Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Initially I struggled to grasp Foucault's Society Must Be Defended because I was skeptical of how change could occur and where the change would come from. It was not until I read this story on ESPN.com (I know, not the most academically meaningful website)about New England Patriots safety Je'Rod Cherry. Here is the story: http://myespn.go.com/blogs/afceast/0-4-406/Cherry-hopes-hollow-ring-will-save-children.html.
It is my opinion that professional sports players are grossly overpaid to entertain. I am also not fond of using sports as a metaphor for life, but that is another issue. However, Je'Rod, in an unselfish move, is auctioning off his Super Bowl ring in order to raise money to help start orphanages for sex slaves in Cambodia and Thailand. This is a great intersection of two the books we have read this semester. First, someone is aware of the problem of slavery that Kevin Bales documents. Next, this can be an example of where change can occur in Foucault's system. Although Je'Rod arguably is the product of what has produced him (the American culture that places a premium on entertainment, he worked hard and found a job in the industry), he is doing something to help change the discourse of selfish athletes. Although this is a small step, it is better than no step. I was satisfied in that I could see a real life example of Foucault's philosophy in action.
Unfortunately, I found it unsettling that some of his teammates are trying to keep him from selling the ring for charity. That is a selfish move on the other players part, and simply asinine in general. It is just a ring, practically worthless until we ascribe dollar amounts and value to it, I imagine that the memory of winning the Super Bowl is much more valuable than a rock on a piece of metal.