Ganja for Life
07 Wednesday Dec 2022
Posted 2022, Amsterdam, appeals, beliefs, Commentary, etiquette, philosophy, politicsin
07 Wednesday Dec 2022
Posted 2022, Amsterdam, appeals, beliefs, Commentary, etiquette, philosophy, politicsin
06 Thursday Jan 2022
Posted beliefs, Commentary, conceptual art, elections, essay, etiquette, history, Letter From MTK, public letters, religio, thoughtsin
In the Spring of that fateful year, 2020, my father died, at 90, of natural causes. He was a devoted American, whose contributions to the U.S. were immense, yet in some ways, immeasurable. He passed on a Monday and the global Covid-19 pandemic struck that actual week. Protocols meant I could have no public funeral service. Only five were allowed to attend: the brahmin, myself and three of dad’s former students. Six weeks later, George Floyd was choked to death, by police in Minneapolis Minnesota. Thousands marched, pandemic be damned.
George Perry Floyd Jr. was an African-American man who was openly and publicly murdered by a police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota, during an arrest after a store clerk suspected Floyd may have used a counterfeit twenty-dollar bill.
He was lying inert and unarmed on the ground, and Derek Chauvin, one of four police officers who arrived on the scene, knelt on Floyd’s neck and back for 9 minutes and 29 seconds and choked him to death. It was filmed, and witnessed by many. The reaction to the video of George Floyd’s choking impacted the world.
Five months later Trump lost. His followers attempted a violent coup of the peaceful transfer of power to Biden. They attempted nothing short of a violent revolution against democracy in our country. Seven people died attempting to protect the Capitol and formal structures of our government from an amped-up, violent horde, whipped into a frenzy by the former President, who fomented them and the nation with utterly false accusations of election and voter fraud in the 2020 election. They continue to do this. There is a film called 2000 mules that is complete and total horseshit.
It would be like the last gasp of a terrible, ugly, racist monster swinging wildly as it goes down, except it still swings – now less publicly, without the perceived protection from a white supremacist in the White House. Ted Cruz and Ron DeSantis and Marjorie Taylor-Greene and others seek to fill the Trump-sized void, to keep the drumbeat of their racism and hate going. Their intention is nothing short of a fascist, White, Christian State.
There is significant concern that the monster has gone underground and even now plots a very real and significant coup, possibly even a civil war. Rest assured, the ugly beast – born from genocide and slavery, and cemented by white supremacy and abject racism – has dominated this nation for three hundred years. It will not go quietly.
We are and have been overdue to address it. Having calculated the impending minoritization of the so-called ‘White’ American for decades, the writing has been on the wall. The racist beast amongst them feels cornered, misunderstood and plans to retaliate against truth, justice and humanity.
These are White Americans who believe that:
I do not accept any of this. I consider it inhumane, unjust, racist and fundamentally against the founding principles of the nation’s forefathers – who, in any case, were only creating protections for themselves.
The nation has come to its inevitable crossroads once again. We reappear here at this intersection over and over through the centuries because we do not address the problem as a whole. Rather, we attempt constant fixes that pluralize over time – in the hope that we move toward a more just, fair and honest society.
We are far from it.
Truth is, we have never had one at all.
To begin, White Americans must be vetted in the context of what we consider right today. Let us root out those that harbor racist, violent thoughts against others. Let us root out the homegrown terrorists. And disarm them.
Since the coup attempt, many are hiding and plotting – by definition, treasonous acts. They don’t hide very well, since they explode with it all over social media. We should have begun there a long time ago. To those of you, particularly young people, who are into cancel culture: you don’t have to cancel them, you can identify and keep the light on them. Vet and Dox these people. Keep a record.
Whites have ‘vetted’ everyone else, brutally, for centuries. That should end now, with an appropriate vetting of them, in the context of our nation as it stands today.
Let’s discern who, exactly, attempts to author the USA on racist terms, and on religious terms – when the First Amendment clearly states we shall not. Let us establish and publicly name who works for the ends of Whites above others, exclusively, and how. Who seeks to establish a religion for our nation and oppress other spiritualities? Who seeks to hold down alternative culture?
Let us vet all of those in power for racial and social inequities. Expose through vetting what their actual opinions are and make them known. Start with the Whites.
Whites Must Be Vetted
— M.T. Karthik
October, 2020 – January 2022
05 Wednesday Jan 2022
Posted 2022, beliefs, etiquette, midlifein
Greetings and blessings for good health to all visitors:
I’ve thus far survived Covid-19 uninfected by maintaining quarantine protocols at home and during travel, minding for symptoms (taking temperature, and holding deep breaths, regularly). I have followed CDC recommendations consistently throughout and got tested before travel and upon return in 2020 and ’21.
At age 54, I received the Pfizer BioNTech Sars Cov-2 vaccine via two 0.3ml doses (May 3rd and 24th of 2021) and Pfizer booster six months later (November 24th). I generally have groceries and staples delivered, am masked everywhere I go, and do not attend crowded events.
No longer on “social media,” but what small amount of content I made about coronavirus is clear: I hope that if you can, you will accept vaccination as a good method to aid in the fight against the nastiest respiratory virus in human history.
Added back the tabs that were off during the last U.S. Presidency: flora, fauna, landscapes, sketches and looks. Ended Twitter account @mtksf and YouTube channel in 2021 – quit social media after the passing of my father, during pandemic quarantine. But my separation and isolation are not a result of any of that, as you can see by exploring this site, an archive until I turned 50.
I write and make art – just no longer online. I feel increasingly cut off from both the society that grows around me and that of any given culture on earth – including that of my birth – but I feel a part of the whole, still. I long to be back on the road, to make my way back home to Asia, and to travel in the Global South, a part of the world I’ve yet to explore.
But, like everyone, because we are amidst a global pandemic, I endure stasis … of travel plans, of local plans, of plans. Quarantine for me remains one wave: March 13th, 2020 to now.
I think I’ve learned that stasis is best maintained by equilibrium, which can be induced if you think, feel and act. I learned to use some tools for this: the dart board is an excellent one for focus, pace and patience. My Quar-Quar 2020 Playlist is all the songs I listened to on heavy rotation during the great lockdown of ’20-’21. But by far the best things to emerge from the great lockdown of ’20 – ’21 for me were getting Google Fiber at home and using Radio Garden, the brilliant Scandinavian non-profit’s global radio app on my phone. radio dot garden.
If you want to see and hear me, the YT channel has plenty in which I appear, perform and read.
wash your hands often, and do maintain social distances and protocols for general public health, please.
10 Friday Jun 2016
Wrote this ten days ago but didn’t have internet access to upload it.
June 1st, 2016
Giants Baseball Corner
I owe Jake Peavy an apology.
Jake, on your 35th birthday you were a badass.
I don’t know anyone who can say they dominated a Major League Baseball team from the mound and, being that it’s the NL, scored the winning run on their 35th birthday. That was awesome.
An aside: on my 35th birthday, my girl was three months pregnant with our son. I was shuttling back and forth between SF and LA working on projects. My girl was working for a major magazine down in LA. We were Giants fans in LA the year we we’d go to the WS and lose to the Angels. T’was rough.
As a former BoSox pitcher you must have seen the type of fan I am before … pining for years for victory, way too focused on irrelevant details. Quick to anger and panicky. Man, I am dumb.
That now 13-year-old boy and I got to see you pitch live for the first time this year, on Opening Day at the Yard. It was a rough start for you and in the subsequent weeks, I was critical of your performance and said some things I shouldn’t have. I apologize.
Sometimes, I’m the worst kind of fan – the one who vests too much into things that don’t matter, driven by my anxety and love for the team’s success.
Your game yesterday and the start before it put me in my place. I appreciate what all you have done for this team. The great starts are great and I will try harder to understand how difficult the game must be during the poor ones.
Well done, Jake, Happy Birthday.
Thanks for your efforts and let’s get Johnny a second ring!
29 Thursday May 2014
Posted etiquette, McCovey Covein
15 Thursday May 2014
Posted Commentary, etiquettein
apologies, baseball, blog, do, explanations, for, form, Francisco, giants, henry, i, is, it, it's, long, magowan, muchal, Peter, readers, request, San, schulman, sf, this, urban, who, why, writing
Every day or at most every couple of days, I set aside my responsibilities as a father and all my work as an artist and a writer to create the entries on this blog. It costs me time and, arguably, money.
So, recently I’ve wondered why I do it at all. Today, I want to answer that question as an attempt to invite you, dear reader, to read, follow and engage with me.
I do this because I love the Giants and I love to write. I think I have novel ideas about the state of play and the team itself, that are NOT being expressed in the social media realm. I express them on the radio as “M.T.” and on this blog, and in tweets @giantsbaseballc as an attempt to get my two cents in sure, but more, hoping to improve the team and the discourse.
I’ve been a fan of the Giants longer than many of the current fans I read on twitter have been alive. As a 47-year-old, my view is informed by three decades of watching this team, not just the four years since we won our first World Series in SF. I’m no bandwagoner.
Coincidentally, one of my high school friends married into the Magowan family in 1994, so I was lucky to be able to meet Peter and his family and to be a part of the Giants family in a small way, too. I’ll never forget running into Peter Magowan out in front of the park on a gray day in November of 2010. He was just walking on King street toward the parking lot with his brief case in his hand. I looked up and said, “Peter.” (stupidly … I mean I should have said, “Mr. Magowan” .. I was just taken aback ’cause he was standing right in front of me). I’d only met the guy once 15 years earlier, but he stopped, remembered me by name and had a thrilling chat with my son and I about our deliriously exciting World Series win. It felt like we were part of the family.
The same happened in 2012 when SFG productions asked my son and me to participate in the “Together We’re Giant” campaign, following us through the NLCS and World Series games. When they were done editing it, we were amazed to find we were the first people fans hear and see in the critical episode. That was so cool. Our episode even won an Emmy!
So I do this because I want the team to win, but because I believe that can only happen if the fan base is smart, analytical and keeps a high tenor to the discourse. I believe I occasionally make avant-garde analysis in an attempt to push the team and our fans toward a deeper, more nuanced view. I’ll just give you one example fans from 2010 may remember.
In the summer of 2010, when Jeremy Affeldt was blowing starts, I went on a radio and text campaign to praise and push for the employment of Javier Lopez in all of Affeldt’s would be starts until Affeldt could rectify whatever was wrong. I did this loudly, as M.T., and for a time was the only one doing it in early July of that year. I have recordings of the first times I went on KNBR to discuss this.
Mychal Urban picked it up and gave me some air time. The discussion picked up steam … and we all know what’s happened since. The two lefty relievers compliment each other perfectly. Affeldt used the push of Lopez to improve. Instead of competing they worked together. It’s one of the reasons I use a quote from Lopez as this blog’s tagline: “focused on the relentless flow of the positive river.”
Of course, I am not so narcissistic as to believe I changed team chemistry or team management. I do believe however that a lot of fans discussing it may have helped let it seep into staff ideology.
I try to do this kind of thing all year long, to come up with a way we aren’t looking at it or that’s different somehow and push it into the discourse. It’s fun and makes me feel like I am part of the collective will of our team, our fans. I am occasionally provocative and just plain wrong. It’s an inevitability of trying to be avant-garde, to think outside the box. This turns a lot of people off on twitter and elsewhere. But it’s like a prototypical swing-for-the-fences guy … lotsa homers, lotsa strikeouts.
In my opinion, in recent times, the quality of coverage of the Giants has been significantly reduced by the demands of a sportstainment complex that seeks to equate all fans – bandwagoners and old-timers, fans who know little about the game and those with lots of knowledge, the young and the old.
All of this takes place in the social media realm in a very commercially driven way … so diversity of coverage has dropped and reiteration of the same (sometimes banal) points goes on ad nauseum.
The very language of coverage has changed so much that Henry Schulman, whom I admire, has changed his style to suit the social media demands. The beat writer changing good, journalistic, analytical language for petty, social media chit-chat is only one example of something I lament and last year, it got me in trouble.
I went out drinking with some friends who bought too many rounds, more than I usually indulge in. I came home and read one of Schulman’s particularly offensive stretches into what he obviously must do as the beat reporter to keep followers in this new era, and foolishly, I berated him and tweeted that he “only had his job because of the Giants.”
This was misinterpreted by him and others as a critique of his fine work and I paid a price socially (social medially?) for it. People thought I was mean-spirited. IN FACT THAT WAS NOT WHAT I MEANT AT ALL.
What I mean, and I really, really wish Henry would understand this, is that the San Francisco Giants in 2010 saved the SF Chronicle. They were forced to fire and lay off dozens of people. They were going to shutter the paper … close it down.
Then … the Giants went on the epic tear we now celebrate as our first World Series victory in San Francisco. The team saved the paper.
That is what I meant.
I tweeted it, and taken out of context (granted coupled with my criticism of Henry’s work being reduced to inane social media blather), it read all wrong.
I don’t think I owe Henry any more apologies than I have already exchanged with him, but I never got to explain what I meant, that I hate when he is forced to do stupid work to stay “social.” Of course, I appreciate Schulman when he does great work, I have for a decade. I simply meant he and the rest of the workers at his paper are lucky they still have a place to go to work, and it is in large part due to the Championship team that sold papers all summer and autumn of 2010. Their winning ways help to this day.
From the Comcast producers’ ideas of spending so much time covering people’s hats, outfits and behavior in the stands, to the utterly pathetic non-baseball blather of Gary and Larry on KNBR, much of the coverage that seeks to mollify the half-interested under an umbrella of “social-ness” has gotten base and/or way too social, and so it’s often unreadable or unlistenable to me. I enjoy it sometimes of course, but I long for something … else.
So I do this because I want coverage like the kind I produce here: text driven, summative, analytical, long form, which takes critique seriously; instead of the sycophancy of a social media insider’s crowd. I think there is way too much glad-handing and empty critique. The result is that all of the coverage is filled with social media asides, petty complaints about irrelevancies, catty chat, and, increasingly, less baseball analysis and discussion.
As an aside, I do credit Marty Lurie, who joined us only recently – 2010 – and whom at first, I disagreed with considerably more than I do today. He is a true fan of the game and it is a pleasure to talk about it with him … most days 😉 … I hate when you are dismissive of my wilder suggestions, Marty, but I get it, you’re a lawyer.
I wrote this in 2012 about my experiences with Marty Lurie.
So I am writing this for people who agree with me about some of these complaints or attitudes, if you will, and who seek another positive, but honest fan’s perspective. I don’t mean to condescend or to be naive or to offend.
Recently I offended a twitter follower and Giants fan simply by suggesting a statistical response to her single word critique of Bruce Bochy. He pulled a pitcher and she wrote “WHY???”
I replied that the next batter was particularly good against lefties and so management probably was looking to odds. I listed the batting stats in the reply. I was just trying to provide a stat that might explain the skipper’s actions.
What I received in return for this was vitriol and accusations that I was condescending to her. It was totally uncalled for and very representative of what I hear on the radio more and more, and read on twitter, FB and elsewhere. It’s over-emotional, with way too much “homerism” and often devoid of perspective.
I know for a fact I’ve been a fan of the team longer than this particular person has been alive. In fact, I suppose I am on twitter just so I can find some other way to relate to younger people.
But I was just trying to contribute, to take the conversation to another level. I asked her why she had me on blast … and got a loud, defensive reaction. We unfollowed each other promptly afterward. I don’t think I need to apologize, but I will here, since you know who you are. I hope we can re-follow one another someday and this explanation of my somewhat eccentric methods helps to explain my approach.
I just don’t like the way the new media is affecting coverage of the game. I’m old school, I guess. The beauty of a blog is that I can do whatever I want here. … so I have been.
But it takes a lot of time, and unlike Henry, Kruk, Kuip, Dave, Jon, Alex, Baggs, Marty, Haft, BASG, Brisbee or the others I enjoy, I’m not being paid for my efforts. That’s not a plug, just a fact … I don’t seek to make money from this blog … I seek to be taken seriously as an analytical voice in the Giants community. It’d be nice to be invited to contribute.
I am disappointed in much of what I read and hear and see, so I want a place were I can write and re-read the season with analysis that’s leaner and more focused on the overall trending of the team. My own view.
Here I must say guys like Henry, Kruk, Kuip, Dave, Jon, Alex, Baggs, Marty, Haft, BASG and Brisbee are all good at a lot of things. That’s why I read and listen and have read and listened to them all so often, but the overall language, in general, is changing in a way that doesn’t make it enjoyable to a guy like me.
I know there are fans out there who, like me, think of the players as numbers and positions more than personalities; who like to indulge in aggressively calculated second-guessing and deeper analysis of management decision-making; who like to READ longer sentences, more poetic and prosaic approaches to the game itself.
If so, that’s who this blog is for.
I really hope you will join me, but if not, that you will pass this address on to someone else who might. It would be comforting to know there are at least a few out there who like looking at the game for the game it is, talking positively about opponents when they make good plays or perform well; admiring the state of play; and being capable of critique while supporting the Giants as fans and analysts.
Maybe this is all just a long-winded way of saying I don’t think my stuff is working the way everybody else’s is. But I think I am also saying, I don’t really want or expect it to. I’m not a kid-journalist trying to get a job. I’ve already had careers as a sports journalist, a news correspondent, a published author, a collected artist. I’m in mid-career. This is a labor of love for me to try to get back something I miss. If you miss it too, please join me.
09 Sunday Sep 2012
If you are at the game, be at the game.
Here in San Francisco we’re struggling to win baseball games at home down the stretch and I’m convinced it’s because our fans, led by Comcast, are far too distracted by things that have nothing to do with the game – even while the game is being played!
We’re distracted and our team needs us to be focused.
This was never true at Candlestick, where it was cold, windy and miserable most of the time. You were there because you loved the Giants and watched every pitch.
If we want to win home games, fans have to focus on every pitch. It’s called watching the live action and all long-time fans do it. You chat between pitches, but when the pitcher sets, you do too and you turn to face the plate.
These days, because of the incredible number of distractions from the scoreboard and overtly non-baseball production of the media, I see fans bringing children under six or seven who have no interest in the game, who are there solely because a parent is making them be there.
These parents bring their kids as an entertainment for the children, which would be cool if they kept them abreast of what was happening, taught them to score the game and etc. But they don’t spend the requisite time making them watch, and indeed focus intently on, the action when it is live.
I saw two young girls facing each other in the seats in front of me talking to each other for an entire inning in the Lower Box. Their Dad was sitting beside them on his cel-phone the entire game, just chatting away and looking all around the park! They could’ve been beaned so easily by a foul ball.
I also see lots of tourists in our crowd – people here for our fabulous Indian Summer – it’s the high season after all. But these fans are hardly as loud or supportive as our own home-grown fans, which is why we have to lead them.
I watch Comcast spend more time following people goofing around or wearing funny hats or the Delorean hovercraft in McCovey Cove than the game itself; listen to Kruk and Kuip (normally solid baseball analysts) making inane social commentary about Gamer babes and Amy G pushing soccer Mom culture and I think all of this is creating social media fans not baseball fans and it’s definitely created the distracted attitude at the game.
ENOUGH. Fans have to get involved.
Mat Latos was on the mound for the Reds earlier this year and he was tearing us apart. It was the bottom of the third at AT&T Park, midweek, daygame. It felt like a morgue. As soon as Latos strode to the mound I yelled, loudly, “Hey Mat! Oh My God! You have a no-hitter going! … Woah! Don’t think about it man!”
It freaked out my whole section and some tittered nervously.
On the next pitch Angel Pagan singled to right.
This was calculated. Watch the action, see what would help, plan your comment, wait for a quiet moment and throw it out into the field of play.
Second example was against the Nats when Timmy faced the Phenom and Melky was suspended – crazy game. But we were within striking distance at the end when Pablo popped up to the infield and ran hard for first. The crowd above the first base line shouted and screamed and went nuts forcing the second baseman to drop the pop-up, an error that allowed Panda to get on. It was awesome. Fruitless, but awesome.
The guys need you. Get involved in every play. If you brought kids, teach them to do the same. Pay attention and root for our guys. They can hear you.
You need to pump Zeets up. You need to encourage Pence and Blanco to be more patient at the plate. You need to push the Dodgers into mistakes.
When you are at the park, BE AT THE PARK.
TOGETHER WE’RE GIANT.