untitled / baseball twaddle

Damn. You know what? Good on you, Joe. I love this story.

If Joe Torre hadn’t been low-balled by the Yankees, he might have spent the weekend watching up close as balls flew out of the new Yankee Stadium seemingly every time someone swung a bat. Instead, he was at Dodger Stadium watching them sail out of what is normally a pitcher’s paradise.

[ … ]

But he does crack an occasional smile in the dugout. And he appears to be having fun with his players, something that seemed impossible in later years in New York.

Winning by big margins, of course, helps.

I do, I love this story, and my appreciation is layered.

A large part of it is, of course, deriving the schadenfreudic jolt any Red Sox fan would at the sight of someone getting a last laugh and twist of the knife at the expense of the Steinbrenner hydra.

And a large part of it–the better part–comes from being a fan of the game first.

Joe Torre’s one of many great–and, damn it!–likable people that have passed through the Yankees organization. I hold Girardi in high regard, too, as a matter of fact.

Torre certainly figured prominently in presenting a worthy rival for Sox fans. I wish him the very best with the Dodgers (and speaking of storied rivalries, am I ever gonna hear it now from the Giants fans in my life, hoo boy).

And I wish him extra luck with harnessing the energy of that toxic-genius-space-shot Manny Ramirez

(when she was good she was very very good, and when she was bad she was horrid).


tee hee hee bagging

I should have left it alone and let it pass quietly, but insofar as I lack capacity to help myself, I did “go there” in my most recent Tonic News contribution.

Up until the middle part of this past week, there certainly was plenty of talk around tea and teabags. Even after I had passed the point of annoyance with it all, my inner sophomoric galoot remained at least mildly amused.

News flash: people don’t like paying taxes. Whoa, Nelly. Stop the presses.

I could not help but react with a combination chuckle-snort during the Wednesday April 15th broadcast of the “Rachel Maddow Show,” during which she observed that the lion’s share of the Tax Day tea protests appeared to have taken place in public parks; and that the public safety of the participants in same appeared to have been facilitated by police and EMTs. It’s a fair guess that such facilities and services were not paid for by private, out-of-pocket donations.

Nobody gets all stemmy and bits-atingle at paying taxes. But I felt it worth noting the pisser panoply of energy and environmental initiatives that were woven into the stim package. It’s good stuff. And it’s about friggin’ time.

just a wee nugget of synchronicity

Earlier today, I introduced my previous post, which served to link over to my most recent article at Tonic News, with this quickly peeled off (but still, sincerely felt) observation:

It’s a simple equation, really: the manner in which we view and act upon the natural world is necessarily reflective of the state of consciousness that we as individuals (and as groups of various size up to and including the entirety of the human condition) have attained, work with, and bring to the party.

On my way back from work, I grabbed a freebie copy of Common Ground magazine, and while the BART ride back to Oakland was still predictably standing room only by the time it got to Embarcadero, I was able to find quality leaning space allowing me to flip through it, and I was pleased to have found an article therein by Daniel Pinchbeck, a writer / thinker who has come to my attention fairly recently.

He begins his essay, Building a Scaffold for Social Change, with this:

For the most part, the mainstream media and federal government still treat the economic collapse as something that can be fixed, so that economic growth can resume in a few years. But some commentators are beginning to realize that our meltdown represents a deeper and more permanent paradigm shift. The physical environment can no longer withstand the assaults of our industrial culture. We are experiencing a termination of capitalism as we have known it, a shutdown recently dubbed “The Great Disruption” by Thomas Friedman, in The New York Times. Until recently a leading cheerleader for Neoliberal globalization, Friedman has come to the late realization “that the whole growth model we created over the last 50 years is simply unsustainable economically and ecologically and that 2008 was when we hit the wall.” The longer the general population is allowed to remain in denial about what is happening, the more dire the probable consequences, such as widespread famine, civil unrest and a disintegration of basic services.

A couple solid paragraphs follow, and the next starts off thus:

What blocks real efforts at social transformation is the current level of human consciousness.

I was grateful for the signpost indicating that, while I have no clue exactly where it is I’m heading, it’s the correct direction.

better slowly than not at all

It’s a simple equation, really: the manner in which we view and act upon the natural world is necessarily reflective of the state of consciousness that we as individuals (and as groups of various size up to and including the entirety of the human condition) have attained, work with, and bring to the party.

My current challenge is to not be impatient with it all. Things are changing, and I need to be mindful to recognize and celebrate that rather than burn energy wishing that things were moving at a more sprightly clip.

In Tanzania, land management practices achieve the twinned yield of highly prized coffee beans and expanded habitat for chimpanzees. The compelling conservation story allows local farmers to enjoy a premium price, greatly beneficial to the welfare of the local population.

Venice, Italy moves forward with plans to turn the algae that famously blooms in and clogs its canals (along with additional, lab-cultivated algae) into biofuel.

These are projects that differ in location and in focus to the point of perhaps seeming wholly unrelated. I’d suggest that what we see here is akin to standing with your nose to a Seurat painting: you see a few dots of different color that don’t seem to connect or reveal anything of sense, until you take a few steps back, and something of real meaning and beauty arises. (Advisory note: I do not recommend trying this exercise with an actual museum collection pointillist painting. You’ll be escorted out without the chance to delight in that $12 museum cafeteria grilled cheese for which you were hankering.)

The entirety of my latest musings may be found here at Tonic.com.

I came to a certain measure of acceptance and understanding since writing and submitting this piece mid-week, prior to my trip to Maine and back, that the impatience on my part (at what I deem change that is too slow) isn’t constructive.

Observe the changes. Applaud them. Help bring about more. That’s the mission.