Found at In-Laws: Article from 1994 About French Baseball

Smithsonian A not infrequent topic within undergraduate literature classrooms — and within the books themselves, for whose existence those classrooms were constructed in the first place — concerns the dichotomy between free will and determinism. Speaking generally, advocates of the former claim that humans possess agency and are capable of altering the course of events; proponents of the latter, that events conspire in such a way as to produce certain, unalterable outcomes.

The present post — and the circumstances which have led to its composition — serves as evidence of that second position. Today, while organizing her parents’ attic, the author’s wife happened upon the April 1994 edition of Smithsonian magazine, which issue contains within it a droll and brief account of baseball in France. In a series of events that might be best described as “entirely predictable,” she passed said magazine along to the present author, who is a baseball weblogger concerned with trifling trifles. And because he is helpless against the tide of inevitability, what he has done is compose this post and published it.

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Carson Cistulli occasionally publishes spirited ejaculations at The New Enthusiast.

23 Responses to “Found at In-Laws: Article from 1994 About French Baseball”

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  1. Kris says:

    I blame your wife more than anyone for the downfall of the NotGraphs Empire.

    May she take up a liking of Ayn Rand and name your first child Jon Galt.

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  2. Clock says:


    We will fight the tide of inevitability, unlike the present author or this article!

    +24 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • #KeepNotGraphs says:


      +19 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Churchill says:

      “We shall go on [and fight for Notgraphs] to the end. We shall fight [Carson Cistulli] in France, we shall fight [him] on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength…we shall never surrender!”

      in more modern terms: #KeepNotGraphs

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  3. Yirmiyahu says:

    I can’t believe you still have the audacity to post here, Carson. For shame. #KeepNotGraphs #KillCustulli

    Also: “Clouds, the best show in town”? That sounds like a remarkably boring town.

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    • The Return of Rambo Diaz says:

      #Notgraphs, The best show in town.

      +9 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • jcxy says:

      Upon embiggening, I noted that curious sub-headline as well.

      In any case, perhaps Carson is gently hinting that Notgraphs may reinvent itself in magazine form–as a electronically delivered quarterly baseball revue. Fanfare for the leisured fan, and all of that.


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    • It’s one of the few endeavors, in fact, for which I possess the requisite audacity.

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    • Neville Chamberlain says:

      To quote Pushkin’s “The Cloud”: “Enough, now vanish! Your time is not endless –
      The earth is refreshed and away gone the tempest;
      And now the wind, fondling leaves of the trees,
      With pleasure is driving you out the sky bliss.” Perhaps this is but a metaphor for the inevitably of Notgraph’s demise. Only Carson has the strength to bring this great entity to its termination.

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  4. BMB says:


    Blame google for any roughness in the translation.

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  5. Dayton Moore says:


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  6. MikeS says:

    How can I reconcile still liking your writing when you are poised to become history’s greatest monster?


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  7. BbnT says:

    Who are we really mad at? Is NotGraphs more than one man? If NotGraph fails, can something greater come from it?

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  8. Seriously. #KeepNotGraphs says:

    Remember that time we kidnapped Carson in hope of saving NotGraphs? We took him to a dark place –so dark in fact that we could no longer view the cumulous white clouds so revered by Smithsonian nerds. At that point, Carson’s head lowered, his mustache frowned, and he began to sob. Somewhat compassionate, we offered to release him if he would rightfully return NotGraphs to life. At this, his face flushed with rage and his eyes swelled big like two ping pong balls indented into his otherwise angelic face. After several minutes of painful dialog and frolicking philosophical frubish, Carson swore on his love for French patriotism that NotGraphs must die. Undeterred, we began repeatedly zapping Carson with a taser, a delightful and effective procedure. Muttering something about his good friend Rob Ford and his wish to see one more Phillies game before he dies, Carson began to relent and asked to speak to his wife. We agreed, knowing well that he has no such loved one. He began to dial a number on the old flip phone we gave him, then stopped. Sweating vigorously, he looked around, shifted his feet inside his Air Jordans, and tapped his boney fingers. Then, with French diligence, he fainted. We took his wallet and left him there to rot in him shame. We last saw Carson at Chick-fil-a enjoying a free entree, delighted in the savory taste of trifling trifles.

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