Walking home past McCarren Park in Brooklyn last Sunday evening, I witnessed something that I felt must be important, some sort of cultural shift or at least an indication of the Way We Live Now. The park was swarming with people, young people, milling around, shrieking, and blasting music. They were drinking beers outside, which is illegal (for non-whites.) Some were chasing their artfully scruffy dogs. Most were dressed up in crazy little outfits with components from American Apparel, headbands and shiny leggings. The men mostly had beards and were skinnier than the girls, somehow. Suddenly, a ball flew through the air, very close to my head. Oh my God: this was it. This was the famed Brooklyn hipster kickball league, in action. Now a kickball league member informs us: "There was some sort of scuffle last night..."
"I only saw folks swarming on the main field, but I don't know any details about what happened." Oh noes! Apparently, the team that calls themselves Prison has been kicked out of the league: "[They've been] stigmatized since the beginning, for better or for worse. The only time we ever played them, they had pretty poor spirit. They seem to exude a Snape-ish anti-hero quality, but maybe that's just the black garb and comparably mopey haircuts talking."
According to the Brooklyn Kickball's website:
While the Umping Crew has to officially vote on this, it's likely [Prison] is no longer a team...
I was distressed at your collective lack of progression, gratitude, and contrition. Why couldn't you just come and enjoy yourselves? Why do your players think it's cool to swarm around an ump like a pack of wolves when you don't like a call? You yell the entire time, and fine, it's mostly a free country for white people. However, you get enraged and play victim when people yell back. Then you have the unmitigated gall to lecture people on decorum and propriety.
The world is not against you: you are your own worst enemies. You're always gonna think there's bias when a close call goes the other way, and this perceived injustice will always enable you to rationalize violence. Violence? AT A KICKBALL GAME? What's next, you're gonna start a tetherball brawl? You believe that [famed letter-writer] Kevin Dailey was against you, yet for all of last year's regular season, I let you guys get away with everything...
But now, there's no room in this league for an endless cycle of abuse and forgiveness...Not anymore, not at McCarren Park on Sunday Nights.
Not anymore, guys. "Next week," adds the website, "we'll have music to dance to."