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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, October 30, 2018

Klay & Etc

The warrior's Klay Thompson's 52 point record-breaking performance against the Chicago Bulls was, often noted but not nearly enough, an example of why the warriors are such a powerful team. Scoring performances of this kind are not some new phenomena for the Dubs. The Splash Brothers have been at it for a while, and KD has joined them to make it a scoring trio. So, what makes this newsworthy again and not just another ho-hum-in-the-zone-eye-popping-three-point extravaganza? It's not the player doing the scoring, that makes these performances, as brilliant as they are, important, it is the  performance of the players on the bench. As Klay's scoring against the Bulls proceeded, the ball dropping rimless into the basket, the net flipping like a young girl's skirt, the Warrior bench was on their feet, dancing, whooping, signing the air, holding each other in a display of team unity and affection that does not exist on other NBA teams - at least not with this exuberance and heartfelt joy. There has never been a professional sports team that exemplifies team camaraderie like the Dubs. It should be emulated by athletic youth throughout this country.

Right on Dubs.

I noted this morning sports page of the Sacramento Bee that Boston winning the World Series was not a headline. In fact what would have been headlines of most papers front page twenty years ago was down at the bottom of the sports page. I am not a baseball fan, but, come on, Bee, this is the World Series. The best the sport can offer, the Mount Olympus of sluggers and pitchers and fielders, and spitters, and hand-signalers, the  worthy descendants of royal game of cricket. I was beyond grief.

Okay, so I'm being a little sarcastic.

Lowell High School where I played and became an All American, was over 50% Jewish American kids. When I started playing in the NBA in 1961, most of the teams were owned by Jewish men. The owner of the team I started for, the Philadelphia Warriors, was Eddie Gottlieb, RIP, one of the good men of our sport. Playing in the NBA put me in touch with many wonderful Jewish Americans. I do not understand anti Semitism. It is so illogical and ignorant and brutish. I have been grieving for the families of those who died in their synagogue in Pittsburgh. And I am disgusted by the divisive comments and behavior of our president. This was the perfect moment for him to be presidential, to mourn with his Jewish American citizens, to don a yarmulke, to wear it so all Americans can see, and to publicly denounce the fascist and white supremacists, to name David Duke for what he is, an anti American bigot.

But, we all know trump can not and will not do this because the raciest, and Neo Nazis and white nationalists are part of his beloved base.

I have no answer for donald trump's evil. But I offer this to think about.

trump (v.2)

"fabricate, devise" 1690's, from trump "deceive, cheat" (1510's, from Middle English trumpen (late 14c.), from Old French tromper "to deceive," of uncertain origin. Apparently from se tromper de "to mock, " from Old French tromper "to blow a trumpet." Barchet explains this as "to play the horn, alluding to quacks and mountebanks, who attracted the public by blowing a horn, and then cheated them into buying worthless products.

Consider that people whose last names are baker probably originally were bakers, and those whose names are Smith had an original family member who was a smithy or a blacksmith. It does not surprise me, then, that donald trump is a descendent of deceivers and mountebanks. The acorn does not fall far from the family tree.

Here's a poem I wrote recently about being in the zone. I dedicate it to Klay Thompson.


   I am building a fire, and every day I train, I add more fuel. At the right
   moment I light the match.

             Mia Hamm

I remember the game. I was on fire.
Shot after shot dropped.

Someone yelled from the stands I was hot.
I yelled pass me the fucking ball.

On the next move I burned my opponent
and scored. I was like one of those birthday candles,

the ones with the flames that never go out.
The arena was filling up with smoke.

Fans were holding handkerchiefs over their noses
In the distance I could hear sirens.

I was too hot to care, I was reckless
like a kid playing with matches.

It was only a game of basketball,
but I would not recant the story of my life.

If you tried to stop me,
I’d just add more fuel to the fire.

The rest is history.