Sports, sex and the the hero's journey narrative all play a role in America's perception of our relationship to Afghanistan. President Obama can pander to our baser instincts, tapping the nation's archetypal sports and sexual images and energy to sell what is becoming his war, as he's been doing, or seek a higher road that takes America home to a higher level as a better nation.
The national sport of Afghanistan, Buzkashi, involves horsemen
knocking around a headless goat and successfully carrying it across a
goal line. Unlike American sports, which last hours, Buzkashi can last
Buzkashi; flickr image by zz77
Here in the US, where football, baseball, basketball and
ice hockey are the national obsessions, the idea of crossing the goal
line, finish line or home plate, dunking or scoring is a major
Now, that metaphor is being projected upon Afghanistan.
should add that my mind is not befuddled, like most American
heterosexual males, by sports mania. On the contrary, I have sports
attention deficit, an abnormality that led to what came close to child
neglect for my two sons, They seem to have survived my "disorder" and
are, themselves, quite addicted to baseball, football, cage matches
wrestling and the like.
That said, I feel I can see a pattern that most males and maybe even females who live with such normalized madness would not.
The American obsession with crossing the goal or finish line is deeply ingrained.
There's also the Judeo Christian work ethic of doing the job right, finishing the job.
make matters worse, in terms of feeding into the subconscious of the
male psyche, there's even a Freudian aspect to completion--
consumation, penetration, finishing the orgasm...
It's a noble goal for sports and work. It's a biological drive for sexual completion.
But the same metaphor applied to Afghanistan is a big, BIG mistake.
The metaphor is simple in isolation, but there are all kinds of examples where it is just plain bad.
Cheating is not the way to finish. Doing a bad job is not the way to finish.
when it hurts your family or community or costs you your job or health
is bad, finish or not. It's selfish, perhaps obsessive.
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Rob Kall is executive editor, publisher and website architect of OpEdNews.com, Host of the Rob Kall Bottom Up Radio Show (WNJC 1360 AM), and publisher of Storycon.org, President of Futurehealth, Inc, and an inventor . He is also published regularly on the Huffingtonpost.com
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Rob is, with Opednews.com the first media winner of the Pillar Award for supporting Whistleblowers and the first amendment.
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