Sunday, July 13, 2014

The tourney of Riesling and Malbec

  Even if indigenous ethnicities
  were as influential in shaping
  regional sports teams as their
  national denomination would im-
  ply, the borders' artificiality
  would still trump superstition.
  Localities therefore only hap-
  lessly demand to be implicat-
  ed or vindicated in the play of
  arbitrary avatars. We sometimes
  designate our viticultural ex-
  ponents with the same aspiration,
  but we don't pit Riesling against
  Malbec to define itself, any more
  than we confine ourselves to pol-
  itical strictures of taste. Or do
  we. Our domain is chance, its sub-
  ject is play. It bears a smile.

i    Linus Wördemann

iii  David Adamo 


  1. Having read several of your postings concerning the sport of football (as it would be called, involving teams other than the US) I think the topic of ball sports suits rmbl well. I know, you have talked about lots of other sports. Rowing, to be sure, and others I can't recall at the moment. But your trope of soccer as wine, soccer as politics, soccer as masculinity is compelling. I am making a large assumption that, like me, you are not primarily a "sports" person (most fans of your page would agree that literature dominates). But you draw the connections well between sports and rmbl's other interests: food, wine, fashion, politics, music. This one particularly interests me as I have observed in the social media a nationalistic tone concerning these games that I imagine would have been very similar to a pre-WWI tone, were there the anonymity of online posting available at the time. How could one poor team represent the whole of a nation? It can't, but it can serve as the subject of our latent xenophobia. They are set up to be the whipping boy from the start. Thanks for pointing this out.

    1. I have always wanted there not to be a schism between literature and sport, as Homer showed there cannot be. But writing demands the same self-effacement and we don't believe in that much these days, and so our followings of sport, no less than our reservations, are deeply estranged from its nobility.