Sunday, July 15, 2018
David Bentley Hart: The Yankees Are a Moral Abomination
I have had my occasional disagreements with Dr. Hart, but all is now forgiven...
Soberly considered, the New York Yankees and their fans present a moral dilemma. Our consciences, naturally abhorring everything abominable, tell us that such things simply ought not exist. And yet we also know that the evil they represent is one we would not really want eradicated. Somehow we depend on it, not because it appeals to some morbid subliminal fascination with the horrific in us, and not even because it teaches us about the world’s deep Darwinian laws, but because it answers to a psychological need.
By exciting in the rest of us that sweet cold loathing that only they induce — that strangely tender malice, at once so delicious and yet so purifying — the Yankees and their followers provide an emotional cleansing. They give us occasion for the discharge of a dark, dangerous passion, but one unburdened by guilt. The detestation that any rational soul spontaneously feels for the Yankees is so innocent, so uncontaminated by spite — just instinctive revulsion before something obscene, like the goat-headed god of the diabolists. And there are few luxuries more gorgeously nourishing than the license to hate with an unclouded conscience.
Yankees fans, of course, never having drunk from those healing springs, typically mistake this hatred for envy, and so for an inverted admiration. But nothing could be further from the truth. Yes, those of us whose teams hail from smaller markets sometimes fall prey to a slightly petulant, even bilious resentment of all that boughten glory — the exorbitant free-agent contracts, the legions of scouts, the colossal television revenues — but who can blame us? And how could we fail to be vexed by the fawning servility of a national media incapable of telling the beautiful from the meretricious?...
Read the rest here.