Intelligence, the Intelligence and Sidney Crosby

I'm sorry for inflicting his visage upon you(one of these things is not like the others. Also, how the hell are you supposed to format poems in this thing?)

а по стене ползет кирпич                                             а он обои все объел                                                           а у меня трусы в горох                                                   а эта песня про любовь

The preceding is one of the many variants of the Russian drunk’s surrealist song which translated goes “and on the wall there crawls a brick/and he has eaten all the wallpaper/and my underwear is in polka-dots/and this song is about love”. What I want to say is that the separate parts of this post will be about as connected as that song.

So on Thursday, from boredom and excessive studying, I went and saw a band called Orca Team. This band is pretty good, and somehow the guitarist is just super hot and charismatic live, even though you’d never tell it from this video. And they played the song I link to in the video, called Vancouver, B.C. It was prolly their best song, but I didn’t know whether Seattleites would care for “we could stop by in Seattle/but it ain’t that great/So let’s just drive right out of/Washington State”. The hipsters were nonchalant as ever, so I can’t say I know now, either. Anyway, they were opening for a band called The Intelligence, who, despite being excellent tour diarists didn’t really impress me with their music. But they did get me thinking about intelligence and what it means.

Later that night, after a turkish coffee at 2 am demolished all thoughts of sleep, I was reading Kent Russell’s writeup of the Winter Classic in n+1 magazine (it is a great magazine). It really gets rolling when Russell talks about Sidney Crosby:

After he was drafted by the man to save his franchise, Crosby lived on the third floor of Lemieux’s house in the Pittsburgh suburb of Sewickley. He was not allowed to have girls stay  over. He played street hockey in the driveway with Lemieux’s children and ate dinner with them every night. If he performed well following the meal, Lemieux’s wife would make it again the next day. Crosby kept his paychecks in his sock drawer. He signed endorsement deals with Reebok, Gatorade, and Dempster’s, which makes white bread.

Now, it should come as no surprise that I am not a fan of Sidney Crosby. I am pretty sure that almost no one who likes hockey and is over the age of 12 is a fan of Sidney Crosby. I bet even Ron expletive MacLean isn’t a fan of Sidney Crosby in his heart of hearts. Fine, I was happy that he scored for Canada in the Olympic finals, but I would have been about 3 times as happy if it was anyone else who scored for Canada (and I was pretty damn happy, just to clarify). The guy is just not a human in any meaningful sense of the term. Even his face makes me want to punch him in the face. Not that that would make it any better. I suppose, too, it’s the blandness, the why-don’t-you-just-move-to-Mongolia-drink-vodka-and-ride-yaks that perhaps my favourite blogger (E of Theory of Ice) talked about. I don’t know. As if to rub salt in the wound, the Kent Russell piece comes with an incredibly hateable photo of Sidney on his jetski. This somehow adds to the hateability and blandness rather than taking away from it. At this point, I don’t even know that I’d cheer for Crosby in a one-on-one with Brett Hull. So I was thinking about intelligence, and I was thinking about Sidney Crosby. And it hit me: Sidney Crosby should be exhibit a in why the concept of some general underpinning of all intelligence (commonly called the “g” factor) is bullshit. Okay, there are much better, sound statistical reasons for considering “g” to be bullshit. If you don’t want to read all that, it basically shows that as long as results on intelligence tests are correlated with one another, there will always appear to be a “g” factor. But you knew the concept of general intelligence is fucked just looking at Crosby, right? Nothing will make me think that he is actually intelligent. But to deny that he is a genius at hockey? Or to say that there is no mental aspect to his game and it’s just physical prowess? Come on, that’s a disservice to hockey, and is obviously untrue.

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6 Responses to Intelligence, the Intelligence and Sidney Crosby

  1. Zuuko says:

    What do you mean nothing will make you think Crosby is actually intelligent? Where do you enter into it?

  2. Zuuko says:

    Maybe im missing something but what does being an observer have anything to do with intelligence? Or crosbie’s intelligence. He either is or isn’t no. And if he is or isnt, who gives a fuck what an observer thinks?

    • zolltan says:

      Well, right. But we don’t actually know how smart he is. And what’s more, how smart someone is isn’t as quantifiable as how rich someone is, or how beautiful. So we have to observe and guess. All I’m saying is that if you have some idea of “general intelligence” that dictates everything, then Crosby is clearly pretty stupid. But if you don’t think of it that way, he’s obviously smart at hockey, at the very least.

      • Zuuko says:

        So, in summary (please correct me if I’m putting words in your mouth), Crosbie looks stupid, all evidence to the contrary notwithstanding; the evidence being his hockey skills.

  3. zolltan says:

    Well, when you put it THAT way, I just sound like a total hater, don’t I? But, yeah, basically. I’d argue that there’s more evidence for his non-hockey stupidity than just the way he looks, though. There’s media interaction, etc.

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