Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Taking a break. . .

I grew up in a neighborhood of all boys--except for one girl who lived across the street and liked to play dolls and dress-up and other girlie stuff. As a tomboy, I fought (sometimes, alas, literally) my way into various games of  football, baseball, and cowboys. Is that why I grew up grooving on competition? Who knows? Who cares? All I know for certain is that if give me a good sporting event to watch, or in which I can participate, and I am a happy woman.

Last night was sports fan nirvana. First Juan Martin del Potro upset  and unseated the reigning king of tennis, Roger Federer in five sets. Then pro-football quarterback Tom Brady, after being sidelined for an entire year by an injured (and subsequently infected) left knee, lead the New England Patriots to a one-point victory over the surprisingly tough Buffalo Bills. Scoring 14 points in the last 2-or-so-minutes, no less. Brady, evidently, is baaaaack!

I was for both of last night's winners, but that's incidental. The joy of sports for me is that I get to divide what's happening into good people and bad people. There are no nuanced feelings, no even-handedness demanded of me. So for  a few hours last night, I was a partisan. It was soooooo intellectually and psychologically restful.

This morning, rested and refreshed from an exercise in non-irresponsible partisanship, I turned on Morning Edition, and listened to  nuanced explorations of racism in politics, the water supply in Los Angeles, the war in Afghanistan and assorted international fiscal dis-ease with a clear head and a rested heart. I had gotten any need for partisan wallowing out of my system watching sports last night. Now, I'm ready to think again, to attempt to understand all sides, to listen. In short, I'm ready  to accept the inconvenient truth that citizenship is not a partisan experience. And that I'm an irresponsible citizen if I treat it as such.

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