Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Ladies and Gentlemen, I apologize for the delay in updating this fevered dream I call Sedition in Red Sox Nation. I do have my reasons. First, this blog was recently subject to review by the site that hosts it. I did not discover that until I tried to post and my computer crashed. I hadn't saved a draft of the post on which I was working at the time, so I was a bit angry. I didn't get around to redoing it as I had more pressing concerns at the time. After that, I went on vacation for a while. I am back now, and ready to get back to subverting the confederacy of dunces that is the Boston Red Sox.

I know I promised a new feature in one of my posts. I was working on it at the time of the computer crash. Unfortunately, anger and laziness have conspired to delay it still further. I simply am not ready to run with it yet. It does exist, at least on a conceptual level, as I write this. However, in my travels, I got the idea for a new segment which strikes me as more interesting at the moment. WIthout further adieu (and with nothing more than a working title at this point), here it is...


I hate a great many things. The overwhelming majority of them are, in the grand scheme of things, trivial. Among them, you might have noticed (provided, of course, that you have read any of my previous posts) the Boston Red Sox, Red Sox fans and Danny Ainge. That is just the tip of the iceberg. I am a small and petty person, a bastion of negativity seeking to make other people unhappy.

This particular segment exists under the working title "Random Thing I Hate" because I can't come up with something better at the moment. It is random in the sense that it is something I hate that is not related to the stated purpose of this site. Basically, every day in my life is Festivus, this blog is my version of the Festivus Airing of Grievances and this particular segment is my way of telling those outside of Red Sox Nation that, in the immortal words of Frank Costanza: "I have a lot of problems with you people, and you're going to hear about them."

The first grievance I have is with the Benefactor. I cannot stand Mark Cuban. He's a fraud. He sold Broadcast.com to Yahoo at just the right time, which was quite lucky for him. I also have to give him credit for that. I will not believe that he's a latter-day JP Morgan until I enter the url for broadcast.com or broadcast.yahoo.com and see something. One cannot help but wonder where he would be if Yahoo held out just a little longer in the wake of the Broadcast.com IP, or he'd played a bit harder to get.

But I must temper my contempt for his business acumen by remembering that he did acquire Antoine Walker from the Celtics for what amounted to magic beans. I imagine that is a little harsh, after all, Raef LaFrentz is probably the best center to hover around the 3 point line and play defense once in a blue moon since Arvydis Sabonis retired. And Jiri Welsch was awesome.

His behavior in the crowd at games bothers me to no end. To put it plainly, I think he looks and acts like a jackass. He runs onto the court after playoff games to criticize officials. He flails and flops around his courtside seat each time a call goes against the Mavericks. For the most part, he conducts himself like a 3 year old in dire need of a time out.

As I watched him in this postseason, I kept remembering something I'd read. It took me a while to dig it up again, but when I did I think the author summed up Mark Cuban quite nicely. The author is George Orwell, and in his essay As I Please 6, he wrote about "the exceptional ugliness and vulgarity of the faces displayed" in the New Year Honours List (which as I understand it is, or was, a document issued in Britain to celebrate people who had recently been endowed with titles).

The particular quote that caught my eye in connection with Mark Cuban reads: "...I saw in Picture Post some 'stills' of Beaverbrook delivering a speech and looking more like a monkey on a stick than you would think possible for anyone who is not doing it on purpose."

I think that sums up Mark Cuban's deportment. He looks like a monkey on a stick. The question then must be asked: is he doing it on purpose? I think he is. After all, he has managed to become a B list celebrity. He had that awful show that ABC mercifully cancelled. He gets to hang out with George Clooney and produce movies that courageously stand up against McCarthyism 50 years after the fact. He reminds me of the little dog from the cartoons who is always yipping and yapping at the bigger dogs to attract their attention.

Personally, I don't care who is on the A list or the B List. Celebreality, in my way of thinking, is one of the worst TV genres to crop up in the last few years. I do not lose myself from my mundane concerns when I see the rich and famous acting with entitlement and avoiding responsibility. But I must confess, I did laugh like hell when I read that Mark Cuban got shut out of a trendy night club in New York. Apparently he even offered the doorman $1,000. Of course that is 3rd hand gossip, picked up from a New York tabloid via Wikipedia. It's not too hard to imagine the Benefactor trying to pass the bouncer a grand while 18 yr old Jersey girls who were on the list breeze past.

It might be possible for him to get in if his team wins the NBA title, but (as we know if we read his blog) the NBA conspires to deny Cuban the O'Brien Trophy. That is the only possible explanation. If the NBA allowed its officials to call the game as Dr. Naismith intended, Dallas would have 3 or 4 rings by now. Of course, based on the way he behaves in the crowd and "writes" in his blog, it seems to me that the only way to properly officiate a Mavs game is to have every opposing player start the game with 3 fouls. Perhaps the NBA could even work in a power play or two for the Mavericks.

I really don't know what to say about his grand gesture on fan appreciation night. It was awfully sporting of him and American Airlines to give the fans plane tickets. I know times are tough for the airlines, but you'd think the Benefactor could have done a bit better than a roundtrip to San Antonio, Houston, KC or St.Louis. Hell, he could probably have sent them all to Maui and not even have to think twice before asking for extra cheese on his next Texas Double Whopper.

I hate Mark Cuban. I am in a difficult spot, though, because I hate the Pistons and the Suns. For now, I draw some consolation in the fact that Antoine and the Heat are up 1-0 on Detroit who looks amazingly mortal. If Ben Wallace could get called for the occasional over-the-back and pick up a blocking foul when his feet aren't set, who knows what might be. I'm not enough of an optimist to believe that Prince will ever be called for 1 handcheck out of three. But maybe the Pistons will lose. There is always a chance.

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