[And now, if the reader will permit a brief interruption in my latest blog series, let’s take a quick, surreal walk on the slightly weird (if not totally wild) side. This one goes out to CJ, Carl & Frank, and sports enthusiasts everywhere (“Crikey, Frank, didja’ see that? His hook shot missed the net, the hoop, and the entire bleepin’ backboard!” --- “That’s exactly right, Carl...”).]
Last night I had a dream in which I helped save the world with basketball (I’ll allow you a moment to roll your eyes). And, yes, it was really STUPID.
In my dream, I posted a heartrending blog in which I confessed my patently unrealizable fantasy of attending a weeklong Basketball & Politics Fantasy Camp with a lot of famous people — so we could all, you know, save the world together (surely, I’m not the only one with this fantasy).
In my dream-blog, I brazenly listed the names of the individuals I hoped would attend camp with me:
1) A-List’ers: I wrote that among the other campers would be powerful political figures and world leaders, including President Obama, Bill Gates, David Koch, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, Hillary Clinton, Wen Jiabao, Warren Buffet, at least one Wal-Mart scion, George W. Bush… and maybe Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker (though Bush would be mostly checked-out after Day 1, and Walker, I’m pretty sure, would cheat, throwing some elbows for a few bucks from Koch). In my dream-blog, I wrote that I would take “full advantage” of my opportunities to assail these folks with some REALITY while goodnaturedly shooting some hoops, enjoying group-prepared meals, and eventually working toward SOLUTIONS (since there are so many perfectly viable solutions — to major crises, mind you — just lying on the shelf, untouched: see Keynesianism, single-payer healthcare, and sustainable energy, for starters).
2) Progressives: Also on the Basketball & Politics Fantasy Camp roster would be certain luminaries of the Progressive Brain Trust (PBT), the geniuses and hardworking journalists who taught me about the world in which I live. These are the rock-solid SUPERSTARS whose names should be household words in America — but whose names, conspicuously, are not (truly our best, brightest, and most overlooked). With their great big brains and extensive knowledge, the PBT could back me up, making their own arguments (better than I can), and hopefully sinking a free throw or two. Some likely candidates would include: Noam Chomsky, Glenn Greenwald, Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez, Ralph Nader, Bill Moyers, Jane Mayer, Matt Taibbi, Norm Finkelstein, Chris Hedges, Michael Hudson, Paul Krugman, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Antonia Juhasz, Bill McKibben, Michelle Alexander, Lawrence Lessig, Mahmood Mamdani, John Perkins, Randall Robinson, and Naomi Klein (with her indispensable The Shock Doctrine and unstoppable fadeaway).
3) Celebs: Rounding out the list of attendees are some folks I’d just want to be there — MSM gatekeepers and a few celebrities — Establishment Liberals (ELs) and people whose public personas I just plain like and whose work I respect (with some qualifications): Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, Rachel Maddow, Arianna Huffington, Spike Lee, Janeane Garofalo, Sarah Silverman, Quentin Tarantino, Garfield and Oates, George Lucas, Lawrence Fishburne, Frank Miller, Clint Eastwood… Sure, some of them would be all over the place, at least initially — politically, I mean (I’m not talking about Tarantino’s traveling or Stewart’s double-dribble) — but they would soon find themselves wholly persuaded by yours truly and the Progressive Brain Trust. By the end of the week, all the “MSM gatekeepers” in the group would find themselves musing aloud about the GENIUSES they had so consistently marginalized over the years — representing a great loss to generations of Americans (and decades of failed policies).
…It’s a dream, obviously, so IT ALL HAPPENS. In response to my blog, the potentates, pundits, celebrities, and progressive superstars all show up at camp. It’s arranged clandestinely, so the press won’t be breathing down our backs and the NSA won’t be recording and storing our every syllable, sneaker-squeak, and fart. Everyone can just have fun, relax, and be themselves. With regard to the basketball, we all have an awesome time. The teams aren’t divided into any kind of factions (political or otherwise), and the composition of the teams is always changing anyway, with new teammates and adversaries all the time. It’s a friendly game: everyone gets a chance to play, and there’s a lot of patience and generosity (while never losing sight of the competitive spirit of the thing).
And in the end, the whole week goes phenomenally well: I’m blocking shots, rebounding, sinking threes — and we’re all insisting on reality-based premises, civility and warmth, facts and fair debate (on and off the court). In no time at all, we campers are no longer talking past each other, but working cooperatively and confidently toward real solutions.
What a vision! Together, I and my fellow Basketball & Politics Fantasy Camp attendees “save the world.” Sweeeeeet.
* * *
Okay, it’s a bunch of hooey, but I thought I’d share my “March madness” with you. Now that we’re all awake again, we can accept the fact that, in reality, America’s secret 21st-century overlord, Dick “Dark Side” Cheney, would crash any such fantasy camp and end up scuttling the whole enterprise. I can see it all now: Cheney and his goons (Rummy, Addington, Libby, and Yoo) running around shooting everybody in the face. Oh, they’d call it a “hunting accident” or something similarly innocuous, but it’s not as if the MSM or Congress would investigate much, in any case.
Please note that I’m not suggesting in earnest that the incident wherein Cheney actually shot his lawyer friend in the face was anything other than a genuine accident; IT WAS JUST A JOKE — like the rule of law in America today. Speaking of which, it’s also feasible that “Dark Side” would simply have the whole Fantasy Camp taken out with a Hellfire Missile. (Our current Attorney General, Mr. Holder, apparently agrees with the former VP that the Executive Branch may “legally” kill anyone-anywhere, without a hint of due process — no need to file charges, no checking with the Constitution, just BLAMMO! How’s that for bipartisan agreement?)
Well, that fantasy sure came to an abrupt halt, didn’t it? Alrighty, then. I’m gonna’ go shoot some hoops…