As I have the past few days, I tuned in this morning to watch England’s historic tennis tournament, Wimbledon, which is broadcast live from London (available in the U.S. on ESPN, ESPN2 and the Wimbledon website). The tennis tournament is one of the West’s most beautiful sporting events and this is especially true of Wimbledon where the game is still played on grass. One thing that absolutely destroys that beauty is when a player screams every time they strike the ball. This morning it was Victoria Azarenka grunting with every effort (the women are the worst with their high-pitched screams). It is horribly distracting and completely destructive of the elegant rhythm of a tennis match and is yet another example of Western Civilization refusing to enforce its own rules of decorum. Although tennis rules require that fans in attendance remain quiet during play, the player is no longer held to the same standard. Evidently, the individual screamer mustn’t be denied the freedom to scream and shriek like a wild animal if that’s what makes him happy. Imagine working in any other area that requires physical exertion where the workers scream with every forceful motion. For example, try to visualize a carpenter or roofer wailing like a banshee with every hammer blow.
Don’t laugh too hard; you never know what the future holds for Western Civilization, and a screaming craftsman would be not that far-fetched in today’s permissive society. In tennis, as is true in many areas of modern Western life, the rights of the individual supersede the rights of society to demand civil behavior in public environments.
Even with all the grunting, I have enjoyed the matches. Wimbledon is still a beautiful event even if I have to mute the volume occasionally.