I'm almost 40 now, and I've gone through the whole mid-life crisis thing, and if there's anything valuable that I got out of that crap, it's this, my new personal motto:
Like what you like.
I suppose that's just a variation of Joseph Campbell's "follow your bliss", but sometimes you gotta put things in your own words for it to really make sense to you.
Don't have guilty pleasures. Just have pleasures. You are who you are, and you like what you like, and as long as you're not hurting anyone else, don't apologize.
It's much, much harder than it sounds. There's so much crap in our lives, so many pressures coming from here and there, to think this, and want that, and do the other. If liking what you like wasn't so hard, it wouldn't be so rare to find someone who actually lives their life that way.
As I read all the stories about Bill King's passing, the saddest part of all of it was the realization that King probably personified this philosophy better than anybody in the history of the planet.
Bill King deserves his own religion. Seriously.
And so as I begin my attempt at King discipledom, I find myself increasingly annoyed at those who try to stop me from liking what I like, or try to stop other people from liking what they like.
Which leads us to Bartolo Colon.
I am not annoyed that Bartolo Colon won the Cy Young. I am annoyed at the namecalling that has emerged over the choice. Words like "idiots" and "insane" are flying around the blogosphere. That's exactly the kind of "don't-like-what-you-like" crap that BillKingism teaches us we need to throw out of our lives.
Listen: Awards are not measurements. Awards are celebrations.
Suppose there's a $1,000,000 lottery drawing tonight. The tickets are hidden on a baseball field. JS manages to find 4,000 hidden lottery tickets, and BC manages to find only one. JS has 3,999 more chances to win than BC. But somehow, BC wins the lottery, anyway! JS is clearly, and by far, the best lottery player. BC just got lucky.
But at this point, the relevant question to ask is not, "who was the best lottery player?" The question is: "whose party do you want to attend tonight?"
That question has nothing to do with logic, statistics, or probabilities. The time for being rational has passed. The question is now about celebration and fun. Perhaps you choose to celebrate the rational choice, and you think that logic is fun, and that's fine. But lots of things can be fun, logic being only one of them, and one shouldn't be belittled for picking one of the others.
I am not saying I agree with the choice of Bartolo Colon for Cy Young. If I had to play the 2005 season over again, and I could pick one pitcher, I'd pick Johan Santana. If I had to celebrate one pitcher for the 2005 season, I would choose Mariano Rivera. This was a truly remarkable season in a truly remarkable career, and I think he deserves a party more than anyone.
But if some people prefer to celebrate the player who had the most wins in the American League, I'm not going to call those people names. If people like wins, they should be free to like wins. More power to them. Like what you like, people. There's nothing to apologize for.