Monday, January 14, 2013

Distance: Chicago To Melbourne

Even thousands of miles
Is nothing to a picture
Is nothing to a song
Forever between worlds
Is never in our dreaming
Worlds in collision
Carry us along


It is 9,671 miles—as some really energetic crow flies—between Chicago and Melbourne and right now it is freezing cold in Chicago but in Melbourne it is summer and hot and lots of people are having fun as the 2013 professional tennis season really gets started at the 2013 Australian Open tennis tournament.

I’m not as excited by tennis these days as I used to be. Modern athletes are very different from people like Chris Evert and Jimmy Connors. To my eyes, nobody these days is even like Stefan Edberg, that is, an athlete defined by a particular style of play and working within a sports-business framework. Tennis players now are bizarre combinations of celebrities and business people and brand managers and, oh yeah, sometimes they get on court and knock around a tennis ball for a while. For many, it hardly seems to matter if they win or lose.

I don’t think I ever even looked in on the tour championships at the end of last year. The men were boring, and the women were playing sports in a war zone.

But I’ve already looked in a few times at the Australian Open.

This year so far I find myself only interested in a couple of things.

It’s always fun in a mean sort of way trying to guess how far Caroline Wozniacki will get before she loses and whether she’ll say or do anything unthinkably stupid and embarrassing—Feral Kangaroos And Women.

And I still can’t look away from Maria Sharapova.

I wish her luck even if she is one of the classically modern players—she’s all about being her brand. She’s even still selling candy, like she started doing last year—Candy At The End Of The World.

What the hell do people like this think?

I don’t know what people like this think, and I don’t really want to know. But Maria Sharapova is very pretty and I’ve followed her career for many years. I still think of her like Thinking Of Mountains and like Friday In Paris Before It All Starts. Maybe it’s just that I have way too much Paris on my mind.

It’s still fun thinking that being such a gifted athlete could be enough. Or that being so beautiful could be something like magic.

Even though it so obviously can’t and it so obviously isn’t.

Anyway I had fun making up that little bit of music and verse.

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