Thursday, September 19, 2013

Bill Plaschke And Living In The Moment, One Moment, And The Next Moment

The Los Angeles Times columnist Bill Plaschke likes to live in the moment. And, he likes to live in the next moment.

So much so, that he seems to be using the same cliched mechanism to illustrate "sudden" changes in perspective, separated by simple moments, to underline the tension or contradition in the conflict. And in fact, he's been using this hackneyed device not only regularly for the last ten years (if not longer; the first reference I found was twenty years old!), but also, more alarmingly, with increasing rapidity.

Let's spend some moments with Plaschke (bold emphasis mine).

September 17, 1994, on football issues:

One moment you are standing there, your entire world in sight, the possibilities endless.

The next moment you are swallowing somebody's jersey and feeling for your toes.

January 9, 2004, on Brett Favre:

One moment Favre was throwing the ball into the hands of cornerback Melvin Jenkins, then watching him run 15 yards to give the Lions a 10-point lead. Then he was screaming at Lion defensive players.

The next moment he was being publicly scolded by Coach Mike Holmgren. "I hate watching films because sometimes I wonder, 'What the hell am I doing?' " Favre said. But in the final moment, he was sending his team to Dallas for a second-round game next Sunday while sending the stunned Lions to their winter homes.

December 25, 2003, on USC wide receiver Mike Williams:

One moment, Mike Williams is in a stereotypical tale of inner-city failure.

The next moment, he is in a Christmas card.

August 12, 2008, on a tragic shooting affecting the US men's volleyball team at the Olympics:

One moment, his phone contained a happy text message from his father-in-law.

The next moment, that phone carried the news that his father-in-law had been slain during a nearby tour of the ancient Drum Tower.

May 26, 2009, on the Lakers' Game 4 Western Conference play loss to the Nuggets:

In one moment, the Nuggets' Chris "Birdman" Andersen was inspiring the crowd to flap their arms as he leaped through Lakers statues for 14 rebounds.

In the next moment, that crowd was raining down an obscene chant upon the cold-shooting Bryant, who could only grab his shorts, catch his breath, and shake his head.

February 11, 2010, profiling skier Lindsey Vonn:

In one moment Wednesday, a woman who has earned a U.S. women's record 31 World Cup victories while enduring everything from a sliced tongue to a battered back was talking about hobbling down Whistler Mountain for her five events. "It's just managing the pain," she said. "It's a matter of dealing with the pain."

The next moment, she was talking about baring her body for an annual magazine swimsuit issue and website that is famous for its perfect flesh. "It was a wonderful opportunity," she said. "I was honored."

October 15, 2010, about the baseball postseaon:

One moment there was a wonderfully noisy pennant race. The next moment it was so quiet you could hear a rating point drop.

One moment, we were marveling at the heartening end of a timeless marathon. The next moment, we were yawning over the silly steps of a manufactured sprint.

One moment, there were players spilling champagne over each other in celebration of one of sport's most difficult achievements. The next moment, well, it's been nearly two weeks and guys are still pouring champagne over each other and we're not sure why.

One moment, the country cared. The next moment, much of it didn't, and why should it?

September 11, 2010, on the Angels' Peter Bourjos' fielding error:

One moment Peter Bourjos was standing under a soaring fly that would not have directly affected the Angels' championship chase. The next moment he was looking with panic at an empty glove that might have ended it.

October 24, 2011, about golfer Charlie Sifford:

One moment he says, "I've lived a damn good life. I only have a few little years left, and I want to spend it happy."

The next moment he says, "I'm not sure about everybody calling me the Jackie Robinson of golf, because Jackie Robinson had a team behind him, and I had to do it alone."

September 24, 2012, on replacement NFL officials:

In one moment, Packers safety M.D. Jennings clearly intercepted a final-play pass while falling upon Seahawks receiver Golden Tate in the end zone, preserving an apparent 12-7 Green Bay win.

In the next moment, the replacement officials ruled that Tate had made the catch, and upheld that ruling after replay review, giving the Seahawks a 14-12 victory.

February 21, 2013, on the memorial honoring Jerry Buss:

In one moment, NBA Commissioner Stern was properly describing Buss as "nothing less than a transformational force in the history of sports."

In the next moment, Johnny Buss, looking and sounding strikingly like his father, right down to the untucked shirt and sport jacket, was calling for Lakers fans to remember him forever in blue jeans.

September 17, 2013, on Matt Kemp's return to the Dodgers lineup:

One moment Kemp was standing on second base, raising his hands into the air, pointing those hands at the Dodgers dugout. The next moment he was standing on first base slapping those hands together in joyful relief.

What to make of all of this?

One moment, I think Plaschke is incredibly lazy in his writing.

The next moment, I still think Plaschke is incredibly lazy in his writing.


Alex Cora said...

This is pretty funny. Take it moment to moment.

Fred's Brim said...

Good stuff, Saxy

Fred's Brim said...

FB surl levels: off the fucking charts!


rbnlaw said...

Why don't you just write a blog dedicated to Plaschke's failings!

Oh wait, that would be far too time-consuming.

Carry on.