RUSH: I’m reading a book. You know, I’m a huge fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers, and I lived in Pittsburgh from 1970 to 1975. That was when the Steelers dynasty was beginning, and it was special. I was just 20 years old when I moved to Pittsburgh, when I left home. And, you know, I’ve always been a sportsman. St. Louis Cardinals, the Los Angeles Dodgers were my baseball teams, but I was never really a gung-ho football fan. I loved watching it on TV, but in terms of having a team, I really didn’t, until Pittsburgh.
I think about those years often, the seventies and the kind of decade they were economically. I mean, it was tough times in a lot of ways. Richard Nixon imposing wage and price controls because inflation was out of control at 3%. We had these concocted energy crises with long lines at gasoline stations. The price of gasoline was skyrocketing. In many ways it was gray days, like an overcast, cloudy, threatening to rain or snow, 40-degree kind of day. That’s my memory of some of the seventies. Not all. But certainly the first half of the decade.
In the midst of all that was the Steelers dynasty forming — and if you lived in Pittsburgh then, it totally captured everybody. Since then, I have actually studied how entire cities can derive their self-esteem — and I mean that: Entire cities can derive their self-esteem — from the performance of a local sports team. Baseball team, football, even hockey, in a town like Pittsburgh or Buffalo can really affect it. It was fascinating to be part of it, but that was a long time ago. There’s a guy who’s written a book, Gary Pomerantz.
He’s been at the Washington Post, any number of places, and he has written a book that I’m reading called Their Life’s Work,” and it’s about the seventies Steelers, which, by the way, for those of you that are not dyed-in-the-wool fans, the seventies Steelers are acknowledged as the best football team ever. The 49ers people disagree. The Cowboys people disagree. But in terms of dynasties, you couldn’t have a team that stays together as long as that team did now with free agency and salary caps and that kind of thing.
But it was special, and to be in Pittsburgh for those five years when it was all forming and beginning, even now I feel a connection to it. Reading this book, I’m learning things that were going on in the town I lived in that I had no idea about. It’s all behind-the-scenes stuff, but it’s about what it is like to be on a championship team of anything. I think… You know, most people do not ever know what that’s like.
Not just football, not just baseball, not just sports, but a winning team doing anything. It’s probably the same kind of feeling people have at Apple right now. They’re winning big. Google may have the same kind of team thing — although they’re so big, maybe not. But it’s something most people will never experience. But everybody loved ’em, and everybody that loves football wonders what it would be like.
That’s why there’s so much interest in Incognito and Jonathan Martin stuff with the Dolphins, because nobody knows what goes on in the locker room. Everybody wonders what it would be like, and this guy Pomerantz has just done a terrific job writing about the city, the Rooneys, everybody that mattered on that team. The players and what they’ve done, what they’ve become and so forth. It’s just fascinating.
I ran across a quote near the end of the book. I finished it late Saturday night. This is how it’s written in the book: “‘I think of the author and rugged individualist Jack London. Just weeks before his death in 1916, Jack London was interviewed by a San Francisco journalist who quoted him as saying, ‘I would rather be ashes than dust. I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than that it should be stifled by dry-rot.
“‘I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet. The proper function of man is to LIVE. I shall not waste my days trying to prolong them. I shall use my time.'” Now, this has no bearing on the Steelers; it has no bearing on the book. It has everything to do with what life is becoming in America to me, especially the last line: “The proper function of man is to LIVE,” not to exist. “I shall not waste my days trying to prolong them. I shall use my time.”
That rings true to me. I tell you, folks, we only get one life. That’s a favorite phrase of mine, and this is what I mean by it. There’s only one. There isn’t a do-over. You can maybe do over a day, but you can’t do your life over. And what are we occupied with in America right now? Exactly that. Trying to prolong our lives by not living them. “Don’t take any risks, don’t eat that, don’t drive that, don’t do this!
“Sit around, and don’t do anything. Don’t take any risks! Don’t put yourself in any danger, don’t make yourself miserable, don’t make yourself uncomfortable, don’t make yourself mad, don’t hurt anybody’s feelings, don’t get your feelings hurt. Just sit around.” Everything is oriented toward never dying and everything is oriented toward not living. I’m talking about liberalism.
I’m talking about the idea that it’s the people who are living life that often are criticized the most. They’re the ones doing things. While we have a culture that’s been conditioned to do nothing, to sit around and wait for something to happen and hope it’s good. “But don’t do anything that might hurt, don’t do anything that might harm, and don’t do anything that might exhilarate, ’cause that isn’t gonna happen. You’re only gonna get hurt.”
And I tell you, the whole thing rings true to me.
RUSH: Jack London, I also like the fact that he’s referred to here as a “rugged individualist,” and the quote is from 1916.
“The proper function of man is to LIVE,” not exist. “I shall not waste my days trying to prolong them. I shall use my time.” He said this just weeks before he died in 1916, and it just rings home to me. Folks, this is why practically every liberal argument scares me, frightens me, that people fall for it. Because liberalism coerces people, convinces people just to sit on their butts and do nothing — and then tells them that’s the safest route to take.
Then it tells ’em what to eat and what not to eat, what to drive, what not to drive, what to drink, what not to drink, and how much of it you shouldn’t drink, and how much you’re allowed to drink. It’s absurd. They got certain foods banned. It’s none of their business. They use government for these purposes, which are nothing but mechanisms of control because the liberal doesn’t care about your life or how long it is. The liberal cares about controlling your life as long as you live.
It doesn’t matter how soon you die or how long you live. They don’t care about any of that. They’re sick people who think that everybody should live the way they do, and if you don’t, you’re an enemy, and they’re gonna make sure that by fiat — government regulation or the power of the state — that you’re not gonna do what they don’t want you to do. They’ve got so many people sitting around watching TMZ and living their lives vicariously through all of these really mind-numbed celebrities.
People are sitting around getting their jollies through others who are living their lives, and everybody says, “Gee, I wonder what that’d be like. Gee, I wonder what that’s like. Gee, I wonder what that feels like,” instead of going out and trying it, instead of going out and doing it. You know, the cure for almost any malady — other than bedridden illness, but the cure for any psychological problem — is action, action that makes you stop thinking about yourself. That’s all the left wants you to do: Think about your misery and having somebody else fix it for you, and then don’t take any more risks because we can’t stand the pain of failure.
We can’t stand the pain of others’ success.
Nobody gets to do anything.
It’s a crock.
RUSH: “Rush, you do know that Jack London was a card-carrying Socialist.” Yeah, I do. But he didn’t live that way, obviously. He’s typical. He was a card-carrying socialist. He died, by the way, when he was 40. He died in 1916. Some people say it was suicide. Nobody knows for sure. But I don’t care. He was a card-carrying socialist, but he didn’t live that way. It was impossible. Maybe he wanted everybody else to, but in terms of the way he lived, it’s typical of what liberals do. They always exempt themselves from the rules that they impose on others.