|[a] Not a one RF|
I couldn't really see it. I just saw that pony.
Among the many things that continue to confuse and annoy me as an adult is the tendency for people to say "I'm a realist" in hundreds of big and little ways that I never considered possible as a child with a limited experiential arsenal. In other words, I was irritated by the pony-less imaginations of the "realists," and I never got over it.
I keep thinking about it, and it is not hard to see why that little process would eventually bump into Round and Square. Let's start with a wee thought experiment that plays upon America's pastime—an idealistic and storied game for the ages, baseball.
|[b] No pony RF|
But it's a no-hitter, so let's see how the sixth inning works out. ✓Check. No hits. Now what? Three innings remain, and his shoulder is only human, for Cy Young's sake.
Well, do you pull him out, Monsieur Réaliste? Do you tell yourself that it is only a "no-hitter" (not a perfect game), that this is his first game back from a serious injury? Do you reflect that "pacing" matters as you get him ready for a long season that might last well into October? Do you walk up to the pitcher's mound and tap one of your arms, signalling to the bullpen that you want a right-handed pitcher or a left-handed one to replace him? Do you take the ball out of your pitcher's mitt (according to tribal custom) and give him a healthy slap on the ol' backside?
Do you brace yourself for the possible argument you'll get from the pitcher who is pitching a no-hitter, albeit only part way through the game?
Have you even thought about how badly you are likely to be booed by the hometown fans for breaking up their no-hitter?
"I'm a realist," the manager might say. Pitch-count is all that matters. We need him in September and October."
|[c] Triple-A perfect (2003) RF|
This realism and idealism thing is a lot more difficult than trying to figure out what Gustave Flaubert or Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel was thinking, isn't it? If you thought that we could wrap this up with a simple comparison of Marc Chagall and Calvin Coolidge, well, you'd be badly mistaken.
|[d] Real...ly? RF|
I am also thinking of politicians who call themselves realists and make fun of others whom they call idealists. And I am thinking of the reverse, too. Is a bean counter a realist? Is a poet an idealist? Is it possible to be both at the same time? (T.S. Eliot was a banker and a lyricist).
|[e] Perfect RF|