Hazy Shade of Winter

Not long ago, we used to chart the passing of the seasons by our relationship with the earth (planting, growing, harvest, winter seasons). Today, however, we chart our passage through the year by the various events on the sports calendar: the SuperBowl gives way to March Madness, which gives way to Spring Training, which gives way to NBA and NHL playoffs, which gives way to the Boys of Summer, which gives way to the return to school and the start of college football, which gives way to the Fall Classic, which gives way to the college bowl games, and back to the SuperBowl.

As an extension of nature, this made a great deal of sense. For example, the cooling air of the autumn harvest and the beginning of college football seemed to be made for each other. However, technology has distorted this "natural" relationship: domed stadia allow us to play bowl games in the dead of winter, while artificial ice allows the NHL playoffs to extend well into June. Other technologies similarly divorce our sporting selves from any relationship with the earth's ecosystems.

Once again, Baudrillard illuminates this post with an aphorism of his own: "Snow is no longer a gift from on high. It falls precisely at those places designated as winter resorts."


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