Monday, October 17, 2005

Sports as a metaphor for politics? What a refreshingly original conceit

The world of sports, worthwhile only as a distraction from war, poverty, disease, and the unexplained odor coming from my shirtsleeves, offers no solace these days. Bay Area teams are in the tank, with no hope until at least April (unless you really think "Riesling Fever" is going to catch on for the Warriors). Meanwhile, I'm in New York, and the initially pleasurable dejection of Yankees fans is beginning to catch. Thank god, then, for Judith Miller's Carnival of Delights. This stuff is fun, even if (as some have suggested) Dems should be staying focused on post-Katrina reconstruction. Sure, sure, but that requires actual critical thinking. Here, I can simply chew my beef jerky and cheer loudly as unlikely hero Patrick Fitzgerald subpoenas loathsome witness after loathsome witness.

Plus, in part because this scandal centers on journalism, the reaction of bloggers seems somehow more important, though of course it is not (save a few influential bloggers-- who, in the absence of blogs, might be writing columns instead). And thus, when we write about it, we have the entirely fictitious sensation of participation. Much like the way viewing posture influences the likelihood of a batted ball.

I promise to abandon this cliched comparison shortly. But I bring it up because the Plame affair and the Harriet Miers kerfuffle have truly filled the same void left by athletic diversions. I even have the same sense of fatalism about them.