Harry Hope's Saloon

This blog takes it's name from the setting for O'Neill's The Iceman Cometh -- a lousy gin-mill; a smoked-out, greasy dive where the habitues have all landed, it seems, permanently. Their lives, in each case, are paralyzed by fear and laziness. Like my own.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Bad Day, Bad Mood ... Bad writing

Liked this passage from a recent article in Salon.com, {Kevin Berger, author) concerning this week's congressional hearing on steroids in baseball:

I should admit that I tuned into the hearings Thursday mostly in agreement with Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Randy Wolf, who said that Congress's new zeal around steroids amounted to "chemical McCarthyism." The din of condemnation seemed hysterical, hypocritical and a distraction from baseball's much more serious political scandal, which is its exemption from the federal antitrust act, which allows wealthy owners to earn exorbitant profits and pretty much rob cities of taxes in the process. And isn't it rich that this is the same government committee that mostly failed to investigate wrongdoing at Enron? The collapse of which made it awfully hard for a lot of folks in Houston to afford tickets to watch the Astros' Jeff Bagwell slap a double to the right field gap. In short, the steroid witch hunt seemed another log on the bonfire of religious moralism that blinds us to the country's more serious problems.

I don't really think much of the comparison to investigations, or lack of same, into the Enron scandal, which sounds too much like the tired old defense of Martha Stewart, who is supposed to have been molested in ways spared Ken Lay, but the overall sentiment, and especially the final statement, hits the mark.

I've been lamenting for some time, to anyone unfortunate enough to raise anything like the issue around me, that the incorporated "religious right" in this country suffers from a very distinct and conspicuous lack of real morality.

And I think the problem spreads way beyond that amorphous, scolding group. Everywhere I turn, to whomever I look, left and right, I seem to see pinched faces, thin skin and gleaming eyes staring in judgement, bespeaking an urge to punish - compounding resentment and misery; redistributing shame and rage in the name of gods and parents and children and family values and structure... in accordance with the way we are brought up. It's all very modern crisis, very Munch and Brecht, very fin de Siecle...

I'm judging: I find it immoral.


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