“A man who has become conscious of the absurd is forever bound to it.” Albert Camus
Here is a video of Marshawn Lynch if you have never heard of him.
In case you do not know what happened during Super Bowl week, Marshawn Lynch began refusing to answer questions from reporters. He sat there and told them basically to “fuck off.”
Watch this video
It is hysterical to me, he sits there doing nothing, faced with American Media. They ask him one absurd question after another, “Are you excited to play in the Super Bowl?” “Who is the best player on the team?” “Are you worried about getting into the Hall of Fame?” All these questions are absurd, they have no relation to reality. Football like all sports can’t be predicted, there is no way to answer those questions besides just making stuff up.
How would someone answer, “Are you worried about getting into the Hall of Fame?” If Marshawn Lynch is going to be in the Hall of Fame it won’t be for decades. Why and how would Marshawn Lynch even go about worrying about that?
I believe this shows Sartrean freedom, at any moment we may lie down, we may kill ourselves, even the prisoner may daydream and think happy thoughts instead of feeling miserable and hating their cell, or we may accept a truth that terrifies us.
Marshawn Lynch said no to the media’s absurdity. He says family matters, his real concrete life matters, when he plays in the game, when he is with friends, that matters for him and you. He is giving the media advice, “Hey, your questions are stupid, stopping thinking so much about me and think about your family.”
Then he stares at them, as Sartre said he gave them The Look. Being stared at is terrifying, nobody really likes it unless they have an extreme amount of vanity, if they emotionally demand that level of justification for their existence. The average person, we won’t even mention reclusive authors, being looked at often reduces us to an objectification, it makes us ‘something’ we aren’t, it alienates us from ourselves. The media views Marshawn Lynch as this simple running back only there to carry balls from one location to another, but Marshawn Lynch knows he is an entire person, with many relations to other people and possibilities on and off the field.
Marshawn Lynch stares at the media saying, “You aren’t anything but objects who can’t play football, who aren’t a genius like me, the justification for your existence is asking me and people like me questions, without people like me, without great athletes you wouldn’t be able to feed your families or afford your cute little life styles. I Marshawn Lynch am the source of your happiness, but instead of giving me respect you treat me like a thug. And you can’t even think of a reasonable question to ask one of your fellow human beings.”
I don’t think Marshawn Lynch suffers from vanity, he doesn’t need the validation of the American Media to feel good about himself, he loves football, he loves the challenge of sports, he thinks it is fun to say “Beast Mode.”
Marshawn Lynch is 28-years-old, he is a Millennial just like us, Marshawn Lynch is us, Marshawn Lynch could easily be our friend. But there is a huge difference, most 28-year-olds in America do not have networths of 14 million and do not have constant media coverage of their lives. Every person I know in their late twenties and early thirties are dealing with student loans, trying to get promoted at work, most make less than $25,000 a year, most work mindless jobs that do not have unions, pensions or hope. Some are having their first kids, getting married, a lot spend their weekends at the bar drinking and singing karaoke, and we shouldn’t forget those dealing with PTSD from Bush’s Wars. The average life of a 28-year-old is not the life of Marshawn Lynch. But the existential crisis still remains, the anxiety of getting older, the anxiety of change, the anxiety that we have to become adults and grow up, the anxiety that life seems crazy, that life doesn’t make any sense, and if we go deep enough a knowledge that we are powerless to change the macrocosm of politics and business.
Marshawn Lynch has to deal with the fact that his networth is 14 million, which is an absurd amount of money and I believe Marshawn Lynch knows that. Because in America we seem to have four brackets of income, you either make lesss than $25,000, then around $40,000 to $60,000. Then it jumps to $300,000 for lawyers, small business owners and doctors. Then it super jumps to at least 10 million in networth. Whoever designed this system is mental as the British say. Frances Bean Kurt Cobain’s daughter who has never wrote a song in her life and has a networth of 75 million. The US government, a governnment that governs millions of sick and poor people and has epic problems all over the place spends 412 million on each F22 fighter jet, the US government bought 188 F22s, do the math. The USA is absurd, Marshawn Lynch has figured it out, and he is giving it back to them.
We must take it further though, when someone is as famous and rich as Marshawn Lynch they become a god. After a certain amount of money, you have an infinite amount of money. Marshawn Lynch can eat out and buy himself new clothes everyday if he feels like, he can put a giant television in every room of his house, he can buy and buy and buy. He is a god of capitalism. The problem is: everyone knows what he looks like, if he goes out to a restaurant he has to sit there the whole time being ‘seen’ as Marshawn Lynch. He can’t be ‘seen’ as a guy eating food with his friend, he is always Marshawn Lynch, and many sports trolls have stupid things to say to him. Even me, as a small indie press writer get at least one wacky email once a month, I wouldn’t even want to know what people say to him while he is trying to eat a cheeseburger at Five Guys.
Even though Marshawn Lynch has an infinite amount of money, he is still trapped inside of a prison because of it. He can’t go around being a normal person any longer, he can’t just go to the park or eat ice cream as a simple boring person like we are, if someone sees him and identifies him as Marshawn Lynch he is objectified, and alienated from himself. He is no longer allowed to peacefully enjoy his ice cream.
I feel in general what the American Media does with people in their twenties is odd and mental. People in their twenties are intensely insecure, they are still trying to figure out who they are and what they value about life. But our culture’s obsession with beauty and athleticism turns them into gods and then for some reason feels the need to emotionally abuse them in the media and online. We have to understand, that when a 14-year-old dreams of becoming a singer or athlete, of doing great things, they aren’t daydreaming about being emotionally abused by the media. I don’t understand how it has never occured to an internet troll that famous people have the Internet and can read their cruel bitter judgements of their fellow humans.
Marshawn Lynch has seen through the facade: American culture takes talented young people, gives them a bunch of money, a lot of old white people make millions off their talents, and then people give them no respect and emotionally abuse them until they break.
I can’t wait to see the next Marshawn Lynch interview.