Although I know a big football game was held yesterday, I haven’t a clue who won. I know a team called Giants played some other team, but I have no idea who. Unlike many of my fellow Americans, I do not follow football. Every now and then I work up enough enthusiasm to ‘sort of’ watch a Packer game. I say sort of, because I am usually working on the computer while the game is on and David is shouting the score from the other room. That is unless the Packers start to lose. Then he turns the TV off and finds something else to do.
When I was a kid, it was different. Although I never got interested in contact sports, I did like baseball. Like many kids, I chewed 3,000 penny packs of gum to collect baseball cards. I played baseball with the boys just like the girl (Tatum O’Neil) in Bad News Bears. I was on my class softball team in high school, and wrote the women’s sports column for the high school paper.
My son Richard was a baseball fan too. When he was younger, I brought him a baseball signed by Pete Rose. After Pete was disgraced, my interest in baseball players as role models began to wane. The spate of drug incidents in the past decade killed my enthusiasm for sports. This was just as well, as I had no time for such frivolity.
So, what did David and I do while others watched football? We read books. You know those things with words printed on pages. David finished his book Fifteen Flags Over Siberia and I read one of my text books. We also both worked on our computers.
At 4:00 we watched Bill Moyers new TV program on PBS. Yesterday, Bill hosted social psychologist, Jonathan Haidt from UVA, who discussed the contentious roots of our political culture. The fellow, who describes himself as a former Liberal and now a Centrist, was attempting to bridge the gap between the two extremes in American politics. I don’t know if he succeeded or not, but I asked David when the program was over if he understood what Haidt was saying, and he said “No.”
If you are interested in installment 4 of Bill’s new show, you can see it by finding the Bill Moyers link (below). Haidt has posted a test you can take to find out where you stand on the political spectrum regarding crime and punishment. I suggest that if you take the test you read some of the comments left by fellow test takers after you review your results.
I took the test and discovered I was as traditional as Liberals and as progressive as Conservatives on the issue of crime. But I already knew where I sat. I am truly in the middle which is where I believe any thoughtful person will find themselves. That may be my bias, but I don’t like extremism of any kind.
I would like to join company with the Liberals they seem to have more fun, but I can’t. Liberals are so sure they are right and I am not so sure. But who doesn’t want to be right about everything? Although I find many conservatives make off-putting remarks, I hear them out. I think they are not wrong all of the time, especially on economic matters. Thus even after I listened to Haidt, I ended up, as usual, sitting on the fence, a very uncomfortable place to be, especially as you grow older and have back issues.
If you want to listen to Bill’s January 5 program and take the test, here is the link: http://billmoyers.com/ You can also find his earlier programs on this link.