But for a shocking exposure to it last Thanksgiving, I haven’t watched the NFL on television for years as part of a deliberate decision to cut spectator sports entirely out of my life, finally. Football was the last to go. Objectively I love the game, even in its perverse aspects: its violence, its physical specialization, with sumo wrestlers on the lines, sprinters at receiver, captain-archers at quarterback. It is the American sport, for good or ill.
One standard format television commercial now goes something like one I recall for a VR headset: we are treated to a series of families, each a different ethnicity with whites deliberately not prominent, enjoying the product to what is supposed to be heartwarming delight. Watching what was supposed to be the Muslim family I was repulsed by their very joy. Not because I’m ignorant–precisely because I’m not, and I understand the threat Muslims represent to me.
It’s a sick feeling, in part because their joy isn’t any less human, isn’t any less valid and does indicate a common bond. The effect on me is only to emphasize their role in replacing me; they will have grandchildren, they will experience joy, they will see the wonders the world we created produces. And we won’t.
Because we will not be.
Am I alone in feeling this way?