This might be way more sinister than we thought

An all-too-popular conspiracy theory, floating through the American psyche and blogosphere since March 2020, is that COVID-19 is actually some grand government plan to expand the size of the state and keep citizens subservient for the rest of human civilization.

None of us is allowed to go anywhere or do anything or conduct any business. (Not quite, I know, but it’s not exactly 2019 here.)

Interesting theory.

I think the greater danger today and moving forward is that it is not a government edict keeping us from interacting with one another. We’ve just gotten so comfortable being distant (in all senses of the word) and having excuses for not doing things that the effect is the same as the giant boot of the state.

Dang.

(And if the conspiracy theory is true… wow, that worked out better than they could have imagined, eh?)

Let’s prove them wrong.

New schedule

As of tomorrow I go from seeing a quarter of my students a quarter of the time to seeing half of my students half of the time.
Tell me how that math adds up and you can take over my classes for me.

Twin boys

I’m in the middle of two stories right now, both related, I suppose, to the idea of manhood. One more explicitly than the other. The first is my new book, To Raise a Boy, by Emma Brown, she of I-broke-the-Brett-Kavanaugh-Christine-Blasey-Ford-story fame. Brown worked on the book as she navigated two worlds, the #MeToo movement (and her position, sort of at a forefront of it), and raising a young boy herself. (Her son was born in 2017 just as the movement began.) Basically, how does one teach a young boy not to be a sexual predator, and, related, how to live in a world in which others imagine you as a potential threat, based only on your maleness. (I know, I know, it’s so unfair to be a white male, but Brown at least approaches the subject with sensitivity.)

   Speaking of sensitivity, or being “woke,” or New Age, or whatever our definition of non-traditional maleness may be these days, there is the documentary I just began. It’s Ken Burns’s Hemingway, and details the life and work of a man and era when “woke” meant something you did every morning, not something you blogged about.
   Is there any more traditional American tough guy male than Ernest Hemingway? (John Wayne? Theodore Roosevelt?) That’s where the film starts of course. But if you’ve ever seen or read anything about Hemingway–who hasn’t?–you know that his biographers have identified soft spots in Papa’s behavior, sometimes looking no further than his own writing.
   I’ve only just begun both pieces. If either or both are worthy of further comment rest assured it will find its way here.
   How to raise a sensitive Hemingway in a world in which every man is feared as the brutish Hemingway. Might be an impossible dream.
   But isn’t it pretty to think so?

Brave New World

Never mind cellphones and the Internet. I try to tell my son I grew up in a world without strawberry milkshake PopTarts and the boy just doesn’t believe me.
Seriously, who could imagine such an existence?

One more word on college basketball

I received at my home the other day the alumni magazine for George Mason University. Never mind that I am not a George Mason alum and neither is anyone in my family, I do enjoy perusing its pages.

Imagine my surprise when I turned open the front cover and found on its reverse side a picture of a recent GMU basketball game.

With my wife and son sitting in the stands.

Well, their cardboard cutouts.

Me? I must be next to my wife, seated behind the support pole for the home team’s basket.

Even my cardboard cutout gets an obstructed view seat.

Worth the wait

My hometown baseball club (that would be the Washington Nationals) had to wait a few days for its season opener following several positive COVID tests among players and staff members last week. What was supposed to be an April 1 open against the Mets became an April 6 opener against the Braves.

For Nats fans it was worth the wait.

MVP candidate (I’m calling this already) Juan Soto delivered the game-winning hit in the bottom of the ninth inning, a game started by Cy Young candidate (calling that one too) Max Scherzer.

All 12 people in Nats Park were ecstatic.

[Editor’s note: Official attendance for the game was 4,801.]

Still undefeated in ’21!

And after all those upsets…

I tell my students all the time… ignore the outliers.

After all the upsets and crazy buzzer-beater endings what did we end up with? Arguably the best two teams playing each other.

Complaints?

None.

Predictions?

Well, I’ll admit I’ve got a selfish reason to see Gonzaga finish off its perfect season.

My bracket was busted long ago, so I’m not winning any big contests or anything, just the possibility of winning a small contest in my own home. That would be me versus the missus, who has a narrow lead on me going into the final. She’s got Baylor, I’ve got Gonzaga. See where this is going? This one’s for all the marbles.

No money, just 11 months of bragging rights.

And oh boy that’s worth about a billion dollars right there.

Yeah, I’ve been at this a while

Such a delight to see the team of my youth, they known as the Bronx Bombers, face off yesterday against their division rival Toronto Blue Jays. Never mind the final score or the arctic conditions. Consider the Blue Jays’ infield, which featured Vladimir Guerrero Jr. at first base, Bo Bichette at shortshop, and Cavan Biggio at third.

Do those surnames sound familiar?

It’s gotten to the point I am now watching children of players with whom I grew up.

Have I been doing this for an entire generation?

Yeah, pretty much.

And it’s been fantastic.

Match not made in heaven

Two of my favorite musicians of all time are Paul McCartney and Beck.

Imagine my surprise in discovering this week that those two have combined forces on a new single. It’s called “Find My Way,” and yeah, it’s available everywhere.

Available. Not one I need to listen to often.

Still like those guys.

Better as friends than as a couple.

Still trying to find their way.

(I couldn’t decide which closer I liked better so I used them both.)