Monday, November 16, 2009

It's quiet, too quiet

What is going on in Padre-land? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Say it again.

The GM meetings told Padre fans absolutely nothing about the future of the Pads. No local stories about them at all, no blurbs or off-the-cuffs from the front office at all. Not even one rumor, just a bunch of boy-the-BoSox-really-like-Adrian crap.

There was another puff piece on Mr Hoyer that tells us nothing new. Just a re-packaging of the old I'm afraid.

We do know there is a meeting with AG's agent coming this week, but odds are slim we get any insight as to what goes on. Not like we have hard-working, aggressive staff writers looking to get of the competition. There is no media competition in San Diego, and fewer Padre staff writers every day! Some one steal Mr Hoyer's magic binder that got him the job for crying out loud!

Sure, its only been three weeks, but the silence is deafening. We need some clues as to what the new regime is all about. What's the direction, what's the plan, what's the strategy? We need some leaked information, even if it's leaked just to fool us. Give us something dammit! Because most of all, we are hopelessly bored!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Death to the omniscient narrator!

In my novel, here is how Al, one of the main characters and narrator, describes himself:
I’m the storyteller. I will tell you that I’m not some omnipresent narrator
pretending to know the nuances and motivations of every single character in
every single instance of this story. I try to read minds, I infer, I theorize
for the sake of the story, I story tell, but alas, I am only human. I think it
would be philosophically irresponsible in today’s world, in this story in
particular, if I didn’t bring that up at the get go.

I am reading another story right now with the standard third-person omniscient narrator. I understand the literary and functional reasons for using such a narrator. It is easier to read from this point of view, and I assume it is probably easier to write this way as well. It is difficult to detail people's thoughts and motivations from any other perspective, because when you try, another person is involved and it muddles up the whole process. But that is the point! That is life!

There is a certain vanity to writing. In the act of creation, you are in total control of the world you are making. It's your world. You give existence to characters, you control entire worlds and what happens there within is completely up to you. I had to ask myself: Do I have a god complex? Do I fight this fight to give myself meaning? To make me, the writer, matter? Maybe. It's my world, my characters, and they do take on a life all their own. Al certainly is alive to me, I speak with him all of the time, in my head. He is one of the perspectives I have of the world, and anytime I view things from his slant, I feel he is the one talking through me. (No, I am not schizophrenic. Figuratively, not literally.)

As the story unfolds in your head in fits and jumps, you must then extract it from there effectively to display it to the real world. Along that journey, it's difficult to relent control of your world. It will always be your world, but once it's out there for everyone else, it changes. Such is the nature of art; it is a deeply personal experience for the artist, but as well for the audience, and you the artist cannot control everything about their experience.

With an omnipresent narrator, you are attempting to control that experience as much as possible. By listing every emotion, every motivation, you attempt to take away any other possibilities in order to keep control of your world. You are not only controlling the world you created, but how that world is interpreted by the masses. I feel that is not only an impossible goal, but an irresponsible goal as well.

There is no situation in life that lends itself to an omniscient narrator. You never know what is going on inside the person next to you, no matter how well you know them, you still don't know. You have to guess, you have to use your mind and work towards the various possibilities. But everyone sees things from their perspective, you cannot control that no matter how hard you try. And that is okay. Sure it can be messy without the all knowing, all seeing narrator guiding you, just as life can be messy without the all knowing, all seeing god to guide you. But that is okay as well. One thing many have forgotten since childhood, messy is fun!

If someone takes my story the wrong way, so it goes as Vonnegut would say. There will be interpretations that are inconceivable to me, possibilities I cannot imagine. I'm excited by that. Such is life. This unknown is not something to fear, but to enjoy.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Song of the day

I watched the movie Control last night (with no baseball on and limited attention span when it comes to any other sports, I tend to watch a lot of movies). I am a sucker for movies and documentaries about the late 70s music scene in England, both on the punk and post-punk sides of the fence. So, while flipping around last night trying to find something other than football to watch, I stumbled across this movie.

It is the story of Ian Curtis of Joy Division fame, that was enough to suck me in. I knew a little bit of the story and have been constantly surprised by how many Joy Division songs I recognized on the digital cable radio station I watch (when there is no baseball or movies to watch). Needless to say, I was totally engrossed and really enjoyed the movie despite the tremendous despair of the overall story. Turns out it is based on the book by his widow, which gives it more credence in my opinion.

One thing that bugged me was they give you a subtitle telling you it is 1973 in England in the beginning of the movie, but after that scene, you don't get any other dates nor are you told how old Ian was at that point. You just know he was school aged still. I guess if I knew the subject matter better, there are enough cultural references to play out the time line. But I don't, so it was difficult to tell how much time had played out. I was shocked at the end of the movie that he was only 23 when he died, it seemed like they were toiling in obscurity for longer than that. But that is a minor quibble, all in all a great movie.

Not really a song about Irrelevance, but the movie was very touching so I am making a song of the day post sans the Irrelevance tag line.

Love Will Tear Us Apart:
When routine bites hard,
And ambitions are low,
And resentment rides high,
But emotions won't grow,
And we're changing our ways,
Taking different roads.

Then love, love will tear us apart again.
Love, love will tear us apart again.

Why is the bedroom so cold?
You've turned away on your side.
Is my timing that flawed?
Our respect runs so dry.
Yet there's still this appeal
That we've kept through our lives.

But love, love will tear us apart again.
Love, love will tear us apart again.

You cry out in your sleep,
All my failings exposed.
And there's a taste in my mouth,
As desperation takes hold.
Just that something so good
Just can't function no more.

But love, love will tear us apart again.
Love, love will tear us apart again.
Love, love will tear us apart again.
Love, love will tear us apart again.

I am a big fan of artists that throw their whole lives at their art, and these poignant lyrics define the movie. What a song.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Goodbye to Edgar

The Padres out righted Edgar Gonzalez today. I was surprised.

I'm not surprised because spots on the 40-man roster are pretty important at this time of the year, not only to hide guys from the rule 5 draft, but also to have spots if you want to draft anyone in it as well. And you don't spend roster spots on defensively challenged back up infielders with average batting skills. You just don't. Especially if you have two of virtually the same guy, Edgar and Oscar. Oscar definitely hit better down the stretch, and they better believe he has a plus bat or is the better defensive player, otherwise his roster spot should be in jeopardy as well! (I was also surprised that Edgar is younger than Oscar, sure, just 14 days, but I assumed Oscar was much younger. Not sure why I assumed that.)

No, the reason I am surprised is just last week they talked about locking Adrian up long term. If you want to lock up Adrian long term at a discount, maybe you carry his brother on the roster for awhile to suck him in to the playing at home meme. Don't you want to play in your home town, with your brother? Who wouldn't?

When you cut his brother, right as contract talks start, you immediately remind him that this is a business. If it's a business, then the home town discount flies right out the window!

Of course, they could also be sending him a message that this is a business, and he'd better choose wisely because he can be shipped out just as easily! Not sure if I'd want to use that message, but it's a possibility.

Or, going even further in reading into this transaction, they have already discussed numbers with AG's camp, and they are so far removed from common ground that the idea of signing him is no longer even possible. Might as well dump Edgar if that's the situation, they need the roster spot for the 4 for 1 trade of Adrian!

(Welcome to the off season, where stuff like this is bounced around a hundred times in a hundred ways, because there is literally nothing else to do!)

Congrats to the Yankees

Sure, I wanted the Phillies to win. I at least wanted an extra game for this season. But I'm happy for the Yankees. It's been a long time since they last won, and the stigma of the evil empire wore off quite a few years ago when the Red Sox came back to beat them after being down 3-0. Lately, they've just been the teams that throws money at everyone and loses in the playoffs. Any teams that spends $1,578,300,000, the Yankee's salaries for 2001-2009, deserves a championship. (Or rather, any team that spends $1.6 billion dollars is bound to win a championship eventually.)

But I'm happy for George Steinbrenner, who seems to be on his last legs. Love him or hate him, in retrospect he was totally entertaining, and that is a big plus in my book.

I'm happy for A-Rod, for all the abuse he takes, he certainly deserves one title.

I'm happy for Brian Cashman, who seems like a good guy and maybe now everyone will leave him alone and let him run the team like he should have been doing the whole time.

I'm even happy for the obnoxious Yankee fans who finally got what they always feel they are entitled to.

But they better not win again next year, or start another run like the late 90s. I will let them have one, but if they start dominating again, I'll happily go back to hating the evil empire!

And now onto the off season! Come on Padres, make some noise!
The Out Campaign: Scarlet Letter of Atheism