Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Sports and the mercenary mindset

Many people spend a lot of time thinking about what's wrong with modern athletics, suggesting that it's the money, the fame, an inordinate emphasis we place on them, or other factors. Certainly part of the issue is that most things we call "sports" or "athletics" are neither. Sport is historically blood sport like hunting. Athletics, historically, is track and field. We have a problem predominantly not with sports or athletics, but with games.

Even that, however, misses a central point. The central problem with our games is that we're letting someone else play them for us. Despite the fact that they're neither athletic nor sport, our games do serve as a proxy for training for war--"Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Eton", after all. When we primarily watch, instead of play, we create mercenaries.

This is a problem, of course, because mercenaries are historically known for quite a bit of looting, boozing, and wenching; societies have made moral exceptions for them out of fear of what they'll do if we don't, more or less.

So if certain players for the ViQueens (or your other favorite/least favorite team) remind you of the Huns, there is a reason why. A very important reason, and one that should drive you to participate in real sports and manly games for yourself instead of watching steroid mercenaries on TV.

10 comments:

Mercy Now said...

I find it interesting how they categorize certain events as sports, e.g. golf & bowling, WTF do they have anything to do w/ sports? I agree there's talent involved but sports...

Marklark said...

Mercy, golf and bowling are sports in much the same way as archery and skeet because they teach you the skills necessary to be deadly with the implements used.

Properly hit or thrown, golf or bowling balls can be very deadly. It's just that they have not been used in an organized martial art -- yet...

;^)

Good insights Bert! Keep clarifying the language!

Bike Bubba said...

Nah, technically golf and bowling are games. Archery is a sport, though, as it is more readily lethal.

Lots of fun, but still a game. And don't forget, Mark; "Husband up" and learn to carry your wife. Let's avenge the loss of the "wife carrying" championship to those single guys.

jroosh said...

...talk about marrying well. I'm glad my wife is size 1.

Marklark said...

Apparently you don't know how deadly I am on a golf course! Especially when I get to the putting surface.

And, about the wife carrying, I guess that I really need to spend more time in the gym! :^/

Bike Bubba said...

I'll be signing you up for the competition then--make sure you're in Maine next October! And remember, Mark, you've got to get in training, too!

Marklark said...

Upon receipt of entry confirmation, expect yours to follow quickly. What carry method do you and The Hun prefer?

Bike Bubba said...

So far, we're training with a standard piggyback, but perhaps we'll move to the Estonian carry as we get stronger and more confident. You'd be amazed, by the way, now easy it is to carry 49kg (I'm sure that's what Connie weighs...) on your back in the Estonian carry.

There's a competition in Wisconsin, too, according to Wiki.

Marklark said...

Now I know why Connie loves you! :^)

Bike Bubba said...

Don't you dare insult my wife! :^)