Charlie Bertsch (cbertsch) wrote,
Charlie Bertsch

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Hardly Getting Over It

The Cal-Southern Mississippi game yesterday evening was covered by a two-man ESPN crew with a decidedly Southern bias. The color commentator was particularly bad. Several times during the telecast he made jokes about the strange people you see when you're in Berkeley, interspersing them with yet another clear indication that Texas is far more deserving of a BCS berth than the Bears. The capper was when he and the play-by-play guy were praising some Southern Mississippi player from some small town with "bayou" in its name. They noted that there wouldn't be any "tie-dye shirts" in a place like that, suggesting that the solid citizens of that town wouldn't stand for such nonsense. I was enraged at the time. Afterwards, though, I realized that the game taught me a politically useful lesson. Despite the absurdly long string of conservative victories in the United States since Ronald Reagan won the presidency, many Americans still fear the legacy of the 1960s enough to take pleasure in having it mocked on national television. Indeed, it almost seems that, in a roundabout way, it is they who are keeping the hope for radical change alive by allowing it to haunt their words and deeds. Even if I can't stand to hear Berkeley made fun of, then, I should take consolation in the fact that things would be even worse if the fun-making stopped. Maybe I should start wearing tie-dye to my classes, so I can take solace in the laughter directed my way.

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