Monday, February 6, 2017

the vanishing American

I sent a link to my last post to the Stanford music prof who'd convened the panel. He wrote back to say thanks, and commented that he was delighted with the full house turnout, "especially on Super Bowl Sunday!", a conjunction he'd mentioned at the time, too.

I get this at every concert or lecture I attend that happens to coincide with a major sporting event, sometimes even ones I wasn't aware of until the convenor mentions them: astonishment that there are actually people present who'd skip that in order to attend this.

You know, folks, there are a lot of us who don't give a hoot about the Super Bowl, and the audience was probably drawn from that not-small segment of society. For the last several years, the TV audience in the US for the Super Bowl has been about 111 million people. That's a lot of people, but at the last census, the US had 308 million people. So, considering that the population has gone up since then, that's at least 197 million who aren't watching it, 177% the size of the number who are.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: I don't mind that other people are interested in sports. People are interested in all sorts of odd things, and I'm glad they have a hobby. What makes me grumpy is the assumption that everybody is interested in sports, which is not something you get when the topic is, say, gardening or train-spotting. It's not even remotely true, and I dislike the assumption that I am among 197 million Americans who do not exist.

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