spritzer, on ice in new york city

OK, this is my problem(s) with your 2006 campeones del mundo St. Louis Cardinals:
i) Tony LaRussa. Dude needs to ditch the Dr. Strangelove sunglasses and collie-fur wig stapled inside his hat. The country needs you to confront your mortality.
ii) Live, St. Louis-based Cardinals fans, as depicted by television cameras, appear to be 100% antsy white people who will get childishly upset if the Cardinals don’t win. This makes them the baseball equivalent of Steelers fans, except whiter, and the Steelers only play 16 times a year.
iii) Albert Pujols and his creepy precision-trim facial hair. Even when he smiles he looks like the unhappiest successful millionare in the universe. He makes A-Rod look like goddamn Regis Philbin in comparison. Scott Rolen even seems to be having more fun, and he spends his free time reading Notes from the Underground and holding his fingers in candle flames.

Now, moving past bile to ad rem attacks against the idea of the Cardinals winning (obviously as an Chicago-by-way-of-NE-Ohioan i can’t be accused of being bicoastal, although I might be somewhat demanding, when it comes to sports fulfilling my peculiar tastes in democratic vistas):

1. The whole point of “playoffs” encompasses the promise of the green light at the end of Daisy’s dock, as the w calls it. it doesn’t matter how good your team is in strat-o-matic…how much your team cost to assemble … how many all-stars you have… &c. all that matters is that you can beat the other teams with a conferred right to challenge for the title, right? you can marry the charming princess of the Louisville gentry; you can steal her away from her rich, cruel Yalie husband who only gets distracted from cheating on her by his hardon for keeping wife as property. You can try anyway. What actually happens is, you wind up dead in your swimming pool. Except the Cardinals never wind up dead in the swimming pool. as max fischer would say, don’t fuck with my play, this is important to me.

2. Especially frustrating, beyond having to watch a World Series where at least two and maybe three games turned on fielding/throwing/not-falling-down errors, was watching a World Series between two teams that basically don’t belong in the playoffs. The Tigers might have won 95 games, but they couldn’t hold onto a huge lead in their division. as has been pointed out, both teams were sub-.500 after the all-star break. parity is fun, when it means no Yankees dynasty. parity is less fun when it results in essentially a giant game of spin the bottle at the end of the season with only the ugliest, fattest kids not invited. The Cardinals won *83 games in the entire regular season out of a possible 161*. I accept the point that the Cardinals, circa 2002-5, which is more or less the same team with downgrades in the supporting roles and some new faces in the bullpen, were really good, and if Edmonds, Rolen, etc etc etc, healthy all year, the Cards would have won more like the 90-100 games you would expect from a non-exceptional playoff team. The thing is, they won 83 games. they didn’t belong in the playoffs, and it’s only because they play in a bad division in a bad league that they managed to get into the playoffs. And again, this isn’t an ad hominem knock on the Cards; they played great in the clutch, took advantge of an opportunity to knock off a hollow Pads team, outlasted the broken Mets, and jumped on Detroit’s throat when they were down. Impressive execution. But terrible drama. “Killer instinct” isn’t something you look for in an American myth. You look for it in a fighting rooster or whatever. The Cards aren’t the issue; it’s the threat of having to watch another series like that last one; leveraging small advantages into a technical knockout might be fun in terms of user-end experience but it’s not fun to watch, although i guess maybe the new Facebooked Horatio Algers out there think otherwise. No one likes strivers, and the Cards didn’t evince enough shame at their willful grabbiness (particular that David Eckstein fucked-up individual). Except for Scott Rolen, who is like the HP Lovecraft of borderline hall of fame third basemen.

3. which brings me around to another issue. I don’t see the logic in criticizing the push to read this WS as a busted cultural narrative. This World Series painfully echoed some recent lowlights in the american enterprise (not that it was not all beer and tropical skittles 1607 to 2000). the best teams, the teams with the most wins/votes in the popular election/qualifications to be president shot themselves in the foot until there was no foot left, and a familiar brand name walked away with the keys to the free world. fast forward six years, we *blew up an entire country because we were paranoid* and america will never have its treasured moral exceptionality, our selfinvented birthright for leadership, because of the way we’ve disgraced ourselves abroad, at home, and elsewhere. now, obviously, in 2012, tony larussa isn’t going to be saving abused poodles while the people of east st. louis wage a IED-filled civil war between baptists and pentecostals, and at the end of the day, baseball still brings a smile to my face, unlike um, the rest of the newspaper.

but, anyway, to no especial point, we can’t maintain this unruly batch of national myths: social darwinism, Algerism, earlybirdism AND faster-running-further-reaching arms AND a self-chosen people AND the actual good America will eventually need so much oxygen, the place could burst into flames if somebody shuffles their slippers on the way to the toilet. or maybe we can maintain (that seems like a nice idea), but either way the sheer overload of freak-lit curlicues (it’s like Gravity’s Rainbow but there are 300 million characters and its real and we have nukes…) going to push this shit to the unreadable side of the shelf. maybe we’re just another europe, now more than ever (see below). the fresh green breast of the new world, and all its promise, came to nothing more than a chopped and screwed remix of empire. the fun answer, for my money is compassionate-Stalinist pogroms against people who disagree with me. but you catch more flies with sugar or whatever. the restricted-calorie adult answer is to start giving a shit and responsibly consolidating political power to make those pogroms a reality for our grandchildren’s America. i hate ambiguity, and in such small portions.

i’m not saying, just saying.*

* which is now a f***ing ad tagline for Hummer?
** also the racist commercial for the USPS with the japanese lamp talking to the afro-am USPS parcel? i also blame on hipsters. glad to see that the physical violence masquing as commedia is now transmuting into emotional violence dressed up as absurdity.

3 thoughts on “spritzer, on ice in new york city”

  1. Albert Pujols is A-Rod without the humanizing quasifailure, which is to say a boring asshole with the emphasis on boring. He’s handy to have on a baseball team but you sort of need guys around who you can actually root for.

    Lost in all the battles over narrative: Sean Casey is slept on.

  2. “*blew up an entire country because we were paranoid*”

    Wrong. We blew up an entire country because we were bored. The current Iraq war is the punchline to “Less Than Zero.” Some of the people who chose to go along with it were paranoid, but the main actors did so because it’s more interesting than Medicare. Victor Davis Hanson’s injunction that we need to pick up a small country and throw it against the wall every so often will be on all our tombstones in the year 2080.

    Oh, hell, I’m taking this theme over to my blog. See you on the flipside.

  3. Finally, I wouldn’t blame the not-competent-enough-to-be-evil racist USPS ads on hipsters, I’d blame it on the cut-rate aesthetics of government, which has never been able to support racism on any basis other than sheer force. Real professionals can imbue racism with the sexiness of the forbidden; the dipshits paid by the USPS just make it look L7 (who may have made it lame to get it past upper management).

    An optimist might argue that they’re ironic or something like that, but my intution doesn’t buy that: someone means it, whatever it means.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.