My consumption of sports news is about as limited as possible for someone who still follows sports. I scan the baseball news once a week. I’ll scan ESPN and CBS Sports. I say “scan” as most of it is just made up clickbait stuff. The actual news stories are so poorly written that they are not worth reading once you have gleaned the news nugget. Most sports “journalists” try hard to sound like hyper active teenagers, writing for an audience of semi-literates. We are a long way from Ring Lardner.
As a result, I took some pleasure in the howling and moaning from sports media as ESPN made some small cuts to their on-air talent. Of course, the media covered like it was the end of the world. ESPN cut 100 people from an 8,000 person workforce. Most people reading this have lived through layoffs where ten percent of the labor force is cut. The ESPN cutbacks are trivial, unless you are a media snowflake convinced you are part of a secular priesthood. Then it is the sign of the apocalypse.
What’s surprising is that operations like ESPN have an audience at all. Their “news” converge is mostly jock-sniffing and their created content is so out there on the Progressive fringe, it borders on madness. The people watching sports and following sporting news are men. Most normal men are uninterested in Progressive lunacy. They watch sports for a break or they simply have no interest in other subjects.
The last thing they want to have to suffer through is feminist free verse poetry celebrating lesbianism.
Beneath the bi***h of buzzer, beneath the crowd’s sputtered swear
and bellowed worship, beneath the joint gasping of sweated air as
tree trunk women hurtle fiercely from east net to west, just beneath
the rampaging pummel of their feet on the hardwood and the hurting
screech when they stop short, pivot and slingshot back, beneath
the hissed invective when the wrong swoosh happens, or doesn’t,
beneath vendors who heartlessly hawk the stupid slap of sugar, spirit
and salt, beneath the huge held breath of halftime and the rattling hips
of tambourines, beneath shouts of the beautiful tangled names of
women, beneath the bladed blasts of whistle that signal stop and start,
Poetry is defined as having meter, rhyme or a point. You have to have two of three in order to qualify as verse. What feminist poet Patricia Smith writes has none of those things. There’s no such thing as a “bitch buzzer” and the words conjure no images so the phrase is nonsensical. A “stupid slap of sugar” is supposed to mean what? Who has ever been slapped, stupidly or not, with sugar? The entire word jumble is the sort of thing you would expect from a high school girl, who thinks she is clever. It’s not even doggerel.
The rest is actually worse, if that’s possible. At some point, writing of any kind is so bad it is just terrible. There’s a bottom to terribleness and this junk is there, with all the novels that begin with “it was a dark and stormy night.” It is no surprise to anyone that poetry is dead in America and creative writing is on life support. It’s also no surprise that feminists are terrible writers in addition to being batshit crazy. The question is why is this crap on a sports site? Why would anyone consider such a dumb idea?
What’s happening at ESPN is not unique. Fox News has decided that the way to remedy their high ratings in the cable news wars is to blow up the station, install a gaggle of blue haired lesbians and become a shitty version of the worst rated cable news channels. All over the mass media, it appears the plan is to drive away as many viewers as possible, by offending some and boring the hell out of the rest. That’s thing. Most of it is just boring, not so much offensive. Feminist beat poets are not offensive. They’re stupid and dull.
It’s tempting to go for the reductionist answer and assume it is just proselytizing paid for by the billionaires who own the mass media companies. There’s some of that, but the real issue is that people making editorial decisions are strangers. They don’t know the sort of people who read the sports pages or follow their favorite team. We’re just economic units, who are “out there” on the other side of the walls, so they don’t spend much time thinking about what the typical male sports fan finds interesting about the sporting news.
The people who thought that weird feminist poetry slam was a great idea, probably thought it was a great idea. They have heads full of “theories” about female athletes and “theories” about the twenty people that bother to watch women’s basketball. They just assume everyone is sitting around agonizing about how their vagina defines them. There’s no one in the room willing or able to tell them that feminism is a mental disease and they should be getting professional help, not reading nonsense like this.
The future is female,
but the past —
the past is also female.
The past is our beginning
and the future —
is also where we start,
where we come from.
Poetry is a new language.
It is our oldest language.
Before today’s tautology we spoke in tongues,
we painted images on our walls,
we told stories that meant less then than they mean today.