Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Football and the Philosophers

There's an amusing column in the Basler Zeitung today in which Siegfried Schibli takes passages from famous philosophers and replaces one central word in each passage by the word "football." ("Soccer" to you American readers of this blog.)

The funniest one is from Schopenhauer: "Bisher subsumierte man den Begriff Fussball unter den Begriff Kraft: dagegen mache ich es gerade umgekehrt und will jede Kraft in der Natur als Fussball gedacht wissen. Man glaube ja nicht, dass dies Wortstreit, oder gleichgültig sei: vielmehr ist es von der allerhöchsten Bedeutsamkeit und Wichtigkeit. Denn dem Begriffe Kraft liegt, wie allen andern, zuletzt die anschauliche Erkenntnis der objektiven Welt, d. h. die Erscheinung, die Vorstellung, zum Grunde, und daraus ist er geschöpft." Die Welt als Wille und Vorstellung, Zweites Buch, 1818. Das Wort "Wille" wurde durch "Fussball" ersetzt.

One could try to the same thing with poems:

"You gave me footballs first a year ago;
"They called me the football girl."
—Yet when we came back, late, from the Football garden,
Your arms full, and your hair wet, I could not
Speak, and my eyes failed, I was neither
Living nor dead, and I knew nothing,
Looking into the heart of light, the silence.


Let be be finale of seem.
The only football is the football of ice-cream.


O body swayed to music, O brightening glance,
How can we know the footballer from the football?


SOMETHING there is that doesn't love a football,
That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,


Shall I compare thee to a football match?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate.


Whither is fled the football's gleam?
Where is it now, the glory and the dream?


For football, though it have no tongue, will speak
With most miraculous organ, I'll have these Players
Play something like the football of my father
Before mine uncle.

1 comment:

mrjumbo said...

Into the football of death rode the six hundred.

Oh say, does that star-spangled football yet wave?

I saw the best footballs of my generation destroyed by madness

Like a football on a wire . . .

Look on my football, ye mighty, and despair!

A friend of the football is a friend of mine

Take up the White Man's football--
The savage wars of peace--

Midway upon the journey of our life
I found myself within a forest dark,
For the football had been lost.

(I suspect it works best with turgid overwritten stuff that needs to have some air let out of it in the first place, but I'd have to try more samples with good and bad lines to really test that guess.)