What I love about the Little League World Series and its darling, Mo’ne, is that most of us don’t seem to notice or care that ‘she’ is black. And ain’t that just splendid. Because once again a beautiful, very young, long-haired ‘girl’, barely a teenager, is demonstrating that in a gentle way you can shake the world.
Just like Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teenager who was shot by the Taliban for campaigning for girls’ education. And still perseveres with her dreams today.
Hmm… as that beloved bard wrote: Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them. And in a world screwed up mostly by us men – albeit it was Eve who led us into temptation – it is great having a young woman, such as Mo’ne, delightfully validate that life doesn’t have to be complicated. Nor expensive. Nor based on some venal contractual arrangement with lawyers, agents and union reps.
In other words, it don’t take no genius to demonstrate that life can be a simple, delicious pleasure… again.
And there ain’t no pleasure more simple and more delicious than watching the game of baseball, drinking beer and laughing at the good ol’ boys scratching… on the thought of how the heck does a ‘girl’ throw a shutout – not to mention 70-miles-per-hour speedballs that leave the boys breaking wind. By the way, Mo’ne is the first girl to win a post season game in Little League history.
Ahh… Ain’t life full of change-ups?
And what’s even better is that Mo’ne and her eclectic, socio-economic team of Taney kids is a potpourri of big city life that hails from center and south Philadelphia zip codes. My city. Which for the last umpteen years hasn’t had a sports’ team to crow about. But boy (I mean, ‘girl!’) are we ever cockadoodling now.
Guys everywhere want to suddenly throw like a girl – particularly ‘that girl’ from the Taney Dragons. It’s pure mania.
Even ‘Sports Illustrated’ is getting into the act. For the first time in its 60-year history a Little Leaguer – Mo’ne Davis – is going to grace its cover next week. And meanwhile her TV ratings are soaring into the NFL red zones.
Now in case you are missing the point here this ain’t merely a story about a lissome teenage girl’s fastball leading a bunch of 12 and 13-year-old kids with braces – like some Joan d’Arc. This is a tale about us.
And the simplicity we ache for in a world gone too mad, too complicated and too insane for our primitive brain attuned to the simple cave life. The world is fraught with a lot of divisions between people. But sports – and perhaps the performing arts as well — tend to unify people in a way nothing else does.
And it helps that the kids are playing for nothing more than sheer love. And their love is a smoke signal made with the fume of sighs.
We are wracked by so much from so many: The racial unrest and shootings in Ferguson, Missouri. The bombings and rockets in the Gaza. The beheading of yet another journalist in the part of the world where Muslim extremist refuse to allow the diversity in their lives that we simply embrace with Mo’ne and her Taney teammates.
But for now we have been given a coffee break from all the madness.
And — without sounding like a ‘homer’ instead of the disillusioned idealist that I am – this is what makes America so grand. We are a country of diversity. We live in cul-de-sacs. Together. Christian, Jewish, Muslim… white, black, Asian… Rich and poor. We may not love each other. But we live with each other. And for the most part we get along.
And the next generation… And the one after that… will be loving one another, while scratching and wondering what all the fuss was ever about.
This is the American Dream. Despite our Washington boobs. The 99% versus the 1%. Our stoopidity. Our travails. And our conflagrations. We live together. We drink together. We pray together… even though 11AM Sunday is still the most segregated hour in America.
Yet, once again, for the most part we get along. And like Moses’ wander thru the desert, the old ways keep dying out.
Look at us: We elected a black President – I mean besides Bill Clinton. Gays are getting married and being courted by tourism bureaus – even Atlantic City is gambling on them. Miscegenation is a social norm. We have Title IX. And even my exes are ‘proud’ to admit they were once married to a meshuggah like me – although they do also claim it was momentary insanity.
Hmm… Okay, so as I averred last week: I may be crazy, but I am not wrong… or perfect. But I am a philogynist – if little else.
I mean, Mo’ne, Malala and even Billie Jean King — carried on the tennis court by four men in Houston 41 years ago to slay Bobby Riggs — have not only been leaders in the battle of the sexes, they have demonstrated to America and the world that if you dream, anything is possible.
And here I am to bolster that dreams don’t die – people just stop dreaming. That life is simple, and that’s why I love unsoiled games like Little League baseball. It also keeps the parents off the streets and keeps the children out of the house.
In other words, it Keeps It Simple, Stupid.
Hmm… Maybe that’s why I also love dogs. They live in the moment and don’t care about anything except affection and food. They’re loyal and happy. And simple. While we humans just persevere on making everything too damn complicated.
Whatever. For now its Mo’ne’s pitch. And as that Frenchman warbled: Thank heaven for little girls, for little girls get bigger every day. Thank heaven for little girls, they grow up in the most delightful ways…
And – believe it or not – dats yDrewIS on dis penal colony…