Oh ho, what's this? The winter's icy grasp has at long last slipped from our fair city's throat, and that can only mean one single, solitary thing: it's time for media softball season once again.
That's all it means. Media softball season.
So you work at some fancy newspaper or magazine that everybody wants to work at and you go and celebrate that fact by joining a softball league composed of other teams from other fancy newspapers and magazines where everyone wants to work, and you all get together and get your cute company uniforms and go out there and act like's it kind of a big laugh and a gag but deep down it's how you show your athletic prowess to the ladies around the office after being cooped up in the office for months and months wearing wack chinos and Oxford shirts and shit that don't show off your Equinox-honed body at all, because that wack dress code is the price you pay for working at the Wall Street Journal, or wherever? Cool, that's cool. You went and got your own TPX bat and shit that probably cost like $150 but you still act like it's just a lark, just a funny little thing, but deep down you take it so seriously because this is the most competitive thing you do, next to trying to win a National Magazine Award? Yeah. It's okay. Softball is fun, right?
Yeah, softball is fun for regular people with regular jobs in like Ohio and shit and they work at UPS or whatever and they play against Ron's Heating and Gas and then they all go home to their families and do good down-home solid American things like that, and you won't once catch them sending out a day-after email to everyone in the whole company poetically recounting the various dramatic ups and downs of yesterday's softball game in the style of some well-known author. Not at all. They'll never do that. They pretty much just play the softball game and then they go home and maybe go talk about it at the bar but they never would use their master's degree in English Lit to interpret the softball game as some sort of funny but still fundamentally serious exercise in self-realization, where you're laughing the whole time but actually deadly serious about it and shit, walking to the plate for every at-bat already composing the various possible excuses you can make in tomorrow's elegiac reliving of the moment.
On some Ring Lardner shit.
Softball is a sport of the masses but your particular media softball team is all, "look at us," prancing through central park in a team shirt emblazoned with the name of your well-known publication, secretly hoping to turn heads amongst the civilian passersby, glancing out the corner of your eye to see if they're marveling at the procession of athletic yet self-deprecating media geniuses in their midst. Your media softball team can't even decide whether it wants to be a joke or not, whether this is a blue collar or white collar thing, whether you're competing or fucking around, whether you want to keep it low key or see all your games written up in the Observer.
I bet your media softball team can't even hit the ball far, or accurately.
Hey, David Remnick is your second baseman and Ken Auletta's the left fielder, hey, Tina Brown's behind the plate and Howie Kurtz is on the mound, it's like if this one media softball game were nuked by a freak nuclear bomb that fell off a bomb plane, a significant portion of the reading material of a handful of upper middle class Americans would be obliterated in one fell swoop, what a shame it would be, but that's okay, you don't take yourself all that seriously, you're willing to take risks for the media softball game, did you know that you got your last three jobs thanks to people you met in the media softball league? Yeah, yeah, it's been great for your career.
If Malcolm Gladwell got a black eye from a grounder that took a bad hop I bet he'd be so insufferable around the office, telling the story over and over for weeks.
Instead of a media softball team why don't you just join a regular person's softball team, if you love softball so much? Or why don't you have a media basketball team, and you'd be by far the worst team in the league, up against all sorts of ex-college ballplayers and shit, just getting totally trampled and used up week after week, but it would be a humbling and character-building experience? Or why don't you just watch softball on ESPN like everyone else and respect those women's athletic abilities from afar?
Because you're just too precious, that's why.
Your media softball team is a drag and a bore to hear about at parties. Your media softball team isn't that good at softball and don't get us started on how good you are at media, either. Your media softball team isn't winning you any friends, brother. Your media softball team is like the least interesting possible subject of conversation for anyone who doesn't share your entire set of demographic and socioeconomic traits, right down to the office address. Your media softball team is probably the wackest of all your hobbies, and that's not a short list, man. Your media softball team is not something to be admired.
That said, we totally flaked on getting our own team together. So if anyone needs an extra right fielder, email me.