2012in the U.K is a somewhat dreadful year to be me. The monarchy are outrageous with pomp and ceremony, as the old bat on the throne celebrates sixty years of nothing. The government celebrates moving to levels of bastardliness that would probably make The Eye of Sauron go "Whoah! A step too far there guys!" And worst of all, The Olympics. Let me make this clear. I despise sports. I despise competitive sports, I despise athletic sports, I despise things that even try and masquerade as sports, like snooker or darts. I despise the spectatorship of sports. I despise those who play sports. Me and sports are not on each others Christmas card lists, in short.
Sport to me has always represented to me the most boring and unnecessary way to spend time ever. Even above voluntarily watching The Only Way Is Essex or something. Ever since I was young, sport was drummed into my mind to be the pinnacle of everything. If you had no aptitude for it whatsoever, like I had, you might as well just throw yourself into a well. The grisly spectre of P.E haunted my days in primary and secondary schools. It made my life miserable. That to measure someones achievement based on something as arbitrary and pointless as how physically able they were seemed bewilderingly pointless. And still, I couldn't escape, no matter how many times I made it clear I possessed no abilities nor enthusiasm for it. That those who exceled in the mindless means of exercise were popular and attractive to everyone else just made me more miserable, when I was just 16, clumsy and shy. Sports at school seemed to triumph over learning and education. There were teams and clubs for all manner of sports, all enshrined as wondrous things. Nothing, meanwhile for anyone who didn't want sports. The Drama Club or Debating Society never got any attention, it was all reserved for mindless gym monkeys who got the adulation of their peers instead. P.E fostered bullying, mindless childish bullying too. You aren't up to the standard of physical excellence needed for this class? Fuck you, you get mocked by your peers and teachers. You have no coordination, balance or spatial awareness due to dyspraxia? Fuck you, you get mocked by your peers and teachers. Mandatory sports and physical education did not help anyone, except jocks. For the rest of us it only reinforced differences between us and them, and made it clear that you could only get anywhere in life by being physicaly competant. P.E is not 'character building', it's bullying and abuse, plain and simple.
At least we don't exist in the U.S I say, where male students get the benefits of a free college education purely on the merits of their accomplishments in American football. It makes you want to retch.
Even out of education, people automaticaly assume you like sport, as though it's a genetic requirement. People ask me what's my favourite football team, what game did I last see, what chances do I think England have in this match. It's ludicrous. I am a history student and I love history, but I don't assume that everyone else shares this burning passion. I don't make small-talk with strangers about what their opinion of the Battle of Stalingrad is. Sport is rammed down my throat, is permeated into every sphere of my life, whether I like it or not (which I don't) in every advert, tv show, magazine, it rears its ugly head frequently as though if I'm exposed to it enough, I might just like it. It only makes me hate it more. As I said, because sport enforces social divisions, whenever friends watch it, or play it, it just makes me feel that I don't really know them. That I don't have much in common with them if they partake so often in something that will always be alien to me. It's like I'm in Invasion of the Bodysnatchers, and they're the pod people.
I hate how obnoxious, loudmouthed and violent sports fans can get. There is not much point in even discussing this in detail, for the profileration of football gangs, of fights and scuffles on and off the playing fields, sometimes in a drunken stupour, of the wide-eyed, demonic passion these people have for something so pathetic and tedious is well known. Train-spotters, the archeptypal dweebs mocked often by jockish types don't have violent physical confrontations on whether that was a British Rail Class 46 or 47 that just went past. Only sport has this violent, confrontational aspect to it, fueled by the rise of binge drinking and laddishness. When I demonstrate knowledge or a liking of something that could be perceived as nerdy or socially unpopular, I get mocked. When someone demonstrates an equally nerdy degree of knowledge on something sporting related, they are respected, and interesting. Even people I know are somewhat unrecognisable when they are drawn in to this tedium of sport. Again, bullies and the violent seem to be inextricably linked with team sports and sports fandom like they were in P.E.
Sports to me, seems an evolutionary throwback. The racist, sexist, homophobic and the physicaly violent are not shunned from society as they ought to be, but are instead celebrated as heroes, as athletic gods, and as a good example for children. Purely because of their muscles, or their ability to run, or kick, or jump. It makes them seemingly above criticism. It makes me die in side that they are viewed above scientists and writers, above poets and artists in our culture and our society. It makes me deeply, deeply miserable. Even the structure of the sports themslves are full of areas for criticism. They are deeply sexist for one. (who'da thunk it)
And of course, my hatred of sport (having saved this til last as it's a pretty normal complaint) also include the point that sport is JUST SO DULL. Of course, I won't deny this is personal preference, but never in my life have I see so many people being appealed to something so boring. People running about and kicking a ball occasionally is not fun or interesting. Face it losers.
And now, in the year of the Olympics in London, I am meant to raise some faux-patriotism from the deep dark recesses of my mind and support Britain in the race for mindless physical dominance when I'd rather do anything but. To which I can say, fuck you. As H.L Mencken once said, "I hate all sports as rabidly as a person who likes sports hates common sense."