Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Some Days are Diamonds, feelings of superiority, old baseball videogames

 Things I love:

(1) When the DJs on the invaluable local community radio station play things I love but get little details wrong and I feel like a supergenius talking back to my speakers. No, actually, the Chills were from New Zealand, not Australia! And no, Jerry Reed didn't write "Eastbound and Down," the legendary Dick Feller did! Right, Wikipedia?

(2) Of course I was right! But I was not aware that the writer of "Eastbound and Down" had transitioned and is now Deena Kaye Rose, and that she has written a memoir! Of course I bought it, being a big fan of her songs and overall attitude (c.f. the essay on the back of this record). It's a fun read, a little scruffy around the edges and probably in need of an editor, but chock full of heart, and she lays out the double meanings behind "Some Days are Diamonds" and "Any Old Wind that Blows." Both songs already really rich but made much richer for their hidden context, and even better that these coded messages went out to the world as hit singles through the voices of John Denver and Johnny Cash respectively.

(3) The whole "retrogaming" thing feels totally wrung out and stupid to me at this point, and I find baseball pretty boring in general, but every so often I still feel the need to play HardBall for the Commodore 64 (on an emulator, please). Now that my videogaming pretty much takes place in 30-60 minute chunks while riding an exercise bike, my needs are pretty specific. 

HardBall scratches a lot of itches. It is sports-y without requiring much sports knowledge or hand-eye coordination. It is nostalgic (I played it a lot on my Apple IIc back in the day) but also second-order nostalgic (I've been playing it on emulators way longer than I played it on floppy disc). And because the single-player game is really not that difficult, I usually win, which is important. No one wants to get off the bike after getting trounced.