Monday, July 14, 2014

On The Very Familiar Blank Look I Got Yesterday

Why does it matter to you that someone doesn't care about who wins The World Cup?   I don't ever remember people indifferent to sports rioting or beating a rival fan into a coma or death - always a possibility when some team loses.  Or when one wins, for that matter.  That last sentence carries one of the more unexpected and salient aspects of what sports are really all about, but that's for the third paragraph.

I don't remember any time that non-sports fans have demanded that public funds be massively funneled to support their non-fandom and to the benefit of million or billionaire owners of sports teams.  Not to mention the disruption of life that the actual events regularly bring to cities and regions that sponsor big sports events.  Not to mention how sports eat up enormous amounts of public school budgets as education suffers in a country that can hardly afford to waste its money or its time on something that doesn't make those doing or watching it smarter.

Non-fans don't whip up people to hate other people for the artificial division that team rivalries usually are.   Sports are an odd form of entertainment that depends on one half of its consumers wanting half of the performers doing badly and half of the audience being unhappy with the results.  It's not good to want people to be unhappy so you can take pleasure in their unhappiness.  Or doesn't that count when it comes to sports.  When I was a kid the big lie was told that, "Sports builds character"*.  Other than the grammatical ambiguity of the sentence, any kid who thought about most of the jocks they'd ever known would know it was a lie.  While it wasn't impossible to find a jock who was a nice guy (they were all guys back then) they were rare as compared to conceited bullies with a sense of entitlement and, more often than not, a contempt for learning and thinking and women.  If you were a short, skinny kid with bad eyesight, you were often the one they attempted to pick on, sometimes encouraged by the P.E. instructor, who was really a coach who was made to pretend to actually be a teacher.  Which can lead to a short, skinny kid with bad eyesight developing a really good ability to deflate them with sharp words, which can turn into a bad habit, itself.   I don't like sports for all of those reasons and I resent being told that it's required to not see what a fraud they are.  I won't pretend to like them.

*  As to the health effects of sports, the minor struggle in the United States over the name "football", which world-football fans are bound to lose, they've got a point.  While "soccer" has the clear health advantage of the effects of all of that non-stop running, American "football" is more like a violent, mass corruption of sumo mixed with American professional "wrestling" which would more honestly be called "fatball".   Brain damage and other forms of mayhem are intrinsic to both, though only in "American football" is it an intrinsic part of the game, something you can expect from a game invented by the vicious economic elite that populated private universities in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.  Which I thought I'd point out, again.    I'm not known as The Thought Criminal for nothing.

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