Henican is a columnist for Newsday. He also is a political analyst at the Fox News Channel and
We may not care about narratives. But sure as Jeremy Lin is a red-hot, Harvard-educated, against-all-odds New York Knick, narratives care about all of us.
Just ask Jeremy.
"I didn't think it was gonna happen like this," the Greatest Sports Narrative of Right Now told an interviewer on Friday. "Not the way it happened and how fast it happened. But I'm still enjoying it."
Why wouldn't he be?
He is now the subject of the greatest narrative in the sports world, maybe even in the world-world: The unexpected phenom, almost cut two weeks ago, now on the cover of Sports Illustrated, selling more jerseys than anyone else in NBA -- oh, and he happens to be a really nice guy.
Once a narrative like that starts running down the court, a talented young athlete like Lin can ride it into overtime.
It takes real effort to wreck a narrative like that one. Just ask Tiger Woods.
In every civilization at every time, powerful stories have ordered how people look at themselves and at the world. From cavemen sitting around a fire to bloggers hunched over a glowing screen, most of the things most of us know come from stories.
We didn't all decide at once that Whitney Houston was a tragedy waiting to happen. We heard the story. We didn't spontaneously conclude that Mitt Romney's not so comfortable in his skin. We heard that story, too. We didn't pore over the data long enough to see: The economy, though troubled, is finally inching back.
Another story told.
All of these are narratives we heard from other people, narratives that made sense to us. So we made them our own.
We processed them. We repeated them. We passed them on to a whole new generation of listeners.
They're real. They're powerful. They're "Lin-sane."
1. New Yorkers are tough.
2. Americans are loud.
3. Long Islanders are squeezed.
4. Humans are complicated.
5. We're all misunderstood.
ASKED AND UNANSWERED: You're surprised we're fighting to save an Island animal-disease lab? At stake on Plum Island? 200 jobs and some very cool horror-movie scripts! . . . Did someone say snow? No one? OK, good . . . Is it possible the April 24 New York Republican primary will actually matter? With 95 delegates in play, Kevin Law is thinking, "Why not a GOP candidate forum at the LIA?" . . . Don't shoot 'em, mist 'em? James Hayward, CEO of Stony Brook's Applied DNA Sciences, claims his smartDNA Anti-Intruder Mist System can help end pharmacy robberies on Long Island . . . Oh, Mandee, are you really closing stores in Babylon, Commack, Smithtown and Carle Place? And I need you today! . . . With its goofily-spelled "FINtastic RefurbFISHment" and a sharp new focus on the Long Island Sound, does Norwalk's Maritime Aquarium have anything to teach Sound-loving Long Islanders? Might be worth a drive (or a boat ride) to find out.
THE NEWS IN SONG:
'Nuff said: Mega Ran's "Jeremy Lin Rap," tinyurl.com/jlinrap
LONG ISLANDER OF THE WEEK: CAROLE LUCCA
She isn't the only tour guide on Long Island. But she is, by her calculation, the proprietor of the longest continuously run tour-guide service on LI (All Around LI, Inc., since 1995). Let others quibble. One trip with Carole Lucca through the Gold Coast mansions will leave you convinced: Whatever the lures of New York City and great big world beyond, there's still a whole lot worth seeing right around here -- if you know where and how to look. From the Hamptons to the wineries, from the North Shore to the South, someone needs to show it -- and show it right.
Follow on Twitter @henican