Is This the Way the NFL Ends? T. S. Eliot, Jim McMahon, And The End of Football In America

We are the hollow men
We are the stuffed men
Leaning together
Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
Our dried voices, when
We whisper together
Are quiet and meaningless
As wind in dry grass
Or rats’ feet over broken glass
In our dry cellar

Shape without form, shade without colour,
Paralysed force, gesture without motion;

Those who have crossed
With direct eyes, to death’s other Kingdom
Remember us—if at all—not as lost
Violent souls, but only
As the hollow men
The stuffed men.

– From The Hollow Men by T.S. Eliot.

Jim McMahon was trending on Twitter this morning because of this interview with SportsCenter that aired yesterday.

“He had a concussion, but it cleared up by halftime.”  – a Bears team doctor in 1988.

“We knew about risks to every other part of the body.  But we didn’t know about the brain trauma.  They did.  They lied.”  – Jim McMahon

Headpieces of straw.  Paralyzed force.  Not lost, violent souls. The hollow men.  The stuffed men.

Between the desire
And the spasm
Between the potency
And the existence
Between the essence
And the descent
Falls the Shadow

This the way the NFL ends, with a bang.  With a million concussions.

I hope these players get every dime.

Everything You Need to Know About Justice in America

Travyon Martin.

Because we’re only as just, as honest, as fair, or as mentally stable as the George Zimmermans among us.   Our police are only as good as their most incompetent peers.  The same for our lawyers and judges and leaders.

George Zimmerman, the man who killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, has never been taken into custody.  His account of the events that found him shooting an un-armed black student were taken as fact by the police who responded.  Zimmerman claims self-defense. Witnesses within ear-shot say Martin cried for help before he died.

Zimmerman leads his Neighborhood Watch.  He’d called police 46 times since the beginning of the year.  On the day he killed Trayvon Martin, Zimmerman had crossed over into delusional vigilante of imagined trespasses. Excerpted from Think Progress:

Zimmerman called the police to report Martin’s “suspicious” behavior, which he described as “just walking around looking about.” Zimmerman was in his car when he saw Martin walking on the street. He called the police and said: “There’s a real suspicious guy. This guy looks like he’s up to no good, on drugs or something. It’s raining and he’s just walking around looking about… These a**holes always get away” [Orlando Sentinel]

Zimmerman pursued Martin against the explicit instructions of the police dispatcher:

Dispatcher: “Are you following him?”
Zimmerman: “Yeah”
Dispatcher: “OK, we don’t need you to do that.”

[Orlando Sentinel]

 

Clearly, Zimmerman is mentally unstable.  That doesn’t excuse his crime.  But it does expose another layer to the issues of race, power, and justice in America.  Why is no one holding Zimmerman accountable?  Because he’s not black?  And why hasn’t anyone hauled him in for a psychiatric evaluation?  Is it because he’s not quite white, either?

LaMonique Hamilton writes about the case from a very personal place.  A place I know I can’t, try as I might. But Trayvon Martin is my son, too.  And he’s yours.  He’s your son, America.  What will you do with him?

Did Mike Daisey Lie?

Les Nessman and Johnny Fever in the studio

Ira Glass posing with Johnny Fever.

No.  I don’t believe he did.

Did Blood Diamond lie? Does that fact that it’s fiction make it any less true?

Daisey’s theatrical performances are precisely that, but that doesn’t make the issues he raises any less valid.  He’s a performance artist, not a journalist.  Remember when Bailey got in trouble on that episode of WKRP In Cincinnati for reading that story about the butterfly on-air?  Les Nessman was all beside himself because the story wasn’t true.  But it wasn’t a story, was it? It was a poem.  And poems can be true without being true.  Stories can be true even if they’re not.

If Daisey presented everything in his production as factual down to the last detail, I’d probably take a different position on this.  But he is an artist, and artists need to be able to render the truth via facsimile and proximity.  And that’s for the sake of the truth and all with ears to hear it.   There may never have been a Prodigal Son, but that story’s still true, isn’t it?

Dear Delta Thermo Energy: We Hope So, Too

If you search for Delta Thermo Energy’s website, this is what you’ll find:

Interestingly, that’s what DTE is basically also saying about the future site of their recently-approved and controversial Waste to Energy Plant:

Other details about the company on the web are sparing.  The LinkedIn profile is sparse, but we do learn that the CEO, Rob V. (Rob Van Naardan), used to work for a private equity firm. Mr. Van Naardan, if you’re reading this, I’d sincerely like to talk to you about emissions issues and I’d love to learn as much as possible about your process.  I’d also like to connect you and your company with the Air Quality Partnership of Lehigh Valley – Berks.  Given your committment to near-zero emissions, DTE and AQP likely have some interests in common.

Meta Sermons and Social Media

I’m very grateful for the opportunity I had to share the message at First Presbyterian Church yesterday at the 8:45 and 10:10 alternative services. Thank you!

I used social media to frame part of the message, saying that Pinterest had bucked conventional wisdom because it’s a platform where people share inspiring and uplifting things.  By offering a new kind of experience and an environment where generative things are shared and curated, Pinterest now drives more traffic to external sites than Twitter.

A bit of meta fun before I hit the hay:

ImageImage

Blessings, all, and peace.