Mr. Heidkamp, sorry but your lecture last class had me pretty confused and I have to say I disagree, somewhat. I remember you saying when you look at the world you see a lot of “pain and suffering” and I agree. But, I also see a whole lot of happiness, positivity and good stuff happening. I mean look at the last century, surely you and I would have been drafted and fought in ATLEAST one war while also living through the worst economic depression ever, a far more deadly disease, and overall lower quality of life. Today, look around, look at life, I can say I’ve got an infinite number of things to be grateful for and I have the most positive perspective on life despite this pain and suffering. Maybe I am not empathetic enough or maybe I have not suffered enough to see this pain that you do. This brings me to my next point and how I am going to connect this blog post to existentialism. Which by the way, we should discuss more since I am also fairly confused on that theory. Based on google, an existentialist believes that individuals have freedom of choice and ultimately are responsible for what happens in their lives. You control your destiny, God is not real and you create your own life your own way. Existence before essence. After learning this term, I would have to say I am an existentialist and the reasons for this lie in my belief regarding the creation of the universe and human life in comparison to the universe itself. The universe is thought to began 13.8 billion years ago and is infinite in size. The universe could be infinite in time as well but who knows. This is why nothing matters. Humans are not only physically irrelevant compared to the cosmic size of the planets, galaxies and the universe itself but we are also irrelevant when comparing our lifespan to the universe. We only live for 100 years, at best, and homo sapiens came along some 200,000 – 300,000 years ago so even in that regard, we are a blip in time. There are 7 billion other people and billions that came before so lets face it, you don’t matter. This sounds negative but I think about it in the most positive and happy way possible. If I don’t matter at all to the universe then the universe is quite literally mine and the same for everyone else. The world is yours and your life is yours so do whatever you want and just have a good time because you’ll be gone one day. So even though we don’t matter at all, I find meaning and matter in that, leaving me with the theory that it’s up to me AND you to ball out, be happy, have a good time and be kind.
Football is back. Football is back. Football is back. No, Mr. Heidkamp, I am not trying to increase the length of this blog post but I am merely highlighting the importance of the statement “Football is back”. In the midst of a global recession, pandemic, social injustice and climate disasters, we all needed to blow off steam by watching 300 pound men run full speed and tackle each other. Nobody can deny that football is action packed and entertaining especially in the Lamar Jackson and Patrick Mahomes era. But what some fans of the NFL seem to abhor is connecting politics with sports. Since the beginning of 2020, a spotlight has been put on America’s racial injustice and specifically police’s racist and violent actions towards people of color in America. From my perspective, it seems to be a divided issue although it clearly should not be. This division of opinion is due to one side lacking the willingness to view the other with mutual recognition. Particularly white people who fail to mutually recognize people of color and the racism they are facing. NFL players among other professional athletes have been a strong voice supporting the BLM movement while also speaking out against systematic racism and police brutality. For example, at the season opener the Chiefs and Texans teams spread across the field and joined arms for a moment of silence to bring awareness to racial injustice. Sidelined players wear Black Lives Matter shirts, some kneel during the National Anthem while many wear the names of Breonna Taylor and Jacob Blake on the back of their helmets. I think professional athletes using their platform, popular voices and celebrity status to bring awareness to racial injustice is a positive message that NEEDS to be spoken on. But what is truly sad is many peoples rejection of the players actions. I continually see comments on NFL posts saying “leave politics out of sports” and “nobody cares about your political opinions, your athletes”. Not to mention the limited fans in attendance that could be heard actually booing the Chiefs and Texans during their moment of silence. Such disrespect is sad and unacceptable. Athletes and players are humans just like fans yet fans fail to mutually recognize them as full human beings leading to fans categorizing racial injustice as a political issue while disregarding the players right to voice their opinions. Racial injustice in America is so much bigger than politics, its about human lives and ALL Americans pursuit of happiness and equal opportunity.
If you are viewer and fan of the NFL but can’t respect the players using their voices to speak out on racial injustice then shut up, stop complaining and stop watching. Also, reconsider what it means to be a human if it’s so difficult for you to hear your fellow humans and Americans fight for their safety and rights. Get over yourself and develop some empathy, compassion and mutual recognition.
Throughout the story it can be seen that Abnesti and Verlaine have control over the main character, Jeff, and have power over his freedoms. One example is on page 68 when Abnesti states “‘Do you want me to say your Fridays are at risk? I can easily say that.’ Which was cheap. My Fridays meant a lot to me, and he knew that. Fridays I got to Skype my mom.” Prior to this moment, Jeff was resisting his reception of a certain chemical which prompts Abnesti’s threat to take away his freedom to Skype his mom. It’s clear that Abnesti dominates this relationship when he details how he can “easily” take Jeffs Skype privilege away. Since Jeff is in some form of a prison, its obvious his freedoms would be taken away but its interesting how he regains his freedoms in a way, through suicide.