KingMidget's Ramblings

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Clearing My Head


Herewith, a few things I want to say (and a great example of why the word “ramblings” is in the title of this blog…

First up, Tim Anderson and Josh Donaldson. Anderson plays for the Chicago White Sox. Donaldson plays for the New York Yankees. More importantly for this moment is that Anderson is black and Donaldson is white. During a game over the weekend, as they crossed paths in the infield, Donaldson referred to Anderson as Jackie, apparently as a reference to Jackie Robinson, one of the most revered athletes in American sports.

After the game, Anderson, his manager (Tony LaRussa), and other personnel with the White Sox accused Donaldson of making a racist statement by calling Anderson Jackie. Donaldson claimed he meant nothing derogatory by it, and that he had joked with Anderson in similar fashion in the past. Why? Because in a 2019 interview, Anderson apparently claimed that he was “today’s Jackie Robinson.”

Here’s my question … how can it be considered racist to refer to a modern day ballplayer by the name of one of the most revered athletes in the American sports canon? Seriously. Every team has retired Jackie Robinson’s number so no player will ever use it again. Every year, all teams celebrate Jackie Robinson day with this year’s celebration coinciding with the 75th anniversary of Robinson breaking the color barrier in baseball.

I’d get the outrage if Donaldson called Anderson an Uncle Tom or Aunt Jemima or a pickaninny or a nappyheaded loser or a slave of the system. Or a whole lot of things, but this … somebody help me out here.

And, oh by the way, Donaldson was suspended by MLB a game for what he said.

Second, I got around to watching the final episode of This Is Us last night. (I know, I know, there’s one episode left, but that appears to be a “greatest moments” type of episode. Last week’s episode was the real last episode of the series.)

I’ve had a love-hate relationship with this show. The first season was an absolutely gorgeous experience, the closest thing to perfection I think a TV series can be. As the seasons rolled by, I felt like the writers and creative minds behind the show were trying to hard to squeeze as much drama and tears as they could. And then this final season of the show, about half way through, became nothing more than a slog to the end, with each episode used to close up story lines, to wrap things up, and they did everything they could to tie each of those story lines up with tidy, neat little bows. Not exactly how I would have ended the thing.

Anyway, as I watched the final episode last night, there were a few moments when my eyes teared up a bit. I wondered why and figured it out relatively quickly. The show is nothing if it’s not about connections that are made and are there no matter what. Family, friends, people never even met, people no longer there. But the connections remain and they draw you in. This final episode was a wonderful reminder of how important those connections are. How vital they are to our human condition.

Third, a little update on what I’ve been doing on the creative side. I finished a novella a couple of weeks ago. It’s a 45,000 word domestic thriller. If you’d like to take a listen to the opening of the story, you can search for my podcast Slice of Life Stories on Spotify, Apple, iTunes, and other podcast platforms. The Spotify link can also be found here. The story is with a couple of beta readers at the moment, but once I hear back from them, I hope to have this story out by the end of June. It needs a cover. It needs a real title. And once it gets those things, I’m pushing public. This was as fun, quick story to write and I hope readers enjoy it.

I’ve also started painting again. Last year, I had an objective of getting a website up where I could start selling some of my “functional art.” Coasters, spoon rests, vases, trivets, trays, clocks, and a few other assorted things. Along with less functional painting experiments on canvas. At some point, I’d also add photography to the website.

Well, plans don’t always come to fruition. I’m hoping to focus on that in the next couple of months and at least get the website up and out there while I populate it with products. We’ll see if it happens this year.

Finally, I’m moving on to another writing project that I describe as the most challenging I’ll ever take on. It’s a personal story that is about a member of my family who is no longer with us. It will be creative non-fiction, trying to tell this person’s story with the facts I have and filling in the rest with details that are as accurate and true to her as possible. We’ll see if that happens this year. 😉

Fourth, serial killers in fiction. Are there any that aren’t filled with cliches and tropes. Last weekend, I went to a local book and music fair. I bought a handful of books from the writers who were there. I started reading one of them last night. It’s about a serial killer and guess what? Within the first two pages, we learn that he has mommy issues. Why? Why can’t he have daddy issues? Why can’t he have big brother issues? Or little sister issues? Or, here’s an idea — no issues at all, just a cold-blooded, ruthless killer who likes to kill people? Nope, can’t have that. Mommy issues, because apparently that is the only thing that drives people to become serial killers. Jeez. Anybody out there aware of good serial killer fiction that doesn’t involve mommy issues.

Fifth, and finally … guns. That’s it. Nothing more to say because it doesn’t matter. Nothing I say will change this frozen, numbed state that we are in. So … guns. Fuckin’ guns.

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11 responses to “Clearing My Head

  1. Berthold Gambrel May 25, 2022 at 5:25 am

    If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s serial killer stories. The only one I’ve ever read and enjoyed is Carrie’s “Eating Bull”, and that frankly was mostly because of the other aspects of the story.

    As you say, they are all the same, and it’s tiresome. (In addition to being, in my opinion, generally unpleasant.) And sadly the horror genre is lousy with this type of story. I lay it all at the feet of Robert Bloch and Alfred Hitchcock for making “Psycho”.

    Oh, drat… you asked for recommendations. Sorry, I’ve got nothing. I am listening to an audiobook currently of Ian Fleming’s “From Russia With Love” which features a character who is basically just a mindless, ruthless killer. But, it’s a spy thriller, of course, which you’re probably not in the market for. It’s also absolutely brimming with unnecessary description. 🙂

  2. Audrey Driscoll May 25, 2022 at 3:27 pm

    I just finished The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. A fellow WP blogger recommended it, and it has a staggering 42K+ reviews on Goodreads. It also brims with possibly unnecessary description, but it’s a rich picture of Barcelona in the 40s and 50s. The plot is high drama, but when looked at closely, it turns out to be a bit thin. Still, I found the book immersive and haunting (3 days after I finished it, anyway).

    • kingmidget May 25, 2022 at 3:31 pm

      I believe I’ve read that book. About 98.31% certain. But I have no recollection of it. 😉

      (It may be on my bookshelf. Maybe I should peruse it again.)

      • Audrey Driscoll May 25, 2022 at 7:13 pm

        A kid determined to find out about a writer whose books are disappearing. He keeps getting beaten up. There’s an evil policeman. A doomed love. A crumbling mansion. Also ham sandwiches, sponge fingers, fog, windowless bedrooms, and priests.

      • kingmidget May 25, 2022 at 8:11 pm

        Clearly, I need to read the book again. Jeez. None of that sounds familiar. And I feel like I enjoyed the book.

  3. Dale May 25, 2022 at 6:20 pm

    There was nothing racist about what he said. The equivalent would be if you were to say you were the next Tom Brady and all your big mouthing about it proved you weren’t, so he called you Tom… Ridiculous.

    I’m about to watch the season finale of This is Us. I enjoyed the show and loved the premise. Original to go back and forth and forward in time and to have the same story told through different views. Yes, draw out the tear factor when they could but still.

    Good for you on the art of all sorts – writing, painting, et al.

    Guns. Fuck. Nothing will be done because that would require the powers that be to actually DO something.

    • kingmidget May 26, 2022 at 9:03 am

      Now Donaldson has apologized to Jackie Robinson’s family. Your Tom Brady analogy is a good one. It just makes no sense.

      There was a lot to like about This Is Us. As you say, the going back and forth in time and pulling strings from the past that connect to the present.

      I’ve just about given up on the gun thing ever being resolved in this country. It’s on the growing list of big issues we seem to be frozen on.

      • Dale May 26, 2022 at 9:50 am

        Honestly. That’s the way I took it.

        Yes, there was. Sigh. To think I avoided watching it until earlier this year!

        I fear. I keep a little hope alive but it’s hanging by a thread.

  4. Sorryless May 28, 2022 at 4:07 pm

    Anderson calls himself the next Jackie Robinson three years ago, which in and of itself, is laughable. This guy has always been a showboating me-first guy, but he plays with “swagger” so the scribes dig him. That to me was the most disrespectful part of this incident. So yes, Donaldson took a dig at him because, it IS a ridiculous claim on Anderson’s part and Donaldson is known as the MLB version of Danny Ainge. He’s an agitator. Whatever, it was in no way racist because he NEVER would have called him Jackie if Anderson hadn’t done it first!

    Also, Tim Anderson got into it with an opposing player a couple of years ago and called him the N word. The player in question was white, but still, the idea that a guy who claims he is akin to a civil rights icon would utter that word in anger is obscene.

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