Curt Schilling, cauldron-bellied baseball star turned political activist, has apparently decided to run for Senate in Massachusetts. His goal will be ousting an icon of the liberal hegemony he proudly despises.
"I would like to be one of the people responsible for getting Elizabeth Warren out of politics," he said last week. "She's a nightmare."
If you think the white-guy grievance movement will die after Donald Trump's likely landslide defeat this November, think again. There will be plenty of filterless, self-pitying dunces to carry the torch in Trump's place. Schilling is a leading candidate.
His story, maybe even more than Trump's, is a parable on the comically comprehensive inability of some to recognize the advantages us white guys enjoy.
The Tale of Curt is definitely worth a laugh, but it will be a short laugh for some of us. Can't-shut-up types like Schill are the reason white men will probably eventually have to be rounded up, at which point, as a shrugging Louis C.K. once pointed out, "they're going to hold us down and fuck us in the ass forever. And we totally deserve it."
Schilling was a great baseball player. He's most famous for beating the Yankees in the playoffs with a surgically repaired tendon that bled on the mound, the stuff of movies.
Big Schill has been criticized for overhyping the drama of the "bloody sock game," but that's unfair. As an athlete his two great gifts were his arm and his guts.
The latter quality was such a crucial element of his success that that Santa Claus build of his, atop those balsa-wood legs, somehow made a great fit. Curt Schilling winning on a day when he didn't have his best stuff was the perfect visual definition of what "gutting one out" looks like.
More recently, Schilling worked at ESPN, where he was paid $2.5 million a year to be an analyst.
After that, he fell back into the ESPN gig, which should have been easy money. For all his other qualities, Schilling is an excellent baseball analyst (although, humorously, his ex-teammate and rival Pedro Martinez is better).
But Curt couldn't keep his job. As is usually the case with people who can't hold on to gravy-train situations, the culprit was addiction. In Schilling's case, it wasn't booze or pills, but line-crossing political rants.
A hardcore religious conservative, Schilling can't stop posting crazy stuff online. Like Trump, he is a meme fanatic, learning much of what he knows about the world from bite-size informational crap-dumplings shared on Facebook.
He's railed against everything from evolution ("Hey clown, why don't apes still evolve into humans if that is the path?") to Hillary Clinton ("She should be buried under a jail somewhere") to Black Lives Matter (a "terrorist" group).
When Schilling compared Muslims to Nazis last summer, ESPN merely suspended him instead of canning him outright. Schilling appeared to accept responsibility, saying, "bad decisions have consequences and this was a bad decision in every way on my part."
Schilling's suspension led to the hiring of softball player Jessica Mendoza as his replacement on Sunday Night Baseball.
That move in turn led to an avalanche of frenzied anti-Mendoza rants by male sports analysts across the country, who were horrified that even one non-penis-bearing person could be elevated to a premier position analyzing the men's game. What was next, Anita Sarkeesian doing color on Monday Night Football? Is there no end to the injustice? To the suffering?
ESPN's message when they suspended Schill was very simple: Pipe down and talk baseball, and no harm will come to you. Schilling couldn't do it. In April, he retweeted a lurid meme in response to the North Carolina restroom controversy.
This, finally, cost him his job. "ESPN is an inclusive company," the network said in a statement. "Curt Schilling has been advised that his conduct was unacceptable and his employment with ESPN has been terminated."
Since being fired and freed of the heavy shackles of political correctness, Schill has gone on an Internet rampage. He's letting loose, taking it all off, targeting Sharia law, the "Demokkkrats," and ESPN analyst Stephen A. Smith, whom he called a "bigot" while insisting that he, Curt Schilling, didn't have "a racist bone in my body."
A low point came when he retweeted this:
This tirade against the seekers of "free shit" was posted by a man who got $75 million in taxpayer money to keep his already failing video game company afloat. If you're wondering, $75 million would be enough to cover a year's worth of food-stamp benefits for about 47,845 Rhode Island residents.
Having proven incapable of running a business, being a good steward of either his own money or the taxpayers', or holding down the world's cushiest job, Schilling naturally decided to get into politics.
Don't bet against him winning a Senate seat in my home state of Massachusetts, either. His would be a victory for the cause of ignorance and tone-deafness perhaps even exceeding Trump's capture of the Republican nomination.
Schilling's biggest political crime isn't his ranting about subjects he knows nothing about, his insistence on arguing science with scientists, or his pathological touchiness about being labeled a racist even as he makes endless unprovoked sorties into explosive racial/ethnic controversies.
No, the baffling thing is how miserable he is in the face of great fortune.
Understanding that there's a distinction between being smart and being educated, Schilling got to be filthy rich without being either, thanks to that winning genetic lottery ticket hanging off his right shoulder.
He lived the good life in the majors for 19 years, and even after he blew all his money, he kept getting second and third and fourth chances. In a classic example of failing upward, Schilling may even ultimately get elected to the U.S. Senate precisely because of the "bad decisions" that got him fired from his ESPN gig.
He's living proof of a truism H.L. Mencken noted nearly 100 years ago, i.e. that for a certain kind of person in America, failure is something you've got to sprint after at full speed to catch – it won't come to you:
"In the United States the business of getting a living is enormously easier than it is in any other Christian land – so easy, in fact, that a forehanded man who fails at it must almost make deliberate efforts to that end.
"Here the general average of intelligence, of knowledge, of competence, of integrity, of self-respect, of honor is so low that any man who knows his trade, does not fear ghosts, has read fifty good books, and practices the common decencies stands out as brilliantly as a wart on a bald head."
I doubt Schilling has read 50 good books. I'd put the over/under at three, including whatever abridged version of the Bible he owns. But he might run for high office anyway, and would get lots of people to fund his effort, still more proof of how awesome it is to be a white guy in America.
Here you can be not just a failure, not just a spectacular failure, but a spectacular public failure, and people will keep throwing money and opportunities at you.
Schilling should wake up every morning and compose a five-page letter to God thanking him for the American white-guy lifestyle jackpot. Instead, he's consumed with bitterness over the raw deal he thinks people like him have gotten.
In this, he's very much like Donald Trump, who spent much of his adult life partying with models and celebrities and somehow emerged in late middle age as the most obdurate complainer in American history.
This brain type sees outrages everywhere. Colleges offer degrees in Black Studies, but unless it's the Martin Mull version, you can't proudly lug around a History of White People without being put on an FBI watch list. Unfair! As someone actually asked me on Twitter once, "How come only minorities get to have identity politics?"
If you really have to ask questions like this – if you can't, for instance, see that the whole curriculum of most colleges is "white studies" – then there are probably a lot of other things you're not ever going to grasp. So no offense, but when it comes to stuff like this, it's no use arguing, and, well, shut up, is what the rest of humanity is mostly saying to us white guys.
They're probably not saying shut up forever, or about everything, but just for once and about some things, after thousands of years of unrestrained yammering.
This shouldn't be too big an ask, since (as the likes of Trump and Schilling regularly prove) American white men still mostly run the world and live highly failure-resistant existences. Just take yes for an answer, enjoy the ride, and try to have the decency to not act like a victim; that's all anyone asks.
But they can't do it. The Schilling/Trump principle is never shutting up, particularly on topics about which they are ignorant, which is pretty much all of them. This is a movement, not limited to Trump, and it's not going to end anytime soon. God help us.