Here's the text of The Fedora Chronicles Radio Show
for February 10, 2007...
Super Bowl and the Two Minute Hate…
I don’t begrudge people who have interests that are different then mine, with some obvious exceptions. I don’t begrudge people who are as interested in spectator sports to the same extent that I am with Classic Movies and History of the 20th Century. I wouldn’t want to deny those people what they enjoy, nor would I want to look down on them any more then I would want sports fans to look down on me and members of our retro-community…
But I don’t understand people who tie their emotional well-being with how well or how poorly their favorite team does at any given sport. I don't understand people who sit around all weekend wearing uniforms of their favorite teams while watching their favorite sports all weekend.
I’m sure they don’t understand most of us on The Fedora Chronicles and other sites trying to replicate the style of a by-gone era. To each it’s own… just because I don’t understand it, doesn’t mean it’s bad, does it?
I don’t understand our society’s obsession with spectator sports. Granted, (as I’ve also said elsewhere) that I understand wanting to see players perform and succeed at a level we mere mortals can reach or even understand. But I don’t understand why members of our society let it consume them.
Maybe I should be saying that I understand the need to belong to a group with a common goal (such as winning a game or a race) and I understand the need to connect with those who can achieve things we can only wish to do. What I genuinely don’t understand is the notion that for what ever reason, there’s the mindset through-out our society that believes that if you’re a man and not into spectator sports there has to be something wrong with you. There’s the stigma that if you’re not into sports that you’re really not a man, that some how you’re a “wuss…” if you’ll pardon the expression.
There are also some rabid sports fans who go so far as to become borderline psychotic and pathologically violent when they encounter someone who doesn’t have a favorite team, their favorite NASCAR driver or follows any sport. Secretly, I have no doubt that some of these obsessed fans are overcompensating for something they think is lacking in their own lives and bury it with their team spirit and allegiance.
To the notion that you’re not a real man if you don’t follow sports: I have this reply – If you would rather sit down all weekend while watching every game on television rather then spend time outside doing some type of physical activity, then you can’t be a real man now, can you? If living vicariously through the thoughts and actions of someone else isn’t really living, then living through the achievements through athletes could make you less of a man. That’s just one approach to that view, there might be more.
There’s also the part of me that’s afraid to mention that following sports too closely might be causing people to focus on the wrong things and ignore what’s going on in the world around them. Spectator sports might exist as part of a broad conspiracy between the government and the media to pacify us through entertainment.
This idea or theory might be laughed out of existence if it wasn’t for a social satire and prophetic warnings in book that became synonymous with warnings about big government and police states. That book was written back in 1948…
In George Orwell’s novel 1984, society was forced to endure what was known as “The Two Minute Hate,” people had to take time out of their days or weeks to attend special meeting in small theaters where their emotions were played with thought he images on the screen. They were given a rival to hate (a character known as Emmanuel Goldstein, the Number One “Enemy of the People”) and a hero to cheer for: Big Brother.
The reason for the two minute hate was later revealed to be a tool used to keep people passive, expend all of their energies through some media experience, they would be too emotionally drained to do much about the deplorable conditions they were living in or their oppressive government.
The characters of this book who figured out the reasons why society was made to endure the two minute hate sessions and shared these observations, were criminalized by the officials of police state and objects of scorn by members of their own society. The question was asked: What kind of man are you for not going along with “The Two Minute Hate.” How can you be against it?
What kind of man are you for not going alone with The Two Minute Hate? What Kind of Man are you for not following Sports?
I don’t begrudge people who follow sports. I don’t begrudge those who follow it passionately and get emotionally involved in a game if it means that during that time they’re spending time with the rest of their families and friends and connecting.
I begrudge people who replace their duty and obligations to their families and community because they follow sports obsessively. I begrudge people who partake of the modern “Two Minute Hate” and vilify those who don’t.
Sports is just one example of how our entertainment minded society has misplaced it’s attention and devotion, I only mention it because there were many news stories that took a back seat during the week that lead to The Super Bowl. What news items got swept under the rug because of The Big Game Frenzy?
Now that The Super Bowl is over and it’s time to get back to more important news, the death of Anna Nicole Smith has now captured our Imaginations. Before death, she was just a former Playboy playmate who was caught up in a couple of scandals, one about the paternity of her daughter and the other about the estate of her now dead husband who she married a decade ago, who was then 60 years older then she was. In Death she’s now bigger then she was in life, some of us are waiting for news about who or what killed her. This who-done-it or question about how she died is bigger then anything Raymond Chandler could have imagined and far more unbelievable. While we’re waiting for the Real Life Philip Marlowe’s to uncover the truth, who’s watching the controversy unfolding in Washington?
While we’re consumed with the death of a starlet, who’s minding the store. I’m not saying there was a conspiracy behind her death that involves the Government, I’m just saying that this would be a great time for someone in Washington to release some bad news they wouldn’t want us to scrutinize. Since we have our eyes focused on Hollywood gossip and salacious news, we wouldn’t notice too much if the government released a report about improper behavior or inappropriate spending. The only way we would remove our focus on the death of a celebrity would be if there was an even more titillating news story that involved a politician, a sex scandal and accusations of using exclusive privilege to cover it up.
The Government doesn’t have to fabricate The Two Minute Hate George Orwell wrote about in his novel 1984, in 2007 Entertainment Tonight and the Check-out Tabloids are making them for us to endure.