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Posts Tagged ‘Giants’

Recapping Dante: Canto 31, or Dante the Television Writer

June 2, 2014 | by


Gustave Doré, Canto 31

We’re recapping the Inferno. Read along! This week: the thirty-first canto as explained by a breathless contemporary TV critic.

By now it is clear that this season’s sleeper star is the breakout show-runner, Dante Alighieri. His show The Inferno, an unlikely gem of narratological genius, has consistently stood out from the televisual pack, relying for the most part on the rarefied taste of its audience and the poignant, lyrical style of the head writer. This most recent episode, canto 31, is no exception.

This divine segment uses, as ever, a canny rhetorical device to dispense with exposition: the question. In this case, our hero, Dante, entering the next circle of hell, gazes through a thick fog, through which he can faintly perceive the outline of various towers. So what does he do? He asks a question about them, of course, and his companion Virgil helpfully informs him—and us—that these are giants, not towers. Simple! Elegant! Where other shows go in for flash and gimmickry, The Inferno just tells us what’s what. Read More »


Of Gods and Men

October 30, 2010 | by

Photograph by Ronald Martinez.

Dear Louisa,

I hope you’ve been enjoying yourself so far.

I have a serious question to ask you; in fact, I have a serious piece of begging to do. May I please switch teams, just for game 4? It’s not the Texas collapse that leads me to this embarrassing volte face. It’s not Cliff Lee’s implosion that I mind—although we have to discuss that—or the fact that Josh Hamilton and Michael Young are hitting a buck twenty-five each, or even that Matt Cain looks like he’s wearing a clown wig under his cap in honor of Halloween. These are all things I can deal with. No, the problem is that the George Bushes, pere et fils (just to be elitist about it) are scheduled to throw out the first pitch in game 4. I had been willing to overlook the issue of previous ownership, but this is too much. I would like the Rangers to win tomorrow, lose game 4 and then have Cliff come back and win game 5 with me a fan all over again. What do you think, is this possible?

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The San Francisco Freak Show

October 27, 2010 | by

“The Freak” by Robert Marosi Bustamante. Courtesy of George Krevsky Gallery and private collector, California.

Dear Will,

The Texas Rangers made a strong bid for my allegiance too, and not just because Neftali Feliz roped A-Rod with that curve to clinch the American League championship. There’s something ebullient and, yes, winning about the Rangers. They’re slightly cocky, sweet, and sly, smiling like they’ve gotten away with something—which, as you point out, several of them have. (And don’t forget catcher Bengie Molina, traded by the Giants to the Rangers over the summer; he’ll get a ring regardless of who wins.) I love to watch Josh Hamilton’s swing, injured ribs or not—the long extension and the letting go. And I love to watch Elvis Andrus dash around the base paths—so foolish, so daring. Still, there’s something a little too Manifest Destiny about the team. I can’t help but think of the Rangers’ former owner, George W. Bush, not to mention James K. Polk.

So I’ll take San Francisco, thanks. The Giants call their style of baseball “torture,” their star “the Freak,” their NLCS MVP “Cody” (I don’t care if that’s his real name). I’m smitten with a kid named Buster Posey. Willie Mays, the “Say Hey Kid,” would fit right in. The Giants hit home runs, or not at all. And their pitching! This team plays baseball like it’s a great game of catch with diverting interruptions. The whole team is weird and improbable. After Juan Uribe homered in the eighth to break a tie in game 6 of the NLCS, Phillies Manager Charlie Manuel said, “The big blow was by what’s his name? The shortstop.” Never mind that Uribe was playing third base. Plus, when the game was over, I got to do my best imitation of Russ Hodges hollering, “The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant!” (My grandfather was at the game where Bobby Thomson hit his famous shot and swore he’d never attend another game—baseball couldn’t get any better.)

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