One thing I’m starting to notice about the effect of five days of my living out of a suitcase and a snack bar is that my grasp of news events was a bit lacking. Of course, I couldn’t have commented on some of the stories anyway, having only limited PC access during that time, but still it was a weird feeling finding out a couple of days late about, say, the death of Rosa Parks, or the nomination of Alan Greenspan’s replacement.
In fact, here’s how slow I am: I didn’t know until this morning — after it was all over! — that the World Series was being played.
Hey, shut up — I’ve been busy. I had to change a tire, for Pete’s sake. That act alone devoured a lot of my ability to pay attention.
Now that I think about it, though, I do seem to recall that a baseball game was on the airport cafe TV in Lubbock yesterday, and that a lot of people were focused on it, but I didn’t think much about it.
In retrospect, it all starts to make sense.
I didn’t even know for sure who was playing, although I had heard in recent weeks that the White Sox were doing better than they had done since the bribery scandal of 1919, which involved “Shoeless Joe” Jackson and others (see, I do know a little about the subject), but, not knowing that The Big One had started, I was unclear on the participants.
Anyway: The White Sox won, and I say more power to ‘em. Not that whoever they defeated were less deserving, but unless it was the Cubs (and I feel fairly sure it wasn’t), they weren’t a bigger underdog.
It can be the Cubs’ turn next year.
Anyway: I did catch the occasional bit of news while I was in Lubbock, and sports news at that: The big news item of Wednesday was that Sheryl Swoopes is gay — an announcement that resonates in The Hub City because she first rose to prominence as part of Texas Tech’s championship Lady Raiders basketball team in 1993, plus the fact that she’s from nearby Brownfield.
This generated a lot of local chatter, Lubbock being the conservative bastion that it is, but is anyone really shocked these days when a female professional athlete turns out to be gay?
I’m more shocked when they’re not.
At any rate, ESPN reports that even though she had been open about her sexuality, the announcment was part of her new endorsement deal with a lesbian travel service, which only hires celebrities that are all the way “out”.
No turning back once you’re on the ship, I guess.
But finally: Here’s another piece of news — nerd-news in this case — that I found out just today, and only because I saw it on Look at This: William Hootkins, who played rebel pilot Red Six (aka Porkins) in the first Star Wars movie (he was the first to get shot down in the battle to destroy the Death star), has died of pancreatic cancer.
I guess I’m just not enough of a Force geek, because the movie roleI’ll always remember Hootkins (another Texas native!) for is his portrayal of Major Eaton in Raiders of the Lost Ark, one of two U.S. gvoernment officials who persuaded Indy to go searching for the Ark, then stonewalled his attempts to get any information on the ancient artifact after he had recovered it. (Hootkins’ character told Jones that it was being studied by “top men”. Like who? Indy inquired. Fixed stare: “Top … men.” Why do I think of Dick Cheney whenever I watch that scene?)
And one thing that I haven’t seen in a lot of the news reports is that Hootkins (love that name! HOOTkins! Ha!) has further geek cred as the voice of several of the elven and dwarven NPC’s in the talky RPG sequel, Everquest II.
So anyway: I’m just about caught up on the news now (having heard about the Miers withdrawal several hours late), so I’m almost back to normal.