TRINITY RODMAN, SOCCER PLAYER
You know you’re old when you can remember when…Dennis Rodman ascended to become not just a Detroit Pistons “Bad Boy” but the Bad Boy in American sports, and his daughter who wasn’t even born or was a baby during this period now is an adult woman and on the verge of becoming a superstar in American women’s soccer. Yes, attention is always paid to Trinity Rodman because of her infamous father, but this past weekend’s highlights are beginning to carve out a fair and more deserving legacy for her own accomplishments.
MANCHESTER UNITED FIRES OLE GUNNAR SOLSKJAER
Fire your legendary player turned manager all you want(he probably deserved it), but that alone won’t turn around the near future misfortunes of what once used to be one of the wealthiest and most glamorous football teams in the whole wild world. United’s fall from the heights has been well-documented, a parable of what can go wrong even amongst the exalted. And as with their LaLiga counterpoint Barcelona FC, their desperation to return to the pinnacle of their national federation will be much dissected and scrutinized.
THE PRIVATE AND PUBLIC ORDEAL OF CHINESE TENNIS STAR PENG SHUAI
The on folding story of pro tennis player Peng Shuai and the first Chinese #MeToo accusation to rivet international attention deservedly captures Western fascination as well as human concern. If the allegations are indeed true, the added political reality of a Chinese woman having her basic human rights denied by a totalitarian Communist government who has the power to not only censor her confessions made across social media but make her “disappear” as well deepens the tragedy.
Unlike his peers in other sports the WTA commissioner’s threats to severe ties with the host nation for future WTA events including the seasonal tour finale seems to be sincere and principled. Compare Steve Simon’s statements to NBA commissioner Adam Silver’s comments upon his own league’s crises with China over the last two years. No league in the world appears to be more embedded in currying favor with the Chinese government than the NBA, its players willing to be mute footstools as long as the People’s Republic pays their lucrative endorsement salaries.
But don’t applaud the WTA too much. They are ever bit the hypocrites as the rest of us are, as well as every international business you’re ever heard of. All of these companies, sports leagues, entertainment divisions, politicians and others are morally complicit in every human rights violation China continues to accrue. Because they willingly sold their souls to the Chinese steel wheel knowing exactly who they are and what they truly represent. To be shocked that China would protect a male party official and not a female athlete and ambassador to her country is beyond naïve. Decades ago the WTA, just like the NBA or Apple knew exactly who China was and were willing to sign contract after contract in order to siphon money from the largest economy in the world. And they did so with complete greed and avarice. As do the athletes who like to proclaim themselves “activists” as long as such a position does not wound their bank accounts. And we who purchase cheap Chinese goods are complicit as hell, too.
I won’t be reading her memoir out of principle, despite being fascinated by her on a “superficial” level(I think she’s incredibly attractive. The first time I saw her in Vogue I my heart soared and my mind immediately summoned the mysterious name of Scheherazade.)
And it’s not because my opinion of Hillary Clinton, her famous employer, has changed dramatically since the 1990s. They are a match made in writer’s heaven because of their casually symmetrical marriages to idiotic men, who humiliated them again and again in public life. Yes, Ms. Abedin has other dimensions to her back story but those story elements just are not enough for my curiousity.
Wasn’t she “canceled” by the woke mob this year for god’s sake? And yet she’s still highly visible with this nonsense and this nonsense. Thank you millennials(as always for your very principled stands)!
RIP ROBERT BLY, POET AND ACTIVIST(1926-2021)
I never read him I read about him during his heyday. I may have purchased a copy of his mythopoetical manifesto, Iron John: A Book About Men(1990), then again I may not have. If I did it was accidentally misplaced during a transient period. I can’t remember if any of my friends read it. It was never discussed among us, but perhaps we were the wrong age group, a half-generation or so too young for contemplation. Still it was a thing among at least the WASP-y class of Americans with time on their hands. Time to mock this Jungian escapade or time to join in. I did neither as I suspected most of us who lived during this time and paid even the scantest attention to the “men’s movement.” Perhaps its aims eluded us. Perhaps we were right with our indifference. America is so large and broad a country that movements can thrive and then die without much fanfare from the great majority of us. Not everything can puncture the self-defining bubbles we create for ourselves and our soul survival.
I didn’t follow a minute of the trial in real time because I need to cherish my last vestiges of sanity only closing summations from a variety of online sources. Even if I had been fastidious about it would I have come to no other conclusion but this one: whether you agree or disagree with the verdict the whole case demonstrates the squalor of American life in 2021. Nearly every story you ever encounter should be accompanied with the soundtrack of Nero playing his fiddle as a republic dies.
PARIS HILTON’S WEDDING
To paraphrase one of my favorite Bugs Bunny cartoons what a naïve turtle I must have been to believe that some type of reality show wouldn’t immediately be associated with the wedding of celebrity socialite Paris Hilton. How naïve and divorced from reality. Whatever would be sacred to her? And I don’t dislike Hilton, at all.
I’m still processing her fourth studio album, I only know my initial impression is far from favorable. The mass critical hosannas this pompous, messy, cringe-worthy album is generating is frankly suspicious. And embarrassing.
IGNORELAND(A CHARLIE BROWN THANKSGIVING; THANKSGIVING CRITICISM)
Ignore the usual “woke” bullshit analysis of the former and the laments about the latter being held at all and enjoy your Thanksgiving(if you indeed celebrate it all.) And you should. Some day whether attached to a holiday or not, when you can be thankful for something in your life and not just endlessly bitch about how you and everyone else doesn’t live in fucking utopia, doesn’t live up to your exalted (contemporary) standards. Regardless of these puritanical killjoys nearly everyone alive has something to be thankful for, some morsel of humanity important to them. Life isn’t a pc “woke” litmus test, no matter what they think. It’s as messy as plates going into a dishwasher.
And if you don’t have to live and interact with a SJW on Thanksgiving for god’s sakes be grateful for that!