My friend Richard Smith, writing a NN09 day-two recap, recounts:
I spent the evening at PNC Park where we were able to take batting practice on the field. Former amateur baseball star and VetVoice editor Brandon Friedman batted below the Mendoza line. Afterward, we had drinks with several national security journalists such as Spencer Ackerman and Matt Duss, but I won’t recap that conversation here, as it had little to do with national security and more to do with whether Soundgarden or Nirvana was the better band.
Two points. First, stepping onto a major-league diamond — walking the warning track, touching the outfield wall, sitting in the dugout, batting at home plate — is something I will take with me to the grave. Off six pitches from the machine I made contact once, a weak grounder, but still. I shagged fly balls in center field and heard the sound of the ball popping in my glove while my shoes crunched the track. The image you see on the left is one of many iPhone snaps that prove this unbelievable experience actually happened. You never thought blogging would take it this far.
Also, if anyone wonders how Mike Stark could have chased down so many congressmen to inquire about their birtherite sympathies, his grace and athleticism in centerfield will explain everything.
Second, to clarify the point, Duss did not actually argue that Soundgarden is superior to Nirvana. He argued the defensible-but-still-incorrect point that Soundgarden was a more innovative band than Nirvana. I suppose that if you factor out soul or cultural significance, and constrict yourself to the narrow question of which guitarist shredded the most, you can start to make the case. But why would you want to?