It is 3:42 AM and I didn’t get a good nights sleep due to the food and cola I drank at Hooters last night.
The time has come for my friend Sadao to leave the USA. He has been in Pacifica for 27 years but due to family matters must now go live in Japan. Twenty seven years is a very long time. I was only 15 years old, a freshman in high school, when he moved to this town! But everything changes with time and nothing remains the same.
It is not a permanent goodbye as many of us are in Japan every year and so will see him again. But we felt it right to have a goodbye dinner at his favorite restaurant Hooters and were very lucky to get a table as it was Monday night and that meant the football crowd was there.
It was a surreal experience for me as I had not been in an environment like that before. Yes, I remember how Ohio State games are although I’ve only been to two in about twenty years. But to go out on a Monday night and be surrounded by a sea of people in ’49ers jerseys, eating, drinking and yelling was something I’m not used to and found very strange.
Obesity was everywhere. And they ate, drank, and then ate and drank some more all while staring at the screens yelling at it. It made me think that perhaps the Republicans had a point not wanting to offer universal healthcare to Americans as it probably would bankrupt the finances. The crowd was fat, very fat and they continued to eat and drink throughout the night. I imagine at least half the people in the crowd are taking pills so they can continue to eat and drink, especially on Monday nights.
There were also tattoos everywhere, even on the serving girls. The girls wear very short shorts and most had fake eyelashes along with a large amount of makeup to change their appearance. Now let’s step back and take a look at this scene as it would appear to someone, perhaps a foreigner, that has never been to Monday night football before.
You step into the restaurant that is packed to the brim by people wearing the same type of uniform. They are obese yet continue to eat and drink massive amounts of food and beer. They are all staring at one of the ubiquitous TV screens while yelling at least half of the time. They are surrounded by women in scantily clad uniforms and have so changed their appearance by facial modification that they would look very different after a shower.
The team which they cheer is called the San Francisco ’49ers but they no longer are part of the city of San Francisco. In fact, they are the Santa Clara 49ers which is a good 40 minute drive south. So these people, wear the uniforms of a team to which they do not belong, often with names on the back that aren’t theirs, and that play in a different city. In their minds, if this team wins then they win. If the player whose jersey they wear does well, then they do well! By supporting other men demonstrating the ideal image of manliness – playing a rough game – it makes the viewers also feel manly. By simply being a supporter of very macho men, they too can feel macho, although most in that crowd probably couldn’t run to the next block.
None of this makes any sense to me. Here we live in a world where very pressing issues determine life and death, but a game, a game where you have to move a ball over a line, is more important to the majority of the population. This game is also one that ends up crippling the bodies of many who play it.
My friend John also noticed the crowd and said “You know how much we’ve advanced since Roman times and the coliseum? Zero.” It is true.
It would seem that sports as well as religion is the opiate of the masses. When I was in 8th grade my teacher said that in Roman times sports heroes were held in higher regard that war heroes. She said it in such a way as to make me believe times were different now. Nope, a person that plays a game with a ball very well (and those that act too) is held in higher regard that those that actually contribute something to society such as doctors and police.
When I see such a crowd I no longer believe in democracy. Our government is always harping on democracy but given the rise of Trump and a populace that values sports over global life and death issues makes me no longer believe in it. The truth is that the masses are not smart enough to make good decisions. Unfortunately concentrating power in the hands of a few doesn’t work either as people are easily corrupted. They value power and money above all else. The only alternative is to turn to the imagination and religion which promises people rewards in the afterlife if they just do good things now. Seems kind of like a trick by the rich and powerful over the less bright. “No you don’t need money and power, leave that all to me. What you need is to have whatever the equivalent of money and power is in the next life so long as you aren’t too greedy in this life.”
Give the masses religion and sports. It gives them something to do, gives them an identity as well as answers. Make politics like sports too, entertainment and will make the masses feel smart as well. Maybe we should have jerseys for politicians that the masses could wear? I’m being sarcastic but in times like these nothing is too absurd that it couldn’t possibly happen. There is the MAGA hat after all. Perhaps a full uniform is the logical next step.