Sometimes simple written juxtapositions can simply shutdown the inner workings of one’s mind. Zen Buddhism uses koans for this exact purpose. Mediating on the sound of one hand clapping or why Joshu would bother cutting a cat in half with a pair of shoes on his head are the psychological equivalent of throwing the emergency brake on a Ford Escort while doing 110 miles per hour on the Santa Monica Freeway. If a person pays attention and is tuned into the general weirdness of the universe it becomes apparent that these bizarre feats of language are everywhere.
This evening I found one such “accidental” koan on Yahoo Sports. It managed to make all of the synapses in my brain stop dead in their tracks. The current sports media obsession revolves around the potential trade of basketball star Carmelo Anthony to the New Jersey Nets. About an hour ago, I read a headline that said “Anthony To Meet With Nets”. Below it was a headline that said, with equal certainty, “Nets Not Meeting With Anthony”.
If these two headlines are read together they can cause severe damage to one’s cerebellum. How can Carmelo Anthony meet with the Nets while the Nets are not meeting with him? Does this mean that Anthony is in the room with members of Nets management who are spontaneously ignoring him? The Nets are trying to trade for him….why would they be so outwardly hostile towards him? Imagine Carmelo busting into a hotel room filled with Nets brass watching the All-Star 3-point shooting contest. At first, Carmelo talks softly, then he shouts and screams, but the Nets front office simply sits silently avoiding whatever Carmelo does. They shun him. Carmelo jumps in front of the television, he begins to sing the theme song from “Green Acres”, he pulls his liver out of his body and begins chewing on it….no response. What am I to make of these conflicting headlines?!?!?!
I need to know how this is possible. Maybe the two things ARE happening at the same time. Carmelo is in an alternate universe discussing his plans to go to New Jersey while in another dimension the Nets refuse to meet with him. Maybe there are two Carmelo Anthonys in this world and two sets of different Nets. Carmelo A is meeting with Nets A while Carmelo B and Nets B avoid each other. What if these two dimensions simultaneously converged upon on another and Anthony was traded to the Nets while he remained untraded? The Nets of the Nether Dimension would have added a 20 point per game scorer while the Nets of our current universe would still be stuck with Devin Harris and a bunch of guys in the witness protection program. What if the Nether Dimension Nets played the Carmeloless real world Nets? Who would win? If Carmelo scores 22 points in the Nether Dimension and 20 in the real universe, does it mean he’s scored 42 points? How would the NBA possibly track these statistics? Wouldn’t he have an advantage over, say, Kobe Bryant who is currently only allowed to play in one dimension?
What if the Nets got crafty and traded for BOTH Carmelo Anthonys? This would probably kill their salary cap number but they would have added two All-Star caliber players. I wonder if the two could co-exist? Is there room in New Jersey for one Carmelo Anthony? How about two? If the Nets learn to master the art of dimensional travel it is entirely possible that they could assemble a team of all Carmelo Anthonys. Twelve 20 point per game scorers on one team!?!?! They’d average 240 points per game!!!! They’d win the NBA title four or five times possibly in the same year. What if other teams caught on to their multi-dimensional strategy? LeBron James’ PR image issue would be gone. He could simply sign with EVERY team in the NBA. They’d love him again…EVERYWHERE! In other sports this could be huge. The Yankees would certainly go out and sign Albert Pujols 47 times. They’d have Albert Pujols selling tickets, serving hotdogs, playing first base, exterminating bugs, and on and on and on.
Eventually, it is possible to create a worldwide army of Carmelo’s marching towards endless victory. Millions upon millions of Carmelos pulled from millions of different dimensions. Imagine an enemy army trying to hold a city when thousands of 6’9 small forwards come racing over a wall. Who could stop them? They could forever change the world balance of power. What if a foreign government got their hands on a Carmelo dimensional prototype? They could create a nation of anti-American Carmelo Anthonys. The thought is terrifying.
Maybe I’ve taken this too far. I’m no longer sure of anything. I was having a perfectly normal night trying to find You Tube clips of professional boxers fighting kangaroos when this madness seeped into my brain. Yahoo owes me a basic explanation as to how a man can be doing something and not doing it at the same time. I will not rest until I’ve gotten one.
I am amazed at what has happened. The Sarah Palin “Oystergate” scandal is becoming a major national news story!!! I just pulled this off of the wire 10 minutes ago. (If you are just finding out about this story here are links to the original article and Palin’s reply)
Bloomington, MN (API)-In a bizarre scandal that is being called “Oystergate”, Sarah Palin is being accused of having a deep hatred of Swedish people. This story began when Palin agreed to write a music interview on a small website called “The Tyranny of Tradition”. Palin’s review, in which she shared her feelings about music including a love for the rock group The Blue Oyster Cult, started off as a simple discussion of heavy metal and quickly turned into an anti-Swedish diatribe where she claimed to be concerned about “slick talking Swedish terrorists” and referred to the government of Sweden as being “brutal and oppressive”. In a follow-up email, Palin added fuel to the fire by misquoting William Shakespeare and saying that there was “something rotten in the state of Sweden”.
The Swedish Embassy officially condemned Palin’s remarks. Swedish spokesman Per Gustafson said, “The Swedish people are deeply offended by Palin’s statement. Anti-Swedism has no place in the world of mature political communication.”
Late in the afternoon, things took a decided turn for the worse for the Palin camp. Helen Blomquist, the personal housekeeper for the Palins from 2006 until 2008, dropped a bombshell when she accused Palin of using anti-Swedish language around their Wasilla home. According to Blomquist, during a heated meeting with one of her top advisors, Palin shouted “Grow up! Stop acting like such a Swede!” Blomquist also claims that, as a sick joke, she was regularly pelted with Swedish fish and subjected to mocking anti-Swede insults by Mrs. Palin and her husband Todd.
In the wake of the growing scandal, the Palin camp has issued a statement saying, “Sarah has nothing but love and appreciation for the Swedish people. The comments of Mrs. Blomquist are entirely untrue. Any accusations of Anti-Swedism are purely a creation of the left-wing media.” However, growing tension has clearly plagued Palin’s staff. Hilda Erickson, Palin’s Chief of Swedish Relations, resigned this afternoon citing “personal, family related reasons.”
Swedish-Americans have taken to the streets to voice their outrage at Palin’s comments. A group of nearly 500 angry Swedes stood in front of the IKEA in Bloomington, Minnesota today carrying protest signs, shouting “Palin hates Swedes” and proudly singing the Swedish National Anthem. Hilmar Lindquist, head of the Swedes For America group, has demanded an apology. Until Palin apologizes, Lindquist and several of his followers have begun a 40 day lingonberry-only fast.