Archived News & Information February, 2001
Archived: February 28, 2001


Archived News Items

Interview with Ayn Rand

Mother Teresa Cosmic Player Plate

Beats Issue New Beatification Rules

Cosmic Game Report: Vestal Virgins @ Valhalla Minstrels

Statistics: Season 2001 Cosmic Player Fields

Cosmic Game Report: Sadeian Women @ First Ladies

Pisces Sign Hearst

Virgins Draft Solanas

Sequoia Blink's Blackhole Script

Valhalla Minstrels

News Index
News Archive
February 22, 2001
Cosmic Baseball Field Manager

Interview with Ayn Rand

Ayn Rand was an outfielder for two seasons (1998-1999) with the Alphatown Ionians, the Cosmic Baseball Association's team of philosophers and scientists. Her performance as a cosmic player was below average. But apparently she studied the game intensely because her skills as a manager are much better. In two seasons as the field manager for the Heartland Capitalists, a team of business men and women, she's won more than she's lost (166-158 won-loss record.)

In real life Ayn Rand was a controversial writer-philosopher. She wrote The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged novels which expressed her deeply felt ideas on the human condition. She stopped publishing fiction in 1957 and began teaching and writing about her philosophical ideas that collectively she called objectivism. Like all philosophical systems objectivism includes metaphysical, aesthetic, ethical and epistemological theories. Her ethics of "selfishness" and her atheism help make her a provocative voice in the general debate of ideas.



Other Field Manager Interviews




February 19, 2001
Cosmic Baseball Player

Mother Teresa 2001 Cosmic Player Plate

Mother Teresa was probably the single most famous nun of the 20th Century. Born in Skopje, Macedonia in 1910 she decided to become a nun when she was 18 years old. She spent most of her life working with the "poorest of the poor" in Calcutta, India. The Missionaries of Charity, which she founded in 1950, is one of the most successful charitable organizations in the world.

She was not without her critics however. Her strictly conservative positions on abortion and contraception have been attacked. Her support for unethical people such as the Duvaliers in Haiti and swindler Charles Keating have made people wonder if she wasn't more concerned with licking the feet of the wealthy and powerful than cleaning the feet of the poor.

Mother Teresa died in 1997. In March 1999 Pope John-Paul II waived the Church's requirement that supporters of candidates for canonization must wait five years after death before beginning the official process that leads to Catholic sainthood.

Mother Teresa joined the Cosmic Baseball Association in 1999 when she was drafted by the Motherland Mothers as a pitcher.





February 16, 2001
Cosmic Baseball Team

Dharma Beats Promulgate Revised Beatification Rules

The Dharma Beats have once again changed the rules used to determine a potential cosmic player's eligibility for team membership. The so-called "Beatification Rules" were last changed in 1995 when the Beats required its players to be directly associated with members identified with the historical literary Beat Generation movement. Prior to 1995 a player candidate had only to be recognized as a writer with at least one unconventional aspect attached to his or her work or life.

The new rules are an attempt to open the eligibility requirements without diluting the thematic nature of the team. In effect, the new rules are a synthesis of the very liberal pre-1995 requirements and the more restrictive rules in effect for the last six seasons. According to documents released today by the team a cosmic player will be eligible for inclusion on the Dharma Beats' official roster if any of the following requirements are met:

  1. Player-candidate is a member of the historical Beat Generation.

  2. Player-candidate is a writer of poetry or fiction that displays anti-regimentation, mystic-disaffiliation, and material-simplicity values.

  3. Player-candidate is a member of the post-World War II era who affects detachment from moral and social forms as a result of disllusionment.

Determination of qualification based on #1 will be by reference to any standard text that discusses the history of the Beat Generation or any text that represents a biography of a member of the historical Beat Generation. #2 & #3 are based on Jack Kerouac's Spring 1959 definition of "Beat Generation" (#2) and the definition drafted for the 1959 edition of the American College Dictionary (#3) published by Random House.

The change in eligibility requirements, according to team officials, is a result of concerns that the original pool of historical Beat Generation members is dwindling. There is a need, according to team owner Allen Ginsberg, "to explore the talent in the so-called neo-Beat leagues. Our eligibility requirements have to reflect what's going on right now."

The stricter "Beatification Rules" imposed in 1995 did have some positive affect on the team's performance. In the twelve seasons prior to the imposition of the sricter rules the team had a .478 winning percentage (839-916). In the six years since the stricter rules the team's winning percentage increased to .496 (482-490). In 1997 during the period of the strict Beatification rules the Dharma Beats appeared in their first and only Cosmic Universal Series (The Beats lost to the Pranktown Busriders). Some observers are concerned that the more liberal Beatification rules will plunge the team into decline. This may very well be the case in the short term. However the Beats are right to be looking towards the future. There are many potential team players currently acquiring useful skills in the many neo-Beat leagues throughout the world.

The new rules will go into effect on March 15 and will apply to rookies and free agents being considered for the 2002 roster.

The Dharma Beats compete in the cosmic Overleague.





February 15, 2001
Pre Season Exhibition Cosmic Baseball Game Report

Vestal Virgins @ Valhalla Minstrels

Pre Season games at the Cosmic Baseball Association are interesting because of the chance to see teams from different leagues compete. With the exception of post-season games, there are no official inter-league games during the season.

It's not surprising to witness a veteran Overleague team like the Vestal Virgins chew up a new Underleague squad and indeed the Virgins kicked some bottoms around on the field of play. But take note, the rookie Valhalla Minstrels had there chances: they had baserunners every single inning.

Rarely are pre season performances a reliable barometer of actual performance during the season. Nevertheless Minstrels management has to be impressed with the power of shortstop composer Igor Stravinsky who was 2-for-2 today and both hits were homeruns. The Virgins will really get a boost if centerfielder and theosophist Helena Blavatsky can be as productive at the plate during the regular season as she was today.

Like most new cosmic teams the Minstrels are going to be shaky in the pitching department. Duke Ellington throws a lot of strikeouts but when he misses batters jump all over him. Virgin veteran pitcher Sylvia Plath was her usual sly self. Despite serving up eight bases on balls to her opponents she only allowed two runs to score. Plath also contributed to her team's offensive production with a sixth inning solo homerun. all in all Virgin field manager Anne Sexton has got to be feeling good about her team.






February 12, 2001
Statistics

Season 2001 Cosmic Player Fields

As of February 11, the day that all cosmic team rosters for the 2001 season become official, there are 596 registered cosmic players divided into 24 cosmic teams organized into three cosmic leagues. Twenty percent (20%) of the Season 2001 cosmic players are women and ten percent (10%) are rookies.

This seasons's cosmic players (including team management and staff)were categorized into 27 different fields (including "miscellaneous"). Here are the top five field categories and the number of cosmic players in the category.

  1. Politics, 76
  2. Literature, 69
  3. Film, 52
  4. Art, 44
  5. Music, 43

In the ongoing battle between the Scientists and the Philosophers for control of the heart and soul of the Alphatown Ionians team in the Overleague, the Philosophers maintain a 13 to 10 edge. However, overall there are now more Scientists (20) then Philosophers (14) on cosmic teams.





February 11, 2001
Personal Cosmic Baseball Game Report

Sadeian Women @ American First Ladies

For some it seemed that this was to be a symbolic game where virtue and its opposite meet on the cosmic baseball field. And like all good tales virtue was supposed to reign victorious. But symbolically speaking that didn't happen. Metaphoric analysis aside, this game was an above average contest between two teams made up of determined, gritty and rather wily players.

The Sadeian Women ultimately prevailed because of a superior ability to seize opportunity. The American First Ladies had their chances but as is so often the case in this game of inches, those chances were squandered too frequently.

One small aside: A pleasant sensation was felt by this observer when after the game was over the two groups of women co-mingled with each other. After awhile these adversaries on the cosmic field headed hand in hand to the showers.





February 4, 2001
Cosmic Baseball Player

Paradise Pisces Sign Patricia Hearst

The Paradise Pisces signed free agent outfielder Patricia Campbell Hearst Shaw today, which coincidentally coincides with the date 27 years ago (1974) that she was kidnapped by members of the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA). At the time of the kidnapping Hearst was 19 years old and living in Berkeley, California. During her captivity Hearst was transformed into Tania and became an apparent member of the SLA. On April 15, 1974 Hearst was photographed holding a gun during the robbery of a bank. She was arrested on September 15, 1975 and eventually found guilty by a jury of the crime despite the legal defense that claimed she was brainwashed by the terrorist group. She was given a seven-year sentence and had already served 22 months when U.S. President Jimmy Carter commuted her sentence on January 31, 1979. On January 20, 2001 outgoing U.S. President Bill Clinton pardoned Hearst's bank robbery conviction.

Hearst was originally drafted in 1995 by the Vestal Virgins. After four seasons playing centerfield she was deactivated. Pisces G.M. and former U.S. First Daughter Chelsea Clinton has been negotiating with Hearst, born on February 20, 1954 for more then a year. Hearst, who is an heir of publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst, is today a wife and mother, actress and novelist living in Connecticut.








February 3, 2001
Cosmic Baseball Player

Vestal Virgins Draft Valerie Solanas

The Vestal Virgins announced today that they have drafted Valerie Solanas to replace the recently departed Marislysis Gonzales

Solanas achieved notoriety in 1968 when she shot Andy Warhol in the chest at his studio. Warhol survived the attack and Solanas eventually received a three-year sentence for reckless assault with intent to harm. She was released from the New York State Prison for Women at Bedford Hills in September 1971. Solanas is also known as the author of the S.C.U.M. Manifesto, a highly polemical feminist tract written in 1967. (S.C.U.M. stands for the Society for Cutting Up Men.)

Her relationship with Warhol apparently began in 1967 when she sent him a copy of her play "Up Your Ass" with hopes that the artist might produce it for her. She also appeared in two Warhol films made during the summer of 1967. She received $25 for her appearance in I A Man and had a non-speaking part in Bike Boy. (In May 1996 a film by director Mary Harron called I Shot Andy Warhol provided a sympathetic look at the life of Solanas.)

Solanas was born April 9, 1936 in New Jersey. There are reports that she was sexually molested by her father who her mother divorced in the 1940s. She moved to Washington, D.C. with her mother and graduated from high school in 1954 and attended the University of Maryland. By 1966 she was living in Greenwich Village. She spent part of the 1970s going in and out of mental institutions. On April 26, 1988 Solanas died alone and broke in a welfare hotel in San Francisco. She was 52. Valerie Solanas was laid to rest in Virginia near the home of her mother.

Solanas will be the Virgins' starting firstbasewoman. Her selection came as a bit of a surprise to Virgins fans who, based on earlier reports had expected someone from the Symbionese Liberation Army to be drafted to replace the pre-maturely departed Gonzalez. But Virgins G.M. and poet Anne Sexton decided that the lefthand hitting Solanas would fit best in the lineup.





February 2, 2001
Blackhole Feature

Sequoia Blink's Blackhole Script

Innovative conceptual artist Sequoia Blink has created another one of her "scripts" for the Cosmic Baseball Association. We asked the mercurial web designer to create a fund-raising promotional "script" to help raise funds. The result is featured this month as the "Black Hole Special" which can be found by clicking the universal tear on the website's Front Frame Start Plate.

Blink has created a fascinating "script" that starts with an image of a burning dollar bill. The money image gets incrementally obscured by what looks like a fragment of the universe (white stars dotted on a black field.) No doubt viewers will have different interpretations of Ms. Blink's work. As a promotional piece Blink told us she was trying to convey the idea that if you have "money to burn" (defined as the cash leftover after paying your bills and contributing to the charities of your choice) then consider using it to support the expansion of the universe of creative work. However, it is left up to each viewer of the "script" to come to the meaning(s) that make the most sense.

Last year Blink created a set of four commemorative "scripts" honoring cosmic players, teams, games and statistics. Visitors can still access these by clicking on the small red and green baseballs located on the Season 2000 Main Frame plate.

Blink's "scripts" are conceptual pieces designed to simulate the running of computer programs. Individuals familiar with the old DOS prompt used with the personal computer interface of the mid 1980s will be familiar with this environment; so will people familiar with the text-based Unix user interface. Through the use of animated graphics Blink creates the illusion that some computer program is running, generating data and information that appears on the web browser's screen. For example in Script 2 known as the "Brik Script" (there is no "Script 1") a putative program routine generates a cosmic player (in this case the Russian actress Lila Brik.) Eventually the script terminates as Brik's Season 2000 cosmic player plate appears on the screen. Script 3 (the "Pisces Script") accomplishes virtually the same result except that the Season 2000 Official Team Roster of the Paradise Pisces, a cosmic baseball team in the Overleague, is displayed at the end. Script 4 ("Game Script") generates the appearance of a cosmic baseball game report (for a game played between the etoy.com guerilla web artist collective and the online commercial toy seller etoys.com). Script 5 ("Standing Script") results in the display of a graphic depicting the standings of the cosmic baseball teams early in the season.

There are some nice touches to these earlier "scripts" like the blinking red and green circular baseball graphics which mimic the blinking of lights on computers and modems. The green lights blink when something is happening and the red lights appear when a pause or some delay occurs. There's even a simulated mistake in the "loading" of a program. But, clever as technology is, the system recognizes the problem and issues itself a "restart" command.

One wonders why Blink uses the technologically sophisticated environment of the World Wide Web to generate a simulated example of an older less graphic display. Is it Blink's intention to recall the older more pastoral days of baseball before the big, glitzy electronic scoreboards arrived? Is Blink, a Boston native, pining for the days of the quaint hand-operated scoreboards such as the one embedded in the "Green Monster" at Fenway Park? Perhaps her simulated computer programs are meant to call attention to the fact that cosmic baseball itself is primarily a simulated environment.





February 1, 2001
Cosmic Baseball Team

New Team: 2001 VALHALLA MINSTRELS

The VALHALLA MINSTRELS represent an eclectic group of musicians, intellectuals, entertainers and philanthropists. The MINSTRELS are the newest cosmic baseball team and the have been commissioned for service in the cosmic Underleague.

The team was created by Dan Okrent, author of books, editor of magazines and a leading figure in the fantastic field of baseball fantasy gaming. He wrote Nine Innings- The Anatomy of a Baseball Game which is a detailed account of a the game played between the Milwaukee Brewers and the Baltimore Orioles on June 10, 1982. A reviewer of the book in 1997 wrote, "Baseball is often called a thinking man's game, and Okrent's book testifies to the truth of that statement. Dissecting a game inning-by-inning, Okrent explores the hundreds of options, possibilities and actions that accompany each pitch and each signal. Read it, and you'll never watch a baseball game in the same way again."






 

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Archived: February 28, 2001
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