Friday, June 25, 2010

Argentine And American Bread And Circuses

Argentine survivalist blogger FerFAL writes on his "Surviving in Argentina" blog today about the use of soccer and the Argentinian national soccer team as a social opiate by the despotic elite of the Argentine political leadership:
Soccer is a big thing in Argentina. Its always been that way. Specially during the world cup, kids don’t even go to school that day if the match takes place during school hours, and even at jobs only the most tyrannical employers will forbid workers from watching the game or at least keep track of it on internet or radio.
[...]
I guess it has something to do with poverty and the social situation here. Its always been a big thing, even during the good times, but when a person is poor, his life quality went to hell, its easy to see why soccer is so important. For some people, their team winning a tournament is the only happy event in a very long time.
His conclusion?
In a country of such poverty as Argentina, they’ve used 250 million dollars were spent to ensure the previously pay per view matches to be free for everyone. The program was called “Football para Todos” (Football for everyone) 250 million dollars, the tax payers money, many of them very poor, that money is spent on making pay per view free. So maybe you have a hard time putting food on the table, maybe you are one of the millions of unemployed, but you can rest assured your tax money is being spent in important things, such as ensuring free soccer TV for the fans out there. Maybe you sort of prefer lower taxes, specially when it comes to making food cheaper. Heck, maybe you don’t give a damn about soccer. Thank God you have the Argentine government to spend your money wisely for you instead of throwing it away on silly stuff like milk or medicine for your kids.
In America, the masses seem to do a pretty good job of opiating themselves. With one national pastime (baseball), two major national obsessions (football and basketball) and a multitude of minor national distractions (ice hockey, boxing, golf and soccer), Americans have no shortage of bread and circuses with which to satiate themselves and temper their political frustrations.

That being said, America being an exceptional place and all, perhaps when things get really bad in America (we're only in the "opening innings" of this debacle, after all, to borrow a term from one American circus act) the downtrodden and despondent won't be enjoying "football for everyone" but rather something like a DirecTV Sunday All-Access pass, replete with not only every sporting event available for viewing but every movie, reality TV show and mockumentary, including adult entertainment.

I can see the rhetoric now! "A chicken in every pot, a satellite dish on the roof of every (soon to be foreclosed) home!"

In America, we may be jobless, broke, homeless and made to strip down to our underwear everytime we want to board a plane to visit some far-flung member of our formerly nuclear family, but we'll never be stopped from enjoying a 4-hour long ballgame and a little autoeroticism, all thanks to Big Brother. They can take our wealth, they can take our pride, but they can never take away our love for the things that divert our mind from the depraved reality the political elites are planning for us on a daily basis!

3 comments:

  1. Can't...seem...to get...this...song...out of my...head:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pdj2zbMIOqU

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  2. BobE,

    "Books..."

    Hahahaha!

    Truly, this film was a classic in political cinema and is one of my absolute favorites. I, like you, can't seem to get the main refrain (America! F... yeah!) out of my head anytime someone gets all jingoistic on me, whether it's in support of a violent, aggressive invasion of a foreign country to telling me that if I don't like every idiotic policy of this country's government, I should just leave (why even have a political process if you're not permitted to be frustrated by it and want things to change?)

    Thanks for the great link, hadn't heard the whole thing in awhile and the images were great. It's all about bread and circuses!

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  3. great post.

    You're like the sarcastic, libertarian William Wallace.

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