Wednesday, March 16, 2011

DeLillo Prophecy #1- Japan

White Noise, pg 66-67, published in 1984

"Japan is pretty good for disaster footage," Alphonse said. "India remains largely untapped. They have tremendous potential with their famines, monsoons, religious strife, train wrecks, boat-sinkings, et cetera. But their disasters tend to go unrecorded. Three lines in a newspaper. No film footage, no satellite hookup. This is why California is so important. We not only enjoy seeing them punished for their relaxed lifestyle and progressive social ideas but we know we're not missing anything. The cameras are right there. They're standing by. Nothing terrible escapes their scrutiny."

"You're saying it's more or less universal, to be fascinated by TV disasters."

"For most people there are only two places in the world. Where they live and their TV set. If a thing happens on television, we have every right to find it fascinating, whatever it is."

"I don't know whether to feel good or bad about learning that my experience is widely shared."

"Feel bad," he said.

"It's obvious," Lasher said. "We all feel bad. But we can enjoy it on that level."

It should also be noted that the Bhopal chemical disaster in India (leading to the deaths of over 10,000) took place months after the novel's publication.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Chicks and Sticks Do Mix

I've been frothing for this year's ASP tour to get going. Dane and Jordy are coming into their own. Parko is due for a world title, and there's always the Kelly X-factor. The waves at the Quicksilver Pro Snapper Rocks event have gotten off to a disappointing start. Six lay days in a row before Round 2 finally started up on Saturday. Round 3 kicked off yesterday and I was waiting all day for the fifteen hour time lapse with the Gold Coast. The morning heats started yesterday evening EST; however, they kicked off the day of competition with the women. Typically, I wouldn't bother watching. I know how pathetic that sounds. My wife is a feminist who has taught women studies at the university level. I consider myself a feminist, which is to say I believe that all women should have the same rights and opportunities as all men. That said, I've never watched a single heat of women's surfing.

My past reasoning? I never found the performances exciting enough. I am just being honest here. Taking nothing away from Frieda Zamba, Wendy Botha, or even Lisa Anderson, women's surfing from the late '80s to late '90s never did it for me. In some male chauvinist way I always felt like they could barely if at all surf better than me and that was/still is somehow the measurement of whether or not a human being (especially a man) will sit and watch another person perform an athletic activity, or perhaps any activity for that matter. So there you have it: sports entertainment is a consequence of male ego and gender hierarchy.

I no longer believe or practice this. After the last few months royally sucking for waves, I was so hungry for surf that I decided to watch the women's rounds of the Roxy Pro because I just wanted to at least watch anyone, someone ride good waves. So I gave women's surfing a chance by default last night, and was incidentally blown away but what I saw. Women surf way better than me now. Way better than any male surfer in New England, probably even New York and New Jersey. Carissa Moore is freakishly good like Slater. Sixteen year-old Tyler Wright surfs like Occy. Coco Ho is mind-blowing as well. I was thoroughly put in my place watching these women. I am a fan. From here on, I will be watching each event with the same enthusiasm as I do the men's tour.

Checkout the progressive hack Carissa Moore pulls in this clip at 1:40. I have never seen any male in New England perform a turn like that and to back it up I'll give anyone fifty bucks if they can provide a video proving otherwise, but either way, I plan on watching women's surfing from here on out.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Mr. Mouth Eats a Wade Boggs Dribbler

My winning Literary Death Match story has been posted up on Thought Catalog.