Thursday, June 3, 2010

Ross Douthat, Instant Replay, And The Divine Right Of Kings

Ross Douthat's argument against instant replay in baseball is a monsterpiece of conservatism. Sure, we've got the technology to make things more fair and prevent bad outcomes by setting up an instant replay system. But "baseball is also a game where history matters, and where continuity — those mystic chords of memory" that bind us to all the great heroes of the past give us reason to keep things exactly as they are. The spectacle of a bunch of noble players gracefully submitting to unfair decisions is something we'd all be poorer for missing out on.

It's the conservative approach to race, gender, and democracy. I like it more in baseball, because there it can do less harm.


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Unknown said...

I keep forgetting how poorly Duthant writes. Every time I read him, it's a shock that he's in the Times. Mystic chords? Really? "baseball’s past is real, those mystic chords are real" No they aren't. They're mystic. You know, a goddamn metaphor. At least when Dowd and Brooks can string a sentence together when they're infuriating me. Only Friedman is as bad a writer.

Only tangentially related, but whenever there's a no hitter going I like to proclaim it loudly. Then when it (almost inevitably) gets blown and I'm accused of jinxing it, I know that on some level someone thinks I'm magical.