Other Ten Percent 6/12/14

Jun 12 2014

I was going to keep writing about things that were driving me insane but I dunno, Hawaii kinda drained the indiscriminate rage right out of me until today’s post about the absolutely batshit political nature of SF became a much more positive post about how we really can dedicate ourselves to fixing the world and get that done through organized action became me feeling too chill to even write that up right now because I just generally felt like people are doing good things and life isn’t going so bad. So, instead of any of that I’m going to talk today about one of my favorite topics when I’m in a good mood: the impossibility of communication and how it isn’t really impossible and how we’re getting a handle on this you guys. Things are going to be O.K.

And as usual I’m going to do it about something stupid. Talking about sports to people, like me, who do not particularly care about sports. I think I have talked before about the Sklar brothers. Twin comedians who are comedy nerds AND sports nerds. When I had her watch their new comedy special (free on Netflix!) with me Nikki described them as “a living podcast.” This is entirely accurate. They are just a big bundle of overlapping dialogue and enthusiasm for the things they love which happens to include sports. I was first exposed to the enthusiasm with which they try to convert general nerds into sports nerds in a podcast they did with Patton Oswalt where they got him to go from sports hating nerd to enthusiastically curious about all sports by defining nerd-dom as this kind of indiscriminate firehose of liking shit obsessively that you can point at pretty much anything. While I immediately latched onto and agreed with that definition sports are still something I could give a shit about.

I don’t say this with pride like I would have when I was 15, it’s just a simple fact about my life. And it’s one that more and more seems like a basic human failing because Oh My God sports nerds have the greatest outreach programs on the face of the earth. Because not only do they desperately want you to join them in their enjoyment of sports they are willing to speak any language, and by that I mean both actual spoken languages and specific subsets of vocabulary, it takes for you to know how to enjoy sports.

In a week where I was really dead set on explaining how awful nerds were I kept being bombarded by really friendly, informative articles from sports nerds about the minutia of sports that let you quickly and easily enjoy sports on a level you never have before. Here’s a bunch of words on positioning in Basketball. All this time I have been watching the ball and was bored out of my mind. All this time I have been watching basketball wrong. It’s like the strategic formations of football sped up 5000%. Why did nobody tell me?

Do you really want to hate the World Cup because soccer is boring and nobody will shut up about it? TOO BAD. Here’s Soccer explained in the language of basically any other major sport you might have a passing interest in and with remarkable brevity. I’m not going to lie, it works a lot better if you don’t hate all sports, but just from the minor knowledge of Football they implanted in me at the hospital in Texas where I was born I was able to learn a shit ton about formations in soccer I never knew. So now you’re stuck being able to enjoy the World Cup

Though if you really REALLY want to hate the World Cup here’s John Oliver doing a 10 minute rant on how FIFA is an unbelievably immoral organization that should be wiped from existence and is genuinely, no kidding, evil enough that you can just fly into an indignant rage anytime somebody mentions soccer and go DO YOU KNOW WHAT FIFA HAS DONE? Don’t do that though. Nobody will like you. Not even people who know what FIFA has done.

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