Essays & Images on Cities, Travel and Contemporary Culture. A web journal of James A. Clapp, Ph.D., an UrbisMedia Ltd. Production

Carpe Diem: 2018.08.20 TAKE A KNEE

Professional football season will be commencing soon, another season during which some 30 teams will play a minimum of 22 games at which the national anthem will be played some 330 times. Huge flags will be hauled out over the fields, military families will have fake “surprise” reunions for the cameras and, in some cases, military jets will overfly the stadiums, and assorted other professional football/military bullshit will be displayed. The Department of Defense pays the NFL $53 million/year for these phony-baloney displays of  “patriotism”–rather, all of us taxpayers are paying for a concert of ideological masturbation by a stadium of boozed-up yahoos dressed up like Halloween.

It’s all totally unnecessary, of course, because American football is not an international sport and there are no foreign teams that compete with them, so everybody knows that these are American teams, playing an American sport, on American ground.  So, there is no real reason for this display of nationalism, and hence no real reason for players, as it turns out, to wear flag stickers on the backs of their helmets and be forced to participate in the faux patriotic bullshit of standing at attention, hands over hearts and listening to some washed-up entertainer make a cacophonic mess of a shitty piece of music.

But of course, the league is nothing more than a whore for the Department of Defense when it comes to this. So, if there happens to be a player like Colin Kaepernick, who would like to let his racist country know that, in spite of the fact that this is a venue for some of the highest-paid slaves to” pick cotton” for the predominantly white season ticket holders, and the “owners” in those luxury suites, you damn well better not take a knee. For one, there will be a fat-assed, draft-dodger, racist president watching and tweeting out various forms of punishment. (In America, the only form of un-patriotic behavior allowed is being the Russian dictator’s bitch.)

The contradictions of the refusal to obediently bow to the flag that is a symbol of the right of free speech and protest are, of course, a little to philosophically-challenging for your average NFL yahoo fan, these days likely to be wearing a MAGA hat above his team colors.

So the season begins. It used to be about the diversion of sports. But in America everything eventually defaults to the dollar, especially Big Whitey’s dollar, which is as much invested in defense contracting as it is in a good third down defense.  And Sundays are now all about a giant recruitment program to maintain a volunteer military force that makes it nice and easy–as it has for the past two decades—to remain at perpetual war with expanding defense budgets, and creating new enemies to fuel the domestic fear that everybody is out to destroy our [puke] “wonderful democracy.”

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