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Over Easy: Spectator Sports

Spectators – Tony Dickins
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Just finishing up one of three Ham Radio projects I have going on. For me Ham Radio is a hands on participatory sport. Unfortunately for most Hams these days, it is not. The go to a store or get online or go to a Hamfest and buy a fancy new radio and buy an antenna and a power supply for the radio and a computer interface and software to control the radio from their PC…it’s more a spectator sport.

This country loves it’s spectator sports. Baseball – use to be the biggie , basketball, boxing was big at one time, wrestling, hockey – but mainly up north, golf…And the biggest one now..FOOTBALL. How many times a week is Football on now ? During the season it seems like every night. And also NASCAR racing.

These are just the official ones.  The unofficial ones are anything that attracts a crowd. Traffic accidents are high on this list. We know this when ever we drive an Interstate highway. The more gruesome it is, the more people insist on slowing down to have a look. Six lane highway and the accident is off in the medium strip, not affecting the highway one bit and traffic is still going at a snail’s pace because everyone was to see what’s going on.

Yes we loves out spectator sports and will stay glued to the set for hours on end watching. The endless replays of the video of whatever is happening. The 9/11 thing had on all the news outlets repeat footage of the same thing played over and over.

And this is a good deal of the problem. We love spectator sports. Participatory….not so much. Watching so protest march from the comfort of our couches on a big gigantic TV, guzzling down beer and wolfing down piza and judging the hell out of what we are watching. Like so many bizarre sports event put on for our amusement. Of course the biggest spectator sport of all – for the upper crust, that is – is war.

Which is why protests like Wendy Davis’ diaries on MKLShutdown here and here are so damn refreshing. Because hitherto, hitherto mind you,  activism was primarily a spectator sport. Watching while the elites crushed you.  The civil rights movement was NOT a spectator sport. The anti-Vietnam war protests were NOT a spectator sport. In both people got arrested and they still went on. People got hurt and maimed. People got killed and they still went on.

If you really want to fight for something, it’s going to get ugly and messy and sometimes bad things happen. And you get angry and getting angry is a good thing. Anger gives you energy and motivation to take action even if that action may create an ugly situation. Like Tim Wise says, start getting really pissed off and do something.  Getting pissed off, using civil disobedience and threatening revolution works.

Sure you might get rousted by the cops, you head bashed in and maybe even killed. Or would you rather sit curled in a ball like some rabbit.

So what else might be on you minds at this hour ?

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