Sunday, February 23, 2003

Damn Yankees Syndrome
If the USA were a baseball team it would surely be the New York Yankees. Why do those damn Yankees always win the World Series? Most baseball fans either root for the NY Yankees or they hate them with a passion. Now, after 9/11 the Yankees have received much sympathy from all of American along with most all things New York. That not with standing the history of hating the Yankees is a tried and true tradition. That tradition is at its core nothing more than jealousy. When the Yankees won nearly countless pennants and World Series from the late 1920’s through the early 1960’s, it was almost natural for people to start hating them. It is natural. Envy is a human failing, but an unavoidable one.

Is this the bottom line composition of the bulk of the hard-line protests against the American led campaign to go to war to disarm Iraq of WMD? Are all of the cries against alleged American hegemony nothing more than some envious French pundits shaking their fists at those damn Yankees? Does that make Jacques Chirac into Joe Boyd/Hardy? Shoeless Jacques from old Iraq? France would have to then be the Washington Senators. They Irony there is incalculable. Saddam Hussein would then have to be Mister Applegate (the Devil of the Faustian story) temping Jacques with victory over those Damn Yankees as long as he sells his soul. I can’ t figure out who Lola is in this fictionalized musical made real. There are several candidates for the role. Yasser Arafat is the most obvious choice. Germany might be a possibility, but their role might be closer to a Benny Van Buren. Right-wingers would want to use the anti-war protestors as their Lola, but I will not give them the satisfaction. Robert Mugabe fills the role almost as well as Arafat, but Yasser has to be the sentimental choice.

The pièce de résistance and the crème de la crème of my little conflagration of analogies is the fact that from 1995 to 1997 the most beloved American comedic actor in France, Jerry Lewis, starred in the National Tour of a Damn Yankees revival. Irony is best served with a little cheese and champagne.

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