I think they are archaic and demeaning, and I Don’t find them particularly pretty, but I don’t think they should be banned either. I think of them as an ugly aspect of our culture that will pass in due course eventually, but there is inadequate cause to simply ban them.
@infornography My feelings exactly. There are a lot of things I don’t think should exist but also don’t think should be banned. I’d like them to go extinct naturally, preferably tomorrow. On the other hand, if someone wants to start a comparable competition for men, where they parade around in Speedos and tuxedos and do stupid pet tricks for points and are judged primarily on conformation like dogs at Westminster, well then, I’d pay to watch that shit.
@Durago@infornography Football’s tricky because its risks are not that well understood yet, and for a long time there was a presumption that you could walk off a concussion (and definitely there was no problem with sub-concussive head trauma).
In some ways, I find MMA easier to accept. Those people know what they’re doing.
It’s also a good idea to carry around an extreme caution around criticizing or judging things from a distance… having an outsider perspective can be illuminating, but things can look very different from inside a cultural group. If you’ve never had the experience of wandering out of and back into a subculture first-hand, I recommend it.
@infornography@InnocuousFarmer While MMA is indeed a valid subculture, I don’t think that really provides it with any legitimacy in itself, since that argument could also be extended to gangs or even (in some places) organized crime such as a mafia organization. Not all subcultures are worth preserving, even if the people inside them might want them to stay around.
Moreover, MMA causes known, well-documented, and permanent damage to the fighters (and later, their families). It’s an institution that provides entertainment, but at the ultimate expense of the entertainers themselves, which makes it more exploitative than anything else, in my opinion. Other sports can sometimes cause injury, but those injuries are both incidental and at least theoretically avoidable, while those from MMA are neither. That makes the latter significantly more objectionable in my view.
@Durago@infornography So much of what makes the world go 'round is exploitative, though, by a broad enough definition. Most of us are compelled to do a lot of things we’d rather not, that are unhealthy, in the pursuit of money, to buy into our slice of the system that churns out basic necessities. From everything I’ve heard, fighters generally fight because they want to, injuries notwithstanding.
MMA is unlike criminal activity in that it’s not directly harmful to people who do not choose to participate. If you’d modify your analogy, to say that nobody should fight in MMA routinely, in the way that nobody should engage in alcoholism, I’d agree with you. But then I’d wonder to what degree you could exorcise the will to fight from the fighters themselves. If you got rid of the stadiums, and deprogrammed in observers the visceral entertainment value of watching other people destroy themselves (where would television be?) the fighters would fight anyways.
It seems to me that we’re all slaves to our natures. MMA, then, is a symptom of a part of human nature that is less useful than it used to be, but is still around, and will be for a long time. We’d be practically living in a utopia if human irresponsibility and destructiveness stopped with opt-in physical damage.
While this is certainly true, in that the world does tend to operate as you described it, the question behind whether to allow an activity is really one of whether it should be a part of the society. Martial arts are fine with me, because not only is it a true competitive arena (whereas MMA tends to be more staged combat, to my understanding), but most modern martial art forms tend to avoid dealing permanent damage (or often any damage) to your opponent.
The drive for combat is a powerful, primal urge, and once fed, it does not meekly return to its kennel. That said, there are safer outlets for it. One problem with both MMA fighters and your comparison to alcoholics is that both of those actually do cause problems for people around them. Alcoholism can result in abuse and violence, and the fighters become confused and unstable in their later years.
While the discussion of MMA is admittedly not regardless of whether the fighters themselves have objections, that is not the only factor in play either, and they are not the only ones holding a stake in the outcome. There are a lot of things to consider here, and honestly there may not be a good end solution to the problem as a whole.
As long as it’s billed as a beauty contest, then I have no qualms about it. My issue is with “dance” classes/competitions where hair and makeup are mandatory and the kids have to wear skimpy “costumes”. What exactly does that have to do with dancing? We have friends with a 5 year old daughter and that poor kid was even required to wear fake eye lashes for her “dance” recital. Oh, and one of the (at least 3) costumes displayed her mid drift. Why? Dance <> Beauty contest. Just don’t do it, people. It’s a creepy waste of money.
@DrWorm Really is a good thing she’s pretty…cuz that was BRUTAL. Kind of reminds me of a girl I once knew…We went out to eat, and with all seriousness said, “I’m pretty hungry. Which burger is bigger…a 1/3# or 1/4#?” I remember thinking that same phrase I typed above…Aaaargh!!
@ELUNO And cockfighting. And dogfighting, which is popular here and just across the border. People are urged not to give dogs ‘free to good home’ as they end up being bait dogs, along with strays and dogs stolen from people’s back yards. Humans suck.
@ACraigL@ELUNO Rodeos that are just horse performance stuff are okay. The horses have fun running barrels, etc. I rode “playday” aka “gymkana” competetively in my early teens and the horses looked forward to the weekly events. I knew someone who worked the rodeo circuit and he felt the broncos and bulls had fun bucking off the riders as well. They’d get super excited on rodeo day and seemed satisfied with their role in the contest. With rodeo I think it’s not a naturally cruel activity. It depends on the humans handling the animals. Horse racing is the same. Some trainers are abusive toward the horses, but overall the horses live to race. The policy of weighting horses to slow down exceptional ones is terrible, though.
@ELUNO@moondrake To be fair, I only attended one, in Santa Fe. It’s absolute cruelty how they get the bulls and broncos to “buck”. Also, the roping of small calves seemed to me particularly awful. I get it showcases the rider’s skills and all, but I just felt bad for these animals.
@ACraigL@ELUNO I don’t care for calf or goat roping. But bucking animals aren’t usually abused. It’s a common misconception that the flank strap hurts the genital area, but it does not. It is an annoyance intended to encourage the animals to buck with their back legs rather than just the front where the riders are. It increases showmanship and is an irritant but not painful or harmful.
@LordSalem The strap isn’t over the genitals, it’s way in front. Genitals are back between the legs.
The purpose is to put light friction at the leg joint so the animal is kicking around trying to get rid of it and the rider both.
@LordSalem@medz I hadn’t heard of this practice in common usage, I’ve seen it on tv shows but it was like a dirty secret of one rider, not common practice. At the events I participated in nothing like that was used, but maybe it’s become common at the big pro ones. Audiences pay only for the spectacular, bread and circuses. That’s certainly not something I approve of. But it’s not necessary to the sport, it degrades it, and should be banned.
I only ever think of beauty pageants when forced to. Seems like such a weird, pointless kind of thing. Like, take a pile of attractive, hungry women and arbitrarily pick one. Hurray! Now you’re … best.
Did you know that it actually takes effort to organize one of those things? It must. Why would anyone apply effort to something like that?
… this is one of those pre-Internet things, isn’t it. When you’ve got a single kitchen telephone with a twelve-foot cord between the receiver and the cradle, and the television has three snowy analog half-channels, and the town only has the one knockout, and you think “I bet she has one or more counterparts, elsewhere,” and somewhere a businessman’s profit-detecting ear hairs stand on end.
@olperfesser That’s what I’ve always heard. So … shouldn’t the winner be the one most in need of education? I thought that’s what the questions were for - determining which one was the least educated so they could get the scholarship.
But really, shouldn’t a scholarship competition be open to everyone? Why only vacuous women of a certain age? Shouldn’t vacuous men be allowed to compete to show that they need education?
When I was a kid, we used to watch the Miss America Pageant in Atlantic city. They would roll along the boardwalk in convertibles, and everything. It seems to me, that at that time, it was elegant – there was actual pageantry. Of course I was just a kid and may have just seen it through a child’s eyes, but it feels like that part was lost, likely soured by all the less-than events.
Wasn’t Donald Trump intimately connected with the Hawaiian Tropic beauty contests? So, like that.
Blockquote Wasn’t Donald Trump intimately connected with the Hawaiian Tropic beauty contests?
I thought he owned a couple of the “real” ones like Miss Universe and Miss USA and sold them when he became President. (IIRC regarding the names, the Miss USA champion gets to represent the United States in Miss Universe, while the Miss America pageant, which Trump was not involved with, is separate). Although I guess he could have been connected with Hawaiian Tropic contests also.