Saturday, 17 May 2008

"Hope is the most evil of evils, because it prolongs man's torment." (Nietzsche)

It's a little known fact that Nietzsche wrote Human, All too Human the night before the last day of the season, 1878. The year that Everton were founded, since you ask. Nietzsche was brooding on the cruelties of emotion and the manifold evils of modern football, or Pandora's Box as he chose to call it. Anyway, he knew what it was like to be just one point behind, against all probability or plausibility, with everything to play for on the last day, and it all out of your hands.

Not in expectation, not in belief, and against all scaramanzia, a tiny anguished nugget of hope is skulking deep in my heart, undetected by my sleep-deprived work-addled brain. In just over 17 hours it will be gone, for another year.

The newspaper today told us in loving detail what our boys will be eating for their lunch tomorrow. Yesterday someone went and anointed the entrance to the training ground with a kilo of salt. To ward off the Evil Eye. Now we have to pretend none of it is really happening. To sidle past Fortune, hoping she doesn't spot us under our invisibility cloak, woven from the finest and most ancient superstitions, and worn with carefree nonchalance and stony hearts. Here you touch iron, not wood.

I'm going to bed, to pretend that hope doesn't exist, and to work on eventually losing all interest in all kinds of competitive sports, and maybe moving to another city.

I can't work out which tshirt I ought to wear tomorrow, or how to believe it doesn't matter.


mattcr said...

best of luck spangers

Aussie Romanista said...

10 hours til kick off. I'm bloody nervous! But we're gonna win the scudetto. Knowing is better than hoping.

Spangly Princess said...

argh no AR never say that. have you no superstition, and no respect for the law of the reverse hex?

oscar said...

It's funny. I consider myself a liberal, balanced and 'modern' young man, but so help me, I have massive respect for the process and notion of scaramanzia. It's crazy, but it has this pull...I wouldn't dare go against one of my own scaramanzie before a big game, there's just no way.

And saying we'll win is a big no-no...we do NOT tempt the wrath of the whatever from high atop the thing (to quote Aaron Sorkin).

See y'all post-game, I suspect, for better or worse. DAJE ROMA DAJE!

Chelsea Boy said...

That's a fantastic post by the way - really evocative.

chris c paul said...

Poor Nietzsce. There was cheerful bugger inside of him, trying to get out.

I was wondering what the (post) fascists in Italy sit around talking about. Do they discuss Schopenhauer and Nietsche the same way as communists still sit round and disucss Gramsci and Marx?

Or is it just chat about the car, the women, and mum, with a dash of rascism?