Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Blaugust Prompt-a-Palooza Day #6: "Neverwake" Quoth the Raven

What is a favorite Quote/s, and tell us why.

I had to think long and hard about this one. I don't really deal with quotes a whole lot. Using the same literary strategy as a takeout bag from Chipotle feels a bit guache. I quoted the Art of War to my mother last week and couldn't have felt more like a tool.

Then again, I hamfisted in a Poe reference on this post's title so perhaps I've got a bit more tooly potential in me yet.

Anyways.

Most Americans are familiar with Jackie Robinson, the first black baseball player in the modern era. He was a tremendous player while dealing with the height of Jim Crow-era bullshit. He is an American icon and key player in the Civil Rights movement.

This post isn't about him.

I want to talk about the guy who signed him.

Branch Rickey was the general manager of the then Brooklyn Dodgers who wasn't going to let a little thing like a fuckton of racist fans keep him from signing the best ballplayer he could. He also innovated such concepts as job training (the minor leagues) and not taking a 90 miles per hour baseball to the head unprotected (batting helmets).

The bar for innovation was a lot lower 70 years ago.

Anyways.

He was a massively success man I wouldn't normally think about. But he has an enduring quote that sticks in my brain an awful lot: "Luck is the residue of design."

Like a lot of his contributions, this isn't exactly a profound statement. Nonetheless, I find it useful because I'm not a profound man. It's the execution of it all that I care about.

Sometimes I find myself having a string of rotten luck. Nothing usually too major, just annoying things like stubbed toes and accidentally leaving a bag of dog poop to fester in my entryway closet. But while bad things are always a threat to happen just because, I do sense that they tend to happen when I've gotten complacent. Maybe not getting enough sleep, I've let myself get distracted by a wrong opinion on the Internet, etc. It's never a comfort in the moment, but as a whole I'm soothed by the idea that life can go more smoothly if I'm vigilant about making it so.

I think this keys into some of my resistance about luck, or "randomness", in video games. I can just about smooth over the potholes in my real life my keeping an iron grip on our budget, heeding health precautions in a pandemic, etc. But boot up a game of Hearthstone and all of that control over my life goes out the window.

Not a fun experience for me.

Again, nothing profound here. But it is a quote that affects how I think about my everyday life. Although announcing I'm a risk averse control freak is probably not news to anyone who has ever read this blog. Or met me.

But I'm definitely not a tool. I have that going for me.

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