Wednesday, June 1, 2011

no time for this today, but

As regards the following:
Anyone who feels real moral outrage when reading the Sports section has almost certainly skipped the News and Metro sections. The murderers given a single paragraph on 2C, The Hague-bound war criminals on 1A, would leave the most self-righteous reader too demoralized to moralize on, say, the Miami Heat. A man taking his talents to South Beach is, in the context of a single day's newspaper, a comical diversion, a performance-art piece of slapstick self-absorption.

I would just like to say: Bullshit.

Okay, maybe I'll try to say a little more.

The particularly pernicious falsehood in the paragraph above is the seemingly innocuous grounding of everything in the newspaper. One of the reasons sports is an acceptable venue for morality* is that it's a simple and easily verified set of activities, activities that are then heavily mediated and commented upon. And in the sports section, this mediation and commentary is often so intensely vapid, racist, power-worshipping, and generally craven bullying from Cowherds cowards that a reasonable person whose sense of proportion is fully intact is entirely justified in taking an hour away from worrying about rapist cops in NYC to fret over NPR's most recent segment on why LeBron James should still be criticized for moving from Cleveland to Miami.

*Besides, of course, the non-trivial point that every facet of human activity has a moral dimension. Or, to put it a slightly different way, if it's worth doing, it's worth doing righteously.