Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Global Warming, Jason Collins, and the Joys of Anonymity


A group of a dozen very angry looking Congress-persons yesterday opened up a new front in the war against Global Warming. We must address this crisis with renewed vigor, they informed us, because it is forcing women and girls the world over into…prostitution. A list of iron-clad evidence was presented from droughts in Africa to Hurricanes in New Orleans that wreak particularly grievous devastation among women. One spittle-projecting speaker informed us that Hurricane Katrina displaced some 83% of single, low-income mothers. Aside from the fact that I would think that the modifier, “low income” unnecessary when describing single mothers, I would have liked to know what percentage of single, low income fathers were likewise displaced. This entire news conference brought to mind that old joke about the New York Times headline, “World Ends Tomorrow. Women and Minorities Hardest Hit”.

Then there was the announcement yesterday that Jason Collins, an NBA player had announced in the pages of Sports Illustrated that he is gay. That’s Sports Illustrated, the magazine about…sports, not Cosmopolitan, or Vanity Fair, magazines about …sex, or the New York Times, Washington Post, or the Village Voice, newspapers about… identity politics. This was awesome news for the score keepers of inclusion, diversity, and multi-culturalism, since Mr. Collins is both gay and black. If only he were also Muslim, the press would be clearing space on Rushmore by now to judge from the exalted coverage this announcement received. One could not escape the universal celebration of courage, from morning television to the President’s news conference. I feel confident that, although Collins played in only 6 games this season and scored only 1.2 points a game despite being over 7 feet tall, he will find himself a roster spot on a team in the NBA next year, along with a book deal and a realty show. Although I am not much of a gambling man, I would be willing to place a rather substantial wager on the fact that next January, Jason Collins will be sitting next to Michelle Obama in the gallery at the State of the Union address.

Yesterday was the sort of news day that reminds me that I am part of the great anonymous hoard of Americans about whom no one ever agitates. When was the last time you heard anyone take up the cause of the troubled German-American Redheaded Bricklayers of Wisconsin, or Americans of Confused Ethnic Lineage? On the other hand, guys like me never get scape-goated or profiled either. Nobody ever responds to a terrorist attack by saying, “Damn those Scotch-Irish Bastards!!!” Come to think of it, I like being anonymous.