Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Antonioni, Baseball, Blow-Up, and Perspective

Michaelangelo's Antonioni's 1966 film Blow-Up uses photography as a metaphor for truth and knowledge. The central thesis of the picture asserts that the price paid for closer proximity to truth is actually a blurring of one's perspective. Today, I will take a reverse look at this idea, where a hard truth will be revealed through a distancing from the subject.

Where am I? What am I looking at? What behemoth rises above the treetops, hulking, proud, central to summer life in the Cream City? This is Miller Park, the prime urban destination in my bustling metropolis.

Pulling back, more is revealed. Chief among these, the decision not to construct a baseball cathedral in a downtown area, choking, strangled among the skyscrapers, dwarfed by 18 of the 20 tallest buildings in America. No, put that thing in my neighborhood, in my backyard, let the steel mingle with the soil and allow the people to come, to park, to grill.

Another step back shows a window, a length of rope, the pain that I am on this side of the pane and not mixed in with the frolic of the bleacher seats. Why must life be so cruel, so cold?

Books. Books are sitting there. Books, not media guides, score cards, All-Star ballots, or Gameday programs. What of learning has to do with baseball? What of sacrifice flies has to do with cause/effect relationships? Main ideas and details have bear no witness to double switches.

The private prison is revealed, the public underworld situated tantalizingly close to heaven. Why must you scowl at me, building? Why are you out there while I am in here? Hide yourself, and pretend we shall. Each other's existence we will both eschew, fooling ourselves that we will reunite with no delay. "Out, out, brief scoreboard!"

If you couldn't tell what was going on here, I'll have you know that all of these pictures were taken in the school where I work. The vantage point is not from my classroom, but from the school library, where I take my reading group each morning. And each morning that stadium stares me in the face, mocking me with its presence, so close, but at the same time so far away. Now I only have to wait three more days until I can attend my next Brewer game(s), Friday and Saturday in interleague fashion against the White Sox. Fun will be had.

Oh, and one of my students wore this shirt to school today. I've surmised that it's supposed to show the form baseball will take once the fictional apocalyptic events in Cormac McCarthy's The Road come to pass. Kinda looks like Pol Pot's regime will get a second chance, as the skulls of the assfucked will get stacked in the chain-link fences surrounding America's deathball parks.

I'm guessing bludgeoning will have worked itself into the official rule book by then, and the punishment for genocide will average out to a five-game suspension. See you there!


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dayf said...

You can see Miller Park from where you work?? Lucky bastid. I have to drive an hour in any of three directions to get to a stadium where I am.

Mad Guru said...


I didn't add your post to anything. I just read it and enjoyed it. I am delighted to invite you to continue writing and get a huge base of visitors to your website.

Oh, and I thought at first "What are you complaining about? No one plays day games anymore anyway." But the Brewers have quite a few.

Anonymous said...

Actually, that T-shirt isn't all that far away from Braun's line of clothing....The sad thing is, I'm only half-joking.