February 3rd, 2008

The Politics of Collegiate Sports

While reading the comments to the Arizona Daily Star article on the Wildcats humiliating defeat at UCLA yesterday -- I'm entitled to a little Schadenfreude -- I came across another comment by a man who insists on using the sports pages as a soapbox for political commentary:
Although I obviously do not agree with his position, despite musing recently on the way that institutions like the University of Arizona seem to combine the worst aspects of Eastern Bloc bureaucracy and corruption with an ideological attachment to feudalism, I have to give him props for presenting his views in the forum where they are least likely to meet with favor. I mean, nodes of libertarian thinking dot the landscape here like cactus. But the Cats are usually exempt from its delusionally penetrating gaze. My sympathy for his lonely quest to bring Ron Paul's economic wisdom to the McKale Center is heightened by the realization, as this reply to his comment indicates, that his "readers" might not even recognize that he is opposed to socialism:
I have to admit, though, that the idea of affixing the label "pinko" to libertarians does have a perverse appeal.

The Boxer Waits

I cooked this afternoon. The garage needed cleaning, but while I was moving boxes I suddenly remembered two in the pantry, Barilla manicotti wedged against the wall on the right side of the first shelf from the bottom, a "gift" from my mother-in-law, who had forgotten how to use them. They've been sitting there since the invasion of Iraq was a tulip poking out through the snow in a right-wing ideologue's eye. It's time to figure out what we still have in store. At least that's what I tell myself as I move the books and papers from one time capsule to the next. If only I could release the tension they hold inside. I can smell the storm coming. It sets the aroma of freshly melted cheese off nicely. "Breathe," I implore. The labor has commenced.

May 28, 1839

The twelfth in a series:
There is no history: There is only Biography. The attempt to perpetuate, to fix a thought or principle, fails continually. You can only live for yourself: Your action is good only whilst it is alive -- whilst it is in you. The awkward imitation of it by your child or your disciple, in not a repetition of it, is not the same thing but another thing. The new individual must work out the whole problem of science, letters, & theology for himself, can owe his fathers nothing. There is no history: only biography.
It's not hard to see why Nietzsche was so drawn to the author of this quote. And it's only slightly harder to perceive that the former's promotion of "relativism" reflects, in part, the influence of a peculiarly American way of thinking. Sometimes, when a change of course is required, the backward find themselves on the leading edge of progress.