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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Send In the Clowns

It wasn't that long ago that I rationalized to myself that the clown car the Jets were driving down the street would do just fine in the race for the playoffs. Say what you will. A clown car is still a car, and it runs, however unsteadily.

But then we know about clowns. No one really thinks clowns are funny, and nobody likes a sad clown. Angry clowns can be funny, but they're not meant to be. I don't even know what an angry clown is for, except to populate our persistent nightmares. No, nobody has much use for clowns, and when they do their pratfalls and spills, the only people laughing are little children, and that's because little children will laugh at other people's misfortunes. They don't know any better just yet. When I see a clown at a mall or at some kid's birthday party, I turn the other way. What was I thinking, getting into a clown car?

Like a grown child, I could take refuge in the baleful, excruciatingly sarcastic laughter that Mark Sanchez has provided for all of us. But then that's like laughing at your own inept kid messing up again and again on the local soccer field. It's really like laughing at yourself, and as a Jets fan, I've done that all of my life. I've always said that their persistent, remarkable gift for ruining their own success has blessed me with a keen sense for life's absurdities, its empty promises, and delusions. It's enabled me to enjoy the plays of Samuel Beckett. It's made me a natural skeptic. So I'm never quite disappointed.

***

I've been away, but I've been checking in on the blog occasionally, too, half expecting someone else to fill the empty space. Instead, to my absolute freaking delight, I see that a Chinese black market for UGGS has been filling my comments with passionate, incoherent hyperbole. I spend too much time focusing on the diction and syntax of spam comments, but when it comes to ineptitude in English translation nobody beats our capitalist neighbors in Asia. I love the English language like I love the Jets, but if it's going to be fumbled, let it be done artfully and creatively, like Sanchez colliding with his own lineman:

If you normally use official dress in, then you would most possibly be known as a respectable and graceful individual, though trendy garments show that you are contemporary and present-day. Apart from this, the pick of the sneakers is also very necessary in recognizing individuality of a individual. From time to time, you may acquire the sneakers which appear quite neat, but are not at ease when you place on people. Therefore the assortment of footwear should be finished with ultra treatment. Branded and standard company wears will not only improve your exhibit, but also will present you with ease and comfort and rest.

Blogging is screaming into the wind, or screaming at the top of your lungs over a thunderously dissonant wind. It's a pointless exercise, except in what it reveals to you (the only certifiable audience) about yourself. But if you don't fill the space, it's nice to know that someone speaking errantly into the howling wind will be happy to pick up the slack.

***

This has been a bad year for professional football. There is a suicidal haze falling over the game. With every week, the league tries to move beyond the wreckage that the game brings to the lives of its players. And then something like what happened in Kansas City to Javon Belcher, his girlfriend and their families occurs, and you cannot help but feel that this bleeding is a natural manifestation of the game that we all traded baseball for as our favorite so very long ago. The game and the country are oddly suited now. Fiercely devoted to guns, millennial religion, apocalyptic storytelling, Americans naturally view the notion of a "fiscal cliff" as an acceptable reality. We may be the first post-industrialized nation with an undiagnosed existential problem, a national death wish. And it has been a season of death.

If an amendment to our nation's constitution is interpreted such that the ownership of a weapon that obliterated a classroom of children can be regarded as a fundamental right, then perhaps our country really is experiencing an existential crisis. Football seems oddly suited to this. If the very element of brute force that makes the game what it is also makes it unappealing to play, then football too is experiencing a similar crisis.

Maybe football doesn't make any personal sense to me at the moment. For the first time in a long time the Jets' ineptitude does not coincide with any personal miseries. I started a new and better job in September, and that's where all my energy has gone. And it's been quite wonderful. It's been a refreshing change that I desperately needed, and while the Jets have been managing to find ways to make us all so miserable, I've been a little self-content with life in a way that doesn't feel like a delusion. It's played havoc with my writing, obviously. I get up at 5:30 am, I go to work, teach for the morning and afternoon, work on grading through the rest of the day, go home, walk the dog, make dinner, stare at the TV with my wife, and go to bed. I don't write, which doesn't seem to bother much of anyone, certainly not a bunch of black marketeers in Shanghai.

*

I'll be back this or next week, if anyone's still there. The numbers will continue. They always do. Now that the Jets have forcibly removed themselves from contention, we can all breathe a familiar sigh of relief, presenting us, as UGGS promised, with ease and comfort and rest. So send in the clowns. Wait. Don't bother. They're here.

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