Thank goodness for the Mets. That’s all I can say. They serve the ultimate function of sports – keeping the mind off real life -- and more power to them.
Right now the Mets are out west, which gives me license to ignore cable news in the evening and hope Bartolo Colón will hit another home run.
I caught that one live on Saturday -- Gary Cohen’s call was great on the tube; so was Howie Rose’s call on the radio; so was the Spanish call by Juan Alicea and Max Perez Jimenez.
All I can say is, if you are going to watch a man with a big belly lumber around with a smirk on his face, better to watch Colón than that trickster from Queens.
This is not escapism, this is self-help, not having to remind oneself over and over again that at least one third of America leans toward a lout from reality TV.
Let’s go Mets. The other night I saw Asdrubal Cabrera, who has reminded us what the position of shortstop can be, race down the left-field line to catch a fly ball over his shoulder at the edge of the stands. When a little boy in the front row leaned forward to congratulate him, Cabrera patted the boy on the head. There was more grace and humanity in those two gestures than I have seen from the front-runners in the grinding decades of this current political campaign.
(As an old Appalachian hand, I am available to advise Hillary Clinton how to talk to coal miners, but I don’t think that is happening.)
I’m burned out. I’ve been watching and reading about the primaries for way too long – and have few complaints. I just read the thoughtful essay in the Times about how pollsters and experts underestimated Trump, but I just want to say these are the same number-crunchers who reassured me President Obama was going to win in 2012.
(By winning, Obama endured, to deliver that wonderful graduation speech at Howard University last Saturday, a civics lesson for all. I am going to miss that man, no matter who wins this long slog to November.)
All right, the pollsters and others missed the Trump tsunami among the minority on the right, but I cannot fault The New York Times, where I used to work. It has given us tons of stories on buffoonery of Trump. (I saw a friend of mine from Queens quoted about what a nasty little boy Trump was; quite right.)
The Times has done fine (with the great Margaret Sullivan riding herd in her final months as media critic) and MSNBC has sent platoons of reporters out into the land. Chris Matthews, the host who doesn’t listen to his guests, is often susceptible to Trump’s flattery (we’re-a-couple-of-big-timers, you-and-me, Chris) but nailed him on his abortion silliness.
MSNBC has enlightened, with Lawrence O’Donnell and Joy Reid and Rachel Maddow and our household favorite Steve Kornacki. (I’ve lost my wife to Kornacki and Bernie Sanders.)
Brian Williams has been irrelevant -- hair and teeth and suit, on his work-release program with the network. When MSNBC veers into silliness, CNN is there. And thank goodness, our cable system carries the BBC and Euro News to remind us the world is still out there. Forget our networks. They gave up decades ago.
For the reading class, the web is full of informative articles, like the one by David Cay Johnston on salon.com about Trump bankruptcy maneuvers. Now Trump is proposing to run the country that unsavory way, according to Paul Krugman.
For all the hand-wringing, I do not think I am uninformed. Fact is, I am too informed. There’s only one more Breaking News I want – not too late on the evening of Nov. 8 -- the long national nightmare is over. We will have a president who is, at bare minimum, informed.
Meantime, the Mets are out west. Colón pitches Thursday night.
* * *
(In case you missed that wonderful talk.)
5/10/2016 09:16:18 pm
5/11/2016 08:29:20 am
Brian, I am taking a break from watching...I was stretching before the Mets game, and taking my greenies, so I didn't have time for Boinie.
5/11/2016 08:39:19 pm
Amen again, brother. Warren is having fun and anything that raises her visibility is just fine with me (In my day, she'd be a liberal Republican, you know. She is focused on a fair and honest financial market.) Nevertheless, I'll take the Brooklyn Socialist because of the need for a major pendulum swing in our politics. The only way Bernie loses me is if someone outs him as NOT a Mets fan, although I accept a second place to the Brooklyn Dodgers given his age and adjusting for childhood allowances.)
5/11/2016 08:40:34 pm
George, the Bartolo Colon shot heard around the world is still reverberating. Someone has done a mashup of it, fused with the climax of The Natural. It just had to be done.
5/11/2016 08:42:04 pm
Whoops...here's the link:
5/11/2016 08:50:05 pm
Peter, thanks, my pal Clemson Muniz Smith sent me the link earlier, but I haven't opened it yet.
5/11/2016 09:44:08 pm
George, the operative and soothing word you used, is one third, the percentage you suggest supports Trump. What's interesting about that is that is the estimated percentage of conservatives in the US---now--AND--as far back as 1968...Trump has been the best politician in this campaign and has defined the race as his personality. As much as he is in love with his fake macho image, he of the sisy world of high society, I suspect that the defining issue of the fall with be whether Secretary Clinton will become the first woman President of the United States. And I don't think his bombastic rhetoric will derail that serious theme in the next 7 months.
5/11/2016 10:48:47 pm
Let's Go Mets However, I would betray my Brooklyn Dodger, roots and Mets' fan credentials, if I did not point out that Danny Murphy is leading the league in hitting at .398. I'm just saying....Of course, "its not over until its over."
5/13/2016 12:52:18 pm
Ed, I second your sentiment on Murph. I thought Michael Powell got it right last fall when he called Murphy the Mets' "beating mutt-heart." I hate losing guys like that. Of course, he would be hitting .275 if he'd stayed, It is great having the team, including the pitching staff, hitting so many homers, but it seems to me Citi is a spray hitter's paradise and I am surprised the team is not built more to take advantage of that (like, say, the '85 Cards). But it is hard to question Alderson;s moves at this point. He protected the staff and built a solid hitting team without overspending too much.
5/14/2016 01:36:43 pm
Josh, was that remark before Tejada got run down after taking Murphy's throw? I admit, Murphy was (is) "one of us," a home-grown Met, but I got tired of his improv act on defense, as earnest as he was. Just watching Cabrera and Walker the first six weeks has been an upgrade -- but Murphy's hitting is another issue.
5/16/2016 11:26:22 am
George, here is the whole article. Definitely after Tejada. Definitely not a whole-hearted endorsement ("As a fielder, he’s a good hitter. As a base runner, he can give you the hives"). Captured the Murph question as well as anyone.
5/25/2016 03:32:32 pm
Trump is the American Berlusconi. Only Berlusconi hasn't bankrupted half his companies. Trump is what the Italians call a "cafone"(Google it/it's not a compliment). Watching coverage of Trump's campaign on Italian TV and on Sky and the BBC you get the sense they think America is losing its mind, snd its soul.
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“I don’t think people understand how Covid affects older Americans,” Mr. Caretti said with frustration. “In 2020, there was this all-in-this-together vibe, and it’s been annihilated. People just need to care about other people, man. That’s my soapbox.”
---Vic Caretti, 47, whose father recently died of Covid at 85.
---From an article by Paula Span, who covers old age for the NYT, which currently has 2646 comments, the majority criticizing the American public – and public officials – for acting as if the pandemic is “over.”
Classic wishful thinking, at a lethal level.