The Mirror and the Hammer
To paraphrase Bertolt Brecht, art can be a mirror to reflect reality or a hammer with which to shape it. The same could be said of sport. For a brief moment in July, Iraq was one: no Sunnis or Shiites, Arabs or Kurds, Christians or Muslims. United in their hopes of soccer glory, it was a moment that encapsulated the potential of sport to be a force for good – the Brechtian hammer.
Don Cherry for Prime Minister?
I admit to cheering (almost crying) when Tommy Douglas was announced as our Greatest Canadian on the popular CBC show. Hey, it’s gloomy times for the Left, and we take any victory we can get, no matter how small. Yet my celebrations were cut short when host Wendy Mesley conveyed the bad news: Don Cherry ranked seventh in the contest, just pipping Sir John A. and Alexander Graham Bell. I’ve always thought that the Rock’em Sock’em videos make a great contribution to nation-building, but surely they don’t surpass Confederation or the telephone?
Why the Canadian Football League is the Sweden of the Sports World
In the age of sports superstars with multi-million-dollar salaries, we tend not to think of professional athletes as workers. But, like other workers, professional athletes sell their labour to capitalists in return for a wage. With fame and fortune, they may be the most peculiar proletariat capitalism has ever produced, but it is important to remember that, throughout sporting history, athletes, like other workers, have had to form trade unions to fight for decent wages, benefits, and working conditions.
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