In the last week, we have borne witness to two diametrically opposing yet clear examples of efficiency. Last Friday, Klay Thompson scored 37 points in a single quarter against the Sacramento Kings, breaking an NBA record jointly held previously by George Gervin and Carmelo Anthony. His ruthless shooting, 13-13 in all, slammed the door on the Kings in what had been a close contest. Several days later, at Super Bowl Media Day, Marshawn Lynch of the Seattle Seahawks conducted a full-scale display in performance art, pirouetting with reporters, fielding questions and answering them all the same way: “I’m just here so I won’t get fined.” His own unrelenting strategy captivated some and enraged others, and, like Thompson before him, sent the internet into a frenzy, triggering all sorts of ostensible #hottakes, including, I suppose, this one. But which outright disregard for others was more methodical?
Klay Thompson enjoyed a record-setting 37-point quarter last week against the Sacramento Kings, sending the internet into a frenzy and reminding people that Steph Curry is not the only #heatcheck member of the NBA’s best team. Not to be outdone, Kyrie Irving put up 55 points against the Blazers without the help of LeBron James. Elsewhere, Damian Lillard of that aforementioned Blazers team is thankful to his detractors for not being an All-Star, and DeMarcus Cousins, noted first-time All-Star, corrects a writer on Instagram.
Amazon’s forward thinking decision to be the next content supplier along with Netflix and Hulu gave the world the Golden Globe-winning Transparent. Now, with both Netflix and Amazon being validated as outlets worthy of cranking out new stories that can be both critically acclaimed and popular, the rush to create content with high profile names outside of a cable box is now the new normal.
With this, a few new pilots have been dumped out-of-the-blue for the casual consumer on Amazon. And there’s Mad Dogs with familiar names like Michael Imperioli and Billy Zane. Some show that looks like a highly polished Civil War dramatization (we sure do need another one!). And then there’s Man in the High Castle – a joint whose most high profile association is its executive producer, Ridley Scott.
Let’s say you’re a businessman or woman, the vague description that calls to mind people in pinstriped suits, carrying briefcases while closing deals on one of several cell phones (even though, in truth, it could literally be anyone in any profession). You’ve got a meeting in San Francisco with a hotshot tech company that you’re going to try to buy before it gets too big. Or perhaps you are a family of four, having arrived at JFK in the midst of another polar vortex dressed in vacation gear because you’re headed to San Juan for an extended weekend. Or maybe, like I was, you are a college student flying standby, sending prayers to your preferred deity and the Special Services desk that a seat, just one, leaves itself open for you to make it home in time for Christmas. Even the exit row will do.
In any of these cases, until recently, you were going to come face-to-face with a cultural touchstone that had become synonymous with quasi-gag gifts and airplane perusing. It was the bible for people who had forgotten their own reading material and the most important window into things we did not know we needed. I’m talking, of course, about the delightful in-flight catalog SkyMall, which filed for bankruptcy last week after twenty-five years of peddling weird and wonderful products.
The NBA announced its All-Star starters this week, with a certain pair of Spanish hermanos at the forefront. Interestingly but not surprisingly, Steph Curry beat out LeBron James and Anthony Davis as the highest vote-getter, and the Eastern Conference has an entirely new backcourt for the first time since 2000. Elsewhere, Kobe Bryant, destroyer of efficiency ratings, has become Kobe Bryant, destroyer of his own rotator cuff, and LaMarcus Aldridge’s injury has the Blazers reeling.
America is the best place, and if you disagree, you’re wrong. I say that not because I’m American (although I am, and damn proud) but because in America, not only do more people watch the Super Bowl than vote for their president* (*not a real statistic, but I’m 100,000% positive it’s true), but also will create a massive scandal that allows them to talk about “deflated balls” in the media for two weeks straight.
We are not Lleyton Hewitt. Or, at the very least, I’m not, and I imagine the overwhelming majority of my readership is not as well. This is true for a lot of reasons; I am not Australian, nor am I the youngest men’s world No. 1 in history. I have yet to win a Grand Slam singles title, despite my wildest dreams, nor is my middle name Glynn. Most of all, however, I am not Lleyton Hewitt because I will never know what it’s like to play tennis on speedboats in the Sydney Harbor with Roger Federer.