Baseball and American sports is so depressing
I was so excited about the chances of a Chicago Cubs victory in this year’s World Series game that I drove to Wrigley Field to purchase some Cubs souvenirs to celebrate, only to be reminded where those chotskies (not Tsatskeles) came from
By Ray Hanania
I was so excited about the Chicago Cubs winning this year’s World Series games against the Cleveland Indians, I drove downtown on Monday morning to buy some chotskies and other Cubs souvenirs to celebrate their achievements.
The last time the Chicago Cubs were in a World Series was in 1945, after the end of World War II, and they lost — in part thanks to a curse put on them by an Arab (not Greek) immigrant angry they wouldn’t let him bring his goat into Wrigley Field. (Click here to read that story.)
The last time they won a World Series game was in 1908.
So, it is a big deal.
But after buying some pull-over sweatshirts and hoodies for my son, my wife and myself, and a few other Cubs World Series baseball caps and National League Pennant caps, I realized the one I bought for myself wasn’t big enough to fit over my fat ass.
So I drove back down to Wrigleyville on Chicago’s near northside at Addison and Clark Streets, and I traded the pullover hoody celebrating the Cubs playing in the World Series for a new one. And I bought a few more chotskies, too!
(Chotskies, slang for trinkets and promotional items, not Tsatskeles, Yiddish for a hot young girl, although there were a lot of them walking up and down Clark Street in their tight yoga pants with the “clap for the Cubs” emblazoned on their derrieres.)
As I was double checking the label to ensure I traded up from the extra large to the Extra-Extra Large size, I noticed that the label said the clothing was “Made in China.”
That got me thinking to the little children in China that are forced into economic slavery to manufacture not just clothing but a lot of crappy and cheap souvenirs for rich Americans, like me. (OK, I’m not a Bernie Madoff by any stretch of the imagination, but I can pya $10 for a Double Whopper Meal, fries and a Diet Coke) without blinking — except when my wife catches me and lambastes me for being weak when it comes to food. Which is why I have a fat ass, of course.
I was depressed all the way driving home through Chicago, which was even more depressing because this weekend that the Cubs were playing the Cleveland Indians in World Series games at Wrigley Field for the first time since 1945, it was reported on the radio that 17 or 18 Chicagoans had been killed in street gang violence and dozens more were injured.
You can spend $75 to buy a cheap sweatshirt manufactured by tiny little children fingers at a sweatshop in China or another Third World nation, but we can’t stop street gang members from taking lives on Chicago streets?
Worse is that the media seemed divided over whether or not there were 17 people or 18 people murdered this past weekend.
I was steaming as I was driving home, making my normal road rage that much more raged as I yelled at slow pokes on Clark, then Racine and then Belmont Avenues, idiots who are reading their cell phone text messages seconds past the traffic lights turning Green.
But the more I thought about sports in America, the more it upset me.
I mean, take the Cleveland Indians. The name itself is racist and their mascot “Chief Wahoo” is a racist caricature that is demeaning to Native Americans. And people in Cleveland and in Ohio, like loser presidential candidate and Ohio Governor James Kasich don’t care.
Not only do they not care, they defend the racist caricature which has been the name of the team since 1915, thanks to the racism of the city’s major newspaper sports reporters who thought a savage Indian figure would best represent the powerful sports drive of their team.
As it turns out, many American sports teams have used the Native American caricature to symbolize their savage strength to overpower their enemies. It’s not done in a respectful way, but the “Chief Wahoo” mascot image really takes it way beyond acceptability. And yet it is accepted.
But it doesn’t stop at racism in sports or sweatshop manufacture of chotskies sold to satisfy the excitement of sports teams’ fans.
Take some of the sports figures who you see everyday announcing the sports games. Some of them are degenerate gamblers. Others have been cheaters who used drugs and physical enhancement chemicals to increase their chances of success, like steroids.
Is this the symbols that we allow to motivate our children to heights of success in America?
I wanted to take the clothing back to the store that sold them outside of Wrigley Field, but they didn’t allow cash returns, only trades.
Yet still, despite the thought of the little children sitting there making pennies on the hour to handcraft clothing that then sells for $75 an item, and the degenerate gamblers and druggies that announce the sports games, and the racism that dominates many of our sports team names, I still couldn’t part with the items because I love the Chicago Cubs so much.
It’s a twisted love, of course, driven by a psychotic belief in the mentality of the “underdog.”
I’ll probably just go out and buy a lot of junk food that the fast food industry creates to poison our children who are among the most obese in the world.
Our government doesn’t care either, otherwise they would crackdown on unhealthy fast food that is fed to our children. But why would they care about our children when they don’t care about violence in Chicago, corruption and racism in sports. As long as they get tickets to the game, I guess.
I’d rather watch it on television in my front room. Those instant replays are usually the most exciting part of the game.
Do little kids working in Chinese sweatshops get to watch TV?
(Ray Hanania is an award winning former Chicago City Hall reporter and political columnist. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
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"I write about three topics, the Middle East, politics and life in general. I often take my life experiences and offer them in an entertaining way to readers, and I take on the toughest topics like the Israel-Palestine conflict and don't pull any punches about what I feel is fair. But, my priority is always about writing the good story."
Hanania covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. Hanania began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East food stores in 48 American States (2004-2007).
Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at www.ArabNews.com, and at www.TheArabDailyNews.com, www.TheDailyHookah.com and at SuburbanChicagoland.com. He has also published weekly columns in the Jerusalem Post newspaper, YNetNews.com, Newsday Newspaper in New York, the Orlando Sentinel Newspapers, and the Arlington Heights Daily Herald.
Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.
Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media. In 2009, Hanania received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. He was honored for his writing skills with two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild. In 1990, Hanania was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times editors for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.
His writings have also been honored by two national Awards from ADC for his writing, and from the National Arab American Journalists Association.
The managing editor of Suburban Chicagoland Online News website www.SuburbanChicagoland.com, Hanania's columns also appear in the Southwest News Newspaper Group of 8 newspapers.
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