Posts Tagged ‘Utopia’

Bob and Kaye Leap from Football and Relationships to SAVING THE WORLD!!!

September 18, 2013

Why is history important?  We’ll get into that in a minute.  But we’ll kick off this post by letting you know that from this Saturday, September 21 through Wednesday, September 25, Amazon will be offering the Kindle version of our book, Football is for Lovers, for FREE.

Now, since it’s the start of the NFL season, and since Football is for Lovers explains the game of American football so that you can finally figure out what’s going on, it’s about time we offered you the opportunity to learn the game for FREE, FREE, FREE.  So that’s what we’re doing (see paragraph one above)!

But Football is for Lovers also gives you quite a bit of the history of the game.  Which turns out to be quite a bit of our social history over the past century or so.

So. You may have noticed that, although we’ve dealt at some length with both the football and relationships aspects of this blog, we have yet to make any statements, profound or otherwise, about the save-the-world thing.  But watching the Washington vs Philadelphia game on Monday Night Football inspired us.

Have you by any chance gotten around to reading Thomas More’s Utopia?

Sarah Palin recently made the statement that man is made to work.  What an odd thing to say, we thought.  Sounds like something the Lords of the Manor would have put up in the serfs’ locker room.

So what does Ms. Palin have to do with Utopia?  It’s a matter of contrast: black and white, so to speak.  Those of you who grew up before the ubiquitousness of the computer and its kin may remember that one of the main hopes for a computer age was that humans would have more time to learn and experience and evolve without being burdened with the need to spend most of their lives in survival mode, working to make a living.

In Utopia (written, by the way, back in the 1500s, long before the computer), they had already figured out that if everyone pitched in, we’d all only have to work half a day, tops.

They also thought money was rather silly, and used gold for toys and plumbing fixtures.  Well, they also had group housing, but when you read the book (it’s in two parts, and you can skip the first section if you’re in a hurry), please bear in mind we can get rid of the group housing thing and still have the Utopian lifestyle.

Anyway, the point is that all Utopians had the time to think about life and explore their talents, and the opportunity to do whatever they did best.  See?  The whole ‘follow your passion’ school of living made a whole lot more possible.

Which brings us back to the Washington/Philadelphia game, and, yes, the history that preceded it.

As we’ve evolved (more or less) over millennia, there has been increasing opportunity for everyone, in spite of the ‘station in life’ into which they were born, to move onward and upward, to ‘follow their passion.’  Once upon a time, a serf was a serf forever, and his children after that.  And, even centuries later, right here in American, a slave was a slave forever, and his children after that.

We moved on in the most sweeping way after the Civil War, but, as the saying goes, the devil is in the details.  We all know about the vote thing, and . . . well, lots of ugly stuff like lynching and other nastiness.

But there are also the little things that kept folks from having any real chance at attaining their dreams.  Oh, there’s the obvious: unequal educational opportunities.  But did you know that there were black jockeys back in the 1800s, and that they were banned from the sport thereafter?  We’d guess for the same reason they were banned from the major leagues of baseball and football.  Why was that?  Hey, you figure it out.  All we’ll say is: look at today’s roster in professional sports.

Anyway, one of the last details in professional sports was the handy little myth that blacks couldn’t play quarterback.  Really.  And there they were, on Monday night football: two black quarterbacks, Michael Vick and RGIII, facing off against each other.  Such an unremarkable sight in 2013 that, unless you know the history, you may have missed the glory of the occasion.  So we thought we’d point it out just in case you didn’t know.

And for a little more pertinent history, we’d also like to give a salute to that marvelous myth-buster, Doug Williams, the first black quarterback to win a Super Bowl.  He got his chance, and he wrapped it up in spangles and silver ribbons.  It was Doug Williams of the Washington Redskins, facing the amazing John Elway of the Denver Broncos.  Mr. Williams led his team to a 42-10 victory, which included five touchdowns in the second half, and won him the MVP Award.  It was Super Bowl XXII.  The year was 1988.

Now, we’re hoping you won’t go all ‘race card’ on us.  If it helps, as far as opportunity goes, let’s remember that women have had the right to vote in this country for less than a hundred years.  And some American adults still don’t have the ‘right’ to marry.  All our presidents until this current administration have been Caucasian.  And male.  And heterosexual (at least as far as we know).

And globally . . . the amount of talent – even life itself – left unfulfilled should make us weep.  It never ceases to amaze us that with all the millennia we’ve had to work on it, this is the world we’ve made.  Come on now: surely we can do better.

For now, though, all we’re trying to say is that we don’t agree with Ms. Palin.  We think humans are made to dream and to experience and to learn and to grow.  All human beings.  Not just those of one gender or color or religion or degree of wealth.

So hey: please read Utopia.  At least the second half.  Maybe there’s a way that this world of opportunity can happen.  And no: this isn’t wishy-washy liberal weeping heart, ah, grow up stuff.  It is both logical and reasonable.  And possible.  After all, who else but us made this world?  Ain’t no Martians around here (at least not as far as we know).   Just us humans.  So we can make our world – and remake it – anytime we have the will to do so.

Which reminds us of a great old Langston Hughes poem:

Question and Answer

Durban, Birmingham,
Cape Town, Alabama,
Johannesburg, Watts,
The earth around
Struggling, fighting,
Dying–for what?

A world to gain.

Groping, hoping,
Waiting–for what?

A world to gain.

Dreams kicked asunder,
Why not go under?

There’s a world to gain.

But suppose I don’t want it,
Why take it?

To remake it.”

Langston Hughes, The Panther & the Lash

 Boy, when we get started on the ‘save-the-world’ thing, we just can’t seem to stop ourselves, can we!?!

Anyway – why not check out our free Kindle version of Football is for Lovers.  It may not lead you to Utopia.  But at least you’ll know a little more about what’s going on with all those guys rushing around on your TV screen.

And if you already know all of that, well, maybe reading our little historical factoids will make you want to read Utopia.  Or not.

Either way, from September 21 through September 25, Football is for Lovers is free, so what the heck.