In late April of this year, it was announced that twelve of the wealthiest and best supported teams from across Europe would be competing in a new competition across Europe. The Super League was to be played in place of the current Champions League. However, places in the Super League would not be decided on where a side finished in the existing domestic league table but instead the league would have no relegation or promotion and access to the league would have been based on prior agreement by the founding clubs. These clubs were the richest with the largest global audiences but not necessarily the best achieving teams. Within three days of the announcement of the new league, all of the English teams who had committed to participating had withdrawn in the face of giant public backlash. The proposal was, seemingly without exception, hated by every football fan including those of the teams that would have joined the league. So why did this particular proposal arouse such anger and disgust?
Mimicking a rock concert, I had to pre-book my space for the Hillsong service online before attending. Once on-site, I was scanned in by ushers with radios and shown to the seat listed on my ticket. Doors opened to the venue 30 minutes prior to the beginning of service, there was a sound desk, a series of serious-looking cameras and a small team of staff dressed in black managing the audio and visual aids for the accessible service. I was seated in the middle of what was previously the mosh pit. Chipped wooden floors vibrated beneath my boots as the congregation cheered and stamped their feet welcoming the leading band onto the stage to a well-produced modern video of young people running through the streets of London in search of their faith to a timed light show. If the sing-a-long style lyrics and catchy musical riffs weren’t about Jesus, I would have mistaken my being at a rock concert rather than a church service.
Some months ago, I went for an early morning run with a mate at my fieldsite. After a short trot together, she left for work, and I decided – against all advice from my adopted Aboriginal family and many others – to put off my fieldnotes and continue a few more kilometres on the road alone. A short way up, I saw in the distance a lone figure seemingly dancing about on the road. I was all at once entranced, curious, astonished, and frightened. I turned and returned speedier than ever before!
A while ago I read something on Twitter that got me thinking. The tweet read something along the lines of: “What kind of sci-fi dystopia are we living in where robots taking all our jobs is considered a problem?” A slightly more positive spin on this is: “The problem isn't that robots are taking over our jobs, the problem is that we've created a world where that's somehow a bad thing.” These feel like somewhat glib responses to increasingly complex questions about inequality and automation; however, what they actually ask are fundamental questions about what we value and how we structure society. In essence: “Why should we work?”