Shit gets you down. A lot of shit gets you way down. And sometimes sports doesn't give you a break from shit, it only piles it higher and deeper.
Granted my shit baseline is pretty deep these days. I've been unemployed for ten months and, if employers are to be believed, I'm simply unemployable unless 'you'd like fries with that' becomes my career path. So, you can imagine how "helpful" it is to me to sit down and watch Adam Wainwright blow out his Achilles tendon, or to hear the news last autumn about Oscar Taveras.
And then we get to the St. Louis Blues. There is no way I can do a post-mortem because I simply cannot stand it or them anymore. They have mattered so much to me since I was a 10 year old kid that they have used me up. It turns out 36 years of futility is my limit. It is impossible for me to believe someone could be a fan, and I mean a real fan, and last longer than I did. Every year they trot out some Cubs "fan" who claims 70 years plus, but that has to be bullshit. There is no way someone who really cared could last that long. I've known mothers that have disowned their own children, human beings they loved with all of their heart and soul, for less than what the Cubs have done to their fan base routinely. The only way you could last that long is if deep down you really don't care. And, don't get me wrong, that's cool for the people who are just enjoying following sports as a bit of play acting. It can be loads of fun to pretend you care about something. Why else would people adopt Cinderellas so readily. You don't actually care that that 14 seed you'd never heard of before they won a couple games in the NCAA gets knocked out in the Elite Eight. It's just fun to act like you do. When the ride ends, it ends.
In many ways I've always thought the film Fever Pitch, and here I'm talking about the real English soccer version and not the Americanized abomination, got a lot right about being a real fan. When the girlfriend of the main character chirps in the helpful "It's only a game!" the response is dead on. "Don't say that. That is the stupidest thing anyone could ever say. It quite obviously is not only a game. If it was do you honestly think I'd care this much?!"
What it misses out on is the hopelessness it can engender. The character Paul in Fever Pitch, and the author Nick Hornby on which the character is based, only had to endure a drought of eighteen years between Arsenal championships, and even then they won an FA Cup in the longish interval. The angst there is having been good and failing for awhile to reach those same heights. The Blues, on the other hand, have never been that good. Ever. Even when they reached the Stanley Cup finals, before I was born and when I was less than a year old, it was a fluke born to dodgy business decisions. They truly didn't belong there. The real championship was the semifinals played in the other conference. Everyone knows it even if they are too polite to talk about it that way. That is what the Blues were and what they have always been.
Seemingly it is what they always will be too, and that is what I cannot stomach. It's taking too much out of me and not putting anything back in. There is no joy to be had there any longer so I'm putting the Blues away. I'm not watching them, or the NHL in general, any longer. I've already boxed up everything I own with the Blues logo and tucked it away deep in a closet possibly never to be open again in my lifetime. But, at least I'll have the satisfaction of knowing it won't be the Blues or the NHL sending me to an early grave.
That is something I suppose.
Sunday, April 26, 2015
Shit gets you down. A lot of shit gets you way down. And sometimes sports doesn't give you a break from shit, it only piles it higher and deeper.
Sunday, November 09, 2014
There are good reasons why someone like Cardinal Raymond Burke would have made a terrible pope. At the crux of the matter there is the marked tendency he has shown to treat issues like ideological footballs which he would try to pick up and power down the field down his opponents throats. Now, that might make some sense when dealing with forces like a highly partisan and unfriendly to hostile to Catholicism press corps, like the one we suffer from here in the United States. Where it makes little to no sense is in the pastoral work of the church, where to do so is to divide the Church into issue groups, some labelled "friends," others labelled "enemies."
Unfortunately, if such is true of a Cardinal, it's is more true of a sitting pope and Pope Francis seems to have forgotten that fact, if he was ever aware of it at all. It has been the policy of many traditionalists to give Francis the benefit of the doubt, but it is becoming increasingly clear that he sees the world, and as a result the Church, as being filled with combating ideological camps. He's President Bush standing in front of us all and saying "you are either with us or against us." That Francis is being lionized by people who love neither the Church, nor the real flesh and blood human beings that make it up, and seems to be actively seeking their approval, makes me sad beyond words.
It's not that I didn't know it was coming. It's sort of like your own demise. It's one thing to acknowledge one's inevitable end. It's another to see it looming up before you.
Friday, November 07, 2014
And now for something completely different...
I've actually been contemplating putting together a philosophy tinged podcast which would kind of be like an audio version of James Burke's Connections, only infinitely more trivial.
Thursday, October 09, 2014
This is the straw that broke my back.
I'm sorry but it is impossible for any thinking person to be against people having government issued ID. To be against it you must be either A) some sort of neo-nazi white supremacist type, or B) committed to perpetuating a permanent helpless underclass for your own, and you privileged class's own, political benefit.
Without a valid government ID one cannot get a job, buy alcohol, drive a car, write a check, travel outside the country, travel on an airplane, travel on Amtrak, travel on a Greyhound bus, buy medications that contain pseudoephedrine, or even purchase prescription medication. I'm sorry but what kind of person wants to keep people from having such personal agency in their lives?
I'll tell you who. Evil sons of bitches. That's who.
If people like Lewis Black spent HALF the time they do bitching about Republicans helping people enter the 20th Century already none of this would be an issue. The truth is they don't want poor Americans to enter the 20th (or 21st) century. They want them helpless and dependent.
Thursday, September 25, 2014
God only knows how anyone in this country can sleep when we don't know if the redhead from the Wendy's commercials has the correct beliefs.
And what about the GEICO gecko?
Insomnia here we come.
Thursday, September 18, 2014
The long awaited vote is on in Scotland. I have absolutely no dog in the question of an independent Scotland. Not a one. Oh, I think there is some Scots blood in me somewhere, but I'm pretty sure it is awash in a sea of Irish and English red that it amounts to not a lot. I certainly have never been one of those Americans that searches back through his genealogy in order to know what tartan to order. I look terrible in plaid anyway.
Indeed, the going on in Scotland lately have been about a form of nationalism that has very little to do with the American experience. In many ways the Union that forms the UK is a little more in keeping with our national experience in the US than the clarion call of the monoculture that is good old fashioned nationalism. Its particularly strange as those most loudly proclaiming the need for Scottish independence seem to have no idea how conservative such a call really is. As well, the romance of it all can be a bit intoxicating, especially for us American observers. The United States has very little that smacks of the "ancestral" about it. When we use the term it is almost always used metaphorically. To live in a place where it actually applies.... well, that is the stuff of fiction for us.
Which may explain why part of me hopes Scotland says "no" today. The ancestry is real all right, but I wonder if the romance of it all isn't just as fictional for them as it would be for us. Think of the fantasies of those who romanticize the antebellum South. In these flights from the real world difficulties are never faced and the drawbacks and dark sides are ignored or completely forgotten. In the debates on Scottish independence I've seen on CSPAN there was a disturbing amount of faith put into slogans by the "Yes" proponents, as if translating them into reality would be the easy part. No. Spouting slogans is the easy part. All the rest of it is very hard.
Whatever happens all I can say is good luck to the people of Scotland, and the UK as a whole.
Wait? This won't affect the price of Scotch...
Sunday, September 07, 2014
....here is exhibit #7688:
That link takes you to a website called "The Moderate Voice" [sic], which these days apparently believes the KKK style hate ravings of one Hart Williams qualifies as "moderate."
Thursday, July 03, 2014
I used to think that description only accounted for 10-15% of the political left in this country, and the vast majority of it confined to the far (loony) left. Even that was forgivable, in a sense, because the far left has been dominated by varieties of Marxism for over a century and they, as a group, are too ideologically stupid to be anything other than ignorant, intolerant and narrow minded.
However, of late ignorant, intolerant and narrow minded has gone mainstream in the Democratic party. For example, you have these morons claiming in the name of tolerance you cannot have pluralism. And for another, more distressing, example you have the main streaming of anti-Semitism called BDS:
What is particularly scary about this state of affairs is there seems to be no dissent from these positions in the entire Democratic party. In fact the Democratic party seems more monolithic about, well, everything than it has been since the 1860's. To be left of center in America increasingly means living in a monoculture where different ideas and ways of life are viewed as being anathema to every tenet of common human decency. Indeed you would be hard pressed to find an example of a mainstream Democratic writer who even pays lip service to the idea that one can disagree with a Democratic party policy and NOT be morally bankrupt. However, in the increasingly Orwellian newspeak of the Democratic hegemony intolerance is branded tolerance, moral zealotry is called open mindedness, and intellectual chicanery is called scholarship. I call myself frightened.
Tuesday, July 01, 2014
I have often lamented that we live in an era of degraded journalism. Journalists of today are less independent, less articulate, less well read, and less intelligent than journalists of decades past. The depth of their deficiencies comes to the forefront when you read, frankly, garbage like the following from the editorial board of the New York Times:
The Supreme Court’s deeply dismaying decision on Monday in the Hobby Lobby case swept aside accepted principles of corporate law and religious liberty to grant owners of closely held, for-profit companies an unprecedented right to impose their religious views on employees. It was the first time the court has allowed commercial business owners to deny employees a federal benefit to which they are entitled by law based on the owners’ religious beliefs, and it was a radical departure from the court’s history of resisting claims for religious exemptions from neutral laws of general applicability when the exemptions would hurt other people.For starters, in what way does Hobby Lobby not paying for abortifacients "impose their religious beliefs" on anyone? Here is the answer: it doesn't. Hobby Lobby employees are free to spend all their spare time taking abortifacients if that is what floats their boat. They just have to pay for them. Secondly, a mandate is NOT a "federal benefit." If the federal government wants to provide cheap abortifacients to people they can fund a program to do so, if they can get the votes. The moment you require a private party to provide something via a mandate you automatically have the possibility of running against other rights. The idea that the you can make Hobby Lobby or any other private company or organization a de facto arm of the government that is forced to give up ANY constitutional protections by issuing of governmental mandates is simple nonsense. (It wouldn't be in a fascist or communist system, but we don't live in either of those... unless Justice Ginsburg has her way of course.) "The full implications of the decision, which ruled in favor of employers who do not want to include contraceptive care in their company health plans, as required by the Affordable Care Act, will not be known for some time." Of course this isn't what this case was about. None of the three companies involved claimed a right to not cover all contraceptives, nor did the Supreme Court assert any such thing. This is a product of the over-heated imaginations of the chronically stupid and insipid. And, indeed, if you are unfortunate enough to read the rest of the Times' editorial, and you have a functioning brain, you will be left saying three things: 1) What the hell are they blathering on about? 2) I wonder what color the sky is in their world? And 3) When did real journalism die?
Tuesday, June 10, 2014
Saturday, June 07, 2014
"In any voting situation," stated the judge Ty Rant, "there is inherently the chance voters might vote for something our elites do not favor. As our elites must be catered to in every particular, being that they are better than the hoi polloi, voting must be considered outmoded and something we have progressed beyond."
Judge Sonia Sotomayor immediately signaled her acceptance of judge Rant's opinion.
Monday, June 02, 2014
People don’t take hurricanes as seriously if they have a feminine name and the consequences are deadly, finds a new groundbreaking study.The lack of even rudimentary scientific methodology is staggering. For starters, comparing the effects of pre-1970 storms with post-1970 storms is difficult because of an important historical change, namely the introduction of satellites to accurately track hurricanes. This "study" blindly treats these two era the same. Well, they are not the same. Pre-1970 storms (oh, and all of this data was collected from their supporting data) averaged 35.4 deaths per storm. Post-1970 storms averaged 16.8 deaths per storm.
Female-named storms have historically killed more because people neither consider them as risky nor take the same precautions, the study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences concludes.
Researchers at the University of Illinois and Arizona State University examined six decades of hurricane death rates according to gender, spanning 1950 and 2012. Of the 47 most damaging hurricanes, the female-named hurricanes produced an average of 45 deaths compared to 23 deaths in male-named storms, or almost double the number of fatalities.
They cannot even make the Prima Facia case for their paper. Male names have only been in use since 1979. Since 1979 male named storms have produced an average of 17.9 deaths. Females storms have produced on average 15.8 deaths per storm.
Honestly, this paper took 15 minutes to completely destroy. How it could be published by the National Academy of Science is beyond me.
Tuesday, May 13, 2014
Just got to call them as they are. Fascist is the only appropriate label for someone who believes they have the moral right to remove people from the political process because they deem them "inferior" in some manner, be it because of their race, ethnicity, religion, or because they fail a preferred ideological litmus test.
Anyone who engages in such behavior is anti-democratic, pro-authoritarian, and 100% all scum-bag all the time.
Sunday, April 13, 2014
The worst thing about the internet is that it convinces me almost weekly that huge swaths of my fellow Americans are blithering morons who lack the capacity to read or think. On the other hand, they are fantastic at being moralizing prigs.