November 11, 2010

Posnanski: The Promise

Joe Posnanski is a damn good sportswriter -- he writes constantly and nearly all of it is superb -- but this is quite possibly the best essay of his I have ever read.
[The factory] is day after day after day after day after day of endless work that never gets completed. There is always another truck to unload, another tour of the floor ("Box 'em up!" the boss used to yell), another run to the dye part of the factory, which is poisonous and bleak and dangerous, like something out of a Dickens' novel ...

I make it through the first couple of weeks on adrenaline and exuberance, and make it through the next two on the promise of owning my very first car. But at that point, one month in, I lose all inspiration. I go to work simply because my father kicks the bed every morning, and I know he's waiting downstairs, and I do not know exactly how to quit. ...

I believe that this will not be my life. I suppose this is what keeps me sane. This is not my life. This is only temporary. I do not know what I can do. I have a hard time looking at my life realistically. I'm 18 years old, living in my parents apartment, failing accounting at a city college, and drifting through life without any marketable skills ...

***

[Darkness On The Edge Of Town] is dim and black and unrelenting, there is no escape. There is not one bar song on the album, not one beach song on the album, not one happy song on the album ... There is not even one hopeful song on the album. And yet, the album is not without hope. The music is the hope. The music soars and it swoops down, and it grinds, and it quiets to near silence. It is the music that insists on that notion, that notion deep inside, that it ain't no sin to be glad your alive, the seminal lyrics from the album, I think, the thing that it's all about in the end.
Years and years ago, if I read someone who wrote beautifully about baseball and rock and roll and whatever all else (Snuggies!), I would be both wildly envious and more than a little annoyed at my own meager abilities. Now I am smart enough to simply be glad that the other guy's stuff exists.

7 comments:

johngoldfine said...

I discovered Posnanski through JOS--and what a treat, what a writer, and, as you say, what a glory to be able to tip your cap to the man and acknowledge his power.

I've never even heard Joe Morgan broadcast, but I read Posnanski's essay on Joe Morgan today to find out what you all were fussing about.

redsock said...

I've never even heard Joe Morgan broadcast

How is this possible?

johngoldfine said...

No tv, all radio.

SoSock said...

Like jgf I only found Posnanski because of you, Allan. I think it was early in this past season when you tipped us off. Or maybe late in the season before. Either way, yet another enjoyable read/listen I have you to thank for. Keep it up.

Michael Holloway said...

Fantastic. Thanks.

SoSock said...

Bruce was featured on yesterday's Fresh Air on NPR. Great interview, mostly about Darkness and the new release. It's on-line I'm sure if you want to check it out.

Michael Holloway said...

For those who can't afford or something, The Promise is up here:

http://www.spinner.ca/new-releases#/1

Via Atlantic Monthly, Team Commie thread:

http://www.theatlantic.com/culture/archive/2010/11/team-commie/66631/#comment-97893130