Sunday, February 07, 2010
It's no secret to my friends and family that I will not watch the Superbowl. I have not ever deliberately watched any sport on television. If I'm at someone's house when a game is on, I'm only peripherally aware of what's going on. Watching sports on TV is boring, and, frankly, I think it's a waste. It's a waste of money and time.
If you ask me why I'm not supporting the Saints (or the Colts, for that matter), I can give you a long list. Most of my friends will say I'm being righteous and making myself out to be better than others. I say, "Bollocks" to that. I think people are judged, rightly or wrongly, on where they put their energies. In this country, I think we put our energies in the wrong place.
We pay millions of dollars each year for entertainment, and, while I think we all need to be entertained, I think we can find better things to spend our money on. Frankly, I haven't seen a sport's figure who deserves the money he/she makes. I think the US president and teachers deserve more money than guys who run down a field, holding a pigskin, or guys who run across a gym, dribbling a basketball. Ditto golf, baseball, soccer, skiing, etc. I think the people who clean up after us deserve more than they make. Our idea of what's valuable in this country is skewed. And I think it says a great deal about us as a people and a country.
And I don't just boycott sports programming; I boycott "reality" shows on TV. Nothing "real" about them. They are vapid and stupid. If people want reality, they can come watch me try to balance my checkbook and stretch my paltry salary to cover the rising costs of everything from groceries to gas for my car. My reality is not pretty, nor does it have a high entertainment factor. I don't want to see someone pitch a fit because the florist didn't sprinkle red roses on the church carpet for her wedding. That's just dumb.
All the people jumping on the Saints' bandwagon anger me. How many of them supported the Saints through all of their losing seasons? How many of them donned fleur-de-lis jerseys every time the Saints played in the past? How many of them will support the Saints next year if they have a losing season? A loyal fan supports his/her team whether it wins or loses.
I would love to see the people in this state expend as much time and energy on providing excellent healthcare and education, providing employment, saving neglected children, ensuring the safety of battered and abused persons, providing shelter and support for the homeless...on anything other than football. What could we do as a state if each of us focused on our problems the way we focus on a winning football team?
What will winning the Superbowl do for us? Well, for New Orleans, it might bring in a few more tourists, until they see that half the city still isn't rebuilt and crime is out of control...I don't know that it's going to help the rest of us much. New Orleans would be better served if the Ninth Ward was restored so the people who used to live there could go back home and if the Corps of Engineers rebuilt the levees to withstand another category 5 hurricane. New Orleans would be better off with more jobs and more reasons for people to return and rebuild. I don't see how the Superbowl is going to do that.
My friends say I'm a killjoy. I prefer to think of myself as a realist, in that I'm not a person who jumps on any frivolous bandwagon that comes along. I prefer to watch the parade and choose my bandwagons carefully. Football isn't one of them.
Wednesday, February 03, 2010
My desk takes up a small corner of my living room. It is next to a window, which is a good thing and a bad thing. The window provides much needed light for my work, but it also provides as much distraction as a television. The least thing pulls my attention away from what I should be doing.
I have noticed, the past few days, a number of circling vultures above the woods behind my neighbors' and my properties. This morning, I noticed a large contingent of them sitting in the trees in my neighbors' yard.
In the country, such a sight is not that odd. Animals die--cats, dogs, skunks, coyotes--it happens. The vultures are nature's disposals; they take care of the waste.
But, when I see a large group of them so close to home, my imagination starts to work. Come to think of it, I haven't seen my neighbors--either of them--in at least a month. The person who seems to be staying there has stayed at the house before; these neighbors seem to travel a great deal. So he's not a stranger. Yet...
The problem with being a writer is that my imagination tends to take me on these wild journeys through what might be possible. The writer in me says, "Suppose the person staying there has murdered the homeowners? There's that privacy fence they put up. The nosy neighbor could get a stool or ladder and look over the fence in the backyard..." And, thus, the premise for a short story or novel rears its head.
And that's fine. Writers have to get their ideas somewhere. But it's also distracting...I should be working on coursework, and I'm sitting here dreaming up a novel or story. Usually, I just write myself a note for later and go back to what I was doing. But, sometimes, the idea is so compelling that it derails me...and that's not always a good thing!