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Sun Feb 5, 2012, 10:20 PM

Noam Chomsky on the role of sports in propaganda-based authority

That was an AWESOME Super Bowl!!

125 replies, 15399 views

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Reply Noam Chomsky on the role of sports in propaganda-based authority (Original post)
Bonobo Feb 2012 OP
Robb Feb 2012 #1
YoungDemCA Feb 2012 #2
Zalatix Feb 2012 #29
Generic Other Feb 2012 #124
NYC_SKP Feb 2012 #3
nadinbrzezinski Feb 2012 #4
Whisp Feb 2012 #5
ForgoTheConsequence Feb 2012 #6
YoungDemCA Feb 2012 #7
ForgoTheConsequence Feb 2012 #8
YoungDemCA Feb 2012 #10
ForgoTheConsequence Feb 2012 #11
Duppers Feb 2012 #16
alcibiades_mystery Feb 2012 #9
EFerrari Feb 2012 #15
LooseWilly Feb 2012 #20
EFerrari Feb 2012 #36
LooseWilly Feb 2012 #94
EFerrari Feb 2012 #118
joshcryer Feb 2012 #30
LooseWilly Feb 2012 #103
joshcryer Feb 2012 #119
msanthrope Feb 2012 #12
rudycantfail Feb 2012 #13
LooseWilly Feb 2012 #22
rudycantfail Feb 2012 #58
LooseWilly Feb 2012 #70
Populist_Prole Feb 2012 #64
Kalidurga Feb 2012 #14
Manifestor_of_Light Feb 2012 #17
RZM Feb 2012 #18
Capitalocracy Feb 2012 #19
joshcryer Feb 2012 #34
LooseWilly Feb 2012 #77
joshcryer Feb 2012 #80
LooseWilly Feb 2012 #91
RZM Feb 2012 #63
joshcryer Feb 2012 #31
LooseWilly Feb 2012 #82
joshcryer Feb 2012 #84
LooseWilly Feb 2012 #90
joshcryer Feb 2012 #104
LooseWilly Feb 2012 #116
joshcryer Feb 2012 #117
joshcryer Feb 2012 #88
LooseWilly Feb 2012 #93
joshcryer Feb 2012 #102
LooseWilly Feb 2012 #105
joshcryer Feb 2012 #106
LooseWilly Feb 2012 #114
joshcryer Feb 2012 #115
Muskypundit Feb 2012 #21
LooseWilly Feb 2012 #23
boxman15 Feb 2012 #55
Kaleko Feb 2012 #24
Muskypundit Feb 2012 #25
joshcryer Feb 2012 #27
Kaleko Feb 2012 #28
joshcryer Feb 2012 #33
Kaleko Feb 2012 #51
joshcryer Feb 2012 #69
Kaleko Feb 2012 #71
joshcryer Feb 2012 #72
Kaleko Feb 2012 #73
joshcryer Feb 2012 #74
Puzzledtraveller Feb 2012 #45
joshcryer Feb 2012 #32
joshcryer Feb 2012 #26
rucky Feb 2012 #35
pink-o Feb 2012 #37
EFerrari Feb 2012 #38
pink-o Feb 2012 #39
EFerrari Feb 2012 #41
pink-o Feb 2012 #43
Shankapotomus Feb 2012 #121
trumad Feb 2012 #40
backscatter712 Feb 2012 #53
trumad Feb 2012 #56
cherokeeprogressive Feb 2012 #75
LooseWilly Feb 2012 #107
trumad Feb 2012 #122
Bonobo Feb 2012 #113
fasttense Feb 2012 #42
GeorgeGist Feb 2012 #44
Dreamer Tatum Feb 2012 #46
DisgustipatedinCA Feb 2012 #47
Dreamer Tatum Feb 2012 #48
DisgustipatedinCA Feb 2012 #59
Tierra_y_Libertad Feb 2012 #49
cherokeeprogressive Feb 2012 #76
LooseWilly Feb 2012 #108
cherokeeprogressive Feb 2012 #125
Snake Alchemist Feb 2012 #50
LooseWilly Feb 2012 #111
backscatter712 Feb 2012 #52
SidDithers Feb 2012 #54
Bonobo Feb 2012 #61
SidDithers Feb 2012 #65
Bonobo Feb 2012 #67
greyl Feb 2012 #97
Bonobo Feb 2012 #100
greyl Feb 2012 #101
LooseWilly Feb 2012 #110
greyl Feb 2012 #112
LooseWilly Feb 2012 #109
joshcryer Feb 2012 #68
Cleita Feb 2012 #57
skypilot Feb 2012 #66
BiggJawn Feb 2012 #60
Enrique Feb 2012 #62
Swede Feb 2012 #78
Bonobo Feb 2012 #79
joshcryer Feb 2012 #81
Bonobo Feb 2012 #83
joshcryer Feb 2012 #85
Bonobo Feb 2012 #86
joshcryer Feb 2012 #87
Bonobo Feb 2012 #89
joshcryer Feb 2012 #92
Bonobo Feb 2012 #96
joshcryer Feb 2012 #99
LeftyMom Feb 2012 #95
bhikkhu Feb 2012 #98
Shankapotomus Feb 2012 #120
TheManInTheMac Feb 2012 #123

Response to Bonobo (Original post)

Sun Feb 5, 2012, 10:26 PM

1. Spoiler alert!!

Damn, I wish I hadn't seen this! I've been TIVOing DU so I could watch the "battle for most ascendant declaration of how stupid the superbowl is" game.

You've gone and ruined it by letting me know who won!

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Response to Bonobo (Original post)

Sun Feb 5, 2012, 10:31 PM

2. We're all being coerced and conditioned in this culture...

There is a high correlation between so-called "jock" culture at the professional, college, and high school levels, and authoritarian right-wing viewpoints. Not an exact correlation, mind you...but a high one.

The social institutions of this country invest a massive amount of time, money, and effort into controlling and conditioning the population, to "manufacture consent" as Chomsky puts it. Can't have a population that is questioning, critical, or self-aware; that would be too dangerous to the powerful interests that run the show.

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Response to YoungDemCA (Reply #2)

Mon Feb 6, 2012, 04:24 AM

29. It's called mass hypnosis.

 

In America you achieve the effect of mass hypnosis by appealing to the citizen's inner troglodyte, and then point to everyone who doesn't drink the kool-aid as "wimps".

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Response to YoungDemCA (Reply #2)

Tue Feb 7, 2012, 08:59 AM

124. I must be immune

I don't know who played or even who won.

Am I a freaK?

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Response to Bonobo (Original post)

Sun Feb 5, 2012, 10:40 PM

3. Chomsky NAILS IT!!! The Crowd Goes Wild!!!

Kick and Rec, I've always loved this.

It should be a DU annual post on this day of distraction!

:kick:

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Response to Bonobo (Original post)

Sun Feb 5, 2012, 10:48 PM

4. Yup...but ttle Giants won, so who cares

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Response to Bonobo (Original post)

Sun Feb 5, 2012, 10:48 PM

5. K&R

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Response to Bonobo (Original post)

Sun Feb 5, 2012, 10:49 PM

6. Or you know.

Its a way to escape our shitty day to day lives for a few hours a week. I follow sports, I also care about whats going on around me. Sports can also be just a hobby, I'm sure Noam has hobbies. His theory falls short.

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Response to ForgoTheConsequence (Reply #6)

Sun Feb 5, 2012, 10:53 PM

7. Why do we need to escape...

...our "shitty day to day lives"?

Why are they shitty, and what can we do to change it? Because somehow, I don't think a temporary escape into sports changes much.

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Response to YoungDemCA (Reply #7)

Sun Feb 5, 2012, 10:57 PM

8. Give me a break.

Do you spend 24 hours a day trying to change everything? I doubt it. I'm sure you have hobbies, go to parties, socialize with friends, go on vacation. Football is no different. Attacking someone for watching a football game is like attacking someone for going to see a film.

OH MY GOD YOU WENT TO A MOVIE????!!!! YOU COULD HAVE BEEN PROTESTING AND WRITING YOUR SENATOR!


Sport and competition have been around since the dawn of man, if you don't like sports that's fine you don't have to watch. People enjoy different things, get over it.

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Response to ForgoTheConsequence (Reply #8)

Sun Feb 5, 2012, 11:01 PM

10. Settle down, I'm not attacking you...

..or anyone individually.

Apparently, you fail to see the problem with a nation that is more pre-occupied with a GAME than...well, pretty much anything of substance.

It's not a question of the sport in itself, it's a question of priorities.

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Response to YoungDemCA (Reply #10)

Sun Feb 5, 2012, 11:06 PM

11. Thats a decent point.

But it gets lost when things are painted with a broad brush.

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Response to YoungDemCA (Reply #7)

Mon Feb 6, 2012, 01:27 AM

16. "Why do we need to escape" ??!! Are you frikin' kidding??

I'm not a big sport fan, in fact I hate most of it. (female here)
But watching the occasional football game is a pleasurable escape and respite from the worries of life and something most of it us need to recharge.

We don't have to worship football as if it were a religion and believe me, as a southerner, I know it's a religion to some.

Why must we ALWAYS be changing something? Most of us here work hard to do that and we need an ocasional rest.



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Response to Bonobo (Original post)

Sun Feb 5, 2012, 11:01 PM

9. At what point does the failure to make one's case to the people

mean either that a) you don't really have a case, or b) that you're really fucking terrible at argumentation. Chomsky's been making this case for forty some-odd years. It is an utter rhetorical loser. So, who's to blame? The dumb people, duped at every turn? Or Chomsky and his followers, so incapable of making their case that it falls flat for most people all the time?

It's an odd thing to believe in democracy and the rule of the people but constantly have to call them dumbfucks for not agreeing with you, isn't it?

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Response to alcibiades_mystery (Reply #9)

Mon Feb 6, 2012, 12:20 AM

15. I'll go with dumb people for $20, Alex.

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Response to EFerrari (Reply #15)

Mon Feb 6, 2012, 03:02 AM

20. Can I get a piece of that action?

The ironic thing is that the "dumb people" thing is what Chomsky is saying... and not unkindly... and the response of the "people" is "What?"...

Turning to a popularity metric to judge the value of an assertion about the use of a popular distraction to distract the populace is... kind of slapstick, really.

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Response to LooseWilly (Reply #20)

Mon Feb 6, 2012, 07:49 AM

36. Lol.

He's so right. I love baseball and watching a game, nothing else exists, it's almost an out of body experience. Forget about thinking, you're relieved of muscular responsibility for nine innings. Baseball might be why I was never interested in heroine or cocaine.

And the bit about arcane knowledge is also so true. If your brain gets restless while you're sitting there discorporated, lol, there's all these wonderful numbers you can play with. It's so satisfying, a measurable, rational universe, ambling along without actually moving -- it's always summer, everyone is always young. There's food and drink everywhere no matter what time it is. An avuncular voice tells stories and jokes and what to pay attention to without burdening us with his face. More than diversion, it's an awesome, efficient bubble, pre-natal regression with team colors. No wonder people describe baseball as heaven, there's no want there, either.




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Response to EFerrari (Reply #36)

Tue Feb 7, 2012, 01:32 AM

94. Enjoy one for me... baseball bores me silly

I'm honestly a little jealous you can enjoy it... do so a little for me...

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Response to LooseWilly (Reply #94)

Tue Feb 7, 2012, 04:00 AM

118. Maybe it was the early indoctrination of sitting through hundreds of Masses.

Throw in a ball and some base runners, and it seems like you really have something going on.

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Response to alcibiades_mystery (Reply #9)

Mon Feb 6, 2012, 04:36 AM

30. Debord's "critique" of the spectacle is the issue, not Chomsky's woefully lacking adaptation.

Chomsky, having a technological background, should have adapted the Society of the Spectacle in a more rational way, but he just assumes its relevancy, and fails to approach it from a technological point of view.

For an hilarious example, consider this.

Think real hard about such a trivial, ridiculous example of the Spectacle as it applies to capitalism.

It is amazing.

Meanwhile, yes, the oligarchs view people as dumb, stupid, duped at every turn, of which many are Chomsky followers, who do not understand where Chomsky is coming from.

And I don't blame Chomsky's inadequate adaption of Debord's critique for that. I blame pure maliciousness.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #30)

Tue Feb 7, 2012, 02:02 AM

103. What?... Debord's critique of "the spectacle" is interesting... but it isn't... timely

I suppose I would be willing to entertain your argument as to how Chomsky's criticism of the potential uses of sports in order to.. help manufacture consent... is a "woefully lacking adaptation" of Debord.... but I have my doubts you could make the argument compelling.

They aren't speaking of the same thing. the couldn't be... as Debord was writing nearly 100 years ago.

The "Noam Phone" you linked to is a marketing wonder... but doesn't undermine anything Chomsky has to say... unless one is prone to "judgement by marketing corollary-ism"

Chomsky's criticisms of sports, however... aren't based on some abstract notion of spectacle and "breads and circuses" and so on... but are really laid in a foundation of examination of imperialism and neo-imperialism.

The ideas of Debord, such as "Thus, Debord’s fourth thesis is: 'The spectacle is not a collection of images; rather, it is a social relationship between people that is mediated by images.' " ... are very compelling, especially in the context of the MtV Generation... not to mention the YouTube generation ... but they really aren't relevant when one is considering issues of imperialism and neo-imperialism.

You may be interested in side-tracking the discussion back to the issue of the social relationships between humans who relate to each other by means of images... but Chomsky is clearly interested in the topic of manufacturing a body of peoples who are liable to be properly indoctrinated in the virtues of "teamwork" and "giving 110%" by means of utilizing sports activities to condition people into accepting the sorts of language and group-think that was formerly only inculcated by military basic training.

Your fixation on Debord becomes increasingly tangential as the point of the Op is considered...

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Response to LooseWilly (Reply #103)

Tue Feb 7, 2012, 05:38 AM

119. I'm not trying to undermine Chomsky or anything he has to say.

I disagree that Debord is not "speaking to the same thing," as Chomsky is here. Chomsky is applying it to what you call "neo-imperialism" but in the end the concept is the same.

I used that link of an iPhone cover that says NOAM and is a homage to Chomsky as an example, because to me it exemplifies what Chomsky says is, "(offering) people something 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 to do something about." (Quote from the video in the OP.) I was trying to build a narrative there, which I clearly failed to do. The famous list so often displayed to deflect criticism of said technology just shows the disconnect, and shows mass diversion in all its glory.

Debord sums up the spectacle as, "the concrete inversion of life the autonomous movement of the non-living." That iPhone cover completely renders the iPhone itself something else, it is, as Noam says in the video, "a way to build up irrational attitudes to the submission of authority." Yes, I do consider it irrational to place a Noam Chomsky cover on a piece of equipment built by slave labor. It indeed, keeps people from worrying about things that matter to their lives that they might have some idea to do something about.

As Debord writes in the Society of the Spectacle, "Under the shimmering diversions of the spectacle, banalization dominates modern society the world over and at every point where the developed consumption of commodities has seemingly multiplied the roles and objects to choose from." (Thesis 59.)

This criticism, both from Debord, and Chomsky, is 100% correct. It's indisputable. Consent is certainly manufactured in every way of our life, sports is but one way that is done.

My objection to this is that, ultimately, consent is manufactured because, again as Chomsky says in the video of the OP, "If you look closely at these things I think that they typically do have functions, that's why energy is devoted to supporting them." Sports has a function for the reasons I elucidated, an iPhone cover, likewise, has a function, and being able to print an iPhone cover with NOAM on it has a function.

Where I diverge from Debord goes deep. My main objection isn't about the spectacle (again, he and Chomsky are correct on that count), and that's where the whole "technologist" view comes in. Debord argues that industry requires specialization, a rather uncontroversial opinion at the time he wrote his stuff, but in modern times it is too abstract to really matter. Rather than go off on a tangent, I will simply pose two situations.

Why would I buy an iPhone built by slave labor? Why would I then go and buy an iPhone cover that has NOAM on it? I might buy the iPhone because it's the "trendy thing to do," and indeed, it, for me, creates a "social relationship between people that is mediated by images." I watched ads on TV, with trendy, cool people. I saw my friends with awesome setups, neat ear buds, pretty colorful gadgetry. They showed 'em off, I bought 'em. Our social relationship is mediated by the mass imagery that creates the narrative. And oh buddy does it sell so well. When I was a kid I loved new gadgets, but we were poor, and I never was able to get them. Thankfully. I probably would've drank the cool aid a long time ago and defended mass capitalist consumerism as so many do.

That process is undoubtedly authoritarian propaganda. I, who I consider a decent guy, would be going off and buying a nice slave produced labor object, and then, because of the propaganda, because of the diversion, I would lack any sort of "idea to do something about it." But I don't, which brings us to the other situation.

If, instead of an iPhone, we had an open hardware phone, that we either 1) built ourselves or 2) had a collective which built and sold them? Well, we wouldn't have the slave labor. But how or why would anyone want that phone? I posit, that if we are to be successful as the horrific and deplorable iPhone, we must embrace, and utilize the spectacle. We can channel it so that we can share ideas to do something about it.

As Chomsky says (again, OP video), mass media gets people "away from things that matter, and for that it's important to reduce their capacity to think."

As Eben Moglen says:

The most important unchangeable reality about human societies heretofore is the every human society since the beginning, whenever that was, has wasted almost all the brains it possessed.

It is, of course, something so natural to us that it strikes us as an odd aperçu when we meet it, but of course we know that it is true. We know that it is true, and that there wasn’t any way to prevent it from being true, even as we know that it’s an injustice. A deep injustice.

So let’s begin by recognizing, as Laura Nader was urging us to do, that one of the great problems about injustice is that, like power, it is most effective when it can succeed in remaining invisible. And one of the best ways of being invisible is to be something that everybody knows, but you can’t do anything about it, so you might as well forget. And so we forget – as we tend to forget every day when the newspaper isn’t headlined with the 50.000 children who starved to death yesterday – we forget that one of the fundamental characteristics of human societies heretofore has been their wastage of human brains. And I go around, and I say to people “How many of the Einsteins who ever existed were permitted to learn physics?”. And people think “Well, maybe one, maybe two – maybe Isaac Newton was another Einstein…” but of course the answer is “Almost none”; so few, in fact, that we know the names of them.

Which, had we educated all the Einsteins in the world, in physics, since the beginning, we couldn’t do, because there would be so many of them. And what we think of as the extraordinary characteristics of genius are primarily merely the selection function applied to human diversity, through radical injustice in access to the ability to learn. Which means, of course, that we know that – smart guys as we all are – we are really only the fraction of the smart guys in the world who’ve been allowed to learn anything, in a world where there are six billion people, most of whom will never be able to go to school. And their brains will starve to death.


By using the spectacle, by sharing technology, and by embracing mass publicly created media, I posit that, while Chomsky and Debord are and were correct, we have within us the capacity to make it so that people do think when they buy, acquire, build, or create a product for mass consumption. So, we enjoy TV shows, we enjoy listening to music, we enjoy playing with gadgets. Who cares, right? The institutional media (Manufacturing Consent) needn't be the root of that media, in fact, we should be able to kill it. If some kid pops on YouTube, I think that's wonderful, if that kid has a following, and it creates more media, that, to me, is brilliant. There's no institution behind it, it's, in effect, reversing the spectacle as Debord defines it. We would then have more social interaction, and less "thing worship."

You go down to a local community maker center, and you want a cell phone, a new, super cool cell phone that we have designed using open and public methods. Others in the center greet you, shake your hand, give you a little bit of information about the center, and how the technology works. You spend the entire day there, talking about technology, using your brain, eating everything up. Pow, you're not there to "have" the cell phone, you're there to be another human being who just so happens knows how to make and design one with the tools that are available. You'd still have "mass media," because people would still be placing sign-age out to get people to come to their maker center, there would be networks where people share their multimedia, be it music or their own self-created shows or whatever. There would still be independent media, news, and such. There's a more recent term to describe this, though it's been somewhat muddled, it's called the Prosumer. Basically we wouldn't have mere consumers anymore, but producer-consumers, where people share in open spaces the things that are important to them.

How does that play into sports? Well hell, we'd probably still have sports, as Chomsky said, it serves a useful function (if only entertainment). But would we have institutionalized media selling us professional sports? I doubt it very much. I couldn't see it going further than a college level, and I think that with the destruction of institutional media it will be impossible for mass institutionalized media to take hold in that arena (no pun intended).

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Response to Bonobo (Original post)

Sun Feb 5, 2012, 11:10 PM

12. I'm guessing one of the Lancers pantsed him in the boy's locker room.

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Response to Bonobo (Original post)

Sun Feb 5, 2012, 11:22 PM

13. Sports are fun Noam.

 

ffs.

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Response to rudycantfail (Reply #13)

Mon Feb 6, 2012, 03:19 AM

22. He never said they weren't fun.

He just said "Why should I care if my school team wins?"

Watch or play fun sports. No need to delude yourself into thinking the winning or losing of "your" team "really matters". Enjoy all you want though.

Also no need to get defensive. Just realize that what he's commenting on are the vast numbers of people who can cite game statistics of dozens or more of players in multiple sports but can't follow the no-more-abstract numerical details of things like marginal tax rates and consequences of property tax-increment revenue diversions inherent in (CA) Redevelopment Agency project-funding revenue streams... to name a couple of similarly abstract knowledge bases which "do matter".

If you don't know anyone who has mastered the details of the former without thinking the latter are worth even thinking about... then you don't know the people that are being referred to. I suspect that is unlikely, however.

I doubt sports, without the misconception that they are more important that other subjects with similarly complex statistical analyses performable, are any basis for criticism in-and-of-themselves by Chomsky.

Just saying...

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Response to LooseWilly (Reply #22)

Mon Feb 6, 2012, 03:11 PM

58. "Enjoy all you want though."

 

Wow, thanks LooseWilly!

"I doubt sports, without the misconception that they are more important that other subjects with similarly complex statistical analyses performable, are any basis for criticism in-and-of-themselves by Chomsky." - It sounded to me like Chomsky had a lot of negative things to say about sports aside from his misplaced priorities argument. He was criticizing the participation in sports itself. Listen to it again. I didn't hear any positives. Maybe they came later. There are many positives about sports and imo they far outweigh the negatives. In fact, sports can be a fun tool to teach children math skills including statistical analysis. But isn't it the big picture stuff that really matters (Bush lying about Iraq, the ME is about the oil, Wall Street is a casino that endangers the world economy, U.S. priorities are out of whack, the Democrats are nearly as bought and paid for as the GOP), not your property taxes, and they don't require complex statistical analysis in order to understand them.

"No need to delude yourself into thinking the winning or losing of 'your' team 'really matters'" - It matters to me. Do you think people like myself who enjoy sports delude themselves into thinking that the winning of my team matters wrt world affairs or poverty? Nobody really thinks that way. People have the capacity to multi-task and to distinguish entertainment from reality and well-rounded people have room for both in their lives. Look at the cinema's golden age, America's great diversion of the 30's and 40's. Just because people cried in theaters during Gone With the Wind didn't mean they had no more emotional capital left for the suffering associated with the Great Depression or events in Europe and Asia. Sometimes what drives people to seek diversion in life is the sense that they are powerless to effect change on the big stage, whether or not they fully understand the issues. For example, our great change agent president revealing himself to be a status quo agent does not motivate me to crunch numbers on some minute political issue.

We have big problems in this society and sports isn't one of them.

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Response to rudycantfail (Reply #58)

Mon Feb 6, 2012, 09:07 PM

70. The "problem" I have with sports isn't the sports... it's the assholes who want to co-opt sports.

Maybe I'm hearing what I want to hear in the Chomsky clip... but I'm hearing criticism of the "team spirit" that is practically jammed down American throats at high school pep-rallies, which is then echoed in corporate HR manuals which use "rah rah" language to try to "build enthusiasm" for the "team".

Why does every HR policy handbook mention "The XXX team"? Why are all the metaphorical grunts of an organization referred to as "team members"?

If you're loyal to a team, you are liable to endure hardships to help your team mates... it's called "team spirit"... it's called "giving 110%".

In the workplace, it's also called "exploitation".

In politics it's also called "patriotism".

Instilling "team spirit" in the young is all well and nice... but it can be used as a perverse building block for manipulating people who might find themselves torn when the safe and productive associations instilled in childhood are twisted and used as levers to manipulate them later in life.

That's what I hear in the Chomsky clip.

Sports are useful and fun, like morphine, but also not without some element of risk.

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Response to LooseWilly (Reply #22)

Mon Feb 6, 2012, 07:27 PM

64. Spot-on observations.

Especially the 3rd paragraph.

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Response to Bonobo (Original post)

Mon Feb 6, 2012, 12:06 AM

14. I only got to see the fourth quarter

But, I saw some beautiful plays. Truly breathtaking unfortunately they were made by the team I wasn't rooting for. But, hey they tried and that is what matters. I really don't think people are limited to just caring about social issues or just caring about things that really don't matter. In less than a week I will have all but forgotten that I was disappointed in the game results as I will be busy with writing my discussion papers for my political science class, doing algebra homework, reading for my theatre class, and researching for a speech for my speech class. Not to mention trying to keep up with all my daily household activities.

The problem though isn't so much that people are immersed in popular culture. The biggest problem as I see it is that more than half the households in the US have two working parents and often one of those parents has more than one job. They aren't trying to keep up with the Joneses
anymore, they are literally just trying to scrap by every month. They aren't being distracted by popular culture their time is being co-opted by slave wage jobs, so that is where their energy is going, not so much on pop culture.

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Response to Bonobo (Original post)

Mon Feb 6, 2012, 01:49 AM

17. Football is a civil religion.

Many years ago I had a religion professor that told us that, and quoted an article about it. Can't find it now.

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Response to Bonobo (Original post)

Mon Feb 6, 2012, 02:50 AM

18. Does this apply to the soccer-crazed rest of the world?

 

Or would you prefer we restrict it to American football?

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Response to RZM (Reply #18)

Mon Feb 6, 2012, 03:00 AM

19. Yes, it does.

South American military dictatorships put a lot of money into their national soccer teams to keep people focused on something other than their civil rights abuses and middle class-crushing economic policies. Argentina won the World Cup during the dictatorship.

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Response to Capitalocracy (Reply #19)

Mon Feb 6, 2012, 04:59 AM

34. South Africa won the Rugby World Cup after the end of apartheid.

It only underscores how utterly off base the criticism is. Not saying it's wrong, merely saying it does not apply in all scenarios, and that ultimately it diminishes human behavior and argues for some sort of emotionless, logical construction that does not currently exist in human societies.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #34)

Mon Feb 6, 2012, 11:18 PM

77. How does South Africa winning the Rugby World Cup after the end of apartheid underscore anything?

How does South Africa winning the Rugby World Cup after the end of apartheid, and/or the assertion that that win is basically meaningless, diminish human behavior or argue for "some sort of emotionless, logical construction that does not currently exist in human societies"?

I seem to remember the movie about Mandela suggesting that the soccer (football) victory was an emotionally unifying event. Likewise, the Saints winning the SuperBowl shortly after New Orleans was washed away in a man-made catastrofucky... was said to be an emotionally unifying event. I suppose The Terminator, or Rocky IV were also emotionally unifying events.

Perhaps, being Rick Rolled can also be considered an emotionally unifying event.

I don't know. My parameters of 'an emotionally unifying event" seem to be different than those of many others. I think of shared trauma... winning the sectionals in Gleeclub, or having my team win the Super Bowl— not something I think I need to be "emotionless and logical" to the extent of "not currently" fitting into human societies in order to ... just plain not give a shit about.

On the other hand, not being the one who got brain damage from a tear gas round fired directly at a crowd by riot police, or being one of the cabbies who might've had his windows busted out by rowdy crowds after a game loss... or being just another asshole who has to work for absurdly idiotic bosses... if not immediately superior then somewhere further up the "foodchain"... that's grounds for solidarity for me.

If it's all about sports for you... then that's another lever to work on your psyche.

If not... then your gym teacher in high school is a failure.

Either way... human behavior can't be further diminished than it is by looking at it. We're all fucking idiots... even Mandela.

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Response to LooseWilly (Reply #77)

Mon Feb 6, 2012, 11:57 PM

80. I would assume that the end of apartheid was a preferrable outcome and that...

...the Rugby World Cup win did not indicate a "role of sports in propaganda-based authority." Here, we see that the role sports played was anti-authoritarian.

It's easy enough to diminish human behavior, as there exist no behavior that cannot be spun in some way that diminishes it. By calling everyone "fucking idiots" you have even done so.

Sports, technology, media, even language can be used as a conduit for "propaganda-based authority." That does not mean that those things in and of themselves, inherently, are such. That's just preposterous.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #80)

Tue Feb 7, 2012, 01:17 AM

91. Wait... how did sports play an *anti-authoritarian* role here?

You seem to be asserting a false equivalence here... Chomsky didn't, as I recall, say that "all sports are propaganda"... he merely indicated that sports has its use as a ... well, I'll call it a "building block" for "loyalty feedback systems"... which is my paraphrasing of what I remember of Chomsky's statements... which may prove wrong... feel free to cite how so.

The fact of the South African Rugby team winning isn't an "anti-authoritarian" role... it is simply something that happened while the government was making anti-authoritarian changes... and it probably did become something of a symbol of the "divine grace" of those changes... but to say that sports played an anti-authoritarian role seems like a bit of a stretch. Better to argue that of the Iranian World Cup players who wore green and were kicked off the team... but their anti-authoritarian "role" was a failure (well, in the concrete short-term... in the long-term, who knows what that demonstration might've sparked).

I would, also, point out that I included myself in the blanket statement that we're all "fucking idiots". If you have a problem with embracing the fact that you're a fucking idiot... well, take it up with Allah... but as I see it we all do idiotic stuff... we're all in the "fucking idiot" boat... no matter how it chafes our personal pride. Me as much as anyone. Not you?...

I don't know what you are trying to say about anything being "inherently" a conduit of "propaganda-based authority"... I don't recall saying anything of the sort... or writing it... or even thinking it. The possibilities of utilizing any of the above, I would assume you wouldn't deny as a possibility?... Sports, technology, media... language... all are easily utilized as a means of transmission of "propaganda-based authority"... inherently?? I never said that. I agree that that is preposterous.

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Response to Capitalocracy (Reply #19)

Mon Feb 6, 2012, 07:22 PM

63. Plenty of other states play close attention to their teams as well

 

Argentina won during the dictatorship in 1978 but it also won it in 1986, several years after the first post-dictatorship free elections.

Other teams that won during the postwar era include:

Brazil (5 times, only one of which was during the military dictatorship)
West Germany (3 times)
Italy (2 times)
England (1 time)
France (1 time)
Spain (1 time)

So it would seem like authoritarian regimes fare a lot worse than Democracies. In any given year quite a few participants in the tournament are not Democracies. Yet they almost never win. In fact, if you look at who finished second, third, and fourth, you see that the Democracies are well-represented there as well.

I'm not saying that authoritarian states place a lot of stock in sports because they do. But so does everybody else.

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Response to RZM (Reply #18)

Mon Feb 6, 2012, 04:51 AM

31. This applies to all forms of consumer behavior.

All forms. From people who buy into Apple products to people who buy into their favorite local team, it apples across the board. It is not a particularly unique observation. The problem is, of course, that Chomsky and others falsely attribute this sort of behavior to mass manipulation, when it is merely a response to legend, or more clearly, Joseph Campbell's "Power of Myth." You'll note that Chomsky doesn't go so far as to say that these things do not have uses (indeed, the video cuts short right there when he admits as much), but for Chomsky the uses are statist, authoritarian, subversive, and manipulative.

However, the Power of Myth, or Legend, or the Hero's Journey is an integral part of human evolutionary behavior. Be it a team playing against another and winning, or be it a product that is popular which is "legendary," and "everyone wants it." Sort of being emotionless, logical human beings, it is inseparable from the human psyche. Perhaps one day we will move on from this behavior, but until that point it will provide a pivotal role in our evolution.

This is why Debord's critique of the "spectacle" falls short, because it effectively dismisses legend, without actually addressing the reasons it exists (and the reasons it's so easily exploited by capitalism and the state). It exists because as a species we have not yet evolved beyond those mechanisms that kept us as spiritual, emotional beings.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #31)

Tue Feb 7, 2012, 12:10 AM

82. I'm curious to hear an elaboration of your theory of Chomsky's attribution to mass manipulation...

And more particularly... why you think the theory is wrong.

You, instead, "attribute" the phenomenon that Chomsky speaks of to "a response to legend, or more clearly, Joseph Campbell's 'Power of Myth' "...

Are you trying to deny that "the powers that be" not only encourage but actively foster the "behavior" in question by means of the "pep-rally" in schools?

I won't deny, though I'd like to were it not absurd to do so, that the Campbellian "Power of Myth" template of "loyalty netting" (my own half-baked spur-of-the-moment term for the effort to draw individuals into the "team spirit" represented by "team loyalty") by drawing individuals into the "mythology" of the team competition is one tool employed by the "pep-rally" crowd... but the use of Campbell's studies/techniques doesn't mean that there isn't some effort to use those studies/techniques as a tool of "mass manipulation".

I don't see Chomsky as saying that "the uses are statist, authoritarian, subversive, and manipulative"... but instead, subtly, saying that "the uses are" potentially and often "statist, authoritarian,... and manipulative" (I would like to see some support for the argument that he, or anyone, sees such uses of "team spirit" are "subversive" before I will parrot that adjective.)

Please elaborate on Debord's critique as well, if it is actually relevant. Since this is a thread dealing with Chomsky's criticism, I'm not feeling like bothering to chase down this particular potential red herring... if you'd like to somehow make this tangent seem relevant though, I might be convinced to do some reading.

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Response to LooseWilly (Reply #82)

Tue Feb 7, 2012, 12:20 AM

84. I do not think the theory is wrong.

It most certainly is used that way.

But not because that's an inherent aspect of these methods.

Merely that it's beneficial for those methods to be used that way.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Society_of_the_Spectacle

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commodity_fetishism

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reification_(Marxism)

Chomsky is not going so far as Debord in that suggesting that these are inherent, but the OP is short on details, the video is cut short of the total analysis, and I merely wanted others to understand the full extent of this critique. I deny vehemently this critique because as a technologist, I think that it goes down a route that is very counterintuitive. The fetishism of commodities is just as useful in itself toward revolution from my point of view, and thus should not be overall rejected. The Power of Myth, likewise, can be channeled for revolutionary purposes.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #84)

Tue Feb 7, 2012, 12:55 AM

90. *used* by who, wrongly?

Or... are you saying that the theory isn't wrong because sports are used that way?

I missed the part of the Chomsky clip, several times, where it was said that the uses imputed to sports are "inherent"... though certainly the "beneficial" seemed clear.

Ohh...wait... you say yourself that "Chomsky is not going so far as Debord in that suggesting that these are inherent..."

But... you deny the critique because... you are a technologist? The fetishism of commodities is useful "in itself toward revolution?... Is this meant to be an argument that Twitter killed Qadaffi? (which I think I would label a counter-revolution... but that's another discussion)

Or... maybe you're referring to the power of the myth of Twitter?

Are you willing to entertain the possibility that, "as a technologist", you are succumbing to the old "if your only tool is a hammer, then every problem looks like a nail" quandry?

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Response to LooseWilly (Reply #90)

Tue Feb 7, 2012, 02:07 AM

104. Propaganda-based authorities.

If it's not obvious to you how a technologist could deny Debord's critique, then it would require for me to explain Debord's view, which you apparently are not equipped with. I'm not sure if I have the time or patience to do so when all I am getting is rhetoric, and no analysis at this point.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #104)

Tue Feb 7, 2012, 03:29 AM

116. It seems to me that a "technologist" would have to agree with Debord's critiques...

Debord's view appears to be a form of mass"strike"... completely appropriate if you ask me. If one's a "technologist'.

Maybe I'm wrong.. please explain.

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Response to LooseWilly (Reply #116)

Tue Feb 7, 2012, 03:35 AM

117. Give me 30 minutes.

It's 1:35AM here, not sure what time zone you're in.

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Response to LooseWilly (Reply #82)

Tue Feb 7, 2012, 12:45 AM

88. The best way to put it I think is with Erich Fromm's "To Have Or To Be?"

You appear familiar with Joseph Campbell, I would suggest reading up on Erich Fromm, as he does lay the groundwork for some amazing stuff here.

There's a major, major distinction between:

Having a favorite football team.

And:

Being a fan of football.

Or...

Having to see the football game.

And:

Being an observer of the football game.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #88)

Tue Feb 7, 2012, 01:26 AM

93. Uhhm, I have a favorite football team, I'm not a fan of football... and I don't have to see a game..

I'm not sure that I believe that I need someone else's writing to elucidate any of the above for me.

I'll add, I played football in high school. I don't care about football. I have a favorite team. I don't care if they win or lose. I care even less if other teams win or lose. I care even less if teams win or lose in other sports. I don't care about sports. Who won the Superbowl? When does baseball season start so I can work even harder to avoid sports news?

You have failed to convince me that I have any reason to care about a word that Erich Fromm has written. Maybe, if he buys one of my books, I'll read one of his. I sell e-books for a very reasonable price...

I don't really find the "psychology of sports" to be all that interesting... it seems to be pretty straight forward to me.

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Response to LooseWilly (Reply #93)

Tue Feb 7, 2012, 02:02 AM

102. I never paid for his books.

Third hit on Google, it's on Scribd.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #102)

Tue Feb 7, 2012, 02:15 AM

105. I guess I wasn't clear... I'm not only not interested in paying for his sports books...

I'm not interested in reading them... unless he, or you... is interested in buying or reading my non-sports books.

If you are interested in sharing the gist of his books, I might well listen. Thus far, nothing you have said about them has made them seem intriguing, let alone appealing.''

Why should I care about them again?

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Response to LooseWilly (Reply #105)

Tue Feb 7, 2012, 02:18 AM

106. He's a sports writer?

Maybe you'd care if you gave this discussion an iota of thought.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #106)

Tue Feb 7, 2012, 03:07 AM

114. Or, maybe I don't feel the compunction to read authors solely based on your recommendation...

And since the thread was about sports, in the abstract, I took the random guess that you might recommend an author writing about sports.

If not... well, to be honest I don't really care.

Buy my book and I'll read the one you recommend. Based solely on your recommendation.

Don't buy my book... and odds are slim I'll read the book you recommend, especially based solely on your recommendation.

Iota of thought?... I've already contributed several dozen iotas of thought. You think iotas are friggin' free? Join the communist party and maybe I'll contribute iotas of thought in your direction for free, in the mean time, you gots to pay, bia-tch.

In the meantime, your sillyisms about how Chomsky is just ... stealing ideas from (?)... your strange pet '20s or '30s "spectacle" philosopher... you're beyond reaching there... it's talking out of your ass... just, you know... fyi... you'll want to come up with another line that deals with that "spectacle" philosophy applying to OWS or something...in order to denigrate OWS for not being pro-attacking Libya and other pro-imperialist actions... but the idea of applying the "spectacle" as described in your own links to the "real" struggle of OWS... you're going to show yourself as a disingenuous douchebag if you ever try to discredit any OWS activities by claiming that they are being critical of the spectacles, in the Debordian sense of the term, brought on by... whatever Debord deludes himself into thinking brings them on...

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Response to LooseWilly (Reply #114)

Tue Feb 7, 2012, 03:18 AM

115. "Stealing ideas from"? These ideas are uncontroversial, not unique, and shared by many socialist...

...thinkers.

I'm not slighting Chomsky in the least.

I'm not sure why you think I would use Debord's critique to "discredit any OWS activities."

Erich Fromm is a good writer, and I was merely trying to interject a failed nuance into the discussion. I say failed, because I have clearly failed to introduce the idea into this discussion.

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Response to Bonobo (Original post)

Mon Feb 6, 2012, 03:09 AM

21. I like sports. I like to play sports. I like to watch sports.

If you don't like sports, good for you. Please keep it to yourself. Or at the very least don't insult me because of a hobby I have.

Because it would be just as easy for me to say "being an overbearing hipster who hates everything that any number of people like, just because people like it, breeds close mindedness and elistism". And I would hate to have to say that.

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Response to Muskypundit (Reply #21)

Mon Feb 6, 2012, 03:28 AM

23. Hehe... there is only as much insult there as you choose to bring. Feel free to call me overbearing

though... or a hipster... or any of the rest of it.

I'm not defensive on any of those points (though, there are a lot of really annoying and overbearing hipsters out there... but c'est la vie)... I'd like to, likewise, think you aren't as defensive of your sports liking as you sound, because I really like the way you "hypotheticalized" your retort... it's an art which ought to be in consonance with the speakings of Chomsky, in my humble opinion.

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Response to Muskypundit (Reply #21)

Mon Feb 6, 2012, 02:31 PM

55. This x 1000

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Response to Bonobo (Original post)

Mon Feb 6, 2012, 03:35 AM

24. The defensiveness in this thread

would indicate that Chomsky hit a nerve.

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Response to Kaleko (Reply #24)

Mon Feb 6, 2012, 03:49 AM

25. Chomsky comes off as a sad little man scowling at anything that causes anyone any amount of joy

And finding ways to demonize it. If it wasn't sports, it would be organized star craft. Or chess. Or dance music. I understand the world fucking sucks and we need to sacrifice to make it better, but we are humans and not members of a ideological Borg that shits on fun until the struggle is complete. Or maybe some of us are, and that's the problem.

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Response to Muskypundit (Reply #25)

Mon Feb 6, 2012, 04:09 AM

27. Nah, it's not a particularly unique observation, he just uses US-centric examples.

His critique applies to every single government on the planet.

The OP doesn't appear to recognize that, but I could be wrong.

It's not just the "Super Bowl."

It's anything that belongs to the spectacle. Anything that is a distraction.

It goes so far as to cover even consumer products.

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Response to Muskypundit (Reply #25)

Mon Feb 6, 2012, 04:19 AM

28. The fact that people feel stung by Chomsky's assertions

is a sign that there's a part inside of them that actually wants to do more and better in exactly the way Chomsky is suggesting.
We don't feel pressured to protest too much unless we secretly desire to do (or become) precisely what we most aggressively deny.

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Response to Kaleko (Reply #28)

Mon Feb 6, 2012, 04:56 AM

33. I see one post in this entire thread (currently 33 posts including this one) that appears "stung."

One post. Please try harder next time when characterizing about responses to a given thread, as it does not appear you gave that observation much thought.

(The post in question is #21, the rest are either dismissive, or have critical, substantiative responses.)

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #33)

Mon Feb 6, 2012, 01:53 PM

51. :-)

Providing another example of defensiveness. This one couched in a huffy admonishment to try harder to perceive things exactly the same way you do. How dare anyone diverge from what you decree is the one and only correct view of what's going on here?

A teaching moment for wannabe teachers... maybe.

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Response to Kaleko (Reply #51)

Mon Feb 6, 2012, 08:27 PM

69. I merely do not like broad brush caricatures of something that isn't there.

I do not interpret being dismissive or actually critiquing as being "stung." If you do, that's your prerogative, but I think you won't get very far by being so sensitive to such types of responses. For your caricature to be true then we'd have to water down the definition of "stung" to be almost meaningless.

I actually agree with Chomsky's observation, and if you read my comments in the thread you'd know that. I merely adapt it in my own way, and embrace this sort of thing, as it can go either way, and I don't think even Chomsky believes in absolutes (the video is cut short as he elaborates).

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #69)

Mon Feb 6, 2012, 09:23 PM

71. The fact that you don't see something

doesn't constitute proof that it isn't there.

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Response to Kaleko (Reply #71)

Mon Feb 6, 2012, 09:27 PM

72. But I do see something.

And it is not a bunch of "defensive, stung" people.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #72)

Mon Feb 6, 2012, 10:27 PM

73. Yes, yes, and your presumption is

that only your interpretations can be objective and therefore correct.

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Response to Kaleko (Reply #73)

Mon Feb 6, 2012, 11:00 PM

74. Nope, I can only make a convincing argument.

You've not convinced me that your interpretation is correct, indeed, I called it a caricature, and it would then be, if you had any intention of making a convincing argument, up to you to explain how it isn't.

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Response to Muskypundit (Reply #25)

Mon Feb 6, 2012, 12:56 PM

45. Goodonya Musky!

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Response to Kaleko (Reply #24)

Mon Feb 6, 2012, 04:54 AM

32. The focus is on the Super Bowl. On Super Bowl Sunday.

Had the OP been about Apple on the same day as the WWDC or any of Apple's famous keynotes, the responses would've been similar. Though I expect they would've been more voracious and not nearly as dismissive.

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Response to Bonobo (Original post)

Mon Feb 6, 2012, 04:04 AM

26. Chomsky is merely observering the spectacle.

More spectacle:



I, personally, embrace the spectacle, it is wondrous.

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Response to Bonobo (Original post)

Mon Feb 6, 2012, 06:11 AM

35. I think the effects of sports are a convenient by-product for the powers that be...

...but not intentional. Everybody needs a diversion, and a topic in common with others to engage in light conversation. If it isn't sports, it would be something else.

Say you work in an office, and you want to chat with your colleagues from time to time. In terms of appropriateness, the topic range is pretty limited to mass media, the weather, and benign family anecdotes.

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Response to Bonobo (Original post)

Mon Feb 6, 2012, 08:00 AM

37. I used to feel the same way. But here's how I see the value in sports now:

Back in the Caveman days, we needed men with the most testosterone to protect pregnant and nursing women, as well as those with vulnerable, weak human children (human babies really are the most dependent, for the longest time due to our Big Brains developing). So the most genetically desireable dudes were the strongest and most aggressive.

After all this millenia, our instincts haven't changed, just our lifestyles. We still have all this testosterone floating around, and it's no longer needed for its original purpose. So which would you rather see:

1) Buncha macho dudes building weapons and killing each other on the battlefield?

or:
2) Buncha macho dudes pounding each other on the football/soccer/field? Or the ice or the boxing ring?

I'll take Option 2, thank you!

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Response to pink-o (Reply #37)

Mon Feb 6, 2012, 08:03 AM

38. You're describing diversion. That is Chomsky's point or, one of them.

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Response to EFerrari (Reply #38)

Mon Feb 6, 2012, 08:25 AM

39. But that's my point as well. Diverting the aggressive behavior

that evolution has programed into us all.

It's inevitable that such aggression will make itself felt in our society. Better thru competitive sports than warfare. Just sayin'

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Response to pink-o (Reply #39)

Mon Feb 6, 2012, 08:41 AM

41. Is it clear that competitive sports mitigate warfare?

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Response to EFerrari (Reply #41)

Mon Feb 6, 2012, 09:55 AM

43. Obviously, we can't prove a negative

But if you put down the laws of probability, the hypothesis holds water.

The Corporate Overlords who control our social evolution just LOVE to see testosterone channeled into violent or aggressive outlets. Warfare. Cutthroat business practices. Competitive Sports. And even though I believe we should be able to overcome our violent tendencies, it isn't gonna happen overnight. So while we're trying to figure out our next step, I just think it's sensless to pick on the least hurtful activity. That's all I'm trying to say.

And don't get me wrong: I LOVE Noam. I even went to MIT in the 90s to hear him lecture, I've given copies of "Manufacturing Consent" (the BEST screed on the MSM I've ever seen) to friends so that they can hear about it from someone far more articulate and intelligent than I. It's just that I think humans need diversion, and sports aren't such a bad way to bond and find commonalities. You don't have to be plugged into the Matrix to enjoy a good football game.

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Response to pink-o (Reply #43)

Tue Feb 7, 2012, 07:02 AM

121. I kind of agree with this

even though I think commercial sports are highly manipulative and am not into watching them. But to expand on your point, we have to pick our battles. The only way sports fans will see that commercial sports are manipulative is if an individual fan suddenly figures it out themselves. If you start to chastized someone about it they will only get angry and defensive. They have to see it for themselves. It's something - the need to compete with others for esteem - you have to personally outgrow.

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Response to Bonobo (Original post)

Mon Feb 6, 2012, 08:31 AM

40. Poor Noam

Always picked last in pickup Ball games.

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Response to trumad (Reply #40)

Mon Feb 6, 2012, 02:10 PM

53. Wow, what a witty and intelligent comment.

Please, continue with your intellectual insights!

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Response to backscatter712 (Reply #53)

Mon Feb 6, 2012, 02:56 PM

56. OK---how about this.

Fuck the uber-Liberal snobs who crack on anything athletic.

Douchebags

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Response to trumad (Reply #56)

Mon Feb 6, 2012, 11:10 PM

75. THIS is a post I can sink my teeth into. n/t

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Response to trumad (Reply #56)

Tue Feb 7, 2012, 02:22 AM

107. You wanna fight?

We can fight...

Will that be athletic enough for you?

Douchebag?

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Response to LooseWilly (Reply #107)

Tue Feb 7, 2012, 08:34 AM

122. Dime a dozen

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Response to trumad (Reply #56)

Tue Feb 7, 2012, 02:50 AM

113. Truman. LOL. nt

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Response to Bonobo (Original post)

Mon Feb 6, 2012, 09:09 AM

42. Games and bread. n/t

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Response to Bonobo (Original post)

Mon Feb 6, 2012, 12:41 PM

44. "A Global Force for Good"

Name the sponsor.

Hint: It's CEO is a Reagan Democrat.

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Response to Bonobo (Original post)

Mon Feb 6, 2012, 01:06 PM

46. Chomsky can blow it out his ass

Heaven forbid anyone enjoy themselves at anything other than wringing hands over what terrible people we are.

What a sad little man.

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Response to Dreamer Tatum (Reply #46)

Mon Feb 6, 2012, 01:11 PM

47. Boy, you really nailed him this time

I'll bet Noam Chomsky will think twice before spewing truths like that again.

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Response to DisgustipatedinCA (Reply #47)

Mon Feb 6, 2012, 01:13 PM

48. I nailed his opinion with mine.

So yeah, I nailed him. He's a sad little man with some pretty clear issues.

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Response to Dreamer Tatum (Reply #48)

Mon Feb 6, 2012, 03:44 PM

59. Fair enough (one opinion vs. another). Sad little man? No.

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Response to Bonobo (Original post)

Mon Feb 6, 2012, 01:20 PM

49. “Eternal boyhood is the dream of a depressing percentage of American males, and

“Eternal boyhood is the dream of a depressing percentage of American males, and the locker room is the temple where they worship arrested development.“ Russell Baker

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Response to Tierra_y_Libertad (Reply #49)

Mon Feb 6, 2012, 11:17 PM

76. Rolling On Floor, Laughing My Ass Off...

I'm 50 years old, and the last dose of "eternal boyhood" I had was with a frisbee with my 49 year old BFF at a place called La Mirada Regional Park. That was about a month ago. My BFF and I have been tossing the disc together for about 35 years, and have resolved to do it until one of us can't raise our arm high enough to catch it.

Locker rooms? Who the fuck needs locker rooms?

The broad brush nature of Baker's quote causes it to fall on its face under its own weight.

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Response to cherokeeprogressive (Reply #76)

Tue Feb 7, 2012, 02:27 AM

108. Hehe... methinks that, if you don't need locker rooms... the quote doesn't apply to you.

There seems to be some that needs the locker rooms though.... I think. I confess they don't make any sense to me though... so, maybe I'm wrong?

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Response to LooseWilly (Reply #108)

Wed Feb 8, 2012, 01:12 AM

125. Tell me where the average male sports fan finds a locker room?

I don't belong to a country club and when I go to the CO-ED gym, I go in my workout clothing and leave in my workout clothing. While I'm there I don't trade words or pats on the back or butt. Most times I hardly share eye contact.

Personally, I don't know anyone much different than myself.

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Response to Bonobo (Original post)

Mon Feb 6, 2012, 01:20 PM

50. I wonder what the reaction to this post would be if it was after the World Cup. nt

 

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Response to Snake Alchemist (Reply #50)

Tue Feb 7, 2012, 02:41 AM

111. I'm curious too... my reaction would be exactly the same... but, not being "everyone"... I remain

curious...

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Response to Bonobo (Original post)

Mon Feb 6, 2012, 02:03 PM

52. Between sports and religion, I'd say mass mind-control has been refined to fine art. n/t

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Response to Bonobo (Original post)

Mon Feb 6, 2012, 02:30 PM

54. "Not to gloat, but Japan won and the country is electrified!" - Bonobo, July 17, 2011...

That was an AWESOME World Cup!!


Sid

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Response to SidDithers (Reply #54)

Mon Feb 6, 2012, 07:03 PM

61. I am honored to have my own personal stalker. nt

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Response to Bonobo (Reply #61)

Mon Feb 6, 2012, 07:34 PM

65. Just call me a "humorless, anal retentive Canadian"...

Oh wait, you already did.

Sid

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Response to SidDithers (Reply #65)

Mon Feb 6, 2012, 07:56 PM

67. I did no such thing.

I am certain if I did such a thing, it would quickly have been hidden.

But I do wonder, with your name, if you ever even SAW Sid Dithers or SCTV.

I never see much humor in your post excepts for the most bitter type of "yelling at clouds" kind of thing...

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Response to Bonobo (Reply #67)

Tue Feb 7, 2012, 01:44 AM

97. Link here:

You to Sid Dithers, about Sid Dithers: "Maybe they were all humorless, anal retentive Canadians?".

You've also posted an SCTV Sid Dithers video here that was a jab at the DU Sid Dithers, so funny you should try to change the subject by calling someone else a stalker.

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Response to greyl (Reply #97)

Tue Feb 7, 2012, 01:57 AM

100. I am a HUGE SCTV fan! nt

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Response to Bonobo (Reply #100)

Tue Feb 7, 2012, 01:59 AM

101. That might be true, but it's definitely irrelevant. nt

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Response to greyl (Reply #97)

Tue Feb 7, 2012, 02:38 AM

110. That link actually makes no material reference to the poster known as Sid Dithers.

It is merely a post of unsubstantiated musings about possible reasons for someone to do something...

Maybe you should post a link to the Sid Dithers video that you claim is a jab at the Duer who has apparently appropriated a name that is probably copyrighted... ?

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Response to LooseWilly (Reply #110)

Tue Feb 7, 2012, 02:48 AM

112. C'mon, consider the context. It's clear what the post meant. nt

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Response to SidDithers (Reply #65)

Tue Feb 7, 2012, 02:31 AM

109. You're a "humorless, anal retentive Canadian"...

I assume that was a general invitation?....

You aren't offering special opportunities to some members that you aren't offering to others, are you?

If so.. I apologize for trying to take advantage of such a tempting offer...

Is it within the rules to offer for one DUer to "call you" something but not allow another to do likewise?... (I guess we'll find out)

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Response to SidDithers (Reply #54)

Mon Feb 6, 2012, 08:20 PM

68. I remembered that, but my post #26 was more subtle.

I recall DU being quite pleased with that World Cup, hell, even though the US lost we were still OK with it.

Gross hypocrisy is the result of blanket generalizations about a group or people. Eventually you get caught.

I personally dislike sports unless I'm actually playing them, but I can appreciate it when others rally to their favorite nationalist past times, and I have from time to time rooted for the underdog to win, just because it's fun and there's a deep rooted factor in the human psyche that makes us want "our guy" to win.

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Response to Bonobo (Original post)

Mon Feb 6, 2012, 03:02 PM

57. Bread and games. The Romans knew back then that this

controls the rabble. The problem with our controllers is that they have forgotten about the bread.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #57)

Mon Feb 6, 2012, 07:51 PM

66. There ya go!!!!!

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Response to Bonobo (Original post)

Mon Feb 6, 2012, 03:52 PM

60. In other news...

Contador was stripped of his Tour d'France win.

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Response to Bonobo (Original post)

Mon Feb 6, 2012, 07:06 PM

62. Chomsky must be a Patriots fan

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Response to Bonobo (Original post)

Mon Feb 6, 2012, 11:18 PM

78. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

FFS

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Response to Swede (Reply #78)

Mon Feb 6, 2012, 11:23 PM

79. Even Chomsky admitted it was an over-simplification to make a point.

Would it be better not to make the point at all?

DU wants all-or-nothing propositions because it is easier to deal with.

Do I enjoy a sporting event from time to time? Yes.

Does that mean that I am incapable of recognizing that this sort of thing also has a function in keeping people from looking at other things? Hell no.

So I reject charges made above about hypocrisy simply because I made a post about a soccer game once. How juvenile do you have to be to do a search of the archives to dredge that up?

Neither am I attacking anyone for watching a sporting event on an individual basis.

The point that Chomsky makes is worth consideration, that's all.

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Response to Bonobo (Reply #79)

Tue Feb 7, 2012, 12:06 AM

81. There has been ample consideration in this thread.

Few, if any in this thread, however, have appreciated the connection sports have to other consumer products which serve the same exact function.

It is certainly worth consideration here, and in every applicable area this issue exists.

Except, I recall recent discussions about authoritarian corporations and their labor practices being largely dismissed and discussion attempted to be deflected.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #81)

Tue Feb 7, 2012, 12:18 AM

83. Really? I would love to see what you think you are remembering.

But anyway, that would really be changing the subject.

Maybe you should start a new OP so you can gnaw on your old, bitter bones some more.

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Response to Bonobo (Reply #83)

Tue Feb 7, 2012, 12:26 AM

85. Eh, I've had enough of the authoritarian commodity fetishists.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #85)

Tue Feb 7, 2012, 12:29 AM

86. Busy preparing the way for an invasion of Syria, I imagine. nt

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Response to Bonobo (Reply #86)

Tue Feb 7, 2012, 12:32 AM

87. You wanna invade Syria?

Damn dude.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #87)

Tue Feb 7, 2012, 12:51 AM

89. Oh me? Sorry no. I assumed YOU did because it would be consistent with your views RE Libya.

But then again maybe you could tell me why military force s appropriate in the latter but not the former?

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Response to Bonobo (Reply #89)

Tue Feb 7, 2012, 01:19 AM

92. Ahh, I thought you felt the "authoritarian commodity fetishists" were preparing for that.

Damn, stupid me, thinking you were being nice for a change and not regularly insulting and demeaning.

No, I do not advocate any force in any country that does not have international support.

Though I do wish human compassion and decency existed to the point where all authoritarians were ousted from power, by a just and kind system that cared about fellow human beings, such a reality does not exist.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #92)

Tue Feb 7, 2012, 01:42 AM

96. That kinda thing tends to happen when you call people "hypocrites" behind their backs, dude. nt

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Response to Bonobo (Reply #96)

Tue Feb 7, 2012, 01:56 AM

99. Nothing wrong with hypocrisy. We're all guilty of it.

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Response to Bonobo (Original post)

Tue Feb 7, 2012, 01:37 AM

95. Soccer fan clubs were vital to organizing the Egyptian revolution.

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Response to Bonobo (Original post)

Tue Feb 7, 2012, 06:39 AM

120. If someone likes sports that's their business

But as for me I can't get into it anymore. It's like I've finally see through it all. When I'm forced to watched it with family I feel nothing but used and manipulated. So I totally agree with Chomsky. You may not agree that it's a ploy of big brother to distract you and neither do I. But I do know it is an advertising ploy by the sports leagues to induce a brainwashed loyalty to competitive events that perpetuate war-like psychology so they can make money.

Sorry sports fans. Love you but you ARE being manipulated.

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Response to Bonobo (Original post)

Tue Feb 7, 2012, 08:45 AM

123. I'm so glad there are smart people like Noam Chomsky to tell me what I should or shouldn't like.

I'm too stoopid to make my own choices.

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