IM'ing with Matt today, we hit on a few parallels between two great American art forms, jazz and baseball. Viz.,
him: So much lore, an almost entirely oral history.
me: Both intrinsically tied to race, drugs, and the cult of the individual.
him: And both born before and survived the birth of the mass media age.
me: One was a bit more successful than the other at that, though.
me: Both are great American exports.
me: Both were Cold War weapons.
him: Both have taken root elsewhere.
A few more came to mind later. The lists of great practitioners in each field feature as many blacks as whites, with perhaps the former holding a slight edge in sheer accomplishment. Both place a premium on individualized accomplishment within a strictly limited domain of activity. Both are fun to watch live.