Black Rebel Motorcycle Club has a song called "Weapon of Choice" which contains the line, "I won't waste my love on a nation." I am inclined to agree with this--I reserve love for truth. I do not view America as a land of opportunity or a land of anti-opportunity, though the world, right now, is largely a place that is an anti-meritocracy, save, most notably and obviously, in sports. If you have talent, if you are the best at what you do in a sport, you will rise to the top of that sport. You control that--and early in life, too.
I'm watching many athletes grandstand right now and wave fingers, talking about privilege, when none of them seem to understand their privilege of existing in a system--sports--that is entirely about meritocracy (and for which they are compensated millions and millions of dollars to play the games of children). Most people do not have that. Granted, most people wouldn't benefit from it (and a lot would be screwed), as so many of us now trend to utter mediocrity. Publishing is the ultimate anti-meritocracy. It is entirely about a class system, and it is entirely about you being a kind of person, and not your ability, not what you can do. In fact, your ability will work against you, the greater it is. There will be more to hate, fear, envy.
Drew Brees is in the news today because of his remarks about kneeling and the anthem. It blows my mind--though I expect a prevailing level of insanity at this juncture, as that's become the status quo--that anyone would care, one way or the other, what someone prefers to do while the anthem is being played. I don't mean urinating on the ground while it's playing. Just taking a knee. Stand, don't stand, no rational person should have some massive issue either way. That's called freedom. It is one of the points of America. It is one of the points of the Civil War, the World Wars. Freedom. When you kneel, you express that freedom, when you stand, you express that freedom. So, in reality, it's really the same thing.
People view the world not via reality, but through their own personal lens. Their lenses are limited. Very few people can do empathy anymore. Brees deems not kneeling paramount on account of his lens. The athletes who bash him fail to view the rest of the world as anything but the meritocracy that they enjoy. Most people are a form of hypocrite with limited vision. Things become in vogue to rail against, and with social media, you pick the right things at the right times, and you are a hero. I read this statement by Jonathan Toews that people raved about, and it was just platitudes, but if you are on the left, or espouse the viewpoints of the left, and you are a celebrity, any time you muster two or more sentences, you'll be a hero, no matter how simple and cliched what you're saying is, how limited it is, how meaningless and poorly expressed it is. Or, you can say one or two words, like Seth Rogan, and also be a hero. The baseline for such hero-ness might as well be buried in the center of the earth. Pretty damn easy to step over it. We are a society of panderers right now. Also, a society of people too scared to say what many know, out of sheer terror of not wanting the mob to come for them. More and more people are beaten into a kind of submission of fear every day. Doesn't change reality. And it's also not progress. It's just people too fucking scared to say anything. Think of a marriage that doesn't work where one person is frightened of the other. They might "yes dear" and "I love you so much" and all of that, but they don't mean it. They don't want problems. The Woke mob is not creating change--it's actually setting change back. You have to connect with people--not frighten them into what is only a form of lip service.
As for Colin Kaepernick: He's a con man. He was not good enough to be a starting quarterback in the NFL, which is readily apparent if you spend any time with the numbers, and also watched him near the end of his NFL tenure. I could care less if he kneels or anyone kneels. As I said, it boggles my mind that this could offend you. I mean, really, who on earth cares the physical position a person takes while a song is being played? I am offended by Kaepernick because he is a fraud and lazy one. He's exploiting this system, and he loves it. He had a Woke girlfriend, she wanted him to be a certain way, his career was over, he pivoted to the easiest role you can play in our society, if you have money and are on the left: and that is hero for the lemmings who need to fill the void within in, abetted by the world's ultimate cancer and killer of the self, social media. I'm a lot better at what I do than Colin Kaepernick is at what he does. I face real blackballing. And what do I do? I work all day every day, and have done so for the last eight years. Every day, all day. I write while I'm asleep. I do nothing else. Why didn't he go to Canada and prove how amazing he was, force the league--even if the league was screwing him--to have to take him back? Because he would have been exposed, even in Canada. He's not in the NFL because of his skills. It's not 2012. It doesn't stay 2012 forever.
I also could care less what Brees thinks about what you should do while the anthem is being played. You don't think these guys have millions of stupid things they think that you never learn about, that would be the death of every last one of them if you knew? Instant pariah status? You don't think it's that way with nearly everyone on earth? We're not talking Aristotle here. He needs to be cancelled? Talentless fossils blinded by their agenda like Keith Olberman need to say his money-making career is over? The guy is just projecting what he feels about his family and his family history on the situation. What he thinks is stupid and bland. So who cares? Ignore it. You don't know lots of people who say stupid and bland things? You just unfollow them on Facebook. You don't take it personally. Sounds like Brees did a lot for New Orleans after Katrina. At least he did that, right? That sounds pretty important. So, in sum, some good stuff, and some stupid and bland statements, too, which would be utterly benign if this was not a period in which you are going to be force-fed Wokeness as if it was the real new fascism. Which it is. But you're not supposed to think that.
Kneeling isn't even much of a protest. Kaepernick throws money at things, which is so much different than time and energy and in a situation where you don't have money. Kneeling is the equivalent of tossing up a filter on your Facebook profile page. It's the indolent form of action. Work twenty hours a day, minimum, year in, year out, because you truly believe in things, believe in yourself, believe in being an agent of change, and then come talk to me. Kneel, don't kneel. It's not a thing to get worked up about, because doing either is merely an expression of the freedom afforded Americans. Which is the one saving grace, maybe, of this country and where it sits presently.
You know what's funny? You never hear any mention of what Jimi Hendrix did to "The Star-Spangled Banner." What a great work of art he created from what is really a pretty shitty song. As a song. Not a sonic symbol. But kneeling is nothing compared to the balls he had with that song. Now that was a statement, and it used the thing I reserve my love for, and that is truth. Because Hendrix was an artist, not a con man.