You Played Yourself Ice-T
With the exception of masochists and “doormats”, it is an intrinsic human nature to disliked being played (being played the fool). From our earliest struggles with each other over food, land, and resources up to the present day issues we hate being played.
If you ask me, February has seen a whole lot of game playing going on. First, we had Super Bowl XLVIII here in New Jersey. Now, we have the current Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Mind you, there’s nothing wrong with any kind of sporting event. However, when it becomes a distraction to bigger problems I have an issue.
The Super Bowl came on the heels of political game-playing here at home. The first was the “Bridgegate” scandal here in Jersey where Governor Chris Christie ordered the closure of the lanes of the George Washington Bridge in Fort Lee (NJ) due to the town’s mayor not giving Christie his support. Since this scandal broke, other accusations against the Christie administration surface-some that could torpedo his career (including his running for President in 2016). Many in New Jersey felt that these political shenanigans played them for fools.
Another game the Super Bowl followed was President Obama’s State Of The Union address. Here, Obama had the opportunity to go after those who ruined the country (the big banks and Wall Street), rein in the NSA, kill the drone strikes, put the Republicans feet to the fire, and other actions that could have helped We The People. But alas, Obama dropped the ball. He tried to play negotiator and wound up being played. Plus, he focused the speech on other-less confrontational-issues and distracted the American people. In turn, We The People were played.
The Super Bowl, with all its hype and patriotic fervor, was a diversion playing the people from real issues tearing up the Good Ol’ US of A and in New Jersey. Issues such as healthcare, employment, foreclosures, economic nightmares, domestic spying, and foreign drone strikes were pushed to the back burner of our collective mind while we vicariously followed the game from start to finish. New Jersey received nothing out of the NFL plopping the game into the state-in fact, we were screwed! With Bridgegate, political playing in Trenton (state capital), Hurricane Sandy aid still not reaching those in need, and a whole host of other problems; the Super Bowl again was a diversion.
The Winter Olympics are another diversion. “Team USA” strutting into Russia to show them Russkies our stuff! We went to Russia and thumbed our noses at our hosts, saying, “Take THAT!” for Russia’s stance on Gays, on protecting Edward Snowden, for Pussy Riot, and for the “graft” involved with building up Sochi for the winter games. We used the games to prove our “moral superiority” over Russia and President Vladimir Putin. The games distracted us from the fact that WE were no better with Gays for years, with Obama (and predecessors) waffling on GLBTQ rights. We were diverted from the fact that we would have killed Snowden if given the chance because he had the guts to tell the truth about the NSA and Obama’s complicity with their activities. We blamed Putin’s jailing Pussy Riot for their anti-establishment performance, but forget how “democratic” America demonized many a musician for their anti-establishment stances. And Sochi graft? Look at no further than the above Super Bowl! The NFL treated the NJ/NY area like shit while reaping tons of cash. Oh by the way, the NFLs a tax-exempt organization (FYI).
In essence, We The People were played; and are still being played. And what’s so sad is that we don’t recognize it; or don’t think anything’s wrong. We think there’s nothing wrong with these diversions-diversions to get our minds off of the important issues-and will even defend them. We don’t mind being played at all.
And we’ll get played until those who play us get tired of us. Then like an old record, or an old toy, we too will be put on a shelf to rot…
And maybe only then, we’ll realize we’ve been played.