“En-ter-tain-ment: Amusement or diversion provided especially by performers. Something diverting or engaging.”
“Re-a-li-ty: The true situation that exists: The real situation. Something that actually exists or happens: A real event, occurrence, situation, etc.”
If you are reading this and reside within the United States, you are likely aware of the fact that this past Sunday was “Super Bowl Sunday.” The excitement & spectacle of Super Bowl Sunday seems to have grown more and more intense each year. Personally, I haven’t sat down to watch a Super Bowl in quite some time, let alone a football game in general. Probably not since the Chicago Bears choked back in ’2006.’ Anyhow, I don’t have a strong affinity for the game. Nah…, when it comes to sports entertainment, I prefer to watch pro-wrestling more than any other sport. [Non-Spoiler Alert: I’m aware of the fact that Professional wrestling is choreographed and the matches are predetermined.]
I’m chiming in on the topic of Entertainment vs Reality because each year when people get excited about watching their favorite choice of entertainment, in particularly the annual events, most of us who are honed more into reality tend to criticize those who are not. I surely understand pointing out how distracted our society has become with entertainment versus engaging in reality. Heck, I have voiced my concerns in regards to the distracted masses once before myself, so to speak. Nonetheless, criticizing that same demographic for enjoying the same recreational event every year is just a cry for attention. When your message reaches redundancy, that distracted mass will tune out.
Having discussed all of the above, I’d like to compose a theoretical answer to a tweet by grassroots Journalist, Abby Martin.
Unlike most, Abby actually gets her critique of the distracted masses done in a better fashion. Her question is simple and at the same time, relative. So, what would our world be like if more people were as engaged in politics as they are with sports? Well, I’d like to take the NFL out of the equation for starters and focus on the USA as an example. Let’s say this tax exempt franchise, the NFL, went out of business. According to figures from 2010, over 115,000 jobs would be lost along with a revenue loss of over $160 million. The current unemployment rate on a national scale is already unofficially well over 20%. Most other Americans are underemployed, have multiple children they can’t afford to raise, and then you have the sector that is just getting by, but barely. ‘Middle class Americans’ are being heavily taxed and regulated. At the top of the financial food chain of influence, the ‘1%’ are virtually paying no taxes and are exempt in special cases. Lost in the shuffle of course, the politicians themselves are continuing to pass oppressive pieces of legislation. While they’re at it, they once again vote to increase their congressional salaries.
Now with the exception of sports entertainment being removed as a center point of the social construct, and the media that promotes it, everything else aforementioned has been a current reality in the USA. A record of over 100 million people tuned in to Super Bowl 48 this year and did so with a very high level of enthusiasm. If you take that same level of passion Americans have for sports and invest it in the political realm [Reality], I believe the following events would take place:
- Americans would write letters, petitions, and maybe even tweets, to their congressmen.
- Place multiple telephone calls to their local representatives.
- After seeing no changes made or attempted, Americans would eventually look beyond party lines and see reality. (there’s that word again)
- The People would come together and compose more letters of grievance to the elected representatives and demand change; this time on a national united front.
- After being blown off once more, America would mobilize a peaceful protest of sorts. County by county. State by state, demanding all their grievances be heard & rectified.
- At this point, pressure would begin to mount onto the shoulders of Congress to take real action.
- The Executive and Legislative branches of government would then convene for viable solutions.
- After several weeks in session, and no time to pass corrupt legislation on behalf of lobbyists, Congress has finally drafted solutions for the President to look over.
- In a live press conference from the White House, the President then announces…
Would you like to know what the fictional President of the United States and Congress has announced as a response to our grievances? The only way for you to see the rest of this story is to live it. In its very meaning, entertainment serves as a “diversion.” In context, a diversion from reality. Much like yours truly, I imagine Americans like Abby Martin enjoy their own preference of entertainment. Bowling, movies, dancing, reading, painting, wrestling, or whatever the case may be. The defining difference is that it’s not the focal point of our lives. We’re all human, but we are not robots. It’s nice to be able to unwind, unplug, and give the brain a rest for a bit. It’s essential because let’s face it; stress kills. However, when we give our brains a rest on reality for more than 70% of the time, that’s when we become human-drones. When you are a drone, someone else controls how you think. How you feel. What you eat. Where you go. What you see. How you spend your money. The list of commands go on and on. When the Seattle Seahawks won Super Bowl 48, apparently several of those passionate fans went out into the streets and began partying and rioting. Why? I’m no psychologist, but my guess would be that this was one of the brief moments after the big event concluded they returned to reality, while still in human-drone mode, to some extent. After vicariously living through their favorite athletes, the moment was now over. The Seattle Seahawks have won an NFL championship. They were paid millions upon millions of dollars in salary and endorsements, big houses, fancy cars, and are being celebrated by their peers and an entire town of other human-drones. What does the human-drone have? What did the human-drone win?
A human-drone’s life ends each season. Depending on the outcome they’ll either be angry or happy. An emotion that remains consistent is a feeling of being left unfulfilled because they’re not really living. When the season is finally over, they return to reality, with little or no enthusiasm to live their own lives. After a brief stint in the real world, they eventually take on a new realm of entertainment; once again becoming a human-drone. Once an individual figures out how to tear down these walls and chains of diversion [entertainment] by breaking free from this counterproductive cycle, the next obstacle one is able grasp, is reality. The short answer to Abby Martin’s tweet is simple. If We the People were as invested in politics as we were sports, you’d be looking at a 2nd wave, intellectual revolution.
A Valente Journal