Friday, June 11, 2010

All right ... random rantings ...

Since life is often a series of disconnected thoughts and random rantings, here are a few things on my mind today ...

Everyone has his own theory as to what's wrong with public schools in America. Here's mine: The adults who make the rules have completely forgotten for whom they're making them. They've also forgotten that it's not their school system. They are stewards -- either elected, or appointed, to continue what's been in place before ... and to possibly make it better.

Those who become too proprietary, to the point of making everything all about them (and by doing so, leaving kids consistently in the lurch) should be replaced.

I'm tired of seeing kids made victims of adult intransigence.


In my city, Lynn, MA, we have what could only be called "pit bull" problem. Hah! Some communities have drug problems ... we have dog problems.

Since I'm an inveterate dog lover, I can't see the wisdom of unilaterally banning breeds of dogs. But what I can see is seriously fining owners if their dogs maul, bite, or even menace anyone, and confiscating the offending canine. And I can see jailing owners if they train their dogs to be that vicious.

We have to remember that even though dogs are classified as "man's best friend," they're also animals whose instincts do not vary very much from their lupine ancestry. If provoked, they will attack. And if they're not handled properly, they will revert to their basest instincts.


After watching Glen Davis last night, I think we have to add an adjective to his nickname. Now, have to call him "Big-Ass Baby."

Poor Baby. He gets so much shit. He's a man-child in the grand tradition of Darryl Dawkins (remember him?). Half the time you want to shoot him; the other half you want to hoist him up in celebration.

He's had a pretty eventful year. In the beginning he broke his thumb taking a swing at a friend who was, supposedly, talking trash about his wife. Last night, he scored 18 points in 22 minutes and, thanks to him, the Celtics are back even with the Lakers in the NBA finals.

I love guys like Big Baby. Sure, they're flawed. Sure, they're exasperating. But they are so much fun to watch. You never get the feeling Big Baby's mailing it in. He cares. Maybe too much sometimes, but that's OK. He cares.

And you wonder whether enough pro athletes these days do that.


Why does it not surprise me that the government is revising -- upward -- the estimates of how much oil is gushing into the Gulf of Mexico?


Haven't had much to say about the disintegration of Al and Tipper Gore's marriage, except to say it proves my theory that those who lip lock in public in such a showy manner generally do so to convince themselves, and perhaps others, that all is well when it really is not.

Give me Ralph and Alice Kramden ... Al and Peg Bundy. Those are marriages.

In fact, the Kramdens may be my favorite married couple of all time. They fought. They bickered. They got on each other's nerve. Alice could give Ralph a look, or say a few choice words, and all of Ralph's grandiose bravado would be put right in its place.

Ralph could harass her, threaten her (which he did often), and act like the total wounded warrior when she'd do that, but at the end of every episode, he'd grudgingly admit that he was the fool, and not Alice.

And, he'd give her one of those, "awwwww, shucks" looks and say, "baby, you're the greatest."

If the Kramdens were real, and not just a sitcom, they'd still be married. And if one of them was dead, and the other alive, the survivor would be at that cemetery every day.

Remember that the next time you see a couple that tries to give off the appearance that they're perfect in every way. I mean, come on! Back in the 1990s, whose marriage would you have thought in more jeopardy, Bill and Hillary's? Or Al and Tipper's?

I know where my money was.

And now, all I can say to Willie and Hillie is this: don't go getting a divorce, now, and proving my theory all wet.


The World Cup soccer tournament begins today in South Africa. Thank God it's there. I think it's sufficiently far enough away so that I don't have to care about it unless someone opens up my mouth and force-feeds it to me.

Look, I'm sure soccer -- or futbol as it is called everywhere else -- is a wonderful game. It promotes physical fitness, you get to run around (aimlessly as far as I can see) and blow off steam, and -- in all seriousness -- it is a form of global communication.

I mean that only in the best of ways. Whatever else is going on politically, economically and diplomatically, in the world, you can't help by appreciate anything that puts it all on hold ... even if it's for a few hours a day.

But soccer isn't the bees knees in this country, and I doubt it'll ever change in my lifetime. We have enough games that matter to people, and I'm not sure there's room for any more unbridled passion for a sport.

Besides, if you ask me, basketball is close to, or has already, overtaken "the beautiful game" as a world-wide phenomenon.

I just can't develop any enthusiasm at all for "footie." Sorry. I know that's bound to piss some people off, but that's just how I feel.


I caught this obituary in the paper today: Jack Harrison, one of the survivors of "The Great Escape."

Remember that movie? Steve McQueen? James Garner? Richard Attenborough?

David McCallum, who later became a teen hearthrob in "Man from UNCLE" (and then a senior lab rat in NCIS), was one of the escapees, and he got shot to death at a train station trying to flee the Nazis. Do you remember who was the only survivor? It was James Coburn, who was escorted out of France and into Spain.

Best scene? It was easily when Coburn was in a French sidewalk cafe that fronted for the Resistance, and the waiter summoned him to the bar and handed a telephone to him and made him duck under the bar. At that very moment, a car from of assassins drove up and gunned down a table full of Nazis.

Harrison never actually escaped. He was No. 98 on a queue of 200 designated to escape that night, but only 76 made it out before the Nazis got wise and smoked out the plot. Most of those captured were shot to death.

Harrison said they plotted not so much so that they'd be free, but to throw a monkey wrench into the Nazis, and to humiliate them.

I wonder how he felt back in the 60s watching "Hogan's Heroes" mock the Nazis as vain and idiotic fools. I thought it was great, but then again, I was 12. My father didn't think it was so great. And I get the feeling that a lot of other WWII vets, especially the ones who witnessed Nazi atrocities up close and personal, had mixed feelings about that too.


BREAKING NEWS: Poll finds Connecticut split between Red Sox and Yankees.

Apparently the folks at Quinnipiac University have nothing better to do that conduct pointless polls. Who cares?

Look, it's pretty obvious to me. The entire western part of Connecticut is one giant New York City suburb anyway, so why would it be such a shock that a lot of them would be Yankee fans? We need a poll to find this out?

By the way, Connecticut is one of the most boring states through which to drive. The scenery was probably designed by Yankee fans too.

Ever notice, by the way, that just the sound of the word "Yankee," especially when someone with an obvious New York accent pronounces it, sounds distinctively evil and obnoxious?


Why do media folks celebrity gawk at sporting events? Is there anything less relevant to the overall picture? I'm tired of watching LA Lakers games in Los Angeles and seeing the beautiful people (and these days, calling Jack Nicholson a "beautiful person" is rather stretching it).

I'd have more respect for these jerks if they gave their tickets away once in a while to kid or families who couldn't afford their seats if they mortgaged the sum total of all their property. That's a story I'd like to read someday.


Finally: General Motors (or, to some, Government Motors) has decided to get picky about the use of the word "Chevrolet." Well, actually it's not Chevrolet they're on the warpath to change. It's Chevy.

They don't like it. They're prefer us to call it by its proper name. Chevrolet.

Well, GM, how about this: Why don't you try selling a few more Chevrolets. Why don't you try making some Chevrolets that people want to buy, so they're not flocking to other (foreign) dealers whose cars look nicer, and last longer (well, maybe, except for Toyotas, which tend to drive off the road without any help from us).

I don't know. To me, this is a little like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

No comments: