Friday, April 10, 2009

Allen Iverson as Example of Failed Families

In a column blasting basketball player Allen Iverson, Jason Whitlock makes an interesting observation,
Iverson is a one-man, no-country Army, more than likely the victim of a dysfunctional upbringing that left him incapable of embracing the concepts essential to teamwork, winning and sacrifice for the benefit of others.

We're a nation of Allen Iversons, and the unchecked Wall Street greed that has us on the brink of collapse is nothing more than our chickens coming home to rot.

The assault on, the destruction of and lack of appreciation for the American family has created a nation of independent contractors. We're no longer connected.
Iverson is infamous for a press conference he gave where he derided practice, saying it wasn't a big deal that he missed them. What's the big deal, right? It's only practice. The importance of family often receives the same treatment. It's just tradition. Unnecessary, even. Sometimes it's through simple neglect, other times from intentional assault. Either way, family as the fundamental unit of society is forgotten.

4 comments:

Democracy Lover said...

I don't know if Iverson's family can be held responsible for his dysfunction, but I agree that we have become a nation of independent contractors, barely connected with either family or friends.

Unfortunately, I don't see any evidence that we are moving toward strengthening families. The few groups that claim to desire that goal don't deal with the primary causes for the destruction of American family life.

What are the causes? In no particular order, here are my likely suspects:

1. The ubiquity of passive entertainments, particularly TV.
2. The stagnation and decline of wages for middle and working class Americans that forces both parents to work.
3. Our culture of individualism that encourages us to believe we don't need the support of family or community.
4. The prevalence and sophistication of advertising and marketing that teaches us that we are defined by what we own and can solve our problems by buying more stuff.

I could go on, but I have to get back to work. My wife leaves soon for her job, too. Tonight we can sit together an watch the shows on our DVR on the HDTV.

Cameron said...

Nicely done, DL. :-)

What's interesting to me is that those causes you list are all best overcome by family.

One note though, and I think you may have addressed it in your last paragraph, is that I don't think having both parents work away from the home is a product of not enough wages as much as it is a product of wants. Wanting the dvr and hdtv, but also of wanting more than "just" being at home.

Democracy Lover said...

The fact of the matter is that income has stagnated for most people in America over the last 30 years. While costs have risen, average wages have barely kept up with inflation. The biggest culprits aren't electronics, which get cheaper every year, but the housing bubble and the cost of transportation.

Yes families seek more and more passive entertainment options, but that may well be a reaction to the extended hours they work and the lack of financial security rather than sheer lust for fun. There are far too many families that could not keep a roof over their heads or feed the children if both parents did not work full time.

While we can certainly disagree about the causes of the malaise of the American family, I think we can both agree that it is not a result of the "gay agenda" or any of the other issues decried by those who claim to focus on the family.

alwaysincens said...

TAWANNA IS NO VIRTUOUS WOMAN. ASK TAWANNA WHO FATHERED HER LAST CHILD THAT SHE GAVE BIRTH TO IN OCTOBER 2008. IT CERTAINLY WASN'T ALLEN. ASK TAWANNA ABOUT HER ILLICIT MULTIPLE AFFAIRS. ALLEN IVERSON IS NOT THE FATHER OF HER LAST CHILD THAT SHE GAVE BIRTH TO AND SHE KNOWS IT.