“One hundred years ago, the ability to throw something sixty yards would’ve been a mildly amusing talent to have in the brickyard, on lunch breaks. The guys could all gather round and bet on how far you could chuck this or that for a few minutes. But then the whistle would blow and you’d all have to get back to work. Real work.
Speedy legs would’ve come in handy if you were in the delivery business or had to get a message to the next farm over, three miles away. And a strong back would’ve guaranteed you pretty much nothing but a first string position on the hay bailing detail.
But there was no mechanism or institution in place that would allow you to earn millions of dollars for any of those “talents.” Keep in mind, this was true for anyone of ANY race.
I think about this all the time. Because my own little quirk – the ability to write and sing songs – would’ve basically relegated me to performing on the front porch, for family members and hired hands, after the work day. Or being a street performer, nodding and smiling to passing tippers, or working in some sort of Vaudeville show. I think about this a lot because …well …the people in my profession are almost back to doing JUST THAT.
See, it doesn’t take long for an ivory tower to implode and for someone with “luxury talents” to end up scraping by any way they can. People who throw and catch balls for living should think about that every once in a while.
These days, we are all fortunate enough to live in a “leisure society.” We don’t have to grow or kill our own food anymore. We don’t have to protect our homes with shotguns. We are pretty much safe from weather and wild animals. We live in climate controlled pods, where we can watch the entire world through electronic windows. We have free time and disposable income. So, we engage in as many leisure activities as we do vital ones. And we’ve made those activities big business.
This is unprecedented in human history. Remember that. These leisure activities have ushered into existence the super star artist, entertainer and athlete. We’ve decided we’re okay with these people becoming a type of royalty. But there’s an unspoken contract between super stars and the general public…”
Continue Reading: THE UNSPOKEN CONTRACT …