I’m Back

Friends,

I apologize for the hiatus. I’ve been busy working and enjoying what’s left of the second-to-last carefree summer of my life (it can’t possibly be the same once you have a full time job, right?).

Although I haven’t written in approximately two weeks, I have plenty on my mind. I’m going to take this opportunity to rant a little about what’s going through my head…isn’t that what bloggers do?

THE RETURN OF MICHAEL VICK

So Mike Vick is back. Bring on the witty jokes about how he’s playing for an NFL team named after an animal (14 of 32 organizations qualify). While Vick’s crimes were undoubtedly evil and inexcusable, he deserves the opportunity to seek redemption. The former Atlanta quarterback wasn’t one of these celebrities that got off easy…he served his time in prison and truly seems like he has turned his life around. At 29, Vick is still young enough to revitalize his pro football career in Philadelphia, and contrary to what most animal activists believe…this would be best for their cause! I’ve always believed that arguably the most abused power in the world is that of celebrity. Vick can positively use his influence (notoriety isn’t always a bad thing) to become the kind of flawed spokesman for change America loves. No, it isn’t hypocritical for a former dogfighting supporter to preach about the cruelties of the “sport.” In fact, Vick’s experiences make him a credible expert on how dogfighting is dangerous to both the animals and people involved with it. Animal activists must not make Vick their public enemy #1. Instead, they should embrace the former star and use him to steer others from following in his footsteps.

FENWAY PARK

- Anyone who has never been to Boston’s Fenway Park…go. Now. I recently saw Paul McCartney perform there, and it was truly one of the most special live events I’ve ever attended. Forget the fact that Sir Paul is still (at 67) the world’s greatest performer, Fenway is an age-defying wonder in its own right. I will be heading back to Beantown next week for a Yankees-Sox game, and I can’t wait to see Fenway in its true light.

THE OREGON TRAIL

- How freakin’ good was  The Oregon Trail? This fantastic computer game played a pivotal role in the development of my entire generation! Sure, you thought you were guiding a group of travelers on a journey to prosperity in the midwest…but you were actually picking up essential life skills (along with dysentery and the measles). Teachers knew what they were doing when they put this program in our elementary schools. We all believed the game was an escape from class, but it was really an incredibly powerful educational supplement.

While deciding how to cross various rivers (R.I.P to all of the drowned oxen…you are truly missed), whether or not to trade fruit with strangers, or how many animals to kill while hunting (shooting 3500 lbs of roaming buffalo was okay, just as long as you knew only 200 lbs could be carried back to camp), we were actually learning first-hand about the importance of Charles Darwin’s Survival of the Fittest.

I like to compare The Oregon Trail to dodgeball, because in both games, champions manage to find the perfect balance between assertivness and patience. In the latter, O’Doyle rules…but only if he is able to know when he should hold back and avoid being targeted by the opposition. In the computer game, players must lead their fellow migrators swiftly, but also demonstrate patience during the treacherous winter months (taking a proper number of resting days was one way to ensure your safety). Those who tried to get to Oregon too fast, often got snakebitten along the way (literally, and figuratively).

While I wrote all of this before seeing the video below, I suggest watching if you haven’t ever played The Oregon Trail.

DISTRICT 9

Quite simply, District 9 is the most intelligent and entertaining science fiction film since Steven Spielberg’s Minority Report (2002). I don’t want to ruin anything for you, but if you enjoy occassionally embracing your inner nerd, go see this film. It accomplished everything inferior films like Cloverfield (enjoyable) and Terminator Salvation (miserable) could not. Virtually unknown actor Sharlto Copley’s Wikus Van De Merwe will certainly be a sci-fi character talked about for years to come.

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