You will allow yourself no enthusiasm for the Sonics' great start. You are excited, yes, but you must stay cool, be calm, don't jinx it. Last year at this time the Sonics were 9-2 then fell into a deep dark pit of shit for the rest of the season. I repeat, we are walking on thin ice here, people.

There was ice all over the basketball court during the melee that ensued in the final minute of the Pacers vs. Pistons game last Friday night, which meant that just about everyone who threw a punch slipped and fell to the ground and the entire incident looked like a Little League dad-fight on a hockey rink. It was chaos. We got to see how fucking huge these basketball players really are compared to the puny fans. It's amazing someone wasn't killed.

The great equalizer was the ice, which, when mixed with the wax on the perfectly smooth basketball court, created a brief blip in the space-time continuum wherein, for a few moments, the average Joe fan had a chance to land a punch against an NBA player who in the real world would have creamed him. The fans threw ice and beer at Ron Artest, who has a history of severe anger mismanagement, and who immediately displayed that tendency when, against all the rules of a decent society, he charged into the stands to attack and choke/punch/bitch-slap everyone. For the first time, the unspoken social contract between NBA fans and players was broken. But WHY NOW?

It's another example of the general meltdown of social contracts since the Iraq war started. Would Ron Artest have beaten the Pistons' puny fans if he had not witnessed the American soldier in Falluja executing an unarmed, wounded man? Would the Pistons' fans have abused the Pacers' players if they had not witnessed the abuses at Abu Ghraib? A stretch? I think not, good sir! The Iraq war has intensified a general level of hostility toward all social contracts. I myself have broken all social contracts with stinky hippie Frisbee-golf players.

We live in scary times.

Very scary.

Scary and hairy.