Wednesday, February 18, 2015

I Wish Defense was a Part of the NBA All-Star Game, and Other Thoughts from a Former Fan

For the first time in years, I watched the NBA All-Star Game live. I watched it at a bar. Now, it's been some time since I kept up with the NBA, so I was watching it out of obligation (to a years-gone sense of sports fanaticism, to the communal aspect, and to this blog post). McCarthy's assertion that the televisions in healthcare waiting rooms operate as public address rather than private entertainment is mirrored in some way in this social context (201). People go to bars to traffic in the cultural capital that they represent. Why else would you spend more money on alcohol in a space where you can't hear your friends? TV is an integral object in that social performance. While this experience diverges from McCarthy's theorizing on waiting, it does occupy a similar space in that hanging out at a bar is leisure, it is a non-productive activity. The television is transmitting important social and cultural events that are considered a part of citizen performance, so when you engage with the broadcast, you are performing a civic duty -- availing yourself to what corporations think is important, even if you don't really have interest in it. If you're at a bar with a date or friends, or what have you, why are you watching TV?

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