mightyflynn asked: What is it about baseball?
Honestly after years of contemplating this question I think it’s the geometry. The way that the still scene on the field at any given moment contains a finite but vast number of possibilities. The more into baseball you are, the more of these possibilities you’re able to spot and hold in your mind between pitches. In this way, baseball mirrors literally every waking moment of one’s life, except that in baseball, the compulsion to act is permanent and ongoing, so there’s never a point in any 3-2 count where the whole team just loses sight of its goals and gets a crummy job it hates and ends up wasting a whole year there instead of just the summer. This just doesn’t happen in baseball. There are a number of possibilities, and then one of them is put into play, and then the consequent number of possibilities opened by the play are set in motion, and yet again they are winnowed down to one, and all this is right there, like the energy of the atom, in the configuration of the nine players on the field and the one at the plate. Hence geometry. This is the opposite of boxing, which is not about geometry or physics or calculus or heroic narratives, but which is the sport where you get to hit somebody in the face all night and he doesn’t even take it personally, and then you even hug each other afterwards no matter who won, unless you’re a really bad sport.
This has me even more ready for baseball to begin.
A Number of Thoughts on How Social Media Has Warped Me
Maybe this is the year I wean myself off social media and become a member of the hermetically sealed off-the-grid society. That’s the dream, the Walden-esque dream of puttering about in a sugar shack surrounded by great cedars and pines and of course maples, wearing oversized cable-knit sweaters…
Feels a little weird to reblog this given what Jeremy is saying here, but I do it primarily for easy re-reference and to hold myself accountable. I’ve been “struggling” to reconcile my reflexive paranoia about social media (to be more specific, about ever-tightening feedback loops, and ever-quickening speed of information) with the sense that I have to keep apace with what’s happening outside my head, and digital channels are increasingly and overwhelming the dominant channels of transmission. I’ve backed off my Twitter usage lately, and starting carrying a notebook again, but I still feel beholden to the reward system enabled by social media. Like, my job is basically getting the attention of editors, so I might as well check my email for the seventeenth time this hour, right?
Jeremy’s post is a refined and articulate reckoning with how these feedback loops and reward systems fuck with our empathy and presence. The point about treating people as Text is especially frighteningly accurate.
BKLYNR | The Neo-Industrialist
Last week, I interviewed Adam Friedman, the director of the Pratt Center for Community Development, for BKLYNR. He has some pretty interesting ideas about how manufacturing might make (or is already making) a comeback in Brooklyn, and what that augurs for the borough’s economic future. Check it out!
A little sneak peek at what Field Guides were up to this weekend!
Making a record. That’s what we were up to. Boo, Forever coming out…sometime. The process of recording it nearly brought me to tears on several occasions (mostly when Jamie was playing violin), so I may be biased, but I think we made something beautiful and resonant. It means a lot to me to be a part of this, to have been a part of it. There’s no greater palliative than making something that feels true to the lived experience of it—I feel this way about writing, too, even though it’s hard to get there in the end. That process is like a bulwark against whatever life is throwing your way. It’s your chance to push back against the limits of being a person.
I can’t wait for you and anyone else you know to hear these songs!
“When all of our information—images, art, news, modes of communication—is mediated through the same screen, the notion of value, of what is important and unimportant, even in a subjective, personal sense, becomes murky. Births, deaths, celebrity mug shots, piano-playing kittens, children we don’t know engaging in wackiness, war, poverty, photos of salt shakers and table sets, tales of the mundane, puns: This is all funneled and flattened, much to our delight and convenience, of course. Everything is a headline, everything is front page.”
—”You Can Tell Everybody This Is Your Song,” Carrie Brownstein, New York Times
Summer in New York by Phillip Pantuso
by Phillip Pantuso
I was reluctant to leave and wondered what he did all alone, practically immobile, but he asked me to turn on the radio and the room was filled with noise.
The Columbia Journal was kind enough to post another essay I wrote, this one on their blog, Catch & Release. The essay is about how super sad I was when I sorta tried to move to New York during college.