It is always important for a writer to set his biases on the table. I am a Seahawks fan. Although my girlfriend doesn’t believe that I have any idea about football (and she may be right), last night was my night. I loved watching my hometown team (to be fair, I’m actually from Buckley, Washington) win their first ever championship. It recalled an old joke to mind:
A young girl is being questioned by a judge, as her parents go through a lengthy custody battle. The judge, in trying to determine which parent should have full custody asks the girl “What is your biggest reason for not wanting to live with your father?” The young girl replies, “Well, my daddy beats my mommy, and that makes me feel sad…” The judge, taken aback by this goes on, “Oh my! Well, what is your biggest reason for not wanting to live with your mother?” Without hesitation the girl replies, “My mommy beats the dog and my little brother, and that also makes me sad…” The judge, feeling helpless asks her “Well, if both your parents are abusive, who else would you want to live with?” The young girl ponders for a minute, and then with a smile says, “The Seattle Seahawks, They don’t beat anybody!”
Yes, distasteful, and after last night, completely wrong.
I am not a sports columnist and I don’t have a lot to say about the game itself, but I did have some reflections on the commercials in relation to some political ideas. Let me give the blogosphere some updates first. I’m currently reading two books.
The first one is No Logo, by Naomi Klein. She is a talented writer, but in my opinion totally misses the point. Although I think her original intent had a lot of heart, after reading the introduction to the 10th anniversary edition, it seems that she may have sipped on the corporatist tea. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not questioning her liberalism, but I think she started to see the Obama branding as an argument against her own writing. She thinks that “the United States could solve its reputation problem with branding…” However, 5 years later, we all know that Obama definitely “favors the grand symbolic gesture over deep structural change every time.” And that “Obama, in sharp contrast not just to social movements but to transformative president life FDR, follows the logic of marketing…” He is a brand and the product he is pushing is more of the same. But this is exactly what Reason.com warned us about yesterday; parties, vying for power, will rebrand the same crap and when the masses buy into, they get more of the same foul taste. So, maybe by now, she regrets saying this. Maybe she truly is liberal and sees a problem with modern consumerism and what she calls neoliberalism, but so what? (Aside, Neo-liberalism is not libertarian nor classically liberal, and it is a theory that I am currently working on that it is a direct result from the central planning of democratic socialism and fascism).
The second book, Free Market Fairness, by John Tomasi, probably doesn’t disagree much with Klein’s analysis, but her cures would ail him. The book goes through a brief history of classical liberal thought, and then brushes into the evolution of justice as fully realized by legal theorist, John Rawls. Although there is a case to be made, that libertarianism’s high-liberal critics are actually incorrect in attacking libertarianism, Tomasi takes another approach in developing a model of classical liberalism that would appear to be more ethical approach to rights theory, in that it retains economic liberty, while attempting to account for justice (although I haven’t quite finished this one, I think he would agree in my summary). This theory doesn’t discount the problem in commercialism or advertising as a scapegoat for bad foreign policy but it is willing to admit the cold hard facts. Capitalism will save the world.
No, I don’t care that Coke did part of America the Beautiful in other languages.
No, I don’t care that yogurt got awfully close to ruining full-house’s façade of innocence.
I won’t get into the bloody issues with a huge banking cartel and how they thrive on your loss. Nor would I make the bold statement that last night’s game (which was a huge taxpayer expense) was a shining star of capitalism. But, I would venture to say that perhaps a larger part of the anti-capitalist movement was put to rest last night, by showing how private enterprise can actually raise money for those in need. Perhaps the untimely death of Phillip Seymour Hoffman also marked a small death in the ranting of the anti-entrepreneurial spirit on the left.
All in all, it was a good game. I’ll leave you with the super half-time show.