zallia: (Default)

I've been watching through the entirety of Ninja Warrior since Spike's decided to show them in order and label the episodes and I've been intrigued by something I've noticed.
Okay, for those of you that don't know the Ninja Warrior or Saskue tournament is held once or twice a year on Mt. Midoriyama in Japan. There are 4 stages of obstacles, the first two with a time limit, the third no time-but almost entirely upper body strength and the last is a giant rope climb in 30 secs. It's a very difficult challenge and out of 100 contestants only around 10 people will pass the first like 4 the second, and sometimes none will pass the third. There are a number of joke competitors, but for the most part these guys are muscled, practiced men. Olympic athletes even. And since the beginning, these guys have come to practically every competition and have even built replicas of the obstacles in the their own yards to train during the year. Like big, moving obstacles. And in like 17 tournaments only 2 people have ever completed the entire thing.

Okay? Now, here's the kicker. There's no prize whatsoever. No money, no vacation, just title of Ninja Warrior. And they work so hard to be able to beat this. Like life-consuming training for this thing. And they don't berate each other, they cheer the others on and are upset when colleagues fail. 

And then I look at our competitions. Take Survivor. Million dollar prize. Usually a car or two to be had as well. And the people that go on there, don't even bother to look in a book to learn how to make fire or dig a latrine or build a shelter or even watch past episodes. For a million dollars! It just...baffles me. And I don't know if it's the difference between athletic competition and famewhored-ness or Japan and American work ethics. Anyways, just something that I've been contemplating a bit.

September 2013

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