Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Broncomaniacs OK, Occupiers a threat

Commentary by Phil Goodstein

The latest Bronco hoopla might be the very worst since the beginning of Broncomania. As much as ever, this is the religion of ruling Denver. The level of hype for a most insubstantial team and topic is a reflection on the essential character of the community. The real issue is to what degree is this completely manufactured and how much is actually popular emotion.

Of course, if the newspapers/television gave Bronco games all the attention they do to symphony concerts, there would be minimal interest. But then if there were nonstop news about concerts, the hall would be packed and the musicians would be celebrities. As it is, the overwhelming defeat of the Broncos was good news. It kept us from being barraged with even more of this. Meanwhile, if budget cuts are urgent, where the does the money come from for the city-sponsored football hoopla?

Football frenzy is not limited to Denver or the Broncos. It is part of our culture. Still, it is also a reflecting of ruling class values. Nobody more revealed this than Richard Nixon. First, during mass anti-war protests, he announced he was ignoring them for watching football. Then, when he actually sought to meet protesters, instead of discussing the war, he talked about football. This is what Nixon and his ilk know and can discuss.

This reflects also on the Occupy movement. It is something that so upsets the system because esblishment powers cannot understand the Occupy movement in the slightest. Besides, we need the occupiers out of the Civic Center so we can have football rallies.

One last consideration: On Martin Luther King Day, the Denver Post had a good picture of the police staring down protesters in the 1960s. Of course, the paper did not note the difference of today. The current police would have on riot gear. If the Occupiers are so dangerous as to force the police to wear riot gear, why are not the police in riot gear at Bronco games and football rallies? The drunken football crowds are far more violent than any of the protesters.

But saying this is banal. The fact that it is not even said or asked is typical of the censorship of our times.


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