Violence in Sports

The NBA and college football both have had recent incidents where brawls happened in the stands and on the field. Surprise?

Our culture encourages violence as the solution to problems. Why shouldn’t a basketball player defend himself by punching out a fan if he’s being attacked? If I was a basketball player and some asshole was throwing ice at me, I’d find the guy and shove the ice down his throat. There should be a special part of the game, maybe at halftime, where the most obnoxious fan is pulled from the seats and all the players get to beat him to a pulp in the center of the ring. If the guy can’t defend himself, maybe he should have thought about that beforehand. It’s obvious that fans come to the arena for drama. If they want to be a part of that drama, then let them. Sports figures should be immune from criminal prosecution. However, for those who are squeamish by the whole thing and don’t want the drama, put them behind a steel cage.

There’s not enough violence in sports. Everyone is afraid of people getting hurt. Football players wear so much gear that it’s a wonder they’re able to walk around. There are so many rules and options for violations of this or that – infraction this, foul that – just let them play the game. If they kill each other in the process, isn’t that why we watch? They shouldn’t be allowed to wear pads or helmuts. The whole nature of the sport is pain and injury. If they don’t want to do it, maybe they should’ve studied in school so they could get a real job.

Next: why the lions should be brought back. Their victims? Christians, Muslims and Atheists!


God Told Me I Could Have This Rock

Anne Bayesfsky in OpinionJournal (the online version of the Wall Street Journal) in a recent column defined ‘anti-Zionism’ as “the denial to the Jewish people of an equal right to self-determination”.

Before I go further, you should keep in mind that I come from the Extremism view of political thought in which the best way to solve matters of territorial dispute is, Solomon-like, destroy the territory so that no one can have it.

Right. Remember, I said it was extremist. As such, under the slim chance that I would ever think to campaign for and actually be elected President (slim chance), the first thing I would do (after the huge party) is order the complete nuclear destruction of all disputed lands in the middle east.

I think my point is this – if you can’t play nice, no more toys for you.

Oh, but back to Bayesfsky. First of all, equating having your own country to the ‘equal right to self-determination’ for a group of people is a load of hogwash sprinkled with horse manure. Just because you have a group of people who share a faith or even a culture, doesn’t mean you get to have your own carved out peace of land.

If not, I’ve decided that all people with red hair (as I have) will henceforth band together and enforce our right to self-determination and create a new land called ‘Redsville’ (though, we may have to vote on the name), maybe somewhere in the heart of Montana or perhaps, even better, somewhere on the coast of the Mediterrean – someplace anyway where there’s some water most likely. And nice trees. And not too many hills. We will then conduct our red-haired rituals safe from the tyranny of the brunettes and the blondes.

But the Jews beat us to it. They have their own country called Israel. What other country can you name is comprised of citizens that are all identified with one, single religion? Um…. think about it for a moment. Keep thinking. If you guessed ‘United States – Christian’ – BIG BUZZER. If you guessed some Muslim country, like Iran, you may be correct.

I’m no expert on the Middle East. I’m no expert on Zionism. But, I am an expert on my own opinion, and that opinion is this – the more you carve out a physical space apart from everyone else and retreat to that space, the more isolated, in general, you become. If your survival depends upon you having your own clubhouse; if you can’t make it alongside people of other religions within the boundaries of secular societies, social Darwinism suggests that your days are numbered. No amount of military might is going to save you because… (you’ll see near the end of this entry)

Ahhhh, you say, but being Jewish isn’t necessarily about religion. It’s about ethnicity. It’s about a race of people. It’s about a personal identification with a certain culture.

Well, I say, that’s great for the time being, but if your reason for existence is to ensure that you never evolve, change, or bring in new ideas into your pantheon of ‘culture’ – in other words, if you are a protectionist – again I say unto you – you shall fail and die out like all other homogeny. Whether you are Zionist, fundamentally Christian, or dogmatically Islamic, the tide of others who share a common belief called ‘_______________’ [that idealogy that is constantly shifting and changing based on situational imperatives yet has no name] will swallow you into oblivion. It may happen quickly. It may happen slowly and it may happen by such miniscule increments that you will not realize it’s happening, but it will happen.

Generally, though, the idea of religion being a metaphysical thing, I think appeals to a lot of people. I think a lot of people like the idea that religion transcends boundaries of physical space. Otherwise, what’s the point?

Perhaps for some, the whole point of religion is to generate an excuse for political action that cleverly masks underlying motivations having nothing to do with religion per se (lust for power, for example – or, more innocuously, perhaps an existential ‘yearning to belong’).

But, let’s face it: religion, at its worst, becomes an excuse to get what you want. For example, if one can say that ‘God said it’, it gives your wants so much more importance and weight than simply saying – ‘Oh, gosh, you know what, I think I really would like this rock – so I’m taking it.’*

*The converse is also true for creating an allure of excitement over things that God says you can’t have – which is why ‘illicit’ sex is all the more exciting among Christians since you’re not supposed to do it.


From the local Richmond paper…

Editor, Times-Dispatch: President Bush asserted that he has earned capital (by his re-election) and that he intends to spend it.

Is not capital to be invested, not spent? It seems to me that spending capital is very similar to a farmer eating his seed corn. Theodore F. Smith. virginia beach

The Rage of the Drowning Man

Before the rhetorical cement sets on the post-election punditry, give this article a whirl.

It features this insightful quote that debunks the simplistic explanations for Bush’s win:

“There is an immense diversity of opinion within regions, towns and families… the values divide is a complex layering of conflicting views about faith, leadership, individualism, American exceptionalism, suburbia, Wal-Mart, decorum, economic opportunity, natural law, manliness, bourgeois virtues and a zillion other issues.”

Are ‘Family Values’ Presidents Good for the Republic?

From Josh Marshall’s famous blog

I don’t like the idea of the presidency becoming the private preserve of a few chosen families. It’s bad for democracy, even if a given individual might have much to recommend him or her as a candidate.

Since many are now talking up the possibility of Jeb Bush running for president in 2008, that opens up at least the theoretical possibility that one family could hold the White House for most of a 28 year period (1989-2017). Whether you’re a Republican or Democrat, Bush-lover or Bush-hater, that can’t be good for republican government in the United States.

(Much is made of the father-and-son presidencies of John (1797-1801) and John Quincy Adams (1825-29). Much less is made of the fact that they were, in effect, members of different political parties.)

Red vs. Blue

One of the most interesting trends in politics is the increasingly stark contrast between what are commonly referred to as ‘red states’ and ‘blue states’. For those who have been visiting Outer Bongolia for the past upteen years, ‘Red’ states are those that the Republican party wins in the national election. ‘Blue’ states are those that are won by the Democrats. I’m not sure who assigned these colors, but, as it turns out, Blue states are on the West Coast and in the Northeast and Hawaii. Red states are, well, everybody else.

It’s an interesting dichotomy because the bastions of the media elite and Hollywood are in the Blue category. They are the ones that spout out garbage TV shows like ‘My Big, Fat, Obnoxious Boss’ (though, unlike this show’s predecessor ‘My Big, Fat, Obnoxious Fiancee’, this time around the boss is only obnoxious – not big and fat). Not to mention ridiculous films that deserve to fly straight to DVD and then into the garbage bin (‘Seed of Chucky’ anyone?). Red states, on the other hand, grow food, keep the military’s supply of strong young men filled, and keep the church pews warm.

If the stereotype is true, Hollywood creative types – actors and actresses primarily, leave the heartland to chase their dreams in the Big Apple or Tinsel Town. They leave behind their hum drum existence in the rural areas for the excitement and glamor of the city (see an inverse example of this in ‘The Simple Life’ with Nicole Ritchie and Paris Hilton). They think they are escaping from the confines of a rigid idealogy when in fact they are merely escaping from reality.

The Blue states entertain else, while the Red states protect us from our enemies. The nation’s true power still lies in the heartland, where traditional values still thrive. What are our nation’s traditional values? Family, farms, religion and the ability to kick ass on the football field and overseas.

The Terror Among Us

From today’s Times-Dispatch, regarding events on Election Day 2004:

“In Marietta, Ohio, election workers who had been cautioned about suspicious loiterers caused temporary alarm when they cleared the polling place to interrogate a dark-skinned, bearded man who had been standing out front of the public library since the polls opened. The man produced documents identifying him as Stephen Greenhut, a farm worker and candidate for county commissioner.”

So Long 60’s

With the defeat of John Kerry in the 2004 Presidential Election, I hope it is not an overstatement to say that we can finally kiss the 60’s goodbye. The Vietnam era and the turmoil that permeated our culture during that time are thankfully past us. For those of us that did not live during the 60’s, we now can look forward to the time when we can put the present turmoil behind us.