On this first of yuletide, and the first of Nivôse, I give you a plagiarized thought on happiness, from Orwell, to carry you from the end of this year into the next:
“[Charles] Dickens can describe a poverty-stricken family tucking into a roast goose, and can make them appear happy; on the other hand, the inhabitants of perfect universes seem to have no spontaneous gaiety and are usually somewhat repulsive into the bargain. But clearly we are not aiming at the kind of world Dickens described, nor, probably, at any world he was capable of imagining…What are we aiming at, if not a society in which ‘charity’ would be unnecessary? We want a world where Scrooge, with his dividends, and Tiny Tim, with his tuberculous leg, would both be unthinkable. But does that mean we are aiming at some painless, effortless Utopia?… Men use up their lives in heart-breaking political struggles, or get themselves killed in civil wars, or tortured in the secret prisons of the Gestapo, not in order to establish some central-heated, air-conditioned, strip-lighted Paradise, but because they want a world in which human beings love one another instead of swindling and murdering one another. And they want that world as a first step…where they go from there is not so certain, and the attempt to foresee it in detail merely confuses the issue.”
Remember that, and Carl Schmitt, if you feel as though sports should or could be “apolitical”. Whether you support or boycott Nike, or willfully ignore the whole issue, you are taking a political stance. Sports don’t become political, they’ve always been political. Any change felt to the contrary is you being upset because the shell that encloses your understanding is breaking.