Tuesday, June 14, 2011

"...Tranquilize themselves with the trivial..."

This blog is named after one of my favorite quotes in Becker's book, The Denial of Death, in which he says, "...the essence of normality is the refusal of reality." Another quote from the book is "...(people) tranquilize themselves with the trivial..."

Lebron James of the Miami Heat was channeling Becker this week when, after his team lost the NBA Championship Finals, he said:

“All the people that were rooting on me to fail, at the end of the day, they have to wake up tomorrow and have the same life that they had before they woke up today. They have the same personal problems they had today. I’m going to continue to live the way I want to live and continue to do the things that I want to do with me and my family and be happy with that. They can get a few days or a few months or whatever the case may be on being happy about not only myself, but the Miami Heat not accomplishing their goal. But they have to get back to the real world at some point.”

As this interesting piece in The Nation, by David Zirin points out... Lebron got way off scrip with that quote.

Zirin says, "We live in a crumbling nation with epic unemployment, 2 million people behind bars and vast wealth inequality, while being told that we inhabit the best country on earth and to think otherwise is heresy. In such a world, sports become more than an escape: it’s a refuge. It’s much easier—and emotionally manageable—to hate Lebron James than face our collective future."

It's much easier to scream at Lebron when he left Ohio* and for coming across as arrogant now, than it is to yell at City Council, much less protest those on Wall Street, and the others who actually have the power to make a difference in people's lives, yet who benefit from unemployment, wealth inequality, and cause all the real problems that actually have impact on the lives of average folks.

If you haven't read Becker... click to order ERNEST BECKER - THE DENIAL OF DEATH - it can be a bit like pulling the curtains open and seeing the wizard in his boxer shorts -

* (the idea that we would scream at someone who had no say in where he was drafted, was not given any more $ in Cleveland than anywhere else who would have drafted him, and then exercised his right to live and work where he wants is beyond my understanding.  But goes to the point, easier to yell at the millionaire celebrities on TV, than the Billionaire's and power brokers who decide everything else)

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