Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Chess: Unfortunately Life doesn't imitate Art and Sports

Notes from Nantasket beach part Deux

Got a new water resistant Sony radio and am listening to WBUR.

It’s no surprise that this news cycle is filled more with the passing of George Steinbrenner than the successes dealing with fixing the BP oil spill after 88 days.

Steinbrenner, known for reestablishing the Evil Empire NY Yankees, and creating the multimedia infrastructure to generate so much cash as to overwhelm all the rest of baseball, and Hoover most top free agents most of the time. Although I had a love-hate relationship with Steinbrenner as a sportsman I sympathized with him being shaken down by former President Richard Nixon and forced to participate in Democrats for Nixon illegally donating funds on Nixon’s behalf, lest the IRS be sicked on his shipbuilding business.

I’m reading Triumph and Tragedy in Mudville by famous Harvard paleontologist Stephan Jay Gould. Yankee fan by birth; being trapped in Boston; learned to love the Tragi-Greek Red Sox epic to defeat the Curse of the Bambino. A must read for fans who are into baseball , biology, statistics, Yankees and/or Red Sox.

This book of essays resonates the high promotion of baseball as it transcends age, personal and national heartbreak, the drudgeries of daily life. Recently we witnessed the whole world stop to watch the Spain win the World Cup. Many dedicate every possible free moment to play and study the game of chess.

At the end of the day what practical goal has been achieved by playing these games? As Stephan Jay Gould would say: “Nothing can explain the meaning and excitement of all this to nonfans. No sensible person would even try. This is church-and nonbelievers cannot know the spirit. One can only recall Louis Armstrong’s famous statement about the nature of jazz: ‘Man, if you gotta ask, you’ll never know.’”

Contrast this perfection to a US Federal court judge that stops the US executive branch’s ability to put a six month moratorium stopping oil drilling; a situation caused mostly because the former Minerals Management Service granted waivers allowing no Environmental Impact Studies to be performed to assess risk on the 33 future wells scheduled to be drilled. Who is in charge here?

The Intelligent Seagull scoffed ½ of my sub sandwich that was secreted deep in my bag when I went to cool myself off in the water.

Breathe…………….. Breathe………….

Listen to the surf, soak up the rays………...

No problem man – I’m in Paradise.

What is the importance in playing games in this difficult reality?

Please comment.

Thank You

Mike Griffin

(graphics by Bob Oresick)


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