The Prophetic Changes Predicted by Sport and Pop Culture

By: Bill Whaley
14 June, 2017

During the last few decades, political factions and pundit cheerleaders have emulated sport. The era of NBA Super stars, long ball in baseball, and loyalty to the home team became the organizing principle of right wing radio and television voices like Rush Limbaugh and Fox Television pundits. Rush started out in baseball’s Kansas City Royal organization. Now the era of the superstar is giving way to teamwork, small ball, and recognition of old-fashioned excellence as the way to championships.

The San Francisco Giants of 2010, 2012, and 2014 won World Series victories due to unknown heroes for a day, steady pitching, close fielding, and tenacious hitting by authentic but nameless baseball players. Nobody on the Giants’ winning teams had the pedigree of either Willie Mays or Barry Bonds but the players played the game in total.

Indeed, the Golden State Warriors’ team play upended the LeBron James-led Cleveland Cavaliers similarly, due to unselfish play by Curry, Durant, Thompson, Green, Iguadola et al. The sum of the parts is greater than the whole. Manager Bruce Bochy of the Giants and Coach Steve Kerr of the Warriors, who played with Jordan, took the long view of team dynamics and prevailed.

The Giants of SF and the Warriors of Oakland reflect the diversity of the Bay Area on the teams and among their fans. California’s Governor Jerry Brown cut expenses, raised taxes, and turned California around from debt to surplus by addressing political realities of diversity and change, instead of wishful thinking aka “ideology,” or the failed policies of trickle down aimed at enriching the few at the expense of the many. Brown himself is unafraid to address the issue of Climate Change and seeks deals with China in order to cooperate in global trade and on realistic environmental imperatives. Currently, California is a model of state governance.

Meanwhile, in Washington D.C., the recent testimony of fired FBI director James Comey revealed how he emulated Muhammad Ali’s famed “rope-a-dope” strategy executed so many years ago during the early 1970s “rumble in the jungle.” Ali let George Foreman punch him in the body until the bigger man was worn out. After taking Foreman’s best shots, Ali (“Bomaye”) came off the ropes and delivered the coup de grace.

In the 2012 series, the slight Sergio “I only look illegal” Romo struck out the bigger stronger Miguel Cabrera of Detroit “looking.” The Warriors slender Kevin Durant and quick-spin artist Steph Curry scored on LeBron James while the latter “looked.”

Trump fired Comey. But while the President “looked,” the latter acted, got off the ropes and “leaked” memos to the press, resulting in the hiring of Inspector Robert Mueller, a nightmare for the besieged Trump-mafia family. Styled on the model of their Russian Oligarch financiers, the Trump is being sued for violating the “emoluments” clause or using the presidency like some version of the Pirates of the Caribbean. Now some 35,000 FBI agents with access to NSA wiretapped conversations of Russian agent-Trump phone calls are in the hunt for Trump.

In this summer’s big Hollywood hit, Wonder Woman, the Comic superstar has changed the tenor of the male-Marvel one-dimensional heroes by presenting a vulnerable and humanized version of the ancient goddess, who cooperates with her human team and bangs out the winning strokes. See also tennis-great Serena Williams playing Ping Pong with Steph Curry of the Warriors in a TV commercial. Though sport and pop culture aim at entertainment, they retain enough elements of art to depict change far in advance of politicos whose policies are based on nostalgic paradigms from B movies with Ronald Reagan.

The Empire Strikes Back. The U.S. House and Senate, Republican-controlled, are in the midst of trying to replace health care insurance with “death panels” by giving tax breaks to the wealthy and letting the poor fend for themselves. American college students are being persuaded to enjoin their futures by going into endless debt the way the military-industrial complex has promoted a future of endless war. Climate deniers and deregulators, personified by the strongman Trump, Darth Vader and the Storm Troopers, seek endless profits. The vicious cycle of the “fast food” industry and “medico-pharmaceuticals” creates a diabolical dialectic of profit and death for the wealthy and their minions in Congress.

Meanwhile a weak-kneed Democratic Party confronts the Republican Party with arguments and allusions to the Constitution. Every kid knows you can’t win a duel if you bring a knife to a gunfight. Remember how Indiana Jones finished off his saber-wielding opponent with a forty-five. When a news reporter asked an inappropriate question of a Republican candidate in Montana, the successful Republican beat the shit out of the reporter. Mitch McConnell plays hardball.

All over the world terrorists and drug cartels are killing the messengers (journalists). Similarly the Obama administrators (Et Tu Brute!) have imprisoned alleged leakers like Chelsea Manning or placed progenitors of bad news behind the curtain in Moscow (Snowden) or under house arrest in England (Assange).

Just as the elite policy in America has been making “class war” on the poor by introducing drugs into the Ghetto and incarcerating people of color, so now the medical-pharmaceuticals are pursuing poor white folks across the rust belt and the silenced coalfields with the sale of dope.

It isn’t about Republicans and Democrats; it’s about “us” and “them.” Racism is real but it’s also the method of divide and conquer, which benefits the elite, whether conservative or progressive in terms of class war. It’s no accident that the “billionaire” Trump represents the head of the government. And it’s no accident that the voice of rebellion comes out of the socialist mouth of New Deal Independent Bernie Sanders.

Sport and movies may not be real life but they are harbingers like signs from the ancient Oracle at Delphi. A lonely nation may turn to Joe DiMaggio but “Mighty Casey” has struck out. We live in the midst of a melodramatic cliffhanger-suspense drama and nobody is in control of the script. Even as the members of the Congressional death panel meet secretly, maybe Wonder Woman will appear, maybe not.

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