"Sometimes, Mr Mudd kill; sometimes, Mr Mudd not kill"
Thoughts on Witnessing the Apex of Sharapova
Consciously or not, the game of tennis is a powerful evocation of another game, a game which has cast an enormous shadow on contemporary society; that of Pong. The flow of play is similar in both cases, but whereas the influence of tennis on the course of world events has been insignificant, Pong has produced a multi-billion pound industry, a new technological society, and you and I. I shall now become a participant in my own immortalisation as I set down my thoughts on witnessing the victory of Maria Sharapova at Wimbledon in 2004, albeit that I did so remotely, via the television wave. Sharapova avoided missing ball SEMI-COLON high score.
Pong was a game in which two bats and a ball participated in the perversion of the linear. Whereas the bats and ball of tennis are rounded, feminine, the bats and the ball of Pong were of masculine form, albeit that their sound - a soft beep - was a feminine sound. In this respect Sharapova is an amplification of Pong, her form is a hyper-feminine amplification of the first stage of sexual womankind. Her cry is a feminine cry, that of the pain of childbirth; her involuntary gasps and grunts illustrate the lack of control inherent in the female condition. She is a wolf, cleaning the new-born with her tongue. She is steeped in blood; 'soul of a woman was created below', to paraphrase Robert Plant.
Sharapova was not born of woman, she was instead born of the atom, born in the nuclear fire of Chernobyl. Fleeing the force which gave her life, Sharapova took her family to Florida, home of America's ailing space programme. Sharapova was a product of an age which had lost its faith in nuclear power and in space exploration, the two most prominent aspects of 'hard science' - the impressive, expensive, physical manifestations of physics which dominated human society in the 20th century, the century of steel. Sharapova was not of steel, however, she was of polymer, made of more advanced materials than metal.
And now she is champion of us all. No-one on Earth possessed of a womb can bat a ball over a string net with as much grace, force and precision as Sharapova; the force of her serve is sufficient to stun an enraged leopard, yet her weapon is a simple bat of carbon-fibre and twine. Just as the Aborigine tribes chose to fight with a sporting weapon - the boomerang - and just as the Amazonian peoples defended themselves with yo-yos and snooker cues, and just as the ancient Picts marauded through Scotland armed with the hula-hoop, so Sharapova is encased in a laser cocoon. Our minds are too limited to perceive the power she wields in her right arm.
Dieu et Slazenger et mon droit. Most often 'droit' in this context is interpreted as in 'human right', but it has a more fundamental definition; my right arm is the arm with which I wield my sword. 'Human rights' are human creations with no objective basis in reality; but force is real, it exists. The tyrant says that all power comes from the barrel of a gun, and although we wish it were not so, it is so. All those who are aware of the impending heat death of the universe must surely agree that nature does not abhor a vacuum; instead, when the totality of time and space is laid out on paper, it will consist of a tiny blip of matter followed by an eternity of empty nothingness in which the only measurable item is heat, a few fractions above absolute zero, cooling for eternity at an eternally-slowing rate. No, nature resists matter. Everything that exists must fight to emanate itself; it must fight for its continued existence; and ultimately it will fail and die. Maria Sharapova has fought, literally with the power of her right arm, and she is champion of the world. One day she will fail, and one day she will be part of the universe. All lives fail, and ultimately no-one wins at Wimbledon; they come back the next year and the next, until they no longer win.
On court Sharapova chooses to wear white, the colour of surgery, the better to show the blood. But there is no blood on her, for her scalpel moves with such speed and fury as to cauterise the wounds she produces. She is of blood, but she is not covered with blood. There is blood on her hands, but not on her tight, tight cotton dress. Much of her skin is open to the elements, for she is unafraid of the sun, and of the wind and rain of Wimbledon, of the choking smog of London. She is an element herself; she stands with the sun and the wind on an equal footing. Her opponents are leaves, pounded and burned and blown away. Serena Williams has a mythology of her own, being One of The Two, yet Sharapova is One of The Everything.
We feed on Maria Sharapova. The television director and the newspaper editor must pray to the Gods each night that Sharapova is not disfigured in a painting accident, or that she does not gain weight. The combination of youth, beauty, and the involuntary woman noises she makes whilst under duress, the combination of these things results in a deep well of erotic power. It is often said that the most irresistible force on Earth is that of the erect penis; we will never know how many wells Sharapova's image and manner have drilled into the soil of man, how much oil has been spilled on her account. I do not ordinarily follow the tennis, but I found that the sight of Maria Sharapova - particularly that of her legs - caused me to pause whilst changing the channel. I am not often swayed by the pleasures of the flesh, but I find that the flesh of my mind is drawn to Sharapova nonetheless.
There are plenty of attractive girls in the world. I have been to dinner parties with some of them, although as I have already stated I have learned to treat beauty with indifference. The media's fascination with Sharapova stems from her combination of beauty and substance. One without the other is not enough. Lindsay Davenport is a substantial tennis player, but she is plain. No-one dreams of her. Sharapova has looks, and unlike the empire of Ozymandius, Sharapova has substance. She has been thoroughly weatherproofed. A lack of substance has not hurt the ongoing success story that is Anna Kournikova, but I find it unlikely that a traveller, hundreds of years from now, will stand beside what remains of her empire and read aloud its final testament; there will simply be nothing there. As a creature of the universe Maria Sharapova - an anagram of 'a sharp ova', perhaps a coincidence - will permeate the grains of sand on the desert and the clouds in the sky, and those of other skies and other deserts on other worlds. We will not read her testament any more than we will read that of Kournikova - the difference is that we will not have to.
A description of the woman's blood moon ritual, a secret revealed to few before the dawn of the internet:
A page of medick, which suggests that a woman of average weight contains roughly five kilogrammes of blood:
Blood and shit and death:
Blood and milk and life: