There I go, writing about symbolism being the "nectar of dimwitted numbskulls" on the day that baseball celebrated the 60th anniversary of Jackie Robinson's first Major-League game...and, granted, I was talking about the ridiculousness of the confederate flag, but what's the difference between revering a flag and revering a number? Not much. I don't think that the heads of MLB could think of a higher honour for Robinson then the retiring of 42 ten years ago, rightfully making him bigger than the game itself...but what looked at the time as a surprisingly original gesture of respect is being usurped so that "42" will, at some point, hold the same iconographical-status as the cross or the Stars and Stripes, which is, I'm sure, the point. You've seen those mini-vans sporting "jesus-fish", or the cheeky "Darwin-fish"-with-feet response on Volvos...or those ridiculous "jesus-fish-with-TRUTH-written-in-the-fish-eating-the-Darwin-fish" response-response? Bumper-warfare at its finest, indeed, but useless. Kind of like making "42" a symbol of Jackie Robinson's ugly battle against systemic-segregation. The man should be honoured at every opportunity, and he is...but it's kind of like Joe Morgan's performance in the booth during the Sunday Night Baseball broadcast: self-serving, like Milhouse, who "knew the dog before he came to school". Morgan to Rachel Robinson (Jackie's widow):
"We'll talk about it when I call you tomorrow." Morgan to Hank Aaron: "We'll talk about it when I call you next week." Morgan to Frank Robinson:"Tell me about when you first heard about how good a baseball player I was."* *The above Morganisms may be complete fabrications. Baseball is trying to horn-in on Robinson's accomplishments, even though Robinson was fighting against not only society, but baseball itself; it's like the bully from high-school who's ass you eventually kicked going on and on about how great you were in defending yourself...great, at first, but then, christ, man, leave it alone - you only had to kick his ass because he wouldn't leave you be in the first place. I agree with Spike Lee, who sounded justifiably angry in his pre-game rant, that Robinson would probably be pissed-off if he saw how little "race-relations" had progressed in 60 years...and maybe you noticed that, unlike Joe Morgan, Lee wasn't showing off the 42-Dodger-jersey on his lap like it was his own crowning achievement - ol' Spike had been wearing the jersey at every conceivable opportunity for, oh, twenty years; he didn't need to transfer his own cache to Major League Baseball and their forever-attempts to make things right with the memory of Jackie Robinson. Listening to Robinson's wife Rachel talk about him was the best part of the night, because he was a guy, not some made-up legend like Jesus Christ...he was just a guy with more intestinal-fortitude than 168 fire-fighters, and, as such, there isn't any approbation that Major-League Baseball can bestow on anybody for the repulsive racism they allowed before 1947, and that's that. Hitler:
"Sorry about all that." Jews:
"Oh. Okay." He said he was sorry! Everything's fine now!