It’s a brand new year and there’s more writing soon to come, but I thought for my first blog post of 2013 I’d create my first ever meme.
With the 2012 Presidential Election upon us, and with Barack Obama and Mitt Romney about to have their first debate, I began wondering what a conversation between them might be like pre-debate, behind closed doors. I figured it might be something like this video I put together – essentially a friendly meeting and a rehearsal.
Originally I was hoping to keep the video shorter, around three to five minutes, but found it quite difficult to do so. I wanted to be sure to hit on what the candidates might prefer to talk about during a debate, but also hit on those topics that both Obama and Romney would want to avoid. I also thought it important to hit on a few other important topics, such as the (counterproductive-to-the-American-people) role the Commission on Presidential Debates has in the election process. In addition, the NDAA and Federal Reserve are also important issues that I thought needed to be brought up, both of which will probably be ignored or purposely misconstrued by the moderators and candidates during actual debates.
The goal was to go after both candidates equally, highlighting their flawed, and often common viewpoints on important issues. In some ways, the goal was a condemnation of our two-party system, not necessarily just personal attacks on Obama and Romney. In their personal lives, they might be very nice guys — even family men, or whatever. But when it comes to being politicians, and understanding, protecting, and defending our Constitution, they’re both terrible.
That’s right, you read that correctly. Gymnastics (and figure skating), perhaps more so than any other sports out there require the most amount of toughness from it’s competitors. You’re probably thinking, “Um, I’m pretty sure football and hockey require more toughness than figure skating and gymnastics…and so does mountain climbing, boxing, mixed martial arts, and rugby.”
Well, you’d be making a very good point, but it’s a different kind of toughness I want to talk about here — a mental toughness. While watching some gymnastics during these 2012 Olympics, I noticed a very interesting thing happens when one of the gymnasts falls, has a blip, or just makes a mistake. You know what happens? Nothing happens. That’s right, if a gymnast falls during an acrobatic move, or accidentally goes out of bounds during a floor exercise, nothing happens —– meaning the athlete does not yell out an obscenity. He or she does not make a disappointed/frustrated facial expression, and the athlete’s body language does not change.
In most other sports when an athlete fails he or she will express themselves, and it’s almost expected that they do so. In baseball, if a batter strikes out, he’ll curse, sigh, shake his head, or slam the bat down in frustration. If a hockey player shoots the puck, and it completely misses the net, you can bet you’ll hear him yell out “Fuck!” ..and the same goes for basketball, football, and so on when a mistake/error/or failure occurs.
Actually, it’s been proven that yelling out, and yelling out curse words while feeling physical pain is a genuine coping mechanism that really does help humans deal with pain. It’s true, you can Google it. I can’t say for sure whether or not cursing is a genuine coping mechanism for the pain that comes with failure (in sport), but it wouldn’t surprise me if it was. I mean, I’m sure when an athlete fails and feels that failure, certain chemicals are released into the brain. So perhaps cursing really can help deal with this physiological change.
Anyway, with gymnastics and figure skating, the athlete isn’t afforded the luxury of yelling out curse words. One can’t fall off the uneven bars and then yell out, “Fuck! Godammit!” The athlete must stay focused and maintain a proper demeanor. The athlete just has to persevere, and pretty much with consistent facial expression and body language just go on with the rest of his/her routine.
Sure, once the routines are over athletes are crying and yelling, and expressing all sorts of emotions. But in the heat of performance and competition the athletes must exhibit a type of toughness that I really respect, because having such a level of restraint and focus during intense competition can’t be very easy.
Here’s the statement Joe Paterno’s family released, in response to the NCAA’s sanctions against Penn State University and their football program.
In anticipation of reading something that would 100% only anger me, I was almost pleasantly surprised after reading this statement that Paterno’s family released. Almost. Their statement was well thought out, and does make what appears to be an honest attempt to be sensitive to the victims of Jerry Sandusky’s heinous crimes.
Now having said all that, I love how Paterno’s family complains about a lack of due process, and although perhaps it’d be all daisies and roses had Paterno’s lawyers and surviving family members had more involvement with the NCAA investigation, we must remember that this isn’t a government criminal court case. It’s the NCAA, the National Collegiate Athletic Association.
What I find most revealing about this statement released is that the Paterno family is outraged about “the process,” but in no way, shape, or form do they outright defend Joe, and proclaim him to be innocent of any wrongdoing. And do you know why? — Because there’s no way in hell that Paterno didn’t cover up for Sandusky. And Paterno’s family knows this. Otherwise why wouldn’t they come right out and say “Joe is an innocent man! And we never even had the chance for a fair shake to clear Joe’s good name!” Why isn’t this what the family is saying? Because even they know how ridiculous they’d sound if they said this.
Penn State should live with the sanctions (Click here to read them). And I’ll give them credit for willingly accepting them (It’s more Paterno’s family who’s expressing the outrage about these sanctions).
Let us remember, it’s only football. The entire University is not being shut down. Current Penn State students are NOT being deprived of their education. And while the students and student-athletes currently attending PSU have definitely had unwanted issues to deal with, it’s nothing compared to the victims of Sandusky, the innocent children Joe Paterno (and others within the Penn St community) opted not to protect. And the football players are free to transfer to other schools. Correct me if I’m wrong, but it’s the football program that’s taking the hit. And well, the university will lose some profit as well perhaps. Boo hoo.
As far as the loss of wins is concerned, I suppose that’s kind of a pointless punishment. Merely seeing Paterno’s name in the record books doesn’t endorse his actions or lack there of, and if anything, seeing the name serves as a reminder and a warning for future generations.
So yeah, the football players are rightfully free agents. And while current PSU students won’t be enjoying a very good football team/bowl games for a while, in the grand scheme that stuff is just not that big a deal because even if you think the NCAA’s sanctions were too harsh, you can’t deny that they serve as a strong warning to every other institution in this country.
Yup, it’s true. By now most of you have heard the confirmation that Chick-fil-A, the fast food restaurant chain openly supports anti-gay groups and political agendas. Chick-fil-A’s President Dan Cathy, told Baptist Press that the chain is “guilty as charged” in supporting the biblical definition of family. I think we know what that means. A report from LGBT advocacy group Equality Matters concluded that Chick-fil-A donated more than $3 million between 2003 and 2009 to Christian groups that (openly and actively) oppose homosexuality.
As far as I can follow, logic dictates that homosexuality is not something is to “be for”, or “opposed to.” It just is — and is someone else’s sexual orientation. Gay men and women all over the world are having sex right now. Do people opposed to homosexuality feel like their rights are being infringed upon? right at this very second? If not right at this moment, then when? You let me know.
Many people are (justifiably) coming out (no pun intended), condemning Mr. Fil-A. People are Facebooking and Tweeting, “I’m never eating there again!” But I’ve also seen posts that reflect my sentiments, “I’ve never eaten act Chick-fil-A but now I’m definitely not going there” …or something to that nature.
But I feel like me merely “continuing not to go to Mr. Fil-A’s restaurant” doesn’t really actively punish them for their open support of discrimination. And while it’s not my duty to do so, sometimes going beyond a simple boycott is a good thing.
So, along with my previously-unknowingly, now-knowlingly boycott comes an encouragment. I encourage any and all gay people to stop by your local Chick-fil-A for bit. Not to cause a scene, or to yell, or to even protest — at least not in the conventional way. But I say hold hands. Lovingly kiss nearby these little shithole fast food joints. Just let them know what’s up. I just think it’d be funny if there were gay people hanging out outside Chic-fil-A spots for some period of time, but not going inside to eat.
So pretend to be a customer. Tease ‘em. Just enough for the local employees to notice —just enough for them to report this nuisance up to corporate headquarters, to well, give them that much more to worry about these days, in addition to the media firestorm.
To reiterate, I’m NOT encouraging anyone to break laws, to be violent, or to be vulgar in any public setting. But if you’re gay, and a fan of PDA’s (public displays of affection), and find yourself in the Atlanta area, Chick fil-A’s corporate headquarters is at 5200 Buffington Road Atlanta, GA 30349.
It’s been a while since I posted my last rhyme, and as promised, my latest piece is about the N.D.A.A. (the National Defense Authorization Act). Specifically, I wanted to address really only a couple of sentences (provisions) within this bill, that was signed into law by President Obama right around New Years Eve, 2011.
In a nutshell, in the name of protecting this country from terrorists and terrorism, the President now has the right to order the military to arrest ANYONE, including American citizens, merely on the suspicion of a connection to terrorism. The language in the bill is vague, and potentially dangerous to the future of this country. And not only can the military now arrest any American citizen without just cause, you can be detained without seeing a judge, lawyer, or trial. Detained indefinitely that is.
This is all being done “to protect us” says the President and our politicians who support this heinous legislation (that violates our Constitution). Let me remind you that pretty much all fascist governments throughout history practiced similar policies as this provision in the N.D.A.A. In fact, Adolf Hitler passed similar legislation, legally. This all sets a very dangerous precedent for the future of the country….and the scary part is this legislation overwhelmingly has the support of BOTH the Democratic and Republican parties in this country.
I wanted to give everyone an update with Where’s My Crosswalk?
I’m happy to report that I received an email a few days ago from Deborah Murphy, Chair of the L.A. Pedestrian Advisory Committee. She gave me the great news that after completing a study of the area, the L.A. Department of Transportation has come to the conclusion that a new traffic signal is indeed needed at Vista St. and Sunset Blvd in Hollywood. Construction is expected to begin sometime within the next fiscal year, which I believe begins in October.
I’m not exactly sure what kind of traffic signal will be installed, but I’m sure whatever is constructed will make the area a lot more safe for pedestrians, and will definitely help local businesses by making it that much more convenient for people to get to them. I’ll keep you all posted as more information comes in, and I definitely plan to shoot some sort of “afters” of the area. If possible, I’ll do my best to get out there to capture some of the construction, and maybe grab a few sound bites as well.
Lastly, I wanted to thank everyone who helped this all come to fruition — Deborah Murphy of course, as well as Curbed LA writer Adam Kudler, and Streetsblog writer Damien Newton. Also thanks to LA Taco, and everyone else who posted and re-posted my video and/or blurbs about this story on Facebook, Twitter, etc. It was very much greatly appreciated!
I’m wondering, has an actor or actress ever changed his/her name to the name of a character he or she portrayed in a film or tv show? — like if Jaleel White just straight up changed his name to Steve Urkel…
I really can’t imagine what it’s like to live the life of a famous actor, especially one who is primarily really famous for one specific role. How many times a day while walking around in public must someone yell “Hey Urkel!” when Jaleel White goes by? Although he’s probably somewhat used to this by now, I highly doubt Mr. White enjoys being called Urkel by someone every five minutes. Perhaps, even for a split-second, Jaleel White actually just considered giving in, by going ahead and legally changing his name to Steve Urkel.
I’ve heard of a syndrome (not exactly sure what it’s called) — with actors actually believing they are the characters they portray. Well, not necessarily believe, but they try to live the life of their character in some way, shape, or form.
I know the Ultimate Warrior, the WWF wrestler from the 1980s and 90s at one point did actually legally change his name to “Warrior” — but I think that was more of a copyright and ownership issue, rather than the guy (Jim Hellwig) believing he’s actually the Ultimate Warrior — although judging from Hellwig’s words, actions, and general history, he might actually think he’s the Ultimate Warrior.
Anyway, I don’t expect Jaleel White to change his name anytime soon, but perhaps Henry Winkler at some point wanted to be Arthur “The Fonz/Fonzie” Fonzarelli in real life? Who knows? And who knows if such a thing is even possible, because studios and networks probably own the rights to the names of these fictional characters, anyway.
I tried Googling this scenario, to find out of any actors have ever done it, but the only results I could get was just a bunch of stuff about “stage names” vs. real names of actors, etc.
So let me know if you think of/know of any examples of what I described above. Thanks.
What can I say, I’m pretty much a Words with Friends junkie. I suppose that’s better than being, well, a regular junkie. But nevertheless, it’s probably an addiction I could do without. My story is, when I play random users, I tend to have a pretty good record. But when playing against people I know, I often struggle more. Oh well. Not that this is always the case of course, but since I began playing Words with Friends, I generally tend to beat the same people over and over again, and also typically lose to the same people over and over again.
When trailing in a game, it goes without saying how discouraging this can be for some of us (me). But I rarely give up on a game (mentally), and even less frequently click “resign” in the middle of a duel. After all, I’ve been involved in some games that have had some dramatic comebacks, and have been on both the winning and losing sides of games such as these. When trailing, you really just gotta be patient, continue to play your game, and not take the 17 point word risking giving up an 80 point one.
But I hate it when the other person reaches the next digit in the hundreds before me — even in a game that’s relatively close and still within reach. It’s like, I’d almost rather be down 347-308, than be down 330-292…even though being down 330-292 would put me closer to my opponent than the other score. I’d just rather be in the 300′s, like my opponent. It “looks better.”
“Ooh look at me. I’m in the 300′s and you’re not yet. Bet you’d like to know how this feels.” —- That’s what I hear in my opponent’s head when they reach the next digit in the hundreds column before me.
But yes, I’m not insane, and will always in actuality prefer to be down 38 points as opposed to 39.
But whether you’re down 38, 39, 50, or 100 points, I encourage you all not to give up. Stay focused, play your game, and keep at it.
..now only if I was as determined in other, more important areas of my life….