We told you that sport is merely a Baudrillardian Phase of the Image entity, and did you believe us?
Well, did you?
The Twenty20 Cricket World Cup was the proof that you needed.
Time for some elucidation.
War, what is it good for?
It is good for geopolitical posturing, the claiming of mineral rights, the creation of a cornered war economy, the dislocation of the public gaze from deep state shenanigans…
And it is good for sporting performance.
Sport is war, with the grizzly bits now omitted – no eye-gouging, no tackles from behind and only one bouncer per over, thank you very much.
Sport is sanitised war as a spectacle but, psychologically, it is another beast entirely.
Whenever we approach any analysis of an international sporting event, the feelgood factor is a core grouping of configurative parameters, of far more weighted consequence than most of the peripheral irrelevancies focused on by the Fourth (E)State.
But we don’t wish to focus on the complexities of including percentage change in GDP into a trading model, do we?
We want to assess the impact of war.
The two finalists in the Twenty20 were Pakistan and Sri Lanka, and each team were markedly bolstered by the actions of their military against minority groupings within their own population.
This wasn’t war against a common enemy but, rather, ‘war against themselves’, or the disenfranchised sections of ‘themselves’.
But, analytically, the impact was coincident and, some might say, enhanced.
Both Pakistan and Sri Lanka markedly overperformed in the Twenty20 and it is our conjecture that ‘war against themselves’ provides a greater short-term fillip to a sporting nation than ‘war against others’.
‘War against others’ has enhanced risk – risk of a determined fightback, risk of unknown weapons, risk of collaboration of other states against your interest, risk of media exposure of war atrocities and crimes (as if war is able to be anything other than atrocious and criminal) and, most importantly, risk of treading on the mineral rights of the hyperpower and their entourage of client states.
The risk-reward equation has the propensity to be very messy in such scenarios.
Sun Tzu would have tut-tutted.
But ‘war against themselves’ is different.
You are able to obliterate vast numbers of your citizens in Tamil Eelam or the Swat Valley and all of the risk is removed.
Control of airspace, seaspace, landspace and, indeed, space prevents any fightback by choking off weapon supplies.
No state will work against your aims as you may always claim that your slaughters are merely an internal matter. This also leads to the exclusion the world media, in that such a thing exists.
If some concoction of hyperreality allows for the ‘themselves’ to be labelled "terrorist" then better still, as untrammelled state terror trumps Tamil/Taliban terror any day of the week.
There is also the added ‘joker’ to be played in ‘war against themselves’ – ObamaWorld will provide the necessary supportive satellite imagery, deadly drones and mercenary psychopathy to engender the necessary outcome.
Of course, in a ‘war against themselves’, there are those who are only linked to ‘themselves’ by location, religion, race etc, and it is a necessary adjunct to the process that these poor people should be "shocked and awed" by the militaristic and terroristic state power. Any differentiation between a freedom fighter/religious zealot and a human being simply going about her/his life is no longer on the international statute book – the world silence over the Gaza Panopticon saw to that – and the most efficient and performative manner of maximising the economic output of a ‘war against themselves’ is to mash the masses and the sub-military as if they were one and the same thing.
"Being Irish means we’re guilty, so we’re guilty one and all" sang the Wolfetones in a prescient reminder of the mechanics of state terror.
Of course, "Shock and Awe" is not new – the carpet bombing of Dresden wasn’t a war crime as "we" did it, Hiroshima/Nagasaki wasn’t a war crime even though it happened after the war had finished and just a matter of hours before a realisable alternative would be actioned – the experiment had to be completed.
So, congratulations to the Pakistan cricket team on their tainted triumph.
Congratulations, too, to the Sri Lankans on reaching the Final.
The supportive scenes of celebration in the refugee camps of northern Pakistan and Tamil Eelam must have been a wonderful sight, not that we got any glimpse of such tyrannies of fun as the Fourth (E)State is now focused on Real People in Real Distress in Iran.
In a suitably Orwellian inversion of Reality, the Iranian football team were knocked out of the World Cup 2010 in the very midst of this ‘revolution’.
Power to the People?
Exactly how selective do they wish for our nuances to be?
But, on his slide to xenophobia, Slack Jaw needs to get strategic.
Invade the North of England now, and then place what remains of the state coffers on England to win the World Cup.