Sunday, October 2, 2011

Baseball is the Opium of the People

Photo by some corporate lackey used without permission because I am
sticking it to the man.  Or something.  "This is what democracy looks like!"

Yesterday, as the Philadelphia Phillies hosted the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 1 of the National League Division Series, anti-corporate protesters occupied the Brooklyn Bridge.  Over 700 protesters were arrested but not the young man I encountered in a bar about three-quarters of mile south of the East River crossing.  He reported that he climbed from the roadway to the pedestrian path in the center of the bridge and escaped.  Done with anarchy, at least for the time being, he was rooting for his home-town Phillies to win.

The Phillies did just that.  Philadelphia ace Roy Halliday gave up a three-run blast to Lance Berkman in the first inning but then settled down, retiring the next 21 batters.  That gave his team the chance to get to St. Louis starter Kyle Lohse and relievers Marc Rzepczynski and Mitchell Boggs.  However, the young anarchist missed the Phillies' ten runs in three innings, as well as the Cardinal's late-game rally.

I can understand abandoning political principle and action to watch post-season baseball.  But really, how much of a fan can you be if you are unable to drink beer, flirt with girls and watch baseball?  This is not what is referred to by the phrase, "multi-tasking."  And this is a guy who boasted he had committed arson, criminal trespass and assault after Philadelphia won the World Series in 2008.  For the second time yesterday afternoon, I questioned his conviction.

Representation of reality cannot be copyrighted!  I am sorry; I have
allowed today's topic to corrupt my usual respect for intellectual property.

I think it was in the third inning when the Phillies fan told me about his experience on the bridge, expressing outrage that the New York Police Department had "lured" the protesters mid-span before penning them in and making arrests.  The police had a plan, he cried; they had already arranged for buses to take the arrested away!  They even had helicopters!

It was all so incredibly naïve; I didn't know what to say.  The police, like the Phillies, came to win.  Today it was revealed that the protesters had been warned they risked arrest if they did not disperse.  If you were in the middle of the pack, and thought the First Amendment allowed you to express yourself however you pleased, you probably missed that announcement.  You also missed the first game between the Phillies and the Cardinals, as well as the resumption of Game 1 between the Yankees and the Tigers.  I did not.

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