Goodbye Harris and Jerome
I was bummed all of yesterday after hearing Harris Wittels died. His name may autocorrect to Witless, though he was any but! (Worst sentence I've ever written, but Harris would have liked it.) Harris was a creative force between Parks & Rec, writing some of the best episodes, and was one of the finest real-person guests ever on Comedy Bang Bang. He had a 3-episode arc with Adam Scott and Chelsea Peretti called "Farts and Procreation" that you absolutely should listen to. The name is a red herring, it was a particularly inspired and antagonistic improv story he and Adam Scott invented, each trying to pull the rug out from under the other. He had a very unique comic voice- it was slow, deliberate, unshowy, weird, and truly imaginative. Harris was the anti-hack. In a medium where the loudest voices often drown out their quiet counterparts, he had an amazing knack for slipping in punches. He had seemingly no ego- he didn't need the laugh, and you couldn't shame him, so he allowed the comedy to go to deep and strange places.
He also wrote Humblebrag, which is a tremendous take-down of Twitter culture the perfect airplane or beach read.
We also lost Jerome Kersey, which super-blows. One of the all-time great Blazers and cornerstones for our golden era team. My first hobby and obsession was following the NBA, all because of that team. My latent nerd devotion to detail and hero-worship came to light as I watched he, Drexler, Cliff & Co. play absurdly high-level team basketball. I would pretend to be him in the backyard. Jerome Kersey played beautiful basketball. It was worth losing in '99 to the Spurs; he deserved a ring.
We also lost Kevin Duckworth recently, and that was caused a similar black-cloud. It might have been less because I thought it was a weird anomaly, just one of those things. I'm not really ready to start losing those guys. They played grown-man basketball and did the city proud. I'll never love a team more.
Steph got me a collection of those Dairy Queen Blazers' glasses from the early 90's, with the great cartoon players. They recently brought them back for the current Blazers, and I think this is the first team that really deserves them since Drexler left. I love how these guys play, and wish I got more games. Can't wait for the playoffs.
The first ritual that has really worked in a long time was pouring one out for Harris, Jerome and Kevin last night. Wild turkey in the snow. I felt so much better, instantly at peace. I hope they are, too.
So ends the only blog post on the internet that co-mourns a niche comedian and two Trail Blazers. Thanks for reading, it felt good to get off my chest. By the by, Portland's very own Agalloch, metal vets of nearly twenty years, make excellent Viking funeral music, if you have any ghosts you need to lay to sleep: