Friday, May 11, 2012

The gap between reality and perception.

One of the themes I've been meaning to write about is the growing gap between the "have's" and the "have-not's."  That is to say, the One-Per-centers and the rest of the world.  More and more, we are faced with luxury suites at sporting events, up-scale mall stores and automobiles with more accoutrements than most of our homes have.  Disregarding that premise for now, I am left with these:

Boston Red Sox pitcher Josh Beckett was booed after being removed from a game, after it was found that he played golf after being disabled because of an injury.  His response:
“We get 18 off days a year,” Beckett said. “I think we deserve a little time to ourselves.”

A little time to yourselves?  Your work year goes from March to October.  You have more time off than schoolteachers.  Games start at 7:05pm.  What are you doing all day, besides sleeping and eating?  My cat has it harder than you. Shut up and play.

Terrell Owens recently appeared on the Dr. Phil TV show with several of his out-of-wedlock sex partners and their (his) children.  Owens has earned $70 million over his career, he is said to be broke and as such, financially unable to support his babies.  He had this to say:
"I've been through a lot," he said when confronted with the children he fathered and owes support.

You've been through a lot?  What, exactly?  You made millions of dollars, been to Super Bowl(s) and made money for endorsing products that you use. Now, we are supposed to feel sorry for you because you squandered that money and had unprotected sex with at least four different women?  Sell sympathy somewhere else - we're booked-up here.

Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov did an interview with a Russian newspaper yesterday and had this to say about his year in Philadelphia:
"What I lived through this season I wouldn't wish to an enemy," he told SovSport in a story the Philadelphia Inquirer translated.

Hey, Ilya - let me be your "worst enemy" so I can sign a 9-year contract for $59 million to play ice hockey in Philadelphia.  I'll live through that for a while.

Philadelphia 76ers forward Andre Iguodala scored the winning points in the Sixers' playoff win against the Bulls on Thursday night. Afterward, coach Doug Collins had this to say:
Collins said. "Dre has gone through a lot here and I told him after the game that no one deserves more than you do to have this moment."

Oh, poor 'Dre.  (By the way, I'm not impressed that you call him 'Dre)  The poor guy makes $9 million a year to run up and down a hardwood floor 82 times a year.  When he fails (most of the time) he is so sensitive about being criticized that he feels as though he has to stand on the scorer's table at the end of a playoff game and thump his chest like he found a cure for cancer.  Get a grip, Dre.  You haven't gone through all that much.

Not only are these guys making millions of dollars in salary, but they are griping about their so-called "hardships" of the life that they bartered for.  Hey fellas, it ain't that tough.  Or, more accurately, YOU ain't that tough.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Anti-social Media

It's a lot easier to piss people off than it used to be.  Or perhaps it's the advent of social media that makes it seem that way? After all, our identity and proximity influences the volume of our opinions. It's easy to be angry and anonymous, but difficult to be confrontational in person.  Either way, making political statements on Facebook, Twitter and other such portals is the latest way to vent anger over something we find offensive.

The latest one is North Carolina's vote on "Amendment 1" which defines marriage as a legal union between a man and a woman.  It has turned the North Carolina Tourism Facebook page into a battleground of profanity, where critics have lashed out on the measure.  Many have said that they will no longer visit North Carolina because homosexuals cannot marry each other.  That makes good nonsense.

Of course, it's a tourism page, so one would assume (logically) that the visitors to the page are also visitors (i.e.: tourists) of the state and as such, shouldn't care what the voters in North Carolina decide.  It makes me wonder why people from, say, Arkansas would go to the trouble of logging onto their Facebook page just to post a snarky comment.  How many other states do they visit that have laws they disagree with?  Lots, I'd guess.  Utah and Nevada come to mind.

Never mind that North Carolina is the 31st state to do it under their constitution. So, if you're crossing states off your "anti-gay" vacation list, you're running out of places to go.  They are merely the most recent, and perhaps the only one with an accessible outlet like Facebook on which to vent.

What's the big deal about getting married anyway?  Why do people find that they need a piece of paper to declare their love for each other?  I was married once and I don't think I would have been any happier (or unhappier) if we had just lived together for 6 years and split up.  Why bring ink and paper into it?  Is it so horrible to commit to one another without a legal document?  I think there is a social side of the issue that needs to be explored.  Talk amongst yourselves.

So, visit North Carolina if you want.  Or don't. I hear it's a nice place. I'm guessing that for the duration of your stay you will not be forced to marry someone of the opposite sex and you may even escape without being propositioned.  You pay your money and take your chances.