Sport and war

White Sox Red Sox Baseball

 

The Pulitzer winner Chris Hedges had the misfortune to attend a Boston Red sox game on the great american holiday July 4. He referred to it as a “worship service.”

 
Why sporting events begin with the national anthem escapes my understanding but nevertheless this bizarre practice is a Canadian/American staple.

 
Hedges comes close to the truth in describing what transpired on the July 4 game

 
A gargantuan American flag descended to cover “the Green Monster,” the 37-foot, 2-inch-high wall in left field. Patriotic music blasted from loudspeakers. Col. Lester A. Weilacher, commander of the 66th Air Base Group at Massachusetts’ Hanscom Air Force Base, wearing a light blue short-sleeved Air Force shirt and dark blue pants, threw the ceremonial first pitch. A line of Air Force personnel stood along the left field wall. The fighter jets—our angels of death—that usually roar over the stadium on the Fourth were absent. But the face of Fernard Frechette, a 93-year-old World War II veteran who was attending, appeared on the 38-by-100-foot Jumbotron above the center-field seats as part of Fenway’s “Hats Off to Heroes” program, which honors military veterans or active-duty members at every game. The crowd stood and applauded. Army National Guard Sgt. Ben Arnold had been honored at the previous game, on Wednesday. Arnold said his favorite Red Sox player was Mike Napoli. Arnold, who fought in Afghanistan, makes about $27,000 a year. Napoli makes $16 million. The owners of the Red Sox clear about $60 million annually. God bless America.

 
In Toronto while taking my grandson to a hockey game I had to witness a soldier, one of “Luke’s Troops,” rappel down to the ice surface before the opening face off. He was sponsored by the young millionaire since traded Luke Schenn. Don Cherry, the minister of violence loved it.

 
Nothing against young Schenn but he too like the appalling militarist show in Boston he was simply a part of the militarization of society, a less than subtle attempt to get the citizenry to accept that war is an everyday part of our lives.

 
In Canada this has been part of the Harper agenda and its “Highway of Heroes” on our major roads.

 

 

What heroes is another question.

 
In America as we will see it has reached appalling heights.

 
Sport and war a deadly combo.

 

More on this later

 

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2 Comments »

  1. Love Chris Hedges, with such a sharp critical mind. And he walks the talk!

  2. 2
    mushafta Says:

    Welcome back brother Ted!

    Are you aware that Harper may be a cabdidate for the Nobel Peace Prize?
    Ironically, it’s true. Underfunding the military was not his intended goal; but true none the less- which makes us a contender for world peace given how little we are now spending on the military. Check out Michael Byers.

    Don Cherry’s tears and “God love ´em” nonsense mourning the soldier’s “sacrifice” — strange how so many are now taking their own lives. This government is completely lost. We accomplished didly squat in Afghanistan. And how much more secure are we now?


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