Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Perspective

On the days when the outside world intrudes on sports, this is what you hear about; that things like the specta-cularly competent and necessary execution of Osama Bin Laden puts things into proper perspective. (And a small and unavoidable aside for me: note that this turned out to be about detective work, rather than invading a country that had nothing to do with the attack on 9/11, and that regime change seems to be happening best when you invade with Facebook and Twitter, rather than with tanks and missiles. Back to the point.)

You see, the time we spend on sports is silly, pointless, a waste of time and money, vice writ large. They are just *games*, after all. Only when we can compare things to a virtuous outside perspective and profession can we return, properly chastised, to a subdued enjoyment of such things, then slowly ratchet our way back up to the same, presumably unhealthy, level of interest and concern. Perhaps after saying penance.

And well, having heard this line of not thinking a dozen times or more in my life, after tragedies and triumphs both national and local, I'd like to offer a small but heartfelt reply to everyone who feels this way.

Go screw yourself.

Proper perspective about sports is, well, *no* perspective of sports. We could all be doing better things with the time and money, especially if we have children or any sense of charity, environmental awareness or religious faith.

How you choose to spend your time on the planet is your call. I choose to watch sports, to take pleasure in the competitive dance for both its statistical probabilities as well as the all too human randomness. Since you are reading this, I'm assuming that you are making the same choice. You can also spend your time on art, or literature, or dance or housework or childcare or teaching or a thousand other things. It's your life. Choose accordingly.

(Personally, I find chanting the initials of our country, as if everything is a sporting event, to be a fairly shallow way to express appreciation of those who risk their lives for your sovereignty and freedoms. I'm not moved by 45,000 people at a baseball game reacting via their smartphones, other than to note how the technology is changing our lives, and how Baseball Fan has all kinds of free time to be checking things that are not game. I also feel a little unsettled about rooting for the use of deadly force as if it were a chair shot delivered to a wrestling heel, and can't help but worry that there will be, as there almost always is, blowback. Back to the point.)

And while it's good to be aware of geopolitical forces and the times in which we live in, since these things are done in your name and with a portion of your revenue, and hence are More Important than things that don't share these characteristics...

You don't get to be any more or less of a person because of it.

Your choices are no more, or less, valid.

And with that... back to the games.

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