Today marks England's last official day at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, so I thought I'd go ahead and share our first 'guest blog' to mark the occasion. I've personally gotten over my disappointment at the 3 Lions early exit, thanks in large part to the unexpected success of my Team USA. I reckon most England supporters won't feel the same as I do, and the opinions that follow aren't likely to help. Chris Pig is one of the few Englishmen I know who who isn't bothered at all about football. He's more interested in art & culture, thank you very much. He's also busy being one of the best printmakers in the UK, if you ask me. If there was a World Cup for Printmaking, I've no doubt he'd fare better than the current English National Team, who couldn't even score in a brothel. - Shawn Vinson
A 'guest blog' from London - by Printmaker Chris Pig:
Last night I was out at a restaurant with my family to celebrate my partner’s birthday. At the end of the meal the waiter passed me the bill and solicitously said to me “England are losing one nil.” I tried to look as if I cared about this because, after all, he thought he was doing me a favour by supplying me with an update on a football match. I think he thought that, as a man, I would rather be watching the world cup than being out with my family. And that is what annoys me about football, not that people gather together to watch some men play a ball game either in person or on the TV, but that it is assumed that everybody shares their interest. Also a sinister undertone to this is that if you are uninterested in football, you are not patriotic.
Only in the last ten years or so in England has the English flag been reclaimed by football fans from the far right, before that, you rarely saw it outside fascist marches. Being at that time sufficiently enthusiastic to oppose these bastards on the street, I still inwardly wince when I see that flag. The same with the union flag, that too was the domain of the fascists. Herein lies a rich irony, the thing about the English is they are deeply ambivalent about nationalism and flag waving and so the sporting of either flag seems sort of un-English.
One time, another world cup I'm assuming, England were playing Argentina - a match charged with much political enmity. The match was being screened in my pub, much to the locals’ protest, how dare that stuff invade our pub? I happened to be in there with some students who happened to be Spanish, and we happened to be speaking Spanish which is the language the Argentinians speak.
Oh dear. I might have got away with this if it weren't for two personal catastrophes:
VINSONart uses that flag and it is different. They are using it as an emblem of Britart and cool Britannia; they are reclaiming it from it’s use as an emblem in sixties Carnaby Street and sneery punk irony which is fine. Shawn Vinson is an American Anglophile as I’m an English Hispanophile which are very different things indeed. I'm mystified by his interest in football but he has never attempted to involve me in that in any way, for which I heartily thank him.
I'm not patriotic, patriotism is stupid. I'm also not a football fan. Football to me is like homosexual pornography; I'm more than happy for it to take place but fervently wish neither to participate or spectate in the process.
- Chris Pig, June 2014
Life is Art.