Monday, July 9, 2012


Stormy weather has finally hit here in the middle of Texas.

As I write this on Monday evening, my roof is being pattered with rain and thunder frequently rumbles. Enormous and dark clouds arrived here yesterday, and last night up in Arlington this happened in the middle of a major league baseball game:

A field full of supposedly tough grown men, professional baseball players, made to cower with fear in a millisecond. Watch as they all sprint off the field even though it isn't raining.

Did I mention I started to read Finnegans Wake in earnest this weekend? The 100-letter word in the title of this post is the voice of God in the Wake, the thunderclap which explodes 10 different times in the book, each time signaling a new cycle in history. Adapted from Giambattista Vico's theory of the repeating cycles of human history, in which thunder scares aristocratic, intelligent, arrogantly advanced humankind into a crippling fear of God and they go back to the first stage, theocracy, the Divine Age.

Vico purported that primitive humans were so terrified of thunder that they fled into caves, just as the ballplayers flee into the dugout. 

The thunderword written above is on the first page of the book and contains the word for "thunder" in at least 13 different languages.

A loud crash of thunder ("A black crack of noise in the street") also blasts at the very center of Ulysses, marking the middle break in the book where everything changes, a dry barren wasteland gets nourished and rained on. Stephen (a stand-in for the author himself who had a great fear of thunderstorms) is made to tremble in fear as his boasting to friends is suddenly interrupted when "Loud on left Thor thundered: in anger awful the hammerhurler."

As regards the god of thunder Thor and his hammer, the most notable reaction of the baseball players in the video is Josh Willingham, a muscular slugger known as "The Hammer," falling down on all fours and covering his head.
"his heart shook within the cage of his breast as he tasted the rumour of that storm."

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With's notoriously covetous and absurd blackout rules (put in place to make sure cable companies pocket as much money as possible) I was barred from watching that Texas Rangers game last night despite paying for a baseball media package. I only got to see the great Thunderclap video when I read Grant Brisbee's hilarious coverage of it over at Baseball Nation. I strongly recommend checking that piece out, it made me laugh out loud at least 3 times. This picture that he linked to even made me fall out of my chair in laughter.

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