Barbaric Sport: a global plague, By Marc Perelman
Boyd Tonkin is Literary Editor at The Independent. An award-winning journalist, he was formerly Social Policy Editor of the New Statesman and has broadcast extensively for BBC arts and current affairs programmes. He has judged the Booker Prize, the Whitbread biography award, the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the David Cohen Prize for a lifetime's achievement in literature.
Saturday 09 June 2012
As a totalitarian "summer of sport" looms, a gold medal to Marc Perelman for this bracingly bilious counterblast against the new "planetary religion".
Perelman (a Parisian academic) draws on Freud, Marx and the Frankfurt School critique of mass spectacle as a collective narcotic. But even the non-theoretical will relish a furious assault not just against doping, bribery and political abuse - at the Olympics or World Cup – but on the global power of sport itself. He doesn't seek reform, a return to amateur innocence. The final verdict? "There should be no sport."
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