My life, at times, can actually be interesting. Last Friday, for instance, I was at the birthday celebration for a 24-year-old British kid who understands black music almost as well as Justin and I do. The reason this is funny is because you haven't lived until a drunken British kid proclaims, in clipped English, that Dr. Octagon is "fucking awesome."
(Tragic side note: He does not like soccer. Suffice to say, if he didn't love the hip hop, we'd have nothing to talk about except for the sheer lunacy that is eating the Döner Kebab before 2 a.m.)
Anyway, we're talking about Ghostface, whom we both adore, and I mention that he and MF Doom (another shared favorite) have been planning on doing an album together for wicked long. British kid loses his shit, and asks when the album is coming out. I say "I don't know," in non-clipped English, but I have this thing where I tend to assume accents the more I talk to people, which usually leads to those people thinking I'm mocking them. So, it's entirely possible that I was actually beginning to speak in a clipped accent, which would make it sound more like, "Aye dount knou." Were this the case, I'm positive it was really annoying to everyone else around me. But who gives a fuck? If you're not excited about the Ghostface/Doom album, you might as well hang a Confederate flag in your front window.
So, today, while I was trying to find out some more info about the Ghostface/Doom album, I stumbled on this really, really excellent article in the New Yorker that served as an album review for a recent Ghostface release. It's great because it's one of the few times that someone has been complementary of a rapper in a literary magazine without either sounding condescending or hopelessly out-of-touch (if not both at the same time).
Believe it or not, that was the point of the story.
(If you're not a racist, check out this mp3 of one of the cuts from the upcoming Ghostface/Doom album!)
Anyway (on to sports), Justin's point about the NBA owing it's popularity to MJ/Magic/Bird more than the streetball ethic/aesthetic is actually not an either/or. The reason MJ, Magic and even Larry "I'm not Caucasian, I'm White as Paper" Bird became the legends they are is because they were able to bring the kind of approach and panache seen on the streets into what was, at the time, kind of a boring game populated by pale, moustachioed point guards*. MJ (and Nique, who's tragically left out of the "guys who brought the NBA to its heights of popularity" arguments) ushered in the era of posterizing guys like Craig Ehlo. Magic made it poor form to actually look at a guy when passing the ball. Bird was the biggest shit-talker ever, and probably epitomized the street attitude more than any of his cohort, even though he was a white dude from Indiana. It was during this time that we (by that, I mean the American viewing audience) became acquainted with the cross-over, the alley-oop, the term "brick," and (most importantly) the stare-down after you fuck someone up on a dunk. And whether people want to accept it or not, it's the audacious nature of basketball that was, and is, the draw. We may demonize excessive pride in other spectator sports, but it's precisely the kind of ravenous need for one's talent to be appreciated (an attribute the Warriors display to an almost embarrassing degree) that ultimately makes the sport compelling.
As for the Phillies, why is it already verboten for Myers to work more than one frame? He's not only a former starter, but he's a guy who started this season. You telling me he can't hold up for a two-inning, 35-pitch outing? It drives me crazy that managers -- Chucky Stickshift isn't the only douche guilty of this crime -- won't even use fucking setup guys for more than one inning now. It is this kind of idiocy that compels the Orioles to carry 13 pitchers on their 25-man roster, which is sort of like spending half of your bomb shelter cupboard space on EZ Cheez.
* The Good Doctor, Moses Malone, Connie Hawkins (considered by many to be the greatest streetball player ever) and a small cast brought aspects of streetball to the NBA before the Magic/MJ/Bird/Nique years, but the difference is that, 1) Those guys were not the most dominant forces in the NBA at one time (though a few were, for a year or two, individually considered one of the game's best players); 2) They came a little early, before television coverage and technology would truly allow us to burn slow-mo images into our head (not to mention branding); and 3) None of them are truly among the best players ever, at least as far as the NBA is concerned (too much of Doc's prime was spent in the ABA, while Malone and Hawkins are classic examples of players who were awesome, but ultimately not as awesome as they probably could have been.