I don’t envy kids today. We live in a world where it is more important to look good than to feel good. Our infomercials show us that a toned fit body is more important than the knowledge received picking up a book. I am as guilty as the next person, the commercial I can’t get out of my head is the fitness routine based on MMA fighting which seems to guarantee abs that will make me look like a chiseled Octagon fighter. Abs I could crack eggs on in the morning, all the while I’ve completely forgotten the link to the cool infomercial online a few weeks back which could teach me any language in two months. Which one would bring me more value? Making breakfast on my stomach or learning skills that would allow me to eat breakfast anywhere in the world?
Try being a student today and playing sports. We find out every day another hero we idolized cheated to success. How would you like to be the young cyclist with the Lance Armstrong poster on your wall? I find myself watching baseball and not marveling at their skill but wondering what their testosterone count is. Are they 3-1? What are they doing to stay undetected? I am not going to lie, I was wondering how I could obtain testosterone myself to go ahead and speed up those ab exercises in the first place. If you look good it must be healthy right? If you aren’t cheating you are not utilizing all the tools. And hell, in the case of football you are only guaranteed so many years of playing without damaging your brain on concussions why not maximize your profits and make sure you sign a top dollar contract.
I just watched a baseball team yesterday trade for three players with contracts paying 270 million over the next 6-7 years. This California team is worth more than half of its cities, which are filing bankruptcy. City employees, firefighters, police forces, are losing jobs and benefits because of the financial hardships due to short-term thinking and failure of long-term planning and we just shell out an extra $100 (at least) every time we go to the park to distract ourselves from how bad the rest of our lives are. I wrote a long time ago in internet years (last year to be exact) that we live like the Romans before the collapse of the Roman Empire. We pay to watch these gladiators in the Coliseum and obsess over statistics while our own houses crumble around us. We are grateful if one millionaire who arrives at the park from him mansion in a limo graces the field in our presence and does something he is paid millions to do in the first place. We cheer them on like conquering hero’s and buy their jerseys until they find another park that pays them more. Meanwhile we are still paying their salaries in higher ticket prices and concession stand prices, long after they have driven away to “grace” another field.
I love sports as much as the next guy but we are crazy. We have literally saturated our daily lives with numbers and statistics that mean nothing, give us nothing, and achieve for us nothing, but the ability to distract ourselves. And we seem to be ok when we find out that some of our heroes cheated. We rationalize that everyone does it anyways. Is it not fitting when our own companies cut down on employees and benefits, job promotions, yet find the hidden fortune to place their names on stadiums and sponsor athletes? These nearly billion dollar Coliseums that the masses flock to that are sponsored by the same companies that also make it difficult to afford the games in the first place? We are being squeezed. Each and every day us the consumer are being squeezed by our purchases and lifestyles. I say this as I can’t even watch Fox on Direct TV because of a dispute with a broadcasting company in Yakima that holds our Fox television rights. Both sides claim they are working for us. Both sides will agree to just charge us more. Don’t worry, it’s coming. Do you hear that sound behind the trumpets of the Coliseum? It’s the sound of eggs getting thrown at our washboard abs. Better react fast, that’s dinner.