Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Caution: May Contain Liberal Content

I am simultaneously thrilled and horrified to see Eric Cantor lose his seat in Congress. He has been a terrible obstructionist leader, causing immeasurable damage to the United States with his blatant political pandering. For that reason, I am thrilled. On the other hand, the tea party backed candidate who won will likely win the election because, in some very backwards parts of the country, such as large parts of the Deep South and Arizona, people will vote for anyone with an "R" behind their name, regardless of their actual beliefs. The defeat of Cantor over a perceived willingness to work with Democrats on immigration means that the possibility of any action or compromise whatsoever is gone. For this reason, I am horrified.

But, I am also encouraged in a bizarre way. If enough extremists win in the Republican party primaries between now and 2016, as they appear to be doing, the Repubs will be stuck with another unwinnable presidential candidate and another unwinnable national election. This would, obviously, be good for the country, especially if the new and inferior party of no, formerly known as the Republicans, win Congress in November. At least the White House can be a firewall against further tea party idiocy.

Thanks for reading. I'll try to have better news next time.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Just stay home

We went to the Sinagua Middle School beginning band/choir/orchestra concert tonight. Of course, the kids were great - voice cracks, reed squeaks, honks, string screeches, and all - but I think I can safely say I have never been in a group of people who were more rude, obnoxious, inconsiderate, unpleasant people. Let's take roll, shall we?

Sick and screaming 2-year old? Here for some reason.

Mom of said 2-year old who is too busy talking to her friend to attend to the child? Present-ish.

Parents who both spent the entire time looking at their phones, pausing only to shout "you da man!" like a drunken golf fan between each piece? Yo.

The child of the above parents who thinks we are at a track meet? Here. And gone. And here. And gone.

Grandmother who is hard of hearing and carries on a conversation through the entire concert at a volume more appropriate for a KISS concert? HERE!!!

Innumerable people wandering the aisles before, during, and after each piece? Definitely here.

I am so frustrated with my fellow humans right now. If you aren't here to listen to the concert, please, for the rest of us, stay home!

Sorry I'm so grumpy. Thanks for reading. I'll try to do better next time.

Monday, April 28, 2014

"Don't talk back to me, alright?!" - Randy Johnson

This morning I have come across a number of news stories, etc. and I have violated my own rule about not reading the comments. Already this morning, I have seen comments psychoanalyzing the author of an article, questioning the author's bias in a completely apolitical piece, and arguing with Dear Abby! What is going on?!

Actually, I know the problem. People have very much bought into the foolishness of the current media obsession known as "join the conversation." Actually, don't. I don't want to read about your problems, politics, or opinions when I'm reading the sports or news or an advice column. If you want to write about it on your Facebook, or Tweet about it, or even blog about it (I know: who does that anymore?) then go right ahead. That's why those forums exist. Unfortunately, the comments section of most every website is a cesspool of stupidity, in which you can find the rhetorical equivalent of "You're a big dummyhead!" "I know you are but what am I?" played out for public consumption.

If you want to read opinions, turn to the editorial section of a newspaper or website. But do everyone a favor: don't "join the conversation."

Thanks for reading. I'll try to do better next time.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Passing of a friend

Today is coming to a close in an unexpected fashion, with the news that an old friend has passed away.  Mike Cole was one of the first people I remember knowing after I moved to Show Low when I was 6 years old. We were friends throughout our time in school, especially when were in CCD and CYO together.  Along with Joe Prust, we were the Three Catholic Musketeers for years.  I remember spending the night at Mike's house a few times. We annoyed his sister, Tricia, and wandered around Fools Hollow, even at night.  I wasn't as close to Mike as I was years ago, and I was never as close as many of my old Show Low friends were, but Mike was my friend.

I have lost family members, even recently.  I have lost people I looked up to and even idolized. I have been there with friends when they were grieving their losses, and I have watched as my role models growing up have left this life. This is the first time anyone I ever considered a close friend has passed away, however. I can't say I am dealing with it well, although there isn't a particularly good way to deal with loss. I miss the people I grew up with, I miss the life I lived when Mike and I were friends, and tonight I am missing Michael James Cole. Rest in peace, my friend.