Wednesday 25 June 2008

Wimbledon on the Web, Slavoj on skiing

How great is this? For the first time (I think) the BBC is live-streaming Wimbledon via the internet. This means you can drop in on matches or have them on in the background, without leaving your desk. No more sneaking downstairs for a ‘quick look’ at the TV. I’m not sure yet if this means I’ll get more or less work done over the next two weeks.

What’s more, you can flick easily between up to five different matches, or alternatively stick with the match you’re really interested in. In the past viewers have been subject to the whims of producers, who have a habit of cutting away from really interesting matches (especially if they're women's games) in favour of marathon slug-fests between the top male seeds, or Tim Henman's latest humiliation.

Tennis is just about the only sport I don't have to pretend to be interested in. I'm no great fan of Slavoj Zizek, but I enjoyed his response, on yesterday's Today programme, to Evan Davies' question as to why his latest book on popular culture doesn't mention football. The Slovenian philosopher proceeded to denigrate sport of all kinds as pointless. About skiing he said something along these lines (imagine heavy East European accent) : 'I don't get it. You go all the way up to the top, just to come all the way down. I'd rather stay at the bottom and read a book'. Quite. (Mind you, I can imagine sport-loving critics of Zizek responding that this statement encapsulates much of what's wrong with his worldview.)

Finally, let's hear it for Hackney-born Anne Keothavong, the British women's No.1, who fought long and hard to win her first round match yesterday, but whose success was inevitably overshadowed by all the attention focused on the new great white hope of British tennis, Andy Murray (whom Keothavong recently took to task for dissing his fellow British players). Shame she has to face Venus Williams in Round 2.

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