Saturday, April 21, 2007

Soccer=War (?), part II

Dutch historian Johan Huizinga (1872-1945) has an aesthetic approach to history; art and spectacle are important in cultures. Huizinga defines play in Homo Ludens (in my translation) as “a voluntary act or activity, which occurs according to voluntary accepted but binding rules within preset boundaries of space and time, with play itself as reason [i.e. a game is not played for extrinsic utility], accompanied with a feeling of excitement and joy, and with a sense of ‘being different’ than ‘real life’.” Soccer, war and religion can be seen, according to Huizinga, as forms of playing (the movie '300' after Frank Miller's comic book is a depiction of a ludic battle, i.e. courage depends on certain rules of the game and cowardice is then seen as cheating). When the boneks (fanatic soccer supporters) go around Bandung to voice their happiness with a Persib (Persatuan Sepakbola Indonesia Bandung) win, they wear the color blue to show their closeness to this Bandung soccer club.

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