In Contempt of: A misanthropic column that celebrates all the things I can’t stand!!

by Mike Anthrope on November 15, 2012


I can’t stand Hacky Sack. Of all the sports and games of leisure ever devised, Hacky Sack is the most lame. I suppose “twirl the stick with two other sticks and pretend to be a Renaissance Faire jester,” and “balance yourself on a board over a rolling log” (presumably as a nod to lumberjack competitions) and those “cheap wood paddles with a rubber band stapled to a red ball that you whack on,” would be cousins, and rank close in terms of life’s lame diversions. You could also probably include yo-yoing, duck pin bowling, and “dig a hole – fill a hole.”

With Darts, at least there is an objective. You have to take aim. Even with horseshoes, there is a score, and different ways to get points. Even in Croquet, somebody wins. But with Hacky Sack, you’re just doing your own private little interpretive dance with no goal in mind, unless of course your specific aim is to drop a yarn bag filled with sand or seeds onto your foot and then watch as the sack falls to the ground so that you can bend over and pick it up or, worse perhaps, watch other people bend over to pick the sack up. Again and again. Countless times again. I’ve always hated bending over, and that’s what you do 90% of the time when you’re playing Hacky Sack.

Hacky Sack isn’t even a good time waster. The goal of time wasters is to make the time pass – playing board games on a rainy day at the beach, for instance. With Hacky Sack, time almost comes to a stop and you are PAINFULLY aware of the passage of each second, and perhaps even the subdivisions of seconds, as you bend down yet again to retrieve the helpless fallen sack.

Even at its best, when played by experts or professionals (could there be such a thing), Hacky Sack just seems to me like a failure of some kind, like some sad tragic wasted moment that could have been used to some other, any other, purpose, even just sitting quietly in a chair.

This is a video I found on You Tube called BEST (all caps no less) Hacky sack ever.

If that’s the best Hacky Sack ever, in history, through the ages of mankind thus far, then it is simply a confirmation of Hacky Sack’s unquestionable and complete lameness.

Here’s another video I found called Amazing Old Man Dominates Hacky Sack

Amazing…Domintes…Hacky Sack…These are three words that do not go together in any combination. The only thing that redeems the minute of your life you have wasted while watching this video is the guy yo-yoing in the background which elevates this scene to a kind of flagrant tragedy.

Next week, I’ll be discussing golf: the game loved by people who don’t have anything else in life to love.

I remain most humbly yours and with genuine disgust,

Mike Anthrope.

Mike Anthrope

Mike Anthrope is a comedian based in Los Angeles. Originally from Chicago, where he worked in a used auto parts store, Mike has traveled the world in search of trivial things that disgust him so that, by their omission, he might discover the things he loves.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Fred Davis November 16, 2012 at 11:10 am

Hacky sack is not really something to be watched. If you kick, play, and participate, you realize the fun, exercise, and concentration one needs to be able to accomplish successful sacking. (even with all the bending and picking up)

It is almost a zen like thing to be able to keep the sack in the air, stretching your limbs with controled balanced hits, concentrating greatly at this “useless” task. It is done for enjoyment of the player, not for spectators

Like anything, from golf, to meditating to any practice not done by some, It will seem silly and even stupid to the outsider. But, for those who participate, it is enjoyable, satisfying, and physically challenging.

Of course when one cannot actually do something, it is easy to not understand and ridicule. Some hacky sack players do take it too seriously, (aka “BEST Hacky Sack EVER” video), but as someone who enjoys solo sacking for fun and to stay limber, like that old man, it is rewarding, enjoyable, and a little exercise.

But hey, you gotta write about something, so it might as well be something you’re not good at, can’t do, or understand.

Now golf, even though I enjoy playing badly twice a year (if enjoyment means mostly frustration with a few good feelings sprinkled in), is without a doubt, a waste of time– unless you are good enough to enjoy. Then it is as important to the time wasting golf player, as is the article written by the non doing writer. Kind of a waste of time reading it actually.

Playing video games seems to me to be even more (or the biggest) time wasting activity around, but easier to do. 

So I say, to each their own- Hacky sack, golf, video games, meditating- whether you get it or not. 

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