Cyberspace Web





Enter the web.


The seme, the signifier, the voice of the persons.

As for the semes, we merely indicate them - without, in other words, trying either to link them to a character (or a place or an object) or to arrange them in some order so that they form a single thematic grouping; we allow them the instability, the dispersion, characteristic of motes of dust, flickers of meaning.

Barthes allows semantic freedom for the seme to wallow in; indeed, a concept signified by a certain action or scene still remains relatively objective. The explication will not tell the reader how the author feels about the concept in question, it may even fail to point out why the thematic connection was ever conceived - do note that the correlation assumed by the reader may not necessarily coincide with what the author had in mind while preparing the explication. This forms part of the hypertextual reading experience, with both parties (the reader and the author) possessing incomplete information about the other party's motivations and conclusions.

The structure of football lends itself to interpretations of masculine semes, such as power, intimidation and antagonism. Similarly, celebratory routines, such as knocking helmets against one another's, denote semes of masculine camaraderie. In fact, team spirit constitutes an essential seme within the structure of any social enterprise that incorporates intensely masculine elements.

It may even be possible to view football as a series of semes related to literary theory, since so many elements of classical fiction appear to be inherent within its structure. The kickoff signifies the introduction, the prospect of an infinitude of possibilities, the unknown (in fact, unwritten as far as both the hypertext reader and the audience of the game are concerned) conclusion looming over the horizon of temporal inaccesibility. (SEM. The introduction, the beginning) The ten-yard strips each denote a succession of conflicts within a consistent context or environment. (SEM. The problem, the conflict) Although the conflicts in classical fiction tend to be less sharply defined than they are in football, the variety of ways in which characters choose to deal with their problems (passing the ball, tackling a player, avoiding a player who attempts to tackle him, jumping over a group of players piled on top of one another) seem incredibly diverse given the constraints imposed by the structure of the game.

The characters signify common stereotypes, such as the quarterback playing the prominent, adept, agile (and usually handsome) protagonist in control of everything, a character who tends to succeed both in his endeavors and in a romantic relationship by the end of the narrative. The defense line signifies the protectors / bodyguards, who may well appear in the form of the unlikely coincidence saving the protagonist's life in a narrative. The mascot offers comic relief during halftime shows, and much like the character of comic relief in most fiction, signifies an element of unison within the group. (SEM. Stereotypes) Humor induces joy, which in turn makes it easier for people to share the group spirit. Finally, field goals denote pleasant, unremarkable conclusions (SEM. Happy ending) whereas touchdowns signify melodramatic endings which come about as a result of strenuous conflicts. (SEM. Emotionally moving, happy conclusion)

The seme may have a lot to say, yet the other codes deserve attention as well.