Creative Destruction

January 8, 2007

Sublimated Hostility

Filed under: International Politics,Popular Culture,War — Brutus @ 5:38 pm

At the Indian-Pakistani Wagah border, a strange example of pageantry has evolved where the border guards put on a chest-thumping, foot-stamping display of sublimated hostility. Personnel appear to be chosen specifically for their impressive height, which is amplified to great effect by the headdresses on their helmets. Michael Palin has a brief YouTube review of the festivities:  

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a7HPP_QduWI 
(tried to embed the link but it didn’t display properly)

It’s wishful thinking, of course, to wonder what the world would be like if we could act out our disputes and hostilities ritually the way these guards do. It’s a nice daydream, though.

The significant number of people on hand to witness the boarder closing each day and the bleachers erected on at least one side of the boarder indicate that this has become an institution and a tourist destination.

3 Comments »

  1. Hypothetically speaking, I wonder how a ritual would be conducted with countries like the US or Britain. None of their enemies occupy the same land mass as them, so how would a peaceful ritual like the Indian-Pakistani one happen?

    Comment by toysoldier — January 8, 2007 @ 8:01 pm | Reply

  2. so how would a peaceful ritual like the Indian-Pakistani one happen

    We call up the IOC and register for the Olympic Games.

    All sports are just war in metaphor.

    Comment by Robert — January 8, 2007 @ 8:22 pm | Reply

  3. Actually, thinking about the Olympic history between the Soviet Union and the United States throughout the Cold War, I do not believe Robert’s aphorism to be too far from the mark.

    Comment by Off Colfax — January 9, 2007 @ 1:41 am | Reply


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