Jenny McCarthy, Walter O'Malley, the Brooklyn Dodgers, Joe Sobran and Bill Clinton.
Last week, commenters wrote about the changes in language that occurred during the 1990's as Bill Clinton and the baby boomers began to exert greater influence over the culture. One such commenter noted Clinton's use of the term "reinvent." I discovered an early reference to this word in a Joseph Sobran column from November, 1997. Sobran drew a connection between the use of the term "reinvent", the loss of traditions throughout society and the ruination of the national pastime:
Jenny McCarthy -- and I don't know exactly who she is, but she's famous -- recalls in her autobiography that when she got breast implants as a teen-ager, she was able to pay for them on the installment plan. And she makes a pertinent observation: "Isn't that the American dream? To purchase new breasts on credit?"
What I mean to say, and I know that some readers will find it a forced analogy, is that in a country where you can get new breasts on credit (regardless of your sex, I might add), it should be no surprise that baseball has become what it has. I don't think it's a long analogical leap from breast implants to expansion teams. One needn't be a metaphysician to perceive that these are two aspects of the same phenomenon.
In better times, decent girls were content with the chests God had given them, and baseball was content with the eight teams He had put in each league. Certain things just weren't meddled with. Even Walter O'Malley, the man who kidnapped the Brooklyn Dodgers, would never have countenanced a monstrosity like the DH. Baseball was a game of constants, founded on the principle that, as one friend of mine put it, in his salty but eloquent way (edited here for family reading), "You don't bleep with tradition."
Nowadays everyone bleeps with tradition. We call it "reinventing." You can reinvent yourself, government, or even baseball, depending on the amount of your credit line. At least O'Malley only moved the Dodgers to L.A. He didn't "reinvent" them.
Sobran is correct to connect the concept of "reinventing" with the size of one's "credit line." But Sobran does not go far enough with the analogy. "Reinvention" might be another word for artificial inflation. The government has been "reinventing" the money supply for almost a century, with disastrous results both economically and for society as a whole (of which Sobran's column only hints). If you don't know what I mean, check out my neglected Garet Garrett blog. [Of course, you may have to wait until I quit procrastinating and place more posts there.]
Here are the obligatory photos designed to generate repeat traffic:
P.S. I suspect that Joe Sobran knows darn well who Jenny McCarthy is. But as I contemplate the number of her photos that I had to scroll through just to find one that is acceptable for a family friendly blog, I can forgive him for not wanting to admit it.