How professional sports help turn the American people into a mindless, easily manipulated mass

Ed H. writes:

Earlier today you said this wrote about football:

You have 300 pound human tanks slamming into each other. It’s a hideous spectacle. A country that worships at this altar is as decadent as the ancient Romans with their gladiatorial combats.

Football, both college and professional, is a prime manifestation of the mindless hypertrophy that has taken over America.

Professional sports offers its viewers not only the thrill of vicarious violence, in the fashion of the Roman gladiatorial spectacles, but also something more insidious. Attached to every sports broadcast is a narrative that serves as a highly coded guide to walk the spectator through a set of expected and approved emotional responses. This seems to me a big part of the mass attraction of sports. The same people who are addicted to it, are, once the TV is turned off, incapable of responding emotionally to any real life human situation in a spontaneous and sympathetic manner. They do not know themselves, they do not know what is happening politically or historically to their nation, and in all things they seem to operate in a haze of events that seem to make emotional demands on them but which they cannot make sense of or find interest in.

But with sports, for a moment, everything is made clear. When the ball crosses the white line on the field, scream, cheer, be overwhelmed by every human emotion possible. Show more joy, understanding, and pride than you would in any actual event in your actual life. The viewer then goes slack till the next approved moment. The broadcasters seem to know the essential inertia of their target audience, because more and more sports casting has nothing to do with the game itself. Endless loving detail is spent on how much money the player is making, the details of his contract, the bonuses, etc. Even more deliberately degrading is the glorification of the off field excesses and vulgarity of these aborigines. We are taken on a shopping spree where the inarticulate baboon who can’t put together an English sentence is fitted for six Armani suits, or is shown covering his fingers in diamonds, or shown romping with NFL-provided prostitutes. The viewers gawk approvingly, this reduction of human life to the coarsest and most mindless level is never protested. Why? Because finally here is something they can respond to with confidence and with no demands on their humanity or intellect. Sports as part of the mass media complex is one of the prime means to bring America to a state of complete inert nihilism, a state where those in power can commit any crime and be met with indifference.

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Doug H. writes:

I second what Ed H. says about white people’s addiction to sports, especially football, and the negative influence of sports on society. I recently began to read the blogs of people calling for a Southern secession. I laugh at this idea in light of the mentality Southerners have for the college football.

A couple of weeks ago I traveled to north Alabama to be with my father. I passed countless cars going into Tuscaloosa for the big game with Texas. My father happened to be at the house of a friend who was watching the game. As Alabama struggled, I viewed with awe the faces of the Alabama fans who were literally weeping. One beautiful young white girl’s face struck me the most. She was crying as if someone dear to her had just lost his life. I thought of how those players would, if they had the opportunity, treat that same girl who was crying over their loss of a game.

December 5

Mark P. writes:

Football players’ average lifespan,

I was watching a documentary on this.

Randy writes:

As I mentioned in a previous message, college sports is a total farce. All those black players have no association with the colleges they represent. They are just “hired guns” who sold their skills to the highest bidders. What happened to the concept of school spirit and rivalry where the teams reflected the character of larger student body of the school? What happened to the days when football players were first accepted by the schools based on their academic achievements then selected to be on the school’s team? Even those that were recruited through scholarships still had to meet minimum academic standards before they were admitted.

College football is a farce like much of the rest of our, uh, “culture.”

LA replies:

Yes. Today’s college teams are the equivalent of foreign hired soldiers, mercenary thug armies that are hostile to the country that hires them. The whole system is false and corrupt and should be junked. And the millions of fans whose pathetic empty lives are centered on their “school teams” (which are no more their schools’ teams than mercenary soldiers represent the country that hires them) should be made to go cold turkey and face the desolation of their lives.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at December 04, 2012 02:38 PM | Send

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