VPS + Zzz = NWO? (tba…)

Speculation on the narcotic effects of professional sport consumption:

Anything that helps to tire the body helps to expel bad thoughts; so care is taken that games consist of violent exercise. At night, they fall asleep the moment they touch the pillow (Ducpétiaux in Foucault, Discipline and Punish, p.324).

Is it possible that the environments created by the stadium and/or the television are so highly engaging and immersive that the body becomes tired in consuming them? Is it possible that the adrenaline rush we receive in the course of watching others exercise violently helps to tire the body out and thus expel bad thoughts? In other words, when we outer our nervous systems into the mediated professional sport experience, do we experience a sort of Violent Passion Surrogate that serves as a form of social control?

Like, A Re-run

What is The Message? blogs about a story in the Toronto Star in which University of Toronto linguist Sali Tagliamonte describes the "unprecedented" evolution of the English language thanks to teenagers' extended use of the word, "like."

Mark Federman accounts for the explosion thusly:

When we used to relate an incident or a conversation, we related it directly. We quoted what someone actually said, or described what something actually was, as opposed to what it was "like." In substituting the simile for the verb (and yes, I realize that the usage in this case is not strictly the comparative, but, like, bear with me…) we are subconsciously creating a simulacrum of the experience for our listener, rather than treating the experience as a true first-person account. We have become so conditioned by mass-media - and especially television - to show us simulacra of the world (think so-called Reality TV) that we adopt the same stance, even without a camera. Interestingly, this is a reversal from the perception in McLuhan's day, that TV brought the world in to our homes. Now, it is a fabrication of the world, a surrogate world, made by producers. Not the world, but what the world is like.

Some interesting food for thought as I re-run my own musings on the emergence of "like" in the context of sports videogames.

Wiley vs. The Roadrunner

In defending Barry Bonds, the central character in the BALCO Labs drama, ESPN.com's Ralph Wiley points out:

Now we are definitely in an era of performance-enhancing drugs; no need for any of us to be on any high horse about it. Without Toprol or Lotrel, anti- high-blood pressure drugs, or especially Nexium, I'm sure I'd be curled up in a ball somewhere. Do you want to get into all the performance enhancers you take? And is not all of your work still valid? Or, not? Am I supposed to believe nobody actually uses Cialis or Levitra or Viagra, that the companies making them are going broke? Why is it when NFL football players are shot up in their ankles and calves and knees and rib cages and shoulders and necks with pain-killers to numb themselves and then go out and sacrifice their damaged limbs so they can perform for us, we have no outrage over that?

Why is that not "cheating"?

I'll side with the Wiley Coyote on this one, no matter that he'll get roadrunnered by the mainstream public for saying so. As I have pointed out earlier, it seems a tad hypocritical of society (aka 'The Fans') to hold athletes to a different standard of morality than that to which they hold themselves — just because we pay them to do so.