The hosts of the Fox program spoke with motivational speaker Larry Winget about this alleged wussification. Winget believes that yoga is not a sport, and is convinced that yoga is part of "a trend that is the wussification of America." However, Winget also said sarcastically, "I think Yoga’s amazing, I think it’s wonderful... I’m going to say that because I don’t want all those yoga Nazis coming after me on this thing."
After I watched the clip and read the report, I really didn't know whether to laugh or to cry. I wanted to laugh, because none of the things that the people on the program said about yoga was new or even interesting. Of course yoga isn't a sport; who in their right mind would think that? Well, actually, I guess ABC News would; check this out. Well, that tells us something about the quality of journalism over at ABC, doesn't it?
I also wanted to cry, but not because I might be a wuss. I wanted to cry, because if this particular program is representative of the general quality of the news sources in this country, then the intellectual health of this country is in pretty bad shape. I mean, if you think about it, this is really what the people on the program are arguing:
1. Yoga is not a sport.
2. Yoga is "just stretching".
3. If kids do no sports, but only do yoga, then they will go grow up into wusses.
4. Being a wuss is bad.
5. Therefore, doing only yoga and not doing any sports is bad.
The hidden assumption here, of course, is that if kids do sports, they will not grow up into wusses, but will instead grow up into fine upstanding citizens. Which feeds very well into this American myth that kids who grow up playing sports tend to be socially better adjusted and are therefore, well, not wusses. But a myth is just that: A myth. I'm pretty that there are at least as many kids who did not play sports growing up, and who grew up just fine.
Anyway, I just don't have the energy here to dissect any further the problems with this argument that the Fox people are putting forth. But maybe you can see why this might be cause for crying: If so many people are getting just sound bites from news networks, and do not have the opportunity to think things through, the intellectual health of this country is in trouble. If anything, we should probably worry more about the Foxification of this country than about any alleged wussification. In any case, not being a wuss might be overrated: What's so bad about being a wuss, anyway?
See, wusses can be cool too...
[Image taken from here]