Rashid Wallace is the best kind of enemy: he's batshit crazy, and so he yells at refs and gets kicked out of games. Oh, and he believes that there's some sort of Higher Power that brings order to the Basketball Universe. Much like Rerun believed in the power of Ralph, merely a head of lettuce to the rest of us, 'Sheed believes in Ball. "Ball don't lie", he says. Watch - when a player benefits from a shitty call and goes to the line, the ball will go CLANG off the rim, one, two, even three times. The natural balance of the game is restored. Ball don't lie.
I was at an event last night, a dinner benefitting the San Diego Council on Literacy. I played a small part in putting it together; I'm not a big fan of Causes, but words matter, and it was an honor to do something for a group that helps people who are struggling with them.
Writing turns on the lights. To read is to see.
These days, there is talk of a Year of The Dadblog. You won't hear me complaining about that. Years of work are beginning to show rewards of a different kind. (I won't apologize for that. If I'm "less pure" or a "sellout" for making some money from writing, I'll happily take my place with every other literary mercenary.) More than that, I'm proud that my other site and the guys who continue to WRITE for it are being recognized as such. WRITERS, not bloggers.
Why the all caps? To hammer home a point, one that my friend Ron slyly discusses in this excellent post. Quality matters. And when we speak of quality, we're really talking about one thing: good writing.
In basketball, without fundamentals, you have no game. Can't dribble? Can't pass? Can't shoot? Best stay away from Venice and The Cage, and don't even think about Staples or the Garden. The same is true of our particular arena.
And even if you do master the fundamentals - well, who ya got, MJ or Tim Duncan? Larry Bird or Adam Morrison? Here's the thing: I love to write. And when you love an Act - writing, surfing, sex, basketball - you take that Act and you make it a Dance, and you make that Dance your own. You're not content to do what the instructors or the manuals tell you. You go left instead of right. You do a finger-roll when everyone knows you're gonna dunk. You take off late when that wave is about to break over your head. You slow it down instead of speeding it up. What everyone else does is what you don't. That's what separates a writer from a blogger.
Can't spell? Don't know how to form sentences? Satisfied with rehashing the same stuff that's been said over and over and over again? Afraid to write the unexpected and the contrary, the obscure and the Flat-out Weird?
Ball don't lie.