Keep Your Hernandez Jersey

I’m going to tie a couple of things together that some people might find to be a stretch, but I don’t. A lot of folks know that I’m a Patriots fan. As an adult I’ve actually backed away from the role of active fan and take things passively. I’m not a fan of paying a salary larger than my school district budget to one man to play a game. There’s something decidedly broken about that.

Another piece to the puzzle here is that players frequently make poor life choices and do bad things. This happens to lots of folks, but lots of folks don’t have the kind of money these players do. Hernandez, formerly of the Patriots, isn’t the first to land in hot water – and he won’t be the last. For anyone that hasn’t heard, Hernandez is a well-known football player who has been arrested and charged with murder. Hold that thought, we’ll come back here.

There’s a clever / cute news story on the web lately about two Dutch artists that decorated surveillance cameras with party hats as a way to celebrate George Orwell’s 110th birthday. They’re attempting to call attention to the ubiquitous nature of cameras in today’s society and how we’re edging toward the Big Brother state. I suspect this would be less of a news story if a certain Mr. Snowden hadn’t made the news quite as much as he has lately – but wiretapping and surveillance are big news stories.

I bet you don’t understand how I’m tying this together yet.

Here’s the part that bothers me. The Patriots organization is offering to take back the Hernandez jerseys they’ve sold and give out an equal (or lesser value – of course) jersey in exchange. They’ll give that number to some other player this year and hope that this ugly incident fades from memory.

Winston’s job at the Ministry of Truth is the exact same thing. For all the people that gripe and moan and wail about the government watching them, how many people are letting the little steps be taken to move to a point where an event, or an unsavory person, is expunged from the public record? How easy is it then to dump his name from the web page for the team (it’s not on the front page of the team site already) and then proceed to making him just go away?

I think the way media in general, and news in particular are heading don’t give me a lot of hope in this department. People are in favor of this move and calling it classy. I call it scary. I fear things being scrubbed from the record as much as I fear the cameras… maybe more. I have never put much trust in stuff on the internet – that could be real, could be archived, could be totally fabricated – and there’s no way to definitively tell who posted it or why for the average person. Where will the record be? Who will have this information and how will we find it? Will it be at the library – or will the library still exist?

So, for what it’s worth – keep your Hernandez jersey. I’m not saying wear it out, flaunt it or whatever, but keep it. Use it as a teaching tool. Just don’t let it disappear.

“Who controls the past, controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.” George Orwell, 1984

“Half of writing history is hiding the truth”   Capt. Malcolm Reynolds as written by Joss Whedon