The Twilight Of The Mind

Uncle AndrewUncle Andrew
Filed under: @ 3:03 pm

….is a rewording of a quote from Sci Fi writer Harlan Ellison, “The Twilight of the Word“, describing his take on the advent of the Internet and Net culture, but I think it’s appropriate in this scenario as well.

I was listening to NPR this morning when I happened to overhear a story on the results of the past Saturday’s NCAA semifinals. Normally any story centering on sports fails to register on my sensorium at all, unless it happens to include certain key phrases, such as “raise public funds to tear down a still-unpaid-for sports stadium in order to build a new sports stadium“. Much like the eye of the frog in the famous McCulloch-Lettvin study, I do not merely ignore the majority of sports-related input; my sensory apparatus actually filters the telemetry so that my brain never receives the signal at all. So it was pure chance that this sports-related story triggered enough of a stimulus-response to garner my attention. Lucky me.

Apparently, the much-ballyhooed University of Memphis Tigers managed to trounce their rival, the UCLA Bruins. In a story in the New York Times, freshman point guard Derrick Rose was quoted as saying of their victory, “We knew that we was going to win, so, ain’t too much to say.”

Wait, what? Did he really just say that?

I had to go online and find the article in question so I could make absolutely sure that this was, indeed a player from a team in the NCAA, the National COLLEGIATE Athletic Association. Upon the release of this story and its attendant notable quotable, I can only assume that Tigers coach John Calipari promptly resigned his position in shame, perhaps even going so far as to commit seppuku in the center of Dunavant Plaza. Nothing on the news feeds so far, but I remain hopeful.

I’ve been saying this for years, but the time is finally, irrefutably at hand to dissolve the bonds between professional athletics and academics. The two are completely and irreparably antagonistic to one another. If young people with ability and promise want to hone their skills in the hopes of wringing a career out of their efforts, I have absolutely no problem with that. How fortunate, then, that there exists a ready-made avenue for this sort of endeavor; it’s called professional sports, and it’s an umpty grillion dollar per year industry. Plenty to go around.

How this pursuit might complete or complement the honing of one’s intellect in the hopes of finding personal and financial fulfillment through that, I haven’t the faintest fucking idea.

And since the cultivation and promulgation of the life of the mind was there first, I think it is the responsibility of collegiate athletics to graciously leave the academic sphere and strike out on its own. I’m sure it will have no problem making a name for itself out there beyond the protective walls of the ivy citadel.

All portions of this site are © Andrew Lenzer, all rights reserved, unless otherwise noted.