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Of savage imperialism, pigskin monopolists, and intellectual emasculation

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donsu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-16-07 01:28 PM
Original message
Of savage imperialism, pigskin monopolists, and intellectual emasculation

http://onlinejournal.com/artman/publish/article_1640.sh...



-snip- a snip to be read

For about six precious month s of the year, the National Football League delivers heavy doses of testosterone, blood, adrenaline, and alcohol. Man fuel for its addicted minions. Through the grace of our corporate gods, a host of media innovations (including a network devoted to the NFL and painstakingly detailed year round analyses) have significantly diminished the agony of off-season withdrawal.

What could better reflect the collective psychosis of the American Empire than our mass obsession with the NFL? Born through violent revolution, expanded by genocide, enriched by slavery, and elevated to hegemony through imperialism, militarism, and economic tyranny, the United States, like NFL football, embodies avaricious savagery masked by a fastidiously maintained illusion of benevolent civility.

Arising from the same fetid bogs of spiritual decay that spawned the American Way, the NFL reeks with the stench of corporate tyranny, patriarchy, racism, superficiality, greed, competitiveness, and materialism.

Like the Roman emperors, our corporate overlords provide their loyal subjects with panem et circenses. While hundreds of thousands of human beings (including Americans) are dying to advance United States' geopolitical interests in Central Asia and the Middle East, many Americans are more concerned with Peyton Mannings prowess under center, LaDainian Tomlinsons bushel basketfuls of touchdowns, or T.O.s latest outrageous escapade.

-long truth telling snip_
-------------------------------------


american football - the ruin of american men's minds

pitiful

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mmonk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-16-07 01:30 PM
Response to Original message
1. Ha
Guess I'm not what I thought I was then.
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Ron Green Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-16-07 01:33 PM
Response to Original message
2. It's a significant shift in our culture, from the baseball to the football model.
From a meadow to a grid.
From leisurely to time-driven.
From physically egalitarian to musclebound.
From taking turns to territorial.

and on and on.
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deaniac21 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-16-07 01:42 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. Fixed that for ya!
From a field to a field.
From leisurely to time-driven.
From physically musclebound to musclebound.
From taking turns to taking turns.

and on and on.
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Hardrada Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-16-07 01:40 PM
Response to Original message
3. George Carlin did a bit on this on an early SNL show
about the differences between baseball and football. Funny, and Hey! Spring training is coming up soon.
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-16-07 01:51 PM
Response to Original message
5. Americal politicians are stuck on football while the rest of the world
is playing CHESS.

And we wonder why this country is going down the tubes.
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The2ndWheel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-16-07 02:01 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. The only difference being the physical side of football
And the Europeans would be the bully today, just like they used to be, if the US wasn't doing what it's doing. We just happen to be the empire of the day.
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-16-07 03:23 PM
Response to Reply #7
10. It has nothing to do with bullying
and everything to do with being conned into being the military protection for a lot of countries that have managed to loot most of our basic industries.

It's a difference in mentality, focus and the rules of the game.
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The2ndWheel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-16-07 04:07 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. We've been conned into being the military protection for the world?
This is what you get with specialized globalization. We're the police. The Chinese make everything. India handles the complaints. The Middle East is the crazy uncle with all the loot. Africa gives us love that lasts forever. We all do our part.
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-16-07 04:12 PM
Response to Reply #11
13. Perhaps I should have specified the world's multinational
corporations, but we're also the last ditch hired muscle for a lot of countries out there, most especially South Korea, Taiwan and Israel.
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NYCGirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-16-07 04:09 PM
Response to Reply #5
12. Isn't the rest of the world playing SOCCER? NT
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nealmhughes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-16-07 01:54 PM
Response to Original message
6. Baseball and its brother, softball, are indeed great sports for leisure.
The fresh air, the historic proximity of people in the stands, sharing soda and beer, peanuts and hotdogs, the sunshine, the caps, the sound of the crack of the bat, the people on their feet at the 7th inning stretch, the passing down of the money and goods from the buyer and the vendor via the crowd. Aah, baseball!
A game where its first demigod, Babe Ruth, was a fat out of shape Baltimore boy from an orphanage...where one can still imagine, as I do, "Had I only focused on my fielding and my batting....I might have got into the big show."
A sport where there is a team and close coordination between the fielders is required and individual merit recognized, but every position given its due. A sport which one can actually afford to attend in person! A sport where injuries are rare and fights few.
The ballpark: a place where one is as likely to find teenaged boys sans shirts as a businessman ditching work in a suit! A sport which makes Atlanta and St. Louis tolerable in the summer outdoors!
Baseball, the game of Clemente, Pujols, Robinson, the Alous, Cobb, guys with nicknames like "Oilcan" and "Special K".
There is nothing more glorious than a beautiful late spring or summer day at the ballpark, imagining oneself as "one of the guys" instead of glorifying violence and muscles gone amuck...
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HamdenRice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-16-07 04:16 PM
Response to Reply #6
14. There is also a delicate balance between team work & individualism
Each baseball player is a specialized part of a team. No two team members have exactly the same job (although left field and right field are about as close as it gets to interchangeable positions). But each player also is at bat as an individual.

In football, most players play nearly anonymous, interchangeable roles. A few stars -- especially the quarterback, running backs and receivers -- are the "stars" who monopolize attention and money.

Coaching and strategy in baseball at least appear to be a lose affair, mostly a collaboration between the pitcher and catcher, while football is minutely coached from the sidelines (a board of directors) and carried out by a quarterback (a corporate president).

While baseball represents the balance between individualism and team work, football is the subordination of the many to the management of the few.
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Throd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-16-07 02:06 PM
Response to Original message
8. Go Bears!!!
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malaise Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-16-07 02:57 PM
Response to Original message
9. Great read
reminds me of a comment in HBOs brilliant Field of Fires.
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JackRiddler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-16-07 04:20 PM
Response to Original message
15. The legal angle
It's about War and Law. There is that aspect, undeniable: the constant repetition of violence within rigid rules of legitimate v. illegitimate, as determined by an ostensibly objective, civilizing neutral authority. You can knock the guy's head off, but only on a clean, allowable hit, okay? There are rulings of determinative function on every other play, opinions to back them delivered to the public, and an appeals court upstairs, with a litigation process for plaintiffs in the form of the red flag. Games are at least as often determined by these rulings as by plays and execution, and the fans focus on them at least as much.
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JackRiddler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-16-07 04:39 PM
Response to Original message
16. BTW
Edited on Tue Jan-16-07 04:51 PM by JackRiddler
Excellent article. You can only say so much in an article, and here are some things to add:

He could have put even more emphasis on the youth-devouring element of football. He properly highlights the psychological scam of having all these children think they will be sports stars, when 160 players from a given draft will make it to the NFL as opposed to 10 million males of the same age in the population at large (odds less than being struck by lightning or winning certain variants of the lottery).

Then there's the physical side. It's a dangerous sport and statistically has a guaranteed high injury rate. The casualties walk, or more often limp among us. The ratio is at thousands of high school players for every one who makes the NFL, and they are being crushed, concussed and broken on a vast scale.

The only thing I can think of that's even more destructive in this regard is Golden Gloves boxing.

Whereas the Minor Leagues may be leading some young men on (generally at a far more mature age than the average NFL draftee-wannabe), at least they're not getting their heads banged into the ground on every other play.

The NFL tie to militarism is also even more direct than symbolic; there is a direct correlation between football-heavy schools, military recruitment, militaristic pageantry and blind support for US imperial policy (sadly known to many people as "patriotism," when in fact it's not).

As for the subsidies: ML baseball teams have to actually carry their own minor league franchises. NFL gets theirs paid for by taxpayers, in the form of universities where the main function of the student body seems to be to fill the stadium. Why isn't the NFL forced to pay for its own player development program?

And yet it's appeal to the reptile brain, including my own, is undeniable.
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JackRiddler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-16-07 04:57 PM
Response to Reply #16
17. ...and yet...
(These comments should not be understood as applying to the perennial underdog New York Jets, of course. They and the Eagles and the Steelers are working class teams and therefore immune to this critique; they make their money from sheer nobility. It's the mofo Giants and Dallas Cowboys who are evil.)
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JackRiddler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-17-07 11:18 AM
Response to Reply #17
18. morning kick for under-considered issue
x
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petronius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-19-07 06:41 PM
Response to Reply #17
21. Actually, it's the Patriots who are pure, unmitigated evil
Fortunately they're about to get their asses handed to them by the Colts, who will then receive a ass-kicking of their own from the 2007 NFL champion N.O. Saints!
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JackRiddler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-20-07 05:20 PM
Response to Reply #21
23. ah, isn't wishful thinking fun...
Makes you wish the game (and the inevitable hope-crushing) never actually starts.
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JackRiddler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-19-07 04:33 AM
Response to Original message
19. days later & still kickworthy
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JackRiddler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-19-07 06:29 PM
Response to Original message
20. Relevant piece from New York Times
About brain damage caused by football concussions.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/18/sports/football/18wat...
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Redneck Socialist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-19-07 06:45 PM
Response to Original message
22. Or maybe getting together with some friends and...
watching the game is fun? Just sayin' :shrug:
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JackRiddler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-20-07 05:24 PM
Response to Reply #22
24. Sure, it's fun...
Lots of entertainment is fun. Watching two men pound each other in a ring is fun. I'm not sure gladiatorial death matches wouldn't have lots of appeal. Nevertheless, a) this doesn't justify the NFL's special privileges and subsidies and b) some things that are fun to watch still produce casualties.
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-20-07 06:14 PM
Response to Reply #22
25. It may be fun for some people, but it's not IMPORTANT
Our media treat football and basketball as earthshakingly important, so important that 1/3 of each local newscast is devoted them, and a whole section of each metropolitan newspaper. Almost the only way a teenager can get his or her name into the paper is to excel at sports...or commit a crime.

Poor youth are taught that athletics are their only way of getting a college scholarship. Total myth. The best way for a poor youth to get a college scholarship is to be a straight-A student with non-athletic extracurriculars, even--no, especially at a private college. Take it from one who spent 11 years in academia. I knew kids from poor backgrounds who were getting free rides from private colleges because they were so brilliant--because, unlike public colleges, private colleges feel free to sweeten the deal beyond what the parents' financial aid statement figures indicate.

The myth of "sports as a way out of poverty" is about as valid as the myth of "the lottery as a way out of poverty." Both methods work for a few people each year, but the majority would do better with other means.

The Superbowl is treated as an event of cosmic significance, something that every red-blooded male MUST watch.

Sports are the only thing that the average American will riot about anymore.
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