Banksy and the Boston Red Sox

Happy Halloween!  I have to admit as Peggy and I have empty nested, this is one holiday that seems to go un-celebrated.  However, we do talk about longing for those days of taking our kids out in the evening and going door to door trick-or-treating.  So to all those who are celebrating today, Happy Halloween!

So what about Banksy?  Banksy is a British artist whose is best known for his graffiti art, and has spent this month holding a show with his street art.  http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=235570885

Now what does Shaeffer know about art?  Surprisingly, quite a bit. After all, our youngest son graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a double major in sculpture and art history.  And while that isn’t enough to qualify me as an art critic, this same son now lives in Berlin and is a curator for a gallery there. That gives me the credibility that is needed, I think.

Back to Banksy: while I don’t live in New York City, it has been great fun to listen to the stir and excitement that Banksy’s street art has caused there. He has provided a challenge to the fans of his work by providing hints as to the location of his art; they take to the streets to try find it before it’s removed or is painted over by other street artists.

My favorite was his work on the meat industry — I call it Muppets off to the slaughter house.  http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2013/10/16/235334278/banksys-latest-work-takes-on-the-meat-industry-with-puppets  (Maybe this says something about my sense of humor.)

In any case, while there have been some detractors of Banksy’s month-long show, there have also been a number of upsides.  Many people who may not have gone to an art gallery had an opportunity to be exposed to art; Banksy created what I would call a positive excitement that rallied a variety of individuals; he also placed the art in places around the city that encouraged individuals to visit neighborhoods they may not have visited before.  And for me, the Banksy show also created a conversation that was much more positive than our conversations related to the dysfunction in Washington DC.  Many thanks to Banksy, if for no other reason than giving us something else to talk about.

Congratulations to the Boston Red Sox and their fans on winning the World Series last night!  This is wonderful for many reasons, not the least of which is another step in healing from the bombings at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Boston Strong and the Big Papi were just too much for the Cardinals.  This is one reason I love sports: here is a team that responded and lifted the spirits of a whole city, region, and the US.

Like all sporting events, I have my personal feelings.  The win is great because our third son is a Boston Red sox fanatic, and so I know there is happiness in his home.  I am feeling sorry for one of my close friends who is a Cardinals fan, but I’m sure he is finding a way to be supportive of the Sox and their fans.

What is amazing is that the Boston Red Sox went from worst to first in one year. What a feat! This is a lesson in leadership: clearly the front office learned from the experience of being the worst team in baseball, and made the necessary moves to first. This is also the first time since 1918 that the Sox have won the World Series at home, and they’ve won the World Series three times in the last ten years; clearly ending the Babe Ruth curse.

Now here is what I don’t understand.  The Red Sox have beaten the odds by winning three World Series in ten years, they’ve put a curse to bed, and they went from worst to first.  Why can’t my Cubs do the same? As a long time Cubs fan I believe, as I’ve believed for several years, that 2014 will be The Year. It will be the year that the Cubs put to bed the curse and will win the World Series. It is about time, as Steve Goodman sings in the Dying Cub Fan’s Last Request: “You know the law of averages says: Anything will happen that can, That’s what it says, But the last time the Cubs won a National League pennant was the year we dropped the bomb on Japan.”

This is the year the Cubs get beyond the Goat, beyond the curse, and win it all.  Go Cubs!

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