Memories of the World, Cup Overfloweth

Zidane Eyes

June 2007: It was a little blonde girl, perhaps twelve years of age, kicking a soccer ball by herself. Her actions were deliberate, as if trying to develop some skill that she couldn't quite muster. Since a few of us had taken to kicking a ball around in the hotel courtyard after lunches, I motioned her to send a pass in my direction. We started kicking the ball back and forth a few times, after which she asked me a question … in German. I didn't understand a word she said. I was also trying to ask her a question, and tried to communicate back to her in English, equally to no avail. Our gesticulations couldn't overcome the language barrier either, and I could sense her becoming increasingly frustrated with this inability to make ourselves understood.


"Only apparently do the players relate to each other empirically as discrete terms, mediated by reflection and language. They relate to each other in their collective becoming, as a distinct ontological level doubling their substantial being. It is this collective becoming that is the condition of a formation like a sport, common to the proto-game, the official game, unofficial versions coexisting with it, and subsequent variations of them all" (Massumi, Parables for the Virtual, p.76, emphasis added).


July 2006: Beaded with sweat, under the glare of the stadium lights and the softer Berlin twilight, his head gleamed like a golden ball …


"I'd like to risk a basketball example…" (Brian Massumi, Saas-Fee, August 2010)


June 2007: Isn't sport great sometimes? I left our random encounter and continued up the cobblestone path, spirits buoyed. Danke schoen, little German girl, for making me smile as well.


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