brewers baseball and things

i was staring at Karl Marx’s beard on the subway


Exterminators don’t stand on podiums. They don’t reveal their findings to what they hope is a receptive audience. They charge money because they guard a secret like lawyers, doctors, and car mechanics.

But there is another kind of manifesto man and he doesn’t charge a penny. He does the opposite. He begs for an audience and tends to gravitate towards a down and out crowd with financial and psychological insecurity or people like me with nothing to do while riding the subway.

Sometimes I’m as gullible as a German in 1942 or a pack of mice being led to the slaughter, but I saw Karl Marx on the subway and he was talking to himself and some of us weren’t scared because he had no cell phone.

Baseball is no longer the most popular sport in the United States, hasn’t been for many years. Football reigns and the anti baseball feelings or anti MLB as a corporate entity have reached amazingly cliché levels, so high and so frequent that the ground seems fertile for a manifesto man to sweep me and the mob off their feet and lead us to a pseudo promise land. I’m desperate enough to sign up.

“The tickets are too expensive. The food is overpriced. Can’t even see the field. The view is obstructed. Blame Bud Selig. It’s not like it used to be. Players are too rich. Nostalgia, nostalgia, nostalgia. Clever and sarcastic, but just nostalgia in disguise or no disguise at all.

Nazi Germany was filled with folklore nostalgia as a political tool and then blended it with finger-pointing blame and people got riled up. Thank goodness for freedom of speech or is it just a tool to subdue the riot potential? Or do people just shoot their mouths off and then drift back into smug-ville….yippppe for me, myself and I? Is it all entertainment?

We gripe and complain, but when it comes to toppling statues and seizing control of front offices, all is quiet, at least in North America. I’m guilty. Give me more 162 games of opium dammit.

But this manifesto Marx guy wants to change all that. He already had the beard of a closer and North America doesn’t mind Jews anymore especially the secular kind like Karl Marx. Communism is no longer a big scare. There’s even Cuban born players being paid millions to join the MLB.

I’ve never read any of Marx’s manifestos, but this guy had a pamphlet; one page in big letters. Seemed simple enough.  Capitalism spreads like a cancer all over the world and then communism makes its move. We’re still in the middle of Marx with fake eastern European revolutions as pseudo triumphs; an intermission. And now it’s time. Someone gave him 25 cents. It seemed ironic or something.

But Karl Marx is dead I said. But he was the father of 8 or 9 children, the guy said and someone carries the torch further. And then the guy smiled as if to say it was him. He had a holy stench, smelled better than expensive cologne. “Doesn’t anyone want to play “topple the regime” and seize the assets, hold players hostage?” He wouldn’t stop talking.

“Governments in Europe are afraid of the people and in America, the opposite is true. The people are afraid of the government except when it comes to pretend; that pseudo bravery-shooting one’s mouth off and exercising freedom of speech, wannabee idols.  Seems more like bread crumbs to the birds. Nothing changes.”

But then up from a ground swell comes this Karl Marx; wandering a city and gathering support; leading a posse to the glass doors of a stadium. Tires are burning. Cars are turned over. Explosions and fire and in the aftermath, the echo of Vivien Leigh….”Tara Tara Tara” is  dirt for a new baseball diamond. Or maybe I’m too gullible?

The subway costs three freaking dollars. I wonder if this Marx guy was hired by the government as an entertainer. They do that in Montreal. Street musicians have to sign up, get a license. They’re turning the damn pool hall into a country club.


Author: Steve Myers

I grew up in Milwaukee and have been a Milwaukee Brewers baseball fan for as long as I can remember.

10 thoughts on “i was staring at Karl Marx’s beard on the subway

  1. Meanwhile, over at MLB, you have 30 capitalist billionaires who have created a system of revenue sharing, (which they would condemn as socialism in any other situation), to enable the “poor” teams to compete with the “rich” teams. Gotta level that playing field, though, at least among oligarchs.
    Fine post,

    • Isn’t that a cartel rather than socialism?

      • I guess that depends on which side of the table you’re sitting on. If you don’t like it (like the Yankees, especially) you might call it socialism because it’s being imposed on you under the guise of “fairness.” I think a cartel implies that all participants are more or less equally satisfied with the distribution of their piece of the pie.

      • If you define ‘socialism’ by ‘imposition’ (a cultural position, I would say, from the point of view of someone who studies, as an amateur, the embedding of ideology in our societies) then I follow your train of thought entirely.

    • Thanks Bill. Have Yankee higher ups really complained about the revenue sharing?

  2. That reminds me, I once read Marx/Engels preface to ‘The Communist Manifesto’. It deals mainly with the state of capitalism in the mid 19c. It sounded awfully familiar to me, but then I was reading it in the middle of the late 20c Thatcher period.

  3. I don’t think any any modern day theory applies to MLB as they are a private entity looking out for their own interests…which is somewhat even and “fair” play. Hence, the 2nd wild card. I’m assuming they want to look out for all owners instead of a select few. A glorified “old boys club,” if you will.
    This blog just keeps getting better and more in depth. This story got me to thinking about this episode….
    Oakland be craaaaaaaazy!!!!

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