I’ve spent the morning sprucing up some menus, including pKnatz’ menus that deal with ambiguities of institutional purpose. I coined the work ampurp: ambiguity of (institutional) purpose. I’ve been talking for half a century about the ampurp of compulsory schooling, now I make a post to discuss the ampurp of sports: spectator sport, commercial sport, in particular.
Don’t confuse personal motives with institutional motives: even though there are no institutions without persons. I have a mind, you have a mind, but the flock may also have a mind, as may the herd, as may Contress, as may “the” “Church.” We need activity, sports can be a fun way to get it. That is not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about people paying hundreds or thousands of dollars to sit in the SuperDome or at CentreCourt in Wimbledon or at Caesars Palace to watch So&So fight So&So. Does the couch potato with a ticket to Yankee Stadium get good exercise? Not likely.
But never mind the couch potato with the ticket’s motive: what’s MLB’s motive? what’s the Steinbrenner motive? the NFL? the All England Club?
And never mind all that: what’s the US’s motive in having MLB, NFL, NBA …?
Why do companies spend millions and billions to pack the potatoes in front of the tube for the Olympics? Is it just to sell beer? nothing else?
I’ll develop this over time, initially as a scrapbook: but first:
Sports are an essential ingredient in a kleptocracy’s scheme for pretending that the schooled and ruled and industrialized and divided up marketed world has visions forever dancing before it that we live in a meritocracy, that the society is fair, that the playing fields are level … Maybe Jesse Owens and Jim Thorpe and Babe Dietrickson got screwed yesterday, but not today. Now everything is fixed: you have to go to school on a deforested continent, then work for MacDonalds OR become a doctor, in a fair world: problems solved, your representative hearing and caring about YOU!