Danger! Get on the floor!
You know what really and truly blows my mind and reduces me to a living case for all kinds of anti-anxiety medications is the very fucking real game of intellectual (dis)honesty.
In a recent email exchange with a dear and brilliant friend, I tried to explain it. The thing is that our intellectual choices mean everything when we’re asking ourselves to think through reality as it actually confronts us, not as it appears through the lens of intellectually convenient historical paradigms.
Oh, but those intellectual conveniences are seductive and so powerful. What nearly kills me is the fact of how much intellectual convenience can appear to us as something like proof. A closed yet infinite system of self-affirmation. That’s the darkness!
Boxer to Boxer
Playing magnificently and futilely in the final minutes of tonight’s Lakers loss at home to the Magic, Kobe reminded me of Boxer the Horse. Always doin’ work, even when all it’s for nothing. This other boxer sees you, Kobe.
There is no Center
The NBA has deleted the center position from the All-Star Game nomination ballot. There is no center in the All-Star Galaxy! This is seen by many an NBA junkie, myself included, as the first step toward the eventual extinction of traditional, fixed position delineations in the league. And sure, the NBA nerds out there are all but unanimously condoning the centerless ASG ballot, but the hero Bethlehem Shoals foresaw, and proclaimed, the end of static positions (assigned to particular players according to their main role on a team) way back. Most recently, he wrote about it, brilliantly, for The Classical. Witness his prescient utopian-anarchist vision!:
I used to be a positional relativist, with players’ roles determined by a set of responsibilities that had to be distributed across the roster. However, this now seems way too rigid, as it locates the possibility of unflinching order somewhere between a team’s identity and the identity of the individual players—neither of which was supposed to slip or crumble. Now I would say I’m more of a positional anarchist, but not in the violent, liberal-arts-kids gone wild, sense. I’m thinking more of the utopian version of anarchism, where everyone is provided precisely through the rejection of overarching order or authority.
There’s a lot more to this than theory. In practice, it’s already been happening, all over the league, for a long time. The NBA isn’t the game changer; the game is changing the NBA.