Linsanity and OWS: The ‘splainin’
Posted February 12, 2012on:
In my previous post, I declared that Linsanity and OWS are related, but did a poor job of explaining the relationship.
Sports radio, and media generally, are asking the following question: “Why all the intense interest in Linsanity?”
My answer is that in one week, Linsanity has melted three firmly entrenched assumptions in the NBA:
- Asian-Americans can’t play
- Your 15th guy is useless (or at best, is a glue guy)
- You can’t win with less than two All Stars
#1 means that you should expect a flood of Asian-American players in the NBA within the year. Linsanity is the unplugging of that bottleneck.
#2 means that NBA GMs and coaches will be looking much closer at their 15th players (and D-Leaguers) and undrafted players to see what they have to offer. Is there a diamond in the bunch? (I seem to remember a short, white, talented American point guard who went undrafted. Bet he gets a fresh look.)
On #3, I would suspect that most basketball fans would disagree. But I watched this week as Linsanity emerged (starting with the Utah game), and saw all the elements needed for a team to make a deep run in the playoffs. And I mean without Melo or Stat.
Doesn’t mean they’d win it all. But they could. Just like Detroit in 2004, and Dallas in 2011.
But I don’t want to use this post to belabor sports analysis. Instead, let me just say that if Linsanity really did blow up the above 3 assumptions, then the NBA is about to be revolutionized — turned on its head.
The lockout didn’t do that. But Jeremy will.
What would be amazing about such a revolution is that all it entails is a change in our collective state of mind. Pre-Linsanity, that collective mind was over there. Post-, it’s over here. And now everything is changed.
I think OWS will have a similarly profound mind-altering and seismic affect on American culture.
It all comes down the title of a Beatles song: “All You Need is Love”.
The short of is that circa 2012, America is a land dominated by Corporations that live and breathe money. Messages driven into us through television and other Corporate media are that money is the path to all things good — be they happiness, love, food, health care, warmth, or just about anything else.
That this is the current dominant meme of the country is confirmed to me every time I open an email from the Obama political folks. Back in 2008, I signed up on an Obama site to voice my opposition to Obama flipping his position on FISA. I entered my email to sign up, and so I get their mail.
Now, I did vote for Obama in 2008, and will again in 2012.
But let me just say that I look dimly at the emails I get multiple times per week from that political organization. Just about every email ends by asking me to donate some money.
Now before the fellow was elected, I could understand why they asked for money. It costs money to get ads on television to reach old people.
But since he’s been President? The guy can get on TV any time he wants. For free. It’s called the “bully pulpit”.
This is what irks me about Obama. He’s got a free bully pulpit. But he won’t use it. Instead he asks us for money so he can run ads in October.
This is Mr. community organizer. Mr. use-the-web. If anyone could see the moral bankruptcy of asking your base for money every time you communicate with them, I would think it would be the Obama people.
But not even them. Because we are all infected with the “money buys everything” meme.
OWS is a living contradiction to that meme. In an earlier post, I explained that OWS was fluid non-hierarchy, in contrast with the monolithic hierarchy that defines the Corporations.
Taking another angle, OWS is about humanity, not money; Corporations are about money, not humanity.
I believe OWS has a chance to blow up the money trance under which we are all living.
Just imagine what the world, let alone this nation, will look like when we People throw off the yoke of this money illusion.
To me, sports is a mirror of society.
Linsanity is probably the most compelling sports story in recent memory — among the whole nation, not just within the sports ghetto.
I believe this story is compelling for the reason I wrote about here. I believe this remains true even is true even if no one but me has this idea in their conscious head.
But their heads have all seen: One anonymous 23-year-old kid from Palo Alto has flipped the NBA on its head just by doing what he’s good at.
To me, this is a sign that OWS — with its legions of anonymous, sad-sack, 20-something kids from everywhere — will flip this nation on its head just by doing what they’re good at.
And what they’re good at is lovin’.