Timesian gratuitous put-down of white athletes
From George Vecsey’s Sports of the Times column today comparing Josh Hamilton with Mickey Mantle:
Still discovering himself at 29, Hamilton reminds me of a switch-hitting superstar center fielder from an earlier age, one who is back in the spotlight these days. He reminds me of Mickey Mantle, not, I would like to think, because of some subliminal fascination with white superstars …
Talk about “coming out of left field. ” The whole Times is psychotic.
The article goes on to say:
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As the Rangers won their first pennant Friday night, I could not help but think of Mantle, who settled in Dallas and died there in 1995, and is the subject of a revealing biography, “The Last Boy: Mickey Mantle and the End of America’s Childhood,” by Jane Leavy, recently published by HarperCollins.
Jane Leavy, huh? How sick one is of authors, screenwriters, movie directors, and TV producers with Jewish names deriding and devaluing white non-Jewish America, portraying it as psychologically defective and crippled, as mad or evil. Enough is enough, liberal Jews of the “cultural elite”! Your poison is not wanted any more. You’ve had a free ride for fifty years. The ride is not going to last forever.
Roger G. writes:
I’m a Jew, and I agree absolutely, but if that’s going on here, I’m missing it.
The Times article is nothing but favorable to Christianity, and suggests that Leavy’s Mantle biography is the same. It discusses how beneficial Christianity has been in rehabilitating athletes, and refers to Leavy as recounting how Christianity healed Mantle spiritually, but came into his life too late too save it.
I have not read Leavy, so I have no idea if she maligns white gentile America in general. Mantle in particular indeed was flawed and tormented—an alcoholic, a voyeur, and promiscuous. Regarding his having been abused, long ago I read a Mantle biography (I’m pretty sure it was written in the very early 60’s) that recounted an incident from his childhood wherein he was having trouble batting lefthanded against a rightie, and so switched to the other side of the plate, whereupon his father took him out of the game, dragged him home, and beat him. This book was definitely not an expose, or intended at all to be controversial, but rather mainstream and celebratory—a standard precultural revolution treatment provided for adolescents and teenagers. The author intended this anecdote to be a positive reflection on Mantle’s father, and was not trying to evoke the horror and disgust it actually engendered (in me, anyway).
I was going by the typically sneering, superior title of her book.
David B. writes:
I just saw your post about George Vecsey’s put-down of Mickey Mantle and white athletes in general. He evidently feels you have to apologize for admiring a white athlete. I have seen this many times. Almost every Mantle book is defensive about his supposed popularity advantage over Willie Mays (I liked both of them).
I recently purchased Jane Leavy’s Mickey Mantle book. Have you read her biography of Sandy Koufax? It is very admiring.
Leavy’s Mantle book has a lot about his bad childhood, abuse, womanizing, alcoholism, etc. Many writers love to find negatives in small town America. That being said, she does say a lot of good things about Mickey Mantle. He tore up a knee in the 1951 World Series and played on it for 17 more years. Mantle was a great teammate to the other Yankees.
Koufax didn’t have a drinking problem, but I suppose a writer could paint a negative picture of him if they wanted to, similar to Richard Ben Cramer’s Joe DiMaggio book.
For the record, when I was a kid, I was a bigger Willie Mays fan than Mickey Mantle fan.
Roger G. replies:
LA : “I was going by the typically sneering, superior title of her book.”
But countless proAmerican, conservative commentators have written of Mantle in Peter Panean terms, and of America in his heyday as being childlike—in a positive sense of more innocent, less cynical, etc. As for Mantle being the last boy, his career was winding down 1966-67, when the rot was setting in.
One of the protagonists featured in The Nightingale’s Song notes the enormous cultural changes of this period by means of an insightful contrast: when he entered the Naval Academy in 1964, the Beatles wanted to hold your hand; when he graduated in 1968, they wanted you to do it in the road.
Anyway, from the little of Leavy’s work that I’ve read online, I see nothing sneering or superior. Unless you have more, then in my opinion you’re holding her responsible for the sins of other Jews, and maligning her.
“The Last Boy: Mickey Mantle and the End of America’s Childhood,” reeks of cultural condescension. Was America really a “child” until the 1960s? But it is a standard view among the liberal Jewish cultural elite that until the Sixties WASP-led America was sexually repressed, fascist, immature, crushingly homogeneous, etc., and that it was only the wonderful Jewish-led Sixties revolution that made America real and genuine. Now maybe you are right and that is not what she is saying in her book. But I wasn’t commenting on her book, but on the title, and the type of cultural put-down of America which it seems to exemplify.
“But it is a standard view among the liberal Jewish cultural elite that until the Sixties WASP-led America was sexually repressed, fascist, immature, crushingly homogeneous, etc., and that it was only the wonderful Jewish-led Sixties revolution that made America real and genuine.”
That’s certainly true.
And she did graduate both Barnard College and Columbia Journalism. But this combination is only compellingly suggestive, not conclusively demonstrative, of treason.
Sophia A. writes:
You are quite right about latter day sports writers being insufferably PC. The sports beat was the last to go, but it fell with a resounding sweep.
However, Jane Leavy isn’t really an example of that. She’s definitely a contemporary sports writer in that she’s a woman, but she’s more of a breathless fan-girl than a detractor. Her book about Sandy Koufax was one big mash note. [LA replies: But Koufax was a Jew.]
The subtitle of the Mantle book is accurate: the guy was a big child. He admitted so himself. I wince at these pretentious subtitles too, but in this case, I wouldn’t ascribe it to Leavy’s hostility. I’d say that her publisher needed to do this. Someone will write a bio of Perez Hilton, and it’ll have a title like” Perez Hilton and The End of American Innocence.”
Regarding the constant put-downs of white athletes, it’s ubiquitous and I hate it as much as you do. I could send you a bundle of white-hating quotes from the boxing world alone. But I don’t think Leavy’s book is an example of that.
For the third time, I wasn’t speaking about Leavy’s book, but the title, and the title wasn’t just about Mantle’s childhood, but America’s.
Sophia A. continues:
The previous email was written to dissent from your point about Leavy. I’m writing now to agree with you about Vecsey. He is one of the very very worst of the NY Times sportswriters, and his racializing baseball is simply disgusting.
Posted by Lawrence Auster at October 24, 2010 05:53 PM | Send
“He reminds me of Mickey Mantle, not, I would like to think, because of some subliminal fascination with white superstars, but because Mantle’s tortured life and Hamilton’s imperiled life strike me as very close to each other.”
One of the things that turned me off to boxing was the obsessive racializing. It’s the only sport in which a fighter’s race is considered a legitimate factor in describing the athlete. But you didn’t describe a baseball pitcher as, say, 6’3”, 220 pounds, and white (or black, or yellow). He was a pitcher. Of course everyone noticed race, but we didn’t consider it relevant as an essential datum of the man’s playing.
No more. A pox on Vecsey and his kind.