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Concept of the month September 2011: THE NEUTRAL SPECTATOR

In our media-governed society, many people air their opinions. Moreís the pity they often feel the need to insult others. Another often-heard criticism is that those opinions arenít based on sufficient knowledge of the subject matter. I donít see that as an objection. That is because of a feeling. Everything provokes a feeling. Thatís why I find it quite hard to believe there is such a thing as the neutral spectator.

In The Netherlands, the neutral spectator particularly emerges in football. After a goal showered match, both parties tend to mention that regardless of the result, the neutral spectator must have enjoyed it. Laughing out loud I then wonder who that is. But usually he or she has already left the stadium by then.

Sometimes in real life, outside the bubble of football, it comes in handy to fulfil the role of a neutral spectator. When two friends are arguing, for instance, or two lovers are making each otherís lives miserable. But itís a hopeless task. Because once you take a close look, especially at people, a feeling arises. So, according to my partisan view, the neutral spectator only exists in language.

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Pepijn de Boer MA

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