May 27th, 2004

Bang Bangs

I'm writing about Joe Strummer this week, which means reading about his career before, during, and after The Clash. Somehow, I'd overlooked the excellence of Lester Bangs's 1977 pieces on the band. Here's my favorite paragraph, recounting a particularly inspired concert:
It was one of those performances for which all the serviceable critical terms like "electrifying" are so pathetically inadequate, and after it was over I realized the futility of hitting Strummer for that interview I kept putting off on the "politics" of the situation. The politics of rock 'n' roll, in England or America or anywhere else, is that a whole lot of kids want to be fried out of their skins by the most scalding propulsion they can find, for a night they can pretend is the rest of their lives, and whether the next day they go back to work in shops or boredom on the dole or American TV doldrums in Mom 'n' Daddy's living room nothing can cancel the reality of that night in the revivifying flames when for once if only then in your life you were blasted outside of yourself and the monotony which defines most life anywhere at any time, when you supped on lightning and nothing else in the realms of the living or dead mattered at all.
That's the problem with coupling pop music and politics: the moment triumphs over duration. But I feel it, man, I feel it.
  • Current Music
    Track #8 - Erwin Schulhoff - Hot Music (1928) etc.

The Shot You Can Make Is the Shot You Can Take

The always stimulating Ralph Wiley has a new column on the flaws in the Lakers' game. While I agree with him that the Pistons have the best shot of surprising the pernicious purple-and-gold, I fear that he's being a little optimistic in his assessment of the chance for an upset. Still, he writes, to use his own description, like a "m&@&#$%@."

At one point, he discusses the defensive prowess of the Detroit frontline:
They block shots the way you and I pick our teeth. All this talk about how the opponents of the Pistons can't shoot is patently absurd, how this is not good to watch. Evolution of the game is always watchable.

Reggie Miller had a breakaway layup in Game 2 of the Eastern final. A layup is a 90-percent shot. And Tayshaun Prince blocked it. The Pistons blocked 19 shots in that game. You have to hit 19 shots in a row just to break even and shoot 50 percent in that game. That's the evolution of the game now. I've seen it coming for years. So I tell these young high school boys who can shoot it so well, "Yeah, but you can't go to the NBA because you can't even get that shot out of your hand in that league; it's counterfeit."

The question, in the NBA and in life, is not whether or not you can shoot.

The question is whether or not you can get your shot.
I'm sure there's a metaphor in there that my loyal readers -- a category to which I naturally belong -- can distill for application to their personal lives.

On a more literal note, I've been working on my slashing-diagonally-across-the-paint 13-footer because, well, I can get it off.
  • Current Music
    Still Crazy - The Exploding Hearts - Guitar Romantic