Friday, August 11, 2006

This Crazy World

A few posts below I reference Stan Lee's declaration in 1970 that we live in a "nutty, scary, mixed-up world." More commonly, I have heard our world referred to as "crazy," most recently on a promo for the Fox Sports Radio Network. (It just occurred to me-- isn't "crazy" a relative term? How can you call our world "crazy" or "mixed up" without having other worlds to compare it to? I wonder if such an impulse is indicative of a deeply ingrained belief that this world is "fallen" from an ideal state).

Anway, the commercial on Fox Sports Radio played a news clip about the London terrorist threat, then followed it up with one of those stereotypically stentorian voices (like Dude Walker or Paul Turner) declaring that sometimes, in this crazy world, "we all need an escape"...followed by a sweepr for Fox Sports Radio. My first reaction was disbelief that they could have been so insensitive as to seize upon a terror plot as a way to manipulate people into thinking that they needed to listen to Steve Czaban.

After I got over that disbelief, I started thinking about the oft-repeated cliche that sports offers "escape." I thought back to a Michael Jordan Wheaties box that came out after his first retirement. There was actually an essay on this cereal box, that even seemed pretty profound to me at the time. It included a line to the effect that "for two and a half hours on a cold, windy, February night we could forget all about this crazy world" whenever M.J. played.

Looking back, I realize that this entire concept was a mythological creation. No one in the entire world in February 1993 said, "It is cold outside, and I can't bear to confront the cold reality of not only my life, but the lives of everyone else on the planet. I am going to take 180 minutes and turn on WGN and watch the Bulls play the Phoenix Suns, with the expectation that I will become so engrossed with one of the men on the court, that a therapeautic function will occur." Nor did anyone think anything even close to this.

When Fox Sports returned from the commercial break, several angry callers demanded that Steve Czaban reconsider his comments that their teams, which haven't even played a practice game yet, have no shot at the Super Bowl. Other argued that teams they didn't like should be demoted from his list of Super Bowl contenders. The lesson her is that there is no escape. If we ignore the realities of terrorists and focus on sports, we will just substitute the realities of holdouts, injuries, and Terrell Owens.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought you hated commercials.

2:08 PM  
Blogger Enjoy_Every_Sandwich said...

Sports are overrated. What is our world coming to when people will watch Monday Night Football once a week to watch ugly dudes on roids chasing, kicking, and throwing a ball instead of picking up a good book? (by good I mean Dean Koontz) And the way everyone thinks that if you can't throw or chase a ball you're useless (speaking from personal experience here) They don't even know that if the world ended tomorrow the smart ones would survive, and when your world is being nuked what good is it that you can chase after a ball like a moron?

4:02 PM  
Blogger Enjoy_Every_Sandwich said...

Heidi once had a dream that she was paralyzed but the teacher made her play anyway. I think that about sums up the erroneous importance of sports in our society. Maybe not, but its a funny story.

4:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

it is a funny story. man, i loved gym class. maybe ill actually do something next year, now that YOUR NOT THERE. probably shoot people out of angst. haha. (i don't think that 'haha' is appropiate there, but, whatever. only azor's blog.)

oh, azor. i love your blog. mostly, just the comments. but, man, i know that if i actually READ something here (other than comments) i know that i would get SUPER smart, and that, just knowing that, makes me smile.


-H to the J to the H

5:33 PM  
Blogger Azor said...

Sara, I had to listen to commercials because I was driving your car.

Sandwhich, as you can see by my above post, I am huge on literacy, but even I have to admit that if the world is being nuked, the readers and the non-readers are pretty much in the same boat.

4:17 PM  

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