Saturday, August 4, 2012

Has it been four years already?

OK, so it's Olympics time. I'm fascinated by the Olympics. Partly because I like the "thrill of victory" crap, and partly because I enjoy watching sports that I won't watch again for another four years.

That's the fascinating part about the Olympics - the four-year time span.  If there wasn't another movie sequel for four years, you'd say, "Gee, whatever happened to that Spiderman thing?"  But sports like archery and volleyball go four years without any updates and you glom on like it was yesterday the last time you saw them.

Does anybody give a crap
about gymnastics or swimming except on four-year cycles? No, and that's why the Olympics are fascinating to me.  Michael Phelps will win a dozen or so medals, his gross income will increase by millions of dollars and the last time we saw him seriously pursuing his sport was 2008.  That's a long time for society to maintain interest in something.  We lose track of television shows during the summer rerun season, so it's amazing that we still care about Michael Phelps.

It's probably those Subway commercials and the occasional article about his (alleged) pot smoking and the women he (allegedly) carouses with that keep us interested.  He's back in the national spotlight because he has won a few more medals, so I guess we'll have him around for at least two more years until some winter Olympian grabs the spotlight - if such a thing is possible.

Now, it's this Gabby Douglas.  We'll be inundated with Gabby Douglas ads and magazine articles. That's nice, but eight days ago we could have run Gabby Douglas over with our car and we'd say, "I ran some kid over in my car. I feel horrible."  Now, we'd be a national disgrace.  There's a slim margin between making a minor mistake and being a national enemy.

So, prepare yourself for Gabby-this and Gabby-that.  It's not enough that she has won some medals, she has to have a name like Gabby to make it even easier for Madison Avenue types to twist her into a media sweetheart.  Sometimes, the advertising is self-inflicted.

And I have no idea why there is a photo of Thor on my ironing board at the top of this essay.  Perhaps I think it would be nice if Thor could dive in a straight line, fire an arrow 70 yards into a target, swim really fast or balance on a beam.  He's just a cat.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Is this how it's supposed to be?

I have a Chic-Fil-A near my home, but I've never been there.  I hear they are customer-friendly and it's sort of like a cult of chicken eaters that go into them.  You're greeted and treated like you are something special, even though what you really want is a fried chicken sandwich.

Lately, their CEO has come out against gay marriage (and other gay things) and the backlash has been measurable.  So much so, that there have been Twitter and (I hear) Facebook posts decrying the company and its stance against the gay thing.

Is this what we want?  Do you want to base your life on what the people in charge of companies think of your lifestyle choices? If so, then maybe you should go about interviewing the CEO of every company that you do business with and how each of them deals with every lifestyle choice that comes across their desk.

I'd guess that you would wind up farming your own food, flushing your own toilet into your own backyard cesspool, manufacturing your own clothing from your own handmade loom and drinking your homemade beer from the bathtub that you built from materials that you mined from your backyard sand pit.

That is to say, you can't control what everyone thinks and you can't purchase things from those people who believe what you believe. If you could, it would be a shallow world of products that you have researched and made decisions about based on the political viewpoints of the CEO's in charge of their companies.

You would be so busy doing research that you would wind up doing without toilet paper, cat litter, beverages and food to the point that your life would be so filled with hate-induced choice that you wouldn't be living - you would be choosing based on some politically-induced world that you manufactured.

It's not so much about Chic-Fil-A as it is about your anger over whether you can choose with whom you align yourself.  Here's a clue:  In the world of retail, you cannot.

So, get a grip.  Order a sandwich. Enjoy what you consume and leave the politics to the politicians.
You will be happy.