Monday, April 16, 2007


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.
"Sorry about all that."

"Oh. Okay."

He said he was sorry! Everything's fine now!

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