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Baseball Furies

"Baseball Furies is a documentary that explores the complex relationship between baseball, music, and artists who reject the cookie-cutter parameters of the American Dream."


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I couldn't find it this morning, but I thought I had written in the past (at least to friends and a few bewildered White Sox fans) about how the pre-gentrified Cubs were the team of choice among a large swath of the indie rock set. It wasn't so much their loserdom, but their loserdom within the context of the unique experience that was actually the real experience of baseball - day games, the red brick, the bleachers, the rooftops, Harry Caray, the rituals, the mythology - instead of the prepackaged corporate version of the game. It was authentic. The ineptitude of the team only made it all the more charming - which isn't to say we didn't want to win, but "Wait 'til next year!" was a rallying cry of undimmed hope in an alternate culture in which winning wasn't the only thing, or even a thing at all.

I grew up in a Minneapolis suburb watching those games via WGN-TV, preferring to vicariously bask in the Wrigley Field sunshine beaming through my TV than to actually go outside and enjoy the sunshine outside my door. That's how I became a Cubs fan.

Certainly those days are long gone, but I'm still a residual Cubs fan, or as I've been saying for a few years now, the Cubs are the team I follow. I don't like to use the word "fan" anymore. For one thing, team ownership has disgusted me for too long. For another, it's just not the same - which isn't to say I prefer losing to winning. I don't. But the truth is, I wouldn't mind either if I could have the old experience back. It's the kind of thing - like Wicker Park or Malort as an inside joke or, back then, grunge - that the mainstream, starting with the ad guys, grabs a hold of and strangles to death, shorning it of all social critique and turning it into fashion.

But anyway, yes. "It's the perfect game," says Steve Albini.

Steve Albini.

And that's the flip side, trying to explain this to some "cool" anti-sports people who don't understand why or how I could follow sports as much as I do, though not nearly as much as I did as a kid. They sound like Buzz Osborne in the trailer: "I hate the people who play sports." Me too, mostly. But Buzz also loves baseball, as do I.

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Comments welcome.

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