Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Y'Know What We Don't Care About?

Steroids, and who uses 'em.

Sure, it's cheating, and grown-ups should be embarrassed about cheating, especially grown-ups who already play games for a living. Not to mention very unhealthy.

But it's just a game -- baseball, bike racing, bocce.  They're fun, they're cool, they're whatever.  But in the end, they're entertainment.  So A-Rod or Lance or whoever using steroids matters about as much to us as Stallone or Arnold.  Or actresses shooting botulism into their faces.  Which, not for nothing, is gross.  But you don't hold congressional hearings about it.

3 comments:

Pastor Joelle said...

This is why I care about it - it teaches kids that whatever it takes to win - do it. Even to the point of ruining your body. But you are right that congregational hearings are not going to address the underlying problem - which is win at at all costs.

Father said...

That's a fair point. But only insofar as we insist on pretending that athletes are, or should pretend to be, models of good behavior for children to emulate.

The myth that "sports build character" is transparently bogus -- and obviously so, if we have reached the point where all cheating and lying about it are this widespread.

I'd much rather kids were encouraged to think about likelier models of morality. If only I could think of any! Businesspeople cheat as badly as athletes, and are no less greedy about it. Soldiers are out (torture, baby-kiling); ditto the clergy (so many reasons).

The long-dead work well, as long as we don't examine their exploits too closely. Did you ever see Ben Stiller in "Keeping the Faith"? He plays a rabbi, who as a boy collected "Heroes of the Torah" trading cards, with pictures of old, bearded guys. Maybe it's time for "Heroes of the Augsburg Confession." I'll trade you two Chemnitzes for the Melanchthon rookie card.

Father said...

That's a fair point. But only insofar as we insist on pretending that athletes are, or should pretend to be, models of good behavior for children to emulate.

The myth that "sports build character" is transparently bogus -- and obviously so, if we have reached the point where all cheating and lying about it are this widespread.

I'd much rather kids were encouraged to think about likelier models of morality. If only I could think of any! Businesspeople cheat as badly as athletes, and are no less greedy about it. Soldiers are out (torture, baby-kiling); ditto the clergy (so many reasons).

The long-dead work well, as long as we don't examine their exploits too closely. Did you ever see Ben Stiller in "Keeping the Faith"? He plays a rabbi, who as a boy collected "Heroes of the Torah" trading cards, with pictures of old, bearded guys. Maybe it's time for "Heroes of the Augsburg Confession." I'll trade you two Chemnitzes for the Melanchthon rookie card.