by Jonathan Blaustein
I’ve got a cousin named Jonathan Blaustein. I use the word “cousin” in the loosest sense of the term. I’ve never been able to understand the rules, with respect to cousin-hood.
What’s the difference between a cousin-once-or-twice-removed, and a second or third cousin? Really, I have no idea. To me, they each mean people that are related to you tangentially, rather than meaningfully.
I’m really close with my first cousins on my mother’s side. I’ve smoked more reefer, drank more booze, and done more stupid shit with them than with almost anyone else. (Ages ago, of course. Now, I’m a respectable Dad.) As for the younger ones, I view them as if I were an affable uncle: offering advice and support, and discouraging bad behavior.
On my Dad’s side, though, it’s a different story. My first cousin Jeff is a good guy, but we don’t have much in common. His sister, Michelle, is a complete stranger to me. We shared food during Passover Seders, growing up, but that’s about it. Haven’t spoken to her in a decade.
C’est la vie.
Jonathan Blaustein, though, is now a High School student in Mahwah, New Jersey. His Dad was my father’s first cousin’s son, so what does that make him to me? Again, I haven’t a clue. Jonathan’s Dad died of a drug overdose a few years back, and I was genuinely sad to hear it. He was a good guy, taken down by his demons.
Names are funny things. We take them so personally, our names, but they’re just meant to designate one human from another. If we were all named Numbers 1-7 Billion, it wouldn’t make a spit of difference. The purpose would be the same.
(Hey, number 6,323,654, your farts smell like rotting tofu. Might be time to take one of those juice cleanses, and start drinking a little Kefir, OK?)
Where is this all coming from, this rant of mine? You came here to read about football, and a bad comedy routine broke out? Shame on me. Is there a point? As my regular readers at A Photo Editor can assure you: always. (It just might not be a good one.)
This is now my seventh column writing for 7amkickoff, my favorite Arsenal blog. (Sorry Arseblog. You’re a solid second.) I feel like things are starting to come together, as evidenced by the strange co-incidences brewing in this month’s submissions. Not to mention, the volume and quality this round was particularly high. (And I’m not, at the moment. Clean blood, I assure you.)
Our winner, the Matchday Photo of the Month, was submitted by Andrew Luck. What? The super-star quarterback of the Indianapolis Colts is an avid reader? And Arsenal fan? Holy Shit! How cool is that?
What? Did I look carefully at the submission? (Pause.) Oh. Wait. He lives in London, this Andrew Luck. So I guess he’s just a regular dude. Not “The Andrew Luck.”
No matter. The photo he sent in is badass. Not only that, it’s an homage to a classic, old school image made at Highbury. And Andrew was nice enough to point out that Highbury is the stadium where Arsenal used to play. You know, because I’m an admitted new fan. (He wanted to make sure I wasn’t a complete moron, but still, I applaud the consideration.)
He took this photo to counter claims that Emirates Stadium lacked charm. So not only is it a cool photo, that references a classic bit of Arsenal history, but it’s also an FU to the haters out there. Andrew Luck, I wish you the best in the 2015-16 NFL season. I hope you have better “luck” against the Patriots next time around.
The runners up are really solid as well. This little triptych was sent in by Wojciech, who visited the stadium during the Stoke match. You know, the one where we beat the pants off those goons from up North. I’m really hoping that since I’m mocking the meatheads, some Stoke fan will write in the comments with typical use of horrifying-English-grammar-studded-with-spelling errors. Come on trolls, what have you got?
Oh yeah, and Wojciech? Is our now-second-string-keeper secretly reading the blog, and trying to get his pictures published on the Internet? I guess we’ll never know…
Next, we have a solid offering from Steve, who took this one outside the stadium on Aston Villa matchday. Really gives you the flavor of the neighborhood, I’d say. Steve, are you lucky? That Villa game was the best we’ve played. Not to mention the total score of 8-0, home and away. We might have to consider you our new good-luck-charm. (Sorry Andrew, couldn’t resist.)
Finally, yes finally, we have a new photograph from Karl Jende. Do you guys remember Karl? He’s the Gooner from Minnesota, who wrote back to agree he’s got the Absolute Perfect Name for a Minnesotan. You go, Karl. I hope you get yourself a nice, Scandanavian-American hottie one of these days.
In the meantime, Karl spent the horrid NLD matchday snowcat skiing just up the road from me in Keystone, CO. He sent us another shot, this time of his mates enjoying a group photo. If anything could wash the sour taste out of a Gooner’s mouth, after a crap match like that, it’s some champagne powder on a crisp winter day.
Keep ‘em coming, Karl. And if any of you want a pic featured next month, don’t be afraid to email me. I swear, I won’t bite. As for the other Jonathan Blausteins out there, I make no such promises.
Submit your photos to firstname.lastname@example.org and let Jonathan Blaustein take a bite out of crime.