The Official Winds eNewsletter
Copyright © November 2003
A Funny Thing Happened at the Ball Park...
Just When You Thought it Was Just Plain 'ole Entertainment....
~written from the common sense perspective of The Winds of the Soul~
by Dr. Gregory C.D. Young, Ph.D. (Oxon.)
|Every once in a while something happens in our society which becomes a salient measure as to where were going as a culture. It doesn't necessarily have to be an important event, just something that occurs in everyday life that happens to suddenly catch our attention for its own reasons.||
Every once in a while something happens in our society which becomes a salient measure as to where were going as a culture. It doesn't necessarily have to be an important event, just something that occurs in everyday life that happens to suddenly catch our attention for its own reasons. Something like this has just happened....
As I'm sure you know, a few weeks ago professional baseball's national league playoffs were underway with wild expectations of possibly seeing the Cubs and the Red Sox face-off in the World Series. In the midst of excitement, most of us saw the foul-ball fiasco where a Cub's fan reached from the stands for the fly ball only to steal it right out of the baseball mitt of a Cub's Outfielder. The video of the event was replayed continuously on national TV with the story and its subsequent token analysis lasting for several days. Unbelievably, most of the opinions that I listened to said the fan's actions were understandable, if not expectable, and let the incident pass with hardly any other inspection but a nagging uncomfortable-ness that somehow we all missed something in the analysis. There was something very unpleasant in what we watched, and even though it wasn't explained very well, I believe most of us were affected by it who saw it....
Copyright © 2003 Dr. Gregory C.D. Young, Ph.D.(Oxon.). All Rights Reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part, in any form or by any means, including but not limited to all forms of media print, audio, electronic and video reproduction, without the prior express and specific written content of the author, except in cases of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.
|In any event, I believe they missed the boat entirely in understanding what took place, and did us all the continuing disservice of rationalizing and excusing bad conduct, both on and off the field. It was obvious that I was in the minority and saw the event through different eyes, believing instead that we just witnessed yet another degree of blind selfishness becoming passed over as being "normal" and "understandable" in today's world.||
I'll be the first to admit that I'm not an avid spectator of the game, but I don't need to watch a lot of baseball to know that something was very wrong here. Indeed, after witnessing the event, I was dumbfounded, not only by what I saw, but how the media commentators "analyzed' (more like side-stepped!) the event thereafter, and more befuddled at their need to offer a "spin" about the fan's conduct, sidestepping any possibility of offering a moral judgement of any kind. I'm not sure if the media was simply being "politically correct" (although I'm not really sure as to why this event in particular would singularly qualify for such a call), or they simply lacked the moral intelligence to proceed and demonstrated their usual arrogant inept attempts to summarize things for us.
In any event, I believe they missed the boat entirely in understanding what took place, and did us all the continuing disservice of rationalizing and excusing bad conduct, both on and off the field. It was obvious that I was in the minority and saw the event through different eyes, believing instead that we just witnessed yet another degree of blind selfishness becoming passed over as being "normal" and "understandable" in today's world. In fact, I could not help but see that the action of the Cub Fan was simply another indication of how selfishly myopic we are becoming as people, and how little any of us care about it.
First of all, from my limited understanding and perspective of the event, the individual responsible for catching the ball was allegedly a diehard Cub's fan, somebody with season tickets, as well as a coach for his son's little league baseball team. This was not somebody that strolled into the park that day from off the street with nothing better to do. In other words, he had a knowledge of the game that was as good if not better than many in the ballpark that day. Remember, too, that His seats were on the foul line of left field, so he was well aware of his orientation to home-plate, and the fact that the Cubs (his team) were in the field trying to get the other side "out."
|And yet, despite his knowledge of baseball, his cognizance of where he was, the importance of the playoffs, and his awareness as a baseball coach of the rules and protocol against interference while the game is being played, he still could not contain his needs to score a baseball for himself! Go figure!||
The point is, that you would think that if you're a diehard fan and you're rooting for your team you would have the common sense and decency to stay out of the way of its players, especially when they could have caught a foul ball and been well on the way to further retire their opponents for the inning, perhaps establishing a momentum that would help further win the game.
Moreover, you would think that instead of competing with your favorite team for the catch which could have (possibly?) turned the game around, you would have nevertheless done everything in your power to ensure that your team could make any and all "plays" possible. And most importantly, you would think that in this case the loyal Cub fan so involved would have gone out of his way to defensively spread his arms wide in order to make ample and protective room so as to keep others away (Marlin fans?) from interfering with the Cub's Outfielder from making the catch, instead of trying to reach for the ball himself. After all, this was his team fielding the fly ball! And it was during the playoffs, with the possibility of sending the Cubs to the World Series!
And yet, despite his knowledge of baseball, his cognizance of where he was, the importance of the playoffs, and his awareness as a baseball coach of the rules and protocol against interference while the game is being played, he still could not contain his needs to score a baseball for himself! Whoops! Go figure!
His own selfish need-set still took precedence over everything else! So self-absorbed, everything else of importance for which he claimed allegiance was pushed aside, as if he were having a brief psychotic break, which would then explain and excuse everything of course....
In the end, however, and in the absence of a serious psychological breakdown, he proved that his needs of the moment were immediately more pressing and justifiable, more important than anything or anyone else. Obviously more than the playoffs. And most media commentators gave him a pass, thinking that this was "understandable," and that anyone of us would have done the same thing in order to take home a playoff souvenir..., "normalizing" the entire event.
|I cannot help but reflect that if something like this happened 30 years ago, the shame would have stuck like glue. As it happened, those that "booed" the fan responsible were thought to be reactionary and insensitive, even unsportsmanlike! The normal reaction of a moral people should have been one of disgust and embarrassment, yet the media pundits basking in the moment of what they consider "harmless moral relativism" turned even that upon its ear, again thinking that any one of us would have done the same thing, purporting that we should all feel sorry for the guy for the negative attention he was getting!||
In fact, the speed at which they came to the fan's defense was startling, like those that attempted to justify and excuse Clinton's conduct in the White House. It caught me off balance as I strained to see if what I was hearing and watching were somehow just misunderstood by my own eyes and ears. "They can't be serious!" I heard myself say, groping for the logic that wasn't there. What was clear and salient to my mind, was apparently confusing and hidden to theirs, or appeared so remote as to not compute.
I cannot help but reflect that if something like this happened 30 years ago, the shame would have stuck like glue. As it happened, those that "booed" the fan responsible were thought to be reactionary and insensitive, even unsportsmanlike! The normal reaction of a moral people should have been one of disgust and embarrassment, yet the media pundits basking in the moment of what they consider "harmless moral relativism" turned even that upon its ear, again thinking that any one of us would have done the same thing, purporting that we should all feel sorry for the guy for the negative attention he was getting!
In any case, I believe that such is just another telling example of how our standards of personal responsibility for civil conduct are slipping, and yet another tiring indication of the moral decay of our society. It was a small event, to be sure, but one which seemed to jump out and be yet another indication of how prevalent our self-absorption is becoming. To me, it's like uncomfortably discovering that even the flatware of the house in which you are a guest is dirty----If even that escapes common sense cleaning and remains filthy, then one can't help but question what else remains unsanitary....
As a culture, we are backsliding into a mélange of selfish, inconsiderate, dishonest people who care little for anybody else, except of course on special, high-visibility occasions. Selfishness and self-absorption is considered okay and part of the accepted and preferred character of the "in crowd," especially now that the media parades its valueless examples endlessly in front of us day after day. The edge of the knife grows dull.... More and more pass by our eyes with nary a protest.
|It doesn't take a lot of experience to realize that selfishness and the seed of self-absorption seems to be running epidemic amongst us. There are so many viable strains of this malaise in evidence today that they just can't be numbered. And unfortunately, the more common and ubiquitous the experience, the easier it seems for others to discount the relevance of its existence, it becoming now more comfortable and imbedded within their environment.||
Speeding the decay along, I've always been amazed at how today's idols (Professional Athletes, TV & Movie stars, Liberal Politicians, and the like) are fawned over and treated by the media, their very self-absorbed public lives generally getting a free pass as to the often inappropriateness of their behavior. Our standards of judging civility have eroded, and our ability to analyze or understand anything more complicated than a yo-yo appears to be beyond our common grasp. This is just another example of us becoming too lazy to think, too preoccupied with ourselves to care, and too numb to mind.
It doesn't take a lot of experience to realize that selfishness and the seed of self-absorption seems to be running epidemic amongst us. There are so many viable strains of this malaise in evidence today that they just can't be numbered. And unfortunately, the more common and ubiquitous the experience, the easier it seems for others to discount the relevance of its existence, it becoming now more comfortable and imbedded within every environment. For instance:
(1) Such self-absorption is the reason we see today an openly Gay Bishop become installed in the Episcopalian Church, apparently for the sake of inclusion, "normalizing" homosexuality no matter what God has said about it..., because, hey..., what God thinks is no longer relevant if it doesn't agree with the strategies of the self-absorbed. And that's their New Canon.
(2) Similarly, our national borders remain undefended because we're afraid that making our borders "too real" will appear too aggressive of an act, and may offend the intruders by really drawing a line in the sand and mean it----being "politically correct" (yet another strategy of the self-absorbed) has apparently become part of our national security...
(3) So, too, do we continue to rely on all forms of "dirty" oil as an energy source, instead of developing alternative sources that are free from political persuasion and graft, for you see the strategies of the self-absorbed make "certain people" more important than others, putting them and their checkbooks once again above our national security.
(4) So, too, do we argue for the protection of our wildlife and forests to the point of absurdity, valuing plants and animals more than humans, and furthering this imbalanced assault by not seeming to mind much that our families and the value structures that hold them together are themselves becoming "endangered species" without protest. Sure..., protect the lay of the land, but to hell with the state of the family.
|Liberals would have it that all of life's judgements proceed without values, without morals, without codes of conduct. Anything that may shine the light on them unfavorably is considered oppressive and intrusive, although they never seem to mind focusing it upon others. And we should all be especially sensitive to the "we just wanna have fun" crowd!||
(5) And, of course, teachers and their rich unions are loads more important than the children they inflict their bias and "politically correct" curriculums upon, ruining generations of children, and again threatening our national security by dumbing down the future leaders of this country, all for the sake of their tenure!
(6) And generally, bureaucrats and politicians on both sides of the isle argue for a balanced budget by the general means of taxation whereby we are all over-burdened, instead of ever seriously curbing their own shameful and outlandish pork-barrel spending habits, because, hey..., lobbyists and special interest groups outweigh our combined voting powers, giving these special few the tenure, personal financial and healthcare security they think themselves to singularly deserve.
Just as it was with the Cub's fan, self-absorption is found at the root of all these problems and more. From great events to the smallest consideration, self-absorption makes for lousy decision making, because when we're so involved with ourselves to the exclusion of everything else, and with a fanaticism that won't relent, we miss seeing the "bigger picture."
Events like these always make liberally minded folks uncomfortable because they implicitly call for a value judgement to be made, which is always an irritating anathema for them. Liberals would have it that all of life's judgements proceed without values, without morals, without codes of conduct. Anything that may shine the light on them unfavorably is considered oppressive and intrusive, although they never seem to mind focusing it upon others. And we should all be especially sensitive to these from the "we just wanna have fun" crowd!
So the self-absorbed mantra of "Me...Me...Me..." continues on without interruption and apparently without objection. Yes! This is the "new" American way, or at least what's becoming of it! The rational proceeds: "Who cares about anything else or anyone else except what you can grab for yourself! So-called questionable conduct and behavior can always be rationalized and justified later, "spun" for more attractive appeal and excuse. And for those who insist upon talking about the necessity of unchanging standards, morals, and values, or may take exception to our selfishness, we'll take care of them by publicly defaming both them and their position, calling into question the competence of their value structures, bearing false witness and making them appear divisive, exclusionary, and unfair to others because of their so-called "Godly standards." After all, we don't have to play fair or honestly with those who are religiously engaged----that's their rules, not ours. And because they choose to believe the way they do even in the face of warning them with our persecution, we've already decided that they shouldn't have the same rights and entitlements as the rest of us anyway...."
|Has this evolved to the point of these individuals becoming conspiratorial? Well, of course it has.... and with all the paranoia that goes with it. We must remember that these are the continuous anfractuous desires of those that are grossly inflamed with their self importance, unabashedly addicted to their own warped and highly incubated and insulated ego structures, generally to the exclusion of any need for balanced reasoning, introspection, or cognition thereafter.||
And isn't that exactly what happens? See how easy it is for some to cloud the real issues that attempt to make their way into the public consciousness in order to make room for their own self-absorption! Any "good ideas," or for that matter, "good people" that conflict with the often neurotic interests of the self-absorbed are generally broadsided with liberal criticism, quickly brandished with nauseating disinformation and twisted rhetoric (lies), and then finally denounced as too "right wing." A good 'ole fashion "tar and feathering" first, and then sent out of town on a pole! The strategy is used over and over again without apology.
So it is that most good ideas and good people are filed away long before you or I ever are given a chance to consider them, believing that these are just too dangerous for us to have open access to them. And to our shame, we bow our heads and accept the rulings of the elitists that have also decided that we're just too stupid to be able to decide upon anything for ourselves.
Has this evolved to the point of these individuals becoming conspiratorial? Well, of course it has.... and with all the paranoia that goes with it. We must remember that these are the continuous anfractuous desires of those that are grossly inflamed with their self importance, unabashedly addicted to their own warped and highly incubated and insulated ego structures, generally to the exclusion of any need for balanced reasoning, introspection, or cognition thereafter.
Nothing impacts these people but the possibility of their own agendas becoming more realized. Anything that becomes remotely competitive, obstructive, or challenging is seen as a viable threat, often life-threatening so as to serve their own delusion further. If anything gets in their way, they will fanatically set about to annihilate it and anybody or anything thought remotely related, no matter how indirect the threat may be perceived.
What's really an eye-opener is the fact that, perhaps except for the grisly end result, these elitist individuals are, personality-wise, as dysfunctional, myopic, and certainly as self-absorbed and blindly determined, as Islamic Terrorists. Yes, psychologically they have quite a bit in common and often share in these dynamics to the same degree. Although they don't generally pull the trigger themselves, they let others (or their own misfeasance) do their dirty work for them. And the results are often more ten times more devastating and insipid.
Yet, isn't it interesting that we have great resolve to rid the world of terrorists, but for those wolves in sheep clothing amongst us that pander their self-absorption as being "normal," we have all the patience in the world, and even invite them for a hotdog at a ball game, seeing no danger of their selfishness ever getting out of hand.... OH! Excuse me, isn't that a fly ball coming my way....!?!
About the Author: Dr. Gregory C.D. Young, Ph.D.(Oxon.) is a Clinical Psychologist and Neuroscientist having been educated abroad where he completed his postgraduate studies at King’s College, the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, and then graduated and received his Doctorate from the University of Oxford, Oxford, England. He has been in private clinical practice and medical research for over 25 years, being active as an author, popular radio and TV personality, public speaker, and biomedical researcher. An expert in a number of fields including Forensic/Criminal Psychology, Child and Family/Relationship Psychology, and Neuropsychology. He has also served as an expert scientific advisor, product innovator and formulator, and professional consultant to the Medical and Pharmaceutical Industries. He is the author of The Winds of the Soul~Heaven’s First Voice To Us, as well as numerous other scholarly papers and works.
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