Tonight the Brooklyn Nets hosted and won a thriller overtime game against their East River Rivals the New York Knicks. As a long suffering Knicks fan and a dedicated native Brooklynite I have five points to share about what this means for Brooklyn and Basketball and New York Sports
First, you gotta respect a team that wins on its own ice. The Knicks are 5-0 at Madison Square Garden this year. In the Eastern Conference, only one other team is undefeated in the early going at home: Dreaded Miami.
Second, For Nets, Jets, + Mets fans this game was something to make them smile. After the Jets disgrace recently on the gridiron and the Mets' horrible season OK, that is valid.
Third, I do have a beef with the franchise overall. I still hate the name. They took a lame, stale and generic basketball term and applied it to the most dynamic, exciting, and creative destination in the USA - they could have done better by just naming the team Brooklyn. That is a name I could have gotten behind. NBA fans, REAL NBA fans, support teams based on their players, their geography AND their history. This team seems identity-less. I know, the pundits will say that they now have forged an identity with this win, that they are a gritty defensive minded and timely shot oriented - I'm not buying it.
Fourth, I think that the Brooklyn Nets do a good job with two audiences:
Where last year Jeremy Lin activated a whole legion of non-basketball fans (Asian-Americans, Ivy League grads, etc) the Nets are activating a whole borough of non-NBA fans. This also includes those who have been essentially priced out of Brooklyn but still rep the borough because no place in the world is quite like it.
The other audience that JayZ is pippin' are hipsters and their yuppie pre-hipster gentrifiers. You know who you are, you live in the Clock Tower, or in some other overpriced condo with incredible views. You came to Brooklyn looking for excitement, art, love, and maybe just because Manhattan rents were too high for your banker salary or to justify getting that regular check from your rich folks - either way, you are committed now that the riffraff has been pushed out of the city.
Are you sensing a note of bitterness here?
My fifth and final point: Really, now that they are making money off of the Brooklyn brand can Brooklynites get a little love?
Think about it. All around the world countries make money off of their natural resources. They have oil, gas, copper, you name it. Brooklyn has nothing but its attitude and its name. Now, the Nets and their owners are going to pimp the only thing the borough really has - THEY are making loot off of your swagger Brooklyn!
That is the ultimate con and scam. Brilliant and sad and oh, well, pretty much Brooklyn.
New York 0 - Brooklyn 1--- Tonight was only the beginning.
I am not a hacker, a coder, or anything else. I keep up a blog and I mainly use word processing programs and browsers. Like most people I am totally unaware that a serious underground world exists where cyberterrorism is real. Here is one example of that war:
I do not care what side you are on, the fact that a war is raging out there that could affect our lives and we have no way to retaliate or understand when something is coming at us us chilling. Right now Chinese hackers are attacking Google daily and of course there is Stuxnet which if you do not know about... then follow that above link. The short: it is an open source weapon that is being tinkered with as we speak. Will these Anonymous hackers use Stuxnet to target Israel? Did that virus originate in Israel?
This is the latest from Anonymous below.
I don't know about you, but I miss the days of Atari and simple computing. All this cyber war is really freaking me out.
In the fall of 2004 this was my first blog post...
okay, what if the real reason that we are getting all these hurricanes is becase somewhere, deep down in the darkest and coldest reaches of the atlantic there are memories of slaves who were raped, and stripped naked.
sold by their own people, and ripped from their own land. and when they got to the ship some could not take it. some went berserk - they tried to escape!
and when they were unsuccessful they were thrown overboard to prove a point.
something tells me that we are getting the remnants of their bitter selves reaching out with a long arm of their scarred spirits stricking the land of plantations, sugar, and cotton, from the carribbean up to the south, in the usa.
our past is haunting us. and nature, the Almighty, are reminding us how utterly fragile we truly are and how absurd our attempts to control it. all we actually seem to be doing is ruining its delicate balance.
the hurricanes are food for thought. it is time to be reflective America.
Sometime in 1984 my mother and I were walking along St. Johns Place between Washington and Underhill when I popped a big question for a seven year old.
"Mommy," I asked, "what is the difference between Democrat and Republican?"
She gave me two answers and they both related to our present condition at the time. We were living in the early or mid stage crack era. Our schoolyard, down by the Navy Yard was littered with crack vials and there were whole buildings where residents were under siege from well organized drug cartels. Brooklyn was broken down and battered and just starting its long recovery from the mass exodus of the 1970's where 4 of my mother's siblings moved away and would never come back permanently. We heard gunshots almost every night and the era of random gunfire blasting through and killing innocent children was not far off. Back then the subways were places where you avoided eye contact and no one read for fear of losing sight of who was around you - my dad would play a game with us where we had to guess what people were thinking, he was teaching us to be vigilant and observant - and you never, under any circumstances sat in the last or first cars.
Although my father was very much involved in our life my parents were not married at the time. We lived with our mother.
Given all that my mother said the following:
"Republicans want things to stay the same, Democrats want things to change"
When I asked her about Ronald Reagan, a man who under current standards would be a moderate Republican, she said, "Reagan thinks that we are poor."
The idea that we were poor had never occurred to me. Sure we did not have a lot of money but we had lots of love, friends, always had food, our house was clean and we always had clothes and shoes. On the weekends we were in Queens with our dad, cousins and enjoyed playing in the park and running around the neighborhood.
My mother basically shared that, in politics, people are lumped into groups and assumptions are made. I know this well, I am a political scientist and I make assumptions about people every day. Back then I was a child and the only assumptions I made was that I deserved love and a safe place to live and despite all the reality, I felt safe and loved.
However, I did want change. I did not want to always see such misery in my community but I also wanted to see a community stay intact. I voted for Mondale in my elementary school election, then Dukakis in 1988, and Clinton in 1992. By the time came to cast my own ballot in 1996 I voted for Clinton. As an adult, in 2000 living in Boston, MA i made a bold step of voting for Winona LaDuke because she said, "we need to renegotiate our relationship with the earth" at a campaign rally for the Green Party at the old Boston Garden. In 2008 I voted against Sarah Palin, although by this time I was not duped into the hope and change message - I truly wanted to see a black man finally get in office. Now, today, I enter election day and that definition of Democrat and Republican that my mother shared with me on a chilly autumn day in Prospect Heights still rings true.
As I write this my son sleeps nearby. He woke up a little bit ago and I had to soothe and calm him back to sleep. I love him and want him to see that anything is possible and that there already is a black president when he is five and able to start asking me questions about politics. THAT is change I can believe in. Frankly, I want what he does to be greater than just being the president - and I do not define greateness by power but what one does with this power.
Mitt Romney is a chameleon that wants things to stay the same. He wants to make sure that rich people do not pay taxes, hoard their wealth, and that poor people stay running in place. Obama wants this to change and he talks long term about infrastructure and the environment. Neither of them are perfect and the election in and of itself is a form of mass deception and theater. Nonetheless, I am pulling for Barack Obama to remain the President of the United States. I hope you do the same.
Khaled Hosseini: A Thousand Splendid Suns this is the next one on the list. My wife read it in like a day and a half, i read a little slower but it is already going fast, so far it is painful but i like the writing.
Colum McCann: Let the Great World Spin: A Novel what i am reading right now, such an amazing book and a great fiction offering to start a new decade by devouring. It was the first thing i read this morning and last night before i went to bed. it is a book of souls.