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Saturday, February 1, 2014

When Boys Played Like Men (With Some Seahawk Hatred Thrown In)- The Sunday Collage

Superbowl Sunday in my past life was my biggest holiday. We got it on. Oh the parties. There was drunken debauchery, laughing, frottage, (spell check does not recognize that word) hella big drinking, and some other things that didn't amount to anything beyond simple misdemeanors. I vaguely remember someone passing out in a plate of food once, people taking off clothes, unfortunately they were always men. Kiss music blaring every year at the half. 

The problem with all of that fun is that we were the police department. We kept it pretty quiet but the harsh reality was- I think people knew. Wives were forced into piloting us home. One of the last, great parties resulted in me getting my ass chewed all the way home. And I'll tell ya something else. I remember that.

I haven't really cared who won the Superbowl since Peyton Manning handed the Saints their first win- but this year is different. I've watched Seattle talk trash this entire season, especially Golden Tate. The Seahawk players are terrible. I'm not just talking Sherman after the San Francisco win either. This group of players are punks. They can't make a play without doing some sort of dance. Many of them run their mouths and it's no mystery to me why San Francisco hates these clowns. I never root for smart asses. So I'd like to see John Fox come back from heart surgery, Peyton Manning and Wes Welker get revenge, and watch as the greatest crew of receivers in the league hand the Seahawks their asses on Sunday. Justice would be served all the way around. Their fans can scream all they want- but it won't help them in New York.  I have no mercy for this undisciplined bunch.

I think Denver can win after seeing them humiliate the best defense in the league twice this year. Kansas City had shut every team down until they ran into the Denver buzzsaw.

I grew up watching some very good players- but my all time favorite player was Ronnie Lott. Like Sherman, Lott played cornerback but unlike Sherman- Lott was simply the greatest corner to ever play. Lott came running at receivers like a missile and I remember actually cringing when he hit players. Ronnie could bring it. He even finished playing a game once after losing part of his finger. That's tough. And not once do I ever remember Ronnie Lott running his mouth or talking trash about his opponents. Every once in awhile I saw Ronnie linger over the crumpled body of an opposing player- I have always believed Ronnie was trying to determine whether or not to administer CPR.

One day my hero walked into the Woodside bakery (just east of Redwood City, Ca) and I gotta say- he just oozes class.

In fact, that whole San Francisco team back then had a lot of class. That's coaching and player leadership delivered by the likes of Bill Walsh and Joe Montana.

The '85 Bears were trash talkers too but they were just nutty and fun. They had a good time without harassing opponents or telling them they were mediocre. That had something to do with Ditka.

As I was writing this I began to wonder why some people seem to have class and others don't. I observed a lot of folks in action over the years and I think I can tell you what the difference is. In one word. Selflessness.

Selflessness is born out of parents who teach respect for all people and all walks of life. People with class treat others like they really care about them. In fact, genuine class will shock you when you see it. You might wonder- why is this person so nice to me? Do they treat everyone this way?

Pay attention to how people treat the waiter. That is how they treat others.

It's not about verbal restraint or discipline. Or tactics. Or keeping your mouth shut. Class is about modeling and the way you were raised. It's about having respect for people knowing that each one of them has a part to play in your life and that you are no better or worse than any of them. It's about the conscious knowledge that you are not the only human being on the planet who matters or wants a pat on the back. It's about respecting others because you care at the very least- about how others feel. You want to and therefore you strive- to lift people up. You are selfless.

If you have a manager trying to groom others to loftier heights than they themselves have achieved- you have found someone with class. 

I wish that I could tell you that I was one of those people. I cannot. I had a few moments here and there but mostly I was self absorbed. Unfortunately, I spent most of my life living like an unconscious idiot- kind of like Sherman without the talent or that nappy hair. What moments of conscious class I did have- were usually brought about as the result of someone with class modeling that attribute for me and I in turn- practiced it like I had invented it.   

People matter. When this culture of ours realizes that avarice- couple with self absorbed and apathetic behavior is destroying us- then we can finally begin to chart a healing course.

Until then we will have grandstanding, trash talking, dances, and gestures galore. Once in awhile- they may actually squeeze some football in. Let's hope so.

I miss the days when boys played like men. 


Sunday, January 26, 2014

A Squandered Life By Adam Carolla- The Sunday Collage

The story I'm about to tell you is true. It might very well be called, "They don't know what they don't know."

On Friday I flew to Seattle with co-workers. One of those co-workers was a 21 year old liberal girl who has her nose pierced. I don't know about you- but these nose piercings look kind of stupid and unattractive to me. That's just my opinion. I am in awe at the number of women who have done this.

At the Boise Airport we all dutifully lined up for the pre flight jug fuck and strip search that has now become a part of our flying lives. Just after getting scanned- TSA pulled me off the line because they discovered a nine inch screwdriver that I forgot to remove from my backpack. Not only did they take the screwdriver but they proceeded to tell me that screwdrivers up to 7" are allowable. Apparently, no pilot has ever been killed by a seven incher.

In a sort of related story, this guy refused to show ID and beat the government machine.

A quick story. Three years ago, my girlfriend actually went through the checkpoint with a  .38 revolver in her purse. I had put it in her purse. When she discovered the gun and called me from the plane I told her not to say a word. Undoubtedly, she would have been arrested and the TSA would have told every newspaper in the world how they had foiled another terrorist attempt.

Meanwhile back at the line...

To add insult to the public embarrassment of having been caught with an obvious weapon of mass destruction- my 21 year old co-worker began to tell me what I need to do next time to have a successful encounter with TSA, I guess because she is much more savvy than folks like me. Plus she added, they are only doing their "jobs." I deserved all of this you see, because I failed to find the screwdriver while packing the backpack.

When I tried to explain the genesis of this TSA- government intrusion into our lives- she told me that she didn't want to hear my "conspiracy theories." I asked her if she had ever heard of building 7. She said she had not. Quick math meant she was about 8 when the towers came down. I suppose nobody told the 8 year olds about building 7.

This level of contempt is not only disrespectful but it comes from the mind of a 21 year old liberal with a pierced nose. I immediately began to wonder about her parents and what a wonderful job they did raising their daughter. I opted out of any further conversation with her the entire trip.

On Saturday, our guest speaker was Adam Carolla. Adam gave a one hour talk about his parents who squandered away their lives and as their son, he became determined not to follow suit. I couldn't help but think that the only thing separating Adam from anything else- was luck. This guy didn't even go to college but he did have the good fortune to stumble across Jimmy Kimmel and together they started the "Man Show." As Carolla spoke about his life and how intelligent he was while avoiding a giant episode of squandry- I did note that he had parlayed a little fame into 15,000 dollar speaking engagements.

Our company spent in the neighborhood of 50,000 dollars on the annual meeting. They can't find the means to pay us more than ten bucks an hr. nor will they pay overtime. But they spent the entire day telling us how important we were to the company while pissing away 15 thousand on Adam Carolla.

The company likes to give themselves cash awards at the end of the annual meeting. These go mostly to the home office people up in Seattle. They probably squandered 10 grand or so on that. 

One of the guys I work with is a little Ukrainian fella named Sergei. Sergei is a straight arrow who has a couple of kids, believes in God, and is the kind of American that Americans used to be. Whenever I see extravaganzas- such as our company flying us all to Seattle for the annual tail wagging event- I find myself apologizing to Sergei. I do that I think because I am embarrassed. I am embarrassed that Sergei can't find a job that pays more than 10 bucks an hour and with that- he is supposed to raise two kids, pay a mortgage, and buy health insurance on the Obamacare exchange while our company pisses away three times Sergei's annual salary on a meeting.

I kind of got reflective after the meeting- the internal haves v the have nots conflict- that I think about after witnessing things like this.

On the way home, the vacant seat next to me was taken up by a rather nasty, older woman who I had the misfortune of trying to be nice to. She was from Anchorage on her way to Sun Valley. Having spent half of my life in Moonbat Valley, I have to say she was a strong fit there. She was clearly annoyed by my pleasantries and really could care less about anything I had to say. So she put her face in a book, "Proof of Heaven" and we flew home in silence. It gave me plenty of time to think. In fact, as she got up to leave, she said nothing to me. I fully expected that. I mean after all, I have a lot of experience with the snobby, elite, and entitled folks who have migrated to Moonbat Valley over the years.

This is how it is in America.

I have often wondered how it is that older generations tends to look on the following generations with contempt and disdain. These are the things I wonder about when I sit in silence hemmed in by an angry woman looking for God in a book. Today's Americans are not interested in other people. They are not interested in the lives of Ukrainian immigrants or of retired police chiefs. They are interested in themselves, how much money they can make, electronic gadgetry and big screen tvs, superficial things like pierced noses and texting. They are interested in famous people like Justin Bieber and Adam Carolla, boob jobs, and mostly themselves.

It's not a rite of passage. It is simply an observation made by older Americans. Older Americans have been witnessing the cultural decay of a society that doesn't have time for civility or the less fortunate. There is no real sanctity or respect for others, no time for abstract ideas or possibilities like God. A society that doesn't ask what's the right thing to do- but rather what is the legal minimum.  A society that can't even communicate with one another. Go to New York and try to say "hi" to someone on the street. They'll ignore you. This is our precedent. This is what we have become.

Older Americans have perspective. They know what they know. It is historical.

So the youth of today, don't know what they don't know. They don't know an American culture based on doing the right thing and helping others. They don't understand civility. They don't know that 70% of this country claimed Christianity at the turn of the last century. (1900) They think killing fetuses is ok so long as you can rationalize your decision, ignore the sanctity of life, and drink or drug away the guilt that comes with it. They don't understand respect for others- because they were never taught this and they are emotionally absent anyway. They don't engage. They think no is a bad word. They don't help anyone unless there is something in it for them. They have gadgets to buy, tattoos on their asses, and noses with fake stones sticking out one side of a nostril.

That is the promising youth of tomorrow.

Oddly, it's not like that in small communities that were able to resist the influences of the external world. People actually seem to care for each other. That was my experience in the early days of Moonbat Valley before Mr. Anderson and all of his twins arrived. (Matrix reference) That's the way it is in places like Payette, Id. and Joseph, Or.

And what of Adam Carolla and his fear of a squandered life?

Did his parents squander their lives by having him? Did I squander my life watching the Man Show and Adam Carolla? Did I squander my Saturday afternoon? Did Mother Teresa squander her life?

Not once did Adam mention being happy. Perhaps happiness does not figure into how we are supposed to live anymore. Happiness or lacking an honorable mention there of- was rather interesting by it's very absence. I wanted to ask Adam if he was happy but as it turns out- Adam couldn't stick around beyond the one hour time limit he sets for these things. Not once did I see him make eye contact with any member of the audience- when his hour was up- poof he was gone.

Adam Carolla is a perfect mirror for what our culture has become. Celebrity worship. No wonder guys like Carolla buy into the theme. Adam Carolla, high school graduate, was paid in one hour- what it will take Sergei, high school graduate- to make in 9 months of hard work at our company's low ball pay rates.

Like my friend Billy always says. We are all searching for a niche where we make the most money with the least amount of work. Adam has found that niche. Sometimes when blind luck whacks us over the head, we trick ourselves into thinking that we were entitled or deserving when in fact we are simply lucky or born into a family of means. The birth lottery. Life and chance. It's fascinating.

That's what I know.