Friday, June 13, 2014

What is worse than horseshit?

"Did you watch the horse race?" asked my neighbor a couple of days ago.

He was referring to the madness over the triple crown in horse-racing, fully knowing that I don't care about such races.  Yet, he asked me that because he knows I am a news junkie.  Of course, I was aware that the triple-crown didn't happen.

"One of the owners is from Bakersfield" he added.  We are both neighbors here in Oregon after his initial three decades there and my much fewer years in that part of California.

"Did you know that despite the horse not winning the Triple Crown, there are people ready to pay ten million dollars for it?"

I hadn't known that.  As in it will be as high as $10 million.

"That much for breeding?" I was genuinely shocked at the amount.  "The world is really screwed up.  They spend gazillions on things like this, and you ask the same people to spare ten dollars to feed the homeless and they yell at you!"

"You got that right" he chimed in agreement.

We differ on a whole range of topics, profound and silly.  But, we agree, always, on the highly misplaced priorities that we humans seem to have.  Our favorite of all is the screwed up priority on college sports.

The highly messed up priorities show up everywhere, especially when hysteresis is the word.  When the working class anywhere and everywhere seems to be getting screwed.

For Peter Singer, the case of millions being spent to acquire a work of art is the context of messed up priorities, in which he writes:
In a more ethical world, to spend tens of millions of dollars on works of art would be status-lowering, not status-enhancing. Such behavior would lead people to ask: “In a world in which more than six million children die each year because they lack safe drinking water or mosquito nets, or because they have not been immunized against measles, couldn’t you find something better to do with your money?”
The rich are all too eager to spend 41 million dollars for a "small image of Marilyn Monroe by Andy Warhol," or $10 million dollars on a horse for its sperm.  The madness is that we hoi polloi are all the more excited and in awe about such wasteful expenditures when, instead, those big spenders should be considered for what they are: worse than horseshit!  Shame on us pathetic beings who worship the rich and the famous and serve those gods of horseshit.

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