Saturday, 9 May 2015

Baudrillard In Brussels And Blackpool

1. Introduction

Jean Baudrillard: "Today's violence, the violence produced by our hypermodernity, is terror."

The financialisation of inversion late capitalism is terroristic and destroys reality in favour of corruption, fraud, fakery, insider trading, regulatory capture, money laundering and irrational violence.

In sport, football is no longer football but has reached Baudrillard's 4th Phase of the Image where there are no linkages whatsoever between what plays out on our screens and the game which was once loved by fans the world over.

2. Spectacles of Violence

Heysel Disaster

Baudrillard: "The most striking thing about events such as those that took place at the Heysel Stadium, Brussels, in 1985, is not their violence per se but the way in which this violence was given worldwide currency by television, and in the process turned into a travesty of itself... A simulacrum of violence, emerging less from passion than from the screen: a violence in the nature of the image... So true is this that it is advisable not to be in a public place where television is operating, considering the high probability that its very presence will precipitate a violent event [the Boston Marathon, the murders at Port Said stadium, Hillsborough]."

Hillsborough Disaster

Neither Heysel nor Hillsborough were solely disasters. They were terroristic events. The institutional lies of the South Yorkshire police have produced 26 years of lack of closure for all those affected by the loss of 96 innocent lives at a football match (all under the real-time media gaze of television cameras left running to capture the unfolding tragedy). The Hillsborough Inquiry has heard that senior masonic officers met after the disaster to collate strategy with David Duckenfield, the police commander at the match, being made Grand Master of his lodge just one year on from the deaths - institutional terror rewarded with power on the square.
Baudrillard: "We are dealing, therefore, not with irrational episodes in the life of our society, but instead with something that is completely in accord with that society's accelerating plunge into the void... the diverted effects of a terrorism to which the state is in no way opposed."

Bradford City Fire Disaster

The relatives of the 56 football fans who died in the 1985 disaster at Valley Parade have thought for decades that the deaths of their loved ones were caused by a casually discarded cigarette igniting rubbish under a poorly maintained wooden stand. Yet author Martin Fletcher has recently revealed that Stafford Heginbotham, the club's then chairman, had alleged pyromaniacal tendencies - the Bradford City blaze being the ninth incidence of incendiary blaze at businesses owned by Heginbotham over a period of 18 years.
Having learned two days prior to the fire that the club would have to spend £2m to bring the ground up to the safety standards required for promotion, Heginbotham's series of coincidences beggar belief. And yet the Popplewell Inquiry found nothing untoward and a myth has been allowed to continue for three decades.
Insurance terror against one's own fans.

Blackpool Fans Anti-Oyston Protests  

                                 A Protesting Fan

By the seaside last weekend, Blackpool football fans became Baudrillardian in their continuing protests against the psychopathic Oyston family who are in the process of asset stripping the club to oblivion.
After the pitch was invaded, the match was abandoned and will not be replayed. There was no violence against the visiting Huddersfield Town supporters, no interference by police nor stewards and only a targeting of sociopath by supporter.
In a symbolic act of some consequence, the Oystons had the statue of Stan Mortensen removed prior to the planned Judgement Day protest and continue to exercise their power by suing fans for being fans.

If the Oystons are the bad guys in this media spectacle then the good guy is supposed to be Valeri Belokon, the president of the Seasiders. He is a Latvian banker whose former financial backer, Maxim Bakiyev, was a Kyrgyzstani warlord on the run from Interpol.

Quoting Baudrillard about Heysel applies here also: "There is another logic at work here, too, the logic of attempted role reversal: spectators (English fans, in this case) turn themselves into actors; usurping the role of the protagonists (players), under the gaze of the media, they invent their own spectacle (which - we may as well admit it - is somewhat more fascinating than the official one). Now is this not precisely what is expected of the modern spectator? Is he not supposed to abandon the spectatorish inertia and intervene in the spectacle himself?"

Baudrillard: "Where exactly does participation pass over into too much participation?"

3. Institutional Terror in Football

Once wrenched away from its basic principle, football can be pressed into the service of any end whatsoever - financialisation, utilisation of performing enhancing substances, insider trading and matchfixing, spectacles of corruption, public relations abuses and violence of coercion.
Football has become, in the words of Roger Caillois, "a theatre of circus-like play" linked via mafiosi and transglobal crime syndicates to underground betting markets, largely but not exclusively located in SE Asia.

In the Premier League, there are referees earning £2K per week officiating on matches with global turnover around £5bn. Some of these officials are criminalised in a net of corruption - it is not by fluke that Betfair (a bookmaking facilitator of matchfixing) use an Octopus and SE Asians in their advertising campaigns.

Football matches are ever more frequently played behind closed doors due to spectators having previously impinged upon an event. Baudrillard: "A ban of this kind could never do away with the chauvinistic passions surrounding soccer, but it does perfectly exemplify the terroristic hyperrealism of our world, a world where a 'real' event occurs in a vacuum, stripped of its context and visible only from afar, televisually."

Football events played without fans merely mimic the reality that already exists across much of horseracing - courses with minimal numbers of racegoers, operating fraudulent events to the private benefit of the offcourse bookmaking chains, the online market makers, the bookies in the betting rings and the manipulators on the rails. The horse is merely an afterthought in this particular poker game.

In Scottish football we have an antagonistic relationship between the Bhoy and the 'Ger but the background bears no resemblance to the history of St Walfrid or the Sons of Struth.
Dermot Desmond, who owns around a third of Celtic, also owns nearly 5% of Ladbrokes, the official bookmaker of Rangers, whilst Celtic have set up a deal with Unibet to provide in-play betting opportunities for the Celtic fans via the club's phone app. Yet Unibet are a bookmaker that Sportsbook Review advise punters against using due to non-payment of winnings so that, in effect, the club are merely taking a slice of the action in the illicit fleecing of their fans.
Meanwhile, Rangers are being repeatedly asset stripped by the most rapacious forms of psycho-capitalist.
Celtic and Rangers fans deserve better than this.

Elsewhere in Scottish football, the fans are invisible at "events so minimal that they might as well not take place at all" - these events, however, must have maximal enlargement on our screens.

In England, the Premier League is in the midst of its very own Calciopoli - a combination of mafia and matchfixing that creates a systemic criminalisation of the sport to the benefit of an array of sociopathic insiders who corrupt the game for considerable proprietary benefits.
Bookmakers own football clubs and those owners are then elevated to institutional positions of power and influence. Agents choose referees for EPL matches to the benefit of their clients and their proprietary trading.
Last night's Championship Play-Off between Brentford and Middlesboro is a case in point - 7 'Boro players and the Brentford goalkeeper are represented by the same agent and this agent has a very very very close relationship with the referee stretching back nearly a quarter of a century. It is no surprise that the outcome was in the market pre-match.

The FA Cup has become an insider traders paradise - remember the betting patterns on the fixed match last season between Nottingham Forest and West Ham that left a child crying and insiders much the richer for their terroristic psychopathy?

                                                            A Crying Child

4. The Terror of 4th Estate Mainstream Media 

The mainstream media is the facilitating catalyst to these hyperrealities and is always complicit in this collection of travesties.
Baudrillard: "The media is always on the scene in advance of terrorist violence."

Take Andy Murray's joyous wedding. The media scrummage at the rehearsal led to leading Scottish photojournalist Gordon Jack dying. Not only did all mainstream media representations of the wedding entirely ignore this death but the fact that the wedding required a rehearsal in order to be perfect for media was surreal in itself. Death intruding on the spectacle is an abomination of the public relations control grid.

The mainstream media accommodates terroristic violence and warped public relations as its raison d'etre.

Out of all the footballers across all generations, what sort of media would choose to select Steve McManaman as a match summariser in the aftermath of his close business relationship with the matchfixing money launderer Carson Yeung?
The output of the football section of the Guardian newspaper is entirely overseen by a football agent who is actively involved in matchfixing and mafia-like behaviours while Clare Balding's new BBC chat show must have an obligatory criminal to parade positively in each episode.

Baudrillard: "The public must simply be eliminated, to ensure that the only event occurring is strictly televisual in nature."

5. State Terror

Britain has just experienced a terroristic play in the 2015 General Election.

Baudrillard: "Neither a represented people nor a legitimate sovereign is now the issue. That political configuration has given way to a contest in which there is no longer any question of a social contract; a transpolitical contest between an agency orientated towards totalitarian self-reference on the one hand, and sardonic or refractory, agnostic and infantile masses on the other (masses which no longer speak, though they chat)."

There is no such thing as a representative democracy just like there is no such thing as justice - the only person currently serving a prison sentence over the HSBC affair is a whistleblower.

The media plays with our hyperrealities whilst the first past the post system denies any vestige of democratic process. The BBC is more than happy to allow Nigel Farage to appear over 20 times on its Question Time programme to engender the fear that decides elections and is happy for that process to produce an outcome whereby 13% of the vote is for a racist party so long as that only equates to one seat in parliament and the post-election removal of Farage from the stage until next required.
And, on election night itself, out of all the former politicos that might be chosen to provide the Labour party line, the BBC gave us war crime apologist Alistair Campbell who we must now all remember as a former alcoholic fighting depression rather than a facilitator of illicit murder.

The City of London wanted a Conservative majority government and that is exactly what we were given.

Or as Nomi Prins writes about the US oligarchy: "No matter what spin is used for campaigning purposes, the idea that a critical distance can be maintained between the White House and Wall Street is na├»ve given the multiple channels of money and favours that flow between the two.  It is even more improbable, given the history of connections that Hillary Clinton has established through her associations with key bank leaders in the early 1990s, during her time as a senator from New York, and given their contributions to the Clinton foundation while she was secretary of state. At some level, the situation couldn’t be less complicated: her path aligns with that of the country’s most powerful bankers. If she becomes president, that will remain the case."

Baudrillard: "It [the State] no longer works on the basis of political will, but instead on the basis of intimidation, dissuasion, simulation, provocation or spectacular solicitation."

6. Conclusion

Baudrillard: "Political events... unfold, in a sense, in an empty stadium (the empty form of representation) whence any real public has been expelled because of potentially too lively passions, and whence nothing emerges now save a television retranscription (CRT images, statistics, poll results...). Politics still works, even captivates us, but subtly everything begins to operate as though some International Political Federation has suspended the public for an indeterminate period and expelled it from all stadiums to ensure the objective conduct of the match. Such is our present transpolitical arena: a transparent form of public space from which all the actors have been withdrawn - and a pure form of the event from which all passion has been removed."

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