The Sorrows of Young Werewolf (eyeteeth) wrote,
The Sorrows of Young Werewolf

The New York Murphs

I considered blurring the rainbow so the colors blended together more naturalistically, but decided I liked the crude Hyperbole and a Half look I had achieved. Three other things I like: one: the Mets, or as my father calls them, "our beloved Metsies," are two for two in the National League Championship Series -- which is, for Batty and my other sports-resistant readers, the seven-game series that decides which National League team will progress to the World Series. It feels weird to root against the Cubs, the only major league sports team in the United States -- in any sport -- that has gone without a championship for over a century. (The next-longest drought is something like half as long as the Cubs' 107 years.) It feels especially weird to know that my own perennial underdog team is the heel in this matchup, determined to smash the dreams of so many fans living and dead. But look, we've got Daniel Murphy, chatty, cheerful Daniel Murphy, out there doing the work of nine men, so that to watch him inevitably calls up memories of the Warner Brothers' cartoon Baseball Bugs: "Attention, please! Attention! There has been a slight change in the Tea Totaller lineup. Catching: Bugs Bunny. Pitching: Bugs Bunny. Left field: Bugs Bunny. Right field: Bugs Bunny..." Fate cannot contain this man; he makes his own fate. The rest of us can only get out of the way.

Two: Did you know that the Dodgers were known for a while, in the nineteenth century, as the Brooklyn Bridegrooms? This is simply because several of them got married at around the same time, but I love the implication that the players recognized their own appeal and weren't ashamed to announce it. Like "These guys are young and strong and good-looking, so how about it, ladies?" I say sure!

Three has nothing to do with baseball, except insofar as I recently said to Batty that "if Kafka were a sport, he'd be baseball," because it's about Kafka, and specifically about how Kafka manages to be absurdist and anxious in describing a desk -- in America, a book I recently found on one of the free-book shelves in my neighborhood: "In his room stood an American writing desk of superior construction, such as his father had coveted for years and tried to pick up cheaply at ail kinds of auction sales without ever succeeding, his resources being much too small. This desk, of course, was beyond all comparison with the so-called American writing desk that turned up at auction sales in Europe. For example, it had a hundred compartments of different sizes, in which the President of the Union himself could have found a fitting place for each of his state documents; there was also a regulator at one side, and by turning the handle you could produce the most complicated combination and permutations of the compartments to please yourself and suit your requirements. Thin panels sank slowly and formed the bottom of a new series or the top of existing drawers promoted from below; even after one turn of the handle the disposition of the whole was quite changed and the transformation took place slowly or at a delirious speed."

I like to think of Kafka at his day job, his Brotberuf, hunched over his desk and slowly noticing the desk and then starting to think about the desk until he begins to imagine a way in which the desk might become animate and threatening, nominally under his control but not really, its actions inexplicable and terrifying like those of America or the law or his father. Or baseball, that impossibly byzantine collection of rules and regulations that churns on regardless of human suffering, invincible to human opposition, generating hope and anxiety in such a way that it's not always possible to tell the difference between the two. So you see the point I was trying to make to Batty. Kafka would have played for the Brooklyn Guys Who Keep Getting Engaged but Never Actually Get Married Because They Can't Follow Through on Anythings, but don't blame him, it was his father's fault.
Tags: baseball, franz kafka, mets, stix
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