Monday, February 06, 2006

Grunts, Gladiators

I didn't see the Extra Large Super Bowl XL. I was vaguely aware that it was on, which is more than I can say about some years. I don't think I've seen a Super Bowl since the Patriots won their first one - not sure if they won another one.

But today at lunch, I caught a glimpse of ESPN, not my channel of choice, but blog worthy for all its post-game wind down, letting off Super Steam for lack of much else to do. It seems men really do like to watch sports on TV. It's a realm they think helps make them men, modern men, who do more than trudge off to their gainful jobs before doing the domestice scene - meaning domestic duties often thoroughly and persistently assigned to them by their wives.

So men watch gladiators. And they've convinced millions of women to somehow think it's an OK thing to do, too - more surprising to me. I used to give women, as a gender, more credit than that. Sure they use "The Big Game" as an excuse to cook and gab and mingle and load up for the serious Snack Fest. Men have also convinced a lot of women that drinking Miller Lite is about as patriotic as it gets in America - nearly the definition of the freedom some unlucky grunts are shipped off to fight for. Other gladiators, out of sight, those grunts are. We hardly see their faces on the news, and of course they don't enjoy the spoils of war. No, the spoils of war go to those who fight it out on the astroturf, not in the backalleys of Baghdad. These mash-mouthed millions grease up, grunt it out, work up a sweat and then hit the showers and the champagne, then cash the checks and live it up and live like pimps.

Some "freedom" we're fighting for.

Maybe we should fight for honor instead, and maybe if we really were fighting for honor and not just these dangerous charades of pomp and power, maybe we wouldn't have to fight so much. But oh, no, this is America, and that's the kind of country we are - a country that likes a good fight.

Even if it's sort of just a front, a fake, a show for military might or money.

Some freedom we're fighting for, indeed.


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