Even really smart people say really dumb stuff. It was the lead up to the Super Bowl. I didn’t really care. And it is very likely I didn’t even know that the playoffs were happening. It was my first year of college and I was sitting in a Gender and Sexuality lecture. Side note, now that I am paying for grad school myself and have the cost of every single hour calculated out, GENDER AND SEXUALITY? That my parents didn’t decide to take me behind the barn and shoot me after every tuition check was written feels like a miracle.
It was the first day of class and the professor had the front page of a major newspaper on the projector. A bear of man was plastered across the page, outrunning a stampede of other bear men, holding the focus of the entire paper.
“This is our society,” the professor began, “a society that celebrates a bunch of men who run a ball from one end of the field to another and pays them handsomely for it, all the while glorifying unfair gender roles that celebrate the alpha male and submissive women that stand on the sidelines. A society that gossips more about how much an athlete makes every year rather than discussing war. And our media is to blame. The media doesn’t tell you what to think, but it certainly tells you what to think about. And our media tells us to think about insignificant sporting events rather than poverty or obesity or war in the Middle East or race relations or any other number of important issues.”
She had a point, even if I felt like I was sitting at a bonfire listening to some douche strum Jack Johnson songs on his guitar while a turd next to me babbled in stoned circles about veganism. Our society does suffer from the Kardashian Effect. A lot of people care more about a nip slip than the Israeli/Palestine conflict or global warming. Lots of people probably couldn’t point out Afghanistan on a map. Or tell you what fracking is.
It wasn’t the point she was illustrating that was dumb. It was the solution she posed: that we, as a collective society, should get rid of national sports. Not improve primary and secondary education so that children grow to be adults that actually give a shit. Not to end segregating physical education classes to create more egalitarian views of athleticism and gender roles. Not to change media ownership laws so that large corporations have less influence over what information our brains are bombarded with. Nope, just like, stop sports man, and pass the quinoa. Something that even my left wing (and in college, ultra left wing) brain couldn’t believe it was hearing.
What’s wrong with people tuning out from a shit reality from time to time anyway? Everything in moderation, no? What’s wrong with knowing who Lebron James and Christine Lagarde are?
And screw that anyway. Someone that can sprint across a field for 90 minutes straight with one measily break to down a few gulps of Gatorade and score a goal from 40 yards away by bending the ball around four defenders is fucking amazing and should be celebrated and looked up to, you know, by the towering number of obese and out of shape youth for example. Information gains power based on how it is interpreted. You can look at an overpaid athlete and think, hey I think I’m going to go for a run and make some broccoli for dinner, or you can let it funnel through some extremist stupid filter disguised as feminist intellectualism and decide that ESPN is the reason that all is unjust and unholy in the world and belch out statements like just get rid of sports man.
This last month has been one of the greatest times to live in Buenos Aires. Since the World Cup began no one talked about Cristina [Kirchner] or [Mauricio] Macri, or inflation, or dollars, or shitty winter weather, or traffic. All anyone could talk about was Messi and El Pocho splashing water on Sabella. For a moment everyone was friends, kind of annoying friends that were suddenly professional fútbol coaches, but friends nonetheless.
And even though Argentina lost and I saw grown bros cry, people still went down to the Obelisco and celebrated getting to the finals. On my way home cars raced the opposite direction with passengers hanging half way out singing Brasil decime que se siente while waving their blue and white flags. Horns honked and fireworks went off well into the night. More than likely, I won’t talk about soccer for another four years, but the distraction was fun while it lasted.
And now for some braised short ribs (adjusted from Tom Colicchio’s recipe) and mash, this serves 4 hungry boys or 6 dainty girls, supposing that they fall into standard gender associations. Grab the following:
2 tablespoons of canola oil
Four pounds of short ribs, bone in; chop between each bone to make smaller piece
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 carrots, roughly chopped
3 celery ribs, roughly chopped
5 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
One bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon
1 heaping tablespoon of rosemary
Colicchio’s recipe calls for AN ENTIRE BOTTLE of red wine. That’s fucking stupid. I want a glass. Pour yourself a glass of Cab before getting started because we are classy [drunks] that drink wine while we sauté stuff.
Salt and pepper the ribs. Heat oil in a large pan and brown the meat until slightly crusty, about 15 minutes, making sure to brown all sides. While the meat browns, prep your vegetables. Reserve browned meat into a baking dish, and throw all the veggie into the pan and cook until soft, about 15 minutes.
This is the hard part. Say goodbye to your wine and add the rest of the bottle to the veggies. Bring to a boil. Add marinade to the meat, cover and refrigerate overnight.
Pre-heat your oven to 350° and cook covered for 2 hours and 15 minutes, remove foil and cook an additional 45 minutes. The outside of the meat will get a nice crust. You can flip meat over half-way through so that the crust is more even. I didn’t and I’m not sorry.
Shovel the meat over a healthy serving of some creamy mashed potatoes, and dribble that sauce all over everything. ¡Provecho!