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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.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

The Arrogance of Youth. the Incredible Draymond Green.

Only the arrogance of youth would allow for the following: "We're living in a special era of basketball. For my money, the players have never been more athletic, versatile or skilled, and that in conjunction with a wave of tactical brilliance, means the NBA game has never been better. These are all-time great players with few, if any comparisons in basketball history." 
So saith, Dieter Kurtenbach of the San Jose Mercury News, a young man by the look of his photograph. Unless, like a senior citizen on dating website, he posted a younger version of himself. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt he didn't, which makes Dieter too young to remember the Kareem, Magic, Worthy, Bird, McHale, Chief era. Too young to remember The Jordan Bulls, The Knicks, The Jazz of Malone and Stockton. Too starry eyed to recognize the dismal play of most of the basketball teams in the NBA today. Need I list the teams and mediocre players? If Dieter fully investigated the Boston Celtics of the Sixties, (how many championships did they win?) he might want to adjust his thinking slightly.

Ah, well, before the young fellow accuses me of being an old foggy, which unfortunately I am, and he will be too. I do agree with him that today's NBA All Stars represent a special time in basketball. But let's not get overly modernistic or futuristic. Let's not forget history, which countries so often do and the world suffers for it. In making comparisons between eras and players and jumping to conclusion, ya gotta to recognize that The Three Point Shot was a demarcation between all such basketball eras rhetoric. Not the apples and oranges thing, but between the traditional apple pie and the more exotic creme brule.

Ponder the NBA without the three. Who'd win, Magic's Lakers or Hardin's Rockets? Without the three, do today's Warriors defeat the Birds' Celtics of yore? Who wins between Wilt's 76ers and LeBron's Heat? How about arguably the most technically skilled NBA basketball team, albeit not the most athletic, of Bill Walton's Blazers? I daresay, without the three the Blazers would defeat most of the 2018 playoff contenders. With the three, that's creme brule.

But Dieter is absolutely on the money when he praises the athletic virtues of Draymond Green. The man is a MAN. The Heart of the Warriors is it's triumvirate offense of Curry, Thompson and Durant, but the soul of the Warriors is Green leadership on Defense. And when Draymond's offense is on, he makes the Dubs unbeatable.

My wife and I are on our way to Italy on a month's vacation. I will miss my Warriors, but I will not miss trumps tweets. I was advised to wear a Canada button on my clothes in Europe as trump and his ilk have made our dear country less dear in the eyes of the world. But I will not. Our country has weathered great storms before, we can escape this storm, hopefully not too battered. Perhaps by the time we get by trump will be impeached and indicted for his indefensible and illegal relationship with KGB killer Putin.

With baseball season threatening to take over television coverage after the NBA ends, I give you one of the great baseball poems by one of the great Beat poets.

Dream of a Baseball Star   by Gregory Corso

I dreamed Ted Williams
leaning at night
against the Eiffel Tower, weeping.

He was in uniform
and his bat lay at his feet
-knotted and twiggy.

"Randall Jarrell says you're a poet!" I cried.   (*Jarrell, one of America's great poets.)
"So do I! I say you're a poet!"

He picked up his bat with blown hands;
stood there astraddle as he would in the batters box,
and laughed! flinging his schoolboy wrath
toward some invisible pitcher's mound
-waiting the pitch all the way from heaven.

It came; hundreds came! all afire!
He swung and swung and swung and connected not one
silder curve hook or right-down-the-middle.
A hundred strikes!
The umpire dressed in strange attire
thundered his judgment: YOU'RE OUT!
And the phantom crowd's horrific boo
dispersed the gargoyles from Notre Dame.

And I screamed in my dream:
God! throw thy merciful pitch!
Herald the crack of bats!
Hooray the sharp liner to left!
Yea the double, the triple!
Hosannah the home run!