Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Nationalism Misplaced, in Comedy and Sports

I watched the 1965 movie "Those Magnificient Men in their Flying Machines". It is about the contest in early 1900's organized by a newspaper man to get pilots  to fly solo on state of the art airplanes (bizarre!) from London to Paris. It is a great engineering feat and the pilots do it, with usual twists in their tales. But the one aspect  I found interesting was  it focused on branding each pilot as caricature of their nationalist images. I am uncomfortable when nationalism is thrust forward, even when set in comedy.  In a gag,  "Irina Demick plays a series of flirts who are all pursued by the French pilot. First, she is Brigitte (French), then Marlene (German), Ingrid (Swedish), Fran├žoise (Belgian), Yvette (Bulgarian), and finally, Betty (British)."

Nationalism misplaced is nationalism in Tennis. We see individual tennis players play, say, Wimbledon. They dont represent their nations like in Davis Cup. There are no limits on how many players from any given country can play in a Wimbledon. Yet, commentators routinely refer to the Swiss and the Spaniard. I cringe when I hear that. Why not just say Nadal and Federer or  even Rafi or Fed-ex (for Federer).

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rafi or Rafa?:)

3:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rafa. :)

Although Rafi may be a superb tennis player, I dont know.

-- Metoo

4:16 PM  

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