08
Feb
09

Post-modern morality and the death the American pass-time

The gods of baseball are dead. And steroids killed them.

The gods of baseball are dead. And steroids killed them.

Alex Rodriguez has put baseball out of its misery. Reports state that he too, despite his numerous denials, tested positive for illegal, performance enhancing drugs back in 2003.

 To the post-modern man, God is dead, and so it seems is everything pure and innocent.

The post-modern novel is characterized by cynicism. Authors such as Thomas Pynchon and Don Delillo made us feel cliche’ were we to say–were we to think–such trite things as: aren’t the flowers lovely? that rainbow is wonderful; there’s no place like home…

In a Pynchonian landscape, the home would have been infested with bleak parents snorting cocaine from the kitchen table, while lil Johnny joined a cult to make up for  lack of attention.

I look now at baseball. Anything I could say about it in connection with my childhood would make Pynchon and Dellilo appear to be correct in their beliefs. The great game is now nothing but a stew of anabolics and guiltless frauds. It’s a very readable Gravity’s Rainbow.

The opening line of Pynchon’s,  Gravity’s Rainbow: A screaming comes across the sky.

I’ve only ever managed to make it a couple of chapters past that opening line, but to continue the baseball parallel, that screaming used to be a line-drive hit by Paul Molitor or Wade Boggs. Now though, it’s a titanic homerun hit inside a baseball stadium the size of a phone booth. The batter’s arms are jacked with steroid analogs, like some cyber-assasin from Neuromancer.

Post-modernism has killed the last of the ideals. In fact, it has proved itself to be too true. As American culture and romanticism shreds, we stare blankly at our TV screens and watch as wars rage in distant lands. Death no longer surprises us. Hope itself is passe’. When the camera pans the seats at a baseball game, we see the smiling faces of children as they munch popcorn, hoping to see a hero do his thing. But then, we shake our heads and sigh. We hold back, except to ourselves, that there are no heroes. Seems we’ve given up. Seems the cynics were right.

Goodbye, baseball. Goodbye sunshine and hotdogs. So long, worn leather mit and Louisville Slugger. You were all the Man Behind the Curtain, and now America is paying you no attention.

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4 Responses to “Post-modern morality and the death the American pass-time”


  1. 1 Mark Kohut
    February 8, 2009 at 6:33 pm

    The ‘Gravity’s Rainbow’ line is “A screaming comes across the sky”….and Pynchon, at least, goes way beyond cynicism.

  2. February 9, 2009 at 9:40 am

    typo…it’s fixed…

  3. 3 kernunos
    February 13, 2009 at 11:08 pm

    Totally disgraceful. Serious money can bring on serious cheating. I really do not think these guys are punished badly enough.

  4. February 14, 2009 at 9:23 am

    I believe in full-spectrum punishment: Take money–lots of it. Take away thier playing time via suspension and take away any records that’ll immortalize them. Sorry–you broke our trust and we can’t tell when you were cheating but we know you were. I heard that Bud Selig may reinstate Hank Aaron as the homerun king because Bonds is a cheat and a liar–a fraud and a complete ass**** for destroying the game I loved as a kid. And yes–steroids destroyed the game. It took away the innocence and the fun and the fairness.


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