Sports as an opiate for the masses

Sports are like religion: an opiate for the masses. They distract people from political engagement.

I don’t understand why people “root” for a team. Why should Seattle’s team be better than any other city’s team? And why should residents here take pride in victories? Sports must exploit some deep-seated need of humans to belong and to have an “us versus them” mentality.

Also, sports reinforce the glorification of war, competition and capitalism, instead of cooperation.

Maybe political parties exploit that mentality too, as do religions.

Luke Held responded:

Clearly you don’t like sports. Many people do. You seem to see only the negative aspects of sports. 600,000 people were on the streets to welcome the Seahawks super bowl home. You can see that negatively, or positively, it’s up to you. Sports bring people of many cultures and classes together in support of something. I don’t really hate people from San Francisco, but it’s fun to pretend and give them crap about their team. I can also talk to nearly anyone, anywhere about sports, across generation, race, whatever. Good luck going up to anyone and talking about health care reform without a fight. You might as well take away music too. It’s obviously only distraction, right? Movies? Art? Take it all away because its only distraction?

There is a limit though. ESPN is the most lucrative businesses in the media realm. It exploits people’s love of sports. It also provides crappy non-substantive coverage of sports, but people are desperate for distraction in these times of insecurity and stress. Sports provides a much needed outlet, but the line between over saturation is far too distorted towards the distraction side. Sports in general though are critical to a culture. Balance is key.

David Markham said “Competitive sports are ideal for controlled and healthy aggression – which isn’t going away anytime soon.

I wonder if there is a correlation between sports fandom and religiosity or conservatism.

Indeed, this Forbes article from 2010 is relevant: Study: Sports Fans Skew Republican.

Our Precious Freedoms

Three quotes for the day, courtesy Liberty Quotes.

“It is by the goodness of God that in our country we have those three unspeakably precious things: freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, and the prudence never to practice either.”
— Mark Twain [Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (1835-1910)

“If we don’t believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don’t believe in it at all.”
— Noam Chomsky (1928- ) American linguist and political writer, Source: Guardian, 23 November 1992

“I believe in my right to be wrong, and still more in my right to be right.”
— Owen Lattimore

Get out there, get it right. If change is coming, you are bringing it.

We are bringing Dr. Parenti to Olympia in October

I am pretty excited about having Michael Parenti do the keynote speaking event for the Fourth People’s Movement Assembly. Will post more about that soon, but for now, just want to share this Parenti video for folks who are not familiar with Dr. Parenti’s work.

Enjoy!

Olympia, Safe and Beautiful, Step 2

So, therPants on Dogs!e is lots of discussion about how scary it is downtown. It’s not just dirty, with houseless people urinating on the sidewalks, it’s just downright scary!!

It has been pretty clear for generations (and especially in the past decade) that the First Amendment right to assemble and petition for redress of grievance and to exercise free speech is just too inconvenient to remain on the books. Just look at the pedestrian interference ordinance. If the right to assemble for any reason interferes with the ability of a suburban shopper to come downtown and empty their wallet at a place like the Alpine Experience (just an example) instead of enjoying the homogenous shopping experience at Cabela’s or Walmart, then the first amendment is dispensable. Scotto Bear - wiki commons, is this legal?

The first amendment is archaic. The updated, if unofficial primary civil right appears to be the absolute right to shop in a safe and sterile environment. So, Amendment One – get out of the way.

So, aside from the fear that accrues from running into a strange looking person downtown, why don’t we make the downtown really safe by scuttling Amendment Two as well?

wiki commons - courtesy michaelpughWouldn’t we all feel safer if we knew when we head out to go shopping downtown that we are not going to be sharing the sidewalk with folks packing heat? Why is the Olympia City Council so timid. Dump the second amendment and let’s get the fourth out of the way as well.

Come on, let’s make the downtown really safe. Let’s outlaw any firearms in the downtown core and give the police blanket authority to conduct patdowns for weapons.

I want pants on dogs that are over twenty pounds as well. Some of these animals are just indecent. What’s up with that?

wiki commons - courtesy beat 768

These guys also should not be allowed downtown unless they promise to turn the volume down and act in a civilized manner.