Thank Grog It’s Firday!
I don’t know about you, but the biggest enemy for me during this pandemic panic isn’t the pandemic, but trying to find a way to adhere to staying home, when “home” is still in a state of perpetual chaos.
There is something weirdly comforting to being forced to play TSTO while the world breaks down around us. I admit to not caring much for this mini-update…and yet, I am playing it, mostly out of habit and duty. I am addicted enough, even at this level of “meh,” to log on and “do the stuff.” But, I also feel some “sense of duty and gratitude” that EA is still acting as if nothing is happening out there. TSTO is there. And, playing it isn’t that hard to do…and ignoring it would make me feel like a scofflaw.
I love that word. It’s an old word, but not as old as it sounds. Unlike TSTO…which in game terms, is way older than you would think it is. The game is showing its age, just as this new state of normal is revealing cracks in our systems and personal abilities to do the right thing.
But, what is doing the right thing in this situation? Do you conform? Or do you rebel, and simply not do the things that you are asked to do? When do you become a TSTO or social human scofflaw?
It really all comes down to personal choice, and just how you see yourself as a citizen of this world. But, first…before we can be labeled as a scofflaw, we need to understand its origin. While it sounds like a word from a novel by Charles Dickens, it was in fact created much later, from a source that surprised me.
According to Wikipedia and the Miriam Webster Dictionary: Scofflaw Was Created for a Contest
“In 1924, a wealthy Massachusetts Prohibitionist named Delcevare King sponsored a contest in which he asked participants to coin an appropriate word to mean “a lawless drinker.” King sought a word that would cast violators of Prohibition laws in a light of shame. Two respondents came up independently with the winning word: scofflaw, formed by combining the verb scoff and the noun law. Henry Dale and Kate Butler, also of Massachusetts, split King’s $200 prize. Improbably, despite some early scoffing from language critics, scofflaw managed to pick up steam in English and expand to a meaning that went beyond its Prohibition roots, referring to one who violates any law, not just laws related to drinking.”
First of all…why am I not surprised that a guy named Delcevare King would decide we needed a word to describe “lawless drinkers?” What a tool.
(For More on KING…as Well as a DRINK recipe named after him, click here)
But, what I find even more interesting, is that the word stuck, even beyond the era of Prohibition. It’s like people said, (likely over drinks), “Hey…it’s a shame that scofflaw doesn’t mean as much now that we can drink legally again. Maybe we can just call anyone who scoffs at the law a scofflaw! Like you there…not registering to work for the WPA, during this here Depression and National Emergency! Scofflaw!!”
And BOOM! There ya go. There it is. The real reason the word scofflaw resonates in these times, is because like it or not, we as citizens need to do the HARD WORK of doing the right things, for the betterment of those in our lives.
Not doing the right thing, has consequences. Like playing this update.
I know…I know…the whole “Pride Week” has been loaded with its detractors. And Alissa made it clear in her FIRST POST, that political rants for or against the idea of Pride Week would not be tolerated. Good for her.
Because, like it or not, we should be over discussing politics, religion, or personal choice to tap or not to tap, here.
We tap, because we are asked to tap. To not play the update, may have dire, unseen consequences. EA may just say, “hey…hardly anyone played…let’s kill the game.” It’s like voting. You may have to hold your nose at the choices, but not voting is more harmful than taking the time to do so. But, I digress…
The fact is, during this time when we are trying to figure out the “New Normal,” while clinging desperately to the hopes that it all goes away and we can go back to the “Old Normal,” we fight our instincts to do the “Easy Thing,” and not do what is being asked of us, and placing others in harm’s way. Now THAT is the nature of a scofflaw!
But, it is hard. Really hard. I get it.
Most of us simply can’t see beyond the next week, let alone a month, year, or five years from now. Because we don’t have a track record for how this is going to go.
Track record. Now there’s another phrase that really gets overused…and is becoming less and less relevant…even if this Pride Event is based on a fictitious Drag Race, that by its very nature is confusing.
And, trust me…nothing is more confusing right now, than seeing the huge, new construction being completed on “THE TRACK” here in “Track City USA,” the home of Nike, the home of Prefontaine, the home of huge, flashy “Uncle Phil Stadiums and Arenas”…Eugene, Oregon (right next to the REAL Springfield.
Nothing brings the futility of great planning, after months of caustic deliberation and political upheaval like this new stadium. Eugene, Oregon is where track and field, and particularly distance running, became an industry and national “thing.” Mostly because of Steve Prefontaine, a brash, “all in, on every race,” rule breaker, who at the time, was considered a “scofflaw.” He lived hard, ran hard, and died young…while changing the “laws” that govern amateur athletics forever.
And Hayward field…the old, wooden, amazing national home to track and field, where the stands were full, of raucous, crazy fans for track, was as hallowed a place in sports as almost any other.
Until it wasn’t.
Like so much in this modern era of “flash means cash,” Phil Knight, a mediocre college track athlete, turned gazzilionaire by hard work, rule breaking, and perseverance, (you really have to read his biography “Shoe Dog” to understand why he should be admired), changed it all. He brought the cash, the vision, and the message that “we will honor the past, while building the future” to convince millions of fans that we needed a new stadium. And, we got one.
The official unveiling was to be hosting the 2020 Olympic Trials in June.
OK. Yes…so we now know how that turned out.
An amazing, huge, new, shiny, bright edifice to the FUTURE, that really has no real foreseeable future.
Does anything really signify the futility of “planning” for anything right now, more than this stadium?
And, that’s what makes us nuts…and turns us into scofflaws.
Are we being good citizens to follow the orders being passed down “for our own protection,” or are we simply becoming slaves?
I know the answer to that. I am a slave.
When we got our “Stimulus Check” (which was meant to help those in need who had lost income, but mostly went to people who didn’t need it, go figure), we immediately donated one of our two checks to the local Food Bank.
The other one…became an almost instant sentence of “hard labor,” as “She who sees a new project at every turn,” decided that she loved the kitchen flooring I did during the “Great Remodeling Project of 2019” so much, that she wanted it in the rest of the upstairs.
And as it turns out, there is nothing to make you appreciate “freedom” like being locked into a house, tearing out 40-year old “Top-of-the-line Berber Carpet” to replace it with something newer, and flashier, and easier to clean.
Kudos to Berber. Their carpet lasts…and lasts…and lasts. And yes…whatever lurks beneath the carpet after decades, i.e. dust (which is mostly human skin) and crud (which is mostly human other stuff) is disgusting.
So no, I am not going to be a scofflaw. Not just yet. I will wear my mask indoors…out of safety for myself, while I tear out this mess. And, I will wear my mask in public to protect others from whatever I may have unearthed in the carpet.
And, I will tap. Because there is something to tap. And that, is what we are asked to do.