Thursday, March 05, 2009

Sport is not trivial

I often blog about stuff that annoys me. A lot of things annoy me, including things that people far smarter than I say. In my reflective moments I tell myself to be less confident in all my opinions, and yet I am annoyed.

Lets assume that we need to stay alive, so things that help us live to, say, 70 are necessities. Getting rid of everything that doesn't help keep us alive would involve getting rid of most of our stuff and things we do. Yet we don't think of all this stuff as trivial. It isn't trivial because we like it. People don't call music, books and art trivial. We don't think of most medical practices as trivial, or education or socialising. None of these things help us survive to 70, but they do make us happier.

Saying of a sporting event that it's just a game or this from the Times in response to the attacks on the Sri Lankan cricket team (the article is ok incidentally, not really griping) gets on my nerves:
Sport is an essentially trivial activity. To the puritan mindset, sport is a living statement of the world’s failure to take your issue of choice with the right kind of seriousness.
Sport is a way of creating excitement, beauty and bringing out human excellence just like other, less trivial things. Declaring on thing to be trivial and another weighty or substantive is simply to declare your own tastes and preferences superior to other people's. A way of attempting to increase your own status relative to others.

We create value for each other, that's what life is. Rich westerners have been living on triviality for quite some time and it's great.

1 comment:

Stacy said...

Hmm...interesting thought. I really never think of things like having a car as trivial, but that's just of course because it's such a commanality that to NOT have one is bizzare (in America, anyway). But staying with your point, I agree that we can call any number of things trivial because we don't need them to stay alive, but discrediting all our wonderful ideas and inventions as useless or unimportant doesn't make living to 100 sound too desirable. After all, these were created to make life worth living...and longer