Points of Ponderation…Episode 7.16

A semi-regular attempt to address some of life’s minutiae that might otherwise be overlooked…..

 

 

 

 

I don’t know enough to offer a solid, knowledgeable opinion about Great Britain’s exit from the European Union. My vibe is that England was once one of the world’suk superpowers for centuries before the EU ever existed and it will be just fine going forward. Europe is a continent comprised of different countries. I’m not quite sure what the particular benefits or disadvantages are of membership in the collective. To my knowledge there isn’t any such joint association in South America or Asia. The nations of North America…The United States, Canada, & Mexico…certainly run their nations independently of one another. That’s not to say that there isn’t cooperation amongst different countries on various levels, but I don’t know what the benefit is of giving up some level of sovereignty to be part of a larger community. At face value this looks like a good move by Britain. I’m not an international affairs scholar though so I could be wrong.

 

 

head-scratcher

 

 

 

It always makes me uncomfortable when guys refer to females as thick and/or juicy. She’s a woman, not a steak.

 

 

 

 

 

flood1I live in the northcentral part of West Virginia and was unaffected by recent storms and flooding. However, just flood2a couple of hours down the road it’s a whole different story. There has been a ton of property damage…roads washed out, buildings destroyed, landscapes altered. Devastating loss of life…possibly into triple digits, including small children. Folks up this way are doing what we can…donating food & supplies and sending it down to the affected areas. In the midst of a bad day one certainly doesn’t have to look far to see those that are in much worse shape.

 

 

 

Stuff I don’t care about: Taylor Swift’s latest “relationship”, what happened on Game of Thrones or The Walking Dead, any “music” video by Kanye West, Shark Week, sleep2what some vacuous celebrity thinks about gun control, Johnny Football’s substance abuse issues, what any of the Kardashian/Jenners are up to, who will be the next sadomasochist to emasculate themselves daily alongside Kelly Ripa, The Olympics, The Bachelorette or any of the Real Housewives, whatever JK Rowling babbles about nowadays, Carpool Karaoke with James Corden, the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Even among trivialities I have standards.

 

 

 

facebook-147Consider this. From 2005-08 MySpace was the largest social media site on the interwebs. In 2006 it surpassed Google as the most visited website in America. By 2008 Facebook gained traction and left MySpace in the dust. Eight years later other sites…Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat…have come along and carved out their niche, but Facebook & Twitter aren’t going anywhere. I have no profound insight to offer on the subject, I just think it is an interesting topic to ponder.

80’s Movie Mania: Gnarly Round 3

So let’s clean up some leftovers from the last installment, the Tubular Division’s Round 3. I posted a couple of polls, but unfortunately I am still not getting any response. Not poor response. Not underwhelming response. Not disappointing response. ZERO response. HEEEELLLLOOOO…Manoverse…are you there?!?!?!?? I allegedly have a couple hundred followers. Does ANYONE read this stuff?? I would really like to know. At any rate, I am now forced to make a couple of extremely tough decisions. I am giving When Harry Met Sally the victory over WarGames. It’s a purely personal preference for one of the preeminent rom-coms of all time, with a charming cast and a fun story. Also, I am awarding Dirty Dancing the win over Lethal Weapon. Dirty Dancing is one of the time capsule movies of the 1980’s. Meanwhile, Lethal Weapon had a few sequels that maybe didn’t match the originality of the first film, but they certainly came very close in quality. This is a franchise that we liked better with each passing film because of the comfort level we had with the characters. I’m definitely splitting hairs, but unfortunately that is the task being forced upon me. Anyway, let’s move on to the Gnarly Division. Enjoy.

 

 

 

Gnarly 3

 

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan    vs.     The Outsiders

khanAllow me to reiterate my philosophy about something. You are not seeing trilogies in this competition. Specifically you aren’t seeing the Back to the Future trilogy oroutsiders the Star Wars trilogy. In both cases two of three films were produced in the 1980’s. However, it is my belief that trilogies need to be looked at as one unique entity. Sure one can break each film down individually, but essentially the whole is greater than each single entry. Conversely, when a film series evolves into four or more parts then all bets are off. There were six Star Trek films made with the original cast from 1979-1991. Of the four films made in the 1980’s two appear in this competition. 1982’s Wrath of Khan is considered by most Trekkies to be the best of the bunch. It is based on a 1967 episode of TOS called Space Seed, in which Khan Noonien Singh, a product of 20th century genetic engineering that is discovered after 200 years in suspended animation and  banished to a faraway planet after trying to hijack the Enterprise. In this film Khan escapes from that planet and is hellbent on revenge. He also seeks to gain control of a terraforming device capable of creating new planets. Ricardo Montalban might be most remembered for his role as Mr. Roarke on ABC’s Fantasy Island, and for Chrysler advertisements in which he trumpeted the vehicle’s “soft, rich Corinthian leather”, but I think it is safe to say that the role that best showcased his acting chops is than of Khan. The Outsiders defeated My Tutor and Weird Science to make it to this point. Everybody knows about the near legendary cast… Matt Dillon, Patrick Swayze, Tom Cruise, C. Thomas Howell, Rob Lowe, Emilio Estevez, Diane Lane, & Ralph Macchio. However, did you know that other actors that were considered include Nicolas Cage, Sarah Jessica Parker, Dennis Quaid, Anthony Michael Hall, Timothy Hutton, Mickey Rourke, Brooke Shields, Adam Baldwin, Heather Langencamp (Nightmare on Elm St.), & Glen Scarpelli (One Day at a Time)?? The casting director certainly had an embarrassment of riches from which to choose.

 

The Verdict:      Wrath of Khan. It’s all about repeat viewings. Plus, I wonder if The Outsiders gets a lot of love simply because of the stellar cast and what they went on to become?? Is the quality of the film obscured or falsely elevated by their star power?? At any rate, this is an easy decision.

 

 

 

 

Footloose            vs.     Say Anything…

footlooseFootloose received byes thru the first two rounds. Released in 1984, it tells the story of a Chicago teenager who moves with his mother to a backwards SAOklahoma town. That alone would be a decent setup, but then add in the fact that the town has banned any kind of rock music & all dancing because of an auto accident that killed the local preacher’s son. That minister (brilliantly played by John Lithgow) is kind of the unofficial ruler of the town for some strange reason. Complicating matters even further…the troublemaking city boy falls for the preacher’s daughter. Footloose made Kevin Bacon a star, a wave he’s still riding three decades later. It was also the big break for Sarah Jessica Parker. And personally I like the character played by Christopher Penn, who is the younger brother of the infamous Sean Penn. Chris Penn died way too soon at the age of 40 in 2006, but his performances in Footloose and All the Right Moves live on in our memories. Say Anything… defeated 48 Hrs. in Round 2 after receiving a first round bye. It was the 52nd ranked film at the 1989 box office, behind…well…pretty much everything, although it did better than notables like Prancer, The Fabulous Baker Boys, & My Left Foot…the film that earned Daniel Day-Lewis his first Academy Award. Say Anything…was Cameron Crowe’s directorial debut, and it has a cool soundtrack with songs by Cheap Trick, Living Colour, Joe Satriani, Depeche Mode, and of course Peter Gabriel, whose song In Your Eyes is inextricably linked to the film. It has a stunning 98% Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and upon its release Roger Ebert called it one of the best films of the year.

 

The Verdict:      Footloose. It saddens me because Say Anything… deserves a better fate, but it just ran into heavyweight competition.

 

 

 

 

Top Gun    vs.     Airplane!

tgTop Gun shot down Crocodile Dundee in Round 2 after receiving a first round bye. It was the #1 box office draw in 1986, making nearly $177 million. It airplanehas a 55% Rotten rating among critics on Rotten Tomatoes, but an 83% Fresh rating from the moviegoing public…quite a disparity. Our old pal Roger Ebert loved the special effects and all the scenes in airplanes, but had nothing good to say about the rest of the story. I think this is one of those classic popcorn flicks, meant to thrill the audience with smoke & mirrors, convincing us to overlook a thin & unconvincing plot. Most of the time I hate that sort of thing, but on rare occasions it works. Airplane! received a first round bye then took out Beetlejuice in Round 2. It was the fourth highest grossing film of 1980, bested only by The Empire Strikes Back, 9 to 5, & Stir Crazy, but beating out the likes of The Blues Brothers, The Shining, Urban Cowboy, Caddyshack, Mad Max, Raging Bull, & Honeysuckle Rose. That’s quite impressive. Airplane! has a 97% Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and has ranked as the best comedy of all-time in multiple lists & polls.

 

The Verdict:      I’m going to give The Manoverse advanced warning. If you have a strong opinion about either of these films please express it. Make this choice for me, because if it is left in my hands people are going to be unhappy one way or another.

 

 

 

 

Uncle Buck                   vs.     Good Morning Vietnam

buckAfter receiving a first round bye Uncle Buck defeated The Last Starfighter in Round 2. It ranked 18th at the box office in 1989, behind inferior sequels gmvlike Ghostbusters 2 and Lethal Weapon 2, but ahead of worthy competition like Field of Dreams, Do the Right Thing, & Major League. As mentioned previously the film spawned a TV show in 1990 but it didn’t last long. Now they’re trying it again in 2016, trying to appeal more to “urban” viewers. I’m not a big fan of taking a perfectly good concept and making it black, gay, or female just to appease the PC Police, and I’m guessing this latest attempt will fail miserably.  Good Morning Vietnam beat out Biloxi Blues in Round 2 after receiving a first round bye. Director Barry Levinson had already had much Hollywood success by 1987, writing the screenplay for Tootsie and directing Diner, The Natural, & Young Sherlock Holmes. He has since gone on to win the best Director Oscar for Rain Man and helm notable films like Bugsy & Wag the Dog, as well as produce stuff like Donnie Brasco & The Perfect Storm. Although Good Morning Vietnam is said to be based on the life of real life DJ Adrian Cronauer, he has stated that it is really only about “45% accurate”. The screenplay was changed significantly to highlight the comedic talents of Robin Williams, who did a lot of improvisation.

 

The Verdict:      Uncle Buck. What’s that phrase I keep using?? That’s right…repeat viewings. I love Robin Williams, but if I am sitting at home chilling out and in the mood to watch a movie, I am quite sure I would choose Uncle Buck over Good Morning Vietnam 9 out of 10 times.

Winning & Musing…..Volume 4.16

Howdy. Holy cow have we had a lot going on in the sports world. It’s times like the last few weeks that I really feel bad for those who, for whatever reason, never became sports fans. They’re really missing out on so much fun. Of course they miss out on an abundance of frustration & heartbreak as well, so there is that. Anyway, let’s roll.

 

 

 

 

 

lebroncavsA year & a half ago I said that Lebron James would “have the Cavs in the playoffs this summer and in serious championship contention next year.” He exceeded my expectations by leading them to the NBA Finals in 2015 before ultimately losing to the Golden St. Warriors. And this year he finally took them all the way. In a series rematch from last season the Cleveland Cavaliers fell behind against the Warriors 3-1 before staging an epic comeback and winning a fantastic Game 7 to earn the trophy. I am sincerely happy for the fine folks in Cleveland, OH, although I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out that between the Browns winning the NFL championship in 1964 and the Cavs winning the NBA title this year…a drought of 52 years and over 200 major professional sports seasons…the City of Champions Pittsburgh, PA won 13 championships among the Steelers, Pirates, & Penguins. Sorry…I couldn’t resist.

 

 

Speaking of the Penguins, kudos to them for winning their 4th Stanley Cup in the last quarter century. As predicted the series did Pittsburgh_Penguins7go seven games. I need to correct an error I made in the last edition of W&M. As it turns out the last several games of the finals were played on NBC proper, as it should be. I’m not sure what the deal was with those first couple of games being shown only on the NBC Sports Network.

 

 

skipFinally our long national nightmare that was the Skip Bayless era at ESPN is over. Bayless is taking his shtick to Fox Sports 1, where I am sure they’ll pair him up with some other obnoxious character and try to duplicate the First Take debate formula. Personally I won’t be watching. How Bayless has any credibility whatsoever remaining is a complete mystery since he has been demonstrably wrong the vast majority of the time in the past decade. I am quite sure that FS1 will see a spike in ratings upon his debut, but I’d be shocked if the honeymoon lasted more than a few months.

 

 

Now that the NBA Finals have concluded the chess match that is the offseason can begin, nbawith the first move being the NBA Draft in a couple of days. It isn’t nearly as entertaining as the NFL Draft, but I suppose I’ll watch. As for free agency, I’m going to go out on a limb and predict that Kevin Durant will leave Oklahoma City and end up with…the Los Angeles Lakers. You heard it here first.

 

 

usopenAdmittedly I lost a good bit of interest in the U.S. Open Golf Championship once my man Phil Mickelson missed the cut. This was supposed to be Lefty’s year to win the only major that has eluded him, the one in which he has finished second a record 6 times, but it just didn’t happen. That being said, I think the future of golf is going to be just fine. The final round of the U.S. Open was great theater, although it could’ve ended up being quite messy. Early on in his round leader Dustin Johnson had a situation where his ball appeared to move ever so slightly. A few holes later USGA officials informed Johnson that he may or may not incur a one shot penalty. He had to play the last several holes…of a major…not knowing exactly what his score may be. What?? Seriously?? How freakin’ stupid!! It’d be like telling an NFL team that a 2nd quarter touchdown may or may not count once a potential pass interference call is reviewed after the game, or an MLB team that a 4th inning grand slam may or may not have really been a foul ball and that a final decision would be made after the last out of the contest. Of course that would NEVER happen!!!!Decisions in most major sports might be endlessly analyzed & questioned after the fact, but atleast there is a damn djdecision. I know golf is a quirky game, where players are expected to self-report any rules violations and must accurately keep score themselves or else be disqualified, but the situation that occurred at the U.S. Open was shameful. Despite what purists may think there needs to be serious reflection about how to avoid such debacles in the future. Thankfully Johnson kept his cool and won by more than one stroke, leaving the outcome beyond doubt. Otherwise a great game could have suffered a terrible and 100% preventable stain on its legacy.

Points of Ponderation…Episode 6.16

A semi-regular attempt to address some of life’s minutiae that might otherwise be overlooked…..

 

 

 

 

 

 

My father has always opined that there is a difference between being alone and being lonely. Loneliness is a painful, negative state where we feel excluded, unwanted, unimportant, unnoticed, cut off, & estranged from others. Solitude is a positive state where we are perfectly happy to be by ourselves and enjoy our own company.l3

l1l2

 

 

 

Forgiveness:      Conviction, Confession, Confidence

For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me. My vitality was turned into the drought of summer. I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I have not hidden.bible11350 I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” and You forgave the iniquity of my sin. For this cause everyone who is godly shall pray to You in a time when You may be found. Surely in a flood of great waters they shall not come near him. You are my hiding place. You shall preserve me from trouble. You shall surround me with songs of deliverance.    (Psalm 32:4-7)

 

 

For all you java lovers out there:

coffee

 

 

 

manchinU.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), in a conversation about gun control, recently stated that “The problem that we have, and really the zonefirewall that we have right now, is due process. It’s all due process. Due process is what’s killing us right now.” Due process, for those whose American history teachers may have been busy molesting students instead of teaching them, is another one of those pesky Constitutional rights that liberals are hellbent & determined to eradicate (except for Muslims & other illegal immigrants). The Fifth Amendment to The Constitution says that no one should be “deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law”. The 14th Amendment states that states cannot “deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law”. The Founding Fathers felt due process was so important they mentioned it twice!! Who does Joe Manchin think he is?!?!?!?? If my fellow West Virginians give this traitor another term in office they are INSANE!! Hell, he should be impeached NOW!!!!

 

 

bon-jovi-800It makes me sad that Jon Bon Jovi is now doing DirecTV commercials.

 

 

 

 

 

Just in case you haven’t been paying attention the past seven years…

rules

Requiem for Orlando

I’ve never been to Florida. However, I do know that it contains the alleged Happiest Place on Earth…Disney World in Orlando. flLately though things have been decidedly unhappy in Orlando. Singer Christina Grimmie was shot to death at a meet & greet after a concert. I hadn’t previously heard of Ms. Grimmie because I don’t watch The Voice, but I must say she seems to have been amazingly talented and her murder is exceptionally tragic. At Disney World itself a toddler was mauled by an alligator, creatures that I understand are abundant in Florida though this type of incident is mercifully rare. I feel confident in speaking for The Manoverse by saying that we’re all praying for the child’s parents. I can’t even wrap my head around the immense heartbreak. And of course, as we all know by now, just 15 miles down the road from Disney at a night club called Pulse, the alleged deadliest mass shooting in United States history recently took place. It is this last situation about which I feel compelled to opine.

 

I have been making a concerted effort to dial back my sometimes overzealous passion, often resisting the urge to make even seemingly innocuous comments about divisive issues on social media and elsewhere. I try to atleast let a situation simmer and contemplate my thoughts before going off on some kind of ill-prepared emotional rant. And so I have delayed discourse on the Orlando tragedy until more information emerged and tempers (including my own) calmed a bit.

 

There is no need to recount the circumstances of what happened at Pulse. Unless one has been completely off the grid you are aware of the basic details. Approximately 50 people are dead and 50+ more were injured. However, a few things need to be said about the aftermath.

 

debateFirst of all, I am a bit perplexed by those who whine & complain about the situation being “politicized”. Let’s be real here folks…it is a mass shooting by a radical Muslim sympathizer in a gay nightclub. That’s a hot button trifecta, akin to an abortion in a black church performed by a white “transgender” person while smoking cigarettes and preaching about climate change. With 24/7 news channels & social media there is no way an event like this doesn’t become a topic of debate. That’s not to say that we shouldn’t be sensitive to the victims & their families or lament the kinder, gentler America of our idyllic memories, but quarreling about these issues is kind of what we do now. It’s your choice whether or not to engage or even pay any attention to the noise at all, but don’t be overly naïve or idealistic.

 

Secondly…as if we didn’t already know this…our so-called leaders haven’t come off looking particularly impressive. President Obama can barely contain his contempt for the nation he is supposed to be leading. Donald Trump can’t say a-n-y-t-h-i-n-g without getting blasted with criticism from all sides because he has this way of ticking people off even when he might actually have an occasional valid point. Hilary Clinton & Bernie Sanders are cartoon characters at this stage. None of us were alive in the days of Washington, Adams, Lincoln, or Teddy Roosevelt, but I have to assume that the level of statesmanship & wisdom back then far exceeded what seems to be available to us now. Even George W. trump3Bush, who was & is unmercifully mocked, disparaged, & disrespected by many, united the nation all too briefly after 9/11. W. seems like the love child of Confucius, Gandhi, & Winston Churchill in comparison to the buffoons in charge nowadays. It saddens me that we can’t do better.

 

Predictably the outrage has resulted in demands for more gun control. Rolling Stone magazine has called for an outright repeal constof the 2nd Amendment. Noted assclown Piers Morgan exhibited his typical fury. Empty-headed celebrities have chimed in with idiotic statements on social media. I have had to limit my exposure because I have an upcoming doctor’s appointment and I don’t want him to increase my blood pressure meds.

 

Here are some points that are interesting to me:

  • When a white man shot a bunch of black folks in a South Carolina church a year ago the outrage resulted in a backlash against the Confederate battle flag, the disappearance of The Dukes of Hazzard repeats from television, & monuments honoring Confederate soldiers that have been dead for two centuries being destroyed. But now a Muslim has committed mass murder (again) and we are berated with the familiar “Islam is a peaceful religion” poppycock that is demonstrably false.
  • People really like to throw around the term “hate” in 21st century America. Their definition of hatred is anyone who disagrees with a lifestyle or sociopolitical viewpoint. Bible believing Christians don’t condone homosexuality and therefore choose not to participate in same sex marriages by making a cake, etc. Muslims too disagree with homosexuality. They kill gay people, as we witnessed in Orlando. See the difference??
  • When I was a kid in the mid-80’s the speed limit on the interstate was 55 mph. Now the speed limits are in the 65-75 mph range and the annual traffic accident death toll has risen accordingly. Approximately 700k abortions are performed each year in America. Hardly anyone is clamoring to lower the speed limit and there are those who fervently advocate for “a woman’s right to choose”, yet a shocking amount of people are willing to give up their Constitutional right to bear arms due to their anger over gun violence. The incongruity is mind boggling.
  • The Second Amendment was adopted in 1791. The AR-15, a weapon commonly demonized in gun control debates, went to market in the early 1960’s. Yet over half of the 30 deadliest mass shootings in the United States dating back to 1949 have occurred in the past decade. What has changed in these ten years?? Not the guns. Laws have only become more numerous & increasingly astringent. Perhaps we should look inward. Maybe it is the general mentality & mood of the populace that has become more unhinged. Might we consider addressing the source of the ailment instead of putting a patch on the symptoms??
  • Any alleged “Christian” who says that the “LGBT community” deserves what happened at Pulse doesn’t know what they’re talking about and they certainly don’t attend a church I’d want to visit.
  • The idea that The Founding Fathers perceived the right to bear arms as owning a musket and that somehow invalidates the concept is absurd. The framers of The Constitution were all too familiar with government oppression. The United States was founded on the radical concepts of liberty & democracy and the principles advocated within our foundational documents reflect that. It’s not about this gun vs. that gun. It is way bigger than anything so prosaic, and those who are encouraging the rise of tyranny and a decline in freedom completely miss the point and are falling into exactly the kind of trap the Founders were trying to avoid. Modern freedom of the press involves mass media that those gentlemen couldn’t have conceived of in their wildest dreams, but oddly enough I don’t hear anyone insisting on eliminating that particular amendment.
  • Obama can kvetch all he wants to about the folly of semantics, but the fact is that the Orlando shooter had pledged loyalty to ISIS and was said to be shouting “Allahu Akbar” as he was killing people. He may have also been a self-loathing gay man but I’m not sure what relevance that may have. It is also factual to say that multiple acts of horrific violence, including the Boston Marathon bombings in 2013, The Beltway Sniper shootings in 2002, the London subway bombing in 2005, the hijacking of the cruise ship Achille Lauro in 1985, the bombing of the USS Cole in 2000, and of course the attacks of September 11, 2001 on the World Trade Center & The Pentagon were all committed by Muslim terrorists. It may seem insignificant to some, but the people of the United States of America want…need…to hear their President acknowledge this instead of trying to do a soft sell about the so-called “religion of peace”. Why is Islam in general given a pass when an alleged lone wolf radical does something bad, but all gun owners have to pay for the sins of the few?? Surely the double standard is obvious.

 

contemplationLook, I don’t have the answers. I’m just a humble Potentate of Profundity living a quiet life in Appalachia. Nothing anyone says or does is going to bring those patrons of the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, FL back from the dead or make the injured ones whole again. I understand the desire to “do something”. Aspiring to prevent similar catastrophes in the future is admirable. That being said, I am genuinely apprehensive about the capabilities of many currently in positions to affect change. I have little confidence in their capacity for prudent decision making. I sense that a well-meaning, fed up, fearful, & ill-informed public can be too easily led down the wrong path. America is faced with a real life Kobayashi Maru. Would it be cheating to reprogram our hearts & minds toward kindness, civility, & acknowledgement of true evil…or might it just be the only way to legitimately save countless lives??

80’s Movie Mania: Tubular Round 3

We’re down to 32 competitors as we begin Round 3. You’ll see eight additional films that we haven’t yet talked about, two in each division that received 1st & 2nd round byes. Moving forward I am going to get back into posting polls and seeking your input, not only because I’m stubborn like that but due mainly to the fact that there are going to be some monstrously difficult decisions that I don’t want to make all by myself. As for the films that have made it thus far thru a couple of rounds, I might be running out of things to say and ways to praise them, but I’ll figure out something. I think I may even look at dollar figures and Tomato-meters just as a way of splitting hairs. Let’s start with the Tubular Division.

 

 

 

 

Tubular 3

 

The Breakfast Club     vs.     Mr. Mom

bclubYou may have been wondering where this 1985 John Hughes classic has been in the competition…and now you know. Starring five members of the infamous Brat Pack (Molly Ringwald, Emilio Estevez, Judd Nelson, Ally Sheedy, & Anthony Michael Hall), The Breakfast Club tells the story of high schoolers forced to spend an entire Saturday in detention…something that I’m pretty sure would be considered illegal today. You know…civil rights and all that jazz. At any rate, each of the students embodies an authentic high school cliché…the popular jock (Estevez), the snobbish fashionista (Ringwald), the studious nerd (Hall), the defiant hellraiser from the wrong side of the tracks (Nelson), & the antisocial weirdo (Sheedy). As they get to know each other walls come tumbling down and we understand just how imprudent preconceived notions can be. The group also bonds over their mutual loathing for assistant principal Richard Vernon, the arrogant hardass charged with the task of supervising detention. Vernon does an amusingly poor job of being in charge, but he is also one of the best, most memorable parts of the film. The Breakfast Club straddles the line between comedy & drama, but more importantly it is an honest snapshot of teenage life in America. Mr. Mom has beaten Porky’s & Ghostbusters thus far. It has an 85% Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, but upon mr momits release famed critic Roger Ebert opined that it was “overwritten” and a great concept that is poorly executed like “the pilot for a TV sitcom”. That assessment might not be totally off base, and this movie in any other hands might have been a completely mediocre bomb. However, Michael Keaton makes it work. After guesting on a plethora of TV shows in the 60’s & 70’s Teri Garr was in several notable movies in the late 70’s/early 80s, but after Mr. Mom her fame seemed to dissipate considerably and these days she is retired from acting as she battles multiple sclerosis.

The Verdict:       The Breakfast Club. It’s the end of the road after an impressive run by Mr. Mom, but The Breakfast Club is just too good. It should be required viewing for every teenager in America. I look at it differently now, thru the prism of middle age. But even from that perspective it is still a well-written & performed story, and I could see it being successfully translated to a theatre production. I don’t know…maybe somebody somewhere has already done that.

 

 

 

 

When Harry Met Sally    vs.     WarGames

harrysallyI loves me some rom-coms, and 1989’s When Harry Met Sally is one of the best of the genre. It asks the intriguing question “Can men & women simply be platonic friends??” and stars Meg Ryan & Billy Crystal as college acquaintances who become best friends and eventually fall in love. The screenplay was written by Nora Ephron, who also wrote two of my other favorites…Sleepless in Seattle & You’ve Got Mail (both of which also star Meg Ryan)…and who is not in any way related to Zac Efron. The film was directed by Rob Reiner, who had quite the winning streak in the 1980’s with This Is Spinal Tap, Stand By Me, & The Princess Bride, all of which are still alive in 80’s Movie Mania. Billy Crystal is a national treasure, and the supporting cast of Carrie Fisher & Bruno Kirby is superb. WarGames has overcome challenges from The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas and Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure to make it this far. The director was John Badham, who less than a decade earlier had helmed a little John Travolta project you may have wargamesheard about called Saturday Night Fever. Badham’s sister Mary portrayed Scout Finch in the classic 1962 adaptation of To Kill A Mockingbird with Gregory Peck. WarGames is one of the earliest pop culture depictions of what is now commonly referred to as hacking and is thought to contain the first cinematic mention of the term firewall. When President Reagan saw the movie he was told that the scenario was indeed conceivable, prompting the President & Congress to update cyber security legislation.

The Verdict:       Okay Manoverse…this one is up to you. Please don’t leave the decision in my hands.

 

 

 

The Blues Brothers     vs.     The Big Chill

bb5The Blues Brothers received a first round bye and then beat European Vacation in Round 2. It was the tenth highest grossing film of 1980, behind classics like The Empire Strikes Back, Stir Crazy, & Coal Miner’s Daughter, but also besting some pretty solid competition like Caddyshack, The Shining, Friday the 13th, & the Academy Award winner for Best Picture Ordinary People. The screenplay was written by Dan Aykroyd and the film directed by John Landis, who had previously worked with Belushi on Animal House and would work with Aykroyd again a few years later on Trading Places. Landis has also directed such memorable efforts as Coming to America, Three Amigos!, & Michael Jackson’s Thriller music video. The Blues Brothers went $10 million over budget and at one time held the record for the most expensive comedy film ever made, but the $115 million it earned in theaters certainly softened the blow. The Big Chill received a first round bye and then defeated Scarface in Round 2. It ranked 13th at the box office in 1983, behind classics like Return of the Jedi, Flashdance, & Risky Business, but better than notables like The Outsiders, The Right Stuff, and two Stephen King adaptations…Cujo & Christine. The soundtrack is a-m-a-z-i-n-g, with songs from Marvin Gaye, Three Dog Night, Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, Aretha Franklin, The Temptations, and The Four Tops. I’m a little too young for chillsongs from the 60’s to be childhood favorites, but I’ve been blessed with good taste in music and I love these tunes. The movie’s title, according to director Lawrence Kasdan, refers to “a cooling process that takes place for every generation when they move from the outward-directed, more idealistic concerns of their youth to a kind of self-absorption, a self-interest which places their personal desires above those of the society or even an ideal”.

The Verdict:       The Blues Brothers. It’s all about repeat viewings, and The Blues Brothers is one of those movies that is often on random channels at various times of the day & night. I’ve seen it dozens of times, while I can’t remember the last time I watched The Big Chill.

 

 

 

Lethal Weapon            vs.     Dirty Dancing

lw2Lethal Weapon arrived at this point after a first round bye and a Round 2 decision over La Bamba. It was the 9th highest grossing film of 1987, behind Fatal Attraction & The Untouchables but ahead of Robocop & Throw Momma From the Train. It has an 84% Fresh Rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and upon its release critic Roger Ebert gave it 4 Stars, calling it a Bruised Forearm Movie wherein “you and your date grab each other’s arm every few minutes and you walk out black & blue and grinning from ear to ear”, and saying “this movie thrilled me from beginning to end….part of that is because I cared about the characters.” I concur. Dirty Dancing also received a first round bye and then defeated Moonstruck in Round 2. It was the 11th highest grossing movie of 1987, behind Three Men & A Baby, The Witches of Eastwick…and yes, Lethal Weapon. It’s unofficial theme song, I’ve Had the Time of My Life (sung by Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes) won the Academy Award for Best Original Song, besting Harold Faltermeyer’s Shakedown (from Beverly Hills Cop II) and Starship’s Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now dd3(from Mannequin), among others. Stars Patrick Swayze & Jennifer Grey reportedly had a tumultuous working relationship dating back to when they co-starred in 1984’s Red Dawn, but thankfully they made it work or else we might have ended up with some kind of pairing involving Val Kilmer or Billy Zane with Sarah Jessica Parker or Kyra Sedgwick. No disrespect to those fine performers, but I think things turned out for the best.

The Verdict:       This is exactly the kind of decision that I need The Manoverse to make. These are two great films. Both are worthy of victory. I shall abide by the choice of the masses.

 

Winning & Musing…..Volume 3.16

Greetings sports fans. What’s up?? I hope everyone is enjoying the early delights of summer and that those pesky cicadas aren’t annoying you too much. Just think…once we get thru the next few weeks we won’t have to hear that awful noise until 2033. By that time I’ll be 60 years old!! Okay…I just freaked myself out a little. Let’s talk about sports.

 

 

 

 

 

hockeyGuess what y’all…I’ve actually been watching hockey!! No one is more surprised than me. As of this writing my Pittsburgh Penguins are up 2-1 over the San Jose Sharks in the Stanley Cup Finals. Two of the games have gone into overtime. I was really hoping the Pens would go up 3-0 which would essentially mean it’s over, but now I am leaning toward my original assessment, which is that this thing could go the full seven games. It’s a shame that the championship series of a major professional sport is being shown mostly on a marginal channel like the NBC Sports Network, which is in 12 million less homes than ESPN, 10 million less than Fox Sports 1, & a whopping 30 million less than NBC itself which is where the games would be broadcast if it were football, baseball, or basketball. There are multiple things that could possibly be blamed for hockey’s lack of popularity in America, but that’s a broader topic than I want to address at the moment. For now let’s just say that I am hooked and will be watching this series. Go Pens!!

 

 

So I guess we have a Summer Olympics coming up?? They are scheduled to get underway in Rio (that’s in Brazil for those that slept thru geography class) in early Rio2016August. Numerous medical professionals have opined that the event should be postponed or relocated because of the Zika virus, which is apparently a rather big issue in South America, but we all know that there is way too much money involved for that. It will be interesting to see how it all shakes out. As for the games themselves, I am really only interested in basketball. The United States hasn’t announced their 12 man roster yet, but it is anticipated to include guys like Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, & Lebron James. Nothing less than another gold medal will be acceptable.

 

 

CCI’m not quite sure what to say about the death of Cassius Clay. He is practically being deified by the sports talking heads and the general drive-by media. Boxing has never really been in my wheelhouse and the fabled career of “The Greatest” was stumbling to a pitiable close by the time I even became conscious of his existence. Inside the ring he was an impressive 56-5 over a couple of decades, won a gold medal at the 1960 Olympics, and captured professional boxing’s heavyweight title three times. Outside the ring he was doing pro wrestling style promos years before pro wrestling gained pop culture relevance in the 1980s. Cassius Clay might have been successful had he simply been a great boxer, but being a charismatic entertainer is what elevated his status to legendary. The most controversial aspect of his life began in the early 60’s when he became an adherent of Malcolm X and converted to Islam, which led to him “conscientiously objecting” to the Vietnam War and refusing to serve in the armed forces. I sincerely believe in freedom of religion, but my faith tells me that Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth, & the Life and that no man shall come to the Father except through Him. It also annoys me greatly that when a Muslim uses their faith as an excuse to protest something they are applauded for it, but Christians are not afforded the same respect. I don’t hate Cassius Clay. I feel bad for him. I do not believe that Islam is a “religion of peace”. History…especially in recent years…reveals that idea to be absurd. Yet I don’t believe that all Muslims are bad people. Cassius Clay chose to follow Malcolm X and elected to “dodge” the draft. He paid a price for it, losing three prime years of his career. Later on he gained the sympathy of the masses while fighting a courageous & debilitating battle against Parkinson’s Disease, an awful condition no one should have to endure, and became a kind of goodwill ambassador, even traveling to Iraq & Afghanistan to negotiate the release of American hostages. What’s done is done and Cassius Clay is gone now. I don’t revile him for his choice of religion or anti-American rhetoric in regards to Vietnam, but neither will I participate in hoisting him up on a big ol’ heroic pedestal. My prayers are with his family & friends.

 

 

The NBA Finals are underway as well. As many people expected it’s all come down to the defending champion Golden State Warriors vs. Lebron James and his NBA-FInals-2Cleveland Cavaliers. The Warriors are up 1-0 at the moment and looked pretty dominant in that first game, but I am hoping this series goes 6 or 7 games too. It would be a huge letdown to everyone outside of Oakland, CA if it is a brief & one-sided sweep.

 

 

espnWhat in the world is going on at The Mothership in Bristol?? Not only are they losing noted blowhard Skip Bayless to Fox Sports 1, but now Mike Tirico is jumping ship & heading to NBC, while ESPN original Chris Berman is reportedly being phased out after his contract expires at the end of the year. I really couldn’t care less what happens with Bayless. He joins fellow windbag Colin Cowherd at FS1, taking that network from its current status of “irrelevant” to “avoid like The Plague”. Hey FS1…if the goal is to increase ratings you’re doing it wrong. Conversely, Tirico seems like a decent dude and he’s great at what he does. I am assuming that his presence will make it easier for NBC to gently push 71 year old Al Michaels into retirement without Sunday Night Football missing a beat. Sean McDonough, a decent enough play-by-play man, is now going to be doing play-by-play on ESPN’s Monday Night Football, but that show is doomed as long as Jon Gruden…the guy who once said that “any team that passes on Johnny Manziel will regret it”…is doing color commentary. He makes John Madden & Charles Barkley look like Woodward & Bernstein. It may seem like Berman is ancient because he’s been there since ESPN’s launch, but he’s only 61 years old. His shtick has worn a little thin with some, but it feels a bit premature to put him out to pasture. Of course Berman’s eventual departure is only part of ESPN’s makeover of its NFL coverage, as they’ve already ousted Cris Carter, Mike Ditka, Ray Lewis, & Keyshawn Johnson in favor of new faces Randy Moss, Matt Hasselbeck, & Charles Woodson. Those feel like positive, much needed changes.

80’s Movie Mania: Radical Round 2

Today we finish up second round action for 80’s Movie Mania. Please feel free to go back and check out Round 2 results for the Gnarly, Tubular, & Bodacious Divisions. I haven’t been posting polls much lately because it seems like an exercise in futility. Maybe someday I’ll figure out what I’m doing wrong, but until then we’ll just forge ahead. As always feedback is appreciated. Tell your friends & family about the site. Let’s grow The Manoverse into a force to be reckoned with in the blogosphere!!

 

 

 

 

Radical 2

 

Rain Man   vs.     Night Shift

More Tom Cruise?? Yep, I’m afraid so. In 1988’s Rain Man Cruise plays Charlie, a down-on-his-luck NightShift-Still2shyster whose estranged father dies and leaves him nothing but an old car and some rose bushes. The old man left millions of dollars to an older brother that Charlie didn’t even know existed. That brother, Ray (in an Oscar winning performance by Dustin Hoffman), is an autistic savant residing in a mental institution. Charlie impulsively decides to take Ray away from the facility and get legal custody thereby gaining access to the inheritance. The ensuing road trip is full of fun & poignant moments as the two brothers bond and Charlie matures. Rain Man not only got Hoffman his second Oscar but also won Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Director, & Best Original Screenplay. Night Shift defeated Fletch in Round 1. It ranked 36th at the box office in 1982, behind clunkers that no one remembers like Things Are Tough All Over, Best Friends, & The Dark Crystal, but ahead of notable competition including The Thing, Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid, Diner, & Grease 2. It might be an overstatement to say that Night Shift launched the careers of Ron Howard, Henry Winkler, Michael Keaton, & Shelley Long, but it definitely counts as a prominent catalyst for them, especially the directorial trajectory of Howard and Keaton’s stellar filmography. Winkler’s portrayal of a character that is the polar opposite of Happy Days’ Fonzie showed his range even if he never became a huge movie star.

 

The Verdict:       Rain Man. The pedigree cannot be denied, and unlike many Best Picture winners it is the kind of lighthearted popcorn flick one can enjoy anytime it may pop up on television.

 

 

 

 

This Is Spinal Tap       vs.     Flight of the Navigator

After receiving a first round bye the ultimate mockumentary makes its Mania debut. Presented as a faux documentary of a supposedly real rock band, 1984’s Spinal Tap is a satirical look inside the zany world of rock n’ roll. It stars Michael McKean (Laverne & Shirley’s Lenny Kosnowski), Harry Shearer (the voice of Ned Flanders, Mr. Burns, & others on The Simpsons), & Christopher Guest (the real life husband of Jamie Lee Curtis) as members of a goofy British band that sings songs like Hell Hole, Sex Farm, & Gimme Some Money. Written & directed by Rob Reiner, the movie features cameos & early screen appearances by stars like Bruno Kirby, Ed Begley Jr., Fran Drescher, Dana Carvey, Billy Crystal, Howard Hesseman, Paul Shaffer, & Anjelica Huston and contains many memorable scenes & quotable lines. Actual rock stars like Jimmy Page, Ozzy Osbourne, U2’s Edge, & Dave Grohl allegedly love the film and praise its accuracy. Flight of the Navigator upset The Goonies in Round 1. I can be a rebel on occasion. Navigator ranked a lowly 48th at the box office in 1986, behind idiocy like Friday the 13thnavigator Part 6, Wildcats, Poltergeist II: The Other Side, & The Golden Child (a film that nearly killed the career of Eddie Murphy). However it did fare better than decent flicks like Brighton Beach Memoirs, The Best of Times, 9 ½ Weeks, Highlander, & Maximum Overdrive. A quick look back reveals that Flight of the Navigator was released in early August of 1986 and faced stiff competition from summer blockbusters Aliens and The Fly as well as 80’s mainstay Stand By Me.

 

The Verdict:       This Is Spinal Tap. I adore the whole mockumentary genre, and this is the one that started it all. Great characters, well-written script, superb cast, fun cameos…there’s a whole lot to appreciate here.

 

 

 

 

Wall Street           vs.     Revenge of the Nerds

wallstreet2_560Michael Douglas, son of legendary 20th century actor Kirk Douglas, has had a fine career. He co-starred with Karl Malden in the 1970’s TV cop show The Streets of San Francisco. He won an Oscar for producing 1975 Best Picture One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. He’s starred in notable films like Basic Instinct, The China Syndrome, & Falling Down. But he reached the pinnacle in 1987 with his portrayal of Gordon Gekko, a dodgy business tycoon who famously opines that “greed is good”. Charlie Sheen is also along for the ride as an inexperienced but ambitious stockbroker who first admires Gekko before eventually turning against him. The world of stocks, bonds, & corporate raiding is a tricky one to translate to film, but Wall Street pulls it off, keeping things accessible to the viewer and creating a level of suspense, intrigue, & drama normally reserved for more action based movies. Revenge of the Nerds defeated Twins in the first round. It was the 16th highest grossing movie of 1984, behind hits like Beverly Hills Cop, Ghostbusters, Footloose, & Thenerds2 Karate Kid, but besting pretty solid competition, stuff like The Terminator, A Nightmare on Elm Street, & Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo. Well okay, that last one sucked, but I had to sneak it in somewhere because thirty years later the title, as well as the concept of break dancing in general, cracks me up. The powers-that-be squeezed all they could out of Nerds, with three sequels in the course of the following decade. The original still pops up on TV occasionally and is always good for a few chuckles.

 

The Verdict:       Wall Street. Gordon Gekko may be one of the most unforgettable characters in the history of cinema. He has become the icon of a certain fragment in time, a symbol of arrogance, materialism, & yes…greed.

 

 

 

 

Splash       vs.     The Naked Gun

splashEveryone remembers Ron Howard when he was a little kid starring as Opie Taylor on The Andy Griffith Show, and then as a teenager playing Richie Cunningham on Happy Days. However, Howard knew from an early age that he wanted to become a director. He left Happy Days after its 7th season to concentrate on directing and has strung together an impressive list of well-received & entertaining hits. One of his early triumphs is 1984’s Splash, about a NY City businessman who falls in love with a mermaid. The cast includes Tom Hanks (in his breakout role), Daryl Hannah, John Candy, & Eugene Levy. It was the 10th highest grossing film of 1984 and earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay as well as a Golden Globe nomination for Best Picture. The Naked Gun beat out Dragnet in Round 1. It was the 8th highest grossing film of 1988, behind really good films like Rain Man, Big, Coming to America, & Die Hard, but besting some pretty good flicks like Scrooged, Bull Durham, & Tucker: The Man and His Dream. Alright, I’m joking again about that last one, Anyway, as far as the parody/spoof genre goes The Naked Gun would be on its Mount Rushmore…if such a thing existed.

 

The Verdict:       The Naked Gun. I suppose this is kind of an upset. Splash is definitely the more critically acclaimed film, and with names like Howard, Hanks, & Candy its pedigree is indisputable. However, one of the benchmarks I hold in highest esteem is repeat viewings, and I don’t think I’ve seen Splash in atleast 20 years. It’s just not shown on television that much for some reason. And to be honest if it were on but The Naked Gun was also on at the same time I have a feeling I’d choose the latter. Splash is mostly remembered as a springboard for the careers of Howard & Hanks (who have both done better work in the ensuing years), not necessarily for the movie itself. Meanwhile, The Naked Gun epitomizes an entire category of films and is just plain old funny. Poor Tom Hanks…beaten by Leslie Nielsen & OJ Simpson two rounds in a row.

 

 

 

E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial    vs.     Sixteen Candles

One of the earliest moviegoing experiences I remember is going to see Coal Miner’s Daughter at the sixteendrive-in with my parents & sister, which was likely sometime during the summer of 1980 or 81 when I was 8 or 9 years old. The other experience I remember is going to see E.T.. Our local mall opened in 1982, the same year that E.T. was in theaters, and it was there that I saw it. Produced & directed by the incomparable Steven Spielberg, E.T. tells the story of a cute, friendly little alien botanist who is inadvertently left behind by his compatriots when their peaceful mission to collect samples of Earth plant life is interrupted by government agents. E.T. is discovered by a 10 year old boy named Elliot, and eventually his younger sister Gertie (a 5 year old Drew Barrymore in one of her earliest roles) and older brother Michael. The kids decide to keep E.T.’s existence a secret from their mother and formulate a plan to help the alien get home to his own world. Drama ensues. E.T. quickly overtook Star Wars as the highest grossing film of all time and held that title for over a decade. To this day it is still in the Top 10 on that list when the numbers are adjusted for inflation. It won four Academy Awards, though it lost Best Picture to Gandhi. Sixteen Candles got the decision over Red Dawn in Round 1. It ranked a humble 44th at the box office in 1984, behind head scratchers like Cannonball Run II, City Heat, All of Me, & Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan. But hey, it beat horror classic Children of the Corn, so that’s…something. I guess America hadn’t gotten the John Hughes/Brat Pack memo quite yet.

 

The Verdict:       E.T.. I’m going to contradict myself. It’s probably been even longer since I’ve watched E.T. than Splash. In that time I’ve seen Sixteen Candles plenty of times. I was initially prepared to hand Sixteen Candles the upset victory, but I just can’t pull the trigger. E.T. was the highest grossing movie OF ALL TIME for 11 years!! How do I overlook that?? This is a great example of why Manoverse participation would be helpful. I’d love to take the temperature of the masses, but I have no faith that delaying the decision with a poll would accomplish anything.

 

 

 

Fast Times at Ridgemont High     vs.     Spaceballs

fast2Fast Times beat Brighton Beach Memoirs in Round 1. It was the 29th ranked film at the box office in 1982, space2behind classics like Poltergeist & First Blood as well as not so great movies like The Toy, Young Doctors in Love, and The Sword & The Sorcerer. The good news is that it did better than some impressive competition like Pink Floyd: The Wall and re-issues of The Empire Strikes Back, Bambi, & Raiders of the Lost Ark. Fast Times isn’t the kind of movie that wins awards, but it meant something to those of a certain age. I’m not sure how modern teens view it…if it speaks to them on some level or seems completely lame & outdated. I really hope it is the former rather than the latter. Spaceballs won a tossup over Summer School in Round 1. It ranked 31st at the 1987 box office. One would think a Star Wars parody might do better, but atleast it bested solid competition like The Lost Boys, Can’t Buy Me Love, Raising Arizona, Some Kind of Wonderful, & Over the Top. A sequel would seem to write itself, but for some reason it just never happened.

 

The Verdict:       Fast Times. Easy call. Spaceballs is a great parody film, but it isn’t better than an archetypal 80’s film that helped define the decade and an entire generation.

Points of Ponderation…..Episode 5.16

A semi-regular attempt to address some of life’s minutiae that might otherwise be overlooked…..

Dear Facebook…

I appreciate the “People You May Know” suggestions, but there are issues. Just because I have one or two friends in common facebook-147with someone doesn’t mean that I know that person. Perhaps we should set the bar a little higher…like maybe 10 friends in common?? Of course the flip side of that is that if I have 50 friends in common with someone the odds are that I do know them and there is a reason I’m not friends with them on Facebook. Perhaps we went to high school together and they were a popular kid that didn’t know I existed. Or maybe they were in a fraternity or sorority that I interacted with in college but I thought they were a jackass back then and have no interest in catching up two decades later. I understand that it is a complicated algorithm to perfect, but I think a billion dollar company that revolutionized social media can do better.

head-scratch2So the History Channel, A&E, and Lifetime (Television for Women) have teamed up for a remake of Roots. Seriously?? Can’t we just leave the classics alone??

I’m just gonna leave this right here…

abortion

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Speaking of social media, I have a pet peeve…

screenCitizens of The Manoverse will recall that as part of the annual Sammy Awards I do an RIP section dedicated to notable individuals who have passed on during the year. It began as a parody of the In Memoriam segment of the Academy Awards but has evolved into a responsibility that I take rather seriously. Because of this I am usually able to vaguely recall when a person died. Therefore it annoys me tremendously when someone on Facebook posts an article about a celebrity death as if it just occurred recently when in reality the person passed away several years ago. Come on folks…read the articles. Don’t just blindly post something and make yourself look uninformed & oblivious.

 

 

Yep…exactly…..

MTV

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve been refraining from too much sociopolitical commentary lately, a) because it’s a pointless endeavor in a world that’s gone toh Hell in a handbasket, and b) I’m already on a low dosage of high blood pressure meds so I’m trying to be prudent. However, let me just say this about Harambe, a 17 year old silverback that was recently shot to death by staff at the Cincinnati Zoo. Is it sad that Harambe is dead?? Of course. Nevertheless, the powers-that-be at the zoo made the right call. A toddler had gotten into the enclosure and was in danger. Anyone with a brain would choose human life over an animal any day…or atleast I’d hope so. I know there are a bunch of animal lovers out there claiming that Harambe was actually trying to be protective of the child, and video seems to support that notion. I also know that gorillas are said to be very intelligent. However, gorillas possess strength atleast 10x that of a healthy adult human male but not the means to understand that fact. The animal may not have had any intention of harming the child but likely would have if swift action had not been taken. The shocked crowd certainly had no intention of spooking Harambe and making the situation worse yet they undoubtedly did. The choice made was the only logical choice. As far as the parents of the child are concerned, I cannot be overly critical because I am not a parent myself and also because I was not there. Word on the street is that these might not be the most stellar caregivers in the world. Dad has a pretty long rap sheet and some say that Mom was being inattentive to the child. That being said, we all know that things happen. Kids can be sneaky quick. Hopefully the parents learn a valuable lesson from all of this, and the folks in charge at the zoo will likely re-examine safety measures and try to tighten things up a bit on their end. It is a tragic end for Harambe, but it could have been so much more horrific all the way around.

 

 

Because I am here not just to entertain but to educate…

doggiesmeatcookies

For a person trying to refrain from sociopolitical commentary I suppose I’m doing a lot of it today, but something must be addressed…

obama_dr_evilI think it was bad form for President Hussein Obama to do yet another apology tour…this time in Hiroshima, Japan…right before our Memorial Day here in the United States. And people wonder why so many hate this man?? To be honest I don’t understand why anyone with better than a grade school education respects him. He’s disgusting.