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Media Meltdowns

Everyone Reading This Beat Writer’s Insanely Worded Tweet Understands It Completely. Or At Least Is Capable Of Understanding Written Language.

SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 27: Ryan O'Reilly #90 of the St. Louis Blues warms up before their game against the San Jose Sharks at SAP Center on February 27, 2021 in San Jose, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Wow, incredible news! According to St. Louis Post-Dispatch hockey writer Jim Thomas, reporting on Twitter, every member of the St. Louis Blues, as well as every member of their travel party, has been, uh …

Wait, so—wait. What? Literally what has happened to these people? I think this is the most devastated a piece of reporting has ever been by its second sentence. In one fell swoop we went from upward of 70 people being vaccinated against COVID-19, the contagious pandemic disease caused by the novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), to the equal possibility that in fact exactly zero (0) people had been vaccinated, and the news is that upwards of 70 people have refused to be vaccinated.

In case you’re wondering, every member of my household spontaneously burst into flames and burned away to a fine white ash this morning. Or could have, under certain circumstances.

You may have questions! Some Twitter users did! Thankfully Jim has an explanation.

Every member of the Defector staff is either dead or capable of dying eventually. What is it about that that is confusing?

I am struggling to understand this. To read the tweet is to read too much into the tweet. That’s either insane or the truest thing anyone has ever said about Twitter.

Every member of the Defector staff, as well as every single one of their relatives and loved ones, eats cats. Or has been within 500 miles of a cat. This couplet is perfectly clear and illuminating in its totality, so long as you read the whole thing.

[Sobbing, screaming, pounding my keyboard into atoms] Can you tell us any one actual fact about the St. Louis Blues, Jim? Can anything be known about them? Every member of the St. Louis Blues exists. Or does not exist.

OK! Fine. That’s fine. But, Jim, my sweet Jim, is it perhaps the case that any of the St. Louis Blues, or of their 50-person travel party, in fact wanted to be vaccinated, and thus received a vaccination against COVID-19? You can’t just report that they either have or have not. That’s not news! That’s quantum uncertainty!

Imagine reading a 300-page history of the building of the transcontinental railroad, and then the last sentence is “Or else none of that happened and it all went some other way.” I’d commit fucking murder! I would stalk the author to the ends of the earth, like Captain Ahab from Moby-Dick, the novel that famously ends with the narrator, Ishmael, saying “Sike, I’ve never even been to Nantucket.”

“Every member of the St. Louis Blues and their 50-person travel party narrowly escaped the risen nightmare Cyclopean corpse-city of R’lyeh, by turning their yacht around and ramming it into the head of the cosmic Elder God Cthulhu, awoken from his long dreaming slumber beneath the seas and ravening for delight, which burst with a slushy nastiness as of a cloven sunfish, and were rendered white-haired and hopelessly insane by the encounter. Or else have had ample opportunities to encounter the works of famed weird fiction writer H.P. Lovecraft at some point in their lives.”

Jim can’t even imagine why you’d consider this a meaningful distinction. All anyone needs to know is that, for all of the St. Louis Blues and their 50-person travel party, is that the second sentence of the above paragraph does not modify in any way the truth value of the first sentence. It merely clarifies that the scenario in the first sentence happened to every member of the St. Louis Blues and their 50-person travel party, or else may not have happened to literally any of them.

All sports reporting should be done this way. BREAKING: All 16 members of the Golden State Warriors’ roster were vaporized by a comet today. Or at least could rent the 1998 film Deep Impact for $2.99 on Prime Video if they wanted.