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.

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"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).

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

Memory

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

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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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