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on telling others how to live

Blogger Aaron took offense to my calling him a dick (rightfully so, I guess) because I took offense to his dropping in my comments just to tell me the score of the Sox/Yankees game. Though my "dick" comment is rooted in other things, we'll bypass that for now. Instead, I'd like to open a discussion on something Aaron said. First, a brief recollection of the exchange. Aaaron said:

It's a reasonable premise that there is some age after which it's pathetic to keep up with pop culture and today's sporting event. It'd be damned funny if headstones had hours of pop culture engraved on them so people could assess "what a waste of human potential".

To which I quickly replied: Everybody over 40, stop watching sports. Aaron says it's not cool!

Aaron followed with this:

It's about spending an irreplacable and untransferrable resource, one's time on earth, on something worthwhile.

Once you start considering seriously reading AARP literature in preparation for Social Security benefits, sports fanship should be limited to one's grandkids' Little and Pee Wee Leagues. Time taken for pro sports after then is at the expense of more deserving family and/or community. Observing pro sports absent the company of someone who shares your DNA after one reaches the age of 40 or so is hard to defend.

Yeah, you're free to do it, but if you knew your life was being videotaped and could be played for posterity, could you really make an argument that others follow your example of thousands of hours of remote-clicking couch time?

Such sanctimony!

First, let me say this to Aaron and anyone else who may feel this way:

Sports is a family affair. It's part of what we do together, part of what we enjoy as a family. From my 96 year old grandfather right down to my four year old nephew, we all love watching pro sports. We go to games together, as a family. We watch games together, as a family. We enjoy this time together, as a family.

Aaron assumes that all my pop-culture worshiping and sports watching is done alone, on the couch. That's a rather large - and erroneous - assumption.

...but if you knew your life was being videotaped and could be played for posterity

The videotape would show hours upon hours of family time. It would show us yes, watching tv together and going to movies and sporting events together. It would also show us at the beach, at family dinners, just hanging out in the backyard enjoying the weather, taking walks, at amusement parks, at school events and community events and having friends and family at the house. I'm proud of my life. I'm proud of what I have contributed to my community. I'm proud of who my children are and what my family represents. Just because you choose to raise your family outside the walls of television or sports doesn't mean that people who don't do it your way are any less worthy than you. To imply that someone is 'pathetic' because they don't subscribe to your lifestyle is vain, you get the picture.

Anyhow, I'd like to hear what you all think about Aaron's declaration that: Time taken for pro sports after then is at the expense of more deserving family and/or community. Observing pro sports absent the company of someone who shares your DNA after one reaches the age of 40 or so is hard to defend.


What do I think ? I think "Who the fuck is Aaron to tell anybody else how to live their lives. Give me a break already. My advice to Aaron is to live his own goddam life and quit worrying about what other people are doing. Other than that, his "advice" isn't worth a substantive response.

I've never been interested in sports, but it was never a family activity in my house anyway. Besides, Aaron's notions are based on several assumptions that are on shaky ground at best, the main assumption being that anything we humans do on earth is particularly more important than anything else. I rather doubt God is up there with a book ticking off a list, or if he is maybe it goes like this: "Hm. You were too proud to watch pro sports, instead preferring to brag about how you've 'grown beyond' such things. This lady, on the other hand, was a bit less stuck up about herself and her pastimes. You get five extra millenia in purgatory for that, my lad!"

I'm kind of suprised that you're wasting your time responding to this guy. How does that chapter play out on videotape?

It plays out as me defending myself, my family and my life

And really, does every moment on that videotape have to be worthwhile? Does every second have to mean something grand? Can't we have moments in our lives that are just nothing but gratitious fun, entertainment, empty space, whatever?

Besides, I honestly want to know what other people think about this.

How detailed a response do you want? Because I can sum it up in three words. Well...9. Three three word sentences can can all stand alone or be grouped for added effect.

Dear Judgy McJudgyerson,

You're a dick.


Go fuck yourself.

People who can think and live for themselves

JimK I don't think it could have been put any better than that!

Michele, I wasted most of my life worrying about how others must see me, doing things that were acceptable just to keep others happy. I've worried for years about not giving my kids enough, not being there enough, not being good enough for those sanctimonious enough to point out my flaws ... and there have been plenty that have piped up over the years. I finally learned that a finely flipped bird in their general direction works well as we shamble on, taking our own path.

Though it sounds like a cotton commercial, sports is part of the fabric of your lives. Having grown up in New England, I understand this. What else is there to look forward to other than a summer filled with sports and amusement parks and a winter is filled with books, movies and board games? Your family, all generations of it, do all of these thing together, and I commend you on it.

Perhaps Aaron harbors some deep-seated resentment of sports fanatics ... a father that spent his Sundays in a bar with his buddies watching football ... a mother that squandered the weekly grocery money at the racetrack. Hmm, if only they had thought to take little Aaron along, he wouldn't have grown up to be such an officious prick. Oh, sorry, that was dick, wasn't it?

Presumptuous intolerance is so unattractive, isn't it?

Why should anyone have to defend whatever they do with their leisure time? (legality implied)

And who the fuck is Aaron to say what is or isn't "more deserving" of anyone's time?

I'll set my own priorities for my own time and let other adults set theirs.

Including self-righteous prigs, like Aaron.

Pro sports is interfering with my family? Shit, better call my father and tell him that I need to quit sharing season tickets with him to that minor league baseball team, so I can spend time with my family.

Still, going to the games does mean that those nights I don't get to see my 1 year old daughter, as she's in bed by 6 or 6:30 every night -- perhaps Aaron could weigh in on how to resolve this dilemma, namely that spending time with my father in this fashion means not spending time with my daughter. Does the fact that I go to about half the home games mean I'm balancing things right? Should I blow off one for the other completely? And when they play back that video tape of my life, they can edit out the part where I was mining for nose gold this morning in the car, right?

If I spent every second hovering over my kids or inserting myself into every event and activity in which they were partaking, they'd eventually kick me in the balls and tell me to get lost.

I spend a great deal of time with my family, especially since I work from home. But EVERYBODY needs some alone time, time to relax and recharge. If it's sports that floats your boat, then so be it.

Wanna bet in school Aaron was a non-jock constantly being harrassed by jocks? I find that true about most adults who feel the need to tell others that sports are a waste of time. But if you get a group together (i.e., Super Bowl party) and don't at least invite them they are offended.

I am over fifty and still watch Saturday morning cartoons and the Cartoon Network. The only thing worth out growing is judging others by your own limited view of the universe.

Message to Aaron:

Lighten the fuck up.

Thank you.

I believe we will all be accountable for what we do with our time (doubtless that's the basis of where Aaron's coming from), but my faith also tells me something vital to balance with it:

Our purpose in existence is to have joy. We exist to find happiness.

That's why families are important. That's why we shouldn't waste our time worrying about money and material posessions. It's also why there's no point in playing games of holier-than-thou. I apologize on his insensitive behalf.

Two thoughts:
Aaron, you would be VERY disappointed with old folks from the south. Down here when you get older it's time to buy an RV and follow the Tide, or Tony Stewart, or the Braves. The ones that don't just die in nursing homes, watching the Price is Right.
My kids, without knowing it, learn who is worthy of admiration through watching who I admire. Like it or not, the teams/people we root for are part of the definition of who we are. Civic and state pride play a big part in it.
Neither of my kids loves football yet (still working on that), but they LOVE going to Titans games with me. I'm taking my son to his first Nascar race next year. He is SOOO excited about that. What could possibly be wrong with that?
I was present for one of the most famous events in recent sports history: "The Music City Miracle". I rate that as one of the great experiences of my life (yes, up there with my wedding, the adoption of my children, etc). The lows that day were so low, and the highs so high, how could it not be? People in the stands were hugging perfect strangers (I hugged a cop!). I'm smiling right ow as I type this; can't you tell? Why on earth would you EVER want to take away something so powerful that the memories of it make you smile years later?

To each his own, I guess.

Time taken for pro sports after then is at the expense of more deserving family and/or community. Observing pro sports absent the company of someone who shares your DNA after one reaches the age of 40 or so is hard to defend.

Call me cynical, but it sounds like Aaron's on a waiting list for season tickets and would like a bunch people over 40 with families to give up their season tickets. That way he and his band of non-kid having drunk friends can take over the stadium.

Screw him.


Wait, I'm confused. First he dropped by to tell you a sports score, then later he goes on about how dumb watching sports is? Sounds like verbose trollage to me (most trollage is verbose, to mask and confuse the ignorance of the troll, and their point).

And Slartibartfast, someone should stop those poor old people from following the Tide. THEY SUCK! WAR DAMN EAGLE! Those people probably think the Bear is still coaching. And don't even get me started on Tony Stewart.

I just want to know what his standard is?!? In other words, does he have a list of things that are "worthy" of his time? If so, where the hell did he get that list?


... and all of Buffalo wept

I grew up around Saratoga in upstate New York, I moved to Buffalo ~5 years ago. Living in a town that averages over a 100 inches of snow per year, sports have proven to be a great distraction from the weather.

If it were not for Hockey and the end of football season I think the homicide rate around here would increase three fold when the Lake Effect snow starts.

So should the blue collar community engage in more scholarly pursuits? Maybe, but when you can't get to the book store, the library , the museum or anywhere else for that matter, because of the couty wide driving ban, I can think of nothing better than watching The Bills or the Sabres, and tying some flies.

oh yeah... Aaron, use some water to get that sand out of your vagina, maybe that will help

Don't pick on Tony Stewart! Or anyone driving for Joe Gibbs! (yes, I'm a knuckle-head Redskins fan, so what?)

I'm over 40 and love watching and participating in sports with family and friends. What's Aaron's deal with 40? We've got several kart racers in my grassroots club that are receiving Social Security and can still kick ass on the track.

Whether watching or participating, why should age matter?

Everyone spends some amount of time in their life doing something that someone else might think is a waste. So what? It's called a hobby! I like cars, you like sports and pop-culture, Aaron likes blogging about his cat. Who cares?

Well, let's see.

I spend all day treating sick animals. Or, I'm in my lab doing the research thang. Sometimes all night, sometimes all week-end. Papers to write, patients to check on, yada, yada, yada. But somehow, everything I try and accomplish professionally is instantly nullified because, when I do get home at a reasonable hour, I want to watch the Yankees on TV?

Aaron's a sanctimonious jackass.

Nukevet, while wanting to watch the Yankees doesn't nullify the good deeds that you do at work, it does make you a bad, bad person.

Aaron sounds like a sanctimonious prig, the kind who shows up in discussions of TV shows to announce that he hasn't owned a TV since 1982, who shows up in discussions of Star Wars or Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to say he only watches foreign films, who, in a discussion of radio, announces that he only listens to NPR, the type who derides adults for reading Harry Potter. Now, since I don't know Aaron, and because I won't make assumptions about how people I don't know spend their time, Aaron may do none of these things. However, these are characteristics of sanctimonious prigitude, and Aaron has demonstrated himself to be a sanctimonious prig.

The invocation of "community" is a huge red flag here. People who believe you have a duty to your "community" generally are quite happy to intrude on your personal life and personal choices. Most of us are just out here living our own lives as best we can. I read Harry Potter and Harold Bloom. I watch The 4400, but I also watch PBS and the Discovery Channel. I go to baseball games and the theatre. I've seen movies from IMDB's Worst Movies list and the AFI Top 100. I do things because they make me happy and make the people in my life happy. The raw film of the videotape of my life would be a little boring, but the DVD box set is nice.

So, that is sanctimony? It's one of those words, for me, that I've heard often, but have not really been able to pin it to something. Know what I mean? Anyway, that word fits and I agree that "Judgy McJudgyerson" (love that, can't wait to use it) ought to probably chill out.

Now the scary part. I sure would like to be wrong about this, but I don't think I am; there are more people out there with this type of attitude than there are of people without it. What I mean by this is that this is the kind of one-sided type of person that would be more than happy to jump into your life, point out your faults, and then send you straight to hell for them. Not content to just leave you alone because you may not see/feel the way they might. Just pleased as punch to get involved in others affairs for some moral obligation (however twisted in my eyes) they feel must be met. I pity those fools.

Lastly, if you don't believe there are more of them than you think, just look at the people that get voted into office (any office), and then proceed to help whatever machine is running to be able to invade your privacy more and more, take away the ability to make the wrong decision once in a while, and learn from it on your own. I believe they meddle in other people's lives because their lives got fucked with and they feel that this is the norm. All 'for your own good'. God forbid I ever have to be on trial for anything, I fear my jury box will be full of people (sheep) with that type of attitude.

Ya know what, there's two ways you can take me, on your side or on the other guy's side. You freakin' always assume that I'm dissing you in your own house and you're always wrong.

I think he's a dickhead and I think you're being over-sensitive to everything...AGAIN.

Christ it's not even August yet...

Gotta agree with Skilzy above.

This guy chimes in to tell you the score of the game but then gets all upitty about people wasting their time following sports...

Sounds like he's a tool who's just trying to be annoying on purpose to me...

Time taken for pro sports after then is at the expense of more deserving family and/or community. Observing pro sports absent the company of someone who shares your DNA after one reaches the age of 40 or so is hard to defend.

You know, I have always been a baseball fan at heart (having grown up a mile from Shea Stadium, the Mets have always been my fav), but I've never been one to quote stats or the like. My much-better-half and oldest son love NASCAR, so a few years ago I bought NASCAR for Dummies so I could at least participate in a conversation with them. Beyond that, I'll watch the SuperBowl and that's about all my sporting related interests run.

However, I don't think I've seen a more callous or narrow-minded view about sports. It seems he has an axe to grind (with Michele) and used sports as a convenient stone.

To quote Dogbert, BAH!

Eh, Aaron's got something up his tailpipe. Anyone who presumes to tell others that they're losers because they actually use leisure time for leisure is either trying to start an argument or is someone who needs a large dose of Ex-Lax.

One of the great joys - one of the things I am most thankful for about living in the society I live in - is that I HAVE free time. Okay, maybe not much free time, but I still have free time. It's not like some kind of hunter-gatherer society where if you're not searching for food every waking hour, you starve. It's not like early Industrial Revolution times where you got up at 4 am to chop the wood and milk the goat before going off to your 18-hour day at the linen mill.

And what's more, I can spend that free time however I want. I don't have to go to Parades to Honor Our Exalted Leader. I'm not expected to spend six weeks a summer picking squash on a collective farm. I don't have to go and be a camp counselor somewhere For The Children ™. I can use my free time as profitably or as "wastefully" as I see fit.

And you know? There are worse things to have on your tombstone than that you enjoyed sports. That you were a humorless prig is one that springs to mind...

If my life is videotaped and played for posterity I'll enjoy those two Stanley Cup Finals games that I attended (even though my team wasn't the one I saw get the Cup) just as much the second time around!

i wonder who told Aaron to say that? i'm only wondering because i don't think he's ever had an original thought. but hey, he's really good at regurgitating and repackaging what other people say...

OK, two thoughts:

By Aaron's logic, it also goes to follow that all pro athletes need to retire at age 40, beacause past that your participation in pro sports is a frivolous waste of time, which could be better spent doing things for the "community". THAT is just insane.

Second, I "give" to my community. I am involved in the city council, local civic organizations, church and my child's school. But, I share season tickets with various family members to the Bengals, and attend several Reds games per year. To some, that is a waste of time to begin with(depending on how bad each is doing, which right now is REAL bad), but to me, it is time off, enjoyed with family and friends. There is no way the two cancel each other out. Each has its own worth.

Get a life, boy. Life is what you make of it. If you want to sit and measure each moments worth on some imaginary scale, I don't imagine even the Dali Llama would measure up.

I would argue that while it is a common human failing to neglect to appreciate all the wonderful things in life and to focus too much on the relatively inconsequential, it's just as much of a failing to sit around trying to live your life according to anyone's idea of what a politically correct life should look like.

As far as I'm concerned, the folks who feel compelled to proselytize against television, sports and anything else they consider too low-brow are simply looking for suckers to keep them company in the latter category...

I think it's the dumbest thing I've ever heard, but it's a common thought.

It's as if free time and hobbies and just relaxing aren't allowed anymore. Aren't we all stressed out enough? Aren't we allowed some down time?


This is why kids are all over-scheduled and over-booked. Sometimes you're allowed to just PLAY, even when you're an adult.

Maybe he wouldn't have a problem if it were amateur sports. Perhaps his comments were a veiled criticism of pro sport's excesses in pay and hype, and also of pro sport's deficits of heart and commitment. I'm intrigued by his ideas and would like to subscribe to his newsletter.

Or he's just a dick. We're all dicks about one thing or another, maybe this is what he's chosen to be a dick about--which should give him pause. If his futuretastic tombstone were to replay what he's chosen as his life's dickwork, would he be proud of it? Would there be video, or would it just be archived text from an old internet message system? People would walk by and say, "What a waste of a dick."

If there's one thing I can't stand, it's a half-assed dick. Stop dicking around and be a damned dick, for fuck's sake. A be a dick about something meaningful and worthwhile, not someone's hobbies.

Wow. Fuck Aaron.

I really, really enjoy watching sports. Some people like reading books; I like watching sports. If I could spend every free moment of my life watching great sports, I would.

What the hell is a life if you can't spend it doing things you enjoy? Should I, instead, go farm for 50 years? Or build treehouses? I will watch sports until I die, and, just as my grandparents before me, I will not have wasted my life doing it. Being happy is never a waste of time.

I don't even watch sports, or much TV (no, not for any ideological reason), but, Christ, a "more deserving community"?

Sod the damned "community". It doesn't "deserve" anything from me except obedience to the law (or protest or civil disobedience, ie going to jail, if the law is significantly unjust).

And really, does every moment on that videotape have to be worthwhile? Does every second have to mean something grand? Can't we have moments in our lives that are just nothing but gratitious fun, entertainment, empty space, whatever?

I dunno about that, but can we fast forward to the boinking?

And does this have multiple POV like a DVD, or are we talking VHS?

Shorter Aaron:

Life's too short to stop and smell the flowers.

And does this have multiple POV like a DVD, or are we talking VHS?

Don't know, but I want the cast and crew of Futurama to do my commentary.




When I was 27 years old the Rangers won the Stanley Cup and I was at every home playoff game. When the Devils tied game 7 with seconds left I thought it was the worst clamnity that could have befallen me. When the Rangers pulled it out I felt like Richard Dreyfuss in "Let it Ride" "God likes me! He really really likes me!" 11 years later I am married with two children, a homeowner, I have experienced the death of my mother and of course the dreadful horror of Sept. 11, 2001. I still enjoy sports and I still root root root for my teams but it goes without saying that I will never have the emotional commitment to the outcome that I did then. To me that is how maturity changes one's outlook on sports. It lends perspective. Needless to say this Aaron is a great fool. Life is for living and for enjoyment. We work hard enough that whatever gives us pleasure and doesn't hurt others should be an acceptable leisure activity.

It has nothing to do with sports or anything else in particular really. It's about doing what you love. If following sports is what you love, that's what you do.



Ok, very simple.

I'll be completely FUCKED if Aaron has the absolute definition on what is a worthwhile pursuit.

Someone telling me that Soccer (or any other sport), playing games on my PC (my 2 year old loves driving on my Logitech steering wheel), Comic Books, quality TV, Movies and great cartoons are not worthy of my time is going to get decapitated in a hurry.

Then again, I'm not over 40 yet, but when I am and I feel the same way about the above list, screw you ! You don't put food on my table, nor do you have any say in the wellbeing of my family. If you don't like any of the above, you are free to say so. Tell me that I shouldn't be doing any of them, then you should go away and die horribly.

Actually, I'm a little frightened. If my life is being recorded for posterity (for the sake of argument), does the Divine Cameraman turn off the recorder while I'm taking a shit? Or in the shower? Or, heaven forbid, other times???

I've got the proper life lesson for Aron and his ilk- from Position Paper #23 of the Guns 'n Dope Party:

Little Tony was sitting on a park bench munching on one candy bar after another.

After the 6th candy bar, a man on the bench across from him said, "Son, you know eating all that candy isn't good for you. It will give you acne, rot your teeth, and make you fat."

Little Tony replied, "My grandfather lived to be 107 years old."

The man asked, "Did your grandfather eat 6 candy bars at a time?"

Little Tony answered, "No, he minded his own fucking business."

'nuff said.

At the risk of being redundant: