On trashy athletes and avoiding the sight thereof

Wanda S. writes from Canada:

I, too, have pretty much given up on watching sports, the Olympics included. It’s a largely aesthetic distaste for me—I don’t like to see near-naked men or women sweating profusely. It’s like watching prisoners on a chain gang in the southern U.S. Their muscular over-development looks grotesque to me—I’ve never seen anyone who looks that way in my day-to-day existence, and if I encountered one I’d want to get away. The Olympic events I can still enjoy are the equestrian ones: a man or woman riding a horse is a noble sight. And they are punctilious in following tradition: jackets, riding pants, boots, hats. Not yet have we seen someone wearing a wifebeater and speedo riding a horse “because it cuts down wind resistance” and will give them a competitive edge, though I suppose it won’t be long before someone argues they should be allowed to try. To me, this sort of traditional habit adds to the pleasure, BECAUSE it makes the job more difficult. It’s like enjoying a sonnet—the more constricting the rules, the higher the skill required to succeed.

I’ve also come to enjoy golf because of its old-fashioned rules of decorum, though inroads are being made there too. I like it when a winning athlete can look calm and dignified at the moment of triumph. Baseball used to have this sort of civilized air as well; a winning pitcher didn’t scream and jump around, he’d just take off his hat in a gesture of acknowledgement to the crowd. I remember an anecdote about a football coach admonishing his players against leaping and whooping when getting a touchdown: “When you get to the endzone, don’t make it look as if you’ve never been there before” but I don’t think anyone pays any attention to that advice anymore. I now avoid most sports just because I don’t want to witness the “animalisation” of human beings.

- end of initial entry -

August 11

Ben M. writes:

Wanda S. wrote, “I don’t want to witness the “animalisation” of human beings.” Interesting that the image of God discussions were theoretical (how did God create man, what is the essence of man, what is man’s potential, etc.) but the beastliness of man is immediate, demonstrable, viewable and present.

As to living in Babylon, we are experiencing this phenomenon: God delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds. (2 Peter 2:7.)

Posted by Lawrence Auster at August 10, 2012 07:39 PM | Send

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