This time in our history is fraught with people displaying unrestrained selfishness and zero respect for other people or any rules of conventional decorum. Thuggery has become de rigeur. We see it in the bloody-knuckle landscape of current politics, in Hollywood and the media’s willingness to amp up the Brownshirt intimidation and bullying tactics Hitler made famous in the late ’30s. We see it on ‘talk shows’ where combatants insult and shout each other down, rather than engaging in any meaningful discourse. And professional sports hasn’t escaped this vicious zeitgeist, either, as we see sports fans who will literally do anything to assure their team a win, regardless of fair play. The ‘win-at-all-costs‘ mindset of today is putting an increasing number of people in harm’s way.
Witness the capture on film of someone in the Arrowhead Stadium crowd at Sunday’s AFC Championship game directing a green laser at Tom Brady’s face and eyes during play. This was clearly intended to impair his ability to play, and could potentially cause blindness or retinal damage…..for what? So that the Chiefs could finally win an undeserved title game and play in a Superbowl? Is that worth potentially blinding a player of Brady’s stature or any player for that matter? How is it possible to justify this action? It would mean that if the Chiefs did win, it would be on account of criminal fan interference, not their own accomplishments. In other words, a meaningless, tainted victory. Is this what we are reduced to in this day and age?
At some point, the pendulum has to swing back the other way…or does it? When Machiavelli determines the rules of human interaction, things tend to descend uncontrollably into the abyss without a clear path back. I am unable to conceive of what might precipitate such a reversal, as the punches fly ever more freely and people continue to lower the level of their conduct to the bestial and remorseless. As Sunday’s football game demonstrates, there are those who have no honor or human decency, and only desire to seize what they covet, however hollow and meaningless it will be when they finally get their filthy mitts on it.