Whose to blame: Canada, Communism, Dan Johnson?
I'm really glad that it was the East Bay Express who were the first to publish a feature article describing what has led to the A's planned move to Fremont. Robert Gammon and Chris Thompson did a great job in bringing to light the events and especially the interactions that took place. Although I don't feel it is entirely comprehensive, nor does it offer any posititve future for Oakland, it is the best feature article about the topic yet to be published.
The easy thing to do with this article is figureing out who really is to blame. They do such a good job in showing the circumstances that made Wolff decide on Fremont as the new ballpark location. Scapegoating is a very fun game. You can create a ranking system as I did:
The Blame a Chump Selection
- Jerry Brown------ 1575 pts
- Al Davis----------- 1491
- Lew Wolff--------- 1445
- Steve Schott-------1405
- Bud Selig---------- 1255
The blame rests on the C- word.... yes COMMUNISM. If it wasn't for those damn reds, nuclear (Or nucular if you prefer Bush-tongue) proliferation and East Berlin, the A's would still be in Oakland with a new downtown stadium, and Keak Da Sneak and Mistah FAB would be ownership parteners....
....what? not Communism, really.....
...Canada? no. Dan Johnson? damn...
...I am sorry ya'll. I got my C-words mixed up. So yeah, as I was just informed, the blame rests on our truly beloved free market system, called Capitalism.
Yeah that's right! Capitalism has taken our A's down to that city that's just "a parking lot with a mayor"! Capitalism is at fault! Can I get an amen!! (Before I get jumped on, I would like to say I am not a commie, red, socialist, or scientologist. I am just a concerned U.S.Yay citizen)
But let's be serious, Oakland has been screwed many-a-time before by big business, just like any major industrial city, this is nothing new. It's just the face and hope of the city that's leaving. Nothing big. The Town has recovered before, right? Oh wait, it's still recovering. The capitalist system is efficiently brutal. It's extremely adaptive and has made this country the super power that it is today, unfortunately, at the expense of many everyday people.
I don't want to make capitalism out as an evil demon because it does have many positive aspects to it, but it's effiency has help caused many of the problems this country faces today; mainly the declining middle class, our failing diplomacy, declining public schools, and the cause for most military conflicts.
"Thematically, it's about the very simple idea that, in this Postmodern world of ours, human beings—all of us—are worth less. We're worth less every day, despite the fact that some of us are achieving more and more. It's the triumph of capitalism," said David Simon, one of the co-writers of The Wire, in suming up his amazingly-complex HBO show. I hope some Oakland city officials can catch some episodes, they'll see many similarities with our town and Baltimore. Except for a great downtown ballpark.
Simon continues, "Whether you're a corner boy in West Baltimore, or a cop who knows his beat, or an Eastern European brought here for sex, your life is worth less. It's the triumph of capitalism over human value. This country has embraced the idea that this is a viable domestic policy. It is. It's viable for the few." (Here's the full interview)
Pretty cynical, but fairly spot-on. So the question is raised: Are we, as A's fans, pawns in the business of baseball and professional sports in general? and even further: Are we, as U.S. citizens, pawns of a the capitalist system? Do we worship the dollar more than we worship a God or our system of government or even ourselves? Mostly yes, buuuuuuuuuuut..... we can overcome.
It doesn't mean we have to start a socialist revolution and burning things(but if things get worse, it unfortunately could happen). It means just trying to stick to your morals and not compromising your ideals, community, friends, family, happiness and country for a dollar. It means making sure people who are in power and fail to uphold these truths are held accountable. It means learning from our past mistakes and not repeating them. Nobody is perfect.
As A's fans and American citizens if cannot adhere to these ideals and others I've failed to mention, we will continue to be dissapointed by big business and capitalism in general. The capitalist system can work, but it must be regulated and balanced, for it will destroy everything in it's path.
As I've said before, "The A's franchise has a long history of screwing its fans and cities, this is just another manifestation of that trend." To elaborate: The capitalist system has a had a rich history of making some people very wealthy, powerful, and maybe happy, but has screwed many of it's followers. The A's moving to Fremont "is just another manifestation of that trend."
The new Cisco Field will be a mall and may make Lew Wolff richer than he already is. Even though I know a downtown ballpark would have made him way more dough, and loved by A's fans. Yes, people will like it and the stadium should do fine. Heck, I'll probably go, but will have a knot in my stomach knowing this could have been in Oakland and could have helped continue to move the city in the right direction.
We can be cynical and blame people like Lew Wolff, Bud Selig, Steve Schott, Kenneth Lay (Enron), Lee Scott (Walmar), Dick Cheney, etc. who will continue to dominate our society and make decisions based on greed. Or we as country decide that we value morals and substance over the dollar. We will never have a perfect world were people don't get hurt, but we must all take a step back and look at our longterm goals decide who we want to be.
Thank you and good night, you've all been far to kind.
Side Note: New Links up on side bar-Prof Oakland's, and A's Booster Club