Utterly Devoid of Humor

Yesterday the train was packed on the morning ride. It was a sea of teal and black as folks flocked downtown to grab a spot on the curb for the Marlins' tickertape parade. Parents with kids and old people and business women who just happened to have chosen to wear a black suit with a turquoise blouse to work that day.

From somewhere behind me came a voice, a judgmental and carrying voice. "Where are these people's priorities?" the woman whinnied. "Why should these men be called heroes just because they can hit a ball? Why have a parade? Those men dying in (pause as she struggles to remember exactly where we've sent our men and women to slaughter and be slaughtered) Iraq, they're heroes, because they didn't want to be there."

Forgive me as I stifle a yawn. Au contraire, my humorless worker bee, every single one of the men and women in Iraq signed up for the privilege of defending our right to have a parade for baseball players. Maybe not in so many words, but there you are. In case you don't remember, America has a totally volunteer military. Not one person is there because they were conscripted. They may not have actually wanted to serve in a hot war, but they chose a career where that was a possibility.

And that begs the question, Madame, did you, if you think that the war in Iraq is a bad thing, did you write or call your legislator and voice that opinion? Did you vote in the last presidential election? Do you ever vote? Do you ever voice an opinion to the men and women representing you in Washington, who have the power to send those young heroes to war? Or do you just yap on the train, hoping to convince the world of your moral superiority, because you don't think a World Series deserves a parade.

Here's another question, you-who-are-too-serious-for-sports: would you rather your child be honored as an athlete, or a dead soldier?

When, as a nation, did we become so humorless? Is this grim reality a product of September 11, which the pundits claimed would put an end to irony forever? Or is this an outgrowth of political correctness, where all people must be equal, dammit, even if it means putting ballerinas in lead boots, and athletes in vision-destroying glasses.

That was the premise of Kurt Vonnegut's "Breakfast of Champions", which, I recall, I found tedious when I read it. Perhaps Mr. Vonnegut was more of the visionary and less of the burned-out hack I thought him to be. Maybe it's time to re-read that book.

In the meantime, get over it. Tell a politically incorrect joke and smoke a cigarette while you drink a martini at lunch.
Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 10/29 at 05:10 PM in Sports

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