Morrissey: The most wonderful time of the yearWritten by Tom Morrissey | | firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s supposedly the “most wonderful time of the year,” but someone forgot to inform Life of this. Tragedy, heartbreak, and sadness still occur during this “wonderful” time.
Funeral home parking lots still fill up at the wrong time. The bad timing continues as funeral processions trek down city streets and through red lights. It’s easy to get irritated at the traffic nightmare, but as the procession passes and time wears off the irritation, reality becomes stark – those people aren’t running the red light with the intent to joyride.
One thing to associate with the most wonderful time of the year and Northwest Ohio is the bad weather. The temperature drops, the precipitation invades, and the sun hides for six months. In a twisted way, this is a good thing. The suicide rate over the winter months is lower, because the bad weather brings everyone down.
Although not associated directly with the Christmas season, antidepressant drug use has leaped 400% in the last 20 years, according to the CDC. One in four women ages 40 to 59 are taking antidepressants. One in 25 teens take such medication. Eleven percent of children 12 and under use.
Despite the alarming percentages, the fact is, even during the “most wonderful time of the year,” real problems do not disappear.
My Yahoo! inbox turns into a spam folder filled with gift suggestions for under $150 and 30% off purchases of $300 or more. Christmas trees start appearing in stores before the Halloween candy starts to be consumed. The River starts playing non-stop Christmas music way too early.
Who knew one could actually look forward to hearing overplayed hits from Lady Gaga?
The pressure that accompanies Christmas can be unbearable. Beyond hearing “I want a hippopotamus for Christmas” for the 348th time by the same annoying voice, dealing the barrage of commercialism, and making it through the holidays without ticking off family or wishing someone the wrong holiday, there are expectations to meet. During this hectic, yet “most wonderful” time of the year, Life still drags its participants along.
Beyond the antidepressants and reality of this most commercialized time of the year, Americans find their escapes from the real world. An innumerable amount of options exist to offer a break from the daily, depressing grind. Playstation 3’s are only $249. A new restaurant or bar opens in Toledo at least every other week. College and professional sports parade across televisions nightly.
Unfortunately for the world this Christmas, Santa Claus could not help the NBA lockout last the entire season. With serious proof that Santa really failed, opening day of the NBA is on Christmas Day.
In the classic claymation Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer cartoon, Santa declares, “There will be no Christmas this year.” Rudolph then sees his time to shine (pun intended), and Christmas is saved. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get the same declaration regarding the NBA, and some Rudolph-wannabes had to save the NBA’s season.
With real and countless issues plaguing lives everyday, the last thing one can find compassion for is multi-millionaire jocks.
But the real issue is that these athletes are entertainers, nothing more, and their entertainment value is appreciated by a decent amount of spectators worldwide. They are able to sign the massive contracts because their talent can draw immense amounts of revenue.
The draw of the NBA, like any other sport, is that the outcome of the game does not have any affect on real life. It’s pure entertainment. One can submerge into being a diehard fan, get let down year after year, but life is not affected, whether a team has a zero in the win or in the loss column.
The NBA is a form of escape. When athletes, who are nothing more than entertainers – the functional equivalent of circus clowns, decide to make certain demands, the entertainment value is jeopardized and brought to the level of reality. It’s time to remind NBA athletes of their role in and value to society.
Dear NBA clowns, you are not basketball court magicians or directors. You are simply court jesters. Your societal value is simply entertainment and to provide an escape from Life.