Wednesday, February 22, 2006


Through the years there has been a lot of debate about exactly what obscene really is. The definition boiled down to “you’ll know it when you see it”.
The truth is, obscenity is all around us and we don’t see it because we have become so used to it that we just dismiss it as the world around us. Our senses don’t work as well as they should because we have abused them for so long that we aren’t able to see what is right in front of our eyes.
Last night I saw and participated in an obscenity and don’t even know whether to feel privileged, disgusted, lucky, or what. Please don’t think that I’ve gone crazy – I just went to a basketball game. The Memphis Grizzly’s are the local pro team and I’ve been to several games but last night was a little different because I was invited to go with some friends and sit in the sideline seats. It was pretty cool – we were almost right on the court and had an unbelievable view of the game. The thing that got me thinking about the obscenity of it was when I looked at the ticket and saw that it was a $150! I was with a group of 4 so that meant that we’d just sat in seats that cost $600 – for one game that was about 2 hours long. A season in the NBA has 40 home games plus about 5 pre-season and an average of 6 post season games making these seats cost over $30,000 in a year. Add in food and extras and you notch it up to close to $40,000 for 4 seats for basketball.
On my drive home from the arena, I decided that I’d participated in something obscene.
How could anyone ever justify that sort of expense when there are so very many hungry people in the world around us? Then I thought about how we justify a lot of other obscenities in our lives – the ones that we’ve become accustomed to like; most movies, many television shows, the language we “tolerate”, etc. Once we develop calluses, once we develop blind spots, we can ignore the obscenities and even act like they are just normal life.
I’m guessing that the folks that spend $40,000 on basketball tickets can easily justify the expense because it is really such a small percentage of their income that it doesn’t interfere at all with the good things that they do. I am not even intentionally trying to throw stones at people that buy these seats, I’m just looking at the $40 grand as the equivalent of 40 houses, or ½ of a new children’s home, tons of food, and lots of lost opportunities. I wonder if it was God’s plan for the money to be spent that way when he put his master plan in place? I wonder how often I’ve been obscene in the way I’ve spent money that God planned for something else?

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