“Ideology is just a pejorative word for principles in which you happen not to believe.”
–The Economist, 11 February 2012
Ideology colors everything. For the dyed-in-the-wool conservative, Obama’s healthcare plan is a socialist plot that threatens the very foundation of the United States. For the liberal, it’s a half-assed compromise that sells out to big business and especially insurance companies. In reality, it’s the first step toward reining in out of control healthcare spending that simultaneously provides a laughable level of actual service.
And ideology goes further than that, filtering everything through a lens of principles and beliefs. This is fine to a certain extent when the debate is constructive and leads to better proposals and more responsive policies. But when ideology goes too far, it leads to a total lack of common sense.
For instance, take the uproar over Chrysler’s Super Bowl ad. Setting aside the fact that Clint Eastwood is apolitical at best, it’s hard to see how this car ad could be taken as anything but a commentary on the tough economic conditions Americans have faced over the past few years and how Chrysler wants them to know that they went through the same thing. Look at it again:
Me, I see a pretty darn effective car commercial. But conservatives see a hidden campaign for Obama’s re-election while liberals interpret it as anti-union. It makes me wonder what they’d see in last year’s Chrysler Super Bowl commercial:
Xenophobia? Racism? Socialism?
Here’s what I think. Detroit is a metaphor for America. And Detroit has had a rough decade. But Detroit hasn’t given up. Look at the Tigers and Lions. Look at the new line of Fords. Hell, look at what Chrysler is turning out. That, my friends, has nothing to do with ideology. It has everything to do with inspiration.
The Super Bowl serves as an excellent signpost for the “we’re almost there” point of the MLB offseason. Once the big game is over, I know it’s only a matter of days before pitchers and catchers report to spring training and some real baseball action presents itself. This is a good thing, particularly this year, because I am running out of episodes of Glee (don’t judge) and Breaking Bad to watch, and the Bulls don’t play every single day.
I wish they did!
In fact, this year, the NBA has done a fine job of keeping my attention. After a 10 year hiatus, all it took for me to care about the league again was a universal villain in the Miami Scheme Team paired with a plethora of explosive, young talent (Derrick Rose, Kevin Durant, Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, Russell Westbrook, etc.). It still doesn’t compare to the sensational grind of 162, but the kind of drama that creeps out of this modern NBA is as close to the old World Wrestling Federation as one can find in any legitimate league.
And, of course, there’s always this:
I know it’s Hydrox cookies in place of Oreos, but until the Oreo season gets started again, the Hyrdox highlights are taming my appetite for excitement.
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
Regardless of who wins the Super Bowl, we, the people, the Joe Plumbers and Jane Six-Packs of the world, will most definitely be subjected to interview after interview after interview of big dummies with fat paychecks who don’t actually say… anything.
This is nothing new, dear readers. The gene pool is ridiculously consistent in its distribution policies. Sure, I can’t throw a football 60 yards on a line to a moving target, but I can speak three languages. I can’t hit a curveball over the left field wall, but I can read books and formulate coherent thoughts through the power of writing.
It’s a balance thang.
And though I often harp on my dislike of hearing my favorite professional athletes speak (Albert Pujols and his non-stop Jesus mouth comes to mind), I sure as hell hope Big Ben or Aaron Rodgers will follow South African rugby star Brendan Venter’s lead:
By the way, Mr. Venter is a medical doctor too.
And don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.