By Tim Baffoe-
(CBS) So the 2012-13 Bulls are in the past and we can move on to the Blackhawks’ run for the Stanley Cup, icky baseball teams, and anticipation of Camp Trestman. Or not. That’s not an essay as it claims to be. That’s a letter written by a drunken lovelorn college English major. I know because I am… used to be one.
Derrick Rose owes you and me not a damn thing. He owes his employer and his contract and everything that ink entails. I wanted a clear explanation from the guy as much as anyone, and he deserves criticism for being shady with fans, media, and the Bulls, but being a native Chicagoan doesn’t adhere him to any more loyalty than being from North Carolina or Arkansas or Croatia.
Chicago cared about Rose when he donned a Bulls jersey. Had he been drafted by the Miami Heat he’d be loathed. Had he suffered a career-ending injury at Memphis or Simeon he’d be forgotten and probably absorbed into the hell of Englewood where you’d just as soon add him to the list of Chicago negatives. He’s not “ours,” no matter what marketing campaign he participates in.
You don’t like that Derrick Rose doesn’t bleed a blue and white flag with red stars all over your face? Derrick Rose absolutely hates suffocating jingoistic Chicago crap like demanding he owes the city something just because of his address. He’ll be back next year, he’ll amaze us, and you’ll forget the season he didn’t come back to lose to the Heat anyway. You owe him better.
Weekend. Live, damn it.
On to your correspondence.
You’ll love this @TimBaffoe http://appletonhub.postcrescent.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20130515/APC0505/305150351/Packers-fan-reality-series-Cheeseheads-go–@franchise_davis
It was only a matter of time before the pathetic, insufferable freak show of reality television made a pit stop in Green Bay, wasn’t it? While I am thoroughly horrified by merely the preview of this destined-to-be septic piece of broadcasting, I’m forcing myself to take solace in a few things.
First, the show will be awful, even by reality TV standards. (Note: there is no good reality TV or any good argument against that statement.) I don’t foresee the cholesterol kitsch of Packer Nation keeping an audience’s attention for very long, and the lifespan of the series should be Mandarich-esque.
“Hey, check out this sad football fan named Gus! Now check out this one with her newborn daughter named Aaron Rodgers Kozabowski! Guess who that is? A homely woman with one yellow boob and one green boob! Oh, sorry, that’s a dude! Gender-ambiguous Wisconsinites, everybody! Fargo-like accents! They’re nice but kind of creepy!” Edward R. Murrow’s corpse just put an entire pack of lit Camels out in its eye cavities.
Also, while the show will serve the purpose of the reality genre—making the viewer justify an otherwise distasteful life they’ve created for themselves by watching people more shallow, stupid, and inferior—a side effect may hopefully be the realization of a sort of satire of fans like this. Not just in Green Bay, but everywhere. I see this as being a PSA against excessive fan behavior. And there is a wrong way to be a fan, you who will say “DONT TELL PEOPEL HOW TO ENJOY SPROTS.”
I hate the stigma of being called a hipster but, gulp, I think i am… So I have a killer handlebar mustache (by cracky) I drive a fixed gear bike as I commute to work, love the talking heads, collect vinyl albums, cuff my jeans, brew my own beer, love PBR, and smoke a pipe but where is the line drawn between hipster and asshat? Have I crossed over to the dark side? –homebrew blake
There is no line between hipster and asshat. Hipster is a subgenre of asshattery. Look, I spend much of my classroom time invoking the maxim that being a follower is wrong and that my students need to strike their own paths and embrace their uniqueness and take risks and all the other gobbledygook that makes for a swell commencement speech that gets a million hits on Huffington Post and that I’ll never be asked to give. I’m not lying to them when I say this stuff.
I’m also not lying when I let them know that being intentionally different just for the sake of being different usually makes you look like an asshat and results in more grand negatives than personal positives. The Eastern European guy with the bullhorn walking up and down Michigan Ave. wearing the sandwich board that reads “THE VICE PRESIDENT IS AN EXTRATERRESTRIAL SENT TO IMPREGNATE OUR MINDS WITH SUBLIMINAL SUBSERVIANCE” is really intentionally different.
He might even feel great about himself and totally satisfied with his life choices. But at the end of the day he’s walking up and down the street being ignored, and he will die likely unloved and unremembered. The polar opposite of complete conformity accomplishes no better than its antithesis. A certain degree of likemindedness is necessary to survive and to thrive.
And at what point does surrounding yourself with nonconformists actually become conformity? When does it jump the shark? “Yeah, I live with three million people who congregated together in their differentnessitude!” So do what feels good, whether that be ironic clothing and beer or not, but don’t just do what feels like a middle finger to society with no end game.
That’s what teenagers who don’t like themselves do. And if you like yourself you can compartmentalize and embrace both your uniqueness and the basic human desire to belong. Nobody should be consumed by worrying about what others think of them, but it’s what some people think of you that will impact your life positively and negatively, and there’s no reason to try to tip the scale toward the latter.
And a true hipster hates sports and wouldn’t be corresponding with me anyway, so you’re a poser.
A sheet of graphene as thin as clingfilm could hold the weight of an elephant. In fact, according to one calculation, an elephant would need to balance precariously on the end of a pencil to break through that same sheet.
Despite its strength, it is extremely flexible and can be stretched by 20 per cent without any damage.–Neil Bhandari
This material seems like it could revolutionize not just baseball and get even stubborn pitchers to embrace it on the mound, but so many aspects of daily life! And that means it will likely be monopolized by the military, used for superweapons, be a major factor in the creation of the dystopia humanity will eventually find itself in, and never put to any everyday practical use.
And here’s your Angry Penn State Fan of the Week:
Thanks for emailing, tweeting, and reading. If your question did not get answered this time, that does not necessarily mean I am ignoring it. It may be saved for the next mailbag. Hopefully you’re a slightly better person now than you were ten minutes ago. If not, your loss. Want your questions answered in a future Mailbag? Email them to email@example.com or tweet them with the hashtag #TFMB. No question, sports or otherwise, is off limits (with certain logistical exceptions, e.g. lots of naughty words or you type in Portuguese or you solicit my death). If you email, please include a signature.
Tim Baffoe attended the University of Iowa and Governors State University and began blogging at The Score after winning the 2011 Pepsi Max Score Search. He enjoys writing things about stuff, but not so much stuff about things. When not writing for 670TheScore.com, Tim corrupts America’s youth as a high school English teacher and provides a great service to his South Side community delivering pizzas (please tip him and his colleagues well). You can follow Tim’s inappropriate brain droppings on Twitter @Ten_Foot_Midget, but please don’t follow him in real life. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. To read more of Tim’s blogs click here.