Readers in Council,
The Japan Times, 5-4,
Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-0023
The December 22, 2013 Japan Times editorial “Students neglect physical exercise” is eminently annoying for the tired old list of wrong and wrong-headed ideas it repeats ... again! The statement that “Students need to be required ... to do much more physical activity” practically gave me a conniption. Educators, politicians, physicians, social commentators and newspaper editors must know or must be made to know the truth, that most people don’t care about exercise. Period. For good or bad, there it is.
Who cares about throwing balls, running 50 or 100 meter dashes, or aerobic exercises like sidestepping? It all hokum.
For the most part students tolerate mandatory physical education in schools until they graduate or have the freedom to choose elective classes. Even so, many students still call PE their favorite class because they think it requires the least of them. It is past credible denial that mandatory physical education in school does more to raise young people to despise organized sports and forced participation than it does young people who proactively pursue exercise in their lives as a healthy lifestyle choice. Mandatory physical education is singularly the worst subject in the curriculum. But there’s money in it, especially in America where team sports have become an opiate of the masses. Everyone is hallucinating.
People don’t care about exercise. In a democracy authority rests with the people and the people have spoken. Furthermore time is sacred, so I think once the mandatory requirements have been fulfilled - in school, job or life - it is wrong to foist even more mandatory activity on anyone. Not organized sports, not club activities, not volunteer activity of any kind. Their mandatory nature effectively robs them of their merit and they become a kind of terrorism in the sense that it’s terrible.
The Summer Olympic Games are coming to Tokyo in 2020. But Japan’s population is falling rapidly, and aging even faster. So the reality is that there will be an embarrassing number of vacant seats in expensive facilities that will never pay for themselves.
Published on Sunday, December 29, 2013 as "Most don't care about workouts."