A True Poet

2 Oct

“To be a poet, I realized, a true poet, was to become the Avatar of humanity incarnate; to accept the mantle of poet is to carry the cross of the Son of Man, to suffer the birth pangs of the Soul-Mother of Humanity.

To be a true poet is to become God.

I tried to explain this to my friends on Heaven’s Gate. ‘Piss, shit,’ I said. ‘Asshole motherfucker, goddamn shit goddamn. Cunt. Pee-pee cunt. Goddamn!’

They shook their heads and smiled, and walked away. Great poets are rarely understood in their own day.”

- Dan Simmons, Hyperion

Indeed. I wrote a few poems myself Sunday night.

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A Cult Of Pain

26 Sep


“The girl with the short hair shook her head vehemently. ‘But we won’t! One in a hundred, one in a thousand, goes all the way, all the way through. The rest of us keep pretending we’re happy, or else just go numb. We suffer, but not enough. And so we suffer for nothing.’

‘What are we supposed to do,’ said Tirin, ‘go hit our heads with hammers for an hour every day to make sure we suffer enough?’

‘You’re making a cult of pain,’ another said. ‘An Odonian’s goal is positive, not negative. Suffering is dysfunctional, except as a bodily warning against danger. Psychologically and socially it’s merely destructive.'”

- Ursula K. LeGuin, The Dispossessed

Ursula LeGuin is awesome. Read that shit. Start with The Telling.

Here’s a cool thing from Scientific American about humans and pattern recognition. The article talks about the superstition that arises from false pattern recognition – belief that an image of Jesus appeared in your toast, or the face on Mars – and the idea that these “false negatives” arose from natural selection. The argument, basically, is that if we hear rustling in the brush, and we’re scared of it, there are two possibilities: it’s a fucking tiger, or it’s not. If it’s a tiger, we’re more prepared to deal with it if we assume the rustling means danger. If it’s just wind, there is no harm in a moment of irrational fear. So we see patterns everywhere, and because there’s no evolutionary control for assuming a pattern when it doesn’t exist, we have no mechanism for toning that shit down when it’s completely unnecessary. So, sometimes, we look at a burnt tortilla and see the Buddha. Or whatever.

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19 Sep

“The man refuses to believe that what he is told is true. He asserts that he is either dreaming or hallucinating, and declines to be put in the false position of fighting to the death where no “real” danger exists. He is implacable in his determination to disbelieve his apparent situation, and does not defend himself when he is attacked by the champion of the other world.

Question: Is the man’s behavior courageous or cowardly?”

- Stephen R. Donaldson, Lord Foul’s Bane

Every football fan is different, but there are patterns of behavior that we all follow, common theories to which we subscribe, formed from a need for explanation or comfort or a masochist desire to punish oneself, ostensibly for liking the wrong team when he or she was 10 years old and dooming himself or herself to a life of pain. I mean, if we’re going to be melodramatic. It’s been a melodramatic week, so why the hell not?

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The Fool Saint

12 Sep


“He is the fool saint,
The golden stranger living forever
On the edge of reason.
Let your guard fall and he is there!
His crimson peace and sovereign pallor
Strike into our universe on prophetic webs
To the verge, of a quiet glance — there!
Out of bristling star-jungles:
Mysterious, lethal, an oracle without eyes,
Catspaw of prophecy, whose voice never dies!”

- Frank Herbert, “The Ghola’s Hymn,” Dune Messiah

Wait, is there a pattern here? Oh, yes. Yes there is. I won’t bother explaining all the ways “The Fool Saint” works as a title this week, because if you haven’t read Dune and Dune Messiah (yes, Messiah too) it isn’t even worth it. Seriously, what the fuck, people?

Last week I made a prediction:

“…every week will bring a new thing, an event you haven’t seen before; most of them will be great, some unpleasant, but all memorable.”

Nailed it!

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Stuff Your Eyes With Wonder

29 Aug


“‘Stuff your eyes with wonder,’ he said, ‘live as if you’d drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It’s more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories. Ask no guarantees, ask for no security, there never was such an animal. And if there were, it would be related to the great sloth which hangs upside down in a tree all day every day, sleeping its life away. To hell with that,’ he said, ‘shake the tree and knock the great sloth down on his ass.'”

-Ray Bradbury, Farenheit 451


Hi. Sorry about that whole not-posting-during-the-entire-preseason thing. Historically, my preseason blog posts are uninspired and unentertaining. So, you know, fuck that.

I pledged this year to wait until after the final game. There were too many non-football Distractions – Hard Knocks, work, life, preseason games – to focus properly on the season ahead. Now that the fake stuff is over, it’s time to get ready for the real thing.

So here we are. I’ll spare you the boring stuff; only one preseason game really serves as any kind of an indicator (as much as any preseason game can) and the GOAT over at Girod Street Endzone covered it better than I ever could have. The last game, a game Wang once called the final fake-ass dog and pony show of the lyingest month of them all, is utterly worthless. Here, without bothering with a proper segue, is the pre-preseason post from SaintsWin, in case you missed it. And with that, I move on.

The real thing is just over a week away, and the real thing promises to be glorious. The season ahead, ladies and gentlemen, is the shit dreams are made of. Of course it’s easy for any fan to get excited when everyone’s undefeated and hope springs eternal and other appropriate but painful clichés, but I sincerely cannot remember a team that was quite this exciting this very early in the process.

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Hard Knocks, Episode 1

5 Aug

I’m too drunk to write anything. Here’s my notes. I’ll write things about football after the football Friday. This is The Year.

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A Broken Window Never Closes

18 Apr

I wasn’t going to write until after the draft. I don’t get into player study, or game tape analysis, or whatever the hell we’re calling it now. This isn’t going to be about the draft, though.

Today, I realized something. Something happened this offseason. Something momentous. Something world-changing. And we fucking missed it. It happened so quietly, amid a cacophony of offseason changes, that we didn’t even realize a single man had fundamentally altered a paradigm that we take for granted every March, April, May – we missed a shift in the very structure of football’s competitiveness. Parity has been stricken a paralyzing blow without anyone taking notice.

Loomis broke the fucking window.

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The Payton Way

8 Mar

Rough day yesterday.

We talk about the business of football, and how players can’t stick around forever, and the Youth Movement, and some douchebags make annoying references to the mythological Patriot Way; the list of justifications are long, and mostly true. That doesn’t make it any easier when guys like Lance Moore and Darren Sproles are sent packing. That shit hurts, and some of us need a little time to process.

So last night, we flooded social media, we drank heavily, we made jokes. Everything’s going to be okay, we told ourselves. This regime knows how to rebuild, of course. The Great Roster Purge of 2014 is hard to watch, but this staff started with a lot less in February of 2006, and the Saints reached the NFC Championship Game that year. My faith in Loomis remains strong.

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Still Alive

10 Jan

For one more week, the dream lives on.

I won’t spend too many words rehashing the Eagles game. It was glorious, it was a supreme change of pace from everything we’ve come to expect from the Payton regime, and the fact that, once again, a historic victory came in the final seconds of regulation was just exactly what we should have expected.

Again, I find myself saying that same old thing: “I wouldn’t have it any other way.” Those seven words, uttered with such frequency this year, indicative of a selective hindsight that is blind to the alternate misery and elation that fill the three-plus hours preceding, may, should everything turn out the way we all dream, come to symbolize the entire season of 2013.

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What If?

3 Jan

Sean Payton, master psychologist.

I know, I already declared this season dead. Why am I here then?

Because everything has changed. All of it.

Read on >>