Fuuuuhhhhhhhtttball: The Modern Two Minutes' Hate

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by Eric Peters EricPetersAutos.com

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Strong passions have to be released somehow. Else, they might erupt in unpredictable ways.

The state understands this – and desires that strong passions be released in a harmless – to the state – way. Enter the modern, near universal obsession – in particular, the male obsession – with fuuuhhhhhhhhhttttttttttball and organized, mass spectacle sports generally. These things are the actualization of the fictional Two Minutes’ Hate in Orwell’s 1984. A means by which the passions – the frustrations and anger of men in particular – are diverted and dissipated. In order that they aren’t directed at anything actually important – such as the ever-increasing control exercised over men by the state. The stifling of independent action, the punishment of deviation from any official orthodoxy… and most of all, the relentless suppression of independent judgment and self-reliance.

The systematic thwarting, simply put – of a normal man’s inclination to be a man.

The average man has virtually no real control over his life in modern America. He must Submit and Obey at every turn, from the moment he awakes to the moment he lays his head down on the pillow at night. He must never raise his voice, at work or in public. He must avoid confrontation at all costs. (This lesson, in particular, is really being hammered home to today’s boys – who are told in no uncertain terms by the authorities that they cannot even defend themselves when attacked by a bully. And the boys’ fathers are told they must teach them to accept this.)

He stews in silent, impotent fury as a cop half his age lectures him about “buckling up for safety” in front of his kids. Or as he submits to having his wife and kids get fondled by useless-eater (and probably pedophilic) blue-shirted poltroons at the airport. He must put up with being told what to do – and even worse, what not to do – by smarmy little busybodies, stretchpants-wearing fraus. From the PTA to the DMV to the HOA, he is hectored and hemmed in at every turn.

He probably can’t even paint his own damn house without first begging permission from the local Gertrud Schlotz-Klink… and if he doesn’t beg permission first, the old bag will just make a call. A lien or some other encumbrance will be put on his place. Or, the thug scrum will come. So, he surrenders. He Submits… and Obeys. He Does What He is Told. And along the way, he becomes something less than a man. At some gut level, he knows it, too. And the rage boils within him, silently, helplessly… .

He feels emasculated – because he has been emasculated.

But, release awaits. He can click on the TeeVee and feel – temporarily – empowered. He can bask in the reflected glory of “his” team. He imagines himself to be a part of the spectacle – a member of the community of men once more. If “we” win, he feels proud and strong. He will literally puff out his chest and strut. He feels as though something has been accomplished. By him personally. Because a team of paid entertainers won a game – a child’s contest.

On the other hand, if “we” lose, he is dejected – sometimes, for days on end. He feels like a failure. And, he is angry. But in a way utterly harmless to the state. He seethes, he yells, he shakes his fist… at the enemy “team” on the screen.

Finally, at last – “we” win! Hurrah! He bellows like a Cape Buffalo because “his” team has made the play-offs! Go, team! He swells with second-hand pride – pathetically displaying the flag of “his” team on his vehicles …and even sometimes to the extent of having an actual flagpole erected on his lawn. He wears the colors, he buys the merchandise… .

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Eric Peters [send him mail] is an automotive columnist and author of Automotive Atrocities and Road Hogs (2011). Visit his website.

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