Sunday, November 15, 2009

A Rather Complex Dilemma

So, I'm befuddled.

Recently, or at least more prominently than usual in my memory's length, there have been a number of reports in the media discussing things that we've really all already known concerning sports and their ill effects upon those who play them.

First there was the issue of the NFL and brain damage and mental illness. Which has been mostly crystal clear to anyone who has ever looked at football being played or considered the anatomy of the human body.

Then, there's this Andre Agassi autobio that's recently come out to significantly better reviews than dear Mme. Palin's similar but different tome. I read the segment published in Sports Illustrated and was pretty impressed by the candor and insight of both Agassi and the text. He's a frightening and redemptive example of the negative impact sports can have on children. Here's hoping that we don't have to find out similar things about Tiger or the Williams sisters or who knows how many others.

So, here's the quandry. I love sports. Always have. Am watching football right now, have been all day, and intend to do so until about 11:30 tonight. It's what I do instead of going to church.

But what is the depth of my complicity as a single watcher of sports? I support it with my time, my attention, my money, certain of my allegiances, aspects of my identity.

But am I making a mountain out of a molehill? I would imagine that the arts have similar effects. Dancers, actors, lots of other professions suffer similar ailments.

But there's something so terrible, profoundly dark side of advanced capitalist consumption about the way that the industry of sports rears, trains, lures, and excretes so many people, many of whom are in part thrusting themselves into these situations because of their own financial, emotional, social, and other needs.

But then there's all the stories of people who endure what may come only to be able to offer a better life to so many others through sports.

It's really complicated.

Can somebody give me something good to read about this sort of thing? I mean, who are the big moralist philosophers of sport?

1 comment:

  1. well there's these guys: