Archive for month: September, 2012

Orioles on the SI cover

26 Sep
September 26, 2012

Friends, neighbors, fellow Baltimorons:

(And we can call each other Baltimorons, the rest of you can just back away from the term.)

I ask you to put down the torches and pitchforks on this obvious affront to the baseball gods.  When Sports Illustrated called and asked for an essay they said nothing — nothing — about the cover.  It’s a big magazine, with a lot of sports coverage.  And I undertook what amounts to a sidebar-next-to-the-main-baseball-piece.  And, hey, all of that runs inside the mag as a package right?

Had I known about the cover, I would have written half as long, and misspelled every other word, and scrawled it in crayon.

Yes, I am worried.  Yes, at this instant — if not three days ago — I believe the jinx to be an absolute threat.  An SI editor first mentioned the cover in a phone conversation with me on Monday, late afternoon.  The O’s had won the first game of the Monday doubleheader, they dropped the second.  And then they were shut out for the first time in almost two months last night.

Right now, I am so tight you couldn’t pull a pin out of my ass with a John Deere tractor.


Union, union, union

24 Sep
September 24, 2012

Is there a better, more apparent argument for a return of collective bargaining and trade unionism as a core value in American life than the current NFL season?  I say this as a Ravens fan — and a secondary supporter of the Saints.  Have there been games played in which these scab refs haven’t butchered it at key points?  The season is fast becoming an irrelevant measure of anything.

And I say that having banked all the emotional equity from last night’s field goal.

Seriously.  It pays to go with the union label.

Omits and Edits

21 Sep
September 21, 2012

Read through a the transcript of a videotaped interview I gave to Reason Magazine, the libertarian periodical, that is timed for the release of Treme’s third season.  My comments seemed disjointed, unsupported.  Arguments begin and cease abruptly, unaccompanied by any supporting logic or examples.  The interviewer’s comments are highlighted as punctuation, but many fundamental ideas and contentions never progress far at all.

I emailed those guys, asked them if I could listen to the whole interview.  They kindly agreed.

Sure enough, the editing is, at points, inattentive to the task of building on or even completing a complicated argument.  I begin with an assertion — that Wall Street undid the newspaper industry, or that government is the only viable agent for the maintenance of prisons, and then all or most of the reasons for making such an argument are gone from the edited interview.  Seems I spoke with this crew for about an hour and twenty minutes.  An hour or so of that is missing from the edited version.

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19 Sep
September 19, 2012

The Baltimore Orioles major league baseball team.



That is all.

You did it, Mr. Bernstein. Now own it.

18 Sep
September 18, 2012

That elected officials will lie, dissemble and reverse course to avoid a proper public accounting is no remarkable thing.  Politicians, bless their hearts, are very much akin to those fabled pigeons in B.F. Skinner’s boxes.  If they peck diligently at the little metal bar, they expect to receive — every two or four or six years — another food pellet, or failing that, a painful electrical charge.

It’s no wonder that such constricted and vulnerable creatures gravitate toward reptilian moments.  Other than to let the lower brain hold sway, how can an elected officials be sure to acquire the certain and scheduled pleasure and avoid the certain and scheduled pain?

Often, the lies are nuanced and careful, lodged as they are in relative safety of vague generalities and uncertain facts.  An equivocation works best when there isn’t a long, contradictory reality trailing behind.  But every now and then, someone lets go of something so bald, so shameless that it’s just plain amusing, if not a little inspiring.

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