Hardcore for Nerds

"Why sneer at the intellectuals?"*
punk music, left politics, and cultural history - previously found here.
contact: gabbaweeks[at]gmail.com (sorry, no promos/submissions, thanks) or ask
Dublin/Galway, Ireland. 26, history graduate & human rights student
HFN | Best New Punk | HFN 2012 2011 2010 2009 | HRO 2k9 | Hoover Genealogy Project | @HC4N
*from the title of a review of Arthur Koestler's Arrival and Departure by Michael Foot, Evening Standard, Nov. 26, 1943.
Jun 14
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autoschadenfreude

"The imagined community of millions seems more real as a team of eleven named people." Eric Hobsbawm - now available as a t-shirt, as advertised in The Guardian!

I am not a sports fan, but I don’t wish to seem as if I think myself superior to those that are. I just wish it wasn’t the required common ground of social interaction, something of which awareness is demanded and expected more so than, say, democratic politics.

I might even go so far as to say I’ll be glad when/if Ireland doesn’t beat Spain in tonight’s game*; the idea of ‘the country’ getting some sort of joyful catharsis from the success of their football team (ironically against another bailout country with over-indebted banks and very high unemployment) makes me uncomfortable. It’s not that I begrudge people their happiness, or their distraction from everyday woes, except I do when its based on the identifying of a nation with the exploits of a single sports team.

It’s not that I particularly dislike soccer, the beautiful game, except I do generally find it too dull to watch; nor do I object to patriotism, or the idea that we should collectively feel proud for those who achieve in our name - but in a tournament of team games, there’s no outstanding achievement except winning your matches and doing sufficiently better than the other teams, no necessarily great athletic, mental or creative feat for us all to be especially proud of. Instead, defeat reclaims our country for ourselves and our actual existence, not the nationalist dreams of vicarious sporting success…

*it’s currently 1-0 to Spain, close to half-time

euro 2012 irish sport irony
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Jan 11
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US soldiers form hurling club - Newswhip.ie

A great transatlantic ‘good news’ story, even though I don’t particularly like sports or soldiery (politically, that is, although I respect people for doing the jobs they signed up to do). In between Eye-raq and Eye-reland it’s just a bunch of guys really getting into part of a foreign culture, our national sport (or one of them, at least - more distinctive than Gaelic football) which appeals to the American taste for a “high-scoring, physical game” and through its historical origins as a warrior sport. Ironically, the inspiration for this team - the Shannon stopover for refuelling purposes, where they saw a game on TV in the bar - is a controversial issue, especially on the left, here on Ireland with regards to our general policy of neutrality and the desire not to be associated with US military actions. But I don’t begrudge them a great sport - ‘Go Ahead And Call It Curling One More Time’!

irish sport american exceptionalism
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Nov 14
Permalink irish politics sport the germans are coming!
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Oct 08
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Pitch’n’Putt with Beckett’n’Joyce

found this in the comments to a Guardian article on The Joy of Six: Sports comedy sketches (which includes the Irish Apres Match series, whose one about rugby fans is a great portrayal of regionalism and patriotism - “I’ve come here to the Éire match with the Argentines, who we beat in the war, you might remember”). Best line? “Topic - all fecund in its nuttiness”

books irish joyce sport tv film
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Aug 17
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likeapairofbottlerockets:

Los Campesinos! - Straight in at 101/It’s Never Enough

LOVE the acoustic version of my favorite track off Romance is Boring.

It’s nice to be able to hear the lyrics undistracted by all the twee overload, which is why I think I’ve never really liked the band previously (compared to a band with similarly impressionistic, but more obtuse and less musically central, lyrics such as Q and not U). Much like this line in Marc Hogan’s Pitchfork review: “Gareth is obsessed with bodies, these new arrangements make it easier to notice the beautifully overwrought Roald Dahl vividness with which he describes them”. Or, after his recent stage-diving injury, that’s Gareth “back on my feet quicker than Cristiano Ronaldo after winning a free kick” Campesinos!

159 plays
books post-punk sport uk sex
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Aug 06
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Did we win? Did we lose? Who’s “we”?

Live: The Arcade Fire Basically Own Madison Square Garden Now - New York Music - Sound of the City (via desnoise)

"(the chorus to "Wake Up" was full-participation soccer-stadium euphoria)"

I’ll guess it’ll be touchdown and conversion (do you call them that?) when it’s football stadium euphoria, then.

arcade fire indie sport american exceptionalism
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Jul 05
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An Taoiseach Brian Cowen with US ambassador to Ireland Dan Rooney and Joanne Richardson CEO of the American Chamber of Commerce.
Photograph: Conor McCabe
American eagle flies over Phoenix Park as Taoiseach helps kick off festivities - The Irish Times
Even though it is a football game, further proof of the inseparability of American men and white sneakers*…
(*I mean, they’re comfortable and I have a pair for walking, but generally I like something with some other colour and shape - like Chuck or Vans! - so I don’t look like a walking Tipp-Ex pen. Just sayin’)

An Taoiseach Brian Cowen with US ambassador to Ireland Dan Rooney and Joanne Richardson CEO of the American Chamber of Commerce.

Photograph: Conor McCabe

American eagle flies over Phoenix Park as Taoiseach helps kick off festivities - The Irish Times

Even though it is a football game, further proof of the inseparability of American men and white sneakers*…

(*I mean, they’re comfortable and I have a pair for walking, but generally I like something with some other colour and shape - like Chuck or Vans! - so I don’t look like a walking Tipp-Ex pen. Just sayin’)

sport irish
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Permalink sport irish
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Jul 03
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and all the birds of the rockbysuckerassousyoceanal sea

James Joyce, Finnegans Wake (384.04)

I haven’t read this far, I just found the line by putting ‘soccer’ into this rather intimidating search engine for FW. According to its annotations, this word is a combination of ‘rugby’, ‘suck’ (as in oral sex…possibly ‘her ass’), ‘soccer’, ‘ass’, ‘associational’, obviously enough ‘ocean’, and ‘anal’ (again as in sex). So it’s fairly clear that Joyce was familiar with a wide range of terms, about which he had mixed feelings to say the least.

joyce books finnegans wake sport language irish
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