“Do NOT sell this farm”

Timothy Busfield's character in Field of DreamsField of Dreams was on the other night. It’s one of my favorite films, sports or otherwise, and it’s loaded with meanings that go beyond the story. Art is like that.

Take Timothy Busfield’s character, for example. He plays Mark, Kevin Costner’s uptight, money-conscious brother-in-law. In one scene, he walks right pass the ballplayers, because he doesn’t see them. He’s not a believer. He sees only what he thinks he can see. It’s really not his fault; he’s so stuck in his own place that he cannot see beyond it. His only concern is his sister, and to him, Costner’s ball field is lunacy.

Then a near tragedy occurs. His focus is shifted, and suddenly he can see everything. “Where did all these ballplayers come from?” he asks Costner’s smiling family.

This is art imitating life, for in all ways, we humans tend to get stuck in the same rut of Busfield’s character. We don’t see what’s possible, because we limit ourselves by circumstances. I have found this to be the great limit of rationality, a boundary so absolute that it cannot be crossed, absent some powerful event that forever alters our consciousness. It can become the author of an insidious form of contempt, one that blocks the very reality that we think we embrace.

The geeks of the world built their own Field of Dreams years ago in this thing we call the World Wide Web, a disruption of Biblical proportions to the status quo. Like Busfield’s character, however, media companies walked right through it. We could see the playing field, but we couldn’t see the magical players. We scoffed and viewed it with contempt, because, after all, we are were “the media.”

Now is the season of our tragedy, and our eyes are suddenly opening. Let’s hope it’s not too late.

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