The Modern Two Minutes’ Hate

Eric Peters

Strong passions have to be released somehow. Else, they might erupt in unpredictable ways. The state understands this – and desires that strong passions be released in a harmless way – to the state that is.

Enter the modern, near universal obsession – in particular, the male obsession – with football and organized, mass spectacle sports generally. These things are the actualization of the fictional Two Minutes’ Hate in Orwell’s 1984.

A means by which the passions – the frustrations and anger of men in particular – are diverted and dissipated. In order that they aren’t directed at anything actually important – such as the ever-increasing control exercised over men by the state. The stifling of independent action, the punishment of deviation from any official orthodoxy… and most of all, the relentless suppression of independent judgment and self-reliance. The systematic thwarting, simply put – of a normal man’s inclination to be a man.

The average man has virtually no real control over his life in modern America. He must Submit and Obey at every turn, from the moment he awakes to the moment he lays his head down on the pillow at night. He must never raise his voice, at work or in public. He must avoid confrontation at all costs. (This lesson, in particular, is really being hammered home to today’s boys – who are told in no uncertain terms by the authorities that they cannot even defend themselves when attacked by a bully. And the boys’ fathers are told they must teach them to accept this.)

He stews in silent, impotent fury as a cop half his age lectures him about “buckling up for safety” in front of his kids. Or as he submits to having his wife and kids get fondled by useless-eater (and probably pedophilic) blue-shirted poltroons at the airport. He must put up with being told what to do – and even worse, what not to do – by smarmy little busybodies, stretchpants-wearing females. From the Parent-Teacher Association to the Department of Motor Vehicles to the Home Owners Association, he is hectored and hemmed in at every turn.

He probably can’t even paint his own damn house without first begging permission from the local Gertrud Schlotz-Klink…and if he doesn’t beg permission first, the old bag will just make a call. A lien or some other encumbrance will be put on his place. Or, the thug scrum will come. So, he surrenders. He Submits… and Obeys. He Does What He is Told. And along the way, he becomes something less than a man. At some gut level, he knows it, too. And the rage boils within him, silently, helplessly… . He feels emasculated – because he has been emasculated.

But, release awaits. He can click on the TeeVee and feel – temporarily – empowered. He can bask in the reflected glory of “his” team. He imagines himself to be a part of the spectacle – a member of the community of men once more. If “we” win, he feels proud and strong. He will literally puff out his chest and strut. He feels as though something has been accomplished. By him personally. Because a team of paid entertainers won a game – a child’s contest.

On the other hand, if “we” lose, he is dejected – sometimes, for days on end. He feels like a failure. And, he is angry. But in a way utterly harmless to the state. He seethes, he yells, he shakes his fist… at the enemy “team” on the screen.

Finally, at last – “we” win! Hurrah! He bellows like a Cape Buffalo because “his” team has made the play-offs! Go, team! He swells with second-hand pride – pathetically displaying the flag of “his” team on his vehicles …and even sometimes to the extent of having an actual flagpole erected on his lawn. He wears the colors, he buys the merchandise… .

His ups and downs coincide with the fortunes of “his” team. His social interactions revolve around the doings of “his” team. Hey, did you watch the game last night? What’s the score? How about those (insert here)….. Instead of discussing the things that matter and which actually affect his life, he talks about… “the game.” Endlessly. So do other ex-men. He – and they – know virtually nothing about the events of the day – much less of history, or of what the patterns of history suggest as regards the likely events of tomorrow.

But he knows all about the current NFC rankings. He tracks the doings of his “fantasy” team… agonizing over his “picks” and the possible “picks” made by the ex-men he “plays” against.

He knows – often down to the most exacting and minute detail – the statistics of “his” team or favorite "athalete". Such things are matters of urgent – and turgid – importance to him. Nothing else matters. Indeed, he has time for nothing else. “The game” – the games – take up most of his free time, in addition to the hard drive space in his brain. He is marinated in jock-juice – an ironic thing, because more often than not he is himself in terrible physical shape: overweight, hypertensive… .

But he is a fan – truly, in the actual derivation of that word. Of course, he is fanatic about something utterly irrelevant. Which is precisely, exactly, what is desired.

It has been said that religion is the opiate of the masses. But religions center on values – and so, upon philosophy. In other words, on things that matter. The game does not matter. Fuuhhhhhhhtttttballl worship is ingenious.

All the natural – healthy – emotions (including anger) are stifled – then adroitly redirected. Instead of being furious about having to submit to random searches by an increasingly tyrannical state, the gelded, stoop-shouldered creature sitting in front of his TeeVee is apoplectic that “we” weren’t able to go the extra few inches on third and three. That idiot coach called the wrong play! That quarterback is worthless. It is never: These politicians are worthless.

The jocksniffers are too addled by the fumes emanating from the underthings of their favorite He-crush to think such thoughts. Or to even have time for such thoughts. They live in a happy, soporific bubble of faux community and ersatz masculinity. What’s the NDAA? The government is flying drones over American airpsace? People are being placed on “domestic extremist” watch lists because they have Ron Paul stickers on their vehicles or have expressed “constitutionalist” sentiments? Boring. (Cue: Homer Simpson).

The game is on…

Eric Peters, an automotive columnist and former editorial writer for The Washington Times, is the author of Automotive Atrocities. His website is here. His latest book is Road Hogs.

Article published here:


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