Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Notes on an antediluvian Gigantor

Under her varnished pavillion, she is frozen, forever gazing westward.

A wooden robot made of filligreed ramen lattice interlocked in feudal fashion to turn back the atomic clock stands watch. Ancient rusted cogs chugging incrementally forward, slowly rotate the axis of a platformed pagoda only two stories tall. The noise it makes deafens. But still the monks gather, praying to the sleek slabs of concrete faux finished to resemble shiny jade and studded along its ribbed walls.

Eyes automatically avert as the Medusa walks by lest be blinded its mirrored sunglasses. The burning man merely burns in retaliation as an abstract elephant, its trunk an ascending escalator, offers solace while children play about, oblivious.

And he wonders when the next time will be.

Sunday, February 15, 2004

Why "team" is spelled with an "I" nowadays and rightly so

The game of any game is after all simply a game. The glory of the individual whose skill or talent or perseverance or courage in concert with or competition against other such combatants reinforce the character of man under pressure. Or that is what the traditional Modernists, those who revere the purity of the contest, the status quo, would have you believe. But playing to win no longer holds as much sway within this context because popular culture elucidly identifies a newer motivation of the participant which demands, "show me the money." A not-so-sudden shift in attitude that elicits much misunderstanding among the underinformed minions who form the ticket-buying public. And where better than to hear their rantings than listening to sports talk radio while driving about as caller after caller bends over and grabs their ankles, spouting their particularly vituperative brand of homily, an American anti-intellectualism incapable of distinguishing their income from that of their often tragic heroes overinflated by the excesses of their undeserved accomplishments. For them, money (in vast and unjustifiable sums in compensation for services rendered or specifically lack thereof) corrupts aptly describes the current state of sports affairs. So blame the messenger instead. How can they be paid so much for doing so little?

It certainly functions as the perennial soap box from which the vox populi self-righteously pollute the airwaves propagating the hackneyed accusation of the ballplayer as overpaid, underachieving lout as if in this day and age to simply play professional sports for the love of the game ought to suffice. Ever inflicting their archetypal blue collar logic that demands equating hitting or shooting a ball as labor, a job to be done. Does it matter that their salary is based on what the market bears? But misbegoten economic theory that badly account for play notwithstanding, who can blame the postmodern athlete for intuitively understanding how the nature of sports evolved into spectacle.

But more troubling is the underlying tone of racism disguised as accusations of showboating. For how often do veiled remarks abound denigrating the inner city nee undisciplined athlete freelancing outside the constraints of proper coaching, disrespectful of authority in favor and praise of the precious and sacred "system", team players with "lunch bucket" ethics schooled in the fundamentals. Or of the underprivileged star being manipulated and exploited by the almighty dollar too soon into self-destruction. It now represents a politics of representation, an individualized identity dependent on capitalism, on creative expression bordering on entertainment. Is it that difficult to sway with the wind and accept that Jim Crow ended a long while ago? And you can thank Curt Flood profusely for that. But still corn rows and Sharpies as touchdown dance prop logically validate a demonstrative egotism indicative of a postmodern sense of irony inevitably affecting popular culture including sports. Why not superimpose and juxtapose these variant cultural elements to harken the self? It pays to look good. Style as Madison Avenue taught us sells and in droves. Who notices a two-handed chest pass when the crowd goes bonkers over a thunderous windmill tomahawk dunk? And therein lies the contradiction for the so-called, self-acknowledged true fan of the game who deride the trash-talker as cocky but applaud the no-look, behind the back pass as artistry.

So in order to get paid, he got game.

Thursday, February 12, 2004

A Valentine's Day lament, or sometimes a great notion, part two.

The cottage industry that is red roses, red lingerie, red hearts and chocolate, chocolate, chocolate always manages to dry-heave deep pangs of regret, of missed opportunity, of the special one that got away. So young, so stupid, so inexperienced back then as to not pool any and maybe even borrowed resources to start up what should have been "Cads and Heels," a convenience store for dysfunctional romantics desperately in need of special last-minute gifts. A public service, if you will, open twenty-four hours, seven days a week and especially on holidays. Those "in the doghouse" could stop by the drive-up menu to order any variety of flowers, stuffed animals, confectionaries, perfumes and of course, jewelry, all at jacked-up prices.

Or my express ticket to early retirement. It struck, like all brilliant ideas do, straight out of necessity, more than likely years ago, to be truthful, probably after yet another forgotten anniversary or birthday or equally important date. The business of love, or more appropriately, the racket of heartache costs a small fortune. Market research proves this group of lost souls as target demographic. Just ask any guy who find themselves in hot water because of faulty memory capacity. Love is expensive and the price of an elevator ride back to the penthouse means forking out some deniro. Only in America can such a dumb idea but the perfect business scheme actually work. But naturally nothing ever materialized. No prospectus, no potential investors, no franchising opportunities, no going public, no stock options, nothing. The time then suited a better entrepreneurial moment for such a venture to exist, survive and flourish.

And now to freely advertise this pot of gold is probably copyright suicide. But ultimately what began as an idea whose time has come, an idea whose purpose is noble, somewhat belongs to every "Dear John". Besides why kick a dead horse on the ground again?

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Mudville rejoices

"Pitchers and catchers, this Saturday."

So what more needs to be said
except the national pastime redux.

Notes on a broken stand

Why not a small gesture?

Since or perhaps because it fell apart from being unglued, paint the disjointed sections of discarded and possibly fake Ming stool a rainbow of pretty colors. Then reassemble it but (or not) into chinoiserie version of Bauhaus or more correctly Rietveld chair.

Now comes basic color theory of which ones will work dynamically.

Monday, February 09, 2004

He shoots (from way downtown), he scores (finally)

Knock on wood because the trey no longer veers right or left but actually swishes through. The lost range prompted a retooled jumper that actually elevates off the floor. The tried-and-true knock-kneed Bob McAdoo over-the-head rainbow failed on more than one occasion from the top of the key. Or no longer money in the bank as some would say. Besides it telegraphed the shot being so deliberate a release that anyone guarding the perimeter could easily close quickly. So to adapt against all that defensive length meant back to the drawing board deconstructing why beyond the three-point arc, the smooth rhythm of shooting a bomb felt so awkward, unnatural and strained. The culprit, ultimately, proved to be poor mechanics bred of bad and, no doubt, lazy habits.

The answer after analysis literally hinged on the wrist. Think of how Pippen shoots, the ball on his fingertips directly underneath with his wrist cocked at a ninety-degree angle and elbows perpendicular to his squared shoulders. In coordination feet come together before jumping into a simple flick of his wrist at the apex. The power propelling the ball emanates from the momentum of the controlled leap straight up into following through the motion of fish-hooking your shooting hand. This is what I emulate, visualize when hoisting a three.

Recent three-point attempts fell short because of the tendency to muscle up the shot, pushing the middle of the ball on a line-drive to generate enough speed to overcompensate for the longer distance. Of course what happened was the typical "right shape, wrong size" montrosity that mostly if lucky clanged off the front of the rim.

The advantage of jumping also creates separation offensively, making it more difficult to get blocked. Which also pays off in the paint considering the big target painted on my back posting up. Just to explode off my feet again not only legitimizes a low post presence but allows for an extra step off the drive.

After all, the game is played above the rim or in our case, a foot or so below. It feels good to drain the open or even contested shot.

Friday, February 06, 2004

Trading spaces and so forth

Out of sight, out of mind, lost in space, up to no good and dreamweaving like crazy.

And for what purpose except simply to primp. Gary Wright stuck in neutral because cyberspace addicts. But worse than that is the blankness of white backgrounds to recreate old and tired looks. The terror of visually communicating an attitude, a definable aesthetic. So how much of what is said about spatial organization rings true and pertinent? Vainglorious explains the fashion of change disguised meekly as keeping idle hands busy. Is it a form of sketching this update or something deeper related to watching way too many makeover shows?

Rehab for sake of self-improvement or updated clothes that make the metrasexual, whether trading spaces, a queer eye, what not to wear, designing for the sexes or even curb appeal, all of it matters as a matter of postmodern discourse. Funny how a white or beige room now comes to signify status quo cookie cutter uneventful drab surburban bland. How the modernist edict toward the purely and simply universal continues to reinvent under the banner of colorful subaltern sleek. Talk about stuffing ten pounds of potatoes into a five-pound sack as the masses obediently redo in an attempt to "color me beautiful." And Bill Beckley reacts by lifting his classicist pinkie up in the air.

Remember not long ago generations clinging to tradition in the name of values in the face of social revolution. Well that instinct is now nicely co-opted by Madison Avenue who understand how to Middle-Americanize the Benetton message. Do the politics of representation demand an upgraded identity? If so, where does Maury Povich and Jenny Jones fit in this picture? And forget Oprah, her mainstreamness breaks the mold.

An interesting premise while uploading the "made-over" site...