Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Maginot Line: That Mattered

Tomorrow Brother Daugherty and I will attend the SF Giants game in the hope that we will see Barry Bonds.... I was about to say in the hope that he will hit a home run. Since a home run will neither tie or break Hank Aaron's record, I don't suppose we much care if he hits one or not. As men of the pen, we are there for the spectacle, not so much to see the thing but to see the people who are there to see the thing.

It is a kind of curse to have spent so many years as a journalist that cool indifference is something you are able to slip on and off like a pair of sunglasses. That imperturbable neutrality is like a pair of sunglasses in another way, too. It can at times obscure -- at least reduce -- your vision. It certainly can turn into a kind of affectation, like wearing sunglasses indoors.

Not much liking Barry Bonds, I should be honest, allow myself to not much like him and not pretend I am at New Candlestick as some kind of anthropologist. It is all right for me to be mildly irritated if he hits a home run, mildly pleased if he doesn't. I know well enough that the day after he actually does break the record, I'll not give it another thought unless I write a note to remind myself to think about it so that I can write something. His record is just another means; it's not an end in itself.

We could all use a nice diversion. More power to Barry Bonds, who is less important than a mosquito when it comes to disturbing our days unless we choose to give him that power. It's just a numbers game inside a numbers game. It's not like the insurgents in Baghdad or Anbar were counting down to the 4,000th American death in Iraq, handing out specially marked bullets to certify the occasion and make it official.

Oh, we haven't already passed 4,000, have we? Anybody paying attention?

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