Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Part Two

Just to get it out of my system.

The kid from the Buffalo Bills is doing remarkably well. That's fantastic, and all the best to him for full recovery, if it's possible.

I titled my first post about this with what the Bills quarterback, Losman, said about it, because it struck me as utterly absurd. It still does. But it wasn't until I ruminated on it that I realized just how fully militaristic football is, not just in the style of the game, but also in it's rhetoric. I first heard Losman in an mashup of player and coach reaction, which was very enlightening. One, it was incredibly defensive -- as you'd expect from people whose work and self-image come from institutionalized violence. And two, it was so callous. The Bills' coach kept saying all these things like "It is what we choose to do, and we honor ourselves by our work. We honor Kevin by moving forward and working." I was expecting the American flag to drop behind him at any second.

It just struck me so suddenly that it's the same old shit. People my age get killed in Iraq, paralyzed in football games, murdered while they're in college classrooms or abducted and murdered coming out of bars, like this girl in Madison this past year, and there's always a strong, wise authority figure on TV to tell us that this happens, and we have to move on. It's never a systemic problem. These are just things we have to get used to in our lives. "This is a thing that happens." And I'm tired of being told it's OK.

Our minds are trapped in thinking that things have to be this way. But it's all make believe. Coming out of my class this afternoon about sustainability, trade and the environment, I felt so relieved to be a science writer now and deal with things that are real. We spent 2 and a half hours talking about how to manipulate the economic system, and where the system bends if you push it here or there. But all the time through I couldn't get the thought out of my head -- this is all make believe. It's just an artificially created system, and yet our minds exist entirely within it.

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