Getting the Bug and Stephon Marbury

    
August 29th, 2007

There's a new thread on the message board entitled "Starting to Get the Bug." I wish I had that same feeling. Right now, the college basketball season seems more like a distant buzzing in my periphery.

I was hoping the FIBA Americas tournament would get me back into basketball mode. But then I forgot how good Team USA can be when Kobe and J-Kidd play, while squads like Argentina don't bring their top dogs.

Instead, speaking of dogs, the only bug I have is an urge to throw up every time I hear the name Michael Vick.

Is it possible Stephon Marbury is a lone voice of reason? Not in the sense that he defended Vick (which is clearly wrong) or that he was eloquent.. but in saying, "We don't say anything about people shooting deers and shooting other animals, you know what I mean," Marbury was attempting to point out one of our society's many glaring double standards.

Dogfighting is bad. Lets be clear on that. Killing dogs is bad. We all know that. Stephon knows that. Whats odd though is how he's one of only a handful of people who think that killing bears and deers and birds are bad too.

You'll hear justifications from the hunting crowd. Justifications such as its okay to kill a "wild" animal instead of a "domesticated" animal. But such attempts are flawed and morally unacceptable.

Equally unacceptable is the justification that you can't kill dogs because they're furry and cute and make us feel cozy inside, but its okay to kill other animals because they're not our friends.

"Controlable" and "cute" or "friendly" are not valid justifications for killing or not. Perhaps our government disagrees with that statement. Apparently its okay to invade Iraq because we couldn't control their leader. Or maybe the American public finds dogs to be cuter than Africans.. When dogs kill each other, its apparently more disgraceful than humans in Rwanda or Sudan killing each other. Because when human atrocities occur, we (including the media and the government) turn our eyes away as if they're not our problem.

Every Saturday and Sunday morning ESPN devotes a three hour block of television to tips and stories about killing animals.

Where's the uproar?

Maybe its just a matter of money as usual. Cigarettes are big industry. Invasions are big industry. I guess hunting is big industry too. Apparently dogfighting, marijuana, and peace are not.

Hopefully though there's something more to college basketball than just big industry. But maybe there's not. Maybe I'm just blinded by the fact it gives me pleasure and provides me an added income.

I selfishly get something out of college basketball in the same way many people get pleasure from dogs.

But only protecting those ideas, things, and beings that provide selfish pleasure.. college basketball, dogs, and wealth.. at the expense of those with less value.. deer, birds, and Sudanese.. is precisely the type of double-standard that Marbury was talking about.

That the only public figure to even attempt to grapple with our country's often ambiguous and arbitrary moral standards is Stephon Marbury.. gives me a bug of quite the different kind.