Monday, 30 July 2012

A Relatively Long Post

Paris iPhone Photo Chronicles
~ A Relatively Long Blog Post ~

A Relatively Long Post, originally uploaded by Paris Set Me Free.

BONUS: For Street Photography Fans!

The Olympics make me laugh, as do all variations of all sports really.

If you take any sport, it's just by chance that it's evolved to the form it is today, and who's to say it won't evolve further in the future? Nets need to be adjusted to adapt to changing player heights and speeds of service; rules need to be modified to increase spectator interest and the flow of the game; rules have to be introduced to cope with modern materials which allow swimmers to slip through the water a little too quickly or balls to bounce off rackets a bit too forcefully or runners to run slightly too easily and so on. Not to mention performance enhancing drugs and the like.

It basically comes down to some concept of equality; either we all have access to these things or none do. Including training conditions, clever coaches and programmes, financial aid and incentives, emotional support, national recognition and who knows what else.

And then there's the vast range of sports each able (and disabled) human has to contemplate and choose between to specialise in.

What I haven't told you is that I would have been a greater tennis player than Federer, only I chose to listen to music and run (after girls, amongst other things) instead. Who's to say it's not true?

Maybe any tall or not so tall guy could be, or could have been a greater basket ball player than Tony Parker or footballer than Lionel Messi. Who's to say it wouldn't have been you, or me or anyone else we know?

People holding their arms up in the air in victory with a metal disc around their necks for which they've devoted the majority of their lives are to be admired for their dedication and discipline, but apart from that it's just a joke. Who cares if someone can poke someone else a few more times with a metal rod or throw someone else on their back or swim in a certain way faster than seven arbitrary others? Well, some 'care', of course, but that 'glory' is short-lived indeed.

To a great extent the supposed glory is directly proportional to the number of people who believe whatever these people do is a good or worthy thing.

If football has grown greatly in popularity in recent decades it's given people like Messi and Ronaldo the chance to receive adulation and crash Ferraris for what is, after all, a pretty useless ability: kicking a ball in a hole. Except that these days this ability can bring wild riches. Maybe next century it'll be something else equally pointless, but for now it's football which people judge one of the worthiest, thus enriching things to be good at, for better or for worse.

And again, I can't help coming back to the same old question: who cares?

Maybe 'enjoy' is a better term than 'care'. I can assimilate much more easily the concept of 'enjoying' (whilst realising it's all symbolic, if not utterly pointless) over 'caring'.

That brings us neatly back to the Olympic ideal of the taking part being the most important thing, and not the winning. Unfortunately, these days this principle is seriously flagging. Sport is supposed to be 'fun' in the ultimate analysis and that's what seems to be lacking in all these sporting competitions backed by demanding sponsors and violently passionate fans: fun.

P.S. I hope you like the picture of the shortest street in Paris (World, Olympic and Guinness record holder). But only because there isn't a shorter one. It's also not the longest only because there are longer roads in town, and only in Paris of course. And the current definition of 'street'. I mean rue. It's all relative, which is probably how we should see far more things in our lives. I've just been to a wedding full of weird and warring relatives so trust me, I know what I'm talking about ;~S

And why not...
© 2012 
Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free - Contact me directly for photo tours, interviews, exhibitions, etc.

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