Sunday, August 20, 2006

Sporting Some Meaningful Sick

Today really has come out the worst when it comes to the sinus infection. I think I've done a good fighting it off. The infection has taken a good beating and will go away soon. Unfortunately, though, I have to deal with nasal drip from the infection.

This morning, I woke up without a voice. It doesn't surprise me, frankly. Yesterday, I spent nearly seven hours yelling a lot at work. I have the job of attracting people over to the registand then trying to set up them up with an appointment for a tour at our preview center. Yelling takes a lot out of at throat when it has infection in it.

Didn't go to work today. The fiancee went to the Chicago Diner for breakfast, which probably turned out the best thing for me to do. I had a vegan mint chocolate shake. After drinking that thing down, I had my voice back sufficiently to hold a mellow conversation, but not to yell at people to come over to a registand or even to have a spirited conversation.

Got a couple books from Borders: Viktor Frankl's Man's Search for Meaning and Clifford Chase's Winkie.

Read the whole of Man's Search for Meaning, which has inspired me a ton for my bachelor's project and life, in general. Maybe I shouldn't say the book has just inspired me in life, but it has also reaffirmed my general sensibilities and has given me a grounding to stop living life as a simple materialist and that human dignity really does have a lot more to do with the value of human beings than what human beings have to offer other human beings or society. If anything, their example as someone with dignity and feeling fulfilled by life creates value and provide an example for other human beings and society. We have more than our material bodies, instincts and electrochemical processes in us. Even atheists can have souls.

I've only read a couple passages in Winkie along with a couple reviews. I like the writing style, and the premise really just has so much potential. A teddy bear that gains sapience then, pretty much immediately, gets arrested by the FBI for terrorist charges. Apparently, the novel takes place while the teddy spends time in prison and during the trial. Mixing mistaken charges of terrorism on a cute teddy bear, come on, you've got to see the potential for a great satire. In addition, the reviews say that the teddy really has a touching personality and isn't superficially so because he's a teddy bear.


I've lived in Chicago, about a quarter-mile from Wrigley Field for about 3 months now. I lived in Massachusetts practically my whole life and had pretty good access to Fenway Park.

In my life, I've gone to a fair number of games at Fenway Park, mostly before I became a teenager. Baseball kind of bored me, and I had lost interest in sports. When it came to spectator sports, only basketball really kept my attention.

My opinion of Red Sox Nation went downhill really fast after living in Boston between 2001-2006. During games, foot and car traffic would pretty much get completely gridlocked and become almost impossible to get anywhere in a reasonable amount of time around the whole Fenway-Kenmore area. Parking sucked around the area all the way out to Brookline, Cambridge, Newton and practically any of the other suburbs. It SUCKED!!!!!

The main thing that really got me to hate Red Sox Nation, though: THE RIOTS!!!!! They really just embarassed me. I know, people also rioted when the Patriots won or lost the playoffs or the Super Bowl in the past, but I got especially miffed during the Red Sox riots, especially with the death of Victoria Snelgrove. Yes, the Boston police have reponsibility for her death, but I can agree with Kathleen O'Toole when she puts a good amount of blame on the rioting hooligans. All of that rioting, whether for the Sox or the Patriots embarassed me. Nothing to do with sporting events should lead to civil disorder.

On top of that, those "sports" rioters really struck a mark against actions of civil disorder that attempt to have real bearing on human existence.

Now, Cubs fans, from what I've seen, show a good sense of dignity. I have never heard of a riot in Chicago because of a sports team. For race tensions, yes, but not for a sports team. That, there, says a lot.

From my exposure to the spirit of Cubs fans (which, honestly, has mostly been over the radio), I feel a sense of dignity and also a deeper sense of that spirit. Unlike the pessimistic fatalism of Sox fans, Cubs fans really seem to have something deeper. They have a sense of the history. They have an actual sense of meaning. They feel the wins and losses of their team at the core of their soul, but they keep cheering and going to Wrigley Field with gusto throughout the season.

Yes, maybe they've gotten angry one guy who screwed up their team's chance at winning the World Series a couple years ago. I can understand that kind of anger, though. That makes sense and has dignity compared to people rampaging through the streets, AFTER THEIR TEAM HAS WON!!!!

But the spirit of the Cubs fans feel like an enduring one, a steadfast one, and one with that sense of history, that story behind it. That kind of fandom comes off a lot more dignified and something worthy of pride as compared to one that expects the world of a team, tears apart the city when they don't get what they want then stop paying attention to the team.

And then there's also the fact that Chicago handles the traffic around Wrigley Field so much better. Sure, around the time games start and end, I have some issues walking or driving around the stadium. It doesn't come close to anything around Fenway Park throughout the game. I just have to deal with a couple seconds of inconvenience as compared to a half hour.

I bet the actual logic behind Chicago city planning has something to do with it compared to the chaos of Boston roads laid down on old cow paths. Nonetheless, I think the dignity of the fans have a lot to do with it, and also the lack of lawlessness, too.

In the end, though, I've got to show my wonder that both the Chicago Cubs and the Boston Red Sox are two of the few teams in the Major Leagues that fill their stadiums near consistently. I can't imagine living in a city that couldn't do it or have good fans, too.


Dawn said...

Either atheists and theists alike have souls, or neither do. You can't acquire or lose a soul simply by belief or disbelief in a deity--that doesn't make logical sense. Either we all have one or none of us do.

The_Lex said...

You make a valid point, Dawn. I meant it simply as a turn of phrase, however. More clearly, I could have said something like "even Atheists can have a concept for the soul."

Even then, however, an Aetheist might now even believe in some kind of soul. So maybe I should've made the statement in reference to Materialists.