Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Uncle Drew

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Here's my favourite thing-of-the-week on the internet (click for video):

I love this so much. I mean, Kyrie doesn't entirely pull off the old man act -- too caricatured, maybe -- and his get-up is more than a little Papa Klump, but I don't care: I love how the story shifts slightly, gradually, before the bottom falls out and all we're left to do, alongside the dupes Uncle Drew starts dunking on, is watch and wonder.

The reason I'm posting this here, on a book blog, is that I've been hearing a lot of online naysaying about the video -- generally from skeptics who claim it's "fake." What sad, shitty people these must be. At first I felt the need to defend the whole thing (apparently, the set-up involved a Pepsi-sponsored documentary crew already at the courts, shooting footage of streetball up-and-comer Kevin, "The Nephew," before Uncle Drew shows up), but then I realized that anyone hating on something this fun is beyond hope, let alone logic.

Why this joyless, cynical need to punch holes in things that purport to be "true," but might have some fiction in them? Sure, there are elements of the clip that might suspend our suspension of disbelief (i.e., how the whole thing degenerates into UD taking on defenders one-on-one, one at a time), but to me getting lost in the story, giving myself over to every aspect of it, including its flaws, is part of its magic.

I know that's a corny word for this sort of thing, but if there's a better way of phrasing how we succumb to storytelling, I'd love to hear it. Faith, maybe, is a component of it too. And if we want to get really corny, if faith + magic = religion, I guess, to secular folks like me, falling happily into that space where "reality" and storytelling meet is the closest we get to a religious experience.

Get on your knees and pray to Uncle Drew, is what I'm saying.

The views expressed in the Writer-in-Residence blogs are those held by the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Open Book: Toronto.

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Pasha Malla

Pasha Malla’s first collection of short stories, The Withdrawal Method, a Globe and Mail and National Post book of the year, won the Danuta Gleed Literary Award and the Trillum Book Award and was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Prize and longlisted for the Giller Prize. His latest book, People Park, is forthcoming from Anansi in July 2012.

Go to Pasha Malla’s Author Page