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fquaye149
07-03-2005, 05:16 PM
Watching today's game vs. the A's and hearing Ken the Hawk Harrelson remark on the man being escorted to his own safety after refusing to throw back a home run ball got me thinking in a non-linear manner. That is, I thought of how that would never happen at the cell. If someone refused to throw a ball back and anyone hassled him the immediate response would be "what are we, Cub fans?"

Which triggered this thought: Are the White Sox the only fan base in baseball who has a true identity as a fanbase insomuch as they can define themself clearly by what they are not?

Lacanian and Sausurrian thought seems to predicate that identity can only be defined through opposites - that is, I can only define myself by what I am not - a non-smoker, a non-teetotaler (as is obvious by the nature of this thread:D:)...if I am white, that only means that I am not a minority. If I am a minority I am not white. There is nothing intrinsic in a person to be white or black or oriental or hispanic - they are only defined by being a part of a group that is not an other.

Likewise, all baseball fan bases, the Astros, for instance, can define themselves as Astros fans, but what does that mean? That they are not a fan of any other team in baseball but the Astros, or if they are a fan of another team that they do not value it as highly as the Astros. So in other words, they are the kind of people who do not value another team above the Astros. As opposed to that sort of people who value another team above the Astros (or a fan of any other baseball team). However that is general. It really says nothing about the fan base. What exactly is an Astro fan? Even an Astro fan would be unlikely to be able to say. Perhaps they live in Texas. That's not necessary though. So what is an Astros fan? Nothing really.

Meanwhile, there are other teams who can be a little more specific. Red Sox and Yankees fans would likely define themselves secondarily by their opposition to their rival team. Likewise Cub fans and Cardinal fans, Pirates and Reds fans, etc. However, that doesn't really mean anything does it? What is a Yankee fan that a Red Sox fan can be opposed to it? Really they are the same sort of person except they were probably born in different parts of New England.

The White Sox, however, have a necessary distinction and self-definition. We are NOT Cub fans. We are not opposed to the Cubs, but we are most certainly not Cub fans. Speaking generally, we are the kind of people who DO NOT throw home run balls back. We are the kind of people who do not get distracted by babes during the game. We are the kind of people who do not need to be patted on the back by Ron Santo.

These can all be stated positively, as in, we keep home run balls, we pay attention to the game, we are knowledgable and confident, etc. However, they gain more wait by their concrete opposition to the Cubs. Therefore the White Sox fan base is the most present in all of baseball - we have the most substantial existence, most character etc.

Does this make any sense? Am I rambling or confused in my undergraduate English major sort of way? IS this a waste of time to consider (let alone slog through)? Should I just refrain from coming near the keyboard after:gulp:?

:)

MarySwiss
07-03-2005, 06:10 PM
We are NOT Cub fans. We are not opposed to the Cubs, but we are most certainly not Cub fans. Speaking generally, we are the kind of people who DO NOT throw home run balls back.

These can all be stated positively, as in, we keep home run balls, we pay attention to the game, we are knowledgable and confident, etc.

Does this make any sense? Am I rambling or confused in my undergraduate English major sort of way?

Let's see: Agree, disagree, agree, agree, agree. I guess for the most part, I agree with you (except for the "We are not opposed to the Cubs" part).

I have never gotten this 'throw back the home run ball" thing. When I still lived in Chicago, I occasionally accompanied Cub fan friends to games at Wrigley and sat in the bleachers, hoping against hope that I'd get a home run ball. My friends told me I'd throw it back because the pressure would be too great. Unfortunately, I never got one, but I assure you that if I had, there was NO WAY I was throwing it back!

And I remember watching part of a Cubs game (inadvertently. I'm married to a Cub fan--although soon to be ex-Cub fan, or single!) and an elderly man caught a home run ball. Those jerks kept on him 'til he threw it back. It was obvious that catching that ball was a big thrill for him and equally obvious that he didn't want to "throw it back." The nearby drunken Cub fans applauded like they'd just won the Series, when what they'd actually done was browbeat an elderly man to the point of submission and pretty much wreck a moment that could have been special for him and was unlikely to occur again. Way to go, Cub fans! You guys sure are studs!

Eighth inning. Oakland 7, Sox 2. I just do not get this; we should be kicking this team's ass! :angry:

Excuse me. It's time for several :gulp: :gulp: :gulp:

Spicoli
07-03-2005, 06:29 PM
The thread title should be, according to the logic* of a philosophical system* that evades systematic* logic*: "White Sox only Non-Structuralist Fanbase."

I need to be able to use some Derridian characters in order to really make the above work; but you get my point, maybe.

Interesting (non)-theory, at any rate...

DSpivack
07-03-2005, 06:37 PM
So, in their philosophic outlook, Sox fans are the best in baseball?

Like we didn't know this already.

fquaye149
07-03-2005, 07:01 PM
The thread title should be, according to the logic* of a philosophical system* that evades systematic* logic*: "White Sox only Non-Structuralist Fanbase."

I need to be able to use some Derridian characters in order to really make the above work; but you get my point, maybe.

Interesting (non)-theory, at any rate...

well Derrida is more Deconstrucitonist, isn't he? I was thinking the new linguism of DeSausurre, Lacan, Foucalt and their reproach of liberal humanism through the exploration of signs - that is, how does the term "white sox fan" relate to the actual white sox fan and how does a sox fan become a sox fan - what gives it identity, as well as what makes the process in sox fans different from the chump fans of the other teams.

or maybe I just have it all mixed up like 311

fquaye149
07-03-2005, 07:14 PM
So, in their philosophic outlook, Sox fans are the best in baseball?

Like we didn't know this already.

Well, it's like when you find out broccoli prevents cancer.

You always knew it was good for you. Now you know why :redneck

Rocklive99
07-03-2005, 07:16 PM
Watching today's game vs. the A's and hearing Ken the Hawk Harrelson remark on the man being escorted to his own safety after refusing to throw back a home run ball got me thinking in a non-linear manner. That is, I thought of how that would never happen at the cell. If someone refused to throw a ball back and anyone hassled him the immediate response would be "what are we, Cub fans?"

Which triggered this thought: Are the White Sox the only fan base in baseball who has a true identity as a fanbase insomuch as they can define themself clearly by what they are not?

Lacanian and Sausurrian thought seems to predicate that identity can only be defined through opposites - that is, I can only define myself by what I am not - a non-smoker, a non-teetotaler (as is obvious by the nature of this thread:D:)...if I am white, that only means that I am not a minority. If I am a minority I am not white. There is nothing intrinsic in a person to be white or black or oriental or hispanic - they are only defined by being a part of a group that is not an other.

Likewise, all baseball fan bases, the Astros, for instance, can define themselves as Astros fans, but what does that mean? That they are not a fan of any other team in baseball but the Astros, or if they are a fan of another team that they do not value it as highly as the Astros. So in other words, they are the kind of people who do not value another team above the Astros. As opposed to that sort of people who value another team above the Astros (or a fan of any other baseball team). However that is general. It really says nothing about the fan base. What exactly is an Astro fan? Even an Astro fan would be unlikely to be able to say. Perhaps they live in Texas. That's not necessary though. So what is an Astros fan? Nothing really.

Meanwhile, there are other teams who can be a little more specific. Red Sox and Yankees fans would likely define themselves secondarily by their opposition to their rival team. Likewise Cub fans and Cardinal fans, Pirates and Reds fans, etc. However, that doesn't really mean anything does it? What is a Yankee fan that a Red Sox fan can be opposed to it? Really they are the same sort of person except they were probably born in different parts of New England.

The White Sox, however, have a necessary distinction and self-definition. We are NOT Cub fans. We are not opposed to the Cubs, but we are most certainly not Cub fans. Speaking generally, we are the kind of people who DO NOT throw home run balls back. We are the kind of people who do not get distracted by babes during the game. We are the kind of people who do not need to be patted on the back by Ron Santo.

These can all be stated positively, as in, we keep home run balls, we pay attention to the game, we are knowledgable and confident, etc. However, they gain more wait by their concrete opposition to the Cubs. Therefore the White Sox fan base is the most present in all of baseball - we have the most substantial existence, most character etc.

Does this make any sense? Am I rambling or confused in my undergraduate English major sort of way? IS this a waste of time to consider (let alone slog through)? Should I just refrain from coming near the keyboard after:gulp:?

:)

Your WHAT hurts???

fquaye149
07-03-2005, 07:21 PM
Your WHAT hurts???

my drinkingbone

Iwritecode
07-05-2005, 12:44 PM
On one of the national games on ESPN one of the announcers summed it up pretty well. He said the attitude of a lot of Sox fans seems to be "We're NOT the Cubs!" Followed up with "You wanna make somthing of it?!?"

I kinda like it. :cool:

SOXSINCE'70
07-05-2005, 12:49 PM
my drinkingbone

Is that anywhere near my hamburgerbone,my kosherhotdogbone,
or my pretzelrodbone?? :roflmao: :roflmao: :gulp: :gulp:

fquaye149
07-05-2005, 01:05 PM
Is that anywhere near my hamburgerbone,my kosherhotdogbone,
or my pretzelrodbone?? :roflmao: :roflmao: :gulp: :gulp:

all's i know is what the country music tells me. allegedly it's connected to the party bone, which is in turn connected to the staying up all night long...and that's connected to the "she won't think it's funny and i'll wind up all alone" meaning that the lonely bone is inevitably connected to the drinking bone.

but I suppose in my case the drinking bone is connected to the bizarre French postmodern literary theory thread starting bone.

Flight #24
07-05-2005, 01:08 PM
Hold on, gimme a sec here.......

:bong:

Ah, much better. Now I can go back and re-read that post.
:smokin:

Baby Fisk
07-05-2005, 01:22 PM
I believe it was Lautréamont who said:

If anything, what defines a Sox fan is that deep down, Sox fans refuse to believe. You've seen all the dark cloud threads that bloom after every Sox loss (despite having the best record in baseball). It's as if we need to see a strikeout, or a win, or a championship before we will believe it's possible to get a strikeout, or a win, or a championship. We are very dedicated Sox fans here, but there's always a sense that we won't allow ourselves to believe that the Sox can win it all. Perhaps it's from being burned so many times in the past, in getting our hopes up before seeing them dashed. It's OK to be optimistic, but deep down, we all live with the dread of losing again. I think that sets us apart from many other fans. Cub fans and their like want to believe that they will win no matter how ridiculously bad their team is. Sox fans expect to lose, because that's all they've known all their lives. Of course, that just makes winning all the more orgasmic.

"White Sox Baseball: We'll Believe It When We See It." LOL

fquaye149
07-05-2005, 01:37 PM
I believe it was Lautréamont who said:

If anything, what defines a Sox fan is that deep down, Sox fans refuse to believe. You've seen all the dark cloud threads that bloom after every Sox loss (despite having the best record in baseball). It's as if we need to see a strikeout, or a win, or a championship before we will believe it's possible to get a strikeout, or a win, or a championship. We are very dedicated Sox fans here, but there's always a sense that we won't allow ourselves to believe that the Sox can win it all. Perhaps it's from being burned so many times in the past, in getting our hopes up before seeing them dashed. It's OK to be optimistic, but deep down, we all live with the dread of losing again. I think that sets us apart from many other fans. Cub fans and their like want to believe that they will win no matter how ridiculously bad their team is. Sox fans expect to lose, because that's all they've known all their lives. Of course, that just makes winning all the more orgasmic.

"White Sox Baseball: We'll Believe It When We See It." LOL

White Sox: The Empiricist's Fanbase?

tebman
07-05-2005, 02:03 PM
White Sox: The Empiricist's Fanbase?
That just about wraps it up. If, by empiricist, you mean those who gain knowledge & wisdom from experience, then that's who we are.

There's an excerpt of an old Jean Shepard riff on this WSI page (http://www.whitesoxinteractive.com/SoxSounds.htm) (titled "Balls") that summarizes a Sox fan as one who measures victories in terms of defeats. That is, if the Sox lose by 4 to 2, that's a good day because the previous day they lost 9 to 1. You could expand that into seasons or to players' careers and up until this year that would pretty much hold true.

Empiricists yes, fatalists maybe, but not without a fight. I think Dylan Thomas must have been a Sox fan:

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage at the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightening they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage at the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage at the dying of the light.

Baby Fisk
07-05-2005, 02:21 PM
That just about wraps it up. If, by empiricist, you mean those who gain knowledge & wisdom from experience, then that's who we are.

There's an excerpt of an old Jean Shepard riff on this WSI page (http://www.whitesoxinteractive.com/SoxSounds.htm) (titled "Balls") that summarizes a Sox fan as one who measures victories in terms of defeats. That is, if the Sox lose by 4 to 2, that's a good day because the previous day they lost 9 to 1. You could expand that into seasons or to players' careers and up until this year that would pretty much hold true.

Empiricists yes, fatalists maybe, but not without a fight. I think Dylan Thomas must have been a Sox fan:

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage at the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightening they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage at the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage at the dying of the light.
Maybe not fatalists. If we were fatalists, we wouldn't care so much.

Tekijawa
07-05-2005, 02:26 PM
WHOA, I must be lost. Can someone point me in the direction of a thread with smaller words, maybe one with words of 7 letters or less.

Thanks,
Teki

fquaye149
07-05-2005, 02:29 PM
WHOA, I must be lost. Can someone point me in the direction of a thread with smaller words, maybe one with words of 7 letters or less.

Thanks,
Teki

haha, a 21 year old and an english degree are a dangerous combination.

Tekijawa
07-05-2005, 02:39 PM
haha, a 21 year old and an english degree are a dangerous combination.

When I was your age I was DRINKING OLD ENGLISH, also a dangerous combination!

Baby Fisk
07-05-2005, 02:45 PM
We haven't really touched upon existentialism yet... unless this entire thread has been fquaye's exercise in existentialism. I have a sudden craving for café au lait.

DumpJerry
07-05-2005, 02:55 PM
Finally, I have an argument to throw in the faces of Flub fans to prove to them we are superior.

Their response::?:

fquaye149
07-05-2005, 02:59 PM
When I was your age I was DRINKING OLD ENGLISH, also a dangerous combination!

when slug from atmosphere says, "i ain't drank 40's since I became old enough to drink" I always wonder "what's HIS problem?"

fquaye149
07-05-2005, 03:00 PM
We haven't really touched upon existentialism yet... unless this entire thread has been fquaye's exercise in existentialism. I have a sudden craving for café au lait.

this thread has been as solipsistic for me as WhiteSoxJosh's quest to trade Crede (or so some have suggested)

Baby Fisk
07-05-2005, 03:18 PM
this thread has been as solipsistic for me as WhiteSoxJosh's quest to trade Crede (or so some have suggested)
Josh had some takers, didn't he?

mjharrison72
07-05-2005, 03:22 PM
when slug from atmosphere says, "i ain't drank 40's since I became old enough to drink" I always wonder "what's HIS problem?"
Not to hijack your thread or anything, but Atmosphere is freaking awesome. Especially that disc. First time I have heard someone outside my circle of music snobs mention him.

NealCotts4Life
07-05-2005, 03:54 PM
About the throwing the ball back. When one of the Rays hit a hr in the the right field stands yesterday, there was quite the crew of people yelling at the person who caught the ball to throw it back. He didn't but I was dissapointed. So i think with the winning comes the fairwheater fans who were cubs fans not to long ago. Also the wave is just as bad, there were about 8 attempts but they could get no momentum. I thanked God becuase this is not the North side. Shut up and watch the game.

Ol' No. 2
07-06-2005, 11:11 AM
Has no one ever played "20 questions"? One does not begin asking questions about what the thing is, but rather, one begins by asking questions that eliminate large groups of possibilities. But in the later questions, the strategy changes, and one begins to ask questions that progressively focus more narrowly on what the thing is, and these questions eventually converge on the answer. A quest for self-definition proceeds the same way. If one can hope to succeed, you begin by process of elimination from the many possibilities that exist, and this must lead to definition by what we are not. But this does not lead to the final understanding. Like the game of "20 questions", it's only the first phase. The more subtle nuances can only be understood by focussing more and more narrowly on who we are and especially how we relate to the world around us. (I don't believe we can have a "personality" except in its relationship to the outside.)

To define ourselves as "Sox fans", one must first determine what we are not (i.e. Cubs fans, Yankee fans, etc.). This is why it's IMPOSSIBLE to be a "fan of both teams". But one must eventually begin to define "Sox fan" in terms of our own history, and this is always self-referential.

gr8mexico
07-06-2005, 11:27 AM
I believe it was Lautréamont who said:

If anything, what defines a Sox fan is that deep down, Sox fans refuse to believe. You've seen all the dark cloud threads that bloom after every Sox loss (despite having the best record in baseball). It's as if we need to see a strikeout, or a win, or a championship before we will believe it's possible to get a strikeout, or a win, or a championship. We are very dedicated Sox fans here, but there's always a sense that we won't allow ourselves to believe that the Sox can win it all. Perhaps it's from being burned so many times in the past, in getting our hopes up before seeing them dashed. It's OK to be optimistic, but deep down, we all live with the dread of losing again. I think that sets us apart from many other fans. Cub fans and their like want to believe that they will win no matter how ridiculously bad their team is. Sox fans expect to lose, because that's all they've known all their lives. Of course, that just makes winning all the more orgasmic.

"White Sox Baseball: We'll Believe It When We See It." LOL AMEN!!!!!

fquaye149
07-06-2005, 12:12 PM
To define ourselves as "Sox fans", one must first determine what we are not (i.e. Cubs fans, Yankee fans, etc.). This is why it's IMPOSSIBLE to be a "fan of both teams". But one must eventually begin to define "Sox fan" in terms of our own history, and this is always self-referential.

But what seperates someone like me (or, God help us, Aidan) who has no real relationship to the teams of 1959, 1977, or 1983, from people like you, Hal, Lip, and George who have a more historical basis?

As much as I appreciate the history of this franchise (and I do) I can really only relate to the White Sox starting with the playoff team of 1993, as any younger and I had no real connection to baseball or the team. Therefore, for me, being a White Sox fan has always been about cheering for Frank and the boys, whereas for older fans both Hoyt's, Nellie, Luis, Allen, et al actually mean something concrete. I have never seen any of those players play.

Once again this is what seperates us from other fans. We have no curses. The 1919 team has little relation to the 2005 team. For most other fans, something like that would have an intrinsic significance to being a fan. Perhaps that's what makes us so different: because our attempt to distance ourselves from that instance eliminates organic progression as a defining characteristic of our fans. That is, Cub fans or Yankee fans (although each in a quite different manner) approach their current team through the eyes of history - the Cubs in their curses and the Yankees by couching any lack of success with their 27 (?) championships. If the Sox fans did that, it would all regress to 1919, something undesirable for many (not to diminish the positive accomplishments of the team, but the stigma is there).

However, that's unlikely. What's more likely is that Sox fans are not unrealistic about history - they realize what's going on on the field today has very little to do with 1919, 1959, 1977, and 1983. Very few if any Sox players watched the Sox growing up. They are Sox now and they will be Sox in our memories forever, but they are not an organic component of the historical Sox. Therefore curses mean nothing to us. They would mean nothing to Cubs players, but the media allows it to mean something to Cubs players. Cub fans allow it to mean something to Cubs players. We don't.

In regards to your 20 question example, a linguist might say that proves his point (I'm not a linguist). The thing is, even as we approach the positives that define a Sox fan (positive not in the benificent sense but in the affirmative sense) we might notice that, without something to contrast the Sox fanbase to, there is no Sox fan. If there were no fans of other teams, how could there be a Sox fan?

While other fans have to say the same about their fanbase, my point was to say the fact that we can so accurately define ourself through negation that we are the only fan base to have a definite identity.

Steakpita
07-06-2005, 02:28 PM
A few things...

1. I was about six feet away from catching the Todd Hollandsworth HR ball the day we beat the Flubs 12-2. If I had caught it, and the thought definitely crossed my mind, I would have tossed it back RIGHT AWAY, without the slightest hesitation. I hate the "throw it back" peer pressure - as you say, it goes from cheesy to borderline sickening, like with the old guy - but in this situation, I feel like it would have been the right thing to do. I sure didn't want that ball! Isn't that what it's supposed to signify?

2. Atmosphere is the SH*T. How do you all feel about RJD2?

3. IMO, Sox fans are the best fans in the world (and I may be way off base with this next part) because on the most basic level, we will always love this team, but we're also not afraid to THINK about them as an organization with strong and weak points that are fair game for debate, like/dislike, etc. Each individual team has to earn the irrational faith and trust that they'll perform by actually doing so. And once they do that, we are there behind them no matter what the score or inning or situation.

4. I'm 21, so I echo the comments regarding earlier Sox legends. The single best connector to the 'old days' I've ever seen was the Sox-Dodgers series. The Sox PR team did a great job of inspiring fans to make that connection between past Sox greatness ('59) and current success, and then the team actually went and backed it up with a freakin' unbelievable sweep. From those games onward, I will think this team can do anything until they prove me wrong - and they haven't yet. ::knock on wood::

5. Saw Ronnie Woo-Woo at the Evanston parade the other day. It's really sad, and symbolic of Cubs fans as a whole, that this poor guy is paraded around like a minstrel show performer for the sh*ts and giggles of rich North Shore yuppies. I was talking with a Cubs fan about this and he said something about the Cubs being better than us because they *have* a "Number One Fan." I think that what makes us so good is that we DON'T. Everyone's on the same level, and so is this Sox club... god, what a magical season so far. (OH, and when he pushed on the "dude no one famous is a Sox fan" it gave me a great chance to point out that one of our hugest fans is the MAYOR, and theirs is a Bum. Boo-yah.

Ol' No. 2
07-06-2005, 03:48 PM
But what seperates someone like me (or, God help us, Aidan) who has no real relationship to the teams of 1959, 1977, or 1983, from people like you, Hal, Lip, and George who have a more historical basis?

As much as I appreciate the history of this franchise (and I do) I can really only relate to the White Sox starting with the playoff team of 1993, as any younger and I had no real connection to baseball or the team. Therefore, for me, being a White Sox fan has always been about cheering for Frank and the boys, whereas for older fans both Hoyt's, Nellie, Luis, Allen, et al actually mean something concrete. I have never seen any of those players play.

Once again this is what seperates us from other fans. We have no curses. The 1919 team has little relation to the 2005 team. For most other fans, something like that would have an intrinsic significance to being a fan. Perhaps that's what makes us so different: because our attempt to distance ourselves from that instance eliminates organic progression as a defining characteristic of our fans. That is, Cub fans or Yankee fans (although each in a quite different manner) approach their current team through the eyes of history - the Cubs in their curses and the Yankees by couching any lack of success with their 27 (?) championships. If the Sox fans did that, it would all regress to 1919, something undesirable for many (not to diminish the positive accomplishments of the team, but the stigma is there).

However, that's unlikely. What's more likely is that Sox fans are not unrealistic about history - they realize what's going on on the field today has very little to do with 1919, 1959, 1977, and 1983. Very few if any Sox players watched the Sox growing up. They are Sox now and they will be Sox in our memories forever, but they are not an organic component of the historical Sox. Therefore curses mean nothing to us. They would mean nothing to Cubs players, but the media allows it to mean something to Cubs players. Cub fans allow it to mean something to Cubs players. We don't.

In regards to your 20 question example, a linguist might say that proves his point (I'm not a linguist). The thing is, even as we approach the positives that define a Sox fan (positive not in the benificent sense but in the affirmative sense) we might notice that, without something to contrast the Sox fanbase to, there is no Sox fan. If there were no fans of other teams, how could there be a Sox fan?

While other fans have to say the same about their fanbase, my point was to say the fact that we can so accurately define ourself through negation that we are the only fan base to have a definite identity.Individual identity is certainly a product of that individual's experience history. Every individual is, in that sense, totally unique. But each person also has a cultural history, which is different. A cultural history does not just include personal experience, but the experiences of others in that cultural group with which you identify. African-Americans today have never directly experienced slavery, but its history is obviously a part of their cultural identity. If the Sox had won 20 WS titles before you were born, that would certainly have changed your present experience as a Sox fan, so the lack of WS titles must also contribute.

When you talk about a Sox fan identity (as a group, not as an individual), I think you're really talking about the cultural identity, and that cultural identity is made up of many things that you may have never directly experienced. These become assimilated into your personal experience through storytelling (an essential feature of cultural identity) and by association with other fans. Baseball is certainly unique among spectator sports in the rich statistical heritage (a kind of storytelling) that it has. If we have no curses, it's not because of individual experience, but the cultural identity that does not embrace that sort of thing. None of these things automatically require contrast with fans of other teams.

Baby Fisk
07-06-2005, 04:00 PM
Individual identity is certainly a product of that individual's experience history. Every individual is, in that sense, totally unique. But each person also has a cultural history, which is different. A cultural history does not just include personal experience, but the experiences of others in that cultural group with which you identify. African-Americans today have never directly experienced slavery, but its history is obviously a part of their cultural identity. If the Sox had won 20 WS titles before you were born, that would certainly have changed your present experience as a Sox fan, so the lack of WS titles must also contribute.

When you talk about a Sox fan identity (as a group, not as an individual), I think you're really talking about the cultural identity, and that cultural identity is made up of many things that you may have never directly experienced. These become assimilated into your personal experience through storytelling (an essential feature of cultural identity) and by association with other fans. Baseball is certainly unique among spectator sports in the rich statistical heritage (a kind of storytelling) that it has. If we have no curses, it's not because of individual experience, but the cultural identity that does not embrace that sort of thing. None of these things automatically require contrast with fans of other teams.
Good points, especially your last one. We don't have to define ourselves through negatives (ie: what we are not).

Ol' No. 2
07-06-2005, 04:23 PM
Good points, especially your last one. We don't have to define ourselves through negatives (ie: what we are not).White Sox have always had a kind of working-class cultural identity, while Cubs fans have developed a yuppie identity. It's important to understand that these are stereotypes. Many of us sons of working-class parents have gone on to college and professional careers, but the cultural identity persists. Interestingly, I believe that this is the root of the media bias against the White Sox fans (remember, it's not just the Tribune). Advertisers blindly accept these stereotypes and view Cubs fans as more desirable targets for their ads, and this, in turn, leads the media to cater to Cubs fans.

Baby Fisk
07-06-2005, 04:44 PM
White Sox have always had a kind of working-class cultural identity, while Cubs fans have developed a yuppie identity. It's important to understand that these are stereotypes. Many of us sons of working-class parents have gone on to college and professional careers, but the cultural identity persists. Interestingly, I believe that this is the root of the media bias against the White Sox fans (remember, it's not just the Tribune). Advertisers blindly accept these stereotypes and view Cubs fans as more desirable targets for their ads, and this, in turn, leads the media to cater to Cubs fans.
Just the other night, didn't the Hawk refer to a hit by Frank Thomas as "a working class hit?"

fquaye149
07-06-2005, 05:29 PM
Good points, especially your last one. We don't have to define ourselves through negatives (ie: what we are not).

that's one point of view. I'm not saying that the Sox are the only team to define themselves through negatives. I'm saying perhaps everyone and everything can only define themself through negatives, and the Sox are the only fanbase whose definition through negation reveals a concrete and positive identity.

Ol' No. 2
07-06-2005, 05:38 PM
that's one point of view. I'm not saying that the Sox are the only team to define themselves through negatives. I'm saying perhaps everyone and everything can only define themself through negatives, and the Sox are the only fanbase whose definition through negation reveals a concrete and positive identity.Make a list of things that define the Sox fans cultural identity. I'll bet you find that, while there are some negatives, they don't comprise a majority or even a large minority.

fquaye149
07-06-2005, 06:01 PM
Make a list of things that define the Sox fans cultural identity. I'll bet you find that, while there are some negatives, they don't comprise a majority or even a large minority.

ok. like i said - that's one way of looking at it.

but what i'm talking about is the idea that objects have no intrinsic identity except for what they are not.

if this were the case, the fact that the White Sox fans are only defined by negatives would be the exact same as everything else in the world.

This is of course, theoretical and not at all concrete, and illogical even, but it is a way of thinking that is often accepted in critical thought, and is the approach i was using, really, for this thread only.

Ol' No. 2
07-06-2005, 06:07 PM
ok. like i said - that's one way of looking at it.

but what i'm talking about is the idea that objects have no intrinsic identity except for what they are not.

if this were the case, the fact that the White Sox fans are only defined by negatives would be the exact same as everything else in the world.

This is of course, theoretical and not at all concrete, and illogical even, but it is a way of thinking that is often accepted in critical thought, and is the approach i was using, really, for this thread only.Does a horse have an identity only because it's not a cow?

fquaye149
07-06-2005, 07:34 PM
Does a horse have an identity only because it's not a cow?

That's not how it works. The basic idea is that horse is only a linguistic title used to signify what we consider a horse. A way of looking at it is there are many different breeds of horses. Yet when we say horse we mean them all. The only thing that seperates horse from other animals is that we draw a line and say beyond these genus they are not a horse. Like take cats. A fox is not a cat. However there are millions of kinds of cats. A fox could just as easily be a cat. Zoologists, however, would be able to tell you why a fox is NOT a cat (making it a fox). It would be a lot harder for them to tell you why it IS a fox.

Likewise, a Yankees fan is in many ways a Yankee fan because he's NOT a fan of any team. For most teams besides the White Sox it is hard to pin down exactly what makes a fan of a team a Fan Of A Team. However, since the specificities of the White Sox non-being (to put it obtusely) are so numerous and detailed in contrast particularly to ignorance and cub fans (a redundancy?), it is easier to say what a Sox fan is. They have more identity through this.

You don't have to agree with the idea that things are identified by non-identity. Frankly I don't agree with it completely myself. However:

I was drunk. I applied a critical theory model to the White Sox fan base prompted by how we often pride ourself to being unlike Cub fans. I didn't invent the theory. Don't blame me. Blame Jacques Lacan (damn French)

Chips
07-06-2005, 07:45 PM
all's i know is what the country music tells me. allegedly it's connected to the party bone, which is in turn connected to the staying up all night long...and that's connected to the "she won't think it's funny and i'll wind up all alone" meaning that the lonely bone is inevitably connected to the drinking bone.

but I suppose in my case the drinking bone is connected to the bizarre French postmodern literary theory thread starting bone.

I love Tracy Byrd.

Baby Fisk
07-07-2005, 09:10 AM
that's one point of view. I'm not saying that the Sox are the only team to define themselves through negatives. I'm saying perhaps everyone and everything can only define themself through negatives, and the Sox are the only fanbase whose definition through negation reveals a concrete and positive identity.
I'm not buying what you're selling!

fquaye149
07-07-2005, 09:58 AM
I'm not buying what you're selling!

Thanks for the update:D:

Baby Fisk
07-07-2005, 10:31 AM
Thanks for the update:D:
Heh. Seriously tho, I guess there's something unappealingly negative about defining one's self through negatives. I drink, therefore I am. Now who but Al Anon would find that to be a negative statement? :cool:

tebman
07-07-2005, 10:33 AM
White Sox have always had a kind of working-class cultural identity, while Cubs fans have developed a yuppie identity. It's important to understand that these are stereotypes. Many of us sons of working-class parents have gone on to college and professional careers, but the cultural identity persists. Interestingly, I believe that this is the root of the media bias against the White Sox fans (remember, it's not just the Tribune). Advertisers blindly accept these stereotypes and view Cubs fans as more desirable targets for their ads, and this, in turn, leads the media to cater to Cubs fans.
I've always thought that deeper analysis of anything can be useful, but it often has an "isn't-that-interesting?" quality that reduces to trivia questions. I think the simplest answers are usually the right ones, and No. 2 has nailed it here.

So many things reduce to issues of commerce and economics, and the efforts to maintain those issues by creating and holding a position. The cultural identity we have as Sox fans persists, just as the professional-class identity of Cub fans persists, generations after the original significance is lost. Those distinctions are worth money to marketers and that's what fans the flames.

The Tribune, the Sun-Times, the vapid TV stations and the nearly-as-vapid radio stations are marketing vehicles. The marketers believe that the Cub fan base is more desirable, hence the endless maypole-dancing on behalf of the Cubs. The Tribune's and the Cubs' business relationship is an insidious variation on this theme.

The Sox are going to have to win a World Series, maybe two. Then the celebrities, the captains of industry, the kings and noblemen, and the gaggle of people who follow them will anoint the White Sox and their fans as "desirable." Cultural identity means a lot because it's worth a lot of money to a lot of corporations.

Maybe I'm cynical, but I think that's the simple answer.

balke
07-07-2005, 10:42 AM
Some fans tried getting people to throw the ball back yesterday, and then tried starting the wave. So this wouldn't surprise me. I think there are a lot of new faces at the park wearing black and white that need to realize the Cell isn't Wrigley.

Ol' No. 2
07-07-2005, 10:58 AM
That's not how it works. The basic idea is that horse is only a linguistic title used to signify what we consider a horse. A way of looking at it is there are many different breeds of horses. Yet when we say horse we mean them all. The only thing that seperates horse from other animals is that we draw a line and say beyond these genus they are not a horse. Like take cats. A fox is not a cat. However there are millions of kinds of cats. A fox could just as easily be a cat. Zoologists, however, would be able to tell you why a fox is NOT a cat (making it a fox). It would be a lot harder for them to tell you why it IS a fox.

Likewise, a Yankees fan is in many ways a Yankee fan because he's NOT a fan of any team. For most teams besides the White Sox it is hard to pin down exactly what makes a fan of a team a Fan Of A Team. However, since the specificities of the White Sox non-being (to put it obtusely) are so numerous and detailed in contrast particularly to ignorance and cub fans (a redundancy?), it is easier to say what a Sox fan is. They have more identity through this.

You don't have to agree with the idea that things are identified by non-identity. Frankly I don't agree with it completely myself. However:

I was drunk. I applied a critical theory model to the White Sox fan base prompted by how we often pride ourself to being unlike Cub fans. I didn't invent the theory. Don't blame me. Blame Jacques Lacan (damn French)There's a logical flaw in defining a thing by what it is not. In your example, being NOT a fan of any team other than the Yankees does not automatically denote a Yankees fan. He may not be a baseball fan at all. And even if you do successfully exclude every other possibility, isn't that just a semantic game? Isn't saying "A horse a horse only because it's not anything other than a horse" just a lot of doubletalk?

Any identity will inevitably have elements of negative definition. Part of being a horse is that it doesn't have fins. But to infer that a horse is PRIMARILY defined by what it doesn't have turns identity on its head.

fquaye149
07-07-2005, 11:56 AM
There's a logical flaw in defining a thing by what it is not. In your example, being NOT a fan of any team other than the Yankees does not automatically denote a Yankees fan. He may not be a baseball fan at all. And even if you do successfully exclude every other possibility, isn't that just a semantic game? Isn't saying "A horse a horse only because it's not anything other than a horse" just a lot of doubletalk?

Any identity will inevitably have elements of negative definition. Part of being a horse is that it doesn't have fins. But to infer that a horse is PRIMARILY defined by what it doesn't have turns identity on its head.

Oh gosh man, my definition is by definition rudimentary. I'm doing the best I can to explain...if you get hung up on semantics without taking time to try to understand the spirit of the argument which I'm putting forth to the best of my ability, you're not going to get much out of this. I'm not an early 20th century French philosopher. I'm just an undergrad student who took a literary criticism class.

If you really want to understand this read a book on postmodern thought.

If you don't want to understand, why bother arguing with me?

Here are the problems with your refutations:

I'm saying if someone's a baseball fan and a fan of a team and he is not a fan of any other team but the yankees he is a yankees fan.

Likewise a horse is not anything but a land animal and he is nothing but a horse. Therein is the idea. Can you grant me some leeway here since I'm not an expert on the subject (I don't even have a BA) and understand the basic concept of what I'm trying to say?

If you can't understand how someone could say that the word horse is not necessarily representative of the positive qualities of a horse (since each horse is an individual entity even within its species) but rather an exclusionary word to create parameters in which we can recognize certain things as "horse" and other things as "not horse" then we can't really have this conversation.

I didn't say you had to agree with me, I dont' even agree with me FWIW...the idea is simply that if you describe a horse without including negative exclusions all that the symbol is is an evocation of a generic horse without parts...a silhouette of a horse on a 3rd grade flash card. By introducing negative definitions it is easier to perceive a horse non visually by relating it and contrasting it with other known things.

That is, a horse has brown fur. It has four legs. It has a long nose. It is thin, sleek and muscular. I mean what can I really say positive to describe a horse?

Then you might start asking questions:

"Is it like a zebra?"

Yes, but without the stripes...

"Is it like a cow?"

Yes, but more mobile and thinner

Are you starting to understand?

Ol' No. 2
07-07-2005, 01:50 PM
Oh gosh man, my definition is by definition rudimentary. I'm doing the best I can to explain...if you get hung up on semantics without taking time to try to understand the spirit of the argument which I'm putting forth to the best of my ability, you're not going to get much out of this. I'm not an early 20th century French philosopher. I'm just an undergrad student who took a literary criticism class.

If you really want to understand this read a book on postmodern thought.

If you don't want to understand, why bother arguing with me?

Here are the problems with your refutations:

I'm saying if someone's a baseball fan and a fan of a team and he is not a fan of any other team but the yankees he is a yankees fan.

Likewise a horse is not anything but a land animal and he is nothing but a horse. Therein is the idea. Can you grant me some leeway here since I'm not an expert on the subject (I don't even have a BA) and understand the basic concept of what I'm trying to say?

If you can't understand how someone could say that the word horse is not necessarily representative of the positive qualities of a horse (since each horse is an individual entity even within its species) but rather an exclusionary word to create parameters in which we can recognize certain things as "horse" and other things as "not horse" then we can't really have this conversation.

I didn't say you had to agree with me, I dont' even agree with me FWIW...the idea is simply that if you describe a horse without including negative exclusions all that the symbol is is an evocation of a generic horse without parts...a silhouette of a horse on a 3rd grade flash card. By introducing negative definitions it is easier to perceive a horse non visually by relating it and contrasting it with other known things.

That is, a horse has brown fur. It has four legs. It has a long nose. It is thin, sleek and muscular. I mean what can I really say positive to describe a horse?

Then you might start asking questions:

"Is it like a zebra?"

Yes, but without the stripes...

"Is it like a cow?"

Yes, but more mobile and thinner

Are you starting to understand?I think the difference is that I would differentiate a linguistic definition from the identity. As far as I'm concerned, the linguistic definition is only a device to promote communication. A linguistic definition can be quite rudimentary (the generic horse without parts), as long as it serves the purpose of communication. It is necessarily connected in the mind with the perception of a horse, but that perception need not be identical between the two parties to the communication. It's only necessary that the rudimentary concept of the horse be shared.

But the identity of the horse is in the horse, not the linguistic definition. It may be useful to view some of the elements of that identity in terms of what it is not, but the important point is that negative definition will always be insufficient to fully define what it is. You'll never be able to fully define what a horse is solely by referral to what it is not, i.e. how it's different from a cow, a zebra, etc.

Which brings us back to the original question. An essential element of being a Sox fan is that we're not Cubs fans. But this is only a minor part. If the Cubs had left town 50 years ago, Sox fans would still have an identity (albeit a somewhat different one).

fquaye149
07-07-2005, 07:35 PM
I think the difference is that I would differentiate a linguistic definition from the identity. As far as I'm concerned, the linguistic definition is only a device to promote communication. A linguistic definition can be quite rudimentary (the generic horse without parts), as long as it serves the purpose of communication. It is necessarily connected in the mind with the perception of a horse, but that perception need not be identical between the two parties to the communication. It's only necessary that the rudimentary concept of the horse be shared.

But the identity of the horse is in the horse, not the linguistic definition. It may be useful to view some of the elements of that identity in terms of what it is not, but the important point is that negative definition will always be insufficient to fully define what it is. You'll never be able to fully define what a horse is solely by referral to what it is not, i.e. how it's different from a cow, a zebra, etc.

Which brings us back to the original question. An essential element of being a Sox fan is that we're not Cubs fans. But this is only a minor part. If the Cubs had left town 50 years ago, Sox fans would still have an identity (albeit a somewhat different one).

AH! herein lies the problem. A linguist would argue that nothing has an identity outside of language. Their claim is that thought is not possible without language.

This is a very hard point for people to embrace. I have absolutely not, although I can see some value in it:

for instance: if you see a horse, you are seeing it, yes, but even while you are seeing it you are evaluating and expressing what you see to yourself. You are doing that linguistically. If you break it up into its components, or even just look at it, it is only what you describe it to yourself as.

Think of a horse right now. Yes, you are seeing a picture in your mind, but

a.) it is not a perfect representation of a horse

b.) it is only one specific horse, or else an amalgamation of many horses you have seen, both equally bad

c.) the picture in your mind does no good unless you can externalize it through drawing, song, or word, all linguistic expressions.

Therefore, the best way to approach what a horse IS is to study a horse and evaluate what it is not.

It's not a fun concept, not a fun theory at all...and very contradictory to common sense. But like I said, I was drunk.


Oh and by the way: i didn't say the Sox don't have an identity without the Cubs. I said without the cubs their identity is no fuller than the identity of any other ball club. The Cubs' helps make the Sox' identity more vivid...pretty much what you just said :)

Ol' No. 2
07-08-2005, 12:29 AM
AH! herein lies the problem. A linguist would argue that nothing has an identity outside of language. Their claim is that thought is not possible without language.

This is a very hard point for people to embrace. I have absolutely not, although I can see some value in it:

for instance: if you see a horse, you are seeing it, yes, but even while you are seeing it you are evaluating and expressing what you see to yourself. You are doing that linguistically. If you break it up into its components, or even just look at it, it is only what you describe it to yourself as.

Think of a horse right now. Yes, you are seeing a picture in your mind, but

a.) it is not a perfect representation of a horse

b.) it is only one specific horse, or else an amalgamation of many horses you have seen, both equally bad

c.) the picture in your mind does no good unless you can externalize it through drawing, song, or word, all linguistic expressions.

Therefore, the best way to approach what a horse IS is to study a horse and evaluate what it is not.

It's not a fun concept, not a fun theory at all...and very contradictory to common sense. But like I said, I was drunk.


Oh and by the way: i didn't say the Sox don't have an identity without the Cubs. I said without the cubs their identity is no fuller than the identity of any other ball club. The Cubs' helps make the Sox' identity more vivid...pretty much what you just said :)I've heard the linguistic argument before, and it sounds like the "If a tree falls in the forest..." question. So if I'm not around to perceive the horse it doesn't have an identity? That can't be right. Or if its identity is only realized when someone perceives it, then it must have multiple identities, one for everyone who perceives it. Uh-uh. The identity is in the horse. It is only in how we understand it that problems arise.

Understanding of the horse begins with fitting the perception of the horse against a framework of experience. This involves comparing and contrasting with other parts of experience to gain a rudimentary understanding. Naturally, if I see a new animal, I begin by comparing and contrasting it with what I already know. But it's only a starting point. I don't believe you can fully understand something solely on the basis of what it is not. Eventually you have to delve into what it is.

The Cubs are certainly a part of the Sox fans' identity. The rivalry adds a dimension that is not there in all teams' cultures. But every team's identity is already unique by virtue of their different histories. Can it become more unique?

fquaye149
07-08-2005, 12:50 AM
I've heard the linguistic argument before, and it sounds like the "If a tree falls in the forest..." question. So if I'm not around to perceive the horse it doesn't have an identity? That can't be right. Or if its identity is only realized when someone perceives it, then it must have multiple identities, one for everyone who perceives it. Uh-uh. The identity is in the horse. It is only in how we understand it that problems arise.

Understanding of the horse begins with fitting the perception of the horse against a framework of experience. This involves comparing and contrasting with other parts of experience to gain a rudimentary understanding. Naturally, if I see a new animal, I begin by comparing and contrasting it with what I already know. But it's only a starting point. I don't believe you can fully understand something solely on the basis of what it is not. Eventually you have to delve into what it is.

The Cubs are certainly a part of the Sox fans' identity. The rivalry adds a dimension that is not there in all teams' cultures. But every team's identity is already unique by virtue of their different histories. Can it become more unique?

Keep in mind I'm only playing devil's advocate but...

What's more out there - saying that perception is a necessary component of identity, or saying that identity is something that "just IS.."....that the HORSE has essence in a vacuum.

Everything takes up space. That much is true. Beyond that what can we say about anything. What is intrinsic about a horse. Yes, there ARE things that are inherent to a horse, but without language what are they? They are ineffable. Therefore, if you approach a horse outside of linguistic space it has as much tangible identity as God - that is, it is the identity you describe your hypothetical horse in what you perceive as MY situation -

To reiterate: without definition through opposition, a horse is only what each person notices about a horse. If we can start agreeing what a horse is not, then a horse becomes a horse.

Everything you said about how to approach a horse (comparing and contrasting) fits what I was talking about - things can only be defined in relation to other things. We cannot say anything, for instance, about ourselves, without referencing other things similar or different (in each case, using non-definition to define ourself). That is, I am tall means nothing without short. Even if we define tall to mean the positive attribute of being GREATER than 6 feet, it still leaves the implication of short being less than 6 feet. Yes this is leftist doublespeak, I know. But this is the theory.

Same with the White Sox. While every team has its own history and certain identity to their fan base, only the White Sox are so clearly defined by what they are not. For instance, The A's have no idea where they stand on throwing balls back. The Cubs think they do, but if you asked them why they couldn't say. The White Sox have a clear definition of this component of their identity and it is through opposition. Every fanbase is diverse, but few have a unifying factor. The discursive space Sox fans have created for the CUB fan (a fan that exists but is not a Cubs fan, but is rather an individual fan of the Cubs) allows for a complete and total self:

Sox fans define themselves (among many other things of course) as an anti-"CUB FAN" (CUB FAN being in quotes because the CUB FAN created is not what a cub fan is in the same manner as when we speak of the Sox fan, but a symbol created to represent abercrombie wearing, tan getting, babe scoping, beer drinking, cell phone talking, score wondering, trust fund having, daddy's boy). Since this CUB FAN exists wholly in their mind, this is a very definite image to define the Sox fans. No other fan base can claim this distinction.

Even when Yankees and Red Sox fans spat, they couldn't say exactly what a Yankee or Red Sox fan is. They are just someone who likes the other team (a good enough reason to hate them). Can we say what a Twins fan is? I couldn't. No identity. Even when the Cub fans claim Sox fans are white trash, mullet having, field chargers, they don't really embrace that to the extent we do.

When someone starts a thread with the title Cub fans...something something we all know what they're talking about - stupidity, ignorance, etc. Therefore, this image of the Cub fan is something unique to the Sox, and while it is not the only thing that makes up the Sox fanbase, the opposition to this spectre of the Cub fan is something that makes the Sox fan base vivid, unique and fully formed, unlike the masses backing other teams.


Of course, I don't need this logic...I was drunk and now I'm covering up my tracks.

The reason I believe the Sox fan base is better is because I believe that objectively and inherently the White Sox are simply the best team ever to exist. Period. No reasoning. I know this like I know the sun will rise tomorrow.

Ol' No. 2
07-08-2005, 01:58 AM
Keep in mind I'm only playing devil's advocate but...

What's more out there - saying that perception is a necessary component of identity, or saying that identity is something that "just IS.."....that the HORSE has essence in a vacuum.

Everything takes up space. That much is true. Beyond that what can we say about anything. What is intrinsic about a horse. Yes, there ARE things that are inherent to a horse, but without language what are they? They are ineffable. Therefore, if you approach a horse outside of linguistic space it has as much tangible identity as God - that is, it is the identity you describe your hypothetical horse in what you perceive as MY situation -

To reiterate: without definition through opposition, a horse is only what each person notices about a horse. If we can start agreeing what a horse is not, then a horse becomes a horse.

Everything you said about how to approach a horse (comparing and contrasting) fits what I was talking about - things can only be defined in relation to other things. We cannot say anything, for instance, about ourselves, without referencing other things similar or different (in each case, using non-definition to define ourself). That is, I am tall means nothing without short. Even if we define tall to mean the positive attribute of being GREATER than 6 feet, it still leaves the implication of short being less than 6 feet. Yes this is leftist doublespeak, I know. But this is the theory.

Same with the White Sox. While every team has its own history and certain identity to their fan base, only the White Sox are so clearly defined by what they are not. For instance, The A's have no idea where they stand on throwing balls back. The Cubs think they do, but if you asked them why they couldn't say. The White Sox have a clear definition of this component of their identity and it is through opposition. Every fanbase is diverse, but few have a unifying factor. The discursive space Sox fans have created for the CUB fan (a fan that exists but is not a Cubs fan, but is rather an individual fan of the Cubs) allows for a complete and total self:

Sox fans define themselves (among many other things of course) as an anti-"CUB FAN" (CUB FAN being in quotes because the CUB FAN created is not what a cub fan is in the same manner as when we speak of the Sox fan, but a symbol created to represent abercrombie wearing, tan getting, babe scoping, beer drinking, cell phone talking, score wondering, trust fund having, daddy's boy). Since this CUB FAN exists wholly in their mind, this is a very definite image to define the Sox fans. No other fan base can claim this distinction.

Even when Yankees and Red Sox fans spat, they couldn't say exactly what a Yankee or Red Sox fan is. They are just someone who likes the other team (a good enough reason to hate them). Can we say what a Twins fan is? I couldn't. No identity. Even when the Cub fans claim Sox fans are white trash, mullet having, field chargers, they don't really embrace that to the extent we do.

When someone starts a thread with the title Cub fans...something something we all know what they're talking about - stupidity, ignorance, etc. Therefore, this image of the Cub fan is something unique to the Sox, and while it is not the only thing that makes up the Sox fanbase, the opposition to this spectre of the Cub fan is something that makes the Sox fan base vivid, unique and fully formed, unlike the masses backing other teams.


Of course, I don't need this logic...I was drunk and now I'm covering up my tracks.

The reason I believe the Sox fan base is better is because I believe that objectively and inherently the White Sox are simply the best team ever to exist. Period. No reasoning. I know this like I know the sun will rise tomorrow.This is fun. It's been a long time since I've had a discussion like this.

IMO, it's a lot harder to justify the idea that identity is a consequence of perception. There are fish in the ocean that no one's ever seen. Do they not have an identity? If identity is only realized through perception, there have to be multiple identities, one for each person who perceives it. But this turns the concept of identity on its head. The word identity derives from the Latin idem, meaning the same.

It is only the understanding of identity that may differ. Understanding is developed in stages. The early stages deal with comparing and contrasting with previous experience. But as I've said before, I don't believe you can attain a complete understanding this way. Eventually you need to delve into what the thing is.

The Cubs are obviously a part of the Sox fan identity. But I certainly do not consider my identity as a Sox fan to depend to a major degree on being an anti-Cubs fan. I really don't care that much about the Cubs one way or the other. (Their fans are often good for comic relief, but I don't feel better or worse about the Sox depending on what the Cubs do.) Sox fans don't throw HR balls back, but not because Cubs fans do and we want to be unlike them, but because our working-class culture does not lead to such foolishness. It's the same for many other behaviors. The opposition does not bring about the differentiation - it follows from it.

I also don't necessarily agree that Sox fans are different from other fans in this regard. Any time a rivalry develops, there is always a certain element of this because fans naturally try to find elements of the opposition to deride. It's analogous to the nationalistic demonizing of state enemies. And it's well developed in college sports. We're better than they are because ________. I suspect we're just more familiar with ours so it seems special, but I don't think it is.

fquaye149
07-08-2005, 08:19 AM
This is fun. It's been a long time since I've had a discussion like this.

IMO, it's a lot harder to justify the idea that identity is a consequence of perception. There are fish in the ocean that no one's ever seen. Do they not have an identity? If identity is only realized through perception, there have to be multiple identities, one for each person who perceives it. But this turns the concept of identity on its head. The word identity derives from the Latin idem, meaning the same.

It is only the understanding of identity that may differ. Understanding is developed in stages. The early stages deal with comparing and contrasting with previous experience. But as I've said before, I don't believe you can attain a complete understanding this way. Eventually you need to delve into what the thing is.

The Cubs are obviously a part of the Sox fan identity. But I certainly do not consider my identity as a Sox fan to depend to a major degree on being an anti-Cubs fan. I really don't care that much about the Cubs one way or the other. (Their fans are often good for comic relief, but I don't feel better or worse about the Sox depending on what the Cubs do.) Sox fans don't throw HR balls back, but not because Cubs fans do and we want to be unlike them, but because our working-class culture does not lead to such foolishness. It's the same for many other behaviors. The opposition does not bring about the differentiation - it follows from it.

I also don't necessarily agree that Sox fans are different from other fans in this regard. Any time a rivalry develops, there is always a certain element of this because fans naturally try to find elements of the opposition to deride. It's analogous to the nationalistic demonizing of state enemies. And it's well developed in college sports. We're better than they are because ________. I suspect we're just more familiar with ours so it seems special, but I don't think it is.

The simple answer is this: of the unseen fish - they have identity but no relevant identity to us. The unseen fish in the ocean are as ineffable as God or a dragon.

Think of it this way. You are describing the unseen fish. What makes them unseen fish? Do you understand - if they were like any fish you had seen, completely like them, they would not be unseen fish. Because when you've seen one catfish, you've seen them all. However, if they're even slightly different than a catfish what are you picturing. Ok, maybe you imagined something, fine...maybe it has a big horn on its head. Maybe it's a unicorn fish. However, you did not pull the horn out of ether. You have seen a rhinocerous, for instance. Therefore, even when something has no identity its own its identity must be constructed in relation to other things. Let's pretend you found this unseen fish. The unseen fish became the seen fish. Let's pretend it had some quality unseen before in any other fish. I can't even pretend what it is, because I would have to define it based on another quality even if that invented quality was not of my own invention (invisible, for instance is a fantasy that is merely the opposite of everything we know - visible. Immortal is not mortal, etc.). Even if it had this impossible quality we would describe it as different from everything we knew before. Me and my damn french half-language always wins:redneck

about the White Sox fan issue:

See - even if you don't get hung up on the cubs, you would probably describe yourself as a white sox fan as possessing the qualities that contrast with that invisible CUB FAN:

That is: are you informed, intelligent, aware of baseball history, interested in the actual game of baseball, not a spoiled brat, etc.?

Therefore, you are still a part of the negation although you did not define yourself by its model. The invisible hand:D:

ChiSoxPatF
07-08-2005, 11:57 AM
What defines a White Sox fan? Why are we a White Sox fan? How are we a White Sox fan?

I think the historical perspective lends the most credence to how the bi-products emerged (the anti-everything -ism of our fan base, skepticism, etc) and are not why we are Sox fan. When the Sox and Cubs began competing in the Chicago market in 1900 through the early '70s the fanbase was roughly equal and largely based on your geographic region. If you lived North of downtown you were a Cubs fan and if you lived South you were a Sox fan. This also created the economic dichotomy that has largely defined our stereotypes to this day – Sox fans are working class and Cubs fans are yuppies.

In the late '60s and onward we saw three major things that led to the Cubs becoming the dominant fanbase – television, mobility, and the economic conditions of the two neighborhoods. The mobility of society and the increased willingness of individuals to relocate broke down the geographically-based fan distinction. People from the South side moved to the north suburbs and vice-versa. Thus living on the Southside was no longer a justification for being a Sox fan and the same held true for the Cubs. Furthermore, the Sox removed themselves from WGN which became the superstation. Thus whenever someone from outside of Chicago moved into the metro area they were compelled to become a Cubs fan since that was the only experience they really had had with a Chicago baseball franchise. Finally, Wrigleyville saw an economic boom and became a largely yuppie neighborhood (further reinforcing their stereotype) while the Southside, during the advent of the mass-exodus of labor intensive industry, stumbled upon hard times and was redeemed by Sox fans only in the existence of McCuddy's (which met a tragic end).

The core of these two fanbases held constant, in the true spirit of baseball that is passed down from generation to generation like religion and old shirts. But those who had had no real connection to Chicago until post-late '60s or those who did not grow up in houses that had a strong connection to baseball soon found that it was in their best interest to look northward.

Thus as the disparity between the Sox and Cubs fanbases grew we can see the emergence of other traits that have come to define us. Cubs fans are characterized by being blindly optimistic, hopelessly oblivious, and incredibly inebriated. They don't take the game seriously or have any deep appreciation or understanding of the game. This stereotype developed from those who haphazardly joined the trendy "Cubbies."

Sox fans on the other hand, acutely aware that we have become the second team in attendance figures in the last 40 years, have developed an odd combination of a superiority and inferiority complex. We feel the sting of having to admit, even if its taboo to say, that we are the second favorite team in our beloved city (remember too, most Sox fans have deep roots here). It drives us nuts and fuels this anti-ism that we see.

Yet since we are smaller in number and maintain the core of true fans that have a rooting tradition, we feel that we are better than Cubs fans and all fans for that matter. This elitism is one of the draws we do have that attracts new Sox fans with no roots in Chicago – they like taking part in the elitism that they are a superior fan and they instantly feel connected to a tradition since they are far more likely to become acquainted with someone in the fanbase that DOES have that tradition. We are the few and the proud.

Yet we are ever the skeptic because we do connect to our tradition – we know we have a profound history of losing and we feel that sting of failure. We are not transplants that write-off the tragic past never experienced by slapping a curse on the label and saying that they are "lovable losers." Americans, in particular Chicagoans, hate losing. No fan that feels truly connected to their dismal past could make such light of years of failure. Hence we remain skeptical and guarded about success because we know the past and feel the pain of that past.

Our defining ourselves as "not" this or "not" that is a bi-product of this. We are NOT Cubs fans because we resent the characteristics they have come to represent and have destroyed the once equal relationship that existed. We do not throw the ball back because it’s a characteristic of the Cub fan and the Cub fan is the target of our ire since he is the one that broke the balance and forced upon us a sense of being the loser of a town of losers. This has since been extended to all the teams that have been our rivals in the past – we are NOT Yankees fans, we are NOT Indians fans, etc.

I fully believe the historical perspective adequately answers how these characteristics are ingrained in our identity even if they are not why we choose to be Sox fans, etc. Yes, we say we are not Cubs fans, we are not Indians fans, but this is because of our history and our reaction to this tragedy and not WHY we are what we are.

Ol' No. 2
07-08-2005, 12:12 PM
The simple answer is this: of the unseen fish - they have identity but no relevant identity to us. The unseen fish in the ocean are as ineffable as God or a dragon.

Think of it this way. You are describing the unseen fish. What makes them unseen fish? Do you understand - if they were like any fish you had seen, completely like them, they would not be unseen fish. Because when you've seen one catfish, you've seen them all. However, if they're even slightly different than a catfish what are you picturing. Ok, maybe you imagined something, fine...maybe it has a big horn on its head. Maybe it's a unicorn fish. However, you did not pull the horn out of ether. You have seen a rhinocerous, for instance. Therefore, even when something has no identity its own its identity must be constructed in relation to other things. Let's pretend you found this unseen fish. The unseen fish became the seen fish. Let's pretend it had some quality unseen before in any other fish. I can't even pretend what it is, because I would have to define it based on another quality even if that invented quality was not of my own invention (invisible, for instance is a fantasy that is merely the opposite of everything we know - visible. Immortal is not mortal, etc.). Even if it had this impossible quality we would describe it as different from everything we knew before. Me and my damn french half-language always wins:redneck

about the White Sox fan issue:

See - even if you don't get hung up on the cubs, you would probably describe yourself as a white sox fan as possessing the qualities that contrast with that invisible CUB FAN:

That is: are you informed, intelligent, aware of baseball history, interested in the actual game of baseball, not a spoiled brat, etc.?

Therefore, you are still a part of the negation although you did not define yourself by its model. The invisible hand:D:I've heard this line of reasoning before and I understand the concept. I just don't agree with it. It seems like a lot of self-referential, metaphysical hoop-jumping. I guess I tend to be more of an objectivist. The fish is there, whether I know it or not. It has an identity, which isn't changed just because I discover it. It's identity may not be relevent to me, that's true. But what if someone else had seen it? Does it have an identity? Do you see how if the identity depends on the perceiver it ceases to be a unique identity?

Approach this another way. I've never met most of the 6 billion people on this planet. Do they have an identity to me? They're humans, so in the sense that I know what a human is, they do. But each is also an individual, so using this line of reasoning you could also say that they don't have an individual identity that's relevant to me until I've encountered them. If a new species of fish is discovered, did it not have an identity before? I knew what a fish was - this one's just a little different. It all depends on completely arbitrary divisions. And in the end, it just leads around in circles and never goes anywhere. Maybe I just tend to be practical. Does this approach say anything useful? I don't think so.

Regarding the Sox fan identity. What you're really suggesting is that I've created a mythical Cubs fan and contrasted myself to that. But the myth was created specifically in opposition to the qualities I would like to see in myself. If the Cubs weren't there I could create another mythical figure to serve the same purpose. The key is that the figure in opposition is not real - it's just a straw man created for the purpose. I don't see it as defining myself by what I am not. I see it as defining what I am first and then creating a figure with the opposite qualities. I think we've both agreed that contrast is an essential part of definition. I just don't agree that, as applied to Sox fan identity, the opposition comes first.

fquaye149
07-08-2005, 12:12 PM
What defines a White Sox fan? Why are we a White Sox fan? How are we a White Sox fan?

I think the historical perspective lends the most credence to how the bi-products emerged (the anti-everything -ism of our fan base, skepticism, etc) and are not why we are Sox fan. When the Sox and Cubs began competing in the Chicago market in 1900 through the early '70s the fanbase was roughly equal and largely based on your geographic region. If you lived North of downtown you were a Cubs fan and if you lived South you were a Sox fan. This also created the economic dichotomy that has largely defined our stereotypes to this day – Sox fans are working class and Cubs fans are yuppies.

In the late '60s and onward we saw three major things that led to the Cubs becoming the dominant fanbase – television, mobility, and the economic conditions of the two neighborhoods. The mobility of society and the increased willingness of individuals to relocate broke down the geographically-based fan distinction. People from the South side moved to the north suburbs and vice-versa. Thus living on the Southside was no longer a justification for being a Sox fan and the same held true for the Cubs. Furthermore, the Sox removed themselves from WGN which became the superstation. Thus whenever someone from outside of Chicago moved into the metro area they were compelled to become a Cubs fan since that was the only experience they really had had with a Chicago baseball franchise. Finally, Wrigleyville saw an economic boom and became a largely yuppie neighborhood (further reinforcing their stereotype) while the Southside, during the advent of the mass-exodus of labor intensive industry, stumbled upon hard times and was redeemed by Sox fans only in the existence of McCuddy's (which met a tragic end).

The core of these two fanbases held constant, in the true spirit of baseball that is passed down from generation to generation like religion and old shirts. But those who had had no real connection to Chicago until post-late '60s or those who did not grow up in houses that had a strong connection to baseball soon found that it was in their best interest to look northward.

Thus as the disparity between the Sox and Cubs fanbases grew we can see the emergence of other traits that have come to define us. Cubs fans are characterized by being blindly optimistic, hopelessly oblivious, and incredibly inebriated. They don't take the game seriously or have any deep appreciation or understanding of the game. This stereotype developed from those who haphazardly joined the trendy "Cubbies."

Sox fans on the other hand, acutely aware that we have become the second team in attendance figures in the last 40 years, have developed an odd combination of a superiority and inferiority complex. We feel the sting of having to admit, even if its taboo to say, that we are the second favorite team in our beloved city (remember too, most Sox fans have deep roots here). It drives us nuts and fuels this anti-ism that we see.

Yet since we are smaller in number and maintain the core of true fans that have a rooting tradition, we feel that we are better than Cubs fans and all fans for that matter. This elitism is one of the draws we do have that attracts new Sox fans with no roots in Chicago – they like taking part in the elitism that they are a superior fan and they instantly feel connected to a tradition since they are far more likely to become acquainted with someone in the fanbase that DOES have that tradition. We are the few and the proud.

Yet we are ever the skeptic because we do connect to our tradition – we know we have a profound history of losing and we feel that sting of failure. We are not transplants that write-off the tragic past never experienced by slapping a curse on the label and saying that they are "lovable losers." Americans, in particular Chicagoans, hate losing. No fan that feels truly connected to their dismal past could make such light of years of failure. Hence we remain skeptical and guarded about success because we know the past and feel the pain of that past.

Our defining ourselves as "not" this or "not" that is a bi-product of this. We are NOT Cubs fans because we resent the characteristics they have come to represent and have destroyed the once equal relationship that existed. We do not throw the ball back because it’s a characteristic of the Cub fan and the Cub fan is the target of our ire since he is the one that broke the balance and forced upon us a sense of being the loser of a town of losers. This has since been extended to all the teams that have been our rivals in the past – we are NOT Yankees fans, we are NOT Indians fans, etc.

I fully believe the historical perspective adequately answers how these characteristics are ingrained in our identity even if they are not why we choose to be Sox fans, etc. Yes, we say we are not Cubs fans, we are not Indians fans, but this is because of our history and our reaction to this tragedy and not WHY we are what we are.

Inevitably you're almost certainly right.

But as devil's advocate again I'd ask - can a person turn on the television and watch the White Sox play and be a Sox fan because he enjoys watching them play? Then can he go to a game and notice what a good BASEBALL experience it is? Then can he go to another park (Wrigley) and see what it is like there? And would he not realize that he prefers one fanship to the other - being a baseball fan to being a bleacher fan?

Then I would ask would it be possible for someone who was like the Cubs fans to do all these things? I would say no - I would say no frat boy who is only mildly interested in baseball would be a White Sox fan - they are not trendy or party oriented enough.

And then finally I would ask would this new fan with no knowledge of history be effected by the Sox history? Maybe, but would he have to be to be a Sox fan? I don't think so.

In this logic, all he would need to be a Sox fan is to be inherently unlike a Cub fan. And by Cub fan I don't mean a Cub fan selected at random or the entire body of Cub fans (of which there is no definition). I mean the illusory Cub fan that we all seem to know or see in our mind but of which there is no real reference. The prototypical Cub fan. The woman with the WOODS jersey and the brand new Cubs hat.

Steve Bartman.

(I bet if you called Bartman up he could tell you a decent amount about the Cubs. I bet he's a decently educated kid [word on the street is he went to Notre Dame, fwiw]. However, when we think Bartman we think of the dope grabbing the ball away from Alou. We think dumbwitted Cub fan. That person may or not exist)


EDIT: I want to make clear - I'm not saying that all there is to say about Sox fanbase is that they are not Cub fans. All I'm saying is that the one intrinsic defining characteristic of Sox fans, that you can say about every one, every real Sox fan, not the bandwagon jumpers who would jump back to Cub, is that they are not this "THE" Cub Fan. They are not "Bartman". And although a Yankee fan might say that one thing defining his people is that they are not Red Sox fans, this doesn't mean anything. The Sox are the only people with one common characteristic that actually means something.

And another thing - I don't think this is an unhealthy obsession with the Cubs. I just think it speaks to the intelligence, etc. of the Sox fanbase that they HAPPEN TO BE opposed to this "Bartman," this "THE" Cub fan

ChiSoxPatF
07-08-2005, 04:12 PM
Inevitably you're almost certainly right.

But as devil's advocate again I'd ask - can a person turn on the television and watch the White Sox play and be a Sox fan because he enjoys watching them play? Then can he go to a game and notice what a good BASEBALL experience it is? Then can he go to another park (Wrigley) and see what it is like there? And would he not realize that he prefers one fanship to the other - being a baseball fan to being a bleacher fan?

Then I would ask would it be possible for someone who was like the Cubs fans to do all these things? I would say no - I would say no frat boy who is only mildly interested in baseball would be a White Sox fan - they are not trendy or party oriented enough.

And then finally I would ask would this new fan with no knowledge of history be effected by the Sox history? Maybe, but would he have to be to be a Sox fan? I don't think so.

In this logic, all he would need to be a Sox fan is to be inherently unlike a Cub fan. And by Cub fan I don't mean a Cub fan selected at random or the entire body of Cub fans (of which there is no definition). I mean the illusory Cub fan that we all seem to know or see in our mind but of which there is no real reference. The prototypical Cub fan. The woman with the WOODS jersey and the brand new Cubs hat.

Steve Bartman.

(I bet if you called Bartman up he could tell you a decent amount about the Cubs. I bet he's a decently educated kid [word on the street is he went to Notre Dame, fwiw]. However, when we think Bartman we think of the dope grabbing the ball away from Alou. We think dumbwitted Cub fan. That person may or not exist)


EDIT: I want to make clear - I'm not saying that all there is to say about Sox fanbase is that they are not Cub fans. All I'm saying is that the one intrinsic defining characteristic of Sox fans, that you can say about every one, every real Sox fan, not the bandwagon jumpers who would jump back to Cub, is that they are not this "THE" Cub Fan. They are not "Bartman". And although a Yankee fan might say that one thing defining his people is that they are not Red Sox fans, this doesn't mean anything. The Sox are the only people with one common characteristic that actually means something.

And another thing - I don't think this is an unhealthy obsession with the Cubs. I just think it speaks to the intelligence, etc. of the Sox fanbase that they HAPPEN TO BE opposed to this "Bartman," this "THE" Cub fan

Therein lies the problem with this thesis. You're assuming there are only two extremes in every circumstance and that the inevitably align to completely define you as a Sox fan or a Cubs fan.

For instance, you claim that the only mildly baseball-minded frat boy would inherently be drawn to the Northside and become a "Cubbie fan" because of the trendiness. Yet the frat boy typifying a Cubs fan may instead choose to become a White Sox fan instead because of our elitism of being baseball fans. He may see that Sox fans pride themselves in being better than the Cubs fans, whether real or stereotypical, and choose to root for the Southside.

The difference is that if we put it into the historical context I described, Frat Boy A will be immersed in a different baseball culture on the Southside and will either find being a Southsider isn't to his likely and change or will adopt our tradition and history of fandom as his own.

There is still some room to say that there are superficial White Sox fans (while very contradictory and irrational) that may be better fitted for the Cubs stereotype than Sox and viceversa.

Now if you are implying that the idealized Sox fan is in EVERYWAY different than the idealized Cub fan, I think too that you may be getting ahead of yourself. If you are assuming that the Sox fan and Cubs fan are polar opposites then it is the case that you are proving your assumption. Yes, the Sox fan must be the "Not Bartman" because our idealization of both makes it inherently so. As my favorite philosophy professor would say, albeit very corny, "we are on the circular logic train to no where."

Remember too, there are great similiarities between Sox and Cubs fans yet they are much more rudimentary and universal. You could say that our stereotypes differ greatly on the way we act at a ballgame or our knowledge, etc., but remember too that the very fact we are comparing BASEBALL fans from CHICAGO implies many similiarities (location, sporting interest, even cultural aspects like food and accents). While there may be different degrees of all these, we'll still comeback to the fact that we are, in our most base way, alike. Another reason why the rivalry is even more intense - we are not like Europe where rivalries are based on old military conflicts but rather our rivalries are based on culturally similiar geographic areas because the fanbases are, even in the most base way again, similiar.

Perhaps I digressed a bit.

fquaye149
07-08-2005, 04:20 PM
For instance, you claim that the only mildly baseball-minded frat boy would inherently be drawn to the Northside and become a "Cubbie fan" because of the trendiness. Yet the frat boy typifying a Cubs fan may instead choose to become a White Sox fan instead because of our elitism of being baseball fans. He may see that Sox fans pride themselves in being better than the Cubs fans, whether real or stereotypical, and choose to root for the Southside.



but the kind of person we imagine a cub fan to be would not be drawn to the intellectual elitism of the Sox, but rather to the economical elitism of the Cubs.