Euro, Orlando, etc.

L'hommage au statu quo

In the same way, as the time before and the time after, they will reveal the dead, their story, the details of the one who had just gotten married, of the other who started a fantastic job on Monday; of the one who « should have » spent the evening in the club but had missed his train; they will relay the cries of the bereaved parents, brothers, sisters, their last calls, their last contact.

They will relay the absurd, while participating in it, until the next time. They will bring back the same debates, about carrying a gun, about violence in the United States. They will create the battleground where the politicians, Trump and Clinton, and later the others, who have recovered the event, each expecting the growth of their votes, will narrate how one has shocked « the opinion » with his words, the way the other has remained sober.

They will talk about it, and while they are talking about it, the event will slowly fade away already, to make room for the next « big game »; the media arena will open the stage to the new « scoop », to the thing to say, to do, to see, to eat, to drink, where everything is basically about one thing: making money. Euro or horror, all this is only the fruit of the big money factory, causes and effects mixing strangely.

But above all, what about the politicization of the tribute? Is it not the mark of respect towards this world and its system, the tacit acceptance of what is

Let’s have some fun! To amuse people, to unite them behind the great soccer « cause », to make them forget… Hollande and his gang dream of it, their political « enemies » too, each one pulling the cover for himself. The Belgians also have the spirit elsewhere, the flags floating in the wind in the gardens, in the windows; the rear-view mirrors being dressed with the tricolor, the roofs of the cars of the horns of the devil, distributed by the newspapers which « make the information », the supermarkets and the banks… It took a lot of work for the 

Panem et circenses

(bread and circuses)

of ancient Greece to become a worldwide spectacle where modern gladiators are the new gods. Gathered under this superb illusion of « national team », the Belgian, French or other players are however only the moment of a Euro or a World Cup, being always simple products that are exchanged on the international market, the winner being the one who gives the most. One plays in Germany, the other in Saudi Arabia… they « go home » for the Euro.

In Brussels, between two games, we will pay tribute to Orlando. With luck, the Place de la Bourse was emptied of the flowers and offerings from the March 22 attacks, leaving the space vacant for the new wreaths. We pay tribute, that is to say, we express  » a mark of respect towards something « . But towards what? If in the heads of some citizens, there is a real empathy towards the victims of this world, with a lucid awareness of what is going on, what can we say about the others?

But above all, what about the politicization of the tribute? Is it not the mark of respect towards this world and its system, the tacit acceptance of what is, the silence on what is not? The football-industry being one of the most beautiful manifestations of this show. Because during the Eucharist of soccer, one should not disturb the party, one should not dare to spoil the pleasure, to let the subject take his television host. So don’t question all this, this frenzy, these only gatherings of individualities that the dominant media show. You either like it or you don’t: « soccer is not political », and the French government knows it, it which in its official advice as for the good behaviors to adopt in the stadiums and in the surroundings, stated:  » not to make political, ideological, insulting, racist or xenophobic remarks « . Even if the Ministry of the Interior later defended itself, what most commentators failed to note, pointing to a clumsiness in governmental communication or a genuine attempt to avoid mutinies in soccer arenas (pure invention, seeing fans, apart from hitting each other in the face between opposing teams, This is the deep essence of the depoliticization of modern soccer and the distraction it represents — besides placing the footballer in the position of a « star » who illuminates suburban kids and various football aficionados, forgetting that the one they would like to resemble is a parasite who, indirectly, participates in their misery.

The soccer show is a deep homage to our liberal capitalist consumerist societies. To gather at his masses is to « mark our respect », to pay homage(1) to the silver god(2). And, in this strange gathering of facts that everything seems to oppose, one recognizes in the homage to the victims of Orlando orchestrated by the mass media, for which a minute of silence is held during the Euro, something similar…

Have a good game.

Alexandre Penasse


Notes et références
  1. Quelques synonymes de « hommage », significatifs : « admiration, considération, déférence, égard, estime, ménagement, respect, révérence ».
  2. Faut-il le préciser, la réflexion n’est pas une attaque contre le spectateur du match, elle dépasse cette question pour penser le fait d’un point de vue sociologique et voir le rôle qu’il remplit dans la société.

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