Thursday, July 15, 2010

In which people are still people, for better or for worse . . .

It is absolutely Amazing - capital-A "Amazing," and not the banal offhand throw-away lower-case "amazing" tossed off by teenagers and people with nothing to say - Amazing the lengths to which guys will go to cheat at something like slow-pitch softball.

OK - the phenomenon isn't unique to weekend warriors on the softball fields. Guys (and girls) will cheat at literally anything, whether or not there is a tangible reward for success at the end. I'm pretty sure everyone knows this - but still, each and every example shocks me even further, each and every time.

I recently sold a relatively-rare bat online - one whose rarity and desirability are almost entirely driven by teenage girls who use it for high school and AAU/travel ball. This means the high price is actually driven by . . . dad, the guy who requires this specific rare bat to get His Dear Daughter (which is terminology actually used - kill me) the base hits and bombs needed to get a non-scholarship to a third-tier D-1 program. A used, 3-year-old bat goes for more than MSRP when it was new, simply because the belief exists that this bat is magic - this bat will put the individual over the top.

Sure, I'm an asshole for exploiting that system for my own profit (give or take 300% profit, if we practice full disclosure) - but the real inanity came in the offers I received for it. Multiple people offered me "shaved" or otherwise altered bats - bats for beer-league slow pitch that have had material removed from the inside to attempt to illegally increase performance. The smallest-midget theory is now being ass-raped by Godwin's law, resulting in this surreal place where guys will cheat to win a t-shirt.

My lovely girlfriend played in an all-woman's tournament last weekend. There, one of her teammates had an illegal bat tagged by the poor schlub of a woman working the registration desk. She knew the bat wasn't approved for play. She smiled and attempted to hit it - and eventually stopped not out of fear of being caught and being sanctioned, but instead because the swing weight was too heavy.

Sure, I'm cherry-picking from softball - 12 year old kids exploit map hacks and glitches to run up retarded scores in Modern Warfare 2 on the Playstation, and I can't tell you how many cockfaced teens have quit online games of Madden on me simply because I won. It's part of human nature, sadly - but these events, all in succession, really drive home just how ridiculous people can be. Amazing. Big A.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Q2 Music: In Which Big Boi Makes the Cut Because I Said So

Tracks (download link) -

Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti - "Round and Round"
Janelle Monae - "Round and Round (ft. Big Boi)"
Crystal Castles - "Baptism"
Flying Lotus - "Do the Astral Plane"
Against Me! - "White Crosses"
Nada Surf - "Love and Anger"
Uffie - "ADD SUV (Armand Van Helden vocal mix)"
Reflection Eternal - "Just Begun (ft. Mos Def and Jay Electronica)"
Juvenile - "Drop That Thing"
Caribou - "Odessa"
Sleigh Bells - "Tell 'em"
Kanyeeeezeee - "Power"
Big Boi - "Daddy Fat Stax"
The National - "Lemonworld"
Jay Electronica - "Exhibit C"
The-Dream - "Yamaha"
Wolf Parade - "Ghost Pressure"
LCD Soundsystem - "I Can Change"
Delorean - "Simple Graces"
Japandroids - "Younger Us"
Sage Francis - "The Best of Times"

Albums That Kept Me Awake and Sweating on Various Airport Tarmacs:
Big Boi - Sir Lucious Left Foot: the Son of Chico Dusty (HOLY BALLS)
Sleigh Bells - Treats
Delorean - Subiza
Against Me! - White Crosses
Crystal Castles - (self-titled)
The National - High Violet
Reflection Eternal - Revolutions Per Minute

Those Which Require More Time But Get A Prospective Thumbs Up:
Eminem - Recovery
Guilty Simpson - OJ Simpson
Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti - Before Today
ceo - white magic
Javelin - No Mas
Murs & 9th Wonder - Fornever