Plan Nine from Montreal – Prolegomenized

You thought I was only kidding about this, didn’t you? Wrong. Plan Nine from Montreal, my exclusive historiography of the Feesh, is not another discursive boogeyman like Ouija Scrabble™ or my odd Hemingway hound Fido. The biggest trick I ever pulled was convincing the public that it didn’t exist. But it is, like Keyser Soze, very real.   And now, through the magic of cyberspace, I am bringing Hardball Conversation readers an exclusive preview in serialized form (which worked nicely for Dostoevsky, Dickens and Zabor, after all). So, in the words of the psychiatrist from Portnoy’s Complaint,  now vee may perhaps to begin indeed.


Plan Nine from Montreal

By Old Gator

“I seek to view philosophical inquiry (and everything else too), itself already an effete notion, as afterthought.”

  • R. Meltzer, The Aesthetics of Rock

Prolegomena, or, Pregame Ceremony

This is the story of the desolation of the baseball market in the medium-sized conurbation of Macondo.

This Macondo, like all human communities including the ones that condense around a baseball team, is a feat of imagination. Its very sub-urban foundation of karst is riddled with airholes rapidly filling with saltwater like some halophilic fractal spongiform encephalopathy. Geologically speaking it’s so recent that you can bite through the fossils. Much of it was reclaimed within human memory from brackish mangrove swamps that at this rate are going to claim it back before its baseball team sniffs another desalinated postseason. And that baseball team, howevermuch popularly disregarded, is  an expression of this community from its Pleistocene politics right down to that extenuated limestone substrate of which too much has already been asked. Now, our team is technically called the Marlins. They’re better known demotically, according to the local patois, as they’re discussed howevermuch merely in passing over checkerboards on Calle Ocho or Cuba Libres in the nightclubs or through mouthfuls of masticated papas rellenos across the counters of las ventanas as The Feesh.  Given the rate of sea level rise and proliferation of haline sinkholes, It is just as well that the franchise wasn’t named for some iconic local freshwater species like the Walkin’ Catfeesh, the Peacock Bass, the Snakeheads (thereby avoiding trademark conflicts with the Phoenix team) or the Oscars. This team’s owner is as well prepared to transition back to salt life as a lacustrine bullshark.

Once upon a time the Feesh were the envy of more existentially stabilized communities like Chicago, Toronto and Cleveland who couldn’t point to their own teams and say things like “two world championships within ten years.” Unfortunately, since the Feesh’s 2003 World Series massacre of the Borg, which itself followed a tricorn franchise trade-orf  that makes the sale of Manhattan to the Dutch look like a Europeccadillo of the lowest order, the team has suffered a run of mediocrity and worse encompassing a decade and a half. The remarkable thing is, though, that even now, its fan base eviscerated by that many years and more of broken promises, cupidity, impecuniousness, tastelessness and failure, there are still those who will reproach a whining Feesh fan with “all the championships” their rooting interest has accrued.  And that’s ackcherley the least of it. Our urbian bedrock looks downright adamantine compared to the irremediable interest accumulation eating away at our municipal budget thanks to the Transylvanian deal our erstwhile mayor and his cronies made to build Macondo Banana Massacre Field, that thalidomide Cuisinart athwart the Dolfeen Distressway where the Feesh now play. It is as if we have an affinity for the calamitous  extending right to the core of the whole process of mythopoesis that labors so mightily to birth the voles of subtropical communitalism. You know how communities twin themselves with foreign cities in lame attempts to emulate camaraderie, right? I am especially amused by municipalities that affiliate with cities splayed across the flanks of stratovolcanoes, like, oh, Kagoshima, Macondo’s “official” twin.  And you don’t have to stop there. You can be “twinned” with more than one other burg. Does no one ever pick up a dictionary anymore, for Buddha’s sake? Kagoshima, for example, is also twinned with Naples. Both polities better pray that the quantum theory of “spooky action at a distance” is wrong.

Now it seems to me if you can twin this lovehated town of ours with a latter day Pompeii twinned yet again with the veritable successor to Pompeii itself, thereby entraining enough horrible karma to gratify the spawn of Nero, why then, you can also twin it with one whose pretenses at order and sanity are no more efficacious than our own.  Of course these affiliations were established many years before anyone in Macondo ever heard of a King Tide. Ergo, as long as we’re at it, why shouldn’t Homestead twin itself with Fukushima? And may Buddha save the crocodile hatchery.

Benedict Anderson, in his classic Imagined Communities, noted that nations are imagined “because the members of even the smallest nation will never know most of their fellow-members, meet them, or even hear of them, yet in the minds of each lives the image of their communion.” If this imperative to narrate common interest operates so powerfully even in veritable settings like continents and islands where people can ackcherley see and touch their neighbors (though early in the process this may only be to cannibalize them brains and all, prion-vectored pathologies like Chicago’s lethal Papuan neurological disease Die Vloek van der Geitbok notwithstanding), how much more so the need to concoct a community out there in the matrix with its manifest-and-vanish personalities, marauding malware and spontaneously congelated artificial stupidities? Oddly politicized formulations of sports fandom like “Red Sox Nation” or “The Evil Empire” are some examples of this phenomenon with which we’re all familiar. Yet there is no discernible “Feesh Nation.” No School of Feesh. There isn’t even a  “Feesh Camp” that left circular ruins in the way of a condominium. Someone arriving in Macondo from, say, San Pedro de Macoris or College Station might be confused – especially someone arriving from College Station  –  by the very evanescence of a fan base whose contours oddly resemble our cribriform substrate. As a matter of fact, unless the Feesh are still hotly in contention by late August, the football deadcarts from the University of Macondo and Cetacean Nation, with their robust bonds, respectively, of scurrility and eternal optimism, begin to appear on the plaza fronting NW 16th Avenue, their drivers clanging their idiophones and their buzzards calling out “llevar a cabo sus descontentos! Llevar a cabo sus descontentos!” Dozens of transitory Feesh fans are then only too relieved to hop aboard for the trip north to the edge of the county membrane where their sense of futility can at least relieve itself in bagatelles of brutality.

When we consider the analogies between Macondo and Florida south of the overrun and abandoned Imeegra  barriers at Golden Glades, however, we notice a mythopoesis to which the Kagoshima connection was never susceptible. Slowly, inexorably, skiff by raft, tire by innertube, bathtub sailboat by paddlehubbed pickuptruck, Macondo has inhabited its first world twin, nay, possessed it, as it were, like some metropolitarian Pazuzu with a sick sense of humor.  So much so that they have become as indivisible as Daisy and Violet Hilton. So much so that having lived here most of my life I can hardly remember the original name of this place. So much so that, having mailed letters with a return address of Macondo and the proper zip code on the flap, I have ackcherley received replies addressed to Macondo with the proper zip code on the front.


Blatant Disclaimer

What ensues is not journalism. It is, if anything, impressionism of the most irresponsible kind masquerading as sports history. I am about to illuminate, with apologies to Greil Marcus, the implosion of the myth of  baseball – by which I mean Macondo baseball, Feesh baseball – into everyday life and vice-versa. As such, it may appear to be consistent with our American tradition of sports journalism while merely hugging its contours like a cruise missile. It channels decades of frustration, disinterest, outrage and contempt for the team’s ownership, puppetary factotums in local and state public service and its play on the field from the responses to all of that from right orf the street, from barstool to barstool, precipitates of compressed humanity aboard express buses and carpools, habitués of la ventana  bug-eyed and fond from rads of caffeine, all wild eyed and indignant, concerning Macondo’s baseball team from its preconception to its bescorned currency.  Lacking an external editor, it is unfettered by the usual prerequisites for responsible reportage. Then again, since it situates itself within a particular tradition of local spawrts torque raydeeo, feeshwrapper collimists and blogsters, if only for purposes of reconnaissance, it is even less beholden to those antique standards of commentary, long since petrified like coprolites.

Given the unreliability of my sources, I accept no responsibility for my descriptions of what happened around, to and within the dystopian miniverse of the Feesh, through decades of mismanagement. I recount unsubstantiated rumors, attributions to anonymity and fraudulent claims of access as they leeched into the Macondoan weltanschauung from our organs of communication – in the sense, of course, that even flatus constitutes a message unit.  Like many an unreconstructed poststructuralist, I surrender to the inevitability of everything I heard or read being wrong.  On an unnumbered page of the baseball section of the Necronomicon two of the Ancient Ones, the ones in the booth, dictated to Abdul Alhazred that the malign gods created baseball as a joke. Its written rules were to remain a grimoire behind which lurked a welter of contradictory unwritten rules about how to play the game the Old Ones’ way. As Borges unwrote, any game which does not contain is antigame is incomplete. Likewise, when it comes to the Feesh, there isn’t any foolproof decryption of the real story, only hints, innuendo, banana peels, booby traps and loose outfield drain covers. My readers are exhorted not to believe anything I write any more than I believed it when I originally heard or read it myself. Don’t blame me for your credulity.

I haven’t changed any names to protect the innocent. There are hardly any innocent to protect, and if there are a few, that’s unfortunate.  This is especially true of ownership and management, equally condemnative of our uniquely arthropoidal clique of politicians. It’s also true of the ballplayers themselves though it’s often easy to view them as victims of the front orifice. They will have to stand before their maker on judgment day, even though that might be Genetech™, with about the same hope of redemption as Earl Batty begging to have his cutoff switch reprogrammed. Before each of them was, reprobation waited for them. Here it is.

15 thoughts on “Plan Nine from Montreal – Prolegomenized

    1. The ipad has a nice feature. Highlight a word, and the definition pops up. My German is practically non-existent and I learned about 4 English words. OG likes words that mean little tiny spongy holes.

      This is good stuff. I love getting the exclusive.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. All Right. Upon being invited to do so, I’m reading this. But I need a drink. So, I’m inventing one and dang anyone to heck if they deride it or otherwise crap on it. I’m going to name it for My Teams youthful closer who, at 20 years of age, is too young to have one. Irony, eh?
    Ladies, Germs, Assorted Bivalves: I give you…..(drum roll)…

    Osuna Matata: A Drink

    Step 1: Make Ginger Beer

    Get two big Osuna sized-thumbs of ginger root (just use the whole ginger root, okay? Kid’s got big thumbs)
    -Puree the ginger
    -3 cloves
    -tbspn barley grain
    -0.5 of a Florida Orange peel
    -tbsp brown sugar
    -tsp yeast
    -1 Quart (~Litre) of water

    Combine all in big glass jar. Lightly cover (do NOT seal: it will explode if you do). Set in the sun for three days. Once fermented gently in benevolent sunshine, strain thoroughly, and chill.

    Step 2: add hooch

    To make the cocktail, you’ll need:

    10 oz (300 ml) Casa Noble Crystal tequila
    2 limes, squeezed for juice
    1 tbsp Canadian Maple Syrup
    2 cups ice
    2 slices lime

    In a small bowl, stir together the maple syrup and lime juice until the maple syrup combines/dissolves.
    Add to a pitcher, along with the tequila and ginger beer, and stir well.
    Add the ice and stir until cold.
    Serve in highball glasses garnished with lime wheels.

    Then get a dictionary and sit down and read. Cheers.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am a Robert Penn Warren fiend. (Fiend!) World Enough and Time is one of my favorites — in part because it naturally appeals to the historian in me. It’s a piece of fiction that begins by authenticating itself by purporting to be based in historical fact and on primary sources (and as such being quite the 19th century novel — by which he meant the latter part of the 19C, of course). The book has always inspired how I look at and write my own histories.

    OG proposes the antithesis: a “true” story (quelle po-mo, Gator) crafted from rumor and impressions. In a sense, they both seem to be “true crime” novels full of political intrigue. I eagerly await further installments to discover how Gator’s Loria compares to Jeremiah Beaumont (or Fort!) and if he asks us to consider political virtue like Warren did justice.


    1. I don’t even know what a “Robert Penn Warren” is much less that a fiend of that ilk might be like. Are there precautions one should take around you? Garlic? Steaks? Rum?


      1. It’s a southern thing. You would not understand. He’s from Kentucky, so you might try juleps? Don’t throw it directly in my face unless I have my celebration goggles on, please.


        1. THROW it??? Dang! Y’all gots you some strange behaviour there. Personally, I plan to drink mine. Gives a the flesh a nice minty taste for when y’all bite me (or whatever it is fields do…legend isn’t entirely clear…)


        2. Oh, I thought you were going to ward me off with it. Well, if you’re going to marinate yourself with invitations to bite, I prefer vodka, but fiends usually just bore you with boring fan stories. Think Drunk History. Yeah, that.


  3. Looking forward to reading more OG. You have my permission to use colostomy face for Loria, also anal-canker is yours with my blessings. I’m sorry to say I’m keeping narcissistic-genital-vomit for myself. I’m of the opinion that I have another day in the life post on my home page. Haha

    Please, please,please make it as mean and nasty as you can. I love reading your posts that rip on politicians, and would love to hear how Jeb! is involved with the graft and wrong doings. He must be, right?


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