Our Loss: Classical Magazine Issue Nine/9/IX Is Here

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I don't want to give away too much of my introduction to the latest issue of The Classical Magazine, although I will allow that DJ Khaled is involved. The fact of the matter is that it wouldn't be fair to you, or me, to go any further into how he's involved, or why. It wouldn't be fair to you, because you'd have to think more about DJ Khaled. It wouldn't be fair to me, because... well, actually, it would be very fair to me, like unflatteringly so, because I'd have to explain bringing DJ Khaled into what's otherwise a very fine collection of writing. Suffice to say that, in this issue, all we do is lose.

Of course, there's a lot more to this than a bummer of a final score. The idea behind the Losing Issue -- a concept which, to give credit where it's due, was suggested on Twitter by Edith Zimmerman; she also appears in the issue, sobbing over Tim Wakefield on a gross college couch -- was to take losing more seriously than we take winning. Winning, everything and only thing and the subject of the shouting matches in the utility-grade tranche of sports conversations, is finally fairly dull. It's great fun, especially considering the alternative, but it's also subsumed by the dim conversation about it, all the grandiosely hackish victory narratives and One Shining Moments and the general offhand success worship that defines so much of the sports discourse. Losing, on the other hand, is multifaceted and inescapable and complicated, and hurts in a dozen different ways. It sucks, of course, but differently for different people and in different contexts.

So this issue is about that. S.T. VanAirsdale offers with a sort of manifesto on cheering for losing teams as a valid and valuable (if not uncomplicated) way of life. Joseph Lee uses the story of Olympic taekwondo competitor Sarah Stevenson to get past puffed-up Olympic year narrativizing and examine a different type of loss. Dave Bry and Patrick Sauer -- in a piece that first ran on the site -- look back at the way failing at sports early in life tends to stick with us later on. Pete Beatty, Mike Piellucci and Nathan Huffstutter -- in another piece that first ran here -- examine how caring about losing teams warps and wakes us up. (The teams are the Browns, Cowboys and Padres, respectively.) There's Edith Zimmerman's aforementioned piece on remembering and forgetting and horrific college couches. And Patrick Redford and Evan Hall look at losing as a learning experience, with Chris Webber's great and doomed Sacramento Kings and the otherwise forgettable 2007 Cubs as the teachers. There's art from Eli Neugeboren -- his cover is above -- Mike McGrath Jr., Dmitry Samarov and J.O. Applegate. There's also DJ Khaled, and once again I'm sorry about that. But, more importantly, there two ways to get the issue.

If you're an iOS type, go on and get The Classical App and get yourself subscribed. For non-iOS people looking to make a la carte purchases in the format of their choice -- .PDF, .EPUB, .PAU, .PUIG -- there is our Spacebox store. Thanks, as ever, for caring. Let's get lost.

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