Friday, May 21, 2004

Bridget and I were watching the Pistons step on the Nets in Game 7 last night (jeah!), and I was going on and on about how awesome Ben Wallace is. I think I was probably using terms like "Black Superman". Bridget was like, "Don't you think you're fetishizing him?" And yeah, I am, totally. Really obviously too, if I stopped to think about it, which I hadn't done up until that point. Ben Wallace has always seemed like some archetype of black strength to me, this huge mass of skill and muscle and hair. And that's really fucked up, the way I look at him. Of course, the announcers are fetishizing him too when they talk about how he was raised by Alabama sharecroppers. And the Detroit fans are fetishizing him when they show up to games in Afro wigs. How did I not catch myself doing this? How did I let myself do this? How does everyone else let themselves do it? How does Ben Wallace feel about it? Part of the reason I love pro basketball is for the larger-than-life personalities that it creates, the way a player can turn himself into a character, and virtually every star player has done it. And when I stop to think about it, a sports arena is a really weird and messed-up scene. Most of the people who turn up to watch the games, it seems like, are middle-aged, middle-class white men. Most of the people playing the game are young black men in amazing physical shape. If you look at it in a certain way, it's not all that different from the battle royal scene in Invisible Man. Am I wrong on this? Am I reading too much into it? Am I tainting a perfectly simple form of recreation? I don't know. I get total strangers telling me that I should be in the NBA constantly, and that's just for the simple reason that I'm extremely fucking tall. These people have never seen me blow a layup or get winded from climbing a couple of flights of stairs, and I always get annoyed because people look at me and only see height. So what am I doing? What do I see when I'm watching basketball? Am I fetishizing players the same way random strangers seem to fetishize me? If you have any answers, hit me up, since I sure as hell don't.

Speaking of Wallaces, did somebody say David Foster Wallace has a new book coming out? Awww shit, here we go.

In other news, Nick Hornby is a douchebag. "Little Latin Lupe Lu"? Whooooa, dude. Don't you read the Freelance Mentalists? Oh, and while I'm thinking it, peep this review of Hornby's Da Capo book that I wrote for my college newspaper a couple of years ago. This was before I'd ever heard of rockism, but I still knew it when I saw it. I was a smart kid! Go me!