Saturday 14 May 2011

Editorial: Fourteenth of May 2011

Class remains a celling of glass

It can so easy to draw parallels between two seemingly disparate stories that pertain to the social elements of contemporary life and contemporaneous life of a bygone era.

The quest for an egalitarian society continues apace but it is nowhere within grasp, rather opportunity by merit or graft grants access to certain circles for a season without conferring a belonging until the next generation comes of age.

Life becomes a flux between class and vulgarity with many being unable to distinguish between either and those who do risking the epithet of snobbery.

The playboy and the player

The difference between a playboy and a player is all too evident; by player, I mean a football player who in certain leagues is highly paid in weekly wages and the dexterity of legs and foot might also belie the context of being lowly taught.

The death of a playboy who by unusual circumstance lived into his late 70s only to end his life with a gunshot to the head as the dread of Alzheimer’s disease loomed is quite different from a host of other playboys who ended their lives in their prime as their fast cars rammed into the gates of the great beyond.

Professional footballers do not necessarily come to such conclusions but have their reputations built and shattered by a lack of essential breeding that espouses the understated, a modicum of privacy, the presence of discretion, the circle of the trusted whilst being able to maintain sophistication and dare one say class.

Privilege and impecuniousness

So, in the review of five possibly ghost-written autobiographies of some famous footballers, the reviewer conjures amazing interest by narrating the five ages of a professional footballer and one cannot fail to notice how far the progeny of a player is from that of playboy.

A boyhood driven by ambition to succeed from a working-class background to the public school boy who has continental Europe as his playground, never bereft of the means to do anything he wishes.

The young professional with allegiances forged from childhood to coming of age of literally having nothing to do for work but at the same time socially busy and occupied.

The dramatic changes of allegiance for one might well be the advent into the adulthood of difficulty and clashes with ones forebears and as the former gains stardom on the field on the back pages of newspapers and the front-pages of tabloids, the latter will only find column inches at birth, marriage and death.

Representing ones country becomes the epitome of a footballing career as a player whilst the playboy literally has no nationality with the will and the means to be at any exclusive place as time and desire demands.

Class and crass

The other subtlety that divides the player and the playboy is chivalry, gentlemanliness, airs, graces and escorts that will never become courtesans but the distinctions then become snooty beyond compare.

Whilst each might well access the others circle, the ready put-down though unspoken is glaringly that “showing off was left to a few arrivistes who possessed neither class nor pedigree.

That haunts many beyond players to include those lumped into the cachet of arriviste but the biggest slight of all is reserved for “little English lower-middle-class girlies like Anna Wintour and Tina Brown, had they been around, would never have come close to meeting them or even seeing them.

Worst still is to come as he concludes that line of thinking with “Now both ladies are considered arbiters of taste and society, in America, at least.” It goes without saying that America still aspires to the sense of class that Europeans exude, but that is to kick up unnecessary fuss.

In the age of the player it appears the playboy mourns the passing of something that was once called high-society.


The Financial Times reviews five ghost-written football player autobiographies and manages to make a good reading of what would conveniently pass for drivel in that the lettered might not necessarily find literary or sociological value in those stories.

Taki Theodoracopulos who was once a playboy writes the obituary of Gunther Sachs for the Daily Telegraph lamenting the passage of high-society for the advent of the vulgar vicissitudes of albeit low society.

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