The Breaking Point

8 08 2007

Barry Bonds

CNN is hosting a poll today regarding American responses to Barry Bonds breaking Hank Aaron’s home run record last night. The overwhelming response shows disinterest. And probably, rightfully so. Every person on the planet knows Barry Bonds swallowed himself up by a Franken-juiced new version. To call him a monster is perhaps slightly harsh, but probably more accurate than calling him a home run machine. Either way, Bonds’ performance is telling of many things askew in the world today. Chuck Klosterman made a great observation in 2006 when Bonds broke Babe Ruth’s record. Eerily it seems even more fitting today. JE

The Breaking Point
By Chuck Klosterman

At some point in the immediate to near future, someone is going to throw Barry Bonds a strike when he should be seeing a ball, and he will rake it with extreme prejudice. His propulsive, compact swing will rock the sphere toward the roof of the troposphere; it will fall to earth roughly 440 feet from where Bonds is standing, and he will react as if he is: (a) unimpressed or (b) vaguely annoyed.

He will then jog 360 feet, and some people will cheer, and some people will have mixed feelings, and some people will have mixed feelings while they cheer. And that is because this particular raking will be the 715th home run of Bonds’ career, meaning he will have surpassed the home run production of George Herman “Babe” Ruth.

This is a problem.

It is not a problem the way global warming is a problem, nor is it a problem the way throat cancer is a problem. But it’s a problem for anyone who considers sports to be a meaningful prism through which to understand life and culture. It’s a problem for future historians, which means it’s a problem for us right now. The problem is this: It’s an achievement of disenchantment. And that applies to pretty much everyone involved, including you.

Read the rest of the article here.

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