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Quarterbacks, nightmares, papers, hawks

Monday 10/26/20

I read a story about ex-NFL QB Jeff Garcia complaining about the way Cam Newton dresses. That is odd. There's no need for that. I saw a photo of Newton coming into Gillette. He looked good. He didn't look unprofessional. That struck me as a cheap shot. This kind of thing is not the problem with Newton. The problem is he's not accurate. You have to be accurate in this league. Accuracy is more important than arm strength. He also doesn't see the field. He doesn't quickly read a defense. He throws to only one side of the field. He's not a cerebral, precise player. Another problem is that he's a front runner. He doesn't handle adversity well. But when things are rolling in a certain direction, he looks better than he is. He's a wave-rider, not a wave-starter. He acquits himself well in every interview I've seen. He's a bright guy. I do think he gets caught up in other things--like his ridiculous TD celebrations in the past--but he also seems more mature now. He's just not very good. He's not your answer. Having said that, he's not your only problem. I don't think Brady would be doing much with this team right now, though they'd be a game or two better. They have so little on offense, and the defense is porous. The secondary is OK. They don't have elite talent anywhere. And they don't have enough very solid players to overcome a lack of elite talent. My feeling was Brady left to prove himself elsewhere, but now I wonder if he looked at the roster and where guys were in their careers and thought he had gotten all the winning he was going to get out of New England in the time he has left.

I had a nightmare about Molly. Or maybe it wasn't a nightmare. I was walking with her. Not in the past, but the future. I would never say a word to Molly. She is someone about whom I can say--and I say this free of guilt on my conscience--that there is no situation in which I would extend any mercy to her. But I was walking with her in this dream, and for some reason I was talking to her. And I told her, I spelled it out, what she had done. As if I believed, in this dream, that the enormity of that evil, cruelty, inhumanity, would have been lost upon the person responsible for it; like they'd have to be in denial, because the knowledge of what they had done would destroy them. I've always thought she was destroyed--you can't just go on being a human after doing that--but here I mean destroyed in the literal sense. I said the things calmly, but firmly, clearly. And she screamed. That scream you get in Invasion of the Body Snatchers. She screamed and ran from me, threw herself into a parked car, where she continued to scream so loudly that it caused the car to roll and move. I yelled, because she was going to run over a child, but nothing at all could be heard by anyone but this scream. In the dream I fled. There was nothing more to be done or that I could have said.

I had a professor who said that music is organized sound and he was quite pleased with himself for saying this as though it were profound. It's wrong, of course. Flatulence can be organized sound. A lot of people list their love of country music on dating sites. I don't believe that country music--the current version--is music. An artist like Hank Williams is on that shelf with James Joyce and Pablo Picasso, in my estimation. But I say that current country music is not music because, to me, for something to be music, you must be able to sit in a room and listen to it. While doing nothing else. That could be your activity. I'm going to listen to Lavern Baker's singles right now. I'm going to listen to the Who's Quadrophenia. Time to just listen to The Immortal Otis Redding. You can't do that with country music. I think very few people in the world do, outside of the people who make it when they listen to playbacks. It's something you have on in the background as you drink watery beer in parking lots. It's the background. I feel like for something to be music, it has to be able to be the foreground. Yes, I know it's music in a sense. But it's not what I think of as music, and clearly my sense of what music is is quite catholic. (Not the religion--catholic as in expansive and lacking walls.)

This same professor gave me a C or worse on every music paper I wrote for him. Three different classes. I barely passed. A few years later, along comes my sister. She knows nothing about music. As she'd tell you. Takes a class with this guy as a lark. Gets an A. She has me help her on her big term paper. I say, well, it probably won't go the way you want it to, because it will actually be good. Sure enough, gets her her lowest grade of the semester. You have to realize, at this point, I'm writing for all of these fancy music magazines--JazzTimes, Spin, The Village Voice, MOJO, Gramophone. Again: college. The last place on earth you want to be if 1. You write well or 2. You hope to.

Kershaw did well last night. That was a big first inning from the Dodgers. They took control of the series with it. You'd expect it to end in six games now, with talent having prevailed, the Rays having pushed on as far as they could push on--a noble effort. But who knows. The Rays are resilient and surprising. I have the exact same going concern in every series that does not involve the Red Sox, Bruins, Celtics--I like to see them go max distance. I very rarely want one team to prevail over another. It's the drama of the thing that interests me. Getting to the point where there is less and less margin for error for both sides. I know that people have multiple teams they root for, with like back-up favorites, but I consider this wrong. You get one team in each sport. That's it. And you can't be like, "I like the Yankees and the Cowboys and the Lakers and Notre Dame." That's also wrong.

Walked five miles this morning. This is a picture of a red-tailed hawk in the Public Garden.


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