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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

the fourth of july holiday weekend

Usually, at our household the holiday is about sports.
We begin the holiday with the renewed excitement of watching good tennis.
This year though, we were disappointed with the women grunters
and do not like joke a vics poor sportsmanship and the other guy who is always wanting us to pay attention to his back side, the two who seem not to have grown up, pampered brats. And after watching the grace and character of Roger Federer we embarrassed for those two men?/boys so we move on to other games of individual achievement.
Competitive bowling followed by women's college bowling
and the worlds heaviest man competition.
It is remarkable to think that one man can carry two two-hundred seventy five anvils for any distance
but to turn a nine-hundred ninety pound tire repeatedly, six to complete the course is thought provoking.
Picking up our sixteen pound cat repeatedly is a chore, lifting half a ton is stuff to dream about, albeit a tire
is not exactly the stuff dreams are made of, unless you are a member of the Bridgestone or Firestone family.

The fourth of July is a celebration of independence, not simply national independence for our household.
Yes we do grill burgers and watch the fireworks and generally relax and connect with family and loved ones just like everybody else.

But we seem to gravitate to the individual achievement sporting events as a necessary root for this particular holiday. Maybe it is our annual mega dose of sports, much like the sporting events leading up to the Olympic competition, and the Olympics. We sit and watch the new generation achieve, we study their demeanor and the stupid sports networks that don't even give the athlete time to catch their breath and the must have interview. It is remarkable enough when an athlete achieves success after preparation and practice and focus, but they must speak without getting enough oxygen to prevent their eyes from crossing. And these young people can think and speak without catching their breath. Personal achievement their driving force.

And then there is the guy competing in bowling who pops his water bottle to distract his opponent, winning any which way he can.

We also watch the fight, where the guy kept feigning a fall causing his opponent to lose a point and we wonder if it is a generational thing, the art of the game has lost it allure, winning is the prize, no longer- being the best- the goal.

To be the best at what you do no longer seems to be a goal any more winning is all that seems to matter.
Cheating seems to be the rule, instead of rules of fair play. It is more the slug fest, beat the other guy any way you can, and if you can not beat the opponent at the game by the rules CHEAT. So how does that foster self respect, how does that make one feel good.  It is like when the bully wins, only now we get to watch it on tv.

The bully rules is the 2011 mantra, the slug fest is on, toughen up your gloves, the rules have changed, and nobody told us, except sometimes there is an individual who realizes that being the best at what you do is a prize more valuable than winning.

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