Also, it moved me toward a larger subject, a realization that’s been dawning on me for some time. I’ve been meaning to write about it, but it’s really hard to explain, so I’ll just take a step or two toward it by posting the comment…
I’m still not that interested in Shane Beamer and whether he’s worth all that money. If you accept that society values football enough for him to be able to make that much, then why shouldn’t he?
My point is, should society value football that much? I say no. Others obviously disagree.
Lately, I’ve found myself approaching a lot of things in a new way. Well, not entirely new: I guess I’ve started taking my usual forest-over-the-trees approach to a new level.
I’ve started realizing more fully that so many problems we have are not because of this person or that program or whatever. People tend to think that if you just replace the person, or reform the program, everything is fixed.
The problems are because of much broader, more complicated phenomena that are hard to understand, much less do anything about.
The madness over football is one of those things.
But to show you how my thinking goes, let’s take another example: Trumpism.
I’ve said from the start that as thoroughly obnoxious as he is, Donald John Trump is not the problem. He’s just the jerk who showed up at the right moment to take advantage of the real problem — the mass insanity in the electorate that would cause millions of voters to do something that the American electorate would nave have done before, which is even consider someone as useless and unsuitable as Trump.
I remember the America that would have laughed him off the stage. Suddenly (and yes, folks, you can point to all sorts of things that led us here — racism, Reaganism, Social Darwinism, the Tea Party, etc. — but while it almost happened in 2012, it didn’t fully happen until 2016), we are the kind of country that would actually consider electing such a grossly inappropriate person as president.
Anyway, this — that the problem isn’t Trump, but the sickness that caused people to respond favorably to him — was fairly evident from the start, but it’s become much, much more so. That’s because we’ve watched Trump himself decline in influence in recent months — not that he’s gone, but he’s clearly faded a bit — but the madness continue, as people like DeSantis have worked hard to replace him, and a bunch of yahoos have just taken over the House.
Aliens could drop down tomorrow and carry Trump away — why they would want him I don’t know, but bear with me — and the problem would still be here.
And increasingly, I’ve realized that the country won’t be sane and well again until millions of people wake up and realize they’ve been on the wrong course.
“Good luck with that!” you say, and you’re right. It’s a depressing way of looking at things, because I don’t know how to achieve such a thing. His supporters will no more pay attention to the mountains of evidence that their hero caused what happened on Jan. 6 than football fans will stop and think maybe they should stop being so crazy about a game that causes so much brain damage.
I don’t have a program for fixing it. It’s taken me this long just to sorta kinda start understanding the problem — at least, understanding it here and there, around the edges, and vaguely intuiting the immensity of the whole…
Anyway, that was the comment. I’ll return to the subject soon. And if you think that was crazy, wait until you see how this line of thinking applies to… never mind, I’ll tell you later…