by John Walters
Tweet Me Right
Check the time stamp. We wrote that just before the market opened on January 7, when one share of Tesla (TSLA) cost $461. Today shares of Tesla will open at around $575. That’s about a 25% jump in two weeks.
Everybody Wang Qiang Tonight
In Melbourne, the greatest women’s singles player arguably ever, Serena Williams, loses in three sets at the Australian Open to Wang Qiang. Much later that same day, Roger Federer, the greatest men’s player in terms of grand slam singles titles, overcomes a 4-point deficit in a fifth-set tiebreak that went past midnight to defeat John Millman and advance.
Serena, age 38, remains stuck on 23 women’s Grand Slam singles titles all-time. The record belongs to Margaret Court, an Aussie, who had 24. Federer, also 38, has the most Grand Slam men’s singles titles, 20. The Swiss Mister trailed 8-4 in the fifth set—fifth set tiebreakers were just extended from first to 7 to first to 10 this year at the Aussie Open—before banging out six consecutive points to take down the Aussie Millman.
That’s going to leave a mark.
This is the historical moment of the impeachment trial. Adam Schiff went out over the past three days and etched his name in political history. Well done.
All Of Fame
Another pretty good but not unbelievably good athlete (Eli Manning) retires, and another outbreak of arguments on Twitter as to whether or not he is Hall Of Fame-worthy. Augggh!
It occurred to me how much more palatable Twitter, or at least Sports Twitter, would be if we could eliminate any usage of three terms: “Mount Rushmore,” “GOAT”, and “Hall of Fame.”
As to the first, I’d require that anyone wishing to use it first know who the four people on the actual Mount Rushmore are and that maybe they know what state it is in. Also, you can make an argument that these may not even be the four greatest presidents. They may be, I think two of them definitely belong, but you can argue that FDR and Harry Truman might at least replace one of the other two (of course, the mountain face had already been carved out by then).
So, okay, “Mount Rushmore” is just another way of saying “four best.” What makes GOAT so obnoxious is that is someone is using that term, and using it on Twitter, their concept of “Of All Time” almost never extends beyond the end of the Reagan presidency…. and that’s being kind. Most GOAT names do not pre-date LeBron’s first dribble. So that’s just historical ignorance on display.
As for HOF, who cares? For a few reasons: first, if you need to debate whether someone belongs in an HOF or not, then they don’t. Second, no one can tell you that an athlete or artist is less than superb if you believe they are—regardless if their legacy is formally institutionalized. Finally, HOF debates seem to be subjective as to lean toward the totality of one’s career. That’s just wrong.
For example, anyone who witnessed Mark Fidrych’s rookie season would probably agree that he belongs somewhere in Cooperstown, even if it’s just a “One-Hit Wonders” wing. As for Eli, his escape and throw to David Tyree in Super Bowl 46 or whatever it was, well, that’s the greatest play in Super Bowl history. Regardless of what analytics tell you about both of their careers, that PLAY belongs in Canton.
Hall of Fame arguments are always apples to oranges debates. Anyway, peoples seem to prefer arguing anyway. I guess I’m even doing that here. But I remember a time when people didn’t throw these terms around so much, and those were better times. And…better people.
And Now A Word About Climate Change To Brighten Your Day
Here’s a lawyer friend of ours making a legal, step-by-step argument about climate change and its effects. It’s worth your time although I believe 1) he buried the lede by not mentioning near the top that “humans are releasing too much carbon” and 2) when he warns that “billions will die” he’s missing the larger point that mass extinctions are just another brilliant way that the earth self-regulates.
Just as there’s a carbon cycle, there’s also a species cycle. It’s like a subway car. When there are too many people in a subway car, you move to another one or you wait for the next train. The earth, ultimately, will survive. Many of us won’t, but that’s the price that has to be paid for the planet’s survival. And it will be written that we were the one species that possessed the intellect to understand what was taking place and the capacity to do something about it, but we did not. Why not? Because man is a competitive and selfish animal, and ultimately the powerful chose money over the welfare of all because money ensures survival, short-term, for those who have it. And I’m not just talking about being able to afford a home, but in terms of being able to pick the most suitable mate, all of it. So those who had the power to stop it lectured those who attempted to make a change by telling them to “take a course in economics.” Which is ironic because economics is not the study of money or wealth but rather of production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. And if you don’t have oxygen, or land, or water, well, those are pretty fundamental goods and services.
Five Films: 2001
Here comes the long and almost unbroken string of years, continuing to this day, where I’m going to have to do some mental gymnastics to find five films that I really, really like. Your mileage may vary. Feel free to differ. Now playing: “They don’t make ’em like they used to…”
- Training Day: The only film from this year that I honestly enjoy watching again. I’ve missed most of Denzel Washington’s major films, but if he’s better in any of those than he is in this one, I need to see them. “My n*gg**!” And yes, that’s Tuco from Breaking Bad in the barrio casa. 2. A Beautiful Mind: Yeah, it’s more than a little annoying. And how many movies from this era (The Usual Suspects, The Sixth Sense) feature a character who’s only a figment of someone’s imagination? The bar pickup scene in the beginning of the film is what stays with me. 3. Mulholland Drive: As soon as someone explains to me what this is about, I’m sure I’ll love it even more. 4. The Others: A unique ghost story starring Nicole Kidman, with a hard twist at the end. 5. Moulin Rouge: Never saw it but Katie M. will never talk to me again if I don’t include it.