Thoughtful Sheep

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A radio interview with William Deresiewicz, author of “Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite,” recently caught my ear and got me thinking about the homogeneity in work occupations I see amongst my peer group. It prompted the question- was this due to “risk aversion” or just plain common sense?

The Case for “Risk Averse Sheep”

In a nutshell, Deresiewicz claims in his book that America’s “elite” institutions foster an environment of risk aversion, conformity and the mindless accumulation of awards/grades in order to secure high-paying jobs while discouraging students from exploring careers in the humanities as well as discourse on what a meaningful life actually entails. In support of his arguments he cites, among other pieces of evidence, his own two decades of experience first as a student and then as a faculty member at Columbia and Yale (including working on Yale’s Admissions staff), as well as the notable shift in college majors away from the humanities towards business and technical degrees.  As he notes in a related article The Disadvantages of an Elite Education “The college career office has little to say to students not interested in law, medicine, or business, and elite universities are not going to do anything to discourage the large percentage of their graduates who take their degrees to Wall Street.”

Personally, I must say that much of what Deresiewicz notes about the final, observable outcomes rings true. Every UPENN classmate of mine was intent on achieving good grades. Almost every single one left college into the role of either lawyer, doctor, engineer, marketer, salesman, banker, or consultant. Missing were the actors, musicians, writers, poets, and artists of the world.  If I extend that more broadly to my circle of friends today, I cannot say that much has changed.  Where I differ from Deresiewicz, however, is in the posited motivations for these actions. I think this distribution has everything to do individuals being thoughtful about their life choices and little to do with risk aversion.

The Case for “Thoughtful Sheep”

Rather than make this a qualitative argument, I want to tackle this from a utilitarian angle. The first item then, is to come to a clear understanding of what “risk aversion” means. Risk aversion is simply an individual’s preference for an outcome with a guaranteed payout over an alternative set of outcomes with a higher expected payout but greater uncertainty. To illustrate, if I present two offers:

  1. I give you $95,000 for certain right now, or
  2. The chance to win $200,000 or $0 based on calling a coin flip correctly

Then anyone who would go with option 1) is risk averse. To be clear, human nature, and the entirety of economic theory, is predicated on the idea that almost all humans are risk averse (no matter what you see on Deal or No Deal). The entire insurance industry, in fact, requires that this be true. A risk averse utility curve below illustrates that point:

concave-utility-function

Simply put, the chart above illustrates that given the option of two states (here noted as “Base” and “Base + Bonus”), an individual’s average expected utility will lie somewhere on a line between those two points. To be clear, an individual can only ever be at one of the two points, the line represents their average expected utility . Where on the line that falls depends on the expected likelihood of each state. At every likelihood, however, the expected utility lies below that individual’s utility curve. The downward “bend” of this curve is the decreasing marginal utility we experience with wealth accumulation, which is the very essence of risk aversion.  As a result, this risk-averse individual will get greater utility by purchasing insurance to guarantee a given outcome (i.e., sit at the point on the curve above “x”) rather than just getting their average expected utility (i.e., “x”).

What does all this have to do with pursuing an acting career vs. going into law? Here the “boom or bust” acting career is contrasted against the “insurance” of the middling, and much more certain option of going into law. To be clear the “boom” payout of acting is not necessarily only from money but from the satisfaction of pursuing a dream, so it can be substituted with other careers in the humanities which do not necessarily have the option of million-dollar pay days.

What does this have to do with the perceived risk aversion of graduates of “elite vs. non-elite” institutions? The math follows that the greater the utility of the “certain” outcome for a graduate, the more difficult it will be for him or her to choose to roll the dice and “chase their dreams.” If Student A and Student B both are considering moving to Hollywood to pursue an acting career with estimated outcomes (non-monetary utility included) of:

  1. Being broke: $0 payout, 99% likelihood
  2. Being a successful movie actor:  $8 MM annual payout, 1% chance

The expected payout (utility) here is $80,000 per year for both students. However the critical difference comes from each student’s “insurance” option. Student A has a “certain” job option of reaching the Manager position at a local accounting firm and earning $70,000 a year while Student B comes from an “elite” university and has a “certain” job option of being a mid-level contracts lawyer earning $100,000 a year (net law school expense). Student’s A’s specific level of risk aversion will determine whether running off to Hollywood is a good idea, while Student B doesn’t even have to consider their own degree of risk aversion to know that doing so would lower their average expected utility.

In summary, I think that even if the student populations of “elite institutions” have the same proportion of “dreamers” as the broader population, higher-paying job opportunities ensure that a much smaller proportion of students actually make the decision to chase those dreams. The average starting salary of US graduates was $45,000 in 2013.  For Ivy League graduates, it was $62,000 – 37% higher.

Lastly, an interesting secondary result of this type of decision making is that those individuals who come from elite universities who do choose to chase their “binary” dream job likely only do so because they have a much higher-than-average estimation of their own likelihood of success (e.g., 20% chance of “making it” vs. the normal 1%) which then pushes the math in favor of making the jump. Though totally anecdotal, I believe I have seen this effect first-hand. In my stand-up comedy group from college, an astonishingly high-proportion of those who try to “go professional” succeed, while those who believe they likely do not have what it takes become “professionals” with poorly thought out blogs.

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Blue (Brooks Brothers) Collar:

Labor-Management

My friends will recognize this common “joke” of mine: That I am “blue collar.” The “joke” part is that I, by no definition of the word, fit that description, growing up with cutlery of the “argentum variety” (most snobbish euphemism I could think of) and having held firmly white collar jobs my entire life. However, the gist behind that refrain is genuine. What I mean is that in contrast to the majority of my peers/friends, my idea of a “good time” is straight up, Varsity Blues, Joe-America, “fly-over country” fodder. You could make a fucking Cold War mad-libs propaganda film out of it. By this I mean that I enjoy:

Drinking (many) beers, watching football, eating 25 cent wings, cracking wise, ogling/meeting girls, watching TV, playing pool/poker/ darts/shuffleboard /trivia etc.

Yet despite enjoying literally the most mainstream, prototypical “American male” pursuits (I know this is very “hetero-normative” as the kids says these days), the overwhelming majority of my friends dislike the majority of those traits /activities I listed. Almost all will hit 2-5 of the following bullets:

  • Enjoy “nice” dinners, early nights, and avoid “bars” or venues with “bar games”
  • Rarely, if ever, are “intoxicated” (drinks or drugs)
  • Do not have a television/watch less than one hour of TV a day
  • Avoid approaching women in public
  • Avoid “casual dating” as a whole
  • Not heavily into professional sports (e.g., prioritizing viewing games)

So now the obvious question. If everything I enjoy is so “mainstream,” shouldn’t it be easy to find folks to share these interests (if you can call them that) with? After much pondering, I think the answer is that as “apple pie” as my interests are, my background could not be further from that profile.

I am a non-Caucasian, atheist, naturalized US citizen, who grew up outside the US, attended a selective university, and am now a self-employed entrepreneur living in San Francisco.

Despite a lot of natural overlap between a few of those categories (see SF / entrepreneur / non-Caucasian), that is very, very, very small group to be in.

What that means is that I do not have a natural affiliation with most folks in the US who enjoy all those things I listed above. It also means that many of my “non-weekend” interests run completely orthogonal to that population of individuals. I attended a football game this past season. I do not know how many of the 60,000 in attendance that day have an interest in complaining about the evils of organized religion while searching for a decent, in-door badminton court within a 10 mile radius (if anyone in SF knows, please leave a comment).

To be clear- none of this is bragging. I am not putting down any of my friends for not sharing my “mainstream” tastes, nor touting my inability to relate to most of America. I am articulating a sense of limbo, of frustration, which comes from straddling two worlds, and having few folks completely “get you” in either. I am sure this same feeling exists for many but with a different set of social/personality filters (I’m looking at you black Republicans).

Or perhaps my drinking-buddy roommate has just been away on travel for too long. I’ll let you know after we go to Bar None when he returns.

Liberal Pundit SWOT Analysis: Stewart vs. Colbert vs. Maher

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I swear I am not trying to be the“TV guy,” with Conformist Uprising. That said, I love TV, hate missed opportunities, love pointing things out, and hate Bill Maher. Sorry, that last one might have been more than a “preview,” but for now let’s call it a topic sentence.

One quick aside for all you business nerds – before you send letters, yes, I know this piece will not live up to being be an actual SWOT (Strength Weakness Opportunity Threat) analysis of the TV pundits but just a strength/weakness piece.   That “SWOT” headline was more “clickbait” to get all the consultant readers out there riled up about Conformist Uprising using outdated business frameworks (what’s next Porter’s Five Forces?!).  Just saying, I would make a great Huff-Po headline writer for the business section. One freebie on that front: “McKinsey Hates This Housewife for Revealing This One Little Trick To Get Your WACC Under 15%...”. Anyway, onto my thoughts on today’s liberal TV pundits.

Jon Stewart:

Greatest Strength – Subject knowledge, willingness to “go there.”

Perhaps unfortunately (for media as a whole), Stewart is likely the best  “prepared” interviewer on television today, primarily stemming from his strong perspective as well as depth of knowledge in the areas he focuses on (i.e., social inequity, government policy, media studies). Watch the Jim Cramer interview as an example. Just awesome.  I do not want to be in the hot-seat when Stewart decides to “turn off the funny.” Just ask Cross-Fire.

Greatest Weakness –Not owning his influence.

Less a weakness, and more an annoyance as an observer, is that Stewart refuses to “own” his status as “shaper of public perception.” He cannot have his cake and eat it too. He cannot insert his own personal politics into the Daily Show for the purposes of shaping public opinion and effecting social change (e.g., pushing for the 9-11 Relief Workers’ Bill) to the extent he does, and then say “I’m just a comedian” with the defensiveness that he does. In my mind’s eye he has a large picture of Urkel above his bed with the caption “Did I do that?” underlined vigorously. Own it Jon.

Stephen Colbert (RIP).

Greatest Strength -The Pundit Persona.

Cobert just left us, and I would rather not speak ill of the dead. Luckily there isn’t much bad to say because I looooove Stephen Colbert. If I were a middle-school girl, my notebook would be 110 ruled pages of me practicing my future signature, “Mrs. Aman Colbert” in cursive. Colbert’s comedic delivery may be the best amongst the bunch, but my favorite moments are when his required “persona” leads to the inevitable lapse-of-character, breaking-of-the-fourth-wall which is a delicious peek behind the mask. I challenge you to watch this video from 2:15-3:45 and not lose it. Sorry, I know that sounds like another piece of clickbait but this one’s worth it.

Greatest Weakness- The Pundit Persona

Ah the double-edged-sword trick. Due to the persona, Colbert can never “nail” a subject without at least a hint of comedic levity, which while funny, gives an “out” for any interviewee. That said, his “improv” is ridiculous – if guests play along- you get comedy gold out of the most boring subjects. I give you Colbert vs. American’s Chicken Council spokesman Richard Lobb.

Bill Maher

Greatest Strength- (potentially) HBO’s Format

Through HBO, Maher has the best format for satire, interviews, and comedy available. Since he does not have to please affiliates, advertisers, or budget-conscious network execs he can do and say (basically) whatever he wants and has 60 uninterrupted minutes (~3x Colbert/Stewart’s airtime) with which to delve into comedic “no fly zones” and/or grill interviewees. As far as formats go, this is paradise. Why then isn’t Real Time the most incisive political commentary on television? That leads to the small matter of…

Greatest Weakness- Bill Maher

Specifically, Bill Maher is the anti-Jon Stewart. He freely inserts his personal perspective into the show, the problem is he just cannot consistently support it. When backed into an intellectual “corner” (I have put quotes here because his format is often him +2 liberals + 1 pseudo conservative + a rabidly pro-Maher audience), he simply has a “I am the host” tantrum and changes the subject or throws a withering non sequitar at his panel. Something along the lines of:

Pseudo-Conservative: Bill, I TOTALLY AGREE with you that a public debate is required on the issue of torture, an issue which started with Bush, but to be fair, President Obama has upped the ante with drone attacks, some of which have even targeted US-citizens.

Bill Maher: Oh what was that? I couldn’t hear it over the sound of Bush burning ballots in Dade-County, Cheney shooting buck-shot into his friend’s face, and Joel-Osteen speaking in tongues. Am I right Liberal #1 and Liberal #2? [Bill Maher high-fiving fellow liberal panelists]

Pseudo Conservative: Bill…I…err…, I don’t really know what that has to do with anything, I am just saying… [drowned out by chants of “RED RUM, RED RUM” from audience members]

Perhaps not quite that dramatic but the type of thing that happens at 4:15-4:45 in this exchange with Glen Greenwald (not exactly a conservative)regarding Benghazi is what makes me hate Bill Maher so much. What a wasted opportunity. I was hoping John Oliver would fill the void, but alas, he has not. But that is for another post.

P.S. Okay, I might be the “TV guy.”

New Management

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Dear Readers,

There are moments in life when time seems to freeze. Moments so indelibly emblazoned in memory that you can recall perfectly that tune playing on the radio, the scent in the air, the company around you when the news broke. The day The Conformist Uprising had a change in management will not be one of those moments. For we have done you a disservice Dear Reader by not posting enough to make you aware of any management at all. That changes now. Don’t call it “comeback” because we were never here to begin with.

Relevant Reading:

First things first- let me provide some older reading of the “Sadman” variety for those of you who were not familiar with my work from my prior blog, Sadman Musings. I am not posting these just to fill up word count- this isn’t HS English. I plan to follow up on many of these topics in the coming months given many are again relevant (e.g., Cricket World Cup starting in Feb, Homeland just finished Season 4, Peter Thiel’s Zero to One being the anti-Malcolm Gladwell, etc.):

The Upside of (Google) Glass Houses for Political Discourse

Written by Sadman

Faux outrage. American politics runs on it – in conception and reality. By faux outrage, I mean the red-faced, pontificating that all-too-regularly oozes from the mouths of “pundits,” both left and right leaning, at the mere whiff of political blood in the water. The “faux” part of this vege-patty rage burger is the fact that almost certainly none of said pundits or politicians is in the least bit bothered by the actions they claim so upset them. In the case of faux rage at moral or social actions (as opposed to political actions), this contrivance is likely partnered with a healthy helping of hypocrisy. The problem with “faux rage” is that it happens with such regularity that it becomes hard to differentiate between real rage.

Let’s try an exercise: Rank the following political “moral/social blunders” in order of actual offensiveness:

  1. Picture of John Kerry windsurfing furthers his elitist/disconnected image
  2. Anthony Weiner sends picture of “himself” to a woman other than his wife
  3. Picture of Romney in college with dollar bills in mouth furthers his elitist/disconnected image
  4. Picture of Obama “palling around” with terrorist Robert Ayers
  5. Video of Romney deriding “47% of America ” who just want to freeload
  6. Obama’s Reverend Wright seen on video saying “God damn America”

I had a hard time ranking them. And that is because none of them is truly offensive, and more importantly none have even the slightest bearing on a candidate’s ability to effectively execute the duties of a political office. However, that does not stop them from creating television news cycles, consuming valuable discussion time during debates, and in the case of “Carlos Danger,” even ending political careers. But here comes the good news – I posit, dear readers, that these unsightly displays of faux moral outrage will be a thing of the past within a generation. The reason- social media. Two key factors will drive this change.

1) “Every step you take, every move you make, I’ll be watching you” (Sting always says it best)

With the advent and subsequent rise of social media goliaths like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and no doubt, many more to come, for tomorrow’s generation of politicians, political commentators, and even voters, there will be no way to hide past bad behavior and indiscretions. This effective documentation of every sphere of social interaction will make it increasingly difficult for folks to mud-sling without photo/video evidence of their own bad behavior being slung back at them. Think I am exaggerating? Think you are immune because you changed the privacy settings on your Facebook account so only your “friends” can see your profile? Wait till we live in a world of Google Glass, when audio and video of public places will almost constantly be recorded by someone, let alone the implications of 100% video covered cities, which already exist (i.e., Dubai, 50% and rising in London). The short version of this is “those who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.” Soon more appropriately it will be, “those who live in Google Glass houses, won’t throw stones.”

2) Increased tolerance for “bad behavior”

A second implication, and one I believe to be more desirable than the “mutually assured destruction” described in 1) above, is that people will hopefully just not care anymore. Social media contributes to this because the natural side effect of seeing everyone’s dirty laundry, is that you realize everyone has dirty laundry, so don’t let a candidate’s skid marks dissuade you from voting for him (metaphorically speaking). In an increasingly open age, we will no longer be able to put politicians (or any public figure for that matter) on a pedestal but rather see them for who they are – flawed individuals like the rest of us. Individuals who can have youthful indiscretions, cheat on significant others, drink too much or use illicit substances, say racist things, have complex/inconsistent religious beliefs, or at some time or another in life associate with someone who turned out to be a very bad person.

I really hope I am right about this. But just in case I am wrong, let’s just attribute these blogs to my nom de guerre, “Sadman.”

TV Renaissance Man

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By Sadman

At some point in the last decade, discussing what television shows you watch has been elevated in the hallowed halls of “good conversation” from the ranks of “what color was my stool this morning,” to “better clean up my Dothraki before discussing GoT at high-tea with the Queen.” This evolution has been a welcome one for a life-long TV addict like me, as I am now a King Among Men.

Lesser males defer humbly in the TV discussion pecking order- my manhood, engorged with a myriad of obscure references, meta-jokes, and behind the scenes trivia sends Johnny-come-lately pretenders scuttling for safer conversations. As Bane would say “You merely adopted the television, I was born into it” (imagine in a deep, garbled, Shakespearean accent)

I am, and have been for years now, a self-described TV renaissance man. Bring up the topic/genre/series and I am equipped to comment with authority.

  • Martial arts flicks? Let me direct you to the Indonesian film The Raid: Redemption. Don’t like subtitles you say? Don’t worry, the US remake is on its way
  • Sex and the City? I would act like I’m too good for it but that would be so Charlotte of me.
  • Cult classic, canceled-too-early comedies? You’ll forget all about Arrested Development and its letdown last season on Netflix, once I convince you how “streets ahead” Community and Happy Endings were

Usually I am a lover not a hater when it comes to TV shows. At the very least I can understand the appeal of a terrible show others love. For example, Entourage had acting only acceptable when your series creator is Mark Walberg and a degree of predictability only rivaled by the STD tests for the cast of Jersey Shore. But at the end of the day it was popular for all the same reasons porn is popular: bright colors, easy-to-follow plot lines, gratuitous nudity, and well, actual porn stars.

However, the popularity of one of the top rated show in America still entirely escapes me, and I must understand why. That show is the Big Bang Theory (BBT), which pulls in 20 million viewers and can afford to pay its leads $1 million dollars per episode. For those not familiar with the show, let me write a 100% representative scene for it, which pretty much is on perpetual loop:

[Penny (the hot blond) enters the apartment looking around]

  • Penny: Sheldon, I know you know where Leonard is hiding my birthday present, where is it?
  • Sheldon: [not looking up from his computer] Much like Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle, giving you that information, will indubitably change the location of said present, negating the answer thus provided.

[Uproarious canned laughter]

  • Penny: Huh?

[Sounds of TV audience members’ ears bleeding due to high levels of hilarity]

  • Sheldon: My point exactly. Bazinga!

[Sounds of studio audience being raptured into God’s Kingdom]

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How can a show with such poor writing, which I hate with a passion typically reserved for 9-11 Truthers, be beloved by millions of Americans? After much soul searching, I believe I have found the answer- as much as BBT claims to be a “nerdy” show, the writers never intend for you to empathize with its brainy stars. If you do, then you will hate the show like me.

The best “nerdy” shows celebrate their nerdiest qualities, and reward their nerdiest fans. Futurama did this brilliantly. Futurama would reference and incorporate real scientific theories into plotlines, have Bender’s binary “gibberish” actually translate, maintained perfect logical consistency across all time travel storylines, and even created an entire alien script which they used to leave easter-eggs and inside jokes in background signage.

Big Bang Theory on the other hand, wants the viewer to relate to Penny, not the nerds. The punchlines and jokes come from the audience empathizing with her exasperation dealing with these crazy, shut-in braniacs. She is the “straight man” in this comedy formula, the “Jason Bateman factor” if you will. A smarter version of BBT would have you relate to all the nerds, and empathize with them having to deal with all these superficial idiots surrounding them.

I am clearly in the minority here but maybe CBS can meet me halfway. Perhaps they can make the colors brighter, the science references nonsensical, and Penny topless, because I would definitely hate-watch that.

Phil Jackson Makes Me Feel Like Barack Obama Used To

Written by Shwin

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In March of this year, Phil Jackson was introduced as the new President of Basketball Operations for the New York Knicks.  Up here in Knick-land, we had long hoped for a person of Jackson’s caliber, someone who could stand up to owner James Dolan, to join the Knicks organization and begin cleaning house – but we never expected that day to come.  Great things like that just didn’t happen to us. But somehow, some way, James Dolan had pulled a rabbit out of his ass and acquired Mr. Jackson. I had to pinch myself, we had the Zen Master.

A change in leadership, whether it is President of Basketball Operations, President of the United States, or Head Janitor, can make an big impact to morale (if not actually policy) immediately. New leaders usually come in with a long list of goals and aspirations, but more often than not, they have been brought in to clean up the shit left by their predecessors.  Jackson was no exception.

While managing to scrap together a modicum of respect over the last few years in the Melo/Stoudemire/Chandler era, by and large, the Knicks were still recovering from more than a decade of overpaid stars, ill-conceived trades, and draft picks that were given away like the AmNew York newspaper in a sweaty subway station.  The Knicks organization had tried repeatedly to bring in new talent to elevate the franchise to contender status, but often at too high a price. Sometimes even the good news felt like bad news (see: Amare, Melo, Bargnani).

But lo and behold, Phil Jackson, basketball philosopher, owner of 13 NBA championship rings, former coach of Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neil and many more, had decided to work for – the Knicks??? By many accounts the stumblingest, bumblingest organization in the NBA, if not all of professional sports.  The team owned by the meddlesome James Dolan, and best known for its unique strategy of buying high and selling low (see: Starbury, Eddy Curry, draft picks) had acquired one of basketball’s living legends.

Vibe-Phil-Jackson-Knicks

Jackson immediately signaled that this was the start of a new era, a new mentality, and a renewed focus on basketball.  In the months following his hiring, Jackson did the following:

  • Fired a head coach (Mike Woodson)
  • Hired a head coach (Derek Fisher)
  • Made a difficult but prudent trade to give away the aging Tyson Chandler and our fat point guard, Raymond Felton
  • Acquired 3 draft picks where the Knicks previously had none
  • Acquired a quality veteran point guard in Jose Calderon, along with several more role players
  • Re-signed Carmelo Anthony (thanks for the “discount”, Melo)

Jackson got a lot done in just 6 months, and I found myself fantasizing about a miracle trade to acquire a 2nd star, about flipping Andrea Bargnani for a center who can play defense, and about Carmelo hoisting the Larry O’Brien championship trophy on the floor of Madison Square Garden in 2016…

This is one of the powers of new leadership.  It makes you believe that even if everything around you is the same as it used to be, maybe, just maybe, things are going to be different now.  We will work smarter, we will sign a second star, we will win a championship, we will stop global warming, we will send a man to Mars! Hell, I think racism in America might be dead, after all! Where are the balloons and cupcakes!?

So this brings me to Barack Obama.  I am a liberal. Not a bleeding blue liberal, but a liberal indeed.  As Obama took office in 2009, I was amongst the millions who were swept up with feelings of hope and optimism for a more cooperative, a more harmonious, a more bipartisan future.  In the coming years, these hopes and dreams plummeted back to Earth like a fat man on a hang glider. It became apparent that Barack Obama too had become a prisoner of our noxious political system, and much to my disappointment, he was not going to be the shining prince who would fix it.

Yet, as all the Hope-y Change-y-ness evaporated into the ether, I was left with one feeling toward the President of the United States that I had never experienced as an adult: “I might not always agree with him, but at least he’s not an idiot”.  This is when I tell you that I’m 31 years old.  You’re smart, I know you can do the math.  You know what I’m saying, right*? I was reassured in knowing that Barack Obama was a smart man, an intellectual man even!  What a rarity in these times, with politicians who are greater parts crony and egomaniac than they are intellectual.

I have a similar feeling today towards Phil Jackson.  Eventually he will make a bad trade, or he won’t be able to sign the best free agent (I’m looking at you, Marc Gasol), but I will rest my head on my pillow knowing that we have a true basketball intellectual making the important decisions.  Inevitably, when Amare gets injured in December, or JR shoots 38% for two months, or Jim Dolan rears his ugly head again, there will be calls to fire the head coach.  There will be calls to blow up the team and start over.  There may even be calls to fire Phil Jackson.  But I won’t be screaming for blood with the anti-intellectuals, because I know we have the Zen Master at the helm.

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Will Phil Jackson be the change we were hoping for?  Will he be the Knicks’ shining prince? Will he bring us the championship? Maybe not, but I know he’s not an idiot, and that makes me happy.

 

* Ol’ GWB was not the smartest