Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Civilizing Influences—For Better Or Worse

This morning I went out for breakfast.

While at breakfast, I read the newspaper.

Taking time to eat breakfast and read the paper can only exert a civilizing influence in our fast-paced and often ignorant society.

You see that the headline in the newspaper reports that six NATO troops were killed in Afghanistan.

War is a big part of civilization.

Maybe civilizing influences are a mixed bag.

January 12, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Why I Don’t Follow Hockey And Basketball

I know the world is in the midst of financial collapse and a flu pandemic, but I’d like to write here about hockey and basketball.

( Above—Women playing ice hockey 120 years ago.) 

I saw in my morning paper—which remains the most civilized and reflective way to get the news—that the Anaheim Ducks had eliminated the San Jose Sharks in the first round of the National Hockey League Playoffs.

This happened despite the fact that the Sharks had gained the best record in the NHL for the past season and that the Ducks were only the 8th best team in their conference.  Here are the final NHL standings for this season.

Hockey has something like 30 teams. 16 of them make the playoffs. Why even bother to play the regular season? Anybody who can muster just a halfway decent record makes the playoffs and then the best team can be knocked out in the first round. These same circumstances exist in pro basketball.  

The only sport I follow is baseball. In baseball 8 of the 30 teams make the playoffs. That’s better. The games mean something and fewer teams can coast knowing they have a playoff spot locked up.

In hockey and basketball, the games lack context and meaning. It’s a muddle. They just skate around or run up and down the court for six months waiting for the real action to start. Who would pay money to see all that meaningless mess?  

Our time and what we do with our time should have meaning and context.     

(Here is a history of hockey.)

April 28, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | 5 Comments