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.
#1 by Guillermo Verano on February 20, 2011 - 12:29 AM
You said Pujols and Yankees in the same sentence, which makes me not like you as much as I did before you did that.
#2 by Keith Spillett on February 20, 2011 - 12:44 AM
See what I did there?
#3 by Phil Dai on February 20, 2011 - 2:22 AM
Miss you.I like you write often here.Though I always don’t very understand all.
#4 by Phil Dai on February 20, 2011 - 2:23 AM
Will come to visit your blog if free:).
#5 by Keith Spillett on February 21, 2011 - 4:30 AM
It must be quite bizarre to be in China and read some rambling, insane blog post about American basketball players traveling between dimensions!
#6 by 47whitebuffalo on February 24, 2011 - 3:16 PM
What’s weird is that I can totally relate to this state of mind. LOL. Merci.
#7 by Keith Spillett on February 24, 2011 - 4:53 PM
It’s amazing the weird twists and turns that the human mind can experience when given to pieces of conflicting information. I am spending more and more of my life in mental shutdown mode. It’s a highly enjoyable state, but I probably shouldn’t drive in it.
#8 by John Erickson on May 23, 2011 - 12:11 PM
Sorry to be “late to the party” on this one. You have to see the movie “The One”, with Jet Li. All will be explained as to how the Nets could both meet with AND ignore Carmelo Anthony. And no matter what travails assault you, always remember – “Reality is a crutch for those who cannot handle science-fiction”. 😉
#9 by Fried Chicken And Metal on August 26, 2014 - 10:42 AM
This riddle has a simple answer. Retrospect tells us that the trade never happened. We also know that every team Carmelo goes to gets a 25 PPG scorer. We also know that those teams lose 25 points in their winning percentages. Carmelo met the Nets as a member of the Knicks. They ignored him by leaving him unguarded on the floor. Yea, though Carmelo scored 57 points, the Nets won the game by 20. Paradox dissolved.
#10 by Keith Spillett on August 27, 2014 - 10:50 AM
You have just messed my meditation up for the next 3 months. This Melo thing nearly got me to enlightenment level!