20 March 2003
The regular March Madness
King Kaufman in Salon:
When people are dying half a world away, does it really matter whether Kentucky or Texas wins the national men's basketball title, or whether Sam Houston State or Wagner can pull off a colossal first-round upset out of the 15th seed?
The answer is no, it doesn't matter any more than it ever does, which is not at all.
Except that it does matter. It matters because this is what we do, this is how we live our lives. There are always people dying half a world away and sometimes half a block away, or even closer. There are always serious issues, global, local and personal, that make the problems of an Oklahoma shooting guard with a pulled groin muscle not amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world.
Exactly so. Some people get paid to wail and wring their hands, others choose to do it on a volunteer basis; but most of us have lives to lead, and the process of, um, "regime change" does not occupy center stage in those lives. We are a nation, but we're not all that nationalistic.
[T]here's room for point guards as well as paratroopers, tomahawk dunks as well as Tomahawk missiles.
That's how we enjoy playing games under the clouds of war. We fit both into our lives. It's a luxury we have because the war isn't being fought on our turf. We shouldn't take it lightly. But we should take it.
And you know what? When the war was being fought on our turf, in the frightening days of September 2001, we took it then, too. We took care of business, we mourned our losses, and we got back to work and to play. One of the finer aspects of living in the United States of America, I do believe.
Let the games begin.