Howdy from the Deep(er) South. I’ve made it another 2.5 weeks without a post
but current arrangements have made post work internet time pretty hard to come
by. Which is not so much a bad thing. Going from the bookstore’s ‘work’ environment
(snicker) of sitting around with Bobby and working on the store website to my
current job, where I’m juggling the creation, development and fixing of 7 or
8 different websites on any given day has left me more than happy to sit down
with a book after 5 pm.
And I’ve got my nose in some good ones these days. I’m up to year 1914 in
Leonard Koppett’s Concise History of Major League Baseball,
which has been a truly educational and entertaining read. A central, recurring
theme in major league baseball’s history that Koppett continually points to
is that an extended period of success for the game
(both business-wise and culturally) also led to arrogance from both owners
and players that eventually blew up into some type of feud as each vied for
more power for their respective positions. Baseball seems to be on a 15 to
20 year schedule of this type of behavior from what I’ve already read and has
made its rounds most recently in the labor problems in the 90’s.
I wonder if America on the whole could stand to take heed of that pattern
from its "national past-time" (And did you know that the national past-time claim
was a myth propagated by Albert Spalding in the early 1900’s to sell more sporting
equipment? Can’t top patriotism for pushing your product.) We seem to have
plenty of arrogance to go around these days. The Lefties know they are righter
than the Right, who themselves know they are Righter than us all. Then there’s
people like me who think the partisans are each full of shit and that the system
is full of shit, which may be more arrogant if only because it is masked behind
the supposed vetting of arrogance. Acchh. Who knows. The concentrated lens
of history always warps ones view, but I wonder when was the last time you
could look back and say, "Well,
we had our differences, but when it came down to it, we were united." Not
so these days, kids, I’m afraid. Not so. Anyways.
I was back in Jackson just this last weekend to get some things from Graham’s
house and to visit with Bobby and I was delighted to find that my favorite
college professor, Dr. Suzanne Marrs, has had her biography of Eudora Welty
hit the shelves. I just started it yesterday and am quite enjoying it. Dr.
Marr’s studied Ms. Welty’s work long before she ever had the chance to meet
her. Once she had met her they struck up a long friendship, giving Suzanne
unparalleled insight into the not so obviously complicated life of one America’s
foremost writers. If you live in Jackson and like to read, no matter the genre,
you owe it to yourself to read this book. Not a better biography of Ms. Welty
exists and though I’ll have to finish the book to qualify the statement, I
daresay that no better one will ever be written.
So life is going well here in Baton Rouge. I’m an 8 to 5’er now so I get up way
too early, go to work, come home, play a game of baseball on the PS2 (though
I just got the new NCAA Football from EA, which is taking some getting used
to; Tennessee whipped me/LSU soundly in my first game). Friday and I then take
a long walk around the apartment complex where Kelly and I are subletting until
the house is ready at the first of August. Yesterday Friday surprised a dumpster
diving raccoon who was out for an early breakfast at 6 in the evening, so we
all went bounding across the parking lot: the coon heading for the fence, Friday
heading for the coon and me trying to avert having to call Kelly (in Chambersburg,
Pennsylvania for a painting residency) to tell her I lost her dog in the "Great
Coon Chase of Aught-5".
Oh, have I ever mentioned on here how cool it is to live
in the "Aughts"? I’m not even 30 yet and I’m referring to the last 5 years
and the next 5 as the "Aught-Whatever Year" every chance I get. That gives you so much more
validity when you’re old and grumpy. I can hear myself now: "Back in Aught-5
gas only cost 2 dollars 43 cents! We had so much of it that they made cars
that were specially designed to use as much as possible in the shortest
amount of time they could! Can you believe it? Boy, those were the days." Aught,
by definition means "nothing: of no importance". You know, I really hope that
is the case with these Aughts. Of no importance. Not likely, though, is it?
Ah. Well. As Mr. Vonnegut oft writes and Joe Formichella oft quotes: "So it
goes. So it goes."
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