- 9 April 2001
- Three-Hitter No-Hitter
- I have a number of friends who are fanatically enthusiastic about sports. It seems that they cant go an hour without turning to the radio and/or the television and/or the phone and/or the Internet to see how their favorite teams and athletes are faring.
Im sure the meaningless, worthless, and ultimately pointless world of sports isnt any more meaningless, worthless, and ultimately pointless than the world of art, but that still doesnt make their pursuit any more interesting for me.
Having said that, I did hear about a memorable sporting achievement that impressed me.
On 12 June 1970, Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Dock Ellis threw a no-hitter against the San Diego Padres. (In baseball parlance, a no-hitter is a game in which a pitcher doesnt allow the opposing team to get a single hit.) I understand no-hitters are rather uncommon. If the stories Ive read are true, the performance of Mr. Ellis was probably unique in the annals of the game.
Dock Ellis pitched the entire game after taking three healthy doses of lysergic acid diethylamide. Yow!
It turns out, in this instance, that LSD acted as a performance-enhancing drug. Watson saw the ball leave a trail of light behind it, just like a comet. Pitching a no-hitter was simply a matter of aiming for the catchers glove.
I was atypically skeptical about this story until I mentioned it to a friend of mine, who told a similar tale about a professional tennis player he knew. It seems that the tennis player played an incredible game against a formidable opponent under the influence of the same psychedelic drug. The player reported that the game was one of his easiest matches. He couldnt miss the tennis ball, since it was moving so slowly, possibly because it was several times as large as his racquet.
Although I must admit that such chemically-enhanced feats of athletic prowess are not without interest, I still dont see what people see in sports.
- 10 April 2001
- Poor Mr. Wagner
- Poor Dickie Wagner; everyone says such nasty things about him. First, theres that catty Gioacchino Rossini, who said, Mr. Wagner has beautiful moments but bad quarters of an hour. And then theres Mark Twains remark, Wagners music is better than it sounds.
And now, some researcher has concluded that Wagner spread rumors that Brahms was a kitty killer.
After spearing the poor brutes, he reeled them into his room after the manner of a trout-fisher, Wagner claimed, then he eagerly listened to the expiring groans of his victims and carefully jotted down in his notebook their ante mortem remarks.
Not true, not true at all.
That Dickie Wagner really was a miserable piece of work, even before the damned Nazis recycled him.
- 11 April 2001
- A Think-ological Error
- A good excuse is usually a good substitute for working; thats why Im always looking for new excuses (and not for new work).
Andy Ihnatko just came to my aid with a brilliant line I shall use to my advantage. He explained he used the wrong word in an article, because it was late in the day and I was tired and I hadnt had any Coke in the past two hours, I made a think-ological error when retyping that sentence to make it even smaller ...
Although its great to have Ihnatkos excuse added to my arsenal of slothful tools, his brilliance makes me realize how far I have to go to be a really good writer. But thats irrelevant, I suppose.
- 12 April 2001
- Practical Philanthropy
- I live in many worlds all at once. Id like to say that I do so in order to experience different perspectives on life, but the truth is that being in several places at the same time is an elegant and effective way to avoid being cornered by my pernicious foes. (Take off every zig!! All your bases are belong to us!!)
I was reminded of my duplicitous existence today when I asked one of my businesslike associates to make a donation to one of my unbusinesslike friends.
No problem, she replied, were happy to give it to anyone who wants to pay for it.
Wow-wow! Ive just had my first encounter with compassionate capitalism.
- 13 April 2001
- Dead Happy Face
- In 1963, State Mutual Life Assurance Cos. of America (now doing business under the dubious name, Allamerica) paid Harvey R. Ball US $45 for his now-ubiquitous smiley face.
Mr. Ball died yesterday, at the age of seventy-nine. His smiley face lives on as a cultural icon for innocents and junkies alike.
I suppose thats as close as one can get to being a successful artist these days. Since Im neither an innocent or a junky, though, I cant really say that with any certainty.
- 14 April 2001
- A Bit Closer
- Im a bit closer to death after writing this sentence. Youre a bit closer to death after reading that sentence. Im a bit closer to death after writing this sentence. Youre a bit closer to death after reading that sentence.
And so on.
Pretty stupid, no?
- 15 April 2001
- Who Am I to Argue with Edward Weston?
- Today, I saw an exhibit of a century and a half of California photography at the Oakland Museum. Edward Weston provided the raison dêtre for the show with his observation, Everything worth photographing is in California.
Who am I to argue with Edward Weston? Not me, thats certainly for sure.
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©2001 David Glenn Rinehart