Monday, January 17, 2005

Joe Paltrow And The Sports Heroes

A Weird Rumination

I must be one of those commie bastards you used to hear about. Nothing could be more damn repellent to me than hearing about boxers, baseball and basketball players, or any other successful, wealthy "retired" athletes who are always considering coming out of retirement for one more go at the game. The crazy sons of bitches. Why don't these athletic fat cats just laze around and be happy like they're supposed to do? Or find some new profession or interest? Do they really only know how to do that one thing in life? Why don't they take up painting, chess, detective books, fishing, gardening, or birdwatching!

I think about poor old Joe Paltrow, who died last week in Corpus Christi. He worked on various paint crews all his life and finally, because he was so crippled up, in the paint shop at the University where I used to work. He lived a lot longer than I expected. By the time I met him, he was already worn out by work and life and drink, uptight and nearly crazy with vitriolic hatred of nearly everyone, and certainly not very damn rich. He still had to work. He ached all over, all the time, but had to get up and work every day that it was possible. I heard that he had a daughter who lived next door, but he hated her and she hated him. Hard to say who started it, you know how families are. Joe's son never came around, though he lived somewhere in the state. I wonder if he went to the old man's funeral? Joe didn't have much value in the world, as far as I could tell when I knew him, nor did he value anything much, either, except possibly another night of heavy drinking when he could get it.

I don't know what you could say that Joe ever did to deserve a free ride of any kind, but what did the athletes ever do (except play a child's game with alacrity) to deserve the abundance and security that they often don't value? Such athletes appear to have what everybody wants, and now that they're past their prime they have not much more grace about it than Joe had about himself. They still just want some more of exactly the same old thing. Joe Paltrow was such a loser, I'd say that he nearly had an excuse for being so cranky and crazy; work and life and drink and failure had kicked the crap out of him; dying in that rest home can't have improved anything, assuming he hadn't become a vegetable. Anyway, what's the excuse for all these famous winners being so uncomfortable and dissatisfied, I wonder?

Yeah, I believe I am one of those commie bastards you used to hear about. Send me a pinko postcard that says, "Hey, your side lost, dummy."

But what kind of winners won, that's what I'd like to know?


I knew about MLK yesterday, so I guess it goes to show what a lily-livered white person I am that it didn't dawn on me to blog the subject or the man. The day is 17 hours gone now and my efforts to blog it now seem desperate. I refer you then to today's post (also late) from Larry Jones at revision99. Read it and pretend you heard me say, "What he said!"

My apologies, Reverend King, both for myself and that we are no better than we are.

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Abandon hope, all ye who enter here! (At least put on your socks and pants.)