Jun 25, 2012

Plaisir without the jouissance in scoreless-draw England

England has just been bundled out of football's Euro 2012 competition and, as Guy Rundle observed from a bar in London, it's symptomatic of England's wider political and economic malaise.

Guy Rundle — Correspondent-at-large

Guy Rundle


Outside, the sound of breaking glass. It will go all night, until there is nothing left in the windows, and the ground is frosted like Christmas. Three hours ago, in the 2012 UEFA European Football Championship quarter final, England lost to la bella Italia in penalties — or to put it more succinctly, it went to penalties. In Soho’s shrinking Little Italy, they’re going sick; dancing, kissing, drinking, throwing up, breaking glass. The English look on in disgust — there’d be no kissing if they were celebrating.

The game was irritating in the way that only an evenly matched lacklustre two hours of football can be. I watched it in The Pillars of Hercules, raised a glass to Clive James in his old stamping ground, and made a wish — yes, yes for him to live, Jesus — and around the 75th minute of top-flight futility, turned to my companion and said: “this game is all plaisir and no jouissance” for which I got a kicking. But the comment was accurate enough.

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10 thoughts on “Plaisir without the jouissance in scoreless-draw England

  1. Hugh (Charlie) McColl

    Love it!

  2. Markus Mannheim

    A tiny gripe about your entree, Guy (the football stuff). This morning’s Euro 12 game was neither “evenly matched” nor was it “lacklustre”. It was a nil-all thrashing. And, yes, that is possible in football.

  3. Coaltopia

    Seeing Australia beat Japan at the World Cup was “orgasmic”. I’d hate to see that in British politics. One gets the impression that the EU is only ever one Ferdinand away from an orgy of violence. Maybe the average Brit is too indolent for that.

  4. puddleduck

    Gold. If it weren’t so sad.

    “Compare the fate of the British unemployed, faced with the same badly paid job. There’s no chance that they’ll be able to accumulate enough for a house or savings. In one of the most expensive countries in the world, they’ll do no more than keep their head above water, in modest low-grade comfort — TV, sandwiches and lager.”

    This has been the case for some time. In Australia, with property prices as they are, I think we face a similar situation. Unless your parents are cashed up or you don’t midn a massive mortgage.

  5. Graeme

    Where (or what) is Prk or Vffft?!

  6. Graeme

    You had me wondering what geographic abbreviations could locate families ‘in Prk or Vffft’.

    Pork and beans!

  7. AR

    Geez, you nearly lost me with the fussbowl start – it seemed that you really were going to go all euroid. Nogt so much plaisir et jouissance as unendurable boredom longueur too prolonged.
    But, as (almost) always you got to the red meat – back to the future for the kiddies who don’t recall the old joke from the 60s midlands, “bed collapses in Oiksville, 27 Pakis/Oirish/nignogs injured” when they were the ones working all the available hours, living on shit & sugar to send money home. Hell, even the Kangaroo mob were preferred to pommy workers because… they worked. I ha 3 jobs in 1968, in the Summer of Lurve when the louche locals could barely manage to take a taxi to the dole office.
    But, just as here in OZ with “Labor”, Ed Minibrain managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory when all he had to do was shut his adenoids and let the tories self destruct. Too easy.
    Old habits die hard.

  8. mattsui

    Jarvis Cocker said it best “….Oh we were brought up on the space race…. now they expect you to clean toilets…… If you want me, I’ll be sleepin’ in….. ” Mind you, that was in the “glory days” of new labor

  9. Graham R

    I like Jimmy Carr, but I didn’t know I liked him that much.

  10. Hugh (Charlie) McColl

    Graeme, I think they are imaginary towns in an eastern European country that would have towns named something like Prk or Vffft. Take your pick.

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