Impoverished Teachers Or The Rich Bitches Of Professional Sports?

Which side are you on? I have been an avid, if not rabid, sports fan since I was a little kid. Still am. It would be great to have sports back on a full scale.

But at what cost? How important is it really?

The NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL are all demanding daily testing, even when they are, as Amy Trask has coined it, “enbubbled”.

Not all the athletes are millionaires, many are not paid near that and are just trying to hang on and make a living for themselves and their families. That is a good thing. But even the common professional athlete makes many times more than a teacher.

Who is more important to society in the long run? The league personnel and athletes are getting tested and traced relentlessly in their bubbles and training camps because billionaire owners, TV platforms and gambling lobbyists demand it. They are tired of their gravy train being interrupted. An understandable thing if in their shoes. But 99.9% of the citizenry is not in their shoes.

Teachers and their schools are being ordered to open with nothing in place for their, or their students’, safety. How many teachers in Florida could be tested in Florida if the insane capacity being expended in the Magic Kingdom on the NBA were reallocated to a better benefit? How will that play out with that which is allocated to the NFL, MLB and NHL were reallocated across the country?

Where are the real priorities in a time of pandemic this country, and this world, has not seen in the last 100 years?

I want to reemphasize, would love for all the sports to be back. That would be wonderful. Especially when we all are sequestered unnaturally in our own homes.

But maybe teachers and their students….our children….and the future of all are more important than the current demand for sports.

The Covid danger is real, it is not a joke. It is not partisan politics. Here is a heartbreaking story. This man ran through my neighborhood to a win. The young and strong are in danger, not just the old and infirm.

Maybe, at least temporarily, our priorities ought change. Maybe LeBron James and Tom Brady should give their daily test to a teacher.

Open Thread: Don’t Forget Poland!

Recall the quaint mid-Oughts during the 2004 presidential debates, when Dubya corrected his opponent John Kerry with, “You forgot Poland!

Ah, those were the days, when an illegal war and torture were our biggest concerns.

Unlike now when nearly everything liberal democracy represents is in flames and ashes.

Last month I looked at a couple of works by Norwegian artist Munch; his Angst and The Scream still speak to us about existential crises. This month I want to look at a few works by Polish artists who also seem relevant to our condition.

Like Zdzisław Beksiński’s The Trumpeter featured here; how fitting with its many-fingered creepy playing. It’s fairly contemporary, published in 1983, and used as cover art for metal band Artestor’s album, ‘Omen’. Beksiński characterized his art as baroque or gothic. Hard to argue against this description given the wealth of dark detail. Some of Beksiński’s work reminds me of Swiss artist H.R. Giger’s monstrous surrealism like that used in the film Alien.

Take note of this piece featured in a write-up about Beksinski in a favorite art magazine. I’ll make reference to it next weekend when I look at another Pole’s work.

Sadly, Beksiński was murdered in 2005 for refusing to loan a young man some money. He left behind a wealth of work which will stir our imaginations for years to come. You can find more of his work at Dmochowski Gallery online.

Non-artsy stuff:

NCAA Basketball‘s March Madness begins on Tuesday. ESPN has key tournament dates. NCAA offers a bracket challenge to follow along.

NHL Hockey regular season ends April 9. Come on, Red Wings, please don’t finish this season dead last. Only a month to claw over the bottom two. For crying out loud don’t roll over for the NY Rangers on Sunday or I’ll never hear the end of it from the girls. It’ll be all “Oh, that Mats Zuccarello this and that, he’s so cute…” Just, no.

PGA Tour is at Innisbrook Resort for the Valspar Invitational this weekend. Thankfully for tourney players and attendees Innisbrook is in Palm Harbor, Florida — the opposite side of the state from Mar-a-Lago. I can’t get excited about the tour, though; these guys at the top of the leader board are like watching paste set up.

NASCAR this week is in Las Vegas for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. So redundant, that line, but it is what it is. Not my thing, but I need to pay attention to this since my prospective son-in-law is a big NASCAR fan.

UPDATE 2:32 PM EST NFL Free Agency because somebody downstairs noticed I had ignored a professional sport about which I don’t care, now in post-season. You’ll notice I didn’t originally mention the NBA (one month left in regular season) or the MLB (three weeks before regular season opening day) or the MLS (regular season started a week ago) either.

Next thing you know somebody will ask, “What about horse racing?” Yeah. And what about Poland?

That’s a wrap. This is an open thread — bring your arts and sports and whatever here which doesn’t belong in topic threads.