Where Were You When Mark McGwire Hit His Home Run?

by Paul Chaplin

This is one of those moments that you'll always remember where you were when it happened, said a guy named Buck last Tuesday night, I forget his first name but he's the son of Jack Buck, long-time and (it goes without saying) beloved announcer for the St. Louis Cardinals; the son works for Fox.

It's three days later, and so far Mr. Son-of-a-Buck (ha ha) has proven correct, at least in my case. I remember where I was. I was in the basement watching TV.

That pretty much sums up all I can think of to say on the whole McGwire thing.

What I'd like to address, since we've progressed to the new business portion of the agenda, is the trend we have in this country where sons get to just step right in and do what their fathers did. Here's a partial list:

  • That Buck kid.
  • Two different Carays, son of Harry. One's named Chip, the other Skip, and not only is Chip an announcer, he's an announcer for the Cubs.
  • Al Unser Jr., race car driver.
  • Michael Andretti, race car driver.
  • At least three other race car drivers whose names I can't think of.
  • Hank Williams Jr. (By the way, just what is a Bocephus?)
  • A handful of Bushes, including Jeb Bush and especially including George Jr., who may well be our next president.
  • Jack Nicklaus, Jr.
  • A Stockton, son of Dave, also currently making a lot of money winning nothing on the PGA tour.

Unless I miss my guess, isn't the son of Art Wall also a pro golfer?

Here in Minnesota:

  • Mike Freeman, son of former Governor Orville Freeman, and currently running for governor Skip Humphrey, son of you know who, running for governor.
  • Ted Mondale, equally bland son of Walter, also running for governor.
  • Jamie Lee Curtis - technically, not a son, but it's the same basic idea.

I think I've made my point. Oh wait, I haven't. What is my point? Oh heck, as long as I've got the floor I'll go out on a limb and say the proliferation of sons means we're falling apart as a civilization.

This becomes most clear when you consider that George Bush Jr. is going to be president. That's the best we can do? We have somehow developed, and keep in mind it's only ten years later, such fondness for the memory of George Bush that we pantingly rush to his son, a pale imitation of a pale original?

It's the information economy, I tell you. We have an economy based on nothing, so there is no realistic measure of worth anymore. If you got a name, you're on your way.

[posted 9/98]

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