2022 SAMMY AWARDS – PART III

Welcome back to the exciting conclusion of the 2022 Sammy Awards!! If you missed out on Part 1 or Part 2 please go back & check them out. Let’s give one more big round of applause for our host, comedian Jim Gaffigan!!!!

After more delightful stories from our host it’s time to greet the next presenter. Once upon a time he finished as the runner-up in the Heisman Trophy voting, then played in the NFL for five years. He segued into acting, with roles in a handful of movies no one has ever heard of, but made an impact on television, most notably portraying a cop for five years on Hill Street Blues. Please give a warm welcome to Ed Marinaro!! And the nominees are:

Favorite Movie

Being the Ricardos 

I know who Lucille Ball is, but I’m just a skosh too young to be a fan. Nevertheless, I enjoy a good biopic. I’ve never quite understood the appeal of Nicole Kidman…she’s not that attractive and has never been the reason I watched any movie. Despite an Oscar nomination for Best Actress I feel like Kidman is miscast, and the plot about Ball being an accused Communist is a total dud. I fell asleep in the middle of the film. 

The Tender Bar 

Here’s what I assume happened. Director George Clooney read the book this movie is based on & liked it. He decided he wanted to adapt it into a film, and because he’s George Clooney the green light was given, no questions asked. Clooney cast his buddy Ben Affleck in a pivotal role, and because Affleck is a much better actor than anyone gives him credit for he knocks it out of the park. As far as the story goes, it’s a coming-of-age tale about a kid growing up in the 70’s with his single mother, maternal grandparents, & a tavern owner uncle who fills the shoes left mostly empty by a deadbeat Dad. It’s well-written with solid performances, but honestly not that compelling or memorable. 

Dog

I’m a sucker for any movie starring a dog…or atleast I used to be. Since my Rocco passed a few years ago such fare is a bit tougher to watch, but I headed to the cineplex to check out this one, starring Channing Tatum as an injured soldier tasked with driving an unruly dog to his master’s funeral. It’s cute, occasionally funny, sporadically poignant, & makes a perfunctory attempt at being thoughtful. It has become a fairly common cinematic theme in recent years…films that can’t decide whether to be straight up comedy or inspirational & heartwarming, so they straddle the line between both and end up not really achieving either goal. 

Top Gun: Maverick 

I’ve never really felt the need…the need for speed. I’m built for comfort and drive like my Grandma. Anyway, I digress. The original Top Gun is an 80’s time capsule film for Gen-X, with its iconic soundtrack, remarkable supporting cast (Anthony Edwards, Val Kilmer, Meg Ryan, Tim Robbins), and megastar status of Tom Cruise, who was already box office gold when the movie hit theaters and has remained in close proximity to the spotlight for nearly four decades. Why didn’t they do an immediate sequel to the highest grossing film of 1986?? I’m sure the answer is available with some fairly painless research, but I’m not that energetic. Better questions would be “is 35 years later too late??”, or “at 59 years old is Tom Cruise too old to be an action star??”. Ehhhh…I’d answer “perhaps” to both queries.  The belated sequel finds Maverick still holding on as a test pilot, having never advanced in rank like one would expect. He’s called back to Top Gun to train an elite group of young pilots for a dangerous mission, but no one seems to really want him there, especially the grown son of Maverick’s late wingman Goose. Maverick fulfills its dual mission as popcorn cinema & stirring nostalgia. I suppose it would have made more logical sense a decade ago, but that’s a small nit to pick. 

Elvis 

Is it an Elvis biopic…or the story of Col. Tom Parker?? It’s kind of both. We get a perfunctory glimpse of young Presley’s modest childhood in Mississippi & his fascination with blues & gospel music, then skip quickly to his early days as a singer, which is when Parker becomes enamored & decides to make the lad a star. Most folks know how the rest of the story goes. I had low expectations going into the movie because I’m not a fan of director Baz Luhrmann’s unique & flamboyant style, but his ostentatiousness works quite well in this case. Obviously the music is fantastic…that’s a given. I fully expect Austin Butler to receive an Oscar nomination for his portrayal of Elvis Presley, and you either like or hate Tom Hanks’ interpretation of Col. Parker. I don’t hate it & think Hanks will be Oscar nominated for the seventh time. 

Hocus Pocus 2

1993’s Hocus Pocus was a box office flop, but in recent years it has evolved into a family friendly Halloween cult classic. The sequel is surprisingly decent, with a similar vibe as its  predecessor. It starts out a little slow, but once The Sanderson Sisters are back on the scene business picks up exponentially. The only nit to be picked is that the filmmakers couldn’t find some way to include any of the other original cast members, which is certainly a missed opportunity. 

The Batman 

I lowered my expectations. I scoffed at casting the guy from Twilight as The Caped Crusader. But I’ll be damned if it didn’t exceed the low bar I’d set. It’s a very atmospheric film…less hellbent on the “realism” of the Dark Knight movies, but grittier than the Tim Burton/Joel Schumacher efforts that put Gotham City back in the spotlight three decades ago. Setting the action at a time when several key characters…Batman, Riddler, Joker, Jim Gordon, Catwoman…are (in the story) yet to become the deeply established icons we know they will be gives them room to grow & breathe. There is significant potential for a long running series if all the major players agree to remain involved. 

Marry Me

I’m a rom-com guy, I really am. Some of my most favorite movies (When Harry Met SallySleepless in Seattle) are romantic comedies. I just can’t buy into this one though, as much as part of me really wants to do so. Owen Wilson & J-Lo are undeniably charming leads, but the premise is so preposterous (pop singer marries random dude in the middle of a concert) that the whole film doesn’t quite click for me. It comes close. I don’t hate it, but it misses the mark. 

A Christmas Story Christmas 

It’s a bit tedious at first, but by the end recaptures just a hint of the magic of the perennial Christmas classic. The recast of the mother doesn’t work for me, but it was nice to see several other original cast members. It’s a little too focused on callbacks to the first film, although I understand that. I just would’ve preferred a more original story versus obsequious fan service to its predecessor. 

and the Sammy goes to…..

Top Gun: Maverick. This was a tough choice. Nostalgia was big in 2022, but Maverick did it with panache. The story made sense, the cinematic experience was unparalleled, and as much grief as a lot of people (including yours truly) likes to give Tom Cruise, the truth is that he’s good at what he does. Maverick is popcorn cinema at its best, and there’s not a damn thing wrong with that.

Ed Marinaro wanted to present the next award, but the NFL warned us about him, so security has intervened.

At the young age of 22 our next presenter has built quite a following on social media. We normally mock “influencers”, but that’s because so many have so little to offer. However, a former leftist radical “woman of color” who saw the error of her ways and now allows the masses access to her unique point of view via viral videos is an “influencer” worthy of attention & respect. She’s smart, she’s fun, and she has tremendous potential to be a significant voice to an entire generation that has been led down the wrong path & lied to by too many people entrusted with guiding them in the right direction. Please give a warm welcome to Amala Ekpunobi!! And the nominees are: 

GlugGlug Award for Favorite Water Cooler Topic 

Whoopi Goldberg 

Can someone please explain to me how this woman is still employed?? As an actress she used to be entertaining, but as a talk show host she’s an ignorant, mean spirited blowhard. Last January Goldberg actually opined on The View that The Holocaust was “not about race”. Not even ABC could ignore the negative reaction, and she was suspended from the show. It wasn’t the first idiotic thing Goldberg has said, and it won’t be the last. Heck, she reiterated her Holocaust comments not long ago, but no action was taken. The hatemongers at Disney seem to welcome inflammatory rhetoric, as long as the offender shares the “correct” sociopolitical beliefs. 

Coca-Cola Starlight 

It’s supposed to taste like space. I don’t know. Just give me a Pepsi.

Wordle

Wordle captured the attention of the masses last year, becoming an online sensation as folks shared their results daily on social media. The game involves six attempts to guess a five-letter word, with the only clues being green tiles when you have the right letter in the right space, and yellow tiles when you have the right letter in the wrong space. I had a 200 word streak going before deciding to retire after about seven months of daily wordplay.

Johnny Depp & Amber Heard 

I’ve never really understood the hype around Johnny Depp. He’s a decent actor that’s been in some reasonably entertaining films, but that’s about as far as it goes. Anyway, last spring Depp & his former girlfriend Amber Heard (ostensibly an actress herself) faced off in court for reasons unclear to me. It was as if the American public was once again chasing an elusive high we haven’t felt since the OJ Simpson trial nearly three decades ago. From what I gathered (because it was impossible to totally ignore) neither Depp or Heard came off all that well. Who cares?? Read a freakin’ book folks.

Spotify 

I use Amazon Music myself. At any rate, last January Spotify came under fire for Joe Rogan’s podcast because he was allegedly disseminating Covid 19 misinformation (i.e. the truth). To their credit the platform declined to remove Rogan’s show, so a bunch of over-the-hill musicians who haven’t been relevant in decades (Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, & Nils Lofgren to name a few) decided to boycott Spotify. To my knowledge Spotify found the strength to soldier on, and Rogan’s podcast is as popular as ever. You showed them Neil Young!! Way to go!! Keep up the good work!! 🙄

Will Smith & Chris Rock at The Oscars

It was the Slap Heard ‘Round the World. I haven’t watched The Academy Awards in many years, and 2022 was no exception. But as I was working on other things that night I began to see stories & comments pop up on social media about The Fresh Prince bitch slapping the SNL alum. Needless to say it got my attention, and I quickly caught up with what was going on. Nearly a year later I still can’t believe that actually happened!! 

Monkey Pox

They tried. The fear mongers attempted to sell us on another deadly disease that would lead to more power & control for them over us, but thankfully we’ve wised up just a bit.

Kanye West 

For God’s sake why won’t this piece of dung go away?? He changes his name every five minutes. He inserts himself into politics. We are all way too familiar with his personal life. He says outrageous things on social media & in interviews. Bro…your wife ditched you for a mediocre comedian who looks like a homeless guy!! Look in the mirror. Search your soul. But please do it out of the public eye cause we’re done with your shenanigans.

Bennifer 2.0

Twenty years ago the romance of marginally talented singer Jennifer Lopez & deceptively capable actor Ben Affleck captured the hearts of a nation. But they broke up & moved on to other lovers (in her case…several others). Good news though!! In 2022 they reunited and got married!! Hope really does spring eternal, especially if you’re ridiculously good looking, super wealthy, & really famous. 

and the Sammy goes to…..

Chris Rock. Only Rock receives the award, because we don’t reward violence here. He deserves a trophy for dealing with the situation in a calm, professional manner. How many would have fought back and started a melee on live television?? I bet the vast majority of us would have reacted that way. I understand that some conspiracy theorists think it was all a setup, perhaps even planned by the powers-that-be to ignite interest in The Academy Awards, which has had poor TV ratings & been bleeding viewership for several years. I’m not buying that. Was it compelling television?? Sure. Hell, we’re still talking about it nearly a year later, right?? But I think it was very real. My issue is that the folks in charge should’ve called an audible and NOT handed an Oscar to Will Smith that same night. The optics were horrendously bad.

To present our last award of the evening we’d like to welcome an actor & social media star who had parts in movies like CasinoOnce Upon a Time in America, and Nixon. He has received two Academy Award nominations, and now has finally made it to the Sammy stage. In recent years he has become an outcast in Hollywood because of his sociopolitical views, but we are happy to welcome him with open arms. Please get up on your feet for James Woods!! And the nominees are!!

Biggest News Story 

Russia/Ukraine Conflict 

Russia doing Russian things. Are we surprised?? The situation has actually been ongoing for awhile, but escalated last February when Russia full on invaded Ukraine. Since then Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has become a folk hero & the United States has sent hundreds of billions of dollars (of OUR money) to support the underdogs in this fight. Our “leaders” are more concerned with border security in Ukraine than they are America. 

The Clot Shot 

Otherwise healthy 20/30/40-somethings dropping dead has become all too common. World class athletes keeling over isn’t normal. Big Pharma is making billions of dollars but is somehow insulated from legal consequences. We have a “vaccine” that doesn’t cure what it allegedly was invented to cure, and the argument that it minimizes symptoms & prevents the illness from being deadly doesn’t hold water since we all know fully vaxxed & boostered people who died anyway. Something is rotten about all of it, especially the media & our government running cover for the whole deal. I’m much more scared of the “cure” than the disease. 

Midterm Elections 

What a disappointment. I don’t understand how anyone with common sense & critical thinking skills can look at what’s been happening the past two years and think the status quo is good. Conservatives should’ve practically swept both houses of Congress. Instead, Democrats held onto the Senate while Republicans barely gained a small majority in the House of Representatives. I understand that Dr. Oz wasn’t the best candidate, but what in the hell were Pennsylvania voters thinking by voting for a recovering stroke victim unable to string together a coherent sentence, who dresses like a homeless beggar, and clearly isn’t physically or mentally capable of holding public office?? The “red wave” so many of my Republican friends were excited about became an underwhelming red trickle, and I think a little self-reflection is in order to figure out exactly why.

Canadian Freedom Convoy 

In January 2022 over a thousand vehicles formed convoys from several points in Canada to protest Covid 19 restrictions that threatened the livelihoods of truck drivers, which in turn affected the supply chain in Canada & the United States. They traveled thru multiple Canadian provinces before converging on the capital city of Ottawa. Sadly, the protesters didn’t accomplish their mission, as the maniacal dictatorships in Canada & America united to squash the rebellion. Hundreds were arrested, and eventually the media stopped talking about it.

Roe v. Wade 

I never thought it would happen, but it did. Should the landmark 1973 decision have been overturned?? It’s a discussion full of nuance, which isn’t something we’re very good at in modern America. Too many of us look at things thru the prism of black/white, right/wrong, right/left. We prefer a “one size fits all” solution, but the truth is life is rarely that easy. We like to deal in absolutes, but almost everything has grey areas. 

Gun Control 

It ebbs & flows. Everyone stops talking about it for awhile, then something happens and the histrionics begin anew. On May 24, 2022 an 18 year old former student went into a grade school in Uvalde, TX and killed 19 kids & two teachers. School staff had inadvertently left an outside door open allowing easy access, and it was later proven thru video footage that law enforcement lacked urgency in their response (and that’s being kind). What is the right way to deal with these kinds of tragedies?? Well, we’re back to the whole black & white, cut & dried thing. On one hand, no one…and I mean absolutely no normal, sane person…thinks mass shootings are okay. However, on the flip side, some folks need to read The Constitution. Not just read it, but comprehend it. Emotional responses to these shootings, especially when children are involved, are completely understandable. That being said, if we let the powers-that-be continue to chip away at our rights soon we won’t have any. It’s another complex issue made more difficult by deceitful media & self-serving, traitorous politicians.

J6 Hearings 

I can’t believe we’re still talking about “The Insurrection”. As stated a year ago, it should have never happened, it was a bad idea, and it was an exercise in futility. That being said, it’s been blown way out of proportion. There has likely been a traffic accident within a ten mile radius of your house in the past month with more loss of life. Unfortunately, the Democrat controlled Congress couldn’t let it go. They have been hellbent & determined to put President Trump in prison, and used the debacle as an excuse to spit on The Constitution, because that’s what Democrats do. For seemingly endless months in 2022 they conducted Congressional hearings, mostly out of spite. I don’t know what they hoped to accomplish, but most Americans would prefer they get back to work addressing legitimate issues that affect average citizens on a daily basis. That’s what a representative government is supposed to do. 

Inflation 

I hated economics in school. I’m not a numbers guy. However, it doesn’t take a PhD to know that we’re paying double or even triple what we paid for things like gas, food, appliances, clothes, etc. than we did two years ago. The Biden Administration tries to gaslight the American people by blaming everything else but their misguided policies & woke agenda that bows at the altar of climate change & identity politics, and sends hundreds of billions of dollars to Ukraine. Sadly their strategy seems to work. 

Twitter & Elon Musk 

Billionaire Elon Musk began flirting with the idea of buying social media giant Twitter last January, and after many stops & starts he actually did the deal in October. The acquisition was quite a saga, but the aftermath has been even more sensational, though you won’t hear much about it from your legacy news outlets. Musk has exposed just how corrupt social media has become, showing us that the Second Amendment isn’t the only part of The Constitution under attack. It is alarming to realize just how much social media has framed & controlled public discourse on topics like elections & Covid 19. Alarming, but hardly surprising. Newspapers & television have been doing the same thing for decades…controlling the narrative, steering things in the direction the power brokers want them to go. Elon Musk, like President Trump before him, simply shined a spotlight on just how dirty those entities are and how much they truly influence nearly everything. You’ve read 1984, but you didn’t realize you were living it…until now.

Farewell Queen Elizabeth 

Elizabeth Windsor Mountbatten was crowned Queen of the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales, & Northern Ireland) at the age of 25 after the death of her father, King George VI. Queen Elizabeth II reigned until her death at the age of 96 this past September. The United States gained our independence from England more than two centuries ago, so I couldn’t possibly care less about the British monarchy, but it is a noteworthy story. 

and the Sammy goes to…..

Roe v. Wade. In the wake of the stunning reversal on the case I saw posts from otherwise intelligent individuals pushing the narrative that women would now be imprisoned for having a miscarriage. That’s the kind of insanity that this whole thing inspired. It is probably healthy for us to have the discussion, but hopefully we’ve gotten much of the crazy filtered out of it by now. All that (most) opponents of Roe v. Wade ever wanted was for young women perfectly capable of carrying a child to go thru with the pregnancy, and then once the child is born to either raise it themselves or put it in the hands of someone willing & able, through legal channels like adoption. I don’t believe that is too much to ask in most cases. Having said that, there are so many layers to the debate that it is important to have meaningful, intelligent discourse. Those arguments are likely more productive at the state & local level, which is the actual point of overturning Roe v. Wade. Debate at the state & local level allows you & me to have a voice, which we really don’t when it comes to federal law or court decisions that become law. Abortion didn’t suddenly become illegal in 2022…it just became more challenging. Is that good or bad?? That’s a great question. 

 

legendary Pittsburgh Steelers running back Franco Harris…Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II…Boston Celtics Hall-of-Famer Bill Russell…historian & writer David McCullough (TrumanMornings on HorsebackJohn Adams)…renowned actress & singer Olivia Newton-John (Grease)…iconic sports broadcaster Vin Scully…actor & beloved hunker downer Leslie Jordan…MLB Hall-of-Fame pitcher Gaylord Perry…former Soviet Union President Mikhail Gorbachev…soccer legend Pele…comedians Gilbert Gottfried, Judy Tenuta, & Louis Anderson…pro wrestlers Antonio Inoki, Scott Hall, Rocky King, Sara Lee, commentator Don West, and referees Tim White & Dave Hebner…television producer Burt Metcalfe (MASH)…former Philadelphia Phillies executive Lee Thomas & former San Francisco 49ers GM John McVay…actresses Maggie Peterson (The Andy Griffith Show), Nichelle Nichols (Star Trek), Angela Lansbury (Murder She Wrote), Kirstie Alley (CheersSummer School), Kathryn Hays (As the World Turns), Liz Sheridan (ALFSeinfeld), Estelle Harris (Seinfeld), Farrah Forke (Wings), Barrie Youngfellow (It’s a Living), Marnie Schulenburg (As the World Turns), Anne Heche (Another World), Virginia Patton (It’s A Wonderful Life), Louise Fletcher (One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest), Rita Gardner (The Wedding Singer), and Sonya Eddy (General HospitalSeinfeld)…sports reporters & ESPN personalities John Clayton & Hank Goldberg and CNN sportscaster Fred Hickman…former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, former National Security Advisor Robert McFarlane, and former U.S Senator Orrin Hatch (Utah)…retired boxer Earnie Shavers…songwriters Jerry Allison (That’ll Be the DayPeggy Sue) & Lenny Lipton (Puff the Magic Dragon)…Hall of Fame golfer Kathy Whitworth…journalists Barbara Walters (ABC), Bernard Shaw (CNN) and Bill Plante (CBS)…NFL players Dwayne Haskins (Washington Redskins, Pittsburgh Steelers) & Jaylon Ferguson (Baltimore Ravens)…talent manager George Shapiro (managed Andy Kaufman & Jerry Seinfeld)…film directors Peter Bogdanovich (The Last Picture ShowWhat’s Up Doc?), Ivan Reitman (StripesTwinsKindergarten CopDraft Day),  & television director Marvin Chomsky (Star TrekWild Wild WestRoots)…football coaches Dan Reeves (Denver Broncos), Greg Robinson (Syracuse Orangemen, Denver Broncos), Stan Parrish (Marshall Thundering Herd, Kansas St. Wildcats, Ball St. Cardinals), Gary Moeller (Michigan Wolverines), Gary Gaines (Permian Panthers, made famous in the book Friday Night Lights), Ernie Zampese (Dallas Cowboys), Frank Cignetti (West Virginia Mountaineers), Mike Leach (Texas Tech Red Raiders, Washington St. Cougars, Mississippi St. Bulldogs), and Vince Dooley (Georgia Bulldogs)…country music broadcasting legend Ralph Emery (Nashville Now)…model & businesswoman Ivana Trump…baseball writer Roger Angell…political commentators Bob Beckel & Mark Shields…famed animator & TV producer Jules Bass (Rudolph the Red-Nosed ReindeerFrosty the Snowman)…boxing referee Mills Lane…dancer & TV personality Twitch (The Ellen DeGeneres Show)…Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI…former football players Ross Browner (Cincinnati Bengals), Daryle Lamonica (Oakland Raiders), Gino Cappelletti (New England Patriots), Marion Barber III (Dallas Cowboys), Robert Alexander (LA Rams), Tony Siragusa (Baltimore Ravens), Charles Johnson (Pittsburgh Steelers), Gavin Escobar (Dallas Cowboys), Jim Sweeney (Pittsburgh Steelers), and Ronnie Hillman (Denver Broncos)…actors Sidney Poitier (In the Heat of the NightLook Who’s Coming to Dinner), Bob Saget (Full HouseAmerica’s Funniest Home Videos), James Caan (The GodfatherElf), Ray Liotta (Field of DreamsGoodfellas), John Aniston (Days of Our Lives), Howard Hesseman (WKRP in CincinnatiHead of the ClassOne Day at a Time), William Hurt (The Big ChillBroadcast News), Jerry VerDorn (Guiding LightOne Life to Live), Paul Sorvino (GoodfellasThe Firm), Fred Ward (TremorsThe Right Stuff), Dwayne Hickman (Dobie Gillis), Peter Robbins (original voice of Charlie Brown), Bo Hopkins & Mike Hagerty (character actors who appeared in a plethora of TV shows & movies), Morgan Stevens (The WaltonsMelrose Place), Conrad Janis (Mork & Mindy), Mitchell Ryan (Lethal WeaponDharma & Greg), Emilio Delgado (Sesame Street), David Birney (St. Elsewhere), Charles Siebert (Trapper John MD), Phillip Baker Hall (best known for an hilarious appearance on Seinfeld), Tony Sirico (GoodfellasThe Sopranos), Jason David Frank (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers), Taurean Blacque (Hill Street Blues), David Warner (TitanicA Christmas Carol [1984]), Tony Dow (Leave it to Beaver), Roger E. Mosley (Magnum P.I.), Joe E. Tata (Beverly Hills 90210), Robert Lupone (All My ChildrenOne Life to Live), Robert Clary (Hogan’s HeroesDays of Our Lives), Robbie Coltrane (the Harry Potter film series), Clarence Gilyard (Die HardWalker: Texas RangerMatlock), Quinn Redeker (Days of Our Lives, The Young & Restless), and Kevin Conroy (Search for TomorrowBatman: The Animated Series)…basketball coaches Joe B. Hall (Kentucky Wildcats), Bill Fitch (Houston Rockets, Boston Celtics), Gene Shue (Washington Bullets), Pete Carril (Princeton Tigers), and Paul Silas (Charlotte Bobcats)…writer & pundit PJ O’Rourke…The Improv founder Budd Friedman…musicians Meat Loaf (aka Marvin Lee Aday), Loretta Lynn, Mickey Gilley, Naomi Judd (The Judds), Taylor Hawkins (Foo Fighters), CW McCall, Bobby Rydell, Jim Seals (Seals & Crofts), Ramsey Lewis, Coolio, Aaron Carter, Irene Cara (FlashdanceFame), Jeff Cook (Alabama), Christine McVie (Fleetwood Mac), Anita Pointer (The Pointer Sisters), and Jerry Lee Lewis…baseball players Gerald Williams (New York Yankees, Atlanta Braves), Ralph Terry (New York Yankees), David West (Minnesota Twins, Philadelphia Phillies), and Tom Browning (Cincinnati Reds)…comic book artist Neal Adams (DC Comics)…infamous attorney Ken Starr…NFL Hall of Famers Len Dawson (Kansas City Chiefs), Hugh McElhenny (San Francisco 49ers), Ray Guy (Oakland Raiders), and Don Maynard (NY Jets)…NHL Hall of Famer Guy Lafleur, NBA Hall of Famer Bob Lanier, and MLB Hall of Famers Maury Wills & Bruce Sutter

2022 SAMMY AWARDS – PART II

Welcome back to the 2022 Sammy Awards, a final look back at the year that was, and the people & stories that shaped our perception of it. If you missed Part 1 it’s not too late to catch up. As always The Sammys are far more fun than the austere Oscars, and much more in touch with what matters to real, normal people than the Golden Globes, Grammys, or anything produced by MTV. We’re also pandemic proof, which has come in handy the past couple of years. The CDC isn’t going to shut this fake show down!! Let’s give a warm ovation to our host Jim Gaffigan!!

After some delightful comedy from our host it’s time to give out some more awards!! Our next presenter is a lovely actress & up-n-coming director who has starred in memorable flicks like The Girl Next DoorLove the Coopers, & The Incredible Burt Wonderstone. Well okay, perhaps her directing career will be more…impressive. But hey, atleast she’s pretty, right?? That’s something!! Give a rousing ovation to Olivia Wilde!!!! And the nominees are:

Tim Taylor Award for Biggest Tool

Howard Stern 

What the hell happened to Howard Stern?!?!?!?? He used to be so rebellious. He was a modern day counterculture folk hero. He was funny & cool in an oddball sort of way. Now?? Apparently he’s just another wealthy, out of touch, crazy leftist who sits in his bully pulpit talking down to all of us peons, saying things like “When are we going to stop putting up with the idiots in this country and just say it’s mandatory to get vaccinated?” Perhaps when they come up with a vaccine that doesn’t kill people you assclown 🤷. “Fuck their freedom” says Howard Stern, who can’t see the forest for the trees. “If you didn’t get vaccinated & you got COVID, you don’t get into a hospital. Go fuck yourself, you had the cure and you wouldn’t take it.” Cure?!?!?!?? Really?!?!?!?? 🤦🏻‍♂️ “We have places, like shitholes that have like 300,000 people, and they get two senators.” Allow me to translate. First, Howard Stern needs to read The Constitution. Secondly, he thinks he’s better than you because he lives in California, which to my knowledge is the real shithole. He doesn’t think people in Wyoming, Alaska, Vermont, or the Dakotas should have as much say in the direction of the country. I don’t know that he’s said it, but I’m going to go out on a limb & assume he’d abolish the electoral college. Look, I am willing to have an intelligent discussion with anyone that holds opposing views. I have friends & even family that don’t share my opinions. However, I’m pretty sick & tired of rich & famous types who use their platform to insult & dismiss a huge portion of the country, who clearly think that they are superior. Kiss my ass Howard. 

The “Ladies” of The View 

To call The View unwatchable would be an understatement. Well, anyone with functioning brain cells wouldn’t be watching it anyway. I haven’t even attempted it in years, but the show is constantly going viral as the hosts apparently get crazier with each passing day. How in the world does Whoopi Goldberg still have a job?!?!?!?? Don’t misunderstand…the morons around the table are entitled to their deranged opinions. It’s (allegedly) a free country. What pisses me off is the attempt to soft sell the gaslighting of an entire audience by marketing it as an entertainment program. The same thing is happening on late night “comedy” shows. It’s appalling, not to mention deceitful. Leave the punditry & sociopolitical commentary to the folks at CNN, FOX, MSNBC, et al.

Justin Trudeau 

I don’t know how anyone is willingly residing in Canada anymore. Is free healthcare that meaningful?? Trudeau is nothing more than a smarmy dictator wannabe. He’s the kind of guy that probably got picked last for teams in gym class & grew up with simmering rage just below the surface because the cool kids didn’t let him hang out with them. Now he’s in a position of power and he relishes the opportunity to jerk people around, stripping citizens’ rights like a madman, all with an insincere smile on his face as he tries to tell everyone it’s “for the greater good”. Good luck with that Canada. Maybe one day you’ll pry your collective head out of your clueless ass. 

Stephen Colbert 

He’s basically a male, late night version of the shrews from The View. Late night television makes me sad nowadays. Johnny Carson would roll over in his grave. OG David Letterman (before his brain turned to mush) would be horrified. Back in the summer of 2022 Colbert actually sent a crew to DC who illegally breached the U.S. Capitol, but unlike another more infamous incident in that same location Colbert’s antics quickly faded from public consciousness. People were arrested, but of course the corrupt Justice Department declined to prosecute. Do you think anyone associated with Tucker Carlson or Tomi Lahren would’ve escaped so easily?? Of course not. Because our entire government is dirty to its core. 

Jen Psaki & Karine Jean-Pierre

I didn’t think any White House Press Secretary could be worse that Psaki, but Jean-Pierre is just as bad. It’s not even the lying that bothers me. Part of the job is massaging the truth. It’s the fact that they’re so ridiculously bad at it that it’s insulting, and also that they’re both woefully unprepared. Did they blackmail Biden into giving them the job?? Or does Sleepy Joe & his inner circle get their jollies trolling American citizens by purposely hiring the most inept & ill-equipped people?? 

Robert DeNiro 

DeNiro is pathetic. He’s completely lost touch with reality. Last summer he went on Colbert’s show and, with a straight face, opined that the Alzheimer’s patient in the White House is “doing a very good job” & has “got us into calm waters”. My first instinct was that it was totally delusional to say that. However, I realized a couple of things. First, DeNiro doesn’t give a damn about gas prices, food prices, inflation, etc. He’s rich & doesn’t give a damn about you & me. Secondly, it really does not matter to him & his ilk that they installed a President who doesn’t know where the hell he is half the time & most certainly isn’t really in charge of anything. They want a puppet who’ll rubber stamp a bunch of tyrannical policies that worship at the altar of climate change, open borders, identity politics, and other leftist agendas, and they want someone who’ll do it quietly. They want someone who speaks softly and tells folksy stories. They want “calm waters” so they can dive deep without anyone noticing them fundamentally destroying the nation they despise. The sad part is they are succeeding.  

Pat Benatar 

In a pitiful attempt to hang on to whatever shred of relevancy remaining from a career that peaked four decades ago the aging rocker announced last summer that she’d no longer perform arguably her best known hit song Hit Me With Your Best Shot because of mass shootings or some such nonsense. First of all, meaningless virtue signaling makes me want to vomit. Get over yourself. Secondly…TRUST ME Pat Benatar…NO ONE has EVER associated that song with gun violence. Absolutely no one. Not even stupid people. Honestly this might be the dumbest news story of 2022. 

Joy Reid 

I don’t watch television news all that much. Maybe the local news occasionally, but certainly not the national news. However, if I were forced to watch a news program I promise you this…ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, Fox…they’d all be choices I’d consider before MSNBC, which is the television equivalent of dumpster diving. However, even though I actively avoid TV news shows somehow I can’t escape Reid because she constantly says such idiotic things that she’s viral nearly every day. Maybe that’s the scam…I don’t know. 

and the Sammy goes to…..

All of Them. Anyone who’s been watching The Sammy Awards thru the years saw this coming a mile away. There are no winners in this category. They all tie for Biggest Loser, and we’re not talking about weight loss. 

We asked Olivia Wilde to stay, but she was handed some papers and had to leave, so to present our next award we are excited to introduce an alleged actor who found himself in the news an awful lot in 2022. Perhaps it was the five movies he starred in, which nobody could name if their life depended on it. Or maybe it was his Netflix comedy special y’all weren’t even aware existed. No…I don’t think it was either of those things. What was it?? Does it matter?? Anyway, please give a long, hard ovation to former Saturday Night Live cast member Pete Davidson!!

Fred Berry Award for Excellence in Syndication or Streaming

The Office 

When I was a child television worked a certain way. The new season would premier in September. There’d be a little more than a couple dozen episodes (give or take), with the season finale in May. Throughout the summer you’d get reruns until the new season debuted. A great show would last 7-10 seasons, while less than great shows ended much quicker. That’s how it worked…back then. We’re in a whole new world now, one to which I am still adjusting. However, one thing hasn’t changed. Reruns are still a thing, it’s just that we view them more purposefully & have control over what we consume & when. I didn’t watch The Office when it aired on NBC from 2005-13. Not one single episode. I had convinced myself that I didn’t like single camera shows with no studio audience or laugh track, and I’m pretty sure something else I liked aired in the same time slot. Fast forward to 2020. There’s a pandemic. Everything is shut down. There’s much more time to binge TV shows. I’m not a binger, but I decide to check out The Office on Netflix, and am immediately hooked. I can’t believe what I was missing all those years. Having worked in office environments it seemed familiar, only with the wackiness turned up to 11. I can’t say that I’ve ever had a boss exactly like Michael Scott, but recognized bits & pieces of former bosses in him. I’m a sucker for a good romance, especially when unrequited love is actually returned (which never happens in real life), so I was really rooting for Jim & Pam. It took me awhile to warm up to oddball Dwight Schrute, but the humor eventually clicked for me. Here’s the cool thing…unlike my childhood when I had to rely on random reruns popping up on television, now I’m able to rewatch whatever episode I want whenever I choose as often as I like. That’s the true power of streaming. The Office has now moved to Peacock, and traditional reruns do air on Comedy Central & Freeform. I am sure I’m in good company when I say I’ve watched all 200 episodes multiple times. The downside to streaming is that I really don’t give new TV shows a fair chance because I am endlessly entertained by old stuff I’ve watched over & over for years, which is a nice option. I am convinced that someday The Office will be rebooted, and I’d probably give that a whirl. Unfortunately, for various reasons, I don’t think it could ever live up to its predecessor. It may have taken me a decade to catch up with what I missed, but I’m so glad I did. Thanks to the Dunder-Mifflin crew & the folks in Scranton, PA. Think of this as one final Dundie-seque pat on the back for a job well done.

After bleaching his hair Pete Davidson has nothing else better to do so we’ve asked him to present the next award. And the nominees are:

Most Overused Word

Hate 

Just because it’s an opinion or worldview that disagrees with yours doesn’t mean it’s hate. Take a chill pill. 

Privilege 

Are there people that have “privilege” due to their station in life?? Sure. But not as many as you think, and certainly not because of their skin color. I am a white male, and trust me…if you knew the things I’ve dealt with in my life & what I have overcome you’d understand why I have an issue being thought of as privileged by anybody.

Cisgender 

I think you mean normal 🤔.

Ableist 

I am disabled. I was born with spina bifida and have used a wheelchair my entire life. However, I laugh at stupid buzzwords. I have probably experienced ableism as much as anyone, but never felt the need to attach a cutesy label to it. Isn’t the term discrimination good enough?? 

Disinformation 

Define it. Go ahead…you can’t. Again, just because someone provides a different perspective or a viewpoint with which you disagree doesn’t make them automatically dishonest or wrong. How many “conspiracy theories” have been proven right in the past year?? Elon Musk is still busy exposing lies, coverups, deceit, coercion, and censorship by some of the individuals who were screaming “disinformation” the loudest. It’s becoming harder & harder to trust anything we’re told by government officials or the media, in part because they get angrier as more of their lies are uncovered with each passing day.

Cringe 

If you’re watching an old TV show or movie and using this word to describe it please just sit down & shut your yapper. Everything is a product of its time. Societal norms evolve, so what was acceptable 20 years ago or 50 years ago might not be looked at the same way now. That’s cool. Just move on. 

Patriarchy 

How do so many women who openly hate men end up in serious relationships?? Why would I date you if you are offended that I’m a man?? Look, I get it. Minorities…including women…have been treated unfairly. But ladies… it’s the 21st century. You’re free!! You can do anything you want. No one is making you stay in a loveless marriage & pop out 15 babies while your man goes out & earns a living. You don’t have to spend the best years of your life barefoot & pregnant, slaving away in a hot kitchen being subservient. Women are smart. Women are beautiful. Women can do anything they damn well please. There isn’t a secret committee of (white…probably) guys sitting around figuring out ways to ruin your life.

Inclusion 

It doesn’t mean what you think it means. It sounds awesome on the surface. Everyone wants to be included, right?? Sadly though, life isn’t fair, and overt attempts to force entities to “even the playing field” often backfire. For me it’s simple…most things should be a meritocracy. You earn what you get, and the best & brightest rise thru the ranks. Managers should hire the best person for the job. Scholarships should be given to the best students. Quotas are discriminatory. I don’t believe the “everybody gets a trophy” mentality works in the long run. It inadvertently makes people weak & lazy. I am not suggesting we shouldn’t lend a helping hand or allow someone in need to lean on a generous shoulder. I am simply suggesting that the old maxim about the road to Hell being paved with good intentions shouldn’t be ignored. The best way to include people is to teach them how to achieve success & earn everything they have.

and the Sammy goes to…..

All of Them. We’ve become a society that enjoys creating a buzzword for everything. When you add that to a society that goes out of our way to be offended it’s a bad combination. Can’t we all just get along?? We keep letting the powers-that-be divide us, and they are laughing all the way to the bank.

Okay, Pete Davidson has gotten way too comfortable & won’t leave. I’m pretty sure he was acting inappropriately in a gender neutral restroom a few minutes ago. We don’t want any trouble, so we’re just going to allow Pete to hand out one more award. And the nominees are:

Favorite Viral Videos 

Definitely Not Gourmet

Bartender Skyy John has redeemed himself. His Tipsy Bartender videos eliminated the godawful music that cost him this award a year ago, and now there’s a lady with a charming British accent holding the camera & offering an occasional comment or question. That being said, I like to eat much more than I like to drink, so I have become intrigued by Skyy’s other videos, in which he cooks tasty vittles that he calls “dumb but delicious”. 

Men with the Pot 

I discovered the proper terminology: ASMR, which means “autonomous sensory meridian response”. More specifically it is the tingling sensation some experience when listening to certain audio stimuli. Last year, while giving this award to these videos, I described them as being filled with sounds like “veggies being chopped, meat sizzling in an iron skillet, the gentle flow of a babbling brook, and the lovely chirping of birds”, only I didn’t know that had a name. To be honest I haven’t watched as many of the videos as I did in 2021, but they’re still out there. 

State of Mind 

General Hospital actor Maurice Bernard has been open about his bipolar disorder, and he hosts a podcast in which his friends & colleagues sit down for a conversation about their own mental health struggles. It’s informative, not too heavy, and the kind of discussion we should be more comfortable having with our loved ones. 

Tucker Carlson 

I still haven’t run across anyone that comes close to replacing my man Rush Limbaugh, although that’s probably because sociopolitical debates now leave a bad taste in my mouth. Occasionally though my itch needs scratched, and short clips of Carlson’s soliloquies do the trick. 

Louder with Crowder 

I actually need to watch Crowder’s podcast more often this year. He’s part commentator, part comedian, so he presents things in a more lighthearted, humorously sarcastic way. Much like Carlson I don’t think I have the interest level to hang for an entire show, but I could stand a bit more. 

and the Sammy goes to…..

Definitely Not Gourmet. I wonder how Tipsy Bartender would feel about defeating himself?? Although I guess technically he didn’t since the bartending videos weren’t even nominated this time. Again, let me re-emphasize, that’s the personal choice of someone who enjoys food more than booze. He makes things like bacon sushi, breakfast pizza, giant pancake burgers, and all kinds of crazy desserts. Have I ever made any of the recipes I’ve seen?? No, cause that’s how I roll. But atleast the videos are fun to watch. 

This seems like a good time to pause once again. Please stay tuned for the exciting conclusion of the 2022 Sammy Awards!!

2022 Sammy Awards – Part 1

Greetings Manoverse, and welcome to the 2022 Sammy Awards!! It has been a tradition here since 2010 for us to welcome a new year by saying a fond farewell to the old year. We look back at the key moments, people, & topics that made the past 12 months what they were. We celebrate the highlights & allow ourselves to lament the lowlights. A wise teacher once said “Those who fail to learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them”, and we believe it is good to remember what happened and give those stories kudos or derision…whichever is appropriate. So sit back, grab some popcorn & your beverage of choice, and enjoy the world’s most irreverent fake awards show!! 

To host the festivities it is our pleasure to welcome one of our most underrated comedians. He has received multiple Grammy nominations, is known for working clean, and offers low key, relatable observations on topics with which we are all familiar. Please welcome to the stage Jim Gaffigan!!

After some hilarious opening comments from our host it is time to hand out some hardware!! To do the honors we are excited to welcome a beloved actor from the 1970s. He starred in one of the few romantic dramas about a blind ice skater, the 1978 classic Ice Castles, as well as Ode to Billy Joe, in which he hurls himself off a bridge after having sex with Sheriff Roscoe P. Coltrane from The Dukes of Hazzard. Give a rousing ovation for the very much alive (who knew??) Robby Benson!! And the nominees are:

Favorite TV Show

The World According to Jeff Goldblum 

Quirky actor Goldblum returned to Disney+ with fresh episodes examining topics like dogs, fireworks, & motorcycles. He doesn’t necessarily break new ground on these subjects, but does approach them from a distinct perspective. 

General Hospital

Yes, I still watch “my stories” (as my grandmothers used to call them). However, not only are there only four soap operas remaining, just one feels worthy of recognition. I’ve been a fan of GH since the early 80s, and still look forward to watching it whenever time permits (which is often enough since I have no life {I’m “producing” a fake awards show for God’s sake}). 

Cobra Kai 

The 4th season was released on NY’s Eve 2021, and in a pleasant surprise Season 5 came along just months later in September 2022. It’s still a compelling story for those old enough to have enjoyed the Karate Kid films back in the day, and I suppose it’s a good enough show to have attracted younger fans not as familiar with the movies. That being said, it feels like the upcoming season (which may not arrive for another year) should be the end unless they do some sort of time jump. It’s more difficult to get away with having 20-somethings portray high school students than it used to be. 

The Santa Clauses

This was a nice little holiday treat. Tim Allen returned for a six episode series on Disney+ in which Santa Claus (fka Scott Calvin) decides to retire, chooses a successor, and things go awry. Y’all should check it out while you’re still in the holiday spirit.

WWE Raw/NXT/Smackdown 

Am I as big of a wrestling fan as I used to be?? No. I ponder the question of whether the product just isn’t as captivating as it was in the heyday of Hulk Hogan & Ric Flair or The Rock & “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, or if perhaps I’m just not the same person I was in my youth. Either way, I still watch the shows, but don’t find them as interesting as I did once upon a time. 

and the Sammy goes to…..

General Hospital. For the second year in a row consistency wins. I still haven’t totally bought into the whole streaming thing, and I’m not sure I ever will. I like having new episodes to look forward to. I don’t really enjoy binging everything in a few days then having to wait months for my next fix. GH continues to be well written with a great cast. It may not be your cup o’ tea and that’s okay, but having grown up with the show the fine folks in Port Charles, NY almost seem like family. Dysfunctional?? Sure, but that’s fine. 

To present our next award we are happy to have two characters that underwent a bit of a makeover in 2022. In an effort to be inclusive or whatever…some kind of PC bullsquat…Green M&M was stripped of her lip gloss, high heeled boots, & long eyelashes, and instead given sneakers & a plain face, apparently to appease female gym teachers & golfers on the LPGA Tour. Not to be outdone, Disney decided to toss Minnie Mouse’s iconic red polka dot dress and pander to Hillary Clinton voters by putting Minnie in an unflattering black & blue pantsuit. We don’t play those kind of silly games here at The Sammys. We love women & embrace femininity, so we are happy to welcome to the stage OG Green M&M and Minnie Mouse!! And the nominees are:

Favorite App

Words with Friends 

Full disclosure…I became bored by Words in the latter half of 2022. I’m pretty sure that the plethora of challenges I received daily were from bots rather than real people, and I decided to step away for awhile. I’ll probably return soon enough. 

Instagram 

In less than three years I have posted over 12k memes on Insta. It’s usually the first thing I do when I wake up. Weird?? Kind of sad?? Yes & yes, but atleast I’m honest.

Amazon Music 

I’d rather listen to music than watch television most of the time. I am very moody when it comes to the tunes I enjoy. What I’m into might change on a daily basis. However, I’ve never been unable to find what I’m looking for on Amazon Music. It’s $10/month well spent.

Pic Stitch 

I take a lot of photos whenever I attend a social event. I might take a hundred pics but end up with 35 good ones by the time I filter out blurry or repetitive shots. This app allows me to be even more efficient by stitching together two or more photos so that out of the original 100 I end up posting maybe 15 or 20 to social media. 

TextArt

I’ve segued into creating my own memes!! Sometimes I see a quote I like or an existing meme that just seems too busy, so I take the basic concept & create a better version the way I want it. Perhaps I missed my calling as a graphic designer. 

Air Brush 

I see memes or picture quotes all the time that just need something unnecessary erased out of them. It’s not always as tight & precise as I’d prefer, but it is usually adequate for my purposes. 

Infinity 8 Ball

I went thru my Spades phase, but now I’ve moved on to billiards. Thus far I’ve played over 1400 games and have fallen just below a 60% win rate. 

and the Sammy goes to…..

Amazon Music. After being nominated a couple of times in the past Amazon Music finally earns the prize. You may use Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora, iHeart Radio, or any of the plethora of music apps available, and that’s cool. I’m sure they’re all great. For me Amazon has been a reliable & functional tool that’s become an indispensable part of daily life.

To present our next two awards it is a pleasure to welcome a former NFL punter and current ESPN & WWE commentator whose charisma & liveliness infuses any program he’s part of with more of an energy boost than you’ll get from the entire Starbucks menu combined. Get up on your feet for the inimitable Pat McAfee!! And the nominees are:

The Thrill of Victory Award

Georgia’s National Title

In January the Georgia Bulldogs destroyed Alabama to claim their third National Championship. They’ll have an opportunity to add to the trophy case soon. 

The Super Rams

On February 13, 2022 the Los Angeles Rams beat the Cincinnati Bengals to win their second Lombardi Trophy.

Golden St. Is Golden Again  

After a couple of lean years the Warriors returned to the top of the mountain in 2022, defeating the Boston Celtics in six games to win their 7th NBA title and the fourth since 2015.

LIV Golf

Don’t look now golf fans, but the PGA Tour has some competition. It is in its infancy & needs better television deals, but stalwarts like Phil Mickelson, Sergio Garcia, & Dustin Johnson joined up, seduced by huge money & shorter tournaments with no cuts.

Kansas Wins The Madness 

It was a Battle of Bluebloods when the Kansas Jayhawks defeated the North Carolina Tar Heels to win their fourth National Championship. 

Novak Djokovic

Still one of the top tennis players in the world, Djokovic won at Wimbledon for the 4th consecutive year.

and the Sammy goes to…..

Los Angeles Rams. They couldn’t follow up this season, but on that February night in their home stadium the Rams rose to the occasion late in the 4th quarter. It was nice to see QB Matthew Stafford achieve success after a dismal decade+ in Detroit.

He’s just so damn entertaining that we asked Pat McAfee to stick around & hand out the next prize as well. It looks like he’s made himself comfortable. And the nominees are:

The Agony of Defeat Award

Big Ben’s Retirement

After 18 years as the quarterback of the Pittsburgh Steelers Ben Roethlisberger was gently pushed into retirement. His arm strength had noticeably diminished & his unique escapability had virtually disappeared with no help from a porous offensive line, but the disappointment of his last couple of seasons doesn’t detract from a memorable Hall of Fame career. 

Antonio Brown 

We’ve known for awhile that the former Steelers wide receiver is mentally unstable. After an acrimonious departure from Pittsburgh a few years ago Brown bounced around a bit before seeming to find a soft landing spot in Tampa. He even won a Super Bowl ring with the Buccaneers. However, that relationship crashed & burned late in the 2021 season, with our last image that of Brown taking off his jersey & leaving in the midst of a game. Since then he has engaged in sophomoric online shenanigans implying he’s been gettin’ busy with Tom Brady’s now ex-wife and been accused of domestic violence as well as improper conduct toward a woman in Dubai. 

The Olympics 

Another year, another Olympic Games no one cared about. This time it was in Beijing, China. I would literally rather sit in a dark room staring into space than watch the Winter Olympics in Communist China with no spectators in the stands because of a disease they created. Actually I probably did some of that while this was going on.

MLB Lockout 

The start of the baseball season was delayed by a week thanks to yet another disagreement between owners & players. Two notable outcomes: universal DH & an expanded playoff format. Designated hitters became a thing for National League teams in 2022, which I hate. I always liked that there were differences between the American League &  National League. Both leagues also added an extra wildcard team to the playoff bracket, which I didn’t mind.

Coach K’s Swan Song 

In 4+ decades as the head basketball coach for the Duke Blue Devils Mike Krzyzewski won more than 1000 games, 15 ACC tournament titles, and 5 National Championships. His teams made the NCAA Tournament nearly every year & played in 13 Final Fours. Coach K also won three Olympic gold medals. He’d announced before the 2021-22 season that it would be his last, and the Blue Devils won 32 games. Unfortunately they lost Coach K.’s home finale to North Carolina, lost the ACC title game to Virginia Tech, and fell once again in the Final Four to the Tar Heels. I’m a sucker for storybook endings and was pulling for him to finish on top.

Phil Mickelson 

All the sudden my man Phil has become the black sheep of golf. It started with his controversial defection to LIV Golf last spring, accompanied by disparaging comments about PGA leadership. Mickelson skipped The Masters & the PGA Championship. At age 52 & clearly past his prime I can’t be too hard on the guy for being seduced by the huge money & reduced schedule offered by LIV, but it may have cost him the legacy he’d built during a fantastic three decade+ career. 

Brady’s Gone!! Nevermind, He’s Back 😖

Y’all know I despise Tom Brady. He’s like an evil serial killer in a slasher movie that won’t freakin’ die!! I thought our long nightmare was finally over when Brady announced his retirement back in February. Remember the Bible story about Jesus battling Satan in the desert for 40 days?? Imagine if Satan had won. That’s what it felt like when Brady ended his retirement after 40 days. Yes…he did that, and you can’t convince me it wasn’t on purpose. His decision proved costly, as he ended up divorced, but on the bright side (atleast for him) he’s led the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to the playoffs, and if the dude wins yet another damn Super Bowl I might just have to look into this soccer thing. 

Washington Commanders 

After years of pressure from the PC Police the Redskins nickname was finally scrapped a few years ago. After that they were awkwardly known as the Washington Football Team for a couple of seasons because apparently it’s harder to name a sports franchise than anyone realized, even though this change was on the cusp of happening for a long time. At any rate, the powers-that-be narrowed the field down to a few choices, including Armada, Brigade, and Defenders. Commanders is better than any of those, although I preferred Red Wolves.

Flores’ Lawsuit 

Former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores filed a lawsuit against the NFL in February alleging racial discrimination in hiring practices & that Dolphins’ ownership had asked him to tank games to get higher draft picks. To my knowledge the suit has not been resolved, but Flores landed with the Steelers as a defensive assistant (they should elevate him to defensive coordinator).

LIV Golf

Don’t look now golf fans, but the PGA Tour has some competition. The problem?? It is funded by the rulers of Saudi Arabia, a country well known for human rights violations & other nefarious activities, in a transparent PR attempt to change the narrative. Think of Michael Corleone trying to make The Family legitimate by giving a bunch of money to The Vatican in The Godfather Part III. Same kind of thing, only without murder & mayhem (we hope). 

Novak Djokovic

While it is true that Djokovic won Wimbledon for the fourth straight year, he was unfortunately prohibited from competing in the Australian Open & U.S. Open due to draconian & misguided Covid restrictions. He stood strong in his steadfast refusal to get “vaccinated”, a decision that cost him some money but perhaps saved his life.

and the Sammy goes to…..

LIV Golf.  Is it a real threat to the PGA Tour?? I don’t think so. I am reminded of the original USFL, which briefly seemed like a solid alternative to the NFL. They too made a big splash by signing Heisman Trophy winners Hershel Walker, Doug Flutie, and Mike Rozier, as well as QBs Jim Kelly & Steve Young. But the USFL made some missteps & only lasted a few seasons. LIV has wooed enough PGA stalwarts to grab our attention, and there’s certainly enough cash behind the effort. However, I’ll be surprised if the whole thing is anything more than a memory five years from now.

To present our next award we are pleased to welcome one of the most underrated actors of his generation. He has appeared in blockbuster films like Ghostbusters, Crocodile Dundee, and Turner & Hooch, and is a beloved holiday icon who played a pivotal part in saving hundreds of lives on Christmas Eve in Die Hard. He then went on to star in one of the most cherished sitcoms of the 1990’s, Family Matters, a show that might’ve only lasted a month instead of airing for nine breathtakingly hilarious seasons if not for his star power & skills as an actor. It is indeed an honor to welcome Reginald VelJohnson to present a very special tribute.

Duffer-Herrell Lifetime Achievement Award 

Bruce Willis 

Moonlighting.

The Christmas classic Die Hard (and it’s plethora of sequels). 

Look Who’s Talking

Striking Distance.

Armageddon.

The Whole Nine Yards.

Those episodes of Friends when he ended up dating Rachel.

That album he put out in the late 80s.

Bruce Willis has done a little bit of everything in his amazing career spanning more than four decades. Sadly that journey seems to be over, as it was announced back in March that he is retiring due to aphasia, which is an inability to comprehend or formulate language because of damage to specific brain regions. Willis is 67 years old, which in the 21st century means we thought we had many more years to enjoy new performances. I had even read rumors of one final Die Hard, which would’ve been great, especially if it was a good movie on the same level as the first three. Sadly that won’t be happening. Of course in the grand scheme of things that’s not really important. Bruce Willis is still alive, and that’s what matters to his loved ones. For the rest of us we’ll always have his body of work. Is he the greatest actor that ever graced the big screen?? No, but who cares?? Years from now our grandchildren will be telling their grandchildren about a decent actor who made a memorable impression and entertained millions. Each December, along with George Bailey, Ebenezer Scrooge, Ralphie Parker, and The Whos down in Whoville, Detective John McClane will continue to be a key player in Christmas celebrations everywhere. That’s a damn fine legacy, and for that The Sammys are proud to recognize the contributions of Bruce Willis to popular culture. 

This seems like a good place to pause. Please stay tuned for Part 2 of the 2022 Sammy Awards. 

POINTS OF PONDERATION…..EPISODE 7.22

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

On 12/8/21 I bought a dozen eggs at the grocery store for $1.29. That same purchase right now costs $3.49. Someone needs to inform the deranged leftist dictator currently occupying the Oval Office that Americans care much more about this problem than we do about Ukraine, climate change, a “vaccine” that not only doesn’t work but is probably killing people, transgender BS, or anything else his evil administration has been gaslighting us with the past two years. 

I’m not interested in a ten minute story about your cat. Please shut your piehole 🙄.

I saw this post in a couple of Facebook groups and didn’t feel like I could freely express my opinion since the “January 6th” silliness has been used as a convenient excuse to turn social media into a fascist dictatorship in which any opinions the “fact” checkers disagree with is suppressed. At any rate, let’s be honest…this list was obviously compiled by an airheaded black millennial. 12 out of the “top” 18 shows have black leads and/or a predominantly black cast. There’s nothing wrong with that, except it is intellectually dishonest to call entrants like MartinGirlfriendsBlack-ish, & Living Single great in any way, shape, or form. The Cosby Show was fantastic, as was The Jeffersons. I won’t even push back too much on Sanford & Son or Diff’rent Strokes, although they are ranked far too high. Also, where is The Andy Griffith ShowFrasier, either of Bob Newhart’s two sitcoms, MASH, and a plethora of others more deserving than half of the shows listed?? Look, I realize these things are largely a matter of opinion, and we are all a product of our generation & our worldview. That being said, perhaps anyone compiling such a list should feel somewhat compelled to respect the readers, respect the genre they’re writing about, and have a shred of common sense.

I still have no idea what the hell pickle ball is 🤷🏻‍♂️🤔🥒.

I can’t respect the thought process of anyone who thinks drag shows are acceptable entertainment for children and refuses to admit that it is blatant grooming. I respect a person’s right to have an opinion, but that does not extend to the opinion itself. It is particularly troubling when someone who holds such beliefs has daily access to large groups of young people. Public schools in America need investigated & reformed. They’ve become breeding grounds for intellectually vacant activists who seek to normalize deviance for kids. Whatever happened to reading, writing, math, history, & science?? That’s what used to be taught in schools. 

POINTS OF PONDERATION…..EPISODE 6.22

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

So wait…it’s okay if little kids want to get a sex change, but they get a tattoo & the parents are arrested?? For the record I’m not a fan of children getting tattoos (regardless of parental permission), but the hypocrisy is stunning. https://www.nytimes.com/2022/11/13/nyregion/tattoos-children.html

People who go out of their way to assert their superiority & gleefully make others look stupid really piss me off.

Here’s the deal. For better or worse social media has been more of a friend the past few years than most human beings who allegedly give a damn about me. Most people have a significant other, career, children, pets…I have books, music, & social media. Sad but true. My social media pages are MY social media pages. I use them for assorted purposes. Instagram is my meme zone. Nothing but memes as far as the eye can see. It’s also where I focus my frustration about sociopolitical topics since it is slightly less fascist than other platforms (just slightly though). I have mixed feelings about Twitter & TikTok. I’m a re-poster on Twitter…mostly quotes, scripture, & pithy thoughts from others that I find particularly deep, amusing, or otherwise interesting, but I may go days or even weeks without opening the app. I’ll never do a video for TikTok, but have gotten a chuckle or two from things other people post. Facebook is a way to stay in contact with friends & family in various locales. It is also my online photo album, a place to promote The Manofesto, and something I use to express my lighthearted opinions & thoughts on meaningful, non-political subjects. Anyone who really wants to understand me could do worse than exploring my Facebook. I check into places I visit not to say “Look at me!!”, but simply to note the event for posterity, with the added benefit that the venue gets some free PR. It’s the least I can do to say thanks for a pleasant evening. So no…I will not remove the pic or post. If you’re at an event with me you are fair game. It’s not about you. It’s my page, my life, my memories. Your consent is not required & your feelings are secondary. I’m not selling your information or likeness. I am not using anything I post for nefarious purposes. I am not well-known. In the grand scheme of life my existence on this Earth is mostly meaningless to all but a handful of people. I suppose this is just my verbose way of saying “get over yourself” and don’t dictate how I conduct my life. No offense 😄. 

I find about 99% of the interactions I have daily with other human beings to be tedious as hell. Also…and I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before…I have zero patience for humorless people. I’ll cut them out of my life like a surgeon removing a tumor with little hesitation. I guess I’m really leaning into the hermit lifestyle. 

In Christian theology legalism is the idea that “by doing good works or obeying the law a person earns and merits salvation.” Legalism adds human rules to divine laws and treats them as divine. I won’t bore you with a lot of jargon, but suffice to say that, in my view anyway, legalists are uptight folks who seem to care more about tradition, propriety, & appearances than what’s in a person’s heart. They’re the people who will tell your family they’re “praying” for you while you’re going thru something but won’t actually pick up the phone & check on you themselves. They’re the kind of people who will get offended by a stupid meme or joke because it’s not appropriate in their eyes. They’re the kind of people who will gasp in horror if another person curses or drinks a beer. They’re the kind of people who wear nice dresses or a suit & tie to church while they look down on you for wearing jeans & a t-shirt, as if that’s what really matters. We all know the type. Churches are filled with them, which is why I am not currently attending a church. I’ve always struggled with the tug-of-war, and have too often compromised my principles because I enjoyed being part of something. The good times & positive social interaction outweighed the negativity of judgmental harpies. Perhaps one day they will again, but at the moment I find myself back in the cycle of desiring a genuine Christian experience. Sadly I don’t believe that can be found at many alleged places of worship these days.

A Pirates Fan Looks At 50

You never thought you’d be alone this far down the line, but I know what’s been on your mind…you’re afraid it’s all been wasted time. – The Eagles 

A decade ago, upon turning 40 years of age, I pontificated about the occasion and put a pretty positive spin on it. I could do the same now, but it would be intellectually dishonest. The truth is that the last few years have given me way too much time to reflect and ample opportunity to compare my life against others, which I know is useless & dumb, but we humans do alot of dumb stuff. My words here are not meant to be a “poor me” kind of thing nor a cry for help. This is simply a candid evaluation on a significant occasion which will be cathartic for me and perhaps helpful to anyone else with similar feelings. It should be noted that, while I’m not jumping for joy neither am I curled up in a fetal position contemplating a purposeful end to my existence. I consider myself unsatisfied & unfulfilled, but not unhappy. Does that sound crazy?? Perhaps…but it makes sense to me.

My father has always taught us that there is a difference between being alone & being lonely, and I finally understand what he means. Being alone was rarely a burden. As an introvert I actually enjoy…perhaps need…a certain level of solitude. That being said, I’ve watched many friends, acquaintances, and classmates get married & raise families. I’ve observed their children grow up from afar. Quite a few of my peers are actually grandparents now!! None of that really bothered me until fairly recently, but now I feel as though I missed out on so much. Realizing that I don’t have anything to offer another person because I’ve been in survival mode my entire life has been a hard pill to swallow. A combination of health issues, poor choices, and self-inflicted inertia means that I do well just to take care of myself, let alone be the kind of husband a woman desires & deserves. The flip side of that coin is that, after serving time in various medical facilities and literally being unable to get out of bed for long stretches, I have a unique appreciation for small things. Sleeping in my own place, eating my own food, going to a show on occasion, reading a good book, watching an exciting football game, and other simple pleasures mean a lot, and for that I am thankful. 

I have this idea…or maybe it’s more of a hope…that when we get to Heaven someone shows us all the forks in the road along the path we took in life, which could be either really cool or pretty painful for a person. Without boring The Manoverse with details I will just say that I think I can identify those key moments in my life with a high degree of accuracy, and more often than not I’ve gone down the wrong road. I occasionally joke that I used to be smart (because I did well in school) but I’ve gotten dumber as I’ve grown older. The truth is that I wasn’t as smart as I thought I was back then, and only now can I recognize just how many wrong decisions I made. 

Another thing Dad has always said though, is that one doesn’t need to look too far to see people in much worse circumstances than yourself, and that axiom has sustained me because it is absolutely true. I have gotten frustrated thru the years when people make a big deal out of fairly commonplace things…the fact that I live independently, that I graduated from college, that I drive a vehicle (admittedly not very well)…because those things aren’t a big deal to me, but the fact that medical professionals thought I might die as a baby and now I’ve hung around a half century is a sobering thought. I have friends, neighbors, & family that battle different health issues than me but that doesn’t mean they are any less challenging. I know folks who have endured unimaginable tragedy and still get up to fight another day. I’m not wealthy by any stretch, but I know many people who have less than me. All in all things could be worse. That may not be as inspiring as you’d prefer, but it’s the best I can do.

So, now I am 50 years old. What does life look like going forward?? I won’t be making any more bucket lists because further lack of achievement certainly wouldn’t brighten my outlook, although I still believe some of those old goals are reachable. My objectives are no longer grandiose because I prefer to keep it real nowadays, but I do hope to make some sort of meaningful impact on society before it’s all said & done. My window of opportunity to marry & procreate may be closed, but I wouldn’t be opposed to finding a nice gal with whom I could spend quality time. I’ll hold any other hopes & dreams close to the vest, but just know that I haven’t completely lost faith in myself or given up on the possibilities life may offer. 

I’ve referenced this on previous occasions, but it seems appropriate to do so again. To paraphrase Tom Hanks in the film Cast Away (which is sadly underappreciated by the masses), I have to stay alive…have to keep breathing, because tomorrow the sun will rise, and who knows what the tide could bring. My life isn’t what I dreamed it could be four decades ago, which is mostly my fault, but a) it’s not too bad, and b) I’m not done yet. Author Victor Hugo opined that “40 is the old age of youth, while 50 is the youth of old age”, which is rather encouraging. Hebrews 10:23 says “let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.” Isaiah 40:31 states that “those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength”. I can’t change the past, but hope allows me to embrace this as a truly happy birthday.

POINTS OF PONDERATION…..EPISODE 5.22

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

Food for thought. I’ve struggled mightily with finding my purpose, and unfortunately haven’t come up with many satisfactory answers. I’m not even sure I’m as kind or compassionate as I’d like to believe myself to be or as much as I should be. Still searching for contentment I suppose 🤔.

One would think that an alleged minister would understand the idea that the church is not a building but the body of Christ. It’d be a fair assumption that an alleged minister should be familiar with Matthew 18:20, which states where two or more are gathered in God’s name He is there. I think there’s alot more to that scripture, especially since I believe God is with me when I’m sitting at home alone, but for the purpose of the point I’m making we can all agree that church isn’t just a building with a steeple & fancy stained glass windows. I was in a theater with a thousand other folks recently at a comedy show, but it was much more than that. There was prayer. There was praise. There was Biblical truth. There was worship music. There was more movement of the Holy Spirit in that theater than in any church service I’d attended in more than a decade. Yet I was told by an arrogant know-it-all who wasn’t even there that it was not church. They scoffed. Their derision was palpable. It bothered me tremendously on multiple levels. But at the end of the day I’m the one that received the blessing, while those who mocked the experience must wallow in their wrongness. I almost feel sorry for them. 

I still haven’t found what I’m looking for. 

I was perusing Facebook recently and saw a post that asked a question along the lines of “What are little things men do that make you upset??”. The original poster & one other person had the same reply…”breathe”. I resisted the VERY strong urge to ask this woman why in the blue hell was she married then?? To be frank, I think such a post & reply is solid grounds for a divorce, and that’s not hyperbole. Perhaps the answer was meant in jest, but my vibe is it wasn’t at all intended as such. The whole thing had a tinge of bitterness that made me sad. If you are that miserable in your circumstance then pack your bags & leave. Chances are your spouse isn’t any more thrilled with you, and life is too short to be so unhappy. And I don’t give a damn if there’s a child involved. You’d probably be doing that kid a favor by ending the marriage. I don’t want to be flippant about divorce, but on the other hand it’s fairly common these days, and I truly believe that remaining in an unhappy marriage because of the children does more harm to them in the long run. Look, I’m not one to take social media too seriously, but I am pretty good at reading people & situations. Most things people post on Facebook or Instagram are harmless, well meaning fun, but occasionally I see straight thru the faux humor and feel the absolute rage & discontent a person is doing a really poor job of trying to hide. Take that into consideration before you hit enter on the ol’ keyboard.

I feel as though I have indeed wasted my life. I’ve lived a small life. I never fulfilled the potential I had. There are a ton of reasons for that, but this isn’t the time such a discussion…it will be soon though. 

What kind of person whines & complains about a show they attended when they could’ve known exactly what to expect if they’d done five minutes of freakin’ research?? Bitchy, entitled Karens, that’s who 😂. I have zero patience for such morons. The Internet is an amazing tool…use it. Don’t spend money on a ticket then moan & cry because someone hurt your touchy little feelings. Grow the hell up & get over yourself. I went to the same show and knew precisely what I was getting myself into. Why?? Because I was smart enough to Google some stuff. It’s not difficult.

Perhaps the furor over Roe v. Wade has subsided enough for me to offer one little nugget of insight. I’ve seen this meme posted a few times, and it perfectly summarizes who leftists are and a major issue I have with them. They always have their hands out looking for free stuff. Conversely, I have always believed that nothing in life is free. Don’t misunderstand…the abortion debate is complex & full of nuance, which is why I don’t engage too much. That being said, pro-abortionists betray their ostensibly altruistic purpose when it is presented alongside talking points demanding free health care, free prenatal care, paid vacations, free diapers & formula, and free education. Free free free. Give me this, give me that. Should all of that stuff be more affordable?? Sure, but it’d be nice if gas, utilities, & food were all way less expensive too. No matter how much prices fluctuate though, the expectation that you should be given much of anything for free is ignorant & impractical. 

POINTS OF PONDERATION…..EPISODE 4.22

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

I’ve covered this before, but it’s worth reiterating…here in America we are guaranteed Freedom of Religion, not freedom FROM religion. If anything Godly bothers you that much a) just ignore it (you have the freedom to not participate), and b) perhaps search your soul…if you have one. There seems to be no shortage of people who truly believe that the settler’s of Plymouth Rock came here to run from religion, which is blatantly false. Our Founding Fathers codified what those pilgrims really wanted, which was the freedom to worship God in their own way, not subject to the whims of a country’s head of state. Contrary to erroneous progressive gaslighting, those early Americans were more devoted to their faith than any of us. Anyone who indicates otherwise is being intellectually dishonest.

If you can’t be bothered to pay attention to my story or listen to what I’m saying I’ll just end the conversation since it’s one sided anyway. I don’t need the aggravation of your disrespect.

How come it’s okay…perhaps even cool…to “dissent” now, but a year & a half ago it was an “attack on democracy”?? Everyone is entitled to their opinion on a particular subject & we can even disagree without being disagreeable, but the tone deaf hypocrisy is what I find loathsome.

I truly understand my mother’s admonitions to put things back where you got them. I hate it when people come into my space and rearrange stuff. Just leave it alone.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is one of the most deranged, dangerous, ignorant individuals to ever hold elected office in the United States, and I presume that anyone who supports her is nearly as unhinged. Y’all want to talk about the many shortcomings of Donald Trump?? Okay, that’s fair. He’s a really flawed human being who has made countless errors in judgment. Most conservatives are willing to concede the point. Unfortunately the folks on the other side of the aisle refuse to see their favorite “leaders” for who & what they really are, and I have a difficult time with that level of obstinance.

Is there any doubt remaining that the FBI is dirty?? Perhaps even treasonous??

Speaking of religion…

Get this y’all!! There are actually people out there right now equating “forgiveness” of student loans to the forgiveness that we learn about in church when we study The Bible. Now, I’m walking a tightrope here because I think alot of folks mean well…they’re just naïve. I don’t want to be rude, but the level of ignorance when it comes to sociopolitical & economic issues in this country is deeply troubling. Too many people look at politicians as Santa Claus, and they’ll vote for whoever is promising the most free stuff. The problem is that nothing is free. And those student loans?? Well Jesus isn’t the one “forgiving” them. Christ paid for our sins on the cross, but in this new scam being run out of Washington DC it will you, me, & all of our neighbors that’ll be paying back billions of dollars in loans that we were never responsible for in the first place. American citizens really should be much smarter instead of sitting back and letting politicians & the elitists pulling the strings make us look like fools.

POINTS OF PONDERATION…..EPISODE 3.22 

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

I WILL finish what I was saying, no matter how many times you interrupt & talk over me. Some people have no clue how obnoxiously rude & low class they tend to be. 

In life you meet people & think positively about them. You want to befriend them because they’re cool or quirky or funny or have whatever kind of personality traits you find appealing. But then you discover that pursuing any sort of relationship is just too damn difficult. Underneath the positive qualities that you initially deemed fascinating there is a dark side. At best those negative attributes cause instability & frustration, at worst they make that person dangerous. Not necessarily dangerous in a deadly or even physically harmful way, but threatening to one’s peace & emotional well being. The older you get the more valuable tranquility becomes, and you learn that, despite the great potential that certain situations may offer, sometimes it’s just not worth the hassle. 

As screwed up as things have become here in the United States, I’m thankful that I don’t live in Canada, New Zealand, China, or Australia. 

I have (mostly) stayed away from reignited debates about abortion & gun control and haven’t given “Pride” Month hardly any thought. I finally realized, after many years of wasted energy, that no one gives a damn about my opinion, and all too often nowadays offering up one’s thoughts for public consumption is just asking for trouble. That’s a weird thing for a blogger to say, but it’s the truth. Five years ago I would’ve already written separate epistles on each of those subjects. They would’ve been good reads & perhaps some might have nodded in agreement as they scrolled thru the presentation while laying in bed, sitting on the “throne”, or wherever else whoever reads these things I write plants themselves while doing so. Sadly, just as many folks would be offended and attack me (or unfriend/unfollow if they subscribe to my social media platforms). I’ve simply lost my appetite for such discourse, and that’s probably a good thing. What I think or believe doesn’t really matter anyway. A former minister of mine once said, while we were studying Revelation, that he didn’t foresee America even existing in the End Times, and I agree. Anyone paying attention the past year & a half has witnessed a purposeful destruction of our nation and willful obliviousness from the masses. Trekkies understand that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few or the one, but the fact is that too many Americans never learned the lesson, and that will be our downfall. 

Call me old fashioned, but “separated” is not divorced, so why do you already have a boyfriend/girlfriend?? 🤔

To be honest with y’all, I’m just tired. Tired of fighting unwinnable battles. Tired of being alone, ignored, unwanted, & overlooked. Tired of being abandoned. Tired of relying on unreliable people. Tired of people who talk ceaselessly but have nothing to say. Tired of realizing that so much of what I was taught & perceived to be true is no longer valid…if it ever was. Tired of people treating others like dirt then flippantly asking the injured party to not take it personally. Worn down by life. Weary of being in my own head. Bored. Disappointed in myself for multiple reasons, and disappointed by others on many levels. Unfulfilled. Sad that I’ll never be what I could have been. Disheartened that I’ll never have a wife or experience the joy of a child calling me “Daddy”. Tired of putting on a polite & brave face. Tired of having very little of what I’ve wanted & desired in part due to the fact that I never truly understood how to attain those things. Tired of people who should know me best not understanding me at all. I’m tired, and I don’t know what to do about it.

POINTS OF PONDERATION…..EPISODE 2.22 

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

What is it with admins of Facebook groups?!?!?? 90% of the groups I follow are perfectly fine. They hum along smoothly, allowing fans of a particular subject/person/show/entity to enjoy content related to the topic that page was created to promote. However, every once in awhile you’ll run across some whiny lil dictator wannabe who probably lives in their parents’ basement & has toiled in a series of low paying, dead end jobs for the duration of their adult life, but now they perceive themselves as having some level of power & control simply because they help run a relatively meaningless page on a social media platform. It’s equal parts hilarious, aggravating, & pathetic. Get over yourselves. Your life is even more empty & miserable than mine, and that’s difficult to pull off. Just stop. 

While The Sickness & related madness seems to be subsiding a bit (here in America anyway…Canada, China, & Australia are evil personified that I won’t tackle right now), it’s still a thing to a degree. I saw a post from a local establishment looking to hire part time help, and it was mentioned that employees must be vaccinated. I scoffed. Now, this place has tasty vittles, and I’ve tried to support them occasionally despite the fact that I really should be consuming veggies & fish rather than donuts, but I am against requiring vaccines for no logical reason. Not to beat a dead horse, but when the powers-that-be create a vaccine that actually prevents the malady it is purported to avert, then I will happily roll up my sleeve & take it. When fully vaxxed people stop dying, then perhaps I’ll hop onboard. In the meantime, why should some small town schlub like myself or any of my friends & neighbors have to get jabbed to prepare & sell delicious pastries or work at any other low paying service job?? It’s asinine. 

Look, I’m not a woman (in case you didn’t know), but I reject the notion that only women should have or express opinions about abortion. Both sides of the debate tend to present extreme scenarios to validate their viewpoints. If you believe all of my conservative friends then every case involves a lascivious 16 year old flippantly looking to escape the consequences of her poor decisions, or a selfish woman who is too busy with her career or carefree lifestyle to be bothered with a baby. If you believe my liberal friends then every case is a sob story situation involving a 13 year old rape victim, a mother who will die if they carry the baby to term, or a fetus that has so many deformities it’s basically a vegetable in utero with no hope for any quality of life. While I have no doubt that all of these things do happen, I’m not sure they are the majority of abortion cases. We tend to look for easy solutions to simple problems, but few things in life are that straightforward. I don’t have any answers, but I do think it’s a topic worthy of intelligent, thoughtful, gracious contemplation. Can we manage that?? Are we capable of such civility anymore??

The older I get the more I appreciate total silence. I have multiple people in my life who talk & talk & talk & talk and freakin’ talk some more, all the while saying absolutely nothing of value in any way, shape, or form. It’s maddening, and quite frankly I’m completely sick to death of it. I find these interactions legitimately depressing, as they are indications of how terribly awry my life has gone. I almost wish I could move to the woods like Walden or find a deserted island like Tom Hanks in Cast Away (sans the horrific plane crash), except for the fact that I enjoy modern conveniences like internet access, streaming TV channels, & two day shipping way too much. Y’all have no idea how many times a week I fake falling asleep or lie about having another call coming in simply to get rid of someone who is completely wasting my time & testing my patience. 

Speaking of social media…

I recently unfollowed a local bar/restaurant’s pages on Facebook & Instagram because the family that owns the place almost exclusively  posts pics & stories about their kids & their vacations. Look, I don’t give a damn about your child’s birthday party or how much fun y’all had at the beach. Put that stuff on your personal page(s). I follow a business page to get their hours of operation, view the menu, check for deals, & find out who the entertainment might be next weekend. If you want to be perceived as professional then act professional.