Point of View: Go Figure

Americans as a rule love action, blood, explosions, guts, glory

They say “The Bookshop” is boring, which, of course, quickened my pulse. I have loved boring movies for years, and, in fact, once suggested that a new studio, M.B.M. (More Boring Movies), be formed to market them. 

Americans as a rule love action, blood, explosions, guts, glory, though it’s not particularly my cup of tea, “Godless,” whose women really could shoot straight, being an exception. 

In other respects, though, I’m typically American, a lover of sport first and foremost as the surest way to salvation. 

“Ah, you ran the 800!” I’ll say to a mother of two whom I wrote about in her high school days. 

“I remember you at the age of 6 crying when your pom-pom got rolled up in the mat at a gymnastics class,” I’ll say to another, now the stepmother of a terrific high school long-distance runner. 

“Mr. Graves,” still another will say, on running into me on the street 20 or so years after having graduated, “you misspelled my name throughout my high school career.”

“Don’t worry,” I tell him, “I’ll run a correction this week.” 

(Indeed, it would probably take an entire issue to run corrections of all the errors I’ve made over the course of a 50-plus-year career — an interesting idea when you come to think of it, and that I have come to think of it on Yom Kippur seems to me especially serendipitous. I must atone, I must atone. . . .)

Anyway, it’s by their sports that I know the younger generation — younger generations, I should say. It’s how I stay connected.

I remain connected to my for-the-most-part boyhood home through the Pirates, Penguins, and Steelers, though, as we’ve been reminded lately when it comes to the Steelers, it’s not so much “the Steel Curtain” as it is the Steel Sieve, and the extracurricular carrying-on among some of the players has risen to the level of low farce. “The centre cannot hold,” I sighed, as Russell Bennett commiserated, “especially when it comes to kicking field goals and points-after.”

However, locally it is wonderful to consider the season that is upon us. I don’t think I ever remember a fall when so many of the high school’s teams were so compelling. As I’ve said, you don’t have to win all the time to catch my attention, just make it interesting. And this from one who loves boring movies. Go figure.