G C Lichtenberg: “It is as if our languages were confounded: when we want a thought, they bring us a word; when we ask for a word, they give us a dash; and when we expect a dash, there comes a piece of bawdy.”

H. P. Lovecraft: "What a man does for pay is of little significance. What he is, as a sensitive instrument responsive to the world's beauty, is everything!"

Martin Amis: “Gogol is funny, Tolstoy in his merciless clarity is funny, and Dostoyevsky, funnily enough, is very funny indeed; moreover, the final generation of Russian literature, before it was destroyed by Lenin and Stalin, remained emphatically comic — Bunin, Bely, Bulgakov, Zamyatin. The novel is comic because life is comic (until the inevitable tragedy of the fifth act);...”

Werner Herzog: “We are surrounded by worn-out, banal, useless and exhausted images, limping and dragging themselves behind the rest of our cultural evolution.”

John Gray: "Unlike Schopenhauer, who lamented the human lot, Leopardi believed that the best response to life is laughter. What fascinated Schopenhauer, along with many later writers, was Leopardi’s insistence that illusion is necessary to human happiness."

Justin E.H. Smith: “One should of course take seriously serious efforts to improve society. But when these efforts fail, in whole or in part, it is only humor that offers redemption. So far, human expectations have always been strained, and have always come, give or take a bit, to nothing. In this respect reality itself has the form of a joke, and humor the force of truth.”

विलास सारंग: "… . . 1000 नंतर ज्या प्रकारची संस्कृती रुढ झाली , त्यामध्ये साधारणत्व विश्वात्मकता हे गुण प्राय: लुप्त झाले...आपली संस्कृती अकाली विश्वात्मक साधारणतेला मुकली आहे."

Monday, November 26, 2007

England, India Go Missing from Big Sports Tourneys. Does it matter?

England has failed to qualify for Euro 2008. The British economy, by one estimate, could lose out on a £2 billion payoff...

Paul Doyle of The Guardian said:

"...The brutal truth of tonight's 3-2 defeat is this: England aren't one of the best 16 teams in Europe, let alone a world football power.

Blame it on the manager if you want, or a decadent society that means the country's current crop of players are more a bling generation than a golden one. Or perhaps it would be better to blame it on a blind fear and loathing of foreigners, the malaise that moved English fans to boo the Croatian national anthem before the game..."

Sunil Gavaskar wrote (Sportstar November 10, 2007):

“…. England’s failure to qualify for Euro 2008 would be akin to India not making it to the main draw of Asia cup.”

This comparison is not fair. The field for qualification for Euro 2008 was much stronger than Asia cup cricket.

But the point is taken. Gavaskar has always enjoyed rubbing it in when it comes to England. Me too!

The fair comparison would be England’s this failure with India's failure to qualify for the final stage of Cricket World Cup

Gavaskar also said:”…the English players are far more concerned about their club than their country…”

This may also happen to Indian cricketers once professional cricket leagues (Zee and BCCI) in India take off.

Does this loss matter to either team? I think not.

Football in England and Cricket in India are locomotives of massive commercial interests. Those interests keep everybody (media, fans, advertisers, sponsors, commentators, coaches) still follow the losers as closely as winners. In fact, winning or losing is only incidental.

I feel cricket matches in India in future may be organized like free-style wrestling bouts involving brothers, Dara Singh and Randhawa, at Vallabbhai Patel Stadium, Worli in the past: Opponents get beaten by Indian team to give Indian fans a huge high.

Team Croatia played excellent football on Wednesday. But I don't know a single Croatian footballer!

However, I know many English footballers thanks to their scantily dressed wives and girlfriends (WAGs), who keep making appearances on the pages of Indian newspapers almost every single day! Thank goodness, my familiarity with Indian cricketers is more direct!

For example, Carly Zucker of Joe Cole fame appears very often:




Artist: R K Laxman Times of India March 20, 2007