Cosmic Baseball Game Report

Thurn & Taxis @ Lot 49 Characters

Lot 49 Wins, 3-2


Box Score Link

[W]e find Lot 49 to be Pynchon's encrypted meditation on the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy. (Charles Hollander)

[Bruce] Conner [in his film Report] simultaneously evokes the phenomena of random impersonal forces and those of American technology-- mass communication, mass production, mass demonstration-- creating a strange sense of their connection, if not identity. Thus the energies of the new world take on the weight and impetus of classic tragic fate. The victim and hero who is crushed is President Kennedy.... (Ken Kelman, "The Anti-Information Film" in The Essential Cinema- Essays on the films in the collection of Anthology Film Archives, Vol. 1: Anthology Film Archives Series 2. New York, 1975).

Either you have stumbled indeed, without the aid of LSD or other indole alkaloids, onto a secret richness and concealed density of dream; onto a network by which X number of Americans are truly communicating whilst reserving their lies, recitations of routine, arid betrayals of spiritual poverty, for the official government delivery system; maybe even onto a real alternative to the exitlessness, to the absence of surprise to life, that harrows the head of everybody you know, and you too, sweetie. Or you are hallucinating it. Or a plot has been mounted against you, so expensive and elaborate, involving items like the forging of stamps and ancient books, constant surveillance of your movements... (Thomas Pynchon, The Crying of Lot 49).

This personal cosmic game was played to determine if there was any additional light that could be spread over the President Kennedy assassination theories. Kennedy's 1963 murder remains one of the great crime mysteries of the 20th century. Could the karmic events that might appear during the game provide more clues or concepts to fill in the spaces left open by the available evidence?

If the characters from Pynchon's second novel prevailed (& since the barely subterranean message of the novel is to be politically paranoid...the end of a chain reaction mobilized by Kennedy's assassination) then we might conclude with the conspiracy nuts that something deeper is at play. On the other hand, if the various princes representing the Thurn und Taxi family (and its identity with the ruling class, despite what some commentators say, creators and administrators of a wide area communications monopoly are members of the ruling class)...if the Thurn and Taxi team won the game, then we might conclude that what is...will never be known, for real.

The Lot 49 characters won...barely and at the very last moment. This game fact makes skeptical, if not paranoid, analysts opine that the karmic inferences are weak.

Meaning what? Are we unable to learn anything from the box score or the events they tabulate from the score card? This game may well document the case that it is, as it was in the 1960s, technophobia fueling cultural instability and anxiety. But we need games that also suggest this fear comes from the manipulation of the technology by malevolent forces.

Source of malevolence: greed, in one of its flavors.

Game Comments... The Lot 49 characters made three errors and still won the close game. An examination of those fielding mistakes (and their identification with broader fields of endeavors) is perhaps useful, instructive.

The first error occurred in the third inning when second baseman Mike Fallopian bobbled a ground ball hit to him by Prince Albert II. This allowed Prince Karl Alexander to advance to third base (he led off the inning with a double). With Thurn and Taxis princes on the corners and one out (Prince Karl Anselm had flied to center field after Karl Alexander's double), Prince Johannes came to the plate.

A brief digression. In a 1960s Time magazine interview First Lady Jackie Kennedy indicated she enjoyed reading authors from Collette to Kerouac. We imagine that Prince Johannes' wife Mariae Gloria Ferdinanada Joachima Wilhelmine Huberta, also known as Glora, Princess of Thurn and Taxis, might have read Pynchon's paranoid tale of the Kennedy assassination. Might have. And if she did, she might have identified with the woman she her husband was now going to face in a pitcher/batter match up. As a 46 year old German the Kennedy assassination may not resonate strongly with the Prince's wife and it is likely that this issue was one of the things furthest from his mind as he advanced to the plate. He was batting right-handed. Probably it did not matter, three fastballs later Prince Johannes was en route back to the team bench.

With two outs and two players on the bases, one in scoring position at third, Prince Karl August, the Thurn and Taxis' left fielder came to bat. There are still two princes on the bases (at first and at third). Oedipa Maas needs an out and pitches too carefully. Prince Karl August gets a single, dazed, Oedipa bobbles the relay up and Karl August ends up on second, with a run batted in because Karl Alexander scored on the single. Prince Albert II is standing at third. The score is now 1-0. It is an unearned run because Oedipa committed a fielding error.


Thurn & Taxis Lot 49 Characters

Thurn and Taxis- Telecom Pioneers

Thurn and Taxis family ancestors were postmasters during the Holy Roman Empire. They were key players in the 16th century development of the postal/mail services in Europe. The point of origin for the family appears to be Omodeo de Tassis del Cornello who lived near Bergamo, Italy in 1251. Beneath Omodeo is the della Torre (Torriani) family from Valsassina. Members of the Torriani became active in the politics of Milan during the 13th century. After political defeat at the hands of the Visconti in 1277 the family settled by the Tasso mountains and became known as de Tassis. (Reference: Taxis Surname/Y-DNA Project)

Albert II
Karl August LF
Franz Josef CF
Albert I 2B
Maximillian Maria RF
Maximillian Karl C
Karl Alexander SS
Karl Anselm P

Lot 49 Characters Thurn & Taxis

Crying of Lot 49 Essay

In the spring of 1966, just when anti-government sentiment was growing in proportion to President's Johnson escalation of the war, J. B. Lippincott published Pynchon's curious novel The Crying of Lot 49. Many people were burning draft cards, making moral commitments that would last a lifetime, leaving the country, or passively resisting the war —as would Fulbright's sometime worshipful assistant and driver Bill Clinton. Even then-Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, an architect of the war, admits having known during the time of his complicity that the Vietnam War was "wrong, terribly wrong," and that it could have and should have been stopped at many decision points along the way. Maybe it was just bad luck that Pynchon offered his little Menippean satire at such a moment (Reference: Charles Hollander, "Pynchon, JFK and the CIA: Magic Eye Views of The Crying of Lot 49").

Genghis Cohen Catcher
Metzger First Base
Mike Fallopian Second Base
Manny di Presso Third Base
Randolph Driblette Short Stop
Clayton Chiclitz Left Field
John Nesfastis Center Field
Emory Bortz Right Field
Oedipa Mass Pitcher


Line Score link


     Inn. 1:  ThurnTaxis
[Starter] MassO
AlbertII          9          . . .
Johannes          4-3        . . .
KarlAugust        5-3        . . .
     Inn. 1:  Lot49
[Starter] KarlAnselm
Cohen             3UN        . . .
Metzger           5-3        . . .
Fallopian         2B         . X .
di Presso         1B         . X .
X@4:Fallopian     7-2        . X .
     Inn. 2:  ThurnTaxis
FranzJosef        6          . . .
AlbertI           8          . . .
MaximillianM      1B         . . X
MaximillianK      4-6 F      . . X
     Inn. 2:  Lot49
Driblette         4-3        . . .
Chiclitz          5-3        . . .
Nesfastis         3-1        . . .
     Inn. 3:  ThurnTaxis
KarlAlexander     2B         . X .
KarlAnselm        8          . X .
AlbertII          E-4        X . X
Johannes          K          X . X
KarlAugust        1B/E-1     X X . 1
FranzJosef        5-3        X X .
     Inn. 3:  Lot49
Bortz             5-3        . . .
MassO             6-3        . . .
Cohen             3UN        . . .
     Inn. 4:  ThurnTaxis
AlbertI           1B         . . X
X@2:AlbertI       CS 2-4     . . .
MaximillianM      4-3        . . .
MaximillianK      6          . . .
     Inn. 4:  Lot49
Metzger           7          . . .
Fallopian         6-3        . . .
di Presso         5-3        . . .
     Inn. 5:  ThurnTaxis
KarlAlexander     7          . . .
KarlAnselm        5-3        . . .
AlbertII          1B         . . X
                  WP         . X .
Johannes          6-3        . X .
     Inn. 5:  Lot49
Driblette         6-3        . . .
Chiclitz          1B         . . X
*SB:Chiclitz      SB         . X .
Nesfastis         8          . X .
Bortz             7          . X .
     Inn. 6:  ThurnTaxis
KarlAugust        5-3        . . .
FranzJosef        5 (Foul)   . . .
AlbertI           8          . . .
     Inn. 6:  Lot49
MassO             BB         . . X
*SB:MassO         SB         . X .
Cohen             1B         X . X
Metzger           8 SACF     . . X 1
Fallopian         8          . . X
X@2:Cohen         CS 2-4     . . .
     Inn. 7:  ThurnTaxis
MaximillianM      6-3        . . .
MaximillianK      1B         . . X
KarlAlexander     1B         X . X
KarlAnselm        7 SACF     . . X 1
*SB:KarlAlexander SB/E-2     X . .
AlbertII          4-3        X . .
     Inn. 7:  Lot49
di Presso         6-3        . . .
Driblette         7          . . .
Chiclitz          7          . . .
     Inn. 8:  ThurnTaxis
Johannes          1B         . . X
KarlAugust        3-1 SAC    . X .
FranzJosef        6          . X .
AlbertI           8          . X .
     Inn. 8:  Lot49
Nesfastis         1B         . . X
Bortz             5-3        . X .
MassO             5-3        . X .
Cohen             1B         . X . 1
Metzger           2 (Foul)   . X .
     Inn. 9:  ThurnTaxis
MaximillianM      4-3        . . .
MaximillianK      9          . . .
KarlAlexander     5-3        . . .
     Inn. 9:  Lot49
Fallopian         K          . . .
di Presso         1B         . . X
*SB:di Presso     SB         . X .
Driblette         7          . X .
Chiclitz          1B         . . X 1

Game Notes

Time 3 hours, 8 minutes
Weather Cloudy, 63o F
Attendance undisclosed
Umpires Edward Kennedy, John Kennedy, Robert Kennedy
Scorer Thomas Pynchon
Clayton Chiclitz
Do you want a mouthful of bloody Chiclets
Chiclitz is the president of Yoyodyne Propulsion Systems. His bottom of the ninth inning two out single scored the winning run and garnered him the game's MCP award.

(A parenthetical internet note: In 1995, Seth Godin, a Tufts University graduate (he majored in computer & philosophy), founded a company called Yoyodyne which was one of the first online/internet-based marketing companies. Godin sold the company to Yahoo! in 1998. As a part of the sale to Yahoo!, Godin became Vice-President of Permission Marketing at Yahoo!)