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October 05, 1984 - Image 4

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1984-10-05

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4

OPINION

f

Page 4

Friday, October 5, 1984

The Michigan Daily

A

weird hangup called hating

baseball

,

By Jackie Young
I just don't understand -it. What's the big
deal? Why do men and some women, flock to
television sets, with eyes glued for hours on end?
All I know is that the Tigers of Detroit are doing
really well. Governor Blanchard announced

during roll call at the Democratic National
Convention that"Michigan was the state of the
Detroit Tigers. The state Legislature passed a
formal resolution recognizing the winning
baseball team for bringing honor to Michigan.
All the gifted scholars and humanitarians in
the world go practically unnoticed, but the ole'
boys club (the legislature is predominantly
male) decides to bestow an award of merit to
some other group of men who bat balls around
for a living.
I think many politicians, and many men for
that matter, are frustrated baseball players.
And men who aren't interested in baseball feel
like they should be-they feel somehow
emasculated. The attractiveness of this game,
I can't help but feel, is somehow related to the
fact that women can only play softball.
Baseball is an exclusive club. Sure, women
can watch it, and some do, but they can never
really play it. Female baseball fans can cheer
but can never hit a home run. Softball just isn't
the same.
BUT I DON'T CARE. I don't want to play
baseball or football or any other predominantly
male sport. I confess, I bought football tickets
this year and didn't even use them. I had inten-
tions of being a loyal fan, but they fizzled out
and I ended up giving the tickets to my father
who worships all basketball, football, and
baseball players. Yet, somehow I feel incom-
plete. I ask myself, what is my flaw that I can't
enjoy baseball? Is it just some weird hangup?
I have discussed this matter with individuals
dedicated to the preservation of the great
American pasttime, and they just gawk at me
as if I had some rare affliction. They question
my sanity and my knowledge of the world. It's

true that I have never been to a professional
baseball game and I do have a curiosity about
many things that I haven't done. It still
irritates me, however, when a good television
show is pre-empted by a game - something
'which happens far too frequently. Sixty
Minutes has more redeeming qualities than the
football games or baseball games which eat in-
to its time. It is no small wonder to me when I
read the ratings and they show that most
Americans watched the World Series and not
the presidential address.
Friends tell me that people have to relax and
just let go, and that sports like baseball allow
them to release tension. But my father's blood
pressure must rise at least five to ten notches
when he watches a game. He often yells at the
set at the top of his lungs and pounds his fist on
a nearby chair. I leave the area when this
begins. Some release of tension. I get nervous
just listening to him rant and rave over a bunch
of guys hitting a wad of leather around a dirt
field. My dad, a social worker for the state,
doesn't even yell as much about Ronald
Reagan's policies and their effect on the poor
and the elderly, as he does about baseball,
basketball, and especially Michigan football.
WHAT MOTIVATES sports fanatics? And
why aren't more women as caught up in spor-
ts? I hate to make more out of this than there
actually is, but I'm convinced there is some
deeper meaning behind these social patterns
and that it is too easily overlooked. And I'm
really getting tired of people asking me, "How
'bout them Tigs?" because I am usually forced
to pretend that I am interested and informed
about them. Lately, I have even begun to read
the myriad news stories on the Tigers. That

disturbs me. I am not one to bow to peer
pressure.
I do, though, wish to comprehend the mind-
set of all the people who are fascinated with
these types of sports, especially baseball. They
don't really like that corny organ music that
they always play at the games, do they? The
only reason I can see for attending baseball

games is to get those hot dogs, apple pies, and
Chevrolets.
Well, to tell the truth, I really don't like hot
dogs that much. Maybe I'm just not a true
American.

Young is a Daily

Opinion Page Editor.

I

S4

11

Failing to get excited-about baseball calls into
question your patriotism and sexuality.

Females need not apply. All-male sports also have a tendency to alienate the fairer sex.

4

ie s det gan aity i
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Vol. XCV, No. 26

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Editorials represent a majority opinion of the Daily's Editorial Board

Take as necessary

HE SPECTER of nuclear war
constantly looms over people's
heads. Some try to push thoughts
Tof a nuclear catastrophe out of
their mind by focusing on other things
- by enjoying life now and not
worrying about the future. Others
can't drive it from their minds so they
protest high military budgets and
military research, promote peace
research and diplomatic options, or
vote for responsible leaders in an-at-
tempt to reduce the likelihood that
nations will annihilate each other.
But students at Brown University
have thought up a most unusual ap-
proach to the nuclear threat. They
have asked that the college health ser-
vice provide them with cyanide pills
for consumption in the event of a'
nuclear war. Such a proposal is ab-
surd, but then again, so is the nuclear
arms race.
President Reagan has at times
referred to winning a nuclear confron-
tation when, as most scientists believe,
even one single powerful nuclear
weapon dropped on the U.S.S.R. would
have such adverse after-effects that it
would change life as we know it on this
planet. Although the president has
toned down his rhetoric in recent mon-
ths and will now admit that a nuclear
confrontation can't be won, this nation
and numerous others continue to invest
large sums of money to maintain and
build up their arsenals. An absurd
situation.
The students' proposal has strong
undercurrents of hopelessness. They
assume a world where protest is

meaningless because the injustice has
already been committed. The hopeless
view of an individual's power to stop
the arms race may be somewhat
realistic since protesting the arms
race has proven time and again to be a
futile exercise. Demanding suicide
pills is a unique strategy to wake up the
public to their cause.
Thirteen percent of the Brown
University student body signed
petitions to have all students vote on
the need for cyanide pills if there
should be nuclear war. The measure is
a non-binding referendum so college
officials will not have to abide by what
the students decide. Ultimately,
however, everyone is bound. by the
dangers nuclear weapons pose.
The most absurd and frightening
aspect of this issue is that everyone
must abide by the decisions of a few
government officials in the White
House. These few have the authority to
take life away from all of us. Yet they
only have that power because citizens
entrusted it to them. So we are all
responsible, in a sense, for, their
abusing that powersandcommitting
suicide will solve nothing. Suicide is a
way of avoiding the burden of respon-
sibility and guilt. The students at
Brown who proposed the suicide pills
may have helped to raise people's fear
of nuclear war. But certainly everyone
can be more effective by using another
strategy. Choosing the president who
will best keep this country out of a
nuclear confrontation is one step
toward creating a society with a
future.

Cramer
II
X1 11 ttt f t i
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4

I SEZ IM
NoT A CR0oK

\
**._. i

RAY bONOVAN DA"'NOT GUILTrY:

LETTERS'

TO THE DAILY

A ddressing the cheap patriotism

To the Daily:
I write in response to Henryk
Skolimowski's article "Making
right history by right choices"
(Dail? September 26).
Although Skolimowski has
legitimate concerns over the'ab-
surdity of Reaganism, he does
not go far enough in addressing
the "cheap patriotism" that runs
rampant in the Republican Par-
ty. His personal statement comes
at the expense of not explaining
the collective' mentality of the
Republican Party.
One of the most disturbing
aspects of this collective -men-
tality we are witnessing today is
its ability to remain silent in the
face of criticism. The Republican
motto has become "Silence is our
best defense." And when this
fails, the safety net motto is
"When confused change the

of Michigan - has become fertile
grounds for the new conser-
vatism of the eighties.
The disturbing characteristic
of this movement toward
conservatism is that it has come
about free from open debates or
public forums. It has evolved
through silence. It has evolved
through avoiding conflict and
minimizing the significance of
politics in our everyday lives.
To my amazement I have yet to,
see a Michigan student wearing a
Reagan/Bush button. It is as if
politics and critical debates and
discussions have become taboo in
our public life. They have become
sensitive topics only to share with

very close friends.
In one respect this silencing of
conservatism is a hopeful sign. It
means that young Republicans
are incapable or fearful of ar-
ticulating the Reagan dogma
simply because they do not truly
believe in it - it is sort of a
fateful acceptance someone for-
cefully grows into; it is a social
mythology that one inherits from
wealthy parents that have the
best intentions. The real fear of
being challenged, for young
Republicans, is the fear of losing
the sense of right people have to
become rich, at least as rich as
their parents.
Perhaps professoro, both
liberal and conservative, are

also to blame for the silencing of
political debates. At one of the so-
called best universities in the
world, is it not the moral respon-
sibility of professors to challenge,
students to openly debate and
think critically about those even-
ts that will profoundly affect our,
lives? We cannot leave all such
work to street performers like"
Stoney Burke. For if we all have'
the right to believe in what we,
believe, we also have the respon-
sibility to share and articulate,
our beliefs to other people. This is
the side of democracy that is
silenced by the new conser-
vatism.

.. ........

Unsigned

editori

als appearing
S' t If 0

- Charles Barbieri
October 2
h Rerke Breathed

BLOOM COUNTY

_ .t7_ 7 r. - 0 7

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