Beckistentialism -- The "Philosophical Awakening" of David Beckham

By Chris Mills on at

Yes, you read that right. David Beckham, curver of footballs and purveyor of haircuts, is now having a philosophy named after him, based on his "imagined philosophical awakening during his time with Paris Saint Germain". What.

The new school of thought -- which, just to be clear, is not something that Becks himself has come up with -- comes to us courtesy of Dr Andy Martin, a lecturer in French philosophy at Cambridge University. He says that Beckistentialism is "existentialism but with a very cool haircut". (Existentialism, for those unaware, is a philosophical school of thought associated with guys like Jean-Paul Sartre and Albert Camus, who spent far too much time thinking about the meaning of life and death, and thought everyone else should do the same.)

Dr Martin claims that "it is impossible for a reasonably intelligent guy like Beckham not to have had some sort of revelatory encounter while he was there." Thus, Dr Martin's lecture will examine "Beckham's internal monologue as he collides with the Parisian intellectual tradition - the glittering surface of a footballing icon cracked open by existentialism. Golden boy deconstructed".

The lecture series is based on Dr Martin's blog (Tumblr blog, of course), named Becks in Paris, a giant (and surprisingly GIF-free) 'thought experiment' that includes such philosophical moments as this:

‘Do not tell me,’ says Sylvain, on my right. He closed his eyes and inhaled. And let out a sort of ecstatic sigh. ‘Is that Intimately Yours?’

And this

A saviour. Yes, that’s what I wanted to be. What I still could be. It is not enough to be a great footballer. I have to go and save the world.

You get the idea. [BBC]

Image credit: David Beckham from Shutterstock