Tuesday, July 27, 2010

How Chris Kaman Celebrates July 4

Chris Kaman is a professional basketball player, currently employed by the LA Clippers. He makes a lot of money, somewhere around $12 million per year. He's incredibly goofy. And he also really likes fireworks, or, at least, I hope he does, because he dropped $10,000 on fireworks for his personal July 4th party, and it'd be a shame if he spent that much money on something he didn't like. Video evidence below, via Ball Don't Lie:

I'd like to think that I would celebrate July 4 in the exact same way if I had made $12 million this year.

Two Quick Announcements

As the title of this post suggests, here are two quick announcements:

Announcement the first: I've changed the layout of this blog. It's somewhat sharper and cleaner than the old one. I hope you like it.

Announcement the second: If you've been reading me over at PMI, you may have realized that things have slowed down there. There's good reason for this: things have slowed down over there. We're moving to a once-a-week publishing schedule, with the possibility that even this will be suspended sometime soon. I'm thrilled with the time I spent there, getting to dig in to a field of interest and publishing something every working day of the week. I might write down some longer thoughts here about writing everyday, but, in short, I recommend it. The good news is that I'll be able to hang out more consistently at The Daily Snowman. I'm going to take a few more days away from writing, my compy, and the internet, but then expect more regular posting here. Sorry for the slow July.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Paragraph of the Week

Chad Harbach, as part of a round-table discussion on sports and writing, convened by The Morning News:

And yet! I go back to D.F.W.’s essay about Michael Joyce: “The radical compression of his attention and self has allowed him to become a transcendent practitioner of an art—something few of us get to be.” I guess I care about sports because I consider athletes artists, and admire their art, and also because (this is largely what Wallace’s essay is about) they’re the artists that our society most nurtures and encourages—as a group, you could say that we’re so-so at producing poets or novelists or painters, but tremendous at producing athletes. Which means not only that our athletes perform at levels that are extremely fun to watch, but also that they play out our personal struggles on the biggest possible stage.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Paragraph of the Week

The great Will Leitch on LeBron's decision:

No, tonight, it felt like everyone involved — LeBron, ESPN, Bing, the University of Phoenix, Stuart Scott, the man who once chastised fans for having the audacity to boo, Jim freaking Gray — treated the millions of people watching like stupid, mindless consumers, empty lemmings ready to follow Sport into the abyss. Here, here are the Boys & Girls Club props. Here, here is your search engine. Here, here is your online college, Here, here is your Athletic Hero. Eat. Eat. Consume. You like it. You love it. You'll always come back for more.

They're surely right, of course. But never has it been laid more bare, and never did it feel so empty. It felt like a break, the moment when the tide crested, when we looked at the games, and their players, and ourselves, and wondered: Why in the world are we watching these awful people? It was a question impossible to answer.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Paragraph of the Week

From Frank Kelleter's "1776: A Dialectics of Radical Enlightenment," published in A New Literary History of America:

To found a country and constitute a "people" on the basis of natural rights--rather than to commit an existing country or an existing people to such principles--is an improbable thing to do. It marks that country for utopian overreach or constructive despair. It produces forms of self-obsession that often lead one to forget that there is a world outside one's own country. It produces perennial disputes about the meaning of one's communal existence in the world. To the extent that the United States was founded by force of documents, texts, and clashing forms of rhetoric, the United States is bound to be a nation of competing readers and competing readings. And to the extent that even the most self-evident propositions are invariably confronted with local meanings and interests, the United States has always been a nation divided in trying to become one nation. There can be, then, no such thing as a nonpartisan American literature--political, historiographical, or otherwise.