Breaking the Fourth Wall

Hockey players joined basketball players in refusing to play games after the Wisconsin police shooting of Jacob Blake, in the back, seven times. One more. Yes, they had to step away from the game. As the Wisconsin basketball team players said clearly enough, how can we play?

This time is a decisive moment for which road American society is going to take. It’s a telling moment for who is going to stand up and declare American values. Who in the society is to do that. What an extraordinary stand of character that the athletes are making, all standing together in front of the press mics, not what they are trained for, but they have said enough is enough. As one hockey player stated, they have to count their privileges and use them for a better society. This is the moment, crucial moment, and they have made a bold and brave stand for what they believe is right, for justice.

They have broken the fourth wall, I feel so important to wake people up. The fourth wall in theatre is the invisible wall between stage and audience that allows for the suspension of disbelief. I feel in our time, with the screen being so prominent in our social gathering, that the line between fact and fiction is non-existent. It developed over time with docu-dramas as an example and became reality TV where it seems the show is just a real time filming of ordinary people when in fact it is highly constructed so that participants in reality TV shows didn’t even recognize on screen the portrayal of events they participated in. Of course, American ended up electing a Reality TV celebrity. I think the only way to understand how ordinary people of good character can tolerate what President Trump says and does, can accept without protest all the rage and vitriol rampant on social media is that people have created a fourth wall for life, that the screen makes everything kind of unreal, doesn’t really matter because I’m getting it through the screen that I can swipe away to something else and it no longer exists for me. If a person was standing in front of one saying what is so popular on social media, one would be an emotional wreck.

I think the players stopping the game, speaking with such direct eloquence about what matters to them, is breaking the lure of that screen, all a bit of entertainment. The players are saying enough is enough, wake up to the society you ordinary people have tolerated, you who have sat in your living rooms and allowed the President of the United States to speak and act as he does, and you sit there and laugh, and carry on as if it doesn’t matter.

I have to commend the activists, those stepping up for they have done better than I have in the last paragraph. They have not blamed people for being so indifferent, to seeing life as entertainment for themselves, carrying on; the activists have not blamed people. What character they have. They have said overwhelmingly, we are in this together, and we must claim justice for all. Enough is enough.

Who is effectively fighting for the good of America; not all the highly educated political leaders who have spent decades letting things be, no, it is ordinary people whose job is something else, but they have had to stand up where smart people with the power to make a difference have lagged or have used the system instead for themselves. All those smart money managers who have once again taken the American economy and world economy to the brink with their collateralized loan obligation (CLO) that is more volatile and risky and dangerous than the CDOs of the 2008 mortgage meltdown. That’s what those folks are doing making huge amounts of profit for the banks and traders. Ball players, what are they doing? Using their privilege to make society a better place to live.

Thank you, athletes. Thank you for such a character that stands up and is counted.