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Radio, MLB's return, energy in art, radio

Thursday 7/23/20

Nothing super exciting here, just some new sound, about eighty minutes' worth. This is a conversation about fun works of art for kids during the dog days of extended summer, and this is an hour-long exchange about the Beatles' best cover, or what I'd say is their best cover, anyway.

Received this drawing in the mail by my four-year-old niece Lilah. I think she did a super job. Lilah de Kooning!

I saw a little of the Red Sox' final "spring training" game last night. The experience was odd. Not odd because there were not people in the present, it's July, and it was an exhibition. More odd to me like something is being forced that shouldn't be. The game was called by announcers who were off-site, too, which was also odd. Like someone telling you what's happening on the TV as you're both watching the same TV. Made me uncomfortable. Twilight Zone-ish.

The half-measure approach, merely to save something that barely exists--like this baseball season--has little sense to me. Why is it so important? You're not even going to have a real season, you're not going to have a real champion. Someone, if everything is not shut down again--which may happen--will be pronounced king of this weird interregnum thing. It's never going to be taken seriously. Somebody might hit .410. That also won't be taken seriously. Pitchers make 12 starts?

That is too little bang for the buck. What an enterprising team ought to do is not have starters, and get the most out of their best pitchers. Instead of 12 starts, have your ace make 25 key appearances and get high-leverage outs. See what everyday brings, and adjust accordingly. The immediacy component is interesting, admittedly. What's the most you can fall out of it? 6 games? You're not coming back from 10 games back. The Yankees are playing tonight, and it means something--you figure that each game means 2.7x what it normally would, right? That's like a 6-game NFL regular season. Think of what NFL records are after 6 games, those lousy teams who are 5-1, 4-2, who will be way out of it by the end. You have to treat the MLB season like a big postseason tournament.

I've been pitching something on the greatest baseball team ever. It's not an MLB team. I don't want to say too much about it here, but hopefully I can get it assigned because I believe the piece would be strong and I need the money.

I did pick up the first work for 2021. I don't want to be here, I don't want to be doing this, I don't want to be writing pieces for the bulk of my income, grinding away like that, year after year. It's not what I should be doing. By should, I mean that's not the situation I ought to be in. If things change between now and then, I can step away from assignments like that, and my editors, with whom I have good relationships, would be happy for me I think and understand. But it's dispiriting to be staring down the barrel of the gun of piece after piece after piece. The focus should be books, major short story placements, films, and a permanent gig or gigs, like as one place's staff writer, and as someone else's op-ed columnist. Just as one example, and then build off of that, or simply arrive at where I am going after that. Be there. And then I could cherry-pick and write on what I wished to write on, when I wished to, which is far different than this grind of doing everything at once, in an untenable living situation. But for that to happen, I'm going to need either some backing, at least a chunk of the recognition I deserve for starters, or leverage, or a combo. I can't help but feeling everything can change here in mere seconds. That I can go from Houston to Pluto in less than the blink of an eye. Or whatever the appropriately truncated unit of time is. And then the stakes shift to all time.

Check out the Strokes' Peel session beginning at 13:22 in this link. I found it silly that people were celebrating the Strokes' last LP as the best thing they ever did. One of the good things about the Beatles discussion above is the treatment of the concept of energy. I think what I said about energy in that interview gets on record a profound truth. Energy is a key to art--it may be the key to art. There can be no great art without great energy. This Peel session has great energy, which is not about being loud or fast or anything like that.


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