The Abyss, Staring Back

Nietzsche_Family_Circus.jpgI enjoyed Tropic Thunder. I understand why some people boycotted seeing it and I appreciate their arguments but I also think the movie made a valid point about the treatment of the mentally retarded in popular entertainment. Maybe that’s why I was a little taken aback this past week when President Obama made a Special Olympics joke on The Tonight Show. It wasn’t so much that he made the joke because, let’s be honest, most of us have probably made a Special Olympics joke at some point in our lives. I know I have. But as a friend once told me, “It’s not really fair to make jokes at the expense of a group that can’t defend itself.” And it’s not what I expected from this President.

But I was surprised that I experienced an eerily similar feeling yesterday when I checked in at RSBS and read:

As if facing Team Japan in the World Baseball Classic’s upcoming
semifinals isn’t enough pressure on the already limping USA squad…There is much more to fear… for example: Rape!  Dear readers, Ted Bundy, Mike Tyson, Kobe Bryant… these guys ain’t got
nuthin’ on the Japanese
.

Now, I’m not disputing my friend and colleague’s point about the horrific events that took place in Nanking. As a self-confessed sino-phile, I’m sure he is eminently qualified to talk about this tragedy. Beyond that, the historical record tells us that Japanese troops were indeed responsible for those atrocities. But to imply that the current Japanese national baseball team has any connection to that event seems like fear-mongering at best and outright xenophobia at worst.

There are legitimate reasons to fear the Japanese. The US team has been decimated by injuries. The Japanese took apart an excellent Cuban team. And Team USA’s in-game management has been mediocre at best. But there is no reason to resort to tired stereotypes when pointing out the Americans’ impending doom.

Now, I’m sure that no offense was intended and that my co-author was merely attempting to use his post as a satrirical parody of turn of the 20th Century “Yellow Journalism” in America. But, perhaps my friend Jeffy should be mindful of Little Jeffy’s prescient channeling of Friedrich Nietzsche as illustrated above. And Jeffy, don’t hate him ‘cuz he’s right.

-A

6 Comments

It’s good to see that Jeff is still the Rush Limbaugh of MLBlogs.

http://arizonaviaslough.blogspot.com/

Team USA should be fearful of Team Japan – but let’s call it what it is – just a game! Nothing more; nothing less.

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

Well said, Russell. I just hope that doesn’t make me the Noam Chomsky.
-A

Does that make Alyssa the Sarah Palin?
–A barely phased Jeffy

Maybe the two of you should consider couples counseling? :O) Ha, ha!!

Jenn
http://philliesphollowers.mlblogs.com/

Allen,
I wouldn’t expect a special olympics joke from the president, or any significant public figure for that matter. I’m excited for the game tonight, and I know I’m going to be biting my nails off and pulling out my hair throughout the whole game. Oh yeah, and I have a history quiz. Oops.
-Elizabeth
http://redsoxgirl46.mlblogs.com

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