Monday, February 06, 2006

Sometimes Mud Gives the Illusion of Depth

Shortly after the Super Bowl ended, I drifted into a soft bed and became a piece of peaceful granite for about 9+ hours. I woke up feeling like Buddha, smiling quietly with an inexplicable sense of calm

I read all kinds of email threads from friends and family: Referees? Woulda? Shoulda? Coulda? Hollow? Bias?

All of it, some of it, none of it is true depending on context and perception.

Television media, which is what you subscribe to when you become an NFL fan, is beyond a fickle mistress. She's just a pure, unadulterated fusion of power, message and perception. She broadcasts the perception of truth for the sake of theme, power and profit. Put much more simply and effectively than my dumb ass can ever hope to say:

"The medium is the message" - Marshall McLuhan

...or perhaps even more appropriatley...

"Sometimes mud gives the illusion of depth" - Marshall McLuhan

Actually, it’s very difficult for me to put into words what I observed in the two weeks after the Seahawks won the NFC up until the Super Bowl was over. To summarize my thoughts, as best as I can:

The two weeks of hate-mongering towards our innocent city was something of keen interest to me. It helped me understand how the 21st century operates, at least when it comes to mass-media, power, message, brand and consumerism.

This was best illustrated in several editorials about our city written in several national publications, editorials that primarily attacked our city and its people and not the football team.

Their words, even the reason why they wrote the words are meaningless. They are meaningless because all that matters truly in the end, is your own reaction to them.

Rick Riley and Skip Bayless don't define this city. A television broadcast doesn’t define anything other than just a television broadcast. That's not sour grapes talking either.

Yes, it’s true that I would have loved to see Seattle win this game. Not for me personally, I've watched teams I admire win championships now 11 times in my life time. No, I wanted it for this city, this great city where my children were born in, for no other reason that it would have strengthened the kinship between all my friends and family who live here.

That kinship however remains, so what have I really lost? In fact all I would have really "won" is something to make myself and my friends happy. If you really think about it, all we would have "won" was our reaction to the event. In my opinion, if our reactions to this event bonds us further, help us understand one another better and bring us closer together in spirit and kinship, then perhaps we have won, at least at some level.

The noise you hear from the television station trying to sell you deodorant, the minutia over the details of a football game, the perception of meaning and significance from entities who profit from the business of football itself, mean nothing and from to time actually become quite boring, if you obsess over them enough.

Whine? Don't whine? Fair? Unfair?

They are just words and they are words too often bandied about by people who don't know us, and worst of all, have never lived here nor care to live here.

Your reaction is all that matters.

My reaction is this:

I love the Seahawks. They help me feel like I belong here in the Northwest. They are a story about how we fight to preserve the traditions, our passion for the only temperate rainforest on Earth, and in some small way how we honor the ancestors who lived here thousands of years before any of us. I can explain to you why the Seahawks mean all those things to me, but most of you who know me - know why I feel that way.

Take a walk outside, look at where you live. Take a look at your friends, family and the lifestyle you all enjoy here. Who on Earth would anyone trade any of it for a sports trophy? Not me. And who on Earth thinks their life would be as awesome as it is, if they lived in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania? Who on Earth really believes Rick Riley isn't anything but a self-serving, sub-par writer who slandered Seattle for the sake of selling a few magazines and pocketing some greasy nickels into a bank account somewhere?

If you reflect on Super Bowl XL (and if you insist on attaching meaning to it on some way), then when contemplated long enough and truthfully enough, it was just one of a thousand reasons why we live in the greatest city on Earth.

Now if you'll excuse me, I am in danger of "walking backwards into the future", as McLuhan would say. So it's probably best that I just shut up and go back to work.

Thanks for listening though, if you made it this far.

No comments:

Post a Comment