Significance, Peanuts, and Crackerjacks

5 November 2001

First things first: my mother believes that Good has triumphed over Evil. I don't know if I'd go that far -- but it sure was good to see the Diamondbacks win the Series. When Avi came over on Wednesday night, he saw the game on the TV and said, "I didn't know you guys were baseball fans." I started my standard speech about how Timprov is the baseball fan and Mark and I just kind of tag along. But I think that's only true by my rigorous definitions of baseball fans. Timprov is a baseball fan, and so is his dad. David is. My parents -- oh yeah. No questions there. My parents have a shrine to the Minnesota Twins in their basement. But I turn the baseball games on sometimes, to hear the sounds of home, the crowd noises, the rhythms of the announcers. And if you turn the games on yourself, well, it counts.

I do think that these two teams may have been the ugliest teams in the history of baseball. But sometimes in a pleasant way. Randy Johnson is one of those ugly guys whose smile is just beautiful. Good to see. Joe Torre, on the other hand, just shouldn't try to smile. It looks like it's going to break his face. Shouldn't do it.

And again, Nike almost reduced me to tears with their "Take Me Out To the Ballgame" commercial. Have you seen it? They've got different ballplayers singing lines of it in their native language (although we all agreed that giving Chan Ho Park the bit with "crackerjacks" in it was mean, since there's evidently no Korean word for "crackerjacks"). And it's the only time we got to hear "Take Me Out To the Ballgame" during this series -- and I think that airing those commercials in a time of jingoism was particularly cool of Nike. They're not my favorite people, but.

(If they're still singing "God Bless America" in the seventh inning stretch next season, I swear, I am moving to Toronto, where at least the national anthem sounds decent and was never, to my knowledge, a British drinking song.)

And speaking of a time of jingoism -- I am so sick of people griping and moaning about whether their lives have significance in light of the events of 9/11. If your job was meaningless and stupid on 9/12, it was probably meaningless and stupid on 9/10. Tragedies have happened before, on a much, much larger scale. Michelle was talking about how she read an essay that suggested that no further writing was possible/appropriate after the Holocaust. We both disagreed, of course. But gosh. Wrap up the Holocaust, Stalin's purges, and the Cultural Revolution etc., and you've got such mass tragedies in the last century that if anything was to make your life meaningful through tragedy, you had your chance. I don't really think you get to be shocked into it now. And it's not like they stopped. People kept killing each other in biiiig numbers up through 9/11. Sad but true.

There was an article on this theme on the front page of the "Perspective" section of yesterday's Merc -- their video game reviewer was bemoaning his life and wondering if he could continue to do his job after the tragedies. Cry me a river, pal. You review video games for a living. If you don't think that contributing to other people's relaxation and entertainment is worthwhile, quit doing it. Just don't expect me to have a lot of sympathy for you. He also said he used to initiate flight simulator games by flying the plane into the tallest building in the game, and now that made him ill. So don't do it. Don't review flight simulators for awhile if you don't want to. Sheesh.

So yeah, I do think that contributing to other people's relaxation and entertainment is worthwhile. Not every job has to be helpful on a subsistence level. That's okay. Nobody needs to feel guilty about it. (Especially because if you do feel guilty, I'm sure there are charitable organizations that would love to have your skills, so get your butt over there.)

After the Series was over last night, the announcer started going on about how it was a healing thing for the nation. Okay, sure, whatever. It was baseball. It didn't have to be anything else but baseball. He didn't have to justify his existence by waxing rhapsodic about symbols of America. They played baseball, it was fun to watch, the end. That's what baseball is for. To be fun to watch. It doesn't need other significance.

Anyway. I am so hungry for calzone. If any of you know of a good recipe for calzone or a good store-bought brand, please, please let me know, because I need a calzone fix very, very badly. (I also have a feeling they'd be on Mary Anne's Approved List for Marissa Food.)

Oh, I know what the lunar epoxy story is going to be! And it's actually got lots of potential markets, go figure. So I'm glad of that. I've been rather scattered yesterday and this morning. The computer makes it easier for me to get actual work done in that state -- I can switch files after writing a paragraph or two and just keep going, rather than having to juggle bulky manuscripts or find my old place in my journal. But it's still a little frustrating when my brain doesn't want to just sit down and do one thing. Then again, after all the doing of one thing I expected of it on Saturday, I should expect a little rebellion, I suppose.

Status: cough negligible, ribs painful but tolerable, brain scattered but fixing itself, bananas ready for banana bread. Take care.

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