Not sure if that list confuses or explains the particular version of The
Matrix I created and lived within. This real/not real categorization is not reflective of conscious decisions I made. I’m just aware that for some reason I’d long assumed that work was real and sport was not. Therefore spending a disproportionate amount of time watching and reading about sport has struck me as reality avoidance.
But just as I recovered my senses with respect to the pointlessness of being Kristin Scott Thomas (who, if I wasn’t myself, I would very much like to be), I think I’m coming around a corner on the sports fan thing.
Just as I understand that fiction and the movies — that stories — maybe appear to be an optional, random, not-so-real feature of life but in fact are impossible to live without (they create meaning for us, break down stereotypes, help us reflect, teach us to think differently, have the power to inspire world peace and failing all that, entertain), I think I’ve taken away from Charlotte the importance of being a fan. Fanhood offers:
- a sense of community and affiliation
- a channel for our competitive natures that’s a whole lot less destructive than war
- meaning and ritual
- escape and entertainment
And all these things are real and essential to life. (Maybe even more so than work?) It’s just that it’s not in my nature to access these sorts of things by following a football team. But I’m pretty glad that a whole bunch of other people do.