This is a story about language and politics.
local editorial recently expressed the view that “The
disappearance of Sarasota's historic spring-training tradition
would be an enormous loss.”
everything that has ben around for a while counts as a tradition.
While a history does not necessarily involve tradition, all
traditions persist over time and thus have a history. Histories
exist whether they are known or not. Traditions, however, are
always alive in the present of those who possess them. Where
spring training baseball fits is not obvious, so perhaps the
writer opted for redundancy over clarity out of desperation.
notion of ‘enormous loss’ is much more difficult
to comprehend. Darfur is an instance of enormous loss. Asian
tsunamis and Florida hurricanes are instances of enormous loss.
If ‘enormous loss’ is comfortably used in the context
of a month’s worth of preseason baseball games, we hamper
our ability to articulate our situation.
phrase is difficult to comprehend even at the level of municipal
politics, for at the core of this project is the question whether
the gain is worth the pain. Referring to the teams possible
departure as an ‘enormous loss’ assumes away the
Commissioner Atkins remarked that “Downtown has become
exactly what we dreamed of, except for affordable housing.”
While there is no dearth
of actors in and out of government happy
to take credit for solving our crisis of leisure force housing,
no one is stepping forward to accept responsibility for the
failure to build work force housing. (More than a few fingers
point to the invisible hand.) In this discussion, however, ‘enormous
loss’ is nowhere to be found.