Friday Didn't Happen
You know Twitter has #FF, when no one says anything, or responds to anything, and the whole thing turns into an open-air bazaar for absolutely nothing? In honor of that, I'm doing a quick post here that's similarly pointless.
First, up top, an absolutely amazing drawing of Artis Gilmore from an old SI that, were this several years ago, we would be trying to put on a t-shirt. Now, I think the most we can do is put it up here and wave our arms some. Unless The Vault, which rules, wants to partner with us to do a series of old illo tees curated by us. Just a thought.
Last basketball: Very soon, I'm dropping a really long Gilbert Arenas piece over at The Baseline that I swear you will all love. Stay tuned.
Maybe you noticed that the store ads disappeared (for now) and ye olde Amazon widget moved up. I've decided to get back in the swing of that, partly for the added revenue stream, but in large part because I like writing blurbs about non-sports stuff. Up there now: Cooperstown Confidential, a Bloomsbury book that's less about scandal-mongering and more turning it's grotesquely, indiscriminantly mythic—and totally supra-American—past into something more believable. I think it saves history, while creating a bridge between those days and the imperfect present. I hope we manage that in the new book. Steven Johnson's The Ghost Map had me talking about cholera and shit to anyone who would listen in the week before my wedding, but is really worth it for the finale, where he smushes together the last sentence of every magazine feature he's ever written about civilization, evolution, terrorism, health, and the value of cities.
The Damned Don't Cry is one of those rare movies where Joan Crawford is both scary and hot, as well as a genre pic with layers, or maybe two genres at once. This coming from someone who watches at least one forgettable noir joint a week. I still don't get why there's a song on Africa Brass with the same name, and would prefer to not look it up. The Big O is well past my cut-off year for basketball memoirs, but Robertson's an intensely private man who decided to open up here, and as with his game and personality, you can feel the anger simmering just beneath the stately (okay, sometimes staid) prose. They Cleared the Lane is not only the single best book about race in the early NBA, but also, in its eye for detail, gives you some invaluable info and understanding of that era in general. Breaks my heart that this isn't more widely-read.
Finally, Heaven and Earth's I Can't Seem to Forget About You. Buying this import new is expensive, but there are cheaper used copies up there. The kind of sweet soul so haunting, and uneasy, it borders on scary. Oddly, "Let Me Back In" might be the song I most associate with my wedding weekend.
UPDATE: New column on Arenas now up and running.