Friday, 08 May 2009

Would that I had natural wit and talent enough to play baseball professionally. (Some humility would also be nice.) Fans of good writing (which, if you're reading this, you clearly are), I would like to introduce you to Chris "Disco" Hayes. He may be rough around the edges, but he has a sense of prose (so rare in an age when so few read) and can turn a phrase. Not surprisingly, he has an analytic turn of mind. But this post is about the writing, so here he is on PFPs ("pitcher's fielding practice"), which consist of a line of pitchers waiting to walk up onto the mound to fake their pitching motion and run over to a ball that has been rolled down the third base line by a pitching coach, pick it up, and throw the ball to a lucky veteran pitcher who is stationed at first base. After completing your turn, you go back to the end of the line and repeat. Once you have been through enough times that you are convinced playing in games is merely a drill to prepare you for PFPs[.] Prior to the start of spring training, I'd advise you begin joining every minor league player in cheering hardest during the World Series not for a team, but for solid PFP work. You see, the first week of spring training for pitchers is a series of lectures from pitching coaches about how important PFPs can be. Imagine the momentum and the voracity with which these lectures were given in the Spring of 2007 after the Tigers' PFP performance in the 2006 World Series. I had cold sweats and my feet started to ache in mere anticipation of the upcoming spring training during game 5 in 2006 as Verlander Bucknered the 5th of his team's 5 PFPs into right field for the 7th and 8th unearned runs en route to losing the series. On being humbled by a physical and humiliated by a physician: My calves are really the one and only attribute of my body people might look at in a body catalog and want to order for themselves. My ankles are skinny and athletic-looking and my calves are well defined. [F]rom the knee down I'm pretty proud of my body. [The team physician] taps the back of my ankle near the Achilles and says, "Make sure you stretch this out well, it's a bit tight." I take it to heart (though it nearly breaks mine) and nod my head. Duly noted. And then the joke hits me. It's witty, it's relevant ... ah, it's perfect. It happens so fast, before I know it my lips are making a coy, dry grin to indicate I'm about to be a smart alec. I figure the Doctor has a hundred physicals to perform, I might as well make a part of his day funny. Accordingly, I ask, "Would you say it's my Achilles Heel?" I swear I'm not making this up. It was so perfect. Contextually ... My entire body functions perfectly, but there's one specific area that may be a flaw that...
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Yglesias and Socialists and Communists roy edroso is clearly an intelligent man, but in this case he couldn't be more wrong. He quotes one of the geniuses from Big Hollywood (who, incidentally, just learned what the word "satrap" meant): In their neverending quest to wrest more power by creating what H. L. Mencken correctly characterized as an endless series of hobgoblins requiring a socialist elite’s powers to destroy, the socialists and their media satraps continually raise fears of everything conceivable . . . Then argues that: Naturally he doesn't link; this is from Mencken's In Defense of Women, and the passage from which it comes doesn't mention socialists at all, and is explicitly about the starting and conduct of modern wars, which Mencken attributes to modern civilization "especially under democracy." But I don't think Karnick was purposely misleading his readers . . . Because Mr. Word-of-the-Day wasn't misleading his readers. roy doesn't seem to realize that conservatives only discovered Seth Graeme-Smith's Pride and Prejudice and Zombies earlier this week and that this Big Hollywood-style satrap is merely playing along. Just like Graeme-Smith improved upon Austen by inserting zombies into scenes in which they clearly don't belong, conservatives are now inserting socialists and communists into diatribes in which they clearly don't belong. For example, Donald Douglas complains that people find the idea of him being a professor beyond belief, but then he writes this: I saved a classic example of the "I can't believe you're a professor" slur from a post last year," Matt Yglesias, Jennifer Palmieri, and the Third Way." As some readers know, Matthew Yglesias is an American communist. There is no position that's too far to the left for that man. Clearly, anyone who thinks that there "is no position too far to the left for [Yglesias]" deserves to have his credentials questioned. Off the top of my head, I can list fifteen comments on every one of Yglesias's posts going back seven years as evidence that lefter positions than those he's staked exist. Douglas duct-taped the evidentiary bar to his ankles, so he shouldn't be surprised that people are incredulous when he claims that his day job involves teaching impressionable youths how to hurdle. But it's all a ruse. Douglas is merely playing the zombifying game with socialists and communists. He doesn't believe Yglesias is a communist anymore than Graeme-Smith thinks Austen really wrote about zombies. He's not hilariously obtuse—he's just playing the communitizing game. It's like zombies, only with communists and socialists. I'm surprised (and frankly disappointed) roy didn't pick up on this. Does he seriously believe conservatives have been so traumatized by three months of a painfully centrist presidency that they're spying pinkos in the hedgerows? As if. (x-posted.)

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