As far as actual sports are concerned, I really didn’t watch much last night, I was too busy fooling around with broken computers at home. The good news there is I’ve got everything working, and I even finished Sucker’s Portfolio while I was waiting for things to download and install. It was, overall, pretty fantastic, as Kurt Vonnegut tends to be. I will say, though, the unfinished story at the end had me a little rankled. Not because it was unfinished, which was a shame, don’t get me wrong. The premise it sets up is really promising. But what bothered me was the second person narrative. I have never read anything in second person that hasn’t just bugged the hell out of me. I suppose we all have our irrational dislikes. Some people hate purple. I hate “you.”
From what I did watch, I saw the very end of the Pacers actually beating a team last night. Not only did they finally break 80, but they even managed to break 100 last night. They gave up more than usual, too, but given how the last few weeks have gone, I am not about to complain it. Just, please, keep it up, guys. The Cubs also managed to lose, which was not at all surprising. I have no doubt the Pirates are a much better team than the Cubs. What has been surprising about these losses is how close they’ve been. The first game went ten innings. Last night went 16. That averages out to 13 innings a game, or 2,106 innings for a season. As opposed to the usual 1,458 at nine innings a game. The Pirates and Cubs better hope they have some pretty tout bullpens.
There are also a few exciting announcements to make. For one, Brad Montague, the guy behind Kid President, posted on Facebook yesterday a deal has been reached with Hub Network to make Kid President a TV show. I really couldn’t be more thrilled for Brad. Back when he was more into the musical comedy scene, he came to Wabash to appear on The Arson Show* and give a concert. You can listen to Brad’s live performances on the radio show here, though he rode along with us all morning. It was a great time, and he introduced Nelson and I to “Mountain Trip to Old Japan, 1959” by the Trachtenberg Family Slideshow Players, something we still heavily quote to each other to this day. He also spent a couple days sleeping in Morris Hall on my bed. So, yeah, long story short, I’ve been a Brad fan for a long time. He really couldn’t be a nicer guy, and it’s great to see nice, hard working guys win.
*That would be Nelson and I’s college radio show. They called us Arson and Nelron on the disc team, and it was decided that Arson would make for a better title than Nelson. It really had nothing to do with setting fires, I promise.
Secondly, I was contacted by a fellow from Answers.com yesterday. They’ve apparently done some reading of this blog and liked what they saw. As such, they reached out to me to write articles for their baseball section. I’m pretty conflicted about it, though. My “payment” would strictly be exposure. On the highest level, I’m against this sort of thing, just like I am for people that want bands to perform for free. If you want somebody to produce something for you, whether it be a physical product or a creative work, you really ought to pay for that. The only exception I can think of is college athletics, and even those guys are (generally) getting something significant in return for their services. With writing, especially, content farms get a pretty bad rap for taking advantage of writers and generally contributing to the downfall of responsible, reputable journalism. Which isn’t entirely fair, I feel, but not entirely off-base, either.
So, yeah, that’s not great, and I don’t know that I would necessarily want to contribute to that sort of thing. However, things don’t happen in just a theoretical sense. I can recognize the reality of the situation. If I don’t write anything for them, it won’t put the smallest dent into Answers.com. They have taken a beating in the past for over-reliance on Wikipedia and just generally using unoriginal content. It would seem by reaching out to independent bloggers, like myself, and urging them to post their own, original pieces to their site is their remedy to this problem. It’s not a bad strategy. Again, I wish they would pay in something more concrete than exposure, but I’m sure they know there are enough desperate writers out there. Which is a bit part of the problem. If I don’t do it, there are people who will. And, no matter what you think of their policies, they do get hits. Whether I think it’s sleazy or not, the chance that I would get read, and read by somebody important, is much higher than my chances here. The age old question: just how negotiable are my principles?
Now, in their defense, they’re not asking me to post anything specific or even on any sort of schedule. Just a “write what you feel (about baseball) when you feel like it.” Granted, I already have a platform here to write whatever catches my fancy for free, but this site doesn’t draw the kind of eyeballs Answers.com could, and it doesn’t appear they want me to push anything in particular. I’m sure, for their end, it’s a way to point to writing and say “Hey, see, we do too have original stuff!” without putting any real work (or money) into it.
For clarification, I wouldn’t be ending this blog. My plan would still be to mostly write here. My plan would be to write two pieces a month for Answers.com, one around the first and one around the 15th. So that should only mean missing two postings here a month, which was likely to happen thanks to general schedule slippage anyway.
I’m just conflicted. Do I make a stand that will most likely be meaningless? Or do I give in to the machine in hopes that it would open doors I could never reach on my own?