I was just a girl then

On the vulgarity of American sport: Fickle cheer-motivations probably can’t make anyone whorish, what are baseball teams for if not for inspiring love of; nine guys functioning as yourself smiling back at yourself in the mirror, thinking about how great it would be if someone could see how cool I was acting, especially if there were nine of me and we had swell matching jumpers and hats; and the mirror was not a mirror but a well-orchestrated set of television cameras. in particular though i have had historical beef with the white sox because they exist to TV* with my special magik alternate masculinities or whatever (henceforth in this text “the Indians”). These historical beefs, and the fresher, not-yet-historicized affronts of messrs Crede et O’Nora can be set aside, for the most part, bc the White Sox are a franchise traditionally on the sad zone of certain indexes: fans, success, having the area immediately around their home or place of business resemble pre-Clinton Accords downtown Belfast (replace catholics w/ black ppl though). However many sympathies I can mount to pin on the sloping shoulders of the Caucasian Stockings, i can think of a host of extra reasons to hate them. The state st. housing project corridor and the near-total ghettoization of the South Side can’t be dumped in the Sox lawn, but their fans are certainly the people who happily busted their own blocks post-Migration, murmuring (or screaming) racist innuendoes all the while, and now do the same while driving with car doors and windows police-locked on their way back to wherever their white flight emergency landed. Have I mentioned that the demographic and ideological composition of Chicagowelt makes my heart itch. I think that’s part of the reason I want to move back to NYC someday, because sociocultural elites in NYC are almost entirely not from NYC despite being 100% ofit; which basically adds a club-seating deck to the social discourse in the city; you have to get involved in muni politics or school teaching, flip over the rug, really, to see all the TV’ed up bugs of racism and poverty. being on top of the rug is a shitty way to live, but it’s one of the only spots left where you can actually practice idealism and not die of exposure to reality as a result.

A’way, the white sox, despite being like manifestly evil (self-underfunded big market team that extorted a bogus stadium from fans by threatening to move to addison, built a cruddy stadium with the loot, then had to fix it, then sold out, have employed terry bevington in the past) are also manifestly the mob’s choice in 2005 beeecause:
:: The Red Sox already smelled the jar
:: The Yankees have a long history of jar-smelling and suck and are owned by Martin Borrmann
:: The Angels already won in 02 and suck and are owned by the Mexican JR Ewing
:: The Cardinals “may not in fact mean well. the more i marinate on a representative reading of MLB teams circa 2001-2005, the idea of
rooting for the cardinals heavily seems like the personal equivalent of just owning up and flossing everyday and not drinking to excess
except once or twice a year when called for. premeditated failure does not seem to be in the ideological lexicon of St. Louis.”
:: The Astros have Roger Clemens, are in Texas, are in Houston and in Texas, wear red uniforms. The only good thing about the Astros is that they employ the House of Morgan Ensberg and also the non-House of Willy Taveras. The Astros’ complete lack of offense is actually almost enough to make them the most likeable team in the NL, except then there’s
:: The Padres are not going to win any games, which makes rooting for them a lot like telling other people what cards you have in poker.
:: The Braves this year are more sympathetic this year than they have been since 1992. The Braves this year are also less sympathetic this year than an above-average piece of shoe leather.
So, everybody, stand up and introduce yourself to the White Sox, who you will be sleeping with later. Pay special attention to Aaron Rowan’s goatee, you are giving your express approval of said goatee by inspecting it. As far as predictions are concerned: The White Sox will lose the WS in five games to the Cardinals.

attn: 5’6″ 130 lb-sized gun-criming guy: I HAVE A NEW LICENSE AND BANK CARD. TV YOURSELF.

* (to TV: a verb: to fudge with)

13 thoughts on “I was just a girl then”

  1. n+1 ran an article about harvard that basically argued that living on top of the rug is suspect, or is at least the particular kind of myopia you get at ivy league-ish schools is suspect. kind of like shooting fish in a barrel, i guess. n+1 is well worth your time, fawning praise from the times magazine and all the ballyhoo about that indecision book notwithstanding. btw, how was that? i need to track it down…

  2. considering the demography of n+1 the magazine, it’s kind of like shooting fish in a barrel, except more to the point you are the fish and you shot yourself, but you don’t seem to be noticing the pain of having been wounded, you’re just congratulating yourself on the kill, which frankly wasn’t that impressive, since a) these are fish, and this is a barrel, and b) you sort of can’t help knowing where the fish are going to go next. i hear the magazine is good though.

  3. Indecision the book has maybe one thing going for it, the beginning is a decent send-up of the front end (current 30 year olds) of our generation. as a novel of entertainment/ideas, it’s pretty brutally mislabeled. it’s not smart or funny, or well-written, or in any way qualified save for the social pie-fingering of boss kunkel. i dig on n+1, at least their essay on wes anderson that explained hipster-driven new racism. n+1 is already doing the believer thing where they completely trash their own ideas and specific values for the sake of having rick moody write an essay about his pets or something. which is less n+1’s fault as it is an example of how the NYC content mafia virally markets themselves.

  4. it’s baffling what gets labeled as funny/entertaining by the book-reviewing press. or maybe not baffling but more like insulting. if the press clips scream ‘hilarious’ or ‘comedic,’ it’s a pretty good sign you’re getting (at best) loosely warmed over david sedaris-style npr humor. trials and travails of upper-middle-class existence, or awkward sexual language just ‘edgy’ enough to titter a few hearts in the exurbs. the two worst offenders here, in my humble opinion: huraki murakami’s dance dance dance, which i read 95% of thinking waiting for SOMETHING redeeming, and jonathan safran-foer’s everything is illuminated. the latter is i think a paradigmatic example of the broader failings of our peer group – the inflated sense of self-importance, the stylistic gimmickry used as a mis-direction strategy, obscuring the hollowness of the actual ideas in play. n+1 inveighs: “can anyone encounter that tone of proud, inoffensive cleverness so characteristic of our generation’s way of making art, and fail to hear the child at the dinner-table boasting of his playground triumphs?”

  5. Well, the thing about the n+1 piece on Harvard (recently chopped up into popular size in the Globe) is that it’s not, quite, a hipster-fueled excercise in self-shooting. Rather, it’s an extension of Walter Benn Michaels’s long-standing project of shitting all over multiculturalism (since it takes our eyes off the ball of economic inequality), which is something I can get behind. His previous piece in the press on the subject I tackled here. The point is, it’s not just whining or whatever–this is sort of this guy’s life project now, and it’ll be interesting to see if his persistent hammering away ever effects any change. I’m skeptical, but slightly admiring.

    I don’t know anything more about n + 1 other than that this piece appears there. Whether or not NYC sucks remains to be determined, but signs point to “hell yeah.”

    I dunno what my overarching point here is, but I suspect that n+1 is wrong in its conclusions about 4n4l s3x. You can’t use science to prove something cultural, or something.

  6. the comment-spam border patrol got a little zealous on your comments, alm et morcy; i might have to take some of the more common words off the watch list.

    about murakami: now that you mention it, at least some of his fiction does reek of the neu-hipster “look how convoluted my narrative is”/”how droll and 70s-normal can the main character act while crazy shit happens”; that said, Wild Sheep Chase and The Wind Up Bird Chronicle both did it for me. Still haven’t read Dance Dance Dance, but if it’s more like Sputnik Sweetheart than Wild Sheep Chase, I fear it, because Sputnik S. was forking terrible. Also, I associate Murakami with playing Grand Theft Auto, for some weird reason. Specifically the return to LA portion of San Andreas. when you have to finish the gang war. Weird.

    All I think we’re trying to say about N+1 is that they appear to have genuine ambition and the occassionaly access to talent/insight to do something with it, so cheers to that, although I still think it’ll degenerate into an insider-trader hipster journal where people take turns responding to each other’s articles and making veiled inside jokes about each other. which is specifically the literary version of what WBM fears, bc it seems like you can only get a seat at that table provided you went to school with N+1.

  7. really the only thing holding me back from jumping off on a new blog is the name. i mean, i can’t even adequately name a fantasy baseball team right now. i’m sure one of my 8 year olds can step up to the plate for me, though. i’ll be on the lookout.

    has anyone been paying attention to that journal out of the uk strange attractor? i picked it up over the weekend and it’s interesting thus far. also their blog directed me to this totally batshit crazy video of plants:
    http://www.1st-ave-machine.com/video/anime.htm

  8. to piggy back a bit:

    There is probably no greater culprit in the secret-handshake hipster problem than the city of new york. specifically, if my peers and I in the publishing industry were willing to give up the periodic book launch parties and allow the industry to expand outside of a 30 block radius in manhattan, a lot of these malfeasances would disappear. To put this n+1 matter under the microscope a bit: I know the managing editor of n+1. I also went to the launch party for issue three and knew probably 10-20 people there that I did not bring with me. Furthermore the adverted-to Rick Moody essay about cats was written originally for a book published by my boss. NB also there were 25 contributors to the book I speak of (‘Committed’ – look it up), and I think the number was 17 of them live in Brooklyn or Manhattan. The industry is utterly inbred, the interlocking favors and prejudices make it just about impossible to crack from the outside. Vid.: I had to take a summer course at Columbia just to get interviewed for these jobs.

    If I understand things correctly, WBM probably could not be any more correct. It’s doubly upsetting that no one really seems to want to criticize this, although I guess he makes that point. Triply upsetting – if I were to go public and criticize this, I’d still be part of the problem. Also, genuine creativity is not correlated with social class, somebody should note that.

  9. to piggy back a bit:

    There is probably no greater culprit in the secret-handshake hipster problem than the city of new york. specifically, if my peers and I in the publishing industry were willing to give up the periodic book launch parties and allow the industry to expand outside of a 30 block radius in manhattan, a lot of these malfeasances would disappear. To put this n+1 matter under the microscope a bit: I know the managing editor of n+1. I also went to the launch party for issue three and knew probably 10-20 people there that I did not bring with me. Furthermore the adverted-to Rick Moody essay about cats was written originally for a book published by my boss. NB also there were 25 contributors to the book I speak of (‘Committed’ – look it up), and I think the number was 17 of them live in Brooklyn or Manhattan. The industry is utterly inbred, the interlocking favors and prejudices make it just about impossible to crack from the outside. Vid.: I had to take a summer course at Columbia just to get interviewed for these jobs.

    If I understand things correctly, WBM probably could not be any more correct. It’s doubly upsetting that no one really seems to want to criticize this, although I guess he makes that point. Triply upsetting – if I were to go public and criticize this, I’d still be part of the problem. Also, genuine creativity is not correlated with social class, somebody should note that.

  10. i went to a n+1 reading in the park this summer. it was raining, and no one came. i mean, really, no one came – the guy from the parks dept. thought i was in charge. as is my m.o, i probably would have left w/o talking to anyone, if not for the incredibly pretty master of ceremonies lady who kept asking me how i found out about said reading, what i did for a living, etc, etc. some guy read some fiction, he had an ill-fitting t-shirt on and it was about an ex-girlfriend, but endearingly so. then someone read something about ivan turgenev (i think, if not turgenev, another david eckstein sort of b+ russian guy who isn’t just coasting along by force of reputation.) the editors (perhaps minus that kunkel guy, i don’t really remember him) were friendly and we all bought beers from the local bodega and sat around drinking and talking. in short, the kind of ambigously ramshackle operation you or i might put on. certianly not a publishing industry event, or at least it didn’t feel like one when we were pounding coronas.

    if the detractor was in print and perhaps took a few article-length shots across the bow of the sort that are regularly published in the comments sections of various blogs, i get the sense that there would be no n+1-style reception. bqa, am i wrong? N+1 is kind of sneaky with their contributors list; if your a doctoral apparently that can be shared, actual professors (WBM) are credited only as authors of various books.

    also, for those of you scoring this one at home, one of n+1 few advertisments is a coco rosie ad. oh for fuck’s sake.

  11. I’m a day late, and probably a dollar short on this one, but after doing some research i have 2 conclusions: 1) Eli S. Evans is a giant asshole. See http://www.nplusonemag.com/splitsides.html Unfortunately, part of the reason i believe this so vehemently is that I seem to have something in common with him about not knowing about pop culture and if i were to talk about it the way he does, i too would be a huge asshole, which is scary.

    2) n+1 doesn’t seem to be particularly smarter, dumber, or more or less evil than any of the other myriad low-circulation journals out there.

    3) People like to hire people they know. All industries that deal primarily in subjectivity (publishing, film, visual arts, theatre, politics) leave themselves vunerable to the subjectivity of its members. People like to use the resources they know in order to make judgments. I may not be saying anything insightful because we probably all agree that this is true. The question remains, is it healthy for these industries? Ben’s answer being ‘no’ is probably right on, but I’m at a loss on how to convince investors to behave otherwise.

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