Monday, May 16, 2011

Taking stock

Can't sleep. Might as well blog.

I've been doing a lot of thinking during the past few weeks, not much of which would be suitable for posting. I turned 30 on May 2, reaching the age when one wonders, "Gee, maybe I should think about growing up a bit." Thirty isn't old by any means, but I do think it's time to make a more thorough examination of my life and where I want it to go in the near future.

This is a warning to you, gentle reader. What follows beyond the jump is a torrent of inner thoughts about me, likely more so than you would ever care to read. If that is the case, or if such navel-gazing is not your particular brand of vodka, then help yourself to as much food as you like and there's no hard feelings. Otherwise, read on.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Required reading

No updates. Many apologies. Berry busy.

Take a gander at these, though. Here's the ridiculous:
Two Muslim men were removed from a Delta commuter flight operated by Atlantic Southeast Airlines Friday after the pilot refused to fly with them on board.
Masudur Rahman, an Arabic-language instructor at the University of Memphis and Mohamed Zaghloul, a religious leader in the Islamic Association of Greater Memphis told the AP they were removed from a flight leaving Memphis International Airport, heading for Charlotte, after the pilot refused to takeoff.
Rahman told the AP he "was dressed in traditional Indian clothing" and Zaghloul "was dressed in Arab garb, including traditional headgear" when they boarded the 8:40 AM flight to Charlotte.
The plane had left the gate and was headed for the runway when the pilot decided to turn back. Rahman said the pair were "ordered off by a Delta Supervisor."
And to think I kept a high opinion of Delta while savaging United all these years. Don't let me down, American Airlines.

Now to the sublime. This article was written with soccer fans in mind, but it could really apply to any group of sports fans. Read the whole thing — it will save your life.
The truth about hyperpartisanship is that it is an absolutely miserable and unpleasant way to be a sports fan. No one talks about this, because (a) people who complain about rage in sports tend to want to mourn some lost standard of politeness, which has nothing to do with anything, and (b) because hyperpartisan fans are the most outwardly invested in their clubs, so there’s a presumption that they’re the most authentic or admirable supporters, even if they’re also, everyone knows, unbearably obnoxious.
It’s the last bit, the presumption of authenticity, that’s the most concerning, because if you’re just getting into soccer, and you love your club, well, then you don’t want anyone to be more totally into your club than you are. So especially if you’re already surrounded by a lot of hyperpartisan fans in your daily life, your instinct may be to go in with blinders on and drink from the chalice of the faith.
The problem is that by doing so, you condemn yourself to a life of always being at least a little angry about a thing you supposedly love, a life of storing up slights and spinning them into bitter little stories, a life of basically hostile, suspicious, and un-fun commitment to a thing that only exists to give you joy. The sole and entire point of sports is to enjoy sports; even if you think athletic competition has a deeper purpose, that it helps with moral instruction or enforcing community ties or whatever else, it’s only able to serve that purpose because it’s fun in the first place.
If your love of soccer has brought you to a point where you’re no longer really able to see the game as something wonderful and amazing except in narrow moments of unequivocal triumph, then you are doing it wrong, no matter how many kills you rack up on the internet.