Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The "Boo"merang

Scott Bradley


Most all I write here is lifted from a segment of "Freakonomics Radio" as heard on NPR. It dealt with booing, its pros and its cons, and ended with a story about a shortstop who played baseball for the San Francisco Giants. His team had not been doing well and he had contributed by making some 'errors'. He had also made some disparaging remarks about gays, something not advisable in SF. And thus, he became the focus of the fans' approbation; every time he took to the field they booed him. If he stuck his head out of the dugout, they booed him. This went on for some time until he came up with an appropriate response: He had the equipment manager make him a jersey which replaced his name emblazoned on the back with a new name — BOO.

Out he came, and the crowd shouted his new name with abandon — until they realized what he had done. He had turned their approbation to adulation. Their boos turned to laughter and the page was turned. He had fashioned Boo into a Boomerang. When he returned to his locker he found an envelope in which was the assessment of a fine for 'being out of uniform'. It was a small price to pay.

I'm sure Blyth would have declared such an episode a poetically Zen moment. Having embraced the negative, he had turned it on its head. "'Doing anything at all in any conceivable circumstances,'" quotes he, "is the freedom of Zen."

It may be self-indulgent for me to say so, but I have experienced a similar release in identifying myself as a member of the Church of Pernicious Oneness. Much criticism and disdain accrues to statements of a Oneness transcendent of 'right and wrong'. Yet, rather than fighting back, what freedom flows from taking it all on board. Yes! Guilty as charged! Let's hear those Boos! I take them for praise! I have made them my name!

Suddenly, strife becomes peace. All is affirmed. Thank you.

You can check out Scott's other miscellaneous writings here.

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