Saturday, July 10, 2010

The Medium Is the Message

Disclaimer: I stopped following pro basketball the year the New York Knickerbockers beat the Baltimore Bullets (what marketing genius came up with that nickname, right?) on their way to an NBA championship over the Los Angeles Lakers in, I believe, 1856. Matthew Brady took the team portrait as I recall.

That said, I'm as a big a fan of the dramatic gesture as the next Joe Lunchbox (I have a body part aching with anticipation of smacking the snot out of any cretinous crustacean seeking elected office this fall who uses that expression in my zip code), though I couldn't bring myself to actually watch LeBron James favor the fine folks of Miami, Florida, with his presence on their basketball team.

I am regarded by some, with good reason, as one of the more, ummm, jaded individuals in this hemisphere and it is from that perspective that I say "well played, Mr. James, Sir!" If palm fronds weren't out of season, we could have restaged Christ's triumphal entry into Jerusalem as Lebronocalypse Now debuted Thursday evening. We certainly had enough asses, mostly wearing ESPN blazers. Is there anyone left who still doesn't realize professional sports is, first and foremost, a business (not living in Cleveland, I mean)? So we have all learned something, I hope

Don't misunderstand, I don't care where LeBron James plays. I'm not sure I'd recognize if I saw him on the street and am positive he'd have ZERO idea who I was. This whole dealio got so goofy and sideways, even one of the ESPNers penned a mea culpa of sorts about it, while also neatly side-stepping ANY personal responsibility for what we saw happen Thursday night. I love the 'braided nose hair' figure of speech and alerted the Wordsworth Appreciation Society for award consideration (I also suggested they honor Sonny Burgess for "I got a woman, but she climbs trees' but nothing so far...)

Here's what I'm angry, actually pissed off, about--and it's not LeBron, or ESPN or Miami-it's you and me. No one made us watch any of it, we wanted to because it was history or news or who knows what. But while this self-serving Cajun pablum unfolded on tens of millions of TV screens across the country and around the world, I had this pop up on my computer screen and no one aside, from their families, gives a rat's ass.

Two (more) children--not old enough to legally drink alcohol in most of these United States--died half a world away in a war that everyday, for me and my generation, bears a closer resemblance to Vietnam (that's actual history, by the way, not sports talk hype), on the day after Independence Day, while all we worried about on Thursday night was placing our order for team jerseys of the new (some might say Holy) Trinity.

I don't shave on weekends which is a damn good thing, because this morning I'd cut the throat of the smug, self-absorbed bastard whose reflection greets me in the mirror. I just don't know if I should do it in Chicago, Cleveland or Miami.
-bill kenny

No comments: