What has become of us?
On Sunday, December 6, in her hometown of Albuquerque thousands of adoring fans turned out for a parade honoring Holly Holm.
What was Ms Holm’s feat that earned her such adulation?
In a Mixed Martial Arts championship fight she delivered a devastating knockout kick to the head of previously undefeated champion Ronda Rousey. If the kick were not enough, Ms Holm—as the rules allow—jumped on her prone opponent and landed a haymaker to her face before the referee could pull her off to stop the fight.
56,214 packed the stadium in Melbourne, Australia, where this savagery occurred. Another million watched on Pay Per View TV.
Most watched because they expected Ms Rousey to employ her vaunted weapon, the arm bar. Now I have never watched a fight to know exactly what an armbar is, but I have learned that it allows Ms Rousey to break the opponents arm or pull it from its socket unless the opponent concedes the match. Lovely!
Ms Holm earned her parade because she avoided the armbar until she could deliver the knock out kick.
I assume many if not most of the spectators—who watched the bout or the parade–have children and perhaps grandchildren who intuit the values their loved ones glorify.
They get the message—loud and clear–that respect and adulation are won though violence and hurting others.
What has become of us that we seek entertainment in the spectacle of two human beings each trying to maim the other or render her senseless?
We live in a country where mass murder occurs on a regular basis.
- Should we be surprised when sporting events, video games, TV shows and movies desensitize our children to the horrific affects of violence?
- Should we be surprised when we glorify women and men because they have honed the skills that enable them to harm another person better than anyone else?
- Should we be surprised when each week millions cheer for football, a sport proven to shorten the lives and damage the brains of many who participate in it?
- Should we be surprised when perpetrators of domestic violence are allowed back on the field to once again become heroes and role models for our children?
- Should we be surprised that when individuals decide to act out the violence they see all around them, guns are available to anyone with the cash to buy them?
One day people will look back on the violence and mayhem that slurp up our entertainment dollars the way we look back upon the gladiators of ancient Rome today.
To her credit, Holly Holm encouraged the cheering throng in Albuquerque to donate to a local children home that helps kids who have gotten a rough start in life. Very nice!
But does it change the fact that so many kids get rough starts in life because of a culture that glorifies a sport whose raison d’etre is to see another human being injured, maimed or quite possibly killed?
What has become of us?