Off the road, finally. Still not home yet, but I got to sit down this morning and think no Macrophenomenal thoughts. By the way, for all of you lamenting my long absence: You could try checking out the Sporting Blog. Not quite the same absurdist overtones, but I get my licks in, and I have been constantly churning out material there throughout this long, fun ordeal. Like today, you can find my reaction to that joint-popping Suns/Cats trade.
So many memories, so many faces, so many photos and media that we may or may not post up here in the future. Yes, KGB Radio night, I'm talking primarily about you. I've also watched hardly a game these last few weeks, so bear with me as I try and muster up a post to prove that yes, I still belong to you, you belong to me, and in heaven no one will tear us apart.
Of all the conversations I had multiple times on the road, none was more poignant, or tricky for me, than the Jordan Farmar one. Apparently, a lot of loyal FD readers, and semi-interested Jews, didn't realize Farmar was of the faith, or the people, or whatever the least PC nomenclature imaginable is these days. Now mark my words, I know the way things work, and have no interest in denying Farmar his full spectrum of cultural heritage. But—and this is more about our society than my own feelings—I don't think Farmar reads as Jewish, on at least two levels. For one, there's the Obama principle. Our real life FBP also happens to be half Heartland, and yet that other half is what defines him. Perhaps because of the context, Farmar is more likely to be recognized as "mixed" (which, of course, still ends up being primarily about black blood), but his Judaism is a technicality, or at least not readily apparent, even if he claims it quite regularly.
And that brings me to the second, really tacky, element of this analysis: Race and style. Once upon a time, the likes of Hank Greenberg and Sandy Koufax has to prove that Jews could outman (quite literally) their gentile brethren. Around the same time, in New York a generation of Chosen Kids were defining basketball as a sneaky, shifty urban game that played into all sorts of stereotypes. Sound familar? Farmar's game is squarely in that first category. He has ups, maneuvers with ease, and conveys a certain sense of equilibrium. Personally, I no longer feel the need to prove that Jews can be mighty and proficient in traditional ways. Perhaps it's the ghost of cultural stuidies, or the influence of Woody Allen on the paths of comets, but—and in some ways, this relates to what Kevin Pelton told me about the WNBA—I would want to see a player who played, well, Jew-y. In the same way that certain players are perceived as having a "blacker" style than others.
What would that game be? I'm not quite sure. I could trot out some stereotypes, but that wouldn't actually get to the heart of what I think is a very real discussion to be had. I've long been obsessed with other countries producing new strains of style; Spaniards like Rudy Fernandez, and established guys like Barbosa and Manu, are the proof of this. Has our own country become more fractured by identity politics than it has united by mass consumer culture?
This is where I would insert the video of the time several early FD operatives played a full-court game against a van full of Hasids in Maine. They thought I was a showboat, which apparently there's a word for in Yiddish. It's been lost forever, though, so instead I will open the floor, and ask if anyone knows whether Doug Moe is Jewish.
BONUS: Gordon Gartrelle with a close reading of the Vince/Obama tee.