Just a Bunch of Josh Howard Talkin'
I suppose I could see the Josh Howard video (you know the one) as an Artest-like, "enough is enough" moment for me as a advocate. Like you can only defend, or love, or deny, so much when you're not bound to someone by blood or marriage—or hell, even know him at all.
Then I got going with the whole "like I actually give a fuck" thing, the same emotion I felt when, behind the scenes, bloggers were debating the validity—and worth in posting—the supposed Beasley/Chalmers photo. The court of public opinion is of interest to me, but insofar as I'm first and foremost someone who enjoys the league, Beasley puffing or Howard not being a patriot just wouldn't bother me that much.
But then I started to think it through: There's the question of context. Howard is definitely emotional about his politics, and a lot smarter than his rashness sometimes lets on. Everything in digital form eventually finds its way onto the web. And Obama's name is in there, which pretty much requires someone step in and untangle the web of meaning. If there's one thing I've learned from this political season, it's that you can never assume, or expect, too little.
So here are the official FreeDarko Talking Points on the Latest Josh Howard Matter:
-There was humor to it. It was uttered in front of a video camera before a flag football game, in a mood best described as "goofy"
-I am not suprised that some African-Americans have some animosity toward the United States of America. Are you?
-Millions of dollars doesn't change certain feelings, at least in people who cared deeply about them beforehand. If Howard had been angry, and wasn't now, we'd call him a sell-out.
-There are some things that you say among your own, that you wouldn't necessarily say in mixed, or more formal, company. Are we all non-stop liars and deceivers, hiding our true selves and living under frost?
-No shit Obama's support in the black community benefits from widespread frustration therein. Rage, even. That doesn't mean, though, that Obama himself is made of black rage. That's what we call a syllogism, and it's faulty.
-Yes, for athletes and celebrities there's no such thing as private anymore. Everything in a digital format will eventually find its way onto the interwebs. Josh Howard forgot that, and it's only going to add to his woes.
-But it's not like other athletes don't say, or feel things like this. And while you can say that they should keep it to themselves, and leave it out of the workplace, is the problem Howard's mouth or his attitudes?
-So ridicule Howard if you will, or praise him. Call him a buffoon, a throwback, or an inadvertent combination of the two. It's up to you whether this is an embarrassing gaffe or a damning utterance, a gotcha moment or some loaded shit-talking. All I know is that, if this surprises you at all, you don't know much about this country. Or about Josh Howard's inability to reconcile straight talk and public relations.
-Howard needs to sit down with Barkley. If Barkley would even be possible these days. Maybe John Thompson, for this more subtle age.
-Bottom line: Josh Howard is that player who speaks up. If you bitch about the post-MJ blandness of LeBron and, more recently, Melo, then stand up and think about this situation all its sloppy, inflammatory imperfection.