Skip to comments.Chomsky on Sports
Posted on 01/31/2005 11:13:42 PM PST by minus_273
I ran into this on a liberal site opposing the Super Bowl . I thought this was such an interesting example of the faux-intellectualism we see everyday from the left that i had to post it here. It's good for a few laughs. I like the use of "Joe-Six Pack --that kind" where referring to normal people.
"Now there are other media too whose basic social role is quite different: it's diversion. There's the real mass media-the kinds that are aimed at, you know, Joe Six Pack -- that kind. The purpose of those media is just to dull people's brains.
This is an oversimplification, but for the eighty percent or whatever they are, the main thing is to divert them. To get them to watch National Football League. And to worry about "Mother With Child With Six Heads," or whatever you pick up on the supermarket stands and so on. Or look at astrology. Or get involved in fundamentalist stuff or something or other. Just get them away. Get them away from things that matter. And for that it's important to reduce their capacity to think.
Take, say, sports -- that's another crucial example of the indoctrination system, in my view. For one thing because it -- you know, it offers people something to pay attention to that's of no importance. [audience laughs] That keeps them from worrying about -- [applause] keeps them from worrying about things that matter to their lives that they might have some idea of doing something about. And in fact it's striking to see the intelligence that's used by ordinary people in [discussions of] sports [as opposed to political and social issues]. I mean, you listen to radio stations where people call in -- they have the most exotic information [more laughter] and understanding about all kind of arcane issues. And the press undoubtedly does a lot with this.
You know, I remember in high school, already I was pretty old. I suddenly asked myself at one point, why do I care if my high school team wins the football game? [laugbter] I mean, I don't know anybody on the team, you know? [audience roars] I mean, they have nothing to do with me, I mean, why I am cheering for my team? It doesn't mean any -- it doesn't make sense. But the point is, it does make sense: it's a way of building up irrational attitudes of submission to authority, and group cohesion behind leadership elements -- in fact, it's training in irrational jingoism. That's also a feature of competitive sports. I think if you look closely at these things, I think, typically, they do have functions, and that's why energy is devoted to supporting them and creating a basis for them and advertisers are willing to pay for them and so on."
- Noam Chomsky in the documentary "Manufacturing Consent"
This is the essence of Chomskyism - overanalysis of the mundane.
Chomsky fumbles! Americans recover.
Give me a six pack or two to numb my mind so I will not think about pressing social(ist) concerns as I sit down to watch the Super Bowl this Sunday with my beer gut hanging down over the dirty sweat pants and drool sliding out the corners of my mouth.
Noam Chomsky: This semiotic totalitarian and his village fascists deconstruct the very pillars of language in order to bring the temple down, as the temple brings the benighted together in an agreement of post-nihilistic idolaltry. The dutiful unwashed acolytes of corporate despotism signify their willingness to flay the flesh of freedom in exchange for the chains of commerce, that were forged by blood of oppressed peoples eveywhere.
But, hey the Pats look to be 61/2 point favorites over the Chunky Soup shills and I intend to bask in the glow of capitalist excess with a big steaming bowl chili -a potage of lintels and scrap meats - and a frosty malted grain beverage.
Noam- you gotta love the Pats!
"I disagree. Sports, like all forms of play, and art, and music, and other forms of entertainment should be an important part of our enjoyment of life."
I don't think he's saying these things shouldn't be an important part of enjoying life. Just that some people make them TOO important. Like these guys:
General George Patton responds...
"MEN, this stuff that some sources sling around about America wanting out of this war, not wanting to fight, is a crock of bullshi*. Americans love to fight, traditionally. All REAL Americans love the sting and clash of battle. ...
Third, you are here because you are real MEN and all real MEN like to fight. When you, here, everyone of you, were kids, you all admired the champion marble player, the fastest runner, the toughest boxer, the big league ball players, and the All-American football players.
Americans love a winner.
Americans will not tolerate a loser. Americans despise cowards. Americans play to win all of the time. I wouldn't give a hoot in hell for a man who lost and laughed. That's why Americans have never lost nor will ever lose a war; for the very idea of losing is hateful to an American."
I disagree. Sports, like all forms of play, and art, and music, and other forms of entertainment should be an important part of our enjoyment of life.
I gotta go with russp on this one. Far to many people can rattle of a long list of sports stats who couldn't name the mayor of their town if their life depended on it.
It's not as if the Republicans invented them. The Mayans were playing basketball with, well with basketHEADS, long before Republicans or Democrats were invented.
I think Noam was always chosen last when grade school teams were picking players.
It’s actually not debatable. He’s a professor of Linguistics at MIT. Who does know how to use words in your view?
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