When the music’s over

Reflections from the damaged world of World Cup party patriots

Fubball raises agonizing philosophical, theological, historical, anthropological, psychological, medial, economic, political, postmodern, and sometimes even sporting questions that must be reflected upon and constructed, but also mercilessly deconstructed or hopelessly exaggerated. This is surprising, because soccer seems to be a comforting reduction of complexity in an unclear world: a small population of participants, a time limit in the format of a movie, a manageable space and above all – a digitally uninterpretable world construction: 1 or 0. Beyond Ludwig Wittgenstein, it is necessary to talk about such things about which nothing and little can be said, because otherwise identity, community and reflexive ball theories are no longer possible?

The thinker’s fear of the sideways exit of the reflective space

The simple truths "the ball is round and a game lasts 90 minutes" are no longer enough to move this most abysmal of phenomena from the round leather to the square of theories, at least for a few weeks. Sepp Herberger, that mischievous strategist, who made it clear once and for all that even the small German burgers have unimagined scope for reflection and perfidious techniques at their disposal to assert themselves and their peers in the world outside, was only the philosophical kick-off of the game. After that, reflection beyond the turf became a game of theory without boundaries, faced not only by the philosophical quartet, led by Peter Sloterdijk, but by ball theorists of all stripes.


“We must not look with envy at those who are already doing well”

Swiss Parliament rejects cap on executive pay, German Bundestag also discussed income inequity and wealth levies or tax yesterday

As expected, the Swiss National Council has rejected the initiative introduced by the Jusos, Grunen and trade unions "1:12 initiative – for fair wages" Rejected. Earlier, the Bundesrat recommended to reject the initiative, saying that income inequity is not so bad and will be mitigated by more appropriate measures such as taxes. In addition, there is a threat of damage to the Swiss location.

The National Council also agreed with this yesterday. The initiative sought to reduce the spread of incomes and to require by law that in a company the highest salary should not be more than twelve times the lowest salary (Should the incomes of top managers in Switzerland be capped?). In the National Council, however, there was a long discussion about the proposal, which was rejected by 110 votes to 59 with 2 abstentions.


The “west” as a unit does not exist

A conversation about patriotism and sports fascination, about university education and college sports, about the idea of the West and the rogue state image that America currently enjoys around the world

Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht is the author of numerous books and writes for almost all major German-language newspapers and magazines, mainly and regularly for the FAZ and the NZZ, the "Merkur" and the "Literaturen". Along with Jurgen Habermas and Peter Sloterdijk, Sepp Gumbrecht has become one of Germany’s best-known and most influential intellectuals. Since his resettlement in the USA, his glowing and publicly declared commitment to "Americanness" and his partisanship for the "New Rome", "our man in Stanford", as he is often ironically called, has also become the subject of heated debates and accusations in Germany. Neither does he feel like a German or even a European pigeon post, nor does he want to be associated with old European calamities. Telepolis has visited Sepp Gumbrecht in his new home, in Stanford/California. For the first time, he speaks in detail and publicly about his (personal) motives for becoming an "American" and gives reasons why he is proud of his country.

The'westen' als einheit existiert nicht

Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht, called "Sepp" by friends, was born in Wurzburg in 1948. After graduating from high school, which earned him a scholarship from the Maximilianeum Foundation (Bayerische Hochstbegabtenforderung), he had a textbook career. He studied German, Romance languages and literature, sociology and philosophy at the universities of Munich, Regensburg, Salamanca and Pavia, obtained his doctorate in Constance at the age of twenty-three and became a professor in Bochum at the age of twenty-six. In Siegen he was entrusted by the then Federal Minister for Education and Science, Jurgen Mollemann, with the first non-scientific graduate college in Germany. Since 1989, the year the Berlin Wall came down, he has taught comparative literature at Stanford University.


In bed with sara

The scientific explanation for the failure of the German national team at the European Championship?

Not all knee ailments in professional soccer players are acquired on the field of play. Some are created in home beds or even in other beds. When professional footballers suffer from knee problems, they are sure to receive the sympathy of the fans, since their sport is considered to be particularly prone to injury. But last year a British doctoral student revealed that not every joint disease is acquired on the pitch. Often the bone-damaging playing field is in the cornfield or rather in the bed, as the "New Scientist" last year reported. (New Scientist, Vol. 163, No. 2198 (1999), S. 5)

Of the ten athletes with persistent knee problems, six were footballers and all but one were professionals in the English premier league. Eight of the athletes also suffered from nonspecific urinary tract diseases, caused by the same germs that are also responsible for the "sexually acquired reactive arthritis" (SARA) are responsible. Whoever is in bed with SARA, the doctoral student suspects, usually had his traumatic encounter there as well. In fact, five of the young athletes admitted to having exchanged corpers instead of jerseys with at least 11 sexual partners. On average, only one in four British peers has such a track record. The clubs’ coffers have been hit hard by the additional performance sport of their athletes, with losses of up to 500,000 pounds. That’s why, as Telepolis learned today, British professional footballers have been specifically screened and treated for SARA in recent months.