brewers baseball and things

walkabout

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Rose; cincinnati.com

Rose; cincinnati.com

Pete Rose didn’t walk to first base after four balls. He sprinted as if he knew there once was a time when 5 balls were required to get a free pass, 6 before that, 7,8, and 9 way back in the beginning.

In the first box scores of Henry Chadwick, the walk was ignored and maybe understood to be a pitcher’s mistake rather than the good eye; discipline and self-control of the batter. Today’s digital box scores provide a separate column for player walks.

The privilege to walk on two feet is what distinguishes humans and monkeys from all other animals and creatures. The automobile may rule the economy and urban landscape with petroleum and cement flowing like milk and honey, but baseball assigns the word walk as 90 free feet for the base runner; one-fourth of a score.

In basketball, to walk is to cheat. It’s a violation. It’s moving with the ball and failing to dribble; taking steps. The ball is turned over to the other team.

From the opening of the movie Walkabout,…”In Australia, when an aborigine man-child reaches 16, he is sent out into the land. For months, he must live from it. Sleep on it. Eat of its fruit and flesh. Stay alive. Even if it means killing his fellow creatures. The Aborigines call it the Walkabout.” 

The Brewers played back to back day games against Toronto in celebration of Canada Day. The night suddenly felt like a long road with no vanishing point. I flipped to the APTN network. There was coverage of a commemorative walk from Passamaquoddy Bay in Maine to Bad River, Wisconsin; a dedication to symbolically merge waters.

I made a google search for “best survival movies” and found the most sensible reply at the bottom of the article and followed its lead to the movie “Walkabout.”

My first thought as the eerie didgeridoo sounds played to images of cars, skyscrapers, and people traffic in Australia was cinematography. I don’t know why that word popped into my mind? I never use that word; don’t know it’s definition, but it was there and kept growing.

The images of Australia’s outback; the kangaroos, lizards, barren spaces, strange rock formations, trees, ants kept coming and the directors knack for inserting these scenes into strategic spots during the movie made for one layered experience; a language without narration or easy explanations; no short cuts. 

The Australian school girl-Jenny Agutter and her little brother take a ride with their father in a car; out to the wild. Dad’s a geologist and studying maps. He’s also lost his mind and after shooting a live round of ammo at his kids; he sets the car on fire and blows his brains out.

walkabout; rogerebert.com

walkabout; rogerebert.com

Sudden as it would be in real life. Kabooom. The girl instinctively protects her brother from the horror and the two walk in the opposite direction of the car’s cloud of black smoke civilization into the backwoods where a different kind of horror awaits them.

They go on a walkabout without really knowing it’s a walkabout and at the same time, an aboriginal is on his own walkabout. Their paths merge.

There are no easy explanations of what happens. Communication is hard enough as it is. The perspective comes from the land and sky as it absorbs the dreams, fears, and rituals of both the white girl, her brother and the aboriginal.. There is no judgment about one way of life being superior to the other; just hints of humanimal attraction, courting, dance, ritual, love, death, and no happy ending. It’s a walkabout.   

The Brewers lost on a walk off three run home run by Edwin Encarnacion. That’s what mlb.com says. I didn’t see the game. Final score; Toronto 7, Brewers 4. Blue Jay pitchers did not walk one Brewer’s batter.

The Brewers are 51-35.

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Author: Steve Myers

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

One thought on “walkabout

  1. The Aborigine in ‘Walkabout’ is the interesting David Gulpilil, in real life a noted interpreter of Aborigine dance. He also popped up in ‘Crocodile Dundee’.

    In cricket, to ‘walk’ is when a batsman heads for the pavilion, acknowledging that he is out, before the umpire has signalled him out.

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