Wednesday, March 08, 2006
Balls To The Wall
I love America. I like mom and I'm totally down with apple pie. I love amber waves and purple mountains, although I'm suspcious of the word "majesty" in that it implies monarchy which is antithetical to democracy which is what makes America great. Democracy gives us the freedom that people who hate us hate us for, which is awesome because then we always have a ready-made pretext for blowing things up. Which is what America is all about: obliterating those who disagree--or could POTENTIALLY disagree--with y/our point of view.
All that said, the way this sort of hypercompetitive self-preservation instinct manifests itself sometimes is... less than noble. I know, it makes me an unpatriotic commie baby-killer homosexual terrorist-lover to criticize America in any way, but somebody has to say it.
For instance the world has this whole big international sporting event they hold every four years that nobody in the United States gives a shit about but everyone else takes seriously. No, I don't mean the Winter Olympics (although the way things are going, by 2010, I might very well mean them as well). I mean soccer's World Cup.
At some point someone in this country said to themselves "Hey! We're Americans! If there's going to be a meaningless quadrennial single-sport tournament that Americans don't give a shit about, we're going to be the ones that put it on! And on top of that, we'll do it in a sport we're sure to win!"
And that, my friends, is how we found ourselves yesterday at the opening of the inaugural World Baseball Classic. Part of it is all that junk I said in the paragraph before (it's all documented truth, you can look it up... seriously, just scroll up a little bit, I just documented it); another part is probably how we finished in third place in basketball, another sport we invented* at the last Olympics in Athens. Couple that with the announcement that baseball and softball have been dropped as Olympic sports for Beijing 2008, well...
International contrarianism, wounded national pride over something utterly inconsequential yet definitely ours, a jingoistic flag-waving event with an outcome heavily predisposed to resolve itself in our favor... what could be more American than that?
Sure, the Dominican team is strong, but they're strong because their players play HERE, in our league in our cities earning our money and learning our language. Whether we ultimately win or come in a close second, that's not the point. The point is that along the way we will show the world that we can totally destroy the Netherlands' national baseball team. We see you looking at us, you Dutch bastards. Sure, you orange-clad sissies might kick our asses at soccer, but let's see how you do playing OUR sport in OUR country when you have no local tradition at playing the game, bitches.
And you too, South Africa. How dare you insolently accept the invitation to compete cordially extended to you. What we will prove is that--by baseball proxy--America is by far the superior nation/people/culture by a margin of at least 10 runs. Plus, we have far fewer people with AIDS.
That last part seems like piling-on, but these countries have to be reminded of our lower per capita occurrence of sexually transmitted potentially fatal polysymptomatic viral infections. That, our freedom and the propensity and infrastructure to produce human beings who can throw things exceptionally hard in a sport-specific context are the very principles on which this nation was founded and what will keep us great for centuries to come.
I would say "God Bless America," but it's practically tautology.
This post on the Narcissus Scale: 3.8
* = the first person who points out that James Naismith was Canadian gets hit over the head with my lovely set of decorative moose antlers.