If you see this and think it’s about you, don’t take it personally. Talk to me about it. Post a comment. Think about it and see if you can see my side of things, mind you.
I’ve just added a quote to my quotes file, but I’m sure it will run through my mind at the office when I hear people talk for hours and hours about the basketball season now in progress. Something to think about:
…[Sports] offers people to pay attention to, that’s of no importance… that keeps them from worrying about things that matter to their lives, that they might have some idea of doing something about… but the point is, it does make senseL it’s a way of building up irrational attitudes of submission to authority, and group cohesion behind leadership elements… and you know, in fact, it’s training in irrational jingoism.(Noam Chomsky, in the documentary Manufacturing Consent)
Chomsky’s not the only one who thinks so, of course. Many Koreans have frustratedly discussed these things with me in terms of how the Korean pro-baseball league was created in the hope of reducing domestic resistance to the dictatorship of the time.
I can’t generalize, but I do find it interesting that as Iraq is basically an unbelievable mess, it’s mainly Americans who are discussing, without end… basketball games. It makes me a little sad, even more because I don’t think they support the actions of Bush at all! Still, I’d say most of the conversations on these issues I’ve had involved Canadians, Australians, and just about anyone except Americans. No kidding, the conversation seems to be only about basketball, and not just in brief but in continuous and deep detail.
I don’t suggest they (Americans or anyone) should talk about Iraq-Iraq-IRAQ, but it does sadden me the amount of energy that goes into knowing the names of various adult men paid unimaginable sums of money to play with bouncy balls. I know that music and literature aren’t always political all the time, but unlike sports they do sometimesor even oftentouch upon politics. Unlike sports, these things CAN touch on politics.