Do you know what I’ve discovered? March Madness—and Sarah Palin drove me to it! What you need to understand is that I don’t know a damn thing about basketball (I mean, I’m black, so I KNOW about basketball, but I could care less about hoops in my old age). I haven’t been to a basketball game in 45 years, not to mention that I pretty much hate all sports. I’d much rather be attending a Broadway show or reading a book, so if I’ve currently lost myself in basketball madness, then you know I am close to losing my freakin’ mind.
Here’s what happened. Recently I was going along my merry way—minding my own damn business—when I got a chance to check out the HBO production of Game Change. I thought I knew what to expect; I thought I was prepared for the horror, but I was wrong. The picking of Sarah Palin to run for vice president, who would be a heartbeat away from the presidency of a running mate who was 72 years old at the time, turned out to be one of the most reckless, cynical, and arbitrary things that has happened in recent American history. I was once a fan of McCain’s (war hero and all; you know how much I love “true grit”), and had actually considered voting for him (a black woman voting for a white Republican male, right?—go figure), but I got to see enough behind the curtain of Ms. Palin to send me fleeing to the left before it was too late. I had no idea that I had only glimpsed a token amount of what the writer, Richard Cohen, calls Palin’s “great talents to deny the truth,” her sheer ignorance about simple foreign affairs, and her petulant, childlike ability to sulk away, shut down, and go into a catatonic state, not to mention her arrogant hard-headedness when she didn’t want to study and absorb what was being taught to make her a viable candidate. And since Game Change has been endorsed by most of Palin’s top campaign staff as accurate, according to Mr. Cohen, Miss Sarah can’t deny its veracity; she can only accuse them of being disloyal. That is a very small price for her to pay to have awakened us all to the fact that we escaped a self-absorbed, celebrity seeking, clueless ex-beauty queen, ersatz Born-Again Christian who had heard “God say” she was called to save our country for the “real Americans” through her vice presidency because she “so didn’t want to go back to Alaska.”
Game Change/Movie Trailer (Julianne Moore as Sarah Palin)
“At some point while watching HBO’s absolutely smashing (and terrifying) movie “Game Change.” It occurred to me that Sarah Palin has ruined America . . . With her selection as John McCain’s running mate, American politics lost its way—and maybe its mind as well . . . Après Palin has come a deluge of dysfunctional presidential candidates (Herman Cain, Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, Rick Santorum—parenthesis mine). They do not lie with quite the conviction of Palin, but they are sometimes her match in ignorance.”—Richard Cohen (“Sarah Palin’s Foolishness Ruined U.S. Politics”—The Washington Post)
I couldn’t breathe. I was depressed for days! And when I thought about sorry-ass John Edwards on the left who had cheated on his cancer-ridden wife all during his campaign, sired a child with his mistress, lied about it, and even campaigned to be President Obama’s vice president until he was exposed (just in time): I threw up!
Normally, when I am scandalized by things like this—white people acting the fool—I write about something absurd that will make me laugh at the sheer craziness of it all. So I searched all my news sources and the only thing that was absurd, but not sad, this week (because absurd plus sad usually equals mental illness and isn’t funny to me) was: mantyhose (a.k.a “brosiery”).
“This is the flagship men’s pantyhose style by Ohio-based Comfilon’s Activeskin Legwear for Men. The company, which has seen a steady increase in sales, uses the tagline, ‘This is NOT your mother’s pantyhose.’” By Vidya Rao (Today)
Oooooookay!?! What? WTF! AAAUUUGGH!
Picture pinned by Eric Xiao Ming/Pinterest
As I went screaming into the night, it was at that exact moment (as it almost always is when one is being seduced) that two junkies saddled up to me and whispered in my ear the “fix” they could provide to break me out of my misery: “Psst! We got just what you need, girlfriend—March Madness.” I put up a struggle—I really did. But they told me “everybody was doing it,” and the more I fought, the more terms like “seed the field,” “bracketology,” “ratings percentage index,” NCAA, ESPN—to name a few—started sounding a little less foreign to me. And the more things started making sense, the more I came under the March Madness spell. Then the coup-de-grace, the hook, the manipulation: One of the junkies told me I could have “diva shoes” for the entire March Madness season if I just played along, and Lord have mercy, I lost my soul.
…AND DOUBLE SNAP!
I found out about this new “March Madness” drug at 11:00 a.m. on March 15th (the final day to finalize one’s bracket), and I only had an hour to submit my choices once the junkies clued me in on the wonderment of getting high off bracketology. I had no idea what to do, but like true junkies, my suppliers said they’d give me this year’s instructions for “free” and walked me through the process. They said it didn’t matter that I didn’t know my ass from my elbow as far as the basketball teams were concerned, because that really wasn’t necessary to “get high”—I just needed to go with the flow to get hooked. So I picked teams according to whether I liked the colors of their school (Syracuse), or if I didn’t like their state politics, or if they were an underdog due to extreme economic hardship (Michigan State), or if WW and I ever lived in the state. With everything chosen and in place, I submitted my NCAA Bracket under the pseudonym, “Big Mama’s Picks,” and then I slid into a catatonic state of basketball euphoria.
BIG EAST ACC TOURNAMENT/clotureclub
BIG MAMA’S PICKS (as of 10:00 p.m. 3/15)
Big Mama’s Champion Pick: Syracuse University
Why? Because their school colors match a pair of my favorite shoes!
I am discovering that “sometimes a baby’s got to do what a baby’s got to do” and join in on the fun—especially where new shoes are involved and shattered nerves from movies about monsters almost taking over the White House can be soothed. Whatever it takes, I say (within reason), and the ability to purchase kick-ass shoes is always a plus.
…AND TRIPLE SNAP, BABY!
“When I went to Catholic high school in Philadelphia, we just had one coach for football and basketball. He took all of us who turned out and had us run through a forest. The ones who ran into the trees were on the football team.” ~ George Raveling
“When it’s played the way is spozed to be played, basketball happens in the air; flying, floating, elevated above the floor, levitating the way oppressed peoples of this earth imagine themselves in their dreams.” ~ John Edgar Wideman
A special “shout out” to my “March Madness Junkies”: Jean W. and Kathy P. (thanks for the title, KP)
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Eleanor Tomczyk and “How the Hell Did I End Up Here?” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.