Sunday, February 09, 2014

Hiber Nation

It's cold today.

Sometimes it feels as if this winter will never end, as if we'll never see flowers again and we'll be confined to coats and hats and scarves and gloves and that our four walls will forever keep us indoors. At this time of year baseball fans are keeping countdowns and looking at schedules, and if they're lucky enough, have purchased their tickets to Florida or Arizona to steal an early glimpse of spring, but it's so cold outside and the days are still so short that I have to wonder if the spring will ever come.

In this winter when only hibernation is the correct reaction, I've taken a strong liking to the Washington Capitals, moreso than ever before, and I watch most of the games on television, though with half the games of MLB, it feels like there are too many off days. I finally went to a game this season at about the start of a very bad month of losing. Go ahead, blame me. It'll be hard to root against Ovi during the Olympics but maybe I can force my brain to put Putin's head on Ovi's body and then it won't be so hard. Of course, Ovi and too many Russians are fans of their dictator-lite, and I see shades of the political rivalry that our two nations held for so long. Things are not the same, however. A decade of wars and the rape of any respect for our government by our citizens has weakened the US while Russia is on the rise. Capitalism has triumphed in the sense that corporations have taken control of our minds (BUY! BUY! BUY!) while the Russians look to government to solve their problems and succeed in a warped sort of way, as they only had up to go. The Olympics are supposed to be a "Look at us, United States!" kind of event. It's pretty transparent. Some magazine - was it Forbes? - called Putin "the most powerful man in the world." Ha. What has he done? They gave him credit for Syria. Where's the success in that? They gave him credit for Iran. So why is Iran sending warships to our maritime borders? I remember he ate lunch in the building I worked several years ago, and I wanted to go down there and spit on him just as I do now. I can't stand human rights abusers.

But at least we have the Olympics to keep us occupied in the coming weeks, and then there is Spring Training. (I just got a new phone so I'll be able to stream games from anywhere. Already downloaded MLB at Bat.) I'll be hoping for another post season for the Capitals, but if they don't figure it out soon, that won't happen. I was thinking about boycotting the Olympics but thought, "What good would that do?" because I'm not going to buy anything just because the sponsors tell me to. I buy what I buy, which isn't a lot, and no amount of advertising will persuade me to buy something I don't need. I feel like Fry on that episode of Futurama when he's the only one in the universe whose thoughts can't be read by the Dark Ones.

I try to imagine a world in which we aren't bombarded by advertising and how differently we would live. Our whole economic system would be different, heck, our whole planet would be different. I'm not sure I can even imagine it in a few minutes for a blog post - that would be something to tackle in a novel. Most people can't imagine it at all because what we have is all they know and understand. Go ahead and give it a try. Imagine baseball without advertising. Imagine players playing for love of the game rather than exorbitant salaries. Imagine not having your childhood memories ripped apart when some greedy owner decides that he needs a new stadium. Imagine not buying a different player's jersey every year after the one you wore last year left in free agency. Imagine all the people living life in peace. Woo oo oooo. You may say that I'm a dreamer...but I'm not the only one...

By the way, in case you didn't know, hiber is Latin for winter. The Romans used to call Ireland "Hibernia" because they thought it was so cold. They didn't even try to invade, according to most accounts. I think it is safe to say that we can call ourselves the United States of Hibernia after this winter. March can't come soon enough.

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