Saturday, November 29, 2014

Football Counter-Programming #13

Welcome to another week of Football Counter-Programming. This week I"ve got to fight for your attention as many significant rivalry games are competing for your eye-holes. So I'll try to make you divert your gaze over here with this bit of news.

Q: So it looks like they’ve recorded yet another version of “Do They Know It’s Christmas”, and guess who’s back? Yep, it’s your old pal Bono at it again.

He’s even singing your favorite line — wait a minute. They changed the lyric! Instead of “Well tonight thank God it’s them, instead of youuuuuuuuuuu,” it’s “Well tonight we’re reaching out, and toooooouuuuching youuuuuuu.’ I’m still not sure if that makes any sense, but they went and messed up the best/worst thing about that song. How does it make you feel?
—Jon, Bellevue

BS: I feel like someone just tried to repaint the Mona Lisa. That’s how I feel. You can’t even consider remaking the greatest holiday song ever without every A-list voice from this generation — and even then, you’d never consider it if it wasn’t for a good cause. But for Bono to come back to THAT? And THAT lyric? Oh my God. Why not just rerelease the greatest holiday song ever with everyone resinging their parts? I’m so bitter. I’d be madder about this if Bono didn’t just get injured in a cycling accident. Get better, Bono.

So, yeah, there is that.
But really, I;m here to 'not talk about this week's version of The Game. And this week, The Game is tOSU versus Michigan.

But I'm not here to talk about that game--mostly because that is counter to what this counter-programming is all about and also because the game is over before I ever had a chance to write any of this, so if you care, you already know everything that you need to know.

Instead of watching any football or blogging earlier in the day, I took Grace to watch The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1. And it was a sad tale, to be sure.

But it related to The Game in the sense that it does a pretty good job--as the book did before it--of making the viewer struggle with the notion that modern war is sometimes and in part fought in the media and that it can be treated as a sort of game by those insulated from the actual experience of the fighting. And that is too bad. Because war of any kind should not be treated as anything less than the most serious of decisions. And we should not trivialize it or minimize its damaging effects.

And that also relates to how we use the word war in our discourse, which is often so flippant and sarcastic in its tone. We equate actual war with football, with political disagreements, with many other much more trivial things. And that is a disservice to the people that have actually experienced warfare.

Lest we forget that in our country, we are so distanced from the wars that we drag out nation into. And so few of us every have to pay any price at all for that choice. And lest we forget that real wars and severe hardships are happening all around the world all the time and we know nothing about it and we rarely spend any time acknowledging it.

Instead we make fun of the one line in the song designed to reach out and help the people who are in trouble.

So, maybe I need to resolve to be more sincere and to remember as this year ends that there are people across this country who are suffering. May I find the time and the resources and the desire to make their lives a bit better every chance I get. And may I remember that people I will never meet are always struggling to make their own lives better. May I remember them and find paths to reach out  to them with the many blessings and resources that I may take for granted.

I live in a wonderful world. May I take some of my own wonder and hand it off to someone else.

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