November 17th, 2006

Evo

Friday stuff

Here's an article from Scientific American for ya:
"Keeping Money in Mind Makes People Less Helpful"

It's the day before the big football game. I may actually watch. As my coworker T commented yesterday, it's hard not to get a little caught up in it.

It's not the same situation in the least, but I think of how my (sorta) home town had gone through years of a kind of cultural shaming in that venue of measuring success (football wins), particularly with respect to the Nebraska Cornhuskers. The Nebraska fans, too, would descend on our little town on that game day & engage in all manner of unpleasant behavior---e.g., prowling around town in drunken packs that had the citizenry locking our doors; parking across yer driveway opening in their big red-"N"-sporting RV, blocking you in; painting the "N" in the cement "MANHATTAN" sign on the side of the hill red; etc. After years of our team stinking it up on the field, the Wildcats, albeit at the hands of a kinda scummy (but effective) coach, started winning. And I actually lived in the Little Apple again when, once this phenomenon had been underway for a while, they beat Nebraska. Notwithstanding my then-gf's notorious (at least then-)antipathy for football and football culture, an attitude with which I have considerable sympathy, it was nigh-on impossible not to get into the spirit, as vjsmom and hubby could likely attest.

The same sort of small-U-city civic avenged-underdog psychology cannot be attributed to this place I live now. Yet I like a local sense of event, and we rarely get that sort of thing in Amurrka any more. The other day an older woman I know vaguely at the gym (that Brenda from the pool, bigfinedaddy) asked me in the locker room whether "we" had won. I happened to know from squirrelykat that it was the day of the Ball State game, to which David Letterman had given a sense of event, with his offer to pay everyone in the stands 5¢ should his underdog alma mater triumph. (I may have also noted it on the window of Beaner's on Liberty, where they've been tracking the run-up to the potential #1-vs.-#2 game in blue and yellow paint.) It gave me some pleasure to know what this woman meant, and to have a modestly informed answer, and an assumed shared desire, just based on our living in the same town.

Sad world, wouldn't you say?, in which college football offers us more of a sense of having something in common than does most else, apart from, say, very dramatic violent weather or a massive power outage that lasts for days.