Posted August 3rd, 2012 by ptittle
The neat thing about television coverage of the Olympics is that women’s events are shown a lot. Often within close temporal proximity to men’s events. Comparison is inevitable. And interesting.
Consider basketball. Men’s basketball isn’t even a sport anymore. The guys are simply too big. Give me a ball small enough to hold upside-down with one hand, and I’ll be doing some pretty fancy dribbling too. Give me a net so low to the ground I can just reach up and touch it, and I’ll slam dunk every time. And give me a court I can cover in five strides, hell, I’ll play a whole game without even breaking into a sweat.
And yet Read the rest of this entry
Posted June 23rd, 2012 by ptittle
I happened to experience once upon a time to a provocative juxtaposition: I watched the IAAF World Cross Country Championships, with Kenyans in the lead of course, just after I saw the news about a famine in east Africa, in particular, in Kenya.
So it occurred to me that Read the rest of this entry
Posted March 25th, 2012 by ptittle
While both ‘the soaps’ and ‘the game’ have been criticized as poor viewing choices, only the soaps have been dismissed as fluff. However, a close examination reveals that, in fact, the soaps have more heft than the game.
In both cases, Read the rest of this entry
Posted February 5th, 2012 by ptittle
So does anyone think someone’s going to get knocked out during this year’s Superbowl? It’s happened before. And frankly, I’m surprised it doesn’t happen more often. Just like that latest disgrace with our prisoners of war.
I mean, consider the similarities: Read the rest of this entry
Posted November 14th, 2011 by ptittle
Octavia Butler got it right in Xenogenesis when the aliens identified one of our fatal flaws as that of being hierarchy-driven (they fixed us with a bit of genetic engineering) – but she failed to associate the flaw predominantly with males.
And Steven Goldberg got it right in Why Men Rule when he explained that men are genetically predisposed to hierarchy (fetal masculinization of the central nervous system renders males more sensitive to the dominance-related properties of testosterone) – but he presented that as an explanation for why men rule and not also for why men kill.
And Arthur Koestler got it right in The Call Girls when, recognizing that the survival of the human species is unlikely, a select group of geniuses meet at a special ‘Approaches to Survival’ symposium (and fail to agree on a survival plan) – but I’m not sure he realized (oh of course he did) that one of his character’s early reference to a previous symposium on ‘Hierarchic Order in Primate Societies’ was foreshadowing.
The reason the human species will not survive is simple: Read the rest of this entry
Posted October 5th, 2011 by ptittle
So about this guy in Taiwan who drops his child in order to catch a foul ball at a baseball game…
I don’t know whether to be more appalled at the man’s action or at the media’s framing of it.
Am I appalled that we condition our males to value sports over parenting? That they’d rather catch a ball than take care of a child? No. I myself would rather catch a ball than look after a kid. Which is why I didn’t make or adopt any. The appalling thing is that a father would rather catch a ball than take care of his child. Read the rest of this entry
Posted July 20th, 2011 by ptittle
‘Some sports are just too dangerous for women. They might get hurt.’
Oh please. This from the sex that makes beating someone senseless part of the game.
And has its reproductive vitals hanging by a thread at bull’s-eye of the body with nary a half-inch layer of fat for protection. (What’s next in the evolution of the male, a brain growing outside the skull?) (Oops, been there – )
The sex that got the girls’ and boys’ bicycle designs backwards.
And competes on the pommel horse. Voluntarily.
Do I need to point out that women’s musculature is generally more elastic, rendering it less prone to injury? And that women seem to have a better developed survival instinct? We duck. We run the fuck the other way. And we don’t make insupportable claims about our opponent’s sexual preferences or those of her parents.
Posted June 12th, 2011 by ptittle
Here we go again – drugs and sports. What’s the problem? No really, what exactly is the problem?
Some say those who’ve used cocaine should be banned from the Olympics because it’s illegal. Well, there are many things that are illegal – shouldn’t we therefore ban every athlete who’s ever done something illegal?
But why? Haven’t they already paid the penalty determined by whatever country they live in? The IOC is not a criminal justice system.
Then some call upon the moral character point: athletes are expected to be of high moral character – or at least of higher moral character than the rest of us. Why? Read the rest of this entry
Posted October 31st, 2010 by ptittle
Well, it’s autumn. That time of year when the breeze gets brisk, the leaves start to fall, and good men from all walks of life wear something besides blue, brown, grey, and black: they wear orange. Hunter orange. Yes this is the time of year when good men from all walks of life go into the forest to perform that masculine bloodwinner ritual involving beer, bullets, and Bubba. I don’t understand hunting. I don’t understand the desire to kill.
‘Oh no,’ the hunters say, ‘it’s not that, it’s the excitement, it’s the thrill of stalking an animal that’s big and wild, and can tear you apart!’ Yeah right. Like Bambi’s cousin is going to tear you apart.
‘And it’s the challenge! Deer are smart, you know!’ I’d say the average deer has an IQ of what, four? So I have to ask, smart compared to who? Read the rest of this entry
Posted February 19th, 2010 by ptittle
Insofar as competition is the measure of oneself against another, it entails the view that the other is more important than oneself. Otherwise, it would be sufficient to measure oneself against oneself (a past self, a hoped-for future self) or against some absolute standard not necessarily related to any self. Such an other-regarding view usually indicates low self-esteem.
It does no good to claim that one competes, rather, to better one’s own best: it must be asked why one needs to perform alongside another in order to better oneself – a stopwatch or tape measure or videotape should suffice. That such competing against oneself is insufficient to bring out one’s best suggests, again, that what matters is what the other does, thinks, etc.
This seems odd, though: most world class athletes have such self-discipline and have achieved such a level of excellence that for their self-esteem to remain low, they’d have to be quite out of touch with reality. Bingo.
The hierarchal nature of competitive sport is such that Read the rest of this entry