Thursday, June 27, 2013
the last book I ever read (Richard Hell's I Dreamed I Was A Very Clean Tramp, excerpt eight)
from Richard Hell's I Dreamed I Was A Very Clean Tramp:
Who’s good and who’s bad anyway? People like the villains as often as they like the heroes. Americans love winners all the more if they lied and cheated and coerced to get to the top. People admire mobsters like Joe Gallo or John Gotti—or con men like P. T. Barnum or Colonel Tom Parker, or ruthless tycoons like Jeff Bezos or Joe Kennedy. Baseball, the apotheosis of romantic American self-image, is a good example of the national appreciation for winning dirty. Does a guy sliding into second ever honorably return to the dugout because he knows he was tagged before he touched base? No, the player cheats and lies if it increases his chance of winning. We take that for granted as built into the national pastime. Americans are not “gentlemen.” Baseball is not cricket, which is played differently because the object is not “to win” but to get exercise, and the players are “gentlemen.” In America losers are considered fools if they haven’t played dirty enough. Winning justifies everything.