Inhibiting Creativity?

From Richard Florida's essay "The Rise of the Creative Class":

It is a telling commentary on our age that at a time when political will seems difficult to muster for virtually anything, city after city can generate the political capital to underwrite hundreds of millions of dollars of investments in professional sports stadiums. And you know what? They don't matter to the creative class. Not once during any of my focus groups and interviews did the members of the creative class mention professional sports as playing a role of any sort in their choice of where to live and work. What makes most cities unable to even imagine devoting those kinds of resources or political will to do the things that people say really matter to them?

Reminds me of the sportocratic VPS

Basketball (Black) Thoughts and ?s

Take the poetry of soccer, combine it with four hundred years of racial bondage and the detritus of industrial America, and you have basketball, the NBA flavour of which flops around like a fish out of water as it tries to adapt to the forces of globalization.

How to rip basketball away from its essentially black roots as it makes the next movement worldwide? How to package a hyperreal urban blackness for a global audience?

TBA is the best way to describe this basketball association's transnational aspirations — to be announced.

On Entering The Dragon

China banned Nike's new LeBron James commercial, which is titled Chamber of Fear. Chinese officials stated that the ad "violates regulations that mandate that all advertisements in China should uphold national dignity and interest and respect the motherland's culture."

James replied, "It was never intended to hurt anybody or any culture or anything like that."

It is unclear whether this is good or not for Nike, but the conspiracy theorist in me says that this will be good for them, and that it was likely engineered by officials from Nike.

Panic Olympics

In light of the recent hysteria concerning BALCO, Bonds and Baseball, I thought I would post a short essay from Kroker and Cook's Panic Encyclopedia (1989). (Once again, I am not sure if this journal post contravenes the copyright notice included in the book or not, so I will post the link where you can freely download the book and decide for yourself. Boldface emphasis added.)

PANIC OLYMPICS

Ben Johnson committed a big sign crime, and he is paying for it as the newest sacrificial victim of the Olympics.

If, in twenty-four hours, he could implode from a Promethean hero of classic proportions into a sacrificial scapegoat for the masses' fury at being sign-switched, it just proves that Ben Johnson's body has now a second existence: an abstract screen onto which are projected all of the inadequacies of a TV audience that is suffering a bad case of distemper. In Canada, Johnson's return from Seoul was a scene taken directly from The Day of the Locust: a raging media scrum demanding why he had betrayed his country, government leaders trumpeting "swift retribution" by banning him for life from international competition. And Johnson, himself, who began running as a stutterer found himself finally unable to speak. On ABC's Nightline, Edwin Moses, who only wins bronze medals now, is having one last media career as a cynical comic in the Reagan style, by urging that Johnson's sign crime be taken up as a challenge for the policing of the drug free body. And, in Seoul, the panic claims of Olympic officials that this is a victory for "scientific detection" of the doped body is met by all the smugness of the TV anchors who talk darkly of "tainted competitions."

So, why all the hysteria? Perhaps because it is the age of sacrificial sports now: that point where the Olympics, under the pressure of the mass media, re-enter the dark domain of mythology. No longer sports as about athletic competition, but postmodern sports now fascinating only because the athlete's body is a blank screen for playing out the darker passions of triumph and scapegoatism. Johnson's second body (his simulated body that was the focus of all the mass media attention) then, as an empty sign onto which could be projected a triple resentment: the resentment of the Olympic Committee which, having already surrendered its sovereignty on the question of money, took up with a vengeance the policing of the drug free body; the resentment of the silent mass audience that saw its psychological investment in Johnson's triumph over Carl Lewis instantly reversed by evidence of his use of anabolic steroids; and the resentment of the media at being cheated of the illusion of an "even playing field."

Just as Nietzsche predicted, there is nothing quite so dangerous as a worldwide mob, robbed of its own dream-world and thirsting for revenge at the unmasking of its own illusions. With Ben Johnson, The Day of the Locust finally goes global in the psychological form of Panic Olympics.

Gibson on Panic

"We're more comfortable with an earlier version of who we were and what we were — it makes us feel more in control."

I might take the liberty of tacking Gibson's words onto my theorizing of the ludic luddite, and note that he is absolutely correct in pointing out that panic is the fundamental driver of this group in society (see also Kroker).

A Warm Place

"Technology is the knack of arranging the world so we don't have to experience it."

– graffiti of Max Frisch quote seen in No Maps For These Territories