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Both the NBA and NFL are almost unwatchable, at least for me — though I sometimes wonder if I am alone in this — with all of the buffoonery and hip-hop posturing and carrying on. It reminds you that you watch sports not just for the excitement of the competition or to learn the outcome, but to be inspired. Sport’s once-uplifting imagery is more and more challenged by the crass garbage that surrounds it, whether it is another preening, tattooed, superstar felon or the compulsive noise and flashing lights that seem to accompany every big NFL and NBA game. Underneath it all, the competition is still there, and the irony is that it may be at its highest level ever — but what a lot of toxic sludge the eye must squint through to enjoy it.
Some years ago, my consumption of sports began to dwindle as it dawned on me that I felt repulsed by so many of the players. My preferred sport remains baseball, which I grew up with and which happens to have much less of a problem with violent crime, though that may be changing (and the crime of pharmaceutical cheating is a different problem, maybe worse, but I’ll leave that for another time). Baseball draws from a pool of talent less populated by players with disturbed backgrounds. There are the occasional beanball incidents and bench-clearing brawls, even some ugly ones, but the slow, deliberate pace of the game does not make such explosions seem inevitable. It is a game where progress is made in increments — the antithesis of the hip-hop code. I might fall asleep watching a game, but I rarely fall into despair.
The interesting question is which will happen first: will the NFL and NBA become so infected with criminality that they cease to be a mainstream taste, or will the mainstream — which now embraces hip-hop fashion in middle-class suburbs — continue its downward spiral and meet the leagues halfway? If the latter scenario prevails, it will be time to adapt Richard Nixon’s famous utterance about Keynesian economics and concede that we’re all hip hoppers now.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?