“Court Storming” is the latest troubling aspect of contemporary American society. I realize this is not a sports blog and I have no intention of making it one; yet, in the world of NCAA college basketball, the latest controversy is this “ugly and dangerous” fiasco of Court Storming- better known as the practice of the occasional occurrence of college kids running onto the court after an upset victory or big win.
Apparently this is a BFD (Big Fucking Deal…I use the acronym cause I refuse to be crass)…at least if you listen to sports talk radio.
“It is only a matter of time until someone gets hurt,” I recently heard a sports pundit lament, “It is going to eventually happen. And then what?”
And then what? Go grab a band aid or an ice pack and get over it? Holy shit.
“Sooooooo,” I asked myself, “This has been going on for 50 plus years and very few have been hurt? What seems to be the problem? It would seem a rather minimum to low risk event.”
Don’t get me wrong…I appreciate proactive, as opposed to reactive, thinking. Yet according to my reasoning, thus far we have zero to low risk…at least if precedence plays a role in our thinking. Worst case scenario? Outside of the above mentioned cut or bruise, probably a stubbed toe or fisticuffs every now and then.
We are crafting a society that is so inoculating us from all hurt or potential injury that it is impeding our ability to live a full and content life…and I am sick of it. We are outlawing any and everything that might pose the slightest risk of injury. It reminds me of the time I was at a Chargers football game and they had to dispose of the cap on my plastic ($14) beer bottle. When I asked for it back, she informed me that it was stadium policy to dispose of these caps because “someone might get hurt.”
Or what about the couple whose children, ages 10 and 6, were picked up by police officers when they were found walking home alone from school…only to drive them home and admonish the neglectful parents for their “free range parenting” –and were later investigated by Child Protective Services.
Huh? I suppose it could have been worse as they could have been running on the school playground; a dangerous practice that was banned at my kids elementary school once upon a time.
Now this is the point in the blog that I am tempted to declare that we are becoming a nation of complete and total pussies; yet I will not make such a declaration because I respect vagina too much. Someone once observed, “Why do people say ‘grow some balls’? Balls are weak and sensitive. If you wanna be tough, grow a vagina. Those things can take a pounding.” Agreed. Vagina rocks.
It just does not sound right to suggest we are a nation of balls because we are so damn sensitive (and perhaps unsightly), though I know we are becoming a nation of paranoid, cowardly, risk free, passive and effeminate people. Yes effeminate….notice I did not use the word “feminine” as there is a big difference: Just as “macho schmuck” is the worst things of all that is masculine, think effeminate is all the worst things of all that is feminine…the softest, passive, non-assertive aspects.
No, old man Urbanovich is not gonna rant about how he never wore a bike helmet or seat belt growing up; or how he used to ride a mini-bike at the age of 12 through the streets of Burbank; or how he liked to jump off the roof of his garage just for shits and gigs as a kid…no, I will not mention any of that. Today our puss, er, ah, effeminate culture is attempting to create a risk-free experience…and at what price?
One of my favorite books, “Over The Edge: Death in Grand Canyon” puts it this way: “But for American society in general….we have domesticated ourselves. We train and hire specialists to do everything for us so we do not have to take the risk of doing it ourselves…We’ve laced our social lives into a network
wherein rights and wrongs are defined by hundreds of thousands of laws….we have airbags, parachutes, orthopedic surgeons, seat belts, life vests and helmets to protect us if something does go wrong. We have become a nation of sheep. Baaaa.”
Sheep? Pussies, er, balls…same thing.
And what is going to happen if we squeeze all the risk out of life? We will transform into a mediocre society that is safe and sound…and miserable. Risk makes us feel alive, on the edge, and empowered. I am a firm believer that there are no great rewards without great risk; even if the reward is simply knowing you did something you never thought you could.
Sure, getting up and out of bed in the morning is a calculated risk on our behalf, yet I wonder how long until that is finally outlawed? When is enough enough? When will the risk-free madness stop? Thank FCE (I have since dropped the B) I had parents that let this kid wander the neighborhood and walk home from school in kindergarten.
Of course our paranoid, effeminate society is concurrently highly illogical. Those children walking home from school would have risked a much higher probability of injury/harm if they were driving in a car over, say, potentially getting kidnapped as they walked. We fear children getting shot with a household handgun or getting shot at school while
far and away the number one killer of children are swimming pools.
Where’s the no swimming pool lobby?
Our risk-free advocates do not even make any sense. These are probably the same misguided, short-sighted softies
who do not vaccinate their children because it is too dangerous. Would not the greater risk be listening to anything Jenny McCarthy says?
The ban on “Court Storming” is merely a microcosm of what is happening on a much larger scale in this country. My advice? Storm the court of LIFE everyone. Live life. I am not suggesting doing anything beyond stupid or deathly dangerous to self or others; I am suggesting to celebrate the hell out of victory. Storm the court, cut the nets, raise the coach and remember this: It’s going to be impossible to storm the court while simultaneously pushing up the daisies…which is an inevitability for all of us.
Carpe’ diem my friends. None of us know how many storming court days we have left to seize.
Hey Jimmy, interesting read for sure and I had a few thoughts about the situation.
To get court-storming out of the way because I have little to say on that: I don’t see it as dangerous, but rather unnecessary. I kind of view it as a false entitlement to pride, not unlike radical patriotism for a country. It’s one thing to appreciate and support the team, but it’s another thing entirely when we start looting after a World Series/Superbowl victory. Maybe it’s an exaggeration, but doesn’t court-storming just seem excessive?
As for the “nation of pussies,” I’m personally conflicted. I like the idea of rules and regulations, not for what they impose, but for what they inspire. I like the idea of the innovators who toed the line or questioned the moral authority when something didn’t make sense. I think we are careful because the impulse for risk may sometimes lead to recklessness, and therefore it is necessary for us to be considerate of rules or the norms of our culture. However, I agree with you that a lack of risk is also kind of a forfeit of an opportunity. I think the problem comes when we no longer question our motives.
Life should be a balance of risk and responsibility, sometimes one is a little more appropriate than the other. The simplest way for me to understand it was a phrase I heard around the time I first started college: It is important for us to first understand the rules before we intend to break them. At the time, it applied to the structure of music, but I also see it as a metaphor for life.
Perhaps we are too cautious, but I only see it as a negative consequence if we are no longer actively making these choices for ourselves.
Great read, as always!
I think a picture of you exists after the definition of “articulate” in the dictionary. Very nicely written Lou. I believe you are referring to my extreme stance in this blog…which was for both gaining interest (and being interesting) and to also paint a word picture that we have gone way too far in our quest for safety. Of course I am down for safety…child labor laws and such…it is just that we are now going way, way, way too far. Thank you for your contribution my friend!
“I refuse to be crass” could you define this in your awesome-fucking-jimmy-way, because looking it up on google and reading the Wikipedia version would be so boring and unoriginal.
XOXO Nikkilee salcido
I was just thinking about you the other day. Please update me on your life!
I’m still alive and avidly readingand sharing your blog with new friends and coworkers in Texas. Yes I said Texas… Dallas exactly. I have put school on hold while i wait to be a resident of Texas so I don’t have out of state tuition. While wasting a year I have became an administrative assistant for the American airlines training center its kind of my dream job mixed with a desk job. I don’t know if you remember I was an event coordinator while balancing Crafton and working three jobs and I put that on hold when my daughter got sick and I moved here to be near my parents. But anyhow she’s fine. I love my job I get to be the event coordinator for the training center planning when and who to fly into trainings and planning the transportation lunches and room accommodations. Buuuuuuut nevertheless I can’t wait to get back into school.