Friday, June 23, 2006

Listen to What the Man Said

For the second time in a few weeks, Rob’s acted as MLC’s cultural watchpup, issuing his prudent take on the news (and/or media-created events) of the sporting world. And, for the second time in a few weeks, I’ve been poised to provide my own stance on the matter, only to produce the same rejoinder:

Yeah. What he said.

There’s little use in trying to elaborate much further on a point that’s already been made – effectively and succinctly. Anything further would be the reverberations of a man who loves the sound of his own voice. I’ll add a smidgen of Lesterism (because I do love that sound) as it pertains to the Ozzie Guillen debacle and move in a broader direction.

There’s still one thing that America does better than anyone else in the world, even after being lapped by our neighbors in productivity of all kinds. Yes, the American ingenuity is most often applied to our most prolific product of the new millennium: outrage. We can do outrage like nobody’s business, yes indeedy. “Shock and awe” isn’t just the most asinine moniker for a wartime junket yet, it’s also the mantra of the masses in this country. Cross that line and we’ll come down like 1,000 hammers on anyone at any time for any transgression, meting out equal fury for baseball managers with loose lips as we would capital murderers.

There are ironies abound in all of this, as Rob pointed out, not the least of which is the red-state media crying out to defend the very slice of society they work furiously to prevent from wedded bliss. Americans can see creatively comedic forms of the word “fag” seven times per episode of "Will & Grace," but much like the inflammatory n-word, context is everything, and inappropriate usage is an invitation to indignation by the most ignorant of this nation's inhabitants.

Just stop it. You’re not outraged. No, you aren’t. You people sweep the newsbytes on Reuters just for an opportunity to get off the couch and get on the soapbox. You’re sickened by the Duke lacrosse team, then betrayed by the false accuser, then just ashamed of the whole saga. Good Lord. You speak ill of the media, especially those types whose very existence is to batter athletes with loaded questions in hopes of a verbal misstep, then confirm their payday by excitedly diving into the wave of overreaction once it happens. That there are more microphones in the White Sox locker room every night than there are at the Radio Shack service center is stunning. Athletes stereotypically range as far from orators as we have in any profession; somehow, though, they take exponentially more interviews than our commander-in-chief, and even more sadly, what they spit forth undergoes a sterner critique.

If every individual who has wasted media time with its own shock and awe over Ozzie Guillen’s poor choice of words instead had dedicated that time to documenting the deeper, more serious, and more real problems of bigotry, race relations, and the de facto caste system of this country, we’d all have a menu of more enlightened fare to read, watch, and hear. As it is, however, frenzied blowhards spewing self-righteous ire all over the airwaves seems to be the blue plate special, so dig in, fat boy. Just don’t color me insensitive when I turn away and snicker at the whole lot of you.

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