As someone who teaches “Western Culture” to Asians living in China, I often have to think and evaluate things that normally I might just take for granted. For example, if I was taking a test on American Culture and they asked: “America’s national pastime is __________” I would quickly fill in “Baseball” and wouldn’t even re-think it for a second! But is that really true?
I came across an article on CNN’s website that suggested that baseball has not been America’s National Pastime since the 1950′s! Hmmm, interesting – he might be right!
He ended up talking about the explosion of ‘choices’ that Americans have to occupy their time, especially with the popularity of portable devices that serve up limitless amounts of distraction. He asked the question: “Do today’s Americans simply enjoy the screens they carry with them, or are they psychologically addicted to them — is it a pleasurable pastime, or are they hooked?”
So, what do you think? If you were helping me prepare my lecture on “American Culture” that I will teach my students next semester, what would you suggest I tell them is “America’s National Pastime”?