Monday, February 26, 2007

And before you start....

The image above published in today's Daily Torygraph doubtless brought much comfort to its pre- and post-senilic readership around old people's homes of the English home counties following their humilation in the egg-chasing competition at the weekend. They might have lost to the damn Micks at the R game, the empire might have gone the way of tiffin, kedgeree and punkah wallahs, but by God logic is still on their side.

I've given it some thought and realised that an image that might otherwise be regarded as symptomatic of the illogic of unreconstructed republicanism (not to mention stereotypically "Irish" in English eyes) is in fact an expression of a much more subtle form of logic, the roots of which may be found in the work of Thomas Aquinas and Gregory Bateson.

Aquinas argued at one point that beauty was in fact a transcendent quality above and beyond the mere thinginess of the world. Football, as signified by the Celtic strip, is the beautiful game. Therefore, rather than falling into contradiction or error, the wearer is in fact making a statement (qua Bateson) about the world (i.e foreign games) at a higher level of logical typing (i.e. beauty). The use of paradox in this way as the deliberate confusion of different levels of logical typing is, according to both Bateson and the Marx Brothers, a frequently effective component of humour. So, seen in this light the joke is on the viewer rather than the wearer.

On the other hand, he might just be a thick sectarian bastard.

Either way it demonstrates the benefits of a Christian Brothers education in Ireland, wha?

For the reader who wishes to view further variations on this theme I can heartily recommend the work of Jim Chimney here and here

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