Cubbies and Indians

This is a great time to be a baseball fan.

It’s World Series time, of course, which is always special for baseball fans. What makes this one really special, though, is the matchup.

On one side, we have the Cleveland Indians, whose most recent World Series victory came in 1948.

Yep, sixty-eight years ago. Let’s put that in perspective, shall we? We were three years removed from World War II. Dick Button became the first American Olympic figure skating champion. President Harry Truman signed the Marshall Plan. Milton Berle’s “Texaco Star Theater” premiered on NBC Television.

And the Cleveland Indians signed 42-year-old pitcher Satchel Paige to their team.

Now, on the other side, we have the Chicago Cubs, the “Cubbies”, baseball’s “lovable losers.”

Their most recent World Series victory was in…1908!

That’s right; over a century ago. Fifty-one years before I was even born, folks. Their most recent World Series appearance was in 1945.

What else happened in 1908? Well, among other things:

Henry Ford’s company built the first Model T automobile. Orville Wright made the first one-hour airplane flight. William Howard Taft was elected 27th President of the United States. Albert Einstein presented his quantum theory of light. Jack Johnson defeated Tommy Burns to become the first black heavyweight boxing champion.

So, yeah, neither of these teams have had anything to celebrate for a loooooong time. And the fans in both cities are absolutely berserk. They are ready to party, I promise you.

Tonight (Friday), Wrigley Field, in Chicago, hosts its first World Series game in seventy-one years. You don’t think that place will be rockin’?

And Cleveland, for so long a city devoid of champions, is still on a high from the Cavaliers recently winning the NBA pro basketball title. If the Indians win, too…!!

If you don’t watch baseball too often, now’s a perfect time. Even if you don’t know much about the game, get caught up in the unbridled hysteria taking place in these two great American cities. One of them is about to toast a World Series Champion, for the first time in decades.

It. Will. Be. Special. Play ball!

(you know who you are when I say, this is for you: Hot Dogs!!)

A Word, Guys

NOTE: This post deals with an important subject, but the more genteel among you may find some of the wording a bit coarse, for which I apologize. It’s strictly in the service of making a point.

This is the world we live in
And these are the hands we’re given
Use them and lets start trying
To make it a place worth living in.

“Land of Confusion”, Genesis

Songwriters
RUTHERFORD, MICHAEL/COLLINS, PHIL/BANKS, TONY

Published By
Lyrics © EMI Music Publishing, IMAGEM U.S. LLC

 

Well, fellas, I guess I’ll have to turn in my Man Card. Because you’re not going to like at all what I tell you next, and once you read it, you’ll probably be ready to vote me right off the island.

But, I really can’t help but say it. Sorry. Actually, not sorry.

We all, each of us (including me), need to take a very serious look at how we view, think about, and talk about women.

This year seems to have been a particularly bad one for men in the news. To wit:

A college athlete recently convicted of raping an unconscious woman behind a dumpster was released from prison after serving three months of a six-month sentence, a sentence handed down by a sympathetic male judge. Oh, and in the apple-doesn’t-fall-far-from-the-tree department, the defendant’s father pled to the judge to keep his son out of jail, arguing he had already paid a steep price for (his words), “twenty minutes of action.”

My alma mater is still being investigated for, as it has been characterized, the culture of rape it allowed on its campus, particularly with regard to male athletes. The administration denied a sexual assault problem even existed on campus, and is accused of trying to repress, or even retaliate against, victims’ testimony alleging otherwise.

And a candidate for President of the United States has been heard bragging about how, because he’s a star, he is entitled to his disgusting treatment of women. By now, most everyone knows the lurid details, so there is no need to repeat them here. He later dismissed these boasts as simply “locker room talk.”

And now, he faces an ever lengthening line of women coming forward to reveal their past experiences as victims of this animal’s continued pattern of sexual harassment. He now threatens all of them with lawsuits.

We’re talking about somebody’s wife. Somebody’s girlfriend. Somebody’s sister. Somebody’s mom.

Somebody’s precious daughter.

You fellas out there with a teenage daughter, how do you suppose this landscape looks to her?

Women are people, guys. They have minds and souls. They have heartaches and headaches. They have bills and deadlines. They have wishes and hopes and dreams and victories and defeats and joy and pain and confusion and all the rest of life. They are human.

Yes, they can be quite attractive; no argument there. But…

They are not merely objects that exist in the world solely for our inspection and critique. They are not just a bunch of filthy sluts, parading around in provocative clothing which might as well include, “I’M ASKING FOR IT!” on the front, in big letters. They aren’t pieces of property for us to just capriciously go and take.

They’re not just tits and ass.

So, let’s quit talking about them as if they were.

(And I don’t want to hear about the male instinct to find a suitable mate for procreational purposes. Honestly, guys, when was the last time you checked out a woman and thought, “Boy, I’d sure like to have children with her!”)

Listen, I know how we’re wired;  I’m a guy. We are stimulated visually. We see all these shapely hourglass figures walking around, in their short skirts and high heels and low-cut tops and tight jeans and revealing swimsuits and on and on. I mean, we could see a woman in baggy sweats and the wheels still turn, don’t they? Imagining what she looks like underneath.

And then, we convince ourselves that every single one of them wants us. We smile at a woman, she smiles back, what are we thinking?

Oh, yeah, she’s into me!

Well, fellas, here’s the truth. Aside from being just plain delusional, that is disrespectful. It’s insulting. It’s demeaning.

And, if we’re around other guys at the time, it leads to talking about women in that same disrespectful, insulting, demeaning manner.

What kind of lover she must be. What we’d like to do with her, or have her do with us, given the chance.

Not to mention, the whole “bitches and ho’s” culture embraced by a segment of our society. I’m not even going there.

It’s against that backdrop that guys (not men; men don’t do this) feel entitled to do whatever the hell they want with women, up to and including rape.

And it has to stop.

I told you, you wouldn’t like this.

 

I’m not telling you any of this from up on some high horse. I’ve certainly done my share of looking at and talking about women. I’m not perfect, by any stretch. I just think I, and all the rest of us, should man up here and be more respectful.

So, am I saying, just look the other way? Never make eye contact, never smile, never say anything? Pretend they’re not even there?

Of course not.

But, ask yourself, guys, who was the last woman you looked at – who you didn’t already know – and thought of as anything other than a body?

Oh, they look at and talk about us that way, too? No excuse.

It’s just part of being a man? No excuse.

They secretly like it? They’re flattered by it?

Pretty sure that’s not true.

But, you know what? Let’s open the floor to everyone, here. Male or female, if you want to weigh in on this, I invite your feedback. Let’s hear from each other on this, and see if we can’t all learn something. (Let’s try to keep it somewhat civil, though, shall we?)

Because, it should be obvious to everyone at this time in our journey, something definitely has to change. And it’s up to us, guys, to play a significant part in fixing this problem. Because we created it.

Women everywhere are standing united to declare, “Enough is enough!”

I’m gonna stand with ’em. How about you, dude?

 

Short Cuts

From the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 10/19/2016:

“Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant, who missed the past three games with a hairline fracture in his right knee, had his much anticipated return to practice Wednesday aborted because of a cut finger on his right hand.

“Bryant said he injured himself slicing carrots while making soup at home.”

From Sports Illustrated, 10/15/16:

“Indians pitcher Trevor Bauer will have his start pushed back from Game 2 of the ALCS to Game 3 after cutting his right pinky finger while repairing a drone, team president Chris Antonetti told WTAM in Cleveland.”

Okay, all you pro athletes out there, who depend on your hands for a living:

STEP AWAY FROM THE SHARP OBJECTS!!

Rebel Yell

He’s a rebel and he’ll never ever be any good
He’s a rebel ’cause he never ever does what he should
But just because he doesn’t do what everybody else does
That’s no reason why I can’t give him all my love

“He’s a Rebel”, The Crystals

Songwriters
GENE PITNEY

Published By
Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

You were the low down rebel if there ever was
Even if you had no cause

“James Dean”, Eagles

Songwriters
BROWNE, JACKSON / FREY, GLENN / HENLEY, DON / SOUTHER, J D

Published By
Lyrics © Jackson Browne/Swallow Turn Music/Night Kitchen Music/Open Window Music

Into the great wide open
Under them skies of blue
Out in the great wide open
A rebel without a clue

“Into the Great Wide Open”, Tom Petty

Songwriters
JEFF LYNNE, TOM PETTY

Published By
Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

 

Look, I get the appeal.

He’s an outsider taking on the status quo, the un-politician in the cage with all the career politicians, the straight-talking, shoot-from-the-hip, regular, everyday millionaire of the people, and he will “Make America Great Again.” Trust him.

Make no mistake: Donald Trump has struck a nerve with a large segment of the American population. He knows we’re scared of our own shadow these days, and presents himself as our long-awaited protector, who will rescue us from all the Boogeymen out there, like Mexicans, Muslims, Democrats, etc. He knows we’ve had it up to here with politics as usual, and offers himself as the gunslinger who will ride into Washington and run all them bushwhackin’ varmints outta town.

But, good lord…

Is Hillary Clinton really so bad that you’d rather have this guy as our President?

My brothers discuss my blog posts, sometimes. My oldest brother has observed my more recent ones being a bit more political.

Well, here I go again, bro.

 

You know you’re not running too good a campaign when prominent members of your own party are demanding that you quit. Immediately.

How many of you saw the first two debates between Trump and Clinton? I don’t know what you saw, but I saw a man who doesn’t need to be president of anything. If this is how he handles the relatively low pressure of a debate, I can only imagine how he would hold up in the Oval Office. It’s scary to think about.

Yet, despite that, people are still out there who love him to death. Every new revelation about his past or present behavior only serves to further solidify their unwavering support for Trump. You can crap on this guy all day, and his Loyal Followers won’t smell a thing. Like he said, he could shoot someone in the street and not lose supporters. Heck, he could probably start shooting them, and more would just pop up somewhere.

 

October 11, 2016, 15:46 CDT.

That is the exact date and time when it finally hit me. Why this guy is so popular with so many people.

We finally have a candidate who openly caters to our laziness as Americans.

All we want is someone who will solve all our problems for us, and here he is, at long last. He’ll build The Wall. He’ll restore law and order. He’ll bring all the jobs back from overseas. He’ll rid us of Isis, starting with turning away any more Muslims.

Isn’t that awesome? And we don’t have to do a f*****g thing!! We can continue with our regularly scheduled activities, and just let Daddy Trump take care of everything.

Because we have abdicated our responsibility for the care and feeding of our nation.

Shame…on…us.

There are exceptions, I know, so to those of you who are and have been actively involved in making this country a better place to live, I offer my apologies, and my gratitude. I wish I were more like you.

I wish a lot of us were.

 

I’m making this one final appeal to you.

Please. Don’t. Vote. For. Donald. Trump.

If for no other reasons than these:

1. He has sexually assaulted women. And bragged about it. (Granted, he is, unfortunately, not the only man ever to do so. But that doesn’t make it right.)

2. He is far too thin-skinned and vindictive to handle the nuances of foreign policy. The man can’t even let a freakin’ tweet go unchallenged, for cryin’ out loud.

3. He rejects the reality of climate change, even as it stares us all right in the face.

Believe me, I don’t like Hillary Clinton, either. I think both these candidates stink.

I don’t like Jill Stein’s chances, but I support most everything her party, the Green Party, stands for. I don’t see much chance for Gary Johnson, either, and besides, I’m not sure what to make of him, anyway.

But, at least, Hillary has experience. I know Trump characterized it in the first debate as “bad experience”, but I’ll still take that over no experience.

I know she brings her own set of baggage to this contest. I know she’s “a CLINTON.” I know about that email debacle. I know she’s cozy with the Wall Street set.

And I get that the “lesser of two evils” is still evil. But it’s also lesser.

And I really think voting for Mr. Trump is a big mistake.

But, I’ve said my piece, now. As the saying goes, It’s up to you, America.

Get thee to the polls and VOTE!

 

Best Scare I Ever Got

People, it’s October, already. Good grief, where has this year gone?!

Well, it’s like Neal Peart, lyricist and drummer for the rock group, Rush, once wrote, “The future disappears into memory/with only a moment between.”*

Time flies, in other words.

You know why it flies? The retail industry.

Just tell me you haven’t already seen Christmas decorations in the store shelves. I know you have. That’s…just…wrong.

Anyway, I digress.

497411043702

 

As everybody knows, October is the month for Halloween. And Halloween, of course, is the time to get the s**t totally scared out of you. Fun, right?

One way to get a good scare is to visit one of the haunted houses in your community. You can pay good money to walk through a pitch black building, screaming your fool head off as monsters jump out of nowhere, brandishing sharp implements, chainsaws, Donald Trump photos, whatever will scare you right to the marrow of your bones.

Another good way is to go see a horror movie. A new one usually comes out just before Halloween, one that you haven’t yet watched through your fingers. That was my preferred way of getting a good scare. My preferred way now is not to get scared at all, seeing as how real life does that quite well. A bit too well.

And the best scare I ever got was in 1979, when I saw Halloween, starring Donald Plesance as Dr. Loomis, and featuring Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode.

Man, that was a scary movie!

 

It tells the story of Michael Myers, one seriously  messed-up dude. For starters, he murders his older sister on Halloween night when he’s only six years old. (Can’t start ’em too early, right?) He gets put in a mental institute, but escapes fifteen years later, and returns to his peaceful little hometown of Haddonfield, Illinois (on Halloween, naturally), and gets right to making up for lost time.

There’s almost no blood and gore in Halloween, but there’s plenty of Boo! moments in it. Michael was really good at staying hidden until just the right time, then suddenly appearing with his big ol’ knife to scare all of us to death. (Of course, the same could be said for Sheriff Brackett, only without the knife. Don’t you know it’s mean to sneak up on folks like that?)

What really made it good, though, was the audience. You can choose to watch this movie at home, by yourself (do you DARE??) or with others, but I’m telling you, you can’t beat seeing it in a theater full of shrieking, hysterical moviegoers. I hadn’t heard that much audience participation since the first Rocky movie.

I mean, people were just screaming at Laurie to HURRY UP HE’S COMING GET OUT OF THE HOUSE HURRY UP JUST BREAK DOWN THE FREAKING DOOR OMIGOD HERE HE COMES HURRY UUUUUUUPP!!!!

See, that’s the thing: we were all trying so hard to help this girl, and she didn’t listen to a word we said! Stubborn, huh?

Anyway, it was great. That’s when a movie is fun, when the whole crowd is into it like that. And, as I said, the best scare I ever got.

But, I think even it will end up in second place, behind an upcoming feature that promises to be even scarier and more horrifying:

Our Next President!

YAAAAAAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!

 

*”The Garden”, Rush

Songwriters
LEE, LIFESON, PEART

Published By
Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC