So there's a petition going around (I've seen several friends post about it on Facebook) to make the MLB's Opening Day a national holiday. Anheuser Busch has even endorsed it (hello, publicity stunt!). There's something about this stunt that I find beyond ridiculous, even offensive. "But Leonard, it's just a day off of work! Who doesn't want that?" I don't, not when it costs this much.
While I would never begrudge someone his or her enjoyable
pastime, it is just that: a pastime. And while it is a colloquialism
to say that baseball is the U.S.'s national pastime, it's just a fun
thing to say; there is no official pastime. More than that, what about
other pastimes? I'm sure the fans of football, soccer, hockey,
basketball, etc. would like the openings of their seasons recognized
nationally. Hell, perhaps I think National Knit in Public Day should be
recognized officially so I can participate. Like many sports, knitting
too requires skill, talent, dexterity, practice, eye-hand coordination,
spatial recognition, and (gasp!) math.
And what about the
myriad of different art openings? There are many, many of us who do not
enjoy any sport at all. Surely those seasons and offerings should be
recognized as a part of our culture, too.
But here's the part I
really, REALLY dislike: I am tired of the inflated status sports
continue to have, not just in this city, but in this country --
especially when budgets for arts programs continue to be slashed across
the country, at both local and federal levels. Combine that inflation
with the god-like status many players receive (or take upon themselves),
add in the culture of hypermasculinity that pervades both college and
professional sports, and we get things like accused rapists, murderers,
animal abusers, and homophobes.
And I find nothing in that that I want to celebrate. That "free" day off of work isn't so free after all.
So, by all means, please enjoy your "sportsball" and your pastimes and
your hobbies, but also please stop trying to foist them on the rest of