RARA-AVIS: re the coach as American hero

From: Jay Gertzman ( jgertzma@earthlink.net)
Date: 19 Feb 2006

A right-wing idealogue, NY Times' columnist David Brooks, had an essay recently in the "paper of record" (recording all things its editors think is "fit to print") on the coach as American hero. Brooks, whose response to questions about the NSA program to spy on the Emails of American citizens was "if its not legal, let's do everything to make it legal," wrote that the sports coach melds individuals into a team, teaches giving up individual needs and wants to the group, instills the ideal of obedience to authority, and disciplines his players' emotional and sensual desires so they subordinate their own personalities to right-thinking adults. Brooks concludes that it's time American kids put aside rebellious heroes like the rock star, the loner, the hoodlum and the rebel for responsible adults like the coach (never mind the exploitation of "student-athletes" and the hypocritical
"there's no I in team [but there's a 6-figure salary for me]" philosophy. A successful coach certainly has personality, smarts, and leadership qualities. But this figure seems to me to be the reverse of the PI, because s/he discourages separateness and confrontation with the dark, self-expressive, possibly chaotic core of the unique self. If the borderline between the creative, the neurotic, and even the criminal in human motivations is ignored, or rejected as "anti-group," or "immoral," then people suppress what is most essentially the naked truth about their own humanity. No noir writer does that. Only soft-boiled moralists like Brooks do.

>The other day, in passing, I heard someone on the Tube saying that the New
>American Hero is the Coach. He (or she) is the new Hollywood Hero. The
>Coach can get things done. Kids listen to the Coach. As Doug says, "the
>traditional American hero -- individualistic to the point ofisolation,
>deeply moralistic, violent, stoic, a Romantic, etc." The Coach fits.
>In another email, Doug write, "the Western is about confronting and "taming"
>or reconciling
>chaos in a direct kind of way." Remove the word "Western" and insert
>"Coach." Hmmm.
>The Coach -- aka, the grizzled gunfighter who straps on his Colt yet one
>more time -- makes the Team work as one! Yeah, the Herd wins the Big Game!
>The Coach with two guns in his hands? Hey, I could see him protecting the
>day care center. Hmmm. Maybe that's Bruce Willis's next flick.

RARA-AVIS home page: http://www.miskatonic.org/rara-avis/
  Yahoo! Groups Links

<*> To visit your group on the web, go to:

<*> To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:

<*> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to:

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 19 Feb 2006 EST