Thursday, September 15, 2005

Why atheletes are right and actors are left

Many of you probably know already that former Steeler receiver Lynn Swann is running for Governor of Pennsylvania as a Republican. Atheletes getting into politics is not news, but this does reinforce the modern trend of althelete-Republicans including former Reps. Steve Largent and J.C. Watts and campaigner Tom Brady.

Why are they all Republicans? Admitedly they aren't ALL Republicans but that seems to be the majority athelete view. And on the flip side why is Hollywood entirely Democratic (ok, ok they aren't ALL Dems either).

Why? Because atheletes live in a near idealized merit-based system where the only things holding down their income potential are their own skills, work-ethic, and arbitrary rulings by the league. While actors live in a largely chance-based world where who you know and the happenstance of you sharing a chiropractor with the producer of Lost (true story) gets you a job. Talent need not factor in. (see Keanu Reeves).

Like we all do, actors and atheletes apply their learned world-view to politics. Atheletes look at well-fare recipients and ask why they don't work harder, maybe run after pratice more. Actors figure they didn't know the right producer, just haven't gotten their lucky break yet.

Actors look at world politics and want to know why we think we're right all the time. They spend their lives trying to portray different people and viewpoints as believable. Why is Bush's answer to put these people on the rocky end of Cuba and misplace the key? Atheletes understand intuitively that if someone does not get with the game plan they are a detriment to the team and sometimes a danger to others, namely quarterbacks.

Before all their success those same actors slept on friends' floors and ate on below-the-poverty-line jobs like waiting tables at noon on Wednesdays and realize that without 2-3 years of being held up by others they would never have survived long enough to get their big break. Maybe government should do the same for other homeless and jobless and under-employed.

Post success atheletes realize that the main reason they can't make $50 million per season instead of $10 million (OK, baseball excluded). Is that the league has these arbitrary rules about salary caps, and luxury taxes, and limited player movement. And that's really no different then the government taking out 40% so they can waste it on someone else who isn't working hard enough.

In the end maybe they could learn something from each other. Maybe our atheletes would be better people if they struggled a little more in life and maybe our actors would sound less like lonetics if they didn't try to empathize with absolutely everyone.

Maybe the rest of us should take a second to figure out which calidescope lens we look at the world through.

Why atheletes are right and actors are left [Reply]

Yeah Doug's Blog! This will need a more pithy name in the future though...

The glib thing to say would be that actors live in a fantasy world so that explains their politics...that is only partially true.

Actors by and large have a strong need to be liked and loved, couple that with what they observe and believe to be true and you have a formula for a perfect group of post-modern people who accept nearly everything, believe in moral equivalence, practice situation ethics and judge nothing.

Comment by Clay (12/15/2006 15:54)

[Reply]

I'd take issue with this statement:

"In the end maybe they could learn something from each other. Maybe our atheletes would be better people if they struggled a little more in life and maybe our actors would sound less like lonetics if they didn't try to empathize with absolutely everyone."

I think you're forgetting that for a lot of athletes, their talent is their ticket out of poverty. For many they have had a struggle we can't fathom. Donovan McNabb came out of the south side of Chicago and Terrell Owens from deep Alabama. I've been to the former and not the latter, but I am fairly sure that neither was an easy to place to grow up.

Comment by steve (12/15/2006 15:54)

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