Archive for June 2009

Happy Father’s Day?

Father’s Day is a great time to reflect upon all of the ways in which dads tangibly shape our lives. Fathers, especially for males, profoundly influence how we see and interact with the world. They help shape our interests by passing on family traditions and values (For what other reason would someone ever become Met fan?) and help guide us through the various stages of development (Who else had the balls to tell you it was time to shave that awkward 8th grade mustache?).

The most interesting thing about dads is that they provide you with a living example of what you can, and probably will be like later in life. Sure, every young man can grow up to be the President of the United States, but most end up living just like the overworked, overweight, and overtaxed dude who passes out every weeknight on the living room couch during Last Call With Carson Daly (I swear, this guy’s entire audience must consist of sleeping fathers who drift off after Conan/Jimmy Fallon).
But that’s okay. There’s nothing wrong with becoming like your father. I’m cool with it. It’s natural…so don’t resist.
Unless of course you have a shitty dad. Fortunately, a great role model holds that position for me. My dad’s ambitious, morally-grounded, and fun…so it’s easy for me to accept that I’ll likely follow in his footsteps. But what about those who aren’t as lucky?

In order to fully appreciate the great fathers of the world, we should take a few minutes this Father’s Day to recognize and celebrate some of the worst. Hopefully this will help settle any daddy issues in your life, and help you become more comfortable with the man you’re going to be.

The list is long, but here’s a start.

1. Kim Jung- ll.

- So you want to take over the world and assume the role of a global villain? Fine with me. Your obsession with James Bond films is well-documented, so who can blame you for simply wanting to join the likes of Jaws, Dr. No, or Odd Job (You’d be an excellent choice to play this role if they ever remake Goldfinger). The only thing that pisses me off is that you’re now pushing your son, Kim Jung- Un, in the same sad direction. This doesn’t sound so much like a Bond film anymore, it sounds more like the plot of Austin Powers. Sure, the “Crazy Gene” can sometimes be hereditary, but most of the time power transitions like this happen just like they did between Dr. Evil and his son Scott (Luge lessons, anyone?).

2. Darth Vader.

-  You separate your son from his sister at birth, make him work on a farm until his mid-twenties, and then cut off his hand before telling him you’re his dad? That’s kinda fucked up…even coming from the most feared man in a galaxy far far away.

3. Cameron’s Dad from Ferris Bueller.

- The man loved the car more than life itself! He loved it more than his wife…and his son.
"You Killed The Car"

"You Killed The Car"

4. Abraham

- Did it really take a flying angel to convince you that it was a little outlandish to bind your son to an altar and sacrifice him in the name of God? Most dad’s simply enjoy a game of catch in the backyard with their boys.
There are many more bad fathers that could be added to this list. However, I’m confident that there are significantly more good ones out there. This Father’s Day, let’s all celebrate these guys.
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Kobe

So Kobe just won ring number four. Can’t wait to hear all about how this championship validates his first three and cements his place in basketball history as one of the greatest players ever.

Come on. Prior to tonight’s championship clinching win over the Orlando Magic, Kobe had as many rings as Larry Bird. Now, he has as many titles as veteran stars Tim Duncan and Shaquille O’Neal. Bird, Duncan, and O’Neal are all unquestionably considered to be three of the sport’s greatest players, so why is it that the outcome of tonight’s game now puts Kobe in that class?

Is it because this is his first title without Kazaam? The fact that Kobe’s “Shaq-less title drought” was ever a topic of conversation is absurd. Basketball fans and writers must recognize that it always takes more than one great player to win an NBA championship. Until joining Dwayne Wade (The 2006 Finals MVP) in Miami, Shaq hadn’t won a title without Kobe! While it’s true that these two will forever be linked, Kobe and Shaq’s collective accomplishment as teammates should only positively influence the ways they are regarded as individual players.

If Lebron James were to have won this year’s championship, would people have placed him on a higher pedestal than Kobe because he did it without Shaq in his frontcourt? Sadly, I think the answer is yes. Unfortunately for Lebron (and quite fortunately for New York Knicks fans), basketball’s new “chosen one” will not win a championship in Cleveland until he has another star player acting as his sidekick. Just as Iceman needed Maverick as his wingman in Top Gun, Kobe and Shaq once needed each other. Shaq then needed Wade, and now we know that Kobe needed Pao Gasol to be a champion once again.

There’s now talk of the Cleveland Cavaliers pursuing a trade with the Phoenix Suns for Shaq. These two stars need each other more than anything. Lebron now has an even longer way to go in order to catch up to Kobe. And Shaq (who should soon have NBA “journeyman” status), needs Lebron to prove that he is still a relevant force in the league.

Ironically, it will likely be Kobe who has the last laugh. His team is undoubtedly built to win again for several years to come, and when it’s all said and done he will certainly be known as one of history’s most special players. And maybe then, this season’s final game won’t seem that significant at all.

First Blog

Figured it was time. Not sure if I’ll ever grow to enjoy the blog-life, but why not give it a shot? I’m cultured and opinionated, so why not take my observations and beliefs to the Internet? It’s undeniably the greatest source of information the world has ever known, so why not embrace it and contribute my small part to making it even richer in diverse thought? After all, blogging is easy! It took less than five minutes to create this site, and so far it seems very user-friendly. In addition to being easy to set-up, it’s personal! Who needs advertisers, readers, and editors directing content when you can freely run the show? Why be held down by the shackles of written communicative tradition, when you can make the rules within your own public forum?

Here’s why.

I HATE blogs because they are so easily operable, individualized, and free of standard conventions and responsibilities. Pretty much anyone can do what I’m doing at this very moment…and that deeply concerns me. Sure, blogging has paved the way for more people to speak their minds and share important ideas. Yet, while a greater capacity for free expression is a good thing, it presents serious issues. Primarily, most blogs (including this one) lack credibility. I’m not an expert on anything. The vast majority of bloggers have this in common. Because most blogs are so easily accessible, personal, and unrestricted, they lack the credibility of what previous generations unquestionably regarded as most prominent sources of knowledge and insight.  Credible professionals are being undermined by bloggers (regardless of their intentions). Many individuals seek health advice from medical blogs instead of from their actual doctors. Others get their news from blogs, putting pressure on journalists (and their respective networks/publications) to adapt to rapidly changing times. Blogs inhibit content consumers’ ability to recognize the filters which separate the credible from those lacking validity! There are probably millions of film bloggers online, yet only a small number people hold paid positions as “film critics.” There’s an obvious reason for this. These people are credible experts who know what they are talking/writing about. Sure, it’s fun to assume the role of Roger Ebert after screening a new movie…but outspoken bloggers have taken away from those whose opinions we have rightly valued most throughout our time.

Is it hypocritical to blog about one’s hatred of blogs? Fuck yes. But like most bloggers, I lack experience and knowledge relating to what I have just written about. Hopefully my blogging endeavors will change this.