Strong passions can erupt in unpredictable ways.
The government understands this – and desires that strong passions be diverted in a harmless – to the government – way.
Enter the cultivated, culturally and socially enforced obsession with organized, mass spectacle sports.
Fuuhhhhhtttttball especially but also the others.
These games – a new one to keep people busy almost every day, year-round – are not so much “bread and circuses,” as they are often called. They are the vivification 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 important.
Such as the ever-increasing control exercised over men by the state.
In red giant stage America, the average man has little meaningful control over his life. He does as he’s told – from driving the speed limit to paying “his” taxes. In the land of individuality, collectivism and conformity is the rule.
He must Submit and Obey. He must never raise his voice to question authority.
This stifling of independent action, the punishment of deviation from any official orthodoxy and relentless suppression of independent judgment and self-reliance… this systematic thwarting of a normal man’s inclination to be a man. . . well, the pressure builds.
The movie, Falling Down, captured this brilliantly. Unfortunately for Michael Douglas’ character, he wasn’t interested in “the game.”
The demand that men submit and obey is also hammered into today’s boys – usually by women.
Orwell got one thing wrong. It is not Big Brother.
It is Big Sister.
Everywhere, there are short-haired, pants-suited termagants vested with power; the sort who in a better time would have been spinster librarians and generally harmless. Today they infect bureaucracies such as EPA and DOJ and many others besides.
We encounter them at the doctor’s office and DMV.
The beetle-like little men that Orwell described abound, too. But they tyranny of our times is not a masculine tyranny such as Stalin’s. Note that in the Soviet Union, people were still largely free to partake of petty vices such as booze and cigarettes. Soviet power didn’t limit the size of sodas or force people to wear seat belts. It enforced political conformity only.
Maybe that’s why fuhhhhhhttttttball was never a big deal in the Soviet Union.
America’s tyranny is the tyranny of the elementary school marm over grown up men.
These days, a man can’t even paint his own house without first begging permission from the local Gertrud Schlotz-Klink. . . and if he doesn’t cut his grass when ordered or erects a shed unapproved…
Then alien or some other encumbrance. Eventually, the thug scrum will come. So he learns to do what he’s told.
The rage boils but silently; it must have an outlet.
Enter the game.