To encourage local knowledge

It’s incredible the advances in technology that have allowed our planet to become a global village. If I want to buy music I can dial it up and it comes winging its way across the world on some magic carpet I guess. All manner of things that interest us can be found on the internet. The speed and distance of this global market is astonishing. But you can go around the world and find many people speaking your language, wearing your clothes, eating your food and even supporting your football team.

Apparently football unites the world now. Really? The only United I know is Leeds and I hate them due to a grudge from 1970. When I used to stand on the Shed at Chelsea many years ago, the football wasn’t that great, but the atmosphere could be electric. Big games, especially against one of our many rivals, crackled with tension. It was a time to hurl abuse at the opposition to get the stress of the week out of your system. In fact that was how it started in the 1870’s the Football League was formed and working class men came in their thousands to cheer on their local team, many of whom were local lads themselves. It was a man’s game where loyalty to club, commitment on the pitch and the ability to take on superior opponents were the qualities fans were looking for. Sure, winning was the game, but we can’t all be Man Utd!

Nowadays, what is respected is the wages, the haircut, the playground trick and how much you can fool the ref. These boys don’t represent a locality, they represent themselves. Its bastard football, just a bunch of mercenaries. I used to pay £7 to watch Chelsea, last time I looked ten years ago, it was £70. Why would I pay to see these prima-donnas? Do they have commitment, do they have loyalty are they prepared to sacrifice for the club?

People have always been tribal, and if you continue with the global village and political correctness, ultimately we all become the same. Robotic work slaves with no personality left to express ourselves and no interaction between humans which is contrary to human nature.

I am not saying these innovations are wrong, but sometimes you need to get back to basics. Football was never a rich man’s plaything. It was where men were prepared to metaphorically die on the pitch for their club.

They say television took away the art of conversation. Well I believe social media has taken away relationships entirely. To really interact people need to look at each other. There are about 57 muscles in the face, and only a few can be controlled voluntarily. The face gives clues, so does body language. Real communication happens face to face. Anything else comes a poor second. And what do people talk about on social media. Is it shallow, is there any depth of understanding of the human condition. Is there any resolve to save the Planet? It seems like 8 billion souls talking at the same time about nothing at all. Come on, we’re better than that.

Globalisation has led to the standardisation of communities so that in East London, anyone under 30 has not even heard of cockney rhyming slang. It was a very important part of their culture, in my view, after jellied eels! When I lived in the North of England it was astonishing that every Lancastrian town, and to also in Yorkshire, had a slightly different accent. They even had different customs, cuisine, words and of course football and rugby teams. This made for a fascinating local multiculturalism. The rivalries were expressed best at the sports stadiums.

We can contact anywhere in the world on the internet and go anywhere in the world by plane if we had the money. But why bother when everyone and everywhere is the same now that we are globalised. All we are doing is wasting resources and killing the planet.

We could be robots, or we could individualise and localise and mobilise to make the planet a more interesting and safer place.

Conway-Laird (2017)


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