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What my musings are all about...

Blogging might well be the 21st century's form of journaling. As a writing teacher, I have always advised my students to keep a daily journal as a way of organizing their thoughts for future writing projects, a discipline I have unfortunately never consistently practiced myself. By blogging, I might finally be able to follow my own good advice.

The difference between journaling and blogging is that the blogger opens his or her writing to the public, something journal- writers are usually reluctant to do. I am not so reticent.

The trick for me will be to avoid cluttering the internet with more blather, something none of us need more of. If I stick to subjects I know: sports and literature, I believe I can avoid that pitfall. I can't promise that I'll not stray from time to time to comment on ancillary subjects, but I will make every attempt to be interesting and perhaps even insightful.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Why My Wife Was Not Interested in the All-Star Game.

   And she was right, of course. The strobe lights, rock band, glitz was too much for someone raised in less cacophonous times. However, as an ex-NBA player I remained glued to the cheap arcade longer than I should because I expected to see great pure shooters shoot, and men who can leap tall buildings leap. But in the end, when the gospel choir walked on and a car was rolled out, and Kenny Smith started his Barnum and Baily interpretation, Griffin's skyrocketing dunk became anticlimactic.
   The fact is, there was anti-climax from start to finish: from three cheerleaders bumping and grinding behind Stephan Curry and his teenage sponsor - a sweet girl, whose sweetness was diminished by the tawdry display behind her - to "Chocolate Thunder" Dawkin's leopard-skin suit and bumbling voice, to Cheryl Miller pretending that this was sport and not circus, to Hollywood actors and Heisman Trophy winners primping for the cameras, to the hip-hop band's less than successful performance, to the frenzy of commercials, to the pointless dunk contest judges whose decisions meant nothing more than a TV audience's chance to see how white The Doctor's hair had become.
   Even so, oh, yes, dear reader, even so, I remained in front of the TV watching through three mediocre skills events (did you ever see such lousy 3-point shooting?) until finally the dunking contest began and I, like most NBA fans looking forward to Blake Griffin, felt slightly vindicated because there were some super aerials, the best being Serge Ibaka's behind the freethrow line take-off slam, farther out than Jordan's and Erving's. Until, you guessed it, the gospel choir strutted onto the court singing about high flying and Kenny Smith began his ... and I realised my wife was absolutely right to insert her earplugs and go back to her novel. But it was too late; I had watched the whole damn thing. Afterwards, I felt like a starving person who had eaten a dozen Big Macks with greasy fries because he was too hungry and too stupid to turn them down.

As an retired English teacher I love this poem by Michael McFee

Shooting Baskets at Dusk

He will never be happier than this
lost in the perfectly thoughtless motion
of shot, rebound, dribble, shot-----------How does punctuation
                                                              affect sound?

This mind removed as the gossipy swallows
that pick and roll, that give and go----------Parallelism:
down the school chimney like smoke in reverse-------Figurative

as he shoots, rebounds, dribbles, shoots,-----------Parallelism:
the brick wall giving the dribble back---------------Sound devices:
to his body beginning another run

from foul line, corner, left of the key
the jealous rim guarding its fickle net--------------Personification:
as he shoots, rebounds, dribbles, shoots,       

absorbed in the rhythm that seems to flow-----Sound devices:
from his fingertips to the winded sky                                    
and back again to this lonely orbit                                 
of shot, rebound, dribble, shot,                        
until he is just a shadow and a sound----Implied metaphor:              
though the ball still burns in his vanished hands.

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