Paul From Minneapolis

Sunday, May 01, 2005

The Week Ahead

What’s up with the wave of attacks in Iraq, that’s one thing. What it means, where it may lead. One day of attacks led the AP to declare the insurgents emboldened, as I discussed here. Two days and a convenient anniversary led the Star-Trib to begin fantasizing about the last days, years hence, before the sad but inevitable fall of Baghdad.

I had posted some thoughts on the violence, quite serious thoughts, until my Editor informed me the piece was confusing and yet offered nothing new. So it’s in the shop. But this needs addressing by a serious and honest person. Failing that, I may give it a shot.

Religion versus no religion, that’s another. Andrew S. is whipping up the debate, trying to make the case that yes, there is abundant reason to be terrified of the religious right. He seems to be trying to shake skeptics like me who believe most of these people are actually decent people, and our basically sensible country won’t let them get away with too much anyway.

So, that seems like an important topic.

The Kentucky Derby. I love the Triple Crown. As a kid I lived a couple miles from a track outside Chicago. It had its own train stop and the train would eject dozens of these sharpies from the city. Guys in hats with the Racing Form, smoking cigarettes. My grandma did not like them. From the train you could see the horses being run in the morning.

I don’t know why, but the great past racehorse names were something most kids knew. Or maybe it was just me. Maybe in a previous life I was Eddie Arcaro, notwithstanding the fact that Eddie Arcaro was still going strong. Citation, Man-O-War, Whirlaway, Count Fleet, Tim-Tam; I just deeply love those names from before my time. And then along came Secretariat. Sometimes you can’t blame us boomers for suspecting everything really was superior, more spectacular and cooler back then.

So anyway, every year, looking for the return of the king. So maybe I’ll figure out what’s up with the Derby this year.

I’ve been thinking of looking into Venezuela, too. The politics. Hugo Chavezwhat the hell? That might be a good way to frame the issue. I wonder if Johan Santana would have any opinions on the matter he’d like to share.

(I strongly doubt it. Years ago the Twins had a pitcher named Al Williams who had been a Sandinista guerilla, in Nicaragua. He gave me an interview for a baseball publication I wrote for some, but he didn’t talk about the war years.)