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Clemens vs. Bonds - De File
Does Collecting Make You Feel Dirty?
cbertsch
cbertsch
Clemens vs. Bonds
Here I had told myself that I was so disgusted with baseball that I wouldn't watch this year. And what am I doing? I'm standing up, taut with anticipation, watching Roger Clemens strike out Barry Bonds for the second time in the game with a perfectly placed tailing fastball on the outside corner, then soothing my disappointment with the still, sure voices of Chris Berman and Joe Morgan making sense of the experience. I must be more unreconstructed and unregenerate than I thought.

Mode: sheepish
Muse: Work All Week - Mekons - Punk Rock

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Comments
leela_cat From: leela_cat Date: April 7th, 2004 09:48 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
You "taught" with anticipation while watching Roger Clemens? Didn't your students object? Or didn't they notice because they were aborbed by the baseball game at the same time?

*snicker*

[ducking and running]
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: April 8th, 2004 04:18 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Homonyms

I'm prone to confusing them when tired, alas.
leela_cat From: leela_cat Date: April 8th, 2004 10:13 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: Homonyms

Aren't we all. I just don't get to tease you often about your writing, so I thought I'd take the opportunity. I probably won't get another for months and months or even years and years.

I like baseball, when I'm at a game. I've never really had any great desire to watch on TV or listen on a radio. C thinks that I'm a bit weird for that, but she forgives me.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: April 9th, 2004 10:46 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: Homonyms

Oh please! I'm a walking mistake!

I like baseball all ways, but being at a game is special.
masoo From: masoo Date: April 7th, 2004 09:53 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Why are you more disgusted with baseball now than in other years?
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: April 8th, 2004 04:19 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Steroids

The whole controversy upsets me. I really do wish Barry could demonstrate his innocence -- assuming he is innocent -- because I'm sick of having everyone beat up on him, especially around here.
masoo From: masoo Date: April 8th, 2004 03:38 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: Steroids

I'm still curious ... what about all of this has you disgusted? I don't like having to defend Barry either, although you'd think I'd be used to it after all these years. But that doesn't make me want to quit watching.

Do steroids bother you that much?
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: April 9th, 2004 10:49 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: Steroids

Intellectually, I agree with your points about the whole controversy. But viscerally, yes, they bother me a lot. I have a hard time when the things I invest in are subject to the mockery and scorn of others. I also struggle with a feeling I've had since my undergrad days that performance-enhancing substances -- but I exempt caffeine, so I'm not consistent on this -- taint the work done under them. Things people read or wrote on speed seem to me to belong less to them than to the drug.
masoo From: masoo Date: April 9th, 2004 11:00 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: Steroids

OK, I see where you're coming from, and to my eye it's VERY consistent with who you are as a person. You mentioned having a hard time with mockery/scorn, and I think you are someone who clearly much prefers writing positive things about stuff you like than writing negative things about stuff you don't like, so this fits.

But back to the steroids :-). You identify the problem as "performance-enhancing substances." Does this mean it's not the "cheating" part that bothers you, it's specifically what the steroids do to the performance? What about other performance enhancers that aren't "substances?" Like, if it turns out Barry Bonds is just the world's greatest workout fiend, and he has enhanced his performance over the years by dint of hard work alone, is that OK? I suspect yes, since you note it bothers you that "speed writing" is more drug than person, so you likely don't mind a person improving themselves via personal hard work.

I'm just thinking that a book written on speed is still a book, so I don't care what got the words on the page, I just care about the words on the page, whether the author is Joe Blow or Methedrine. If someone told me that As I Lay Dying was "written" by alcohol, it wouldn't change my opinion of the novel. Of course, I suspect speed makes for worse novels, not better novels, just as I'm not convinced steroids allow you to hit 73 homers in a season.

Thanks for hosting this conversation!
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: April 11th, 2004 12:51 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: Steroids

I guess my discomfort is more specific than drugs in general. It wouldn't bother me to discover that a novel was written on pot or even alcohol the way it would if I learned it were written on speed.

I'm not going to dismiss _Gravity's Rainbow_ or Proust, necessarily, but I do think there's a difference between drugs that are supposed to make you more productive and those that take the edge off the demand to be productive.

I don't think Keith Hernandez or Dave Parker on coke would hurt baseball as much as Barry on THG.

Mind you, I'm holding out for Bonds's innocence.

Incidentally, Kim shares my sense that things done on speed are tainted in a particular way.
masoo From: masoo Date: April 11th, 2004 01:16 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: Steroids

"I do think there's a difference between drugs that are supposed to make you more productive and those that take the edge off the demand to be productive.

"I don't think Keith Hernandez or Dave Parker on coke would hurt baseball as much as Barry on THG."

That's a pretty clear statement :-).

Just remember the words of the immortal Rick James, "Cocaine's a helluva drug." (Now let's see if YOU get a billion comments from random Chappelle fans!)
masoo From: masoo Date: April 11th, 2004 03:45 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: Steroids

I'm not sure this follows, but I thought of it while trying to fend off my usual bad case of obsessive-compulsive behavior (I'm watching the Red Sox in high-def, and I found myself trying to count the blades of grass on the infield).

"there's a difference between drugs that are supposed to make you more productive and those that take the edge off the demand to be productive."

In this case we're talking about playing baseball, or writing novels, stuff like that. What if the thing we're trying to deal with is ... I don't know how to put it, "life." Heroin is a drug that takes the edge off of the demands of a productive life; LSD is a drug that can be productive in helping us understand life. So, using the above logic, is heroin less objectionable than LSD, in that heroin takes the edge off while LSD "artificially" increases the productivity of our life?
elizabeg From: elizabeg Date: April 9th, 2004 12:28 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Un - Re

like the rhetorical move here. will be back to speed with my blogging shortly...
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: April 9th, 2004 10:51 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: Un - Re

Hmmm. For once, my blindspot is blinding me. Do specify what you mean, by other means if necessary.
elizabeg From: elizabeg Date: April 9th, 2004 12:20 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: Un - Re

Cyberspace seems to have thought that first comment came in at 4 in the morning. Not so, but even without the excuse of mad sleep deprivation, I'm not sure I meant anything especially brilliant about the implications of un meets re. I do, however, confess gladness to know you have blind spots as well :)

Short riff on prior post: It seems likely for unreconstructed un cancels re and we're left just as constructed as ever. Unregenerate is more interesting. If we play the same un cancels re game (forgetting un could just mean think the antonym for) you're just generate, but what exactly would that entail. It doesn't seem quite as static, constrained, boxed in as constructed. It seems that one could read generate as process, metamorphosis. It's regenerate that at once implies improved/redeemed and also returned to prior form, without return (or redeemption?) necessitating development. So, what would it be if unregenerate doesn't signal not-regenerate in the negative but generate in the positive--I guess that's my question. Perhaps a misreading, but I'm intrigued.

Do expect a missive by other cyber means before long, though not regarding this.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: April 11th, 2004 12:48 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: Un - Re

I see what you meant now. That's a good point. I was just overreading. . . (As I often do)

The phrase comes from the Agrarian movement in the post-WWI South, the folks who later gave us New Criticism.

For them, it obviously meant "not wanting a regeneration imposed from above, on Yankee terms."
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