Monday, March 31, 2008

Charity Begins At Home

The last time I paid to attend a sporting event in Pittsburgh -- or in any major league sports city, for that matter -- Barry Bonds was a trim, muscular athlete wearing a Pirates uniform. It was also his next-to-last home game as a Pirate, and he played like someone who knew he was leaving, was glad to be getting out, and didn't care about the negative impact on his team's performance.

In a way, I know how he felt. I don't feel like giving my all for any Pittsburgh-based sports team, either. I don't even feel like giving a little.

I gave up trying to be a sports fan when I saw millionaires who play games for a living going on strike for more money and benefits. These were men who were known to spend exorbitant amounts of money on big houses, big cars, and in some cases, hedonistic pleasures such as loose women and narcotics. Just as bad as the overpaid athletes were the team owners who were more than willing to pay out huge sums of money in order to keep the superstars on their teams.

Even worse were the fans who spent exorbitant amounts to show their support for their favorite teams. Ticket prices aren't what they once were. No way was I going to cough up the money to subsidize a bunch of rich assholes. Who knows where all of that money might be going?

Here's a clue:

Former Pirates owner Kevin McClatchy donated the legal maximum of $2,300 to Obama's campaign. Penguins board Chairman Mario Lemieux gave an identical amount to Clinton, who has benefited from the longtime support of the Penguins' billionaire co-owner Ron Burkle.
McClatchy and Burkle have been donating to Democrats for years. I wouldn't give my own money directly to Democrats. Why should I give of my meager income to subsidize socialism via the wealthy team owners? They can take their Pirates, and their Penguins, and go to hell.

I have long been an advocate of the "shut up and sing" approach to celebrity politics. If some famous person entertains me and keeps quiet about it, I'm cool with that. If some celebrity I like starts spouting political opinions that differ from mine, or even go so far as to endorse candidates for office, I stop enjoying their product. It's hard to pay to go see a movie, no matter how good the movie might be, when the stars have publicly expressed disdain for people of my ilk. The worst are the idiots who show up in Obama's videos. For a while, I really liked George Lopez. Now I think he's a dickhead. I used to think Scarlett Johansson was hot and sexy. Now I think she's just a pigfaced bitch with wide hips and big tits.

Ultimately, my abstention from direct financial support of these celebrities will make absolutely no difference to them. It won't even register with them. They will still have loads more money than I could ever imagine. I, at least, will have the satisfaction of keeping my money at home, where it belongs, and where I can spend it on my children, the ones who truly deserve it, instead of on overgrown babies who have too much money already.

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