I have a theory why some people find other people immediately attractive. It's because these people remind them of somebody else in their life that made them feel good. Chemistry between two people is when this reminder is mutual. You see something that you recognise and feel comfortable about, so you find it attractive. It could be anything that triggers this subcooncious memory. The shape of their nose, the way they laugh, the tone of their voice.

And sometimes, it's the football jersey they wear.

I've seen this happen so many times in this World Cup. Two groups of people who in every other way are complete strangers with one another, will immmediately greet each other like long lost friends and hug and laugh and party, simply due to the fact that they're wearing the same football jersey.

Organised sports is possibly the last bastion of tribalism in the connected world today. Most explainations of it involve some sense of shared cultures and habits, or because of a need of belonging. I want to propose that it's because we are most comfortable with what we are familiar with.

By slipping on a Brazillian shirt, I can immediately be invited to be one of the mass, samba-partying crowd. Of course, I can't speak portugese or sing along with their songs, but that is beside the point.

This also explains why I like to follow England. I recognise the players, I know what they are like, and I know how they play.

But the sense familiarity can also have negative connatations. In Germany, because of the recent past, Nationalism is a dirty word. You cannot escape the fact that Germany tries is best to distance itself from their Nazi history. And the Nazis were fairly heavy into their Nationalist agenda.

Germany isn't so much embarrassed about their past, as they are resolute in saying who they are now is not the same as who they once were.

So, it is unsurprising when a news bulletin questions whether the nationalistic fervour that has enveloped Germany during the World Cup is a bad thing. Some still remember what it was like to be so excited at a nation's achievements, and how badly that turned out.

Nevertheless, it looks like the man on the street is winning out, as the passion for the national German team (after only two World Cup games, mind you) is rapidly outstripping their caution. Not an hour passes without there being some sort of report on the national team. No subject is trivial enough - even Klinnsman's brother who runs a bakery is given the full treatment.

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posted on Tuesday, July 04, 2006 - permalink
billy joel concert? did u go?????? i want i want!! :)
it seems they don't see the difference between patriotic pride and nationalism? not that i would know, i was not there to see it first hand :P

(the initial part of your post, sounds like transference to me)
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