Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Liberations of Age

I take walks for exercise, and have become fond of listening to podcasts. I downloaded the free samples from the Great Courses and have my eye on a few of the longer courses. I listen to basketball and football analysis, and sometimes general sports shows.  This is always humorous, as I don't have TV and never watch games. Nor can I bear to listen to games for extended periods of time on the radio. I see clips and highlights, and read the box scores and analysis afterward. I can speak knowledgeably nonetheless, mostly because others are knuckleheads and many things are obvious.

You're waiting for the liberations part, I know. I'm telling a Grandpa Simpson story.  Happening more these days. 

However, I have never been able to keep up with actual knowledgeable people, such as my second son, because of the lack of uh, seeing any games. It's a bit of a limitation. Because of podcasts and long walks in semi-retirement, however, I now get lots more analysis and am even better. Because thinking statistically is second nature, I now know more than an even greater percentage of fans. And I still couldn't tell most players apart in a lineup. Skill is fun, and I am enjoying going into the playoffs with some reasonable idea what to look for. Er, listen for. Ummm, imagine when I am reading box scores and looking at 10 second highlights while the game is in progress. You get the idea.

Where was I?

It adds to the pleasure. For those who like this sort of thing, I recommend Zach Lowe and Doug Gottlieb for basketball; Bill Barnwell and John Middlekauff (sorta) for football; The Ringer is best and worst for general sports, choose carefully. I downloaded a podcast by Adrian Wojnarowski, a knowledgeable person and an inside scoop sort of reporter.  Should be fun. Oh, and he's interviewing coach Dwayne Casey of the Raptors, a smart guy. I shall add to my store of knowledge. 

He starts off asking Casey about living in Canada, which doesn't have school shootings because of gun control, and what does he tell his kids...what does he think about what's happening in the US...

Whatever basketball knowledge they may have is not worth it to me.  I can turn it off. I listen for my pleasure, and I just don't have to. Ahh. I have always been free to turn it off, and have done so most of my life.  Yet it's easier every year. It's not just that Woj is wrong, not having done the simple arithmetic of noticing that Canada has about 10% the population of the US, nor that he is arrogant, believing that such an important topic means that now more than ever sports people need to share their wisdom with us. He's being an ass, and however much he might teach me about basketball - even if he were the bestest of the best - I don't have to listen.

Easier every year.


Unknown said...

I hadn't really thought about it in years until after the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting when one of my work colleagues linked on facebook to someone saying "Canada doesn't have school shootings because of gun control".

That caused a flashback the fear and worry I had during the Concordia University massacre, knowing that one of my housemates was in that building at Concordia. It was such a relief when he got home and was fine.

There were two nice ladies in my church bible study who worked at Dawson college; one as a teacher and one as staff, both were there when the shooting happened at that cégep, fortunately they were uninjured.

I've a friend who was a student at Pius X high school when that shooting happened, and two members of our social circle were studying at the École Polytechnique when the massacre happened there.

I know it is ignorance that makes people repeat such easily-checked falsehoods, but the emotion I feel when I read/hear it is affront, and I'm really glad no-one has said "Canada doesn't have school shootings" in my physical presence, as I fear I'd make a physical response.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Wow. With those stories on board, I would be quite an embarrassment* at social gatherings when someone made a "no school shootings in Canada" statement. They wouldn't say it twice.

*More than usual, I mean.

RichardJohnson said...

I need to walk to get some exercise in and to keep my weight down, but find the suburban setting of my walks rather boring. Perhaps I should look into setting up podcasts or books to listen to during my walks.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

I resisted, perhaps because music or live radio on headphones did not work out for me in the past. What pushed me over on sports was the deterioration of sports radio - my son assured me that this is because the talent has all moved to podcasts, so it wasn't a matter of simply waiting until they got a different mix of hosts.

GraniteDad said...

What I like about podcasts is that if they get on a topic I don’t like, it’s very easy to skip ahead until they get back on to something that I’m interested in. Your mileage may vary.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

@ Granite Dad - way too much work. I might go ahead five minutes and he's still being an ass. Or after settling in to a proper topic, he might veer back into being an ass on another subject. No second chances without a recommendation.

james said...

"I don't reckon them times will ever come again. There never was a more bullier old ram than what he was. Grandfather fetched him from Illinois--"

I find that I can't have ear buds in for any substantial length of time before my ears start hurting. Over-ears work, provided the volume is kept way low--which limits where I can use them. Not on airplanes, not on a bus, not with conversation around, not with green eggs and ham...