Category:

History/Culture

November 18, 2018 / / Analysis
January 17, 2018 / / Goodbyes
August 26, 2015 / / Analysis
January 9, 2015 / / Elections

I did a recent Barça roundtable discussion and one of the participants, Nando Vilar, likened Barça’s fundamentally self-inflicted turmoil to citizens taking a very active role in their government. Following that, a commenter here, AllasFCB, Tweeted this:

How funny is that a fan/club member of Barca (Jordi Cases) took down Rosell and a player (Messi) took down Bartomeu. Only at Barca…

I would suggest that at Barça, and it’s a suggestion that is fundamental to the way the club positions itself and is believed in by its supporters, Messi is just as much a citizen as Cases. In many ways in both cases, the situations present interested parties with a quandary.

Cases was, many suggest, backed by anti-Rosell factions, enabling him to have a greater effect than if a mere soci were to have taken such an interest in proceedings.

Messi had what has been characterized by many as a “tantrum,” a child flinging his toys out of the pram. In fact it was a player reacting to a difficult situation at the club in a way that was presumed would have a real effect on proceedings. The complexity, obviously, is whether a player should have that much power at a club and just what is acceptable as a player takes a stand for what he believes to be a good reason. Completely aside, obviously, of what that reason might be.
Read MoreCitizens, to the ramparts!

September 8, 2014 / / History/Culture

crest

A favorite Twitter commentator brought something to mind this morning in posting a very good editorial about the club and its stance, or lack thereof, as the September 11 pro-independence (or pro-choice, dependent upon whether you like waffles) day looms.

Many people come to Barça for the football. I would reckon that most come to the team for the football, and think of the club and team as one, rather than the former being a representative of the latter, an umbrella that encompasses everything from many other professional sporting teams to charitable/human rights efforts and other enterprises. And if all you care about IS the football, stop reading now.
Read MoreIs “mes que un club” just a slogan, aka “Multinational corps don’t have politics”

October 28, 2013 / / History/Culture

bunyan

So, there was this lumberjack named Paul Bunyan, and what a lumberjack he was. When he came into the world, it took not one, but five storks to bring him home. His hand claps and laughter broke windows and he was sawing legs off beds even though he could barely walk. He made a mountain, though he didn’t really know he was doing so, simply by piling rocks to put out his Bunyan-sized campfire.

Mes que un lumberjack Bunyan is described as being “64 axe handles high,” which by the 18-inch measurement of the average axe handle, makes him about 95 feet tall. And he traveled with the only blue ox in the history of mankind, Babe, who was sized to the same colossal scale as Paul Bunyan.
Read MoreMyths, legends and difficult times for a football club, aka “The myth of Pep”

April 6, 2012 / / History/Culture
May 5, 2011 / / History/Culture

I have been called nigger exactly 4 times in my life.

–The first was when I was very young, no more than 10, and strayed into a swimming pool locker room area, when my neighborhood was still wrestling with integration. It was accompanied by physical violence upon my person. I was stunned and confused in my youthful innocence.

–The second was as a middle teen, when a very young Hispanic kid in the neighborhood that was still wrestling with its change, decided he would mimic his parents. It was just silly, and moderately vexing.

–The third was tangential, more than 25 years ago when my first wife (who is white) was labeled a “Nigger lover” by a passing carload of enlightened souls. I called upon all the cycling speed that I had in an attempt to catch up with the car, having no idea what I would do when I got there.

–The fourth was about three years ago, whereupon I just looked at the guy and said something to the effect of “Is that all you have, a 300-year-old word? How about a real insult?”

Reactions change over time.
Read MoreThe Busquets allegations, aka “Mes que un what, exactly?”

February 13, 2011 / / Barcelona

I went to the most beautiful place in the world for the first time last week. This post isn’t a match report, although the Atletico game merits discussion. Nor is it a loving paean to Camp Nou, although I could most certainly go on (and on) about its majesty.

Instead, let’s talk about what it means to be a fan, and what it takes to be a member.

Read MoreMembership and Identity: A Polemic

October 14, 2010 / / History/Culture

Pep@Twitter couldn’t have summed it up better when he Tweeted on Thursday:

“This is a sad day in the history of FC Barcelona. The club has just been closed for new members if they’re not family of existing members.”

From the official site:

As of November 1, according to George Cardoner at a press conference, members can only be people who meet the following requirements: be first or second degree relative of a person who is a partner, be less than 14 years old or have been a member previously. Cardona, who pointed out that these changes, covered in Article 12a of the Statute, are “immediately applicable.”

In other words, FCB is not for you.
Read MoreFC Barcelona is offcially a closed society, aka “Color me appalled”

December 19, 2009 / / Club World Cup
A lad could get used to this....
A lad could get used to this....

Great galloping Jesus, what a match. Pedro! sums up how I think we all feel here, in the wake of a gritty victory that found us not even approaching our dazzling, sparkling best, a victory that defines this club in a way that few others have, and that left me weeping right along with Pep Guardiola.

6 trophies, 6 competitions, less than 12 months. Pause for a second, to let that one sink in, then we’ll continue.
Read MoreBarca 2, Estudiantes 1, a.k.a. “Hexacampions,” a.k.a. “Greatest of all TIIIEEEME!”

August 21, 2009 / / Barcelona