The John Fiske Collection: Understanding Popular Culture by John Fiske

By John Fiske

During this spouse quantity to analyzing the preferred, Fiske provides an intensive concept of what it capacity for tradition to be well known.

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Extra resources for The John Fiske Collection: Understanding Popular Culture

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This keen competition is the result of a pastime that in principle does not seem to be so adapted. Another striking example of the transition from solitary pastime to competitive and even spectacular pleasure is pro­ vided by the game of cup-and-ball. An Eskimo is disguised as a very schematic representation of an animal, bear, or fish. He is stabbed many times. The player must use his weapon in a pre­ determined order, holding the knife properly. Then he begins the series again, his knife held inside his index finger, then emerging from behind his elbow, next pressed between his teeth, while the thrust of the weapon describes even more complicated figures.

The latter always results from contamination by ordinary life. It is produced when [50] MAN, PLAY AND GAMES the instinct that rules play spreads beyond the strict limits of time and place, without previously agreed-to rules. It is permissi­ ble to play as seriously as desired, to be extremely extravagant, to risk an entire fortune, even life itself, but the game must stop at a preordained time so that the player may resume ordinary responsibilities, where the liberating and isolating rules of play no longer are applicable.

12 The child does not stop at that. He loves to play with his own pain, for example by probing a toothache with his tongue. He also likes to be frightened. He thus looks for a physical illness, limited and controlled, of which he is the cause, or sometimes he seeks an anxiety that he, being the cause, can stop at will. e. voluntary, agreed upon, isolated, and regulated activity. Soon there is born the desire to invent rules, and to abide by them whatever the cost. The child then makes all kinds of bets— THE CLASSIFICATION OF GAMES [29] which, as has been seen, are the elementary forms of agon— with himself or his friends.

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