Terry Eagleton writes about football as the new opium of the people for the Guardian:
Modern societies deny men and women the experience of solidarity, which football provides to the point of collective delirium. Most car mechanics and shop assistants feel shut out by high culture; but once a week they bear witness to displays of sublime artistry by men for whom the word genius is sometimes no mere hype. Like a jazz band or drama company, football blends dazzling individual talent with selfless teamwork, thus solving a problem over which sociologists have long agonised. Co-operation and competition are cunningly balanced. Blind loyalty and internecine rivalry gratify some of our most powerful evolutionary instincts.
Read the full article here.
Terry Eagleton is Distinguished Professor of English Literature at the University of Lancaster. His other publications include Walter Benjamin, Literary Theory: An Introduction, The Function of Criticism, Criticism and Ideology, The Illusions of Postmodernism, Figures of Dissent and Ideology: An Introduction. He is also a dramatist, and his plays have been collected in Saint Oscar and Other Plays; in addition, he has written the filmscript for Wittgenstein and the novel Saints and Scholars. His most recent book is The Task of the Critic: Terry Eagleton in Dialogue, with Matthew Beaumont.