World Of Black And White (V)

One final point about snow — it makes you appreciate roundness.

As the snow falls, it covers the sharp edges and blunts the pointed corners.  The world becomes a smoother, more rotund place.  Plumpness is accentuated, and is oddly pleasing.

World Of Black And White

World Of Black And White (II)

World Of Black And White (III)

World Of Black And White (IV)

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It’s My Fault

Uncle Mack’s post, below, quite correctly points out that I haven’t written anything about the unfortunate outcome of the Ohio State-Michigan State game Saturday night.  The superficial reason for the omission is that I didn’t actually watch the game, because Kish and I were out having dinner with friends.  The real, unstated reason, however, is that I know that I am personally responsible for the debacle.

Every true sports fan know that, even though you don’t suit up for games, and your athletic ability could be fully measured in a thimble, your behavior has a real, immediate impact on the outcome of contests.  Perhaps it is because you don’t wear your lucky shirt.  Perhaps it is because you didn’t drink your Budweiser in precisely the right way.  Or perhaps — as in my case — you wrote or said something that was just a thumb in the eye to the unforgiving Fates.

I had to write a purportedly humorous blog posting about the Illinois-Michigan State game and the bricklaying that occurred.  Of course the God of Sports would notice and decide that my hubris merited punishment!  Saturday’s game, in which the Buckeyes shot a ridiculously low percentage from the field, was the inevitable result.

Uncle Mack is well within his rights to call me on this.  It’s all my fault!  I apologize to the team and the Buckeye Nation as a whole.  From here on out, it’s humility, humility, and more humility — and drinking my adult beverage of choice at precisely the right time and in precisely the right way.

BRICKS

I’ve been waiting for Bob’s report on Saturday afternoon’s big game in Columbus.  You know, the one being played where the home team never loses?  Bob is good at pre-game analysis but silent despondency must set in when the Bucks lose.  Here’s my take.

Saturday’s game was purported to be basketball and the players all dressed in what seemed to be basketball uniforms.  There were the appropriate number of referees and more coaches than players, as is normal.  The fans were all dressed in numbingly stupid  attire and so it certainly appeared to be a setting for a basketball game.  Apparently, all of the appearance of a basketball game was only a  ruse to attract television money and viewers to see a game of “toss the brick”.  Maybe some organization needed the exposure to obtain standing to introduce it as a new Olympic sport. 

When the game started it looked like an orange round ball was being tossed in the air, but it turned out to be an orange rectangular piece of clay.  It seldom went in the hoop and through the net.  When thrown it clanged or clunked on the metal rim and fell, usually, into the other teams’ hands.  That team then ran to the other end of the floor and threw the brick at their hoop where it again clanged or clunked into the opponents’ hands and the same scenario was repeated again and again at the opposite end of the court.   There was one point in which neither team scored from the field for, as I recall the announcer saying, three minutes.  That is fairly incredible for teams that play at the high a level those two teams do and who have as much basketball talent as they are supposed to have. 

The Buckeyes couldn’t muster 50 points on their home court where they were supposed to be unbeatable.  They must have thought that the streak alone would carry them.  

Maybe the problem is they are basketball players and the game of bricks threw them off.   In any case, neither team had much to be pleased with – except of course Michigan State can be pleased it won. 

OSU’s redemption lies in the defensive play of Aaron Craft.  The Buckeyes can be pleased they have Craft.  A more tenacious defender is seldom seen.  Sullinger was disappointing, but I think that the announcing team was correct in saying that his team mates need to remember that he is a force to be reckoned with even if he appears to be covered.   Get the ball to him underneath and sooner or later, probably sooner, he will get it in the hoop. 

Finally, I didn’t understand why OSU’s guys thought they needed to run and shoot instead of moving the ball around.  It should have become quickly apparent that run and shoot was not the answer to getting their game on track.  In its losses, OSU does seem to lose focus  – a trait that doesn’t bode well for the Finals. 

If these are the two best teams in the Big 10, their play on Saturday is not a good sign that the National Championship will end up in that Conference this year.  For Bob and other OSU alums and die-hard fans, I hope Saturday was just an aberration.  Any more lapses from Matta’s boys like Saturday’s and Bob will be back to writing about Urban-ball and the “new” Buckeye football team.

Facebook Giveth, And Facebook Taketh Away

I’m sure that sociologists and psychologists are studying the impact of Facebook and will do so for years to come.  There are big effects — like the stories about so-called “Facebook divorces” — but I think the website also has altered our interactions with family, friends, and acquaintances in less noticeable, but perhaps more profound, ways.

Never before have so many people stayed in regular touch with so many other people.  Isn’t it great to have so many friends, and in such a quantifiable way!

From the perspective of those us who grew up well before Facebook was developed, however, the website seems to have produced a curious phenomenon.  We went to high school and college, moved on, and lost touch with high school and college friends.  We took initial jobs, went to grad school, or lived in a particular place, moved on, and lost touch with people we knew in those contexts.  In short, we have a past, with past friends.

If you grew up with Facebook, you may never have a past in the same sense.  Instead, you’ll just have one long present, with a constantly accumulating list of present friends.  You’ll always be in touch with that kid from eighth grade, or the woman who was on the high school newspaper with you, or that odd guy you worked with at your first job.

There is value in having a past, and leaving behind the people who remember all too well what a jerk you were in high school.  The members of the Facebook generation may never really know the relief of seeing those awkward or embarrassing past incidents recede into life’s rear view mirror.  What does it mean to always be in touch with people whose main connection is that they shared goofy behavior with you when you were a kid?  Are you less likely to really grow up, or will you at some point feel hopelessly weighted down by your long roster of friends and want to sweep the slate clean?  What will that constant, ongoing connectedness mean for the Facebook generation?