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How, and when, do you just know things are true in life? Do you need proof? Or is proof just the thing that makes you feel better about relying upon the bits and pieces of stuff that your unconscious mind has picked up upon and processed to make a gut decision?

This is going to annoy people (and by people I mean Kerry) because I’m talking about basketball again. But only to make a point about something. It’s to do with how there are things going on around us, all the time, that we absorb . . . like pieces of the cultural imagination that we absorb without really realizing it. And they kind of influence us and how we make decisions or opinions, even when we don’t realize it. When I was in school I got used to reading culture in this way and I know it totally makes me sound like a blowhard but I’m saying it anyway: I still read everything like that now. I still look at things the way I did in graduate school, even if it’s just an episode of Fanboy and ChumChum. It’s not because I want to be a blowhard. It’s more like . . . a pathology. So anyway, a lot of times people will say that I’m reading into things. I’m used to that. Anyway.

As you might be aware, last week LeBron was to announce where he was going to play basketball in a big dog and pony shown on ESPN. And Mr. Right-Click and I had been discussing it, and I had announced rather authoritatively that he had to go to Miami. That there was no chance he was going anywhere else. That if he didn’t go to Miami, then he was not really serious about wanting to win an NBA Championship, and that he just wanted to be a big fish in a little pond, etc. After we found out that Chris Bosh had signed, then I was even more resolute in this thinking.

Chris Bosh's tweet

Mr. Right-Click, I think, was leaning toward him going to Miami as well, but wasn’t as certain as I was — the main reason being the eight player question (ie can they get 8 more players to get a full team with those salary restrictions — and incidentally, the answer to that, unfortunately for the Lakers, is starting to look like yes) and also the loyalty to Cleveland. And Mr. Right-Click, by the way, is a far more learned student of basketball than I. He has studied the game for the entirety of his life, and can cite games like Bible verses. So for him, watching a basketball game is like studying a text, but still he was not so sure about LeBron’s intentions, even if he thought that Miami did seem more likely than most of the other choices. I think he just wasn’t totally convinced.

where's lebron

Now, after the fact, and in the media chaos that ensued, things have started popping up that suggest that LeBron had always already intended to go to Miami. That — despite his claim to have made the final decision that morning — there have been rumors about a documentary being made about LeBron, Wade, and Bosh deciding to make the move to go to Miami. And that if you go back and piece through the media ephemera that is available on this, you can find bits and pieces that suggest the Miami decision was there all along. And that, if you had been looking for it, you could have seen this coming, months ago, because they really were not hiding it all that carefully, as it turns out. The charade of making it seem like a “decision” that we were in on was all a lie that was built up for PR hype, and one we could have figured out, if we had been paying attention.

Did I hear something that made me think LeBron was going to Miami? Not that I remember, certainly. Not consciously. But it made me wonder when I found out that there had been these slip ups. I definitely remember seeing LeBron take off his Cleveland jersey after losing to the Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals, and there is no mistaking the symbolism involved in that act. What kind of arrogance is involved in thinking that nobody is paying enough attention to pick up on the clues to figure out a stunt of this magnitude? Or is it not arrogance, but just the assumption that by the time the cat is out of the bag and everybody has been traded, nobody will care when the decision was made, or whether what you said was true or not, because new jerseys will be sold and new teams will be formed with new tickets to be sold, regardless of whatever you’re talking about?

Maybe they’re right.

Most people aren’t paying attention. And even if they are paying attention, they won’t say anything about what seems like an inconsistency or something that requires further explanation or something that suggests less than plain dealing because the truth is, most people would rather not get involved. And to be honest, I understand why people would rather not get involved. It is kind of a pain in the ass to always be the one who gets involved. It sucks, in fact. Sometimes, I feel like I’m in a giant room full of people, and there’s somebody in the middle of the room acting like a jackass, and I’m sitting in the corner, looking around, thinking, “REALLY? None of you are going to say anything? SERIOUSLY?” And then, once again, I find myself saying something. And then, once again, I find myself having people hate me for it.

Sometimes, I’m the person in the middle of the room acting like a jackass, too. But the bitch of it is, nobody will say anything, because, umm, I’m the only one who does it. So that’s the flipside, I guess.

The other day on Twitter, I suggested that something another blogger said was inappropriate, and it made me question something this blogger had said had happened to their kid. I’ve thought about it a lot, and I’m not going to link to the post or even discuss what the issue is at length only because I don’t want the blogger’s kid to read this at some point and be hurt by it someday. I could be wrong, god knows, and also — worse — what if I’m right, and then not only does the blogger’s kid have to read about this but then they have to read about what all of these other people are saying about their mom and dear god how did I even become involved in any of this? In short, people, this post was originally a lot longer and made a lot more sense but I just cannot do it. I fear that if I do, even if I’m right, you all will hate me for making you look at something horrible, and the blogger will hate me a lot more than she already does, and the kid will be hurt further. So basically, big time loss for everyone involved, with no real upside that I can see.

But still. I am sitting here feeling like I should post something because my gut is saying something. My gut is saying something is wrong here. I think people are under the impression that when I post things it is to stir up trouble or to get attention but actually there are times when I’m pretty conflicted about it. This is one of those times. I am not at all convinced that I should post about this. I hate being vague about this. I know that some of you will instantly know what and who I am talking about and hate me for this. I know others of you will be pissed off that I’m being vague again. This is one of those times where I don’t know what the fuck I’m doing. I feel compelled to say something. I feel like nobody else will. Something is wrong. Maybe all that is wrong is that I didn’t like something I read the other day. And maybe that’s all that needs to be said. So whatever. I’m saying it.

So go ahead and start burning my jersey now — because I’m taking my talents to South Beach. I have been planning it all along. I was only pretending to let you in on The Decision.

Comments (17)

  1. Jul 15, 2010

    So no one else has said anything about it? Lots of people are lazy blog readers. People are particularly lazy when it comes to calling someone out on something that may or may not be true, false and all the in-between.

    Sometimes you gotta call ’em like you see ’em.

  2. Jul 15, 2010

    If you believe that part of your role is to keep other bloggers honest, you should challenge the blogger, but the privacy of the kid involved is also important, so why not challenge the blogger offline and give her a chance to publicly set the record straight?

  3. Jul 15, 2010

    I don’t think so. I didn’t go check the comments. I was getting a decidedly cool reception on Twitter.

  4. Jul 15, 2010

    Well, this isn’t a business question. This is just a more general WTF kind of thing. But yes, I could say something privately. It may be that nobody else had the reaction I did and I’m just an asshole.

  5. Jul 15, 2010

    I saw your tweet, and gave my response, but since I don’t know who you’re talking about I’m not sure what to think. I really, really, really want to give someone the benefit of the doubt about this. Really. This is one of those subjects that makes me physically nauseated to read about and the implications…I just really want to believe someone didn’t do what you’re talking about.
    But I’m not sure I’d step in this one if I were you. I’m all for your role in calling people out, but there’s a kid involved in this one who, as you said, may read this. And I keep thinking of it from the kid’s perspective and that just puts something into this that I’m not sure you want to step in. Because it’s not like when you call out people on their business practices, or their role in the blogosphere, or their inconsistencies in their brand. You’re calling out something much uglier and nastier and I just don’t see anyway for you to do it that doesn’t blow up in your face, and the kid’s face.
    My $.02.

  6. Jul 15, 2010

    If it’s a personal reaction, all the more reason to deal with it privately for the sake of the kid.

    I have to say though that I don’t understand the distinction you’re making between when it’s ok to challenge the facts as presented by another blogger within a business vs personal context. The personal part of your blog is also part of your business, no?

  7. Jul 15, 2010

    Yeah, that’s my thought as well. I’m less inclined to give the adult the benefit of the doubt here, but there is a kid involved and that really makes it different. The more I think about it, the more I think that perhaps the original story was vague and maybe was exaggerated and that the joke was definitely inappropriate. I hope the kid doesn’t know about the joke. Again, humor is subjective, people have different ideas about what is funny, and I know many many people think what I find funny is offensive. But, this . . . I don’t know. I think this maybe crosses a line.

  8. Jul 15, 2010

    Well, it’s blurry. But it’s like, this blogger is somebody with whom I’ve had issues in the past. And I cannot really spin this as a business critique, except to say that my original suspicion probably stemmed from the fact that one of the only reasons to make up or exaggerate something like this on the internet would be for traffic. But I cannot even pretend to present a fair and balanced business analysis of this because it’s just not. Hypothetically, this is like if I read something somebody with whom I have a documented problem wrote and thought what the fuck is that crazy bitch doing now? Allegedly.

  9. Jul 15, 2010

    I am pretty sure I know what blog you are referencing. At first blush it seemed to me that the use of the word in the latter blog post was simply hyperbole, but then again, the blogger in question has called out other people for use of other words that may or may not have been used simply as hyperbole too.

    That’s not a confusing sentence, no.

    IMO, the fact that the blogger noted your comment, changed the wording and then changed it back without mentioning it at all was simply the blogger’s way of saying “I own my own words and you may not like it but I’m going to stick with it the way it was written. So piss off.” Just a guess.

    I think the cool reception had a lot to do with the ongoing tweetup and its nature.

    I also think that we are all capable of being assholes and using words that in retrospect we might regret. I’m not sure there’s something to be gained about always being the person who brings it up to the room. Or maybe there is and maybe I just fall into “everybody get along, please” mode.

  10. Jul 15, 2010

    True, people have the right to use whatever words they want, make whatever jokes they want.

  11. Jul 15, 2010

    I am WAY behind because I’ve been busy and I haven’t been on Twitter in ages and I am super behind in my feed reader so I have no idea if this post is in my reader or not, or who it is but I did see the Tweets from you.

    This is my opinion based on the Tweets alone.

    I don’t find the idea of joking about that particular subject acceptable in the first place. I think it’s kind of classless to even consider it. Maybe I’m a prude? I just can’t imagine a joke that I would find funny about that subject. Regardless of the child’s involvement, or not, the truth behind any situation, etc… I just can’t get behind it.

    That being said, with a child involved I think I’d refrain. Let mom be the one to explain why those things are posted online to begin with. I use my blog as therapy a lot and I am open about my son’s problems and Tourettes diagnosis because I hope it will help another child. Any other child. I also have my son’s permission even though he’s only 10 and probably doesn’t grasp the permission he gave in a full manner. I struggled a long time with whether or not to open up about his ADHD in the first place. Then I did and so when the Tourettes was diagnosed I didn’t think I just did it. I don’t know that I’d post an abuse situation. Maybe? But I just think I’d probably draw the line there. I think it would be a personal decision my child would have to make when they’re old enough. But the same could be said about me if I look at it that way so I don’t know for sure on that.

    I do think if I was you I’d draw the line here. For the child’s sake because it’s going to cause a blow up in the comments that would have to be moderated and would leave the child wondering what was said about them that was so vile it had to be moderated out.

    Just my $.02

    Oh and also? I wouldn’t joke about Tourettes, ADHD, OCD, impulse disorders, or any of the things my son suffers from. I don’t find them funny either.

  12. Jul 15, 2010

    Oh my gawd, the basketball. AGAIN with the basketball. Do they not still have a baseball team out there? Because in the rest of the country, it’s baseball season. You know, the one where people don’t do crazy-ass things to call attention to themselves (oh, wait…).

    I don’t read the blogger in question, so I don’t know what her deal is, and honestly, I don’t want to know. I find the whole thing just…the sort of thing from which I want to turn away. It is not for me. Like, even more not for me than basketball. People sharing stuff like that about their kid…it’s a free country, but it’s not for me.

    I have to say, I’m a little shocked that people got so crazy about Motrin suggesting babywearing would give you a backache, or Nikon suggesting that your baby wasn’t invited to a grown-up party at a bar…but that joke was no problem (regardless of whatever happened prior to that post). But maybe my trigger for what makes me gasp is different than everyone else.

  13. Jul 15, 2010

    Yes, we have baseball, but now that you’re not allowed to use steroids in baseball anymore, everyone’s realized what I have known all along, which is that baseball is super boring. And it’s way more interesting to talk about basketball, even when people aren’t playing it, than to talk about baseball, ever, under any circumstances.

    I do find it strange that babywearing pain leads to the rending of garments but something that in my mind is actually, legitimately offensive (hypothetically being raped by wolves, whether said in jest or not) doesn’t even warrant a blip on the radar. But this isn’t the first time we’ve noted that what I think should happen in this community is not what happens, and I am hardly representative of the typical emotional response of the mommyblogger.

  14. Jul 15, 2010

    Yes, I think this will be it.

  15. Michelle
    Jul 15, 2010

    Ignorant of the specifics, opinionated anyway:

    When a person is making an ass of themselves at a party, I’ll quietly whisper to them, or make subtle hand-gestures or invite them for a tet-a-tet in the hallway. Mainly, to not add the embarrassment of a public calling-out to the embarrassment of realizing they were acting like a jack-ass.

    Likewise, I’d keep valid heartfelt concerns in private communication to not invite the kind of attention you mention in your post, and to allow the blogger the opportunity to adjust without the drama of everyone knowing why.

  16. Jul 15, 2010

    As usual, I have no idea what you’re talking about. And maybe that’s part of it–not everyone is aware of everything going on in the room at the same time? If you think a kid is in some kind of danger, it would be hard to leave that be, but I’m not sure calling out the offense in public is totally right, either. Do you remember the Twitter drama a few years back where someone joked about smothering her kid or something and a few hours later, Child Services showed up at her door? I suppose you could argue that the right call on that one was dependent on which view of the situation you had. I don’t know, man. I suppose I’d address it off-line and ask people you trust and respect enough to share the whole story with what you should do.

  17. Jul 16, 2010

    I keep coming back, not sure how to respond, but I think this is it for me. Generally seem to be aware of about 32% of whatever’s going on in the blogosphere at any one time. For me, that’s not enough to weigh in with any level of comfort. I’m cautious about this in real life, too, as I tend to keep my mouth shut until I think I’ve got the whole story or something approximating it. Hence, silence.

    I’m glad everyone isn’t like this, though, or the world would be much more boring.

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