The murmur of the snarkmatrix…

August § The Common Test / 2016-02-16 21:04:46
Robin § Unforgotten / 2016-01-08 21:19:16
MsFitNZ § Towards A Theory of Secondary Literacy / 2015-11-03 21:23:21
Jon Schultz § Bless the toolmakers / 2015-05-04 18:39:56
Jon Schultz § Bless the toolmakers / 2015-05-04 16:32:50
Matt § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-05 01:49:12
Greg Linch § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-04 18:05:52
Robin § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-04 05:11:02
P. Renaud § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-04 04:13:09
Jay H § Matching cuts / 2014-10-02 02:41:13

Line in chalk

I do not like baseball. It holds no allure for me; no resonance; no nothing. Never has. I have no fond baseball memories, no golden-hued shortstop scenes like the main character in Tobias Wolff’s best-ever short story. I cannot remember or visualize any play from any baseball game, ever, in history. If you offer me free baseball tickets, I will not take them.

I do not like baseball—but I will read Angela Vasquez-Giroux on baseball anytime. Hers is the best kind of writing; with baseball, it, like, almost makes it all make sense to me. It suggests a way in.

I was actually moved to link to this bit of her writing specifically because of this graf, tucked into the middle of the piece:

First Joel Zumaya’s beautiful right elbow went supernova, a truly sickening thing to watch in real time, as I did, tearing up because I just want to hug the boy and tell him, it’s ok, son, you’ve got one more brutal recovery and storybook comeback in you.

Joel Zumaya’s beautiful right elbow went supernova.

What is there not to love about that line? It’s all action (supernova!) and juxtaposition (beautiful?) and suspense—er, who’s Joel Zumaya, anyway? And on and on: sickening, real-time, hug the boy. It’s a whole wacky universe wrapped up in a sentence. It could be the first line of a novel. I’d read that novel.

There’s more, too, including a Yeats cross-reference. Get thee.

All of this has come into being over at The Idler, a cool new venture from a posse of Snarkmarket friends. (There’s a promise of writing from Tim, too.) It’s worth a look and worth your time.

One comment

Thanks for the fine words, Robin — truly honored. I just watched the video of Zumaya’s injury again, and it struck me that these sort of sport injury highlights are like our generation’s Zapruder films. We watch them over and over, slowing them down, skipping back, looking again for the nuances and semiotics we missed. Brandon Inge coming over, fatherly; the inexplicable jaunt to Cabrera’s hat when he gathers near the mound; and the trotting of Justin Verlander, whose rookie year was as starstruck as Zumaya’s, to comfort his friend.

It is somehow akin to, perhaps, M*A*S*H or any other pop culture production meant to exploit and explain a band of brothers, warriors, etc. But since nearly a third of our lives now have been sublimated by very real, very terrible wars, it seems to me that sport has replaced war as the lens through which we investigate what binds a group together, makes them a tribe. Perhaps explains in part the bleeding of military jargon into sport, as well.

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