Essays & Articles

Blogs

The one thing I don’t like about blogs is the reverse chronological order posts all runbackwardsman in. It can be a bit awkward for a visitor who doesn’t frequent these kinds of sites. They may scroll through the most recent bit of prose, find it not to their liking, or think that’s really all there is, and leave. Never to return.

I don’t have a simple solution for this concern of mine, but for now, until I determine a better way, if you want to read my thoughts on a particular subject, select it from the Categories section to your right, or right here:

If you don’t mind your topics scrambled up a bit, then scroll on down. If you’re interested in diet and/or strength training, check my site dedicated to such matters at HEAVY.

Corruption

The degree of corruption in this President and his Administration is so exhaustive it’s difficult to quantify. From the level of dishonesty on all things–from the most petty to the most consequential–the complete ignorance of, and most disgracefully, the complete disregard for the law, the Constitution and our bedrock principles of democracy, to the overt self-enrichment and promotion of the Trump brand using his position as President, the most audacious aspect of it all is its obviousness! It’s completely in your face, out in the open, bald-faced corruption. His children wield vast powers in fabricated positions in the White House. Government agencies promote the Trump family’s books and their Florida resort. The President relentlessly attacks and maligns all adversaries, imagined and actual. He has filled his cabinet with cronies and is hellbent on undoing all things done by his predecessor through the very same Executive Orders he maligned him for using.

But the most chilling event in this terrifying experiment of having an ignorant old con man running the nation is his firing of the Director of the FBI, who was leading an investigation into the ignorant old con man running the nation. Again, the overt outrageousness of this action, reeking as it does of covering up wrongdoing by getting rid of the guy uncovering the wrongdoing is its most appalling aspect. I mean, there isn’t even an attempt at subtlety! The President and his minions will just blatantly lie, on television, in front of cameras, knowing full well that video exists to prove that they are lying. It’s as if they are daring the nation to try to stop them from doing precisely what they appear to be doing, which is enriching themselves by using the full power of their elected positions and ousting anyone who gets in the way.

I’ve stopped sharing the news articles on social media because they’re ubiquitous. The only question that remains unanswered is if our Republic’s systems of checks and balances and law and order are sufficiently solid to take the needed steps to remove this President and his people from their lofty perches. Impeachment seems like the least that should be done! For the full weight of justice to be felt would likely involve imprisonment of who knows how many people.

An awesome start to MLB 2017

In 2003, I spoke prophetic words to my young family at the start of the MLB season: “I’m really going to get into it this year. Really immerse myself; watch all the games, keep score. Really have fun with it.” My team, the Florida Marlins, would go on to have the most unlikely of seasons imaginable, culminating in a World Series Championship no one expected. After the Florida Marlins were annihilated a few years later–and apparently regurgitated by a cat who swallowed a parrot to morph into the multicolor eyesore that is the Miami Marlins–and all their fans disowned by Jeffrey Loria’s halfpint stepson, I have been unable to fully engage in another season. I tried a few times, and I’ve enjoyed the postseason but my heart hasn’t been in it. Lest you think I’m alone in turning away from my former team’s reincarnation as something dreamt up while looking through a kaleidoscope, allow me to illustrate the degree to which ownership alienated its dedicated fanbase.

Three of my four offspring were born into Marlins fanship. My twins attended games as infants while my first girl blew bubbles in the stands to entertain them. They were season ticket holders, they traveled to Chicago decked out in their Marlins gear to see the Fish play at Wrigley. They were at every playoff game in 2003 and all three home games for the 2003 World Series against the NY Yankees. My kids were fans. Today, as young adults, not a one follows the Miami version of the team, who display their peacock colors at Arroz con Frijoles Field. I didn’t sour them on the team; ownership did that on their own. We’ll always have the memories of that magical season we lived through together in 2003, but that team is no more, so there need be no sadness that we haven’t hitched our tamale trucks to the Little Havana Fish. It’s not our team and never was.

This season, I again declared my commitment to the season, having spent the offseason following the NY Mets on Facebook and Twitter in preparation. I have watched every game thus far and have been treated to some awe inspiring and dramatic baseball action, typically reserved for late season contenders. The most recent series against the aforementioned Marlins just ended, and while the Mets lost 3 of 4, I feel anything but despondent about it. The games were a joy to experience and I can humbly state I feel privileged to have seen them. Extra innings, walk off wins, come from behind victories in the late innings and phenomenal plays at the plate seemingly in every game. The early season has brought me joy, which I haven’t had from a MLB season in many years. I’m grateful to my anonymous pirate brethren who supply the live streams that allow me to see every game in beautiful high def. Having enjoyed these first few series so much, I have decided to spend the little discretionary cash I have to see my boyhood team when they play in Atlanta’s shiny new ballpark. I’d love to see them at their home ballpark in Flushing, but that may be a bridge too far.

I’ll close with a shock to my system from a game the other night that I haven’t quite recovered from. Gary Cohen, who calls a flawless game by the way, read a graphic on the screen commemorating the 50th anniversary of Mets great Tom Seaver’s Major League debut, which occurred 50 years ago that evening. I was getting up from my couch at the moment and stopped in my tracks. That can’t be right…. 50 years?! I watched Tom Seaver pitch as a boy. He was my favorite pitcher for my Mets, and I would watch alone on the couch wearing my Mets cap and throwing a ball into a glove for the entirety of the game. “I can’t believe they screwed that up,” I thought. “50 years would mean Seaver debuted in 1967…” Every once in awhile you get smacked in the face by old man time, and that was a jackhammer right hook to the jaw of my 53-year old face. Yes, my childhood hero pitched half a century ago and I watched him doing it from the couch in my New Jersey home. I’m that old.

Let’s Go Mets!

Everyone is Miserable

One of those ubiquitous Facebook memes rolled by as I scrolled and it got me to thinking. The meme features a woman calling 911 to report that she thinks someone is breaking into her home. The 911 operator asks her if she has a gun, to which the frightened woman replies, “No, I’m afraid of guns.” The sympathetic public servant responds to this by telling her, “Well I hope you’re not afraid of dying because it’ll take us 15 minutes to get there.” The meme was posted by a gun lover and that’s what I find perplexing. Gun lovers own guns. Lots of them. There are more guns in the United States than there are people. The Constitution and the courts have the gun lovers’ backs, and the NRA pumps cash into political campaign coffers to ensure no legislation that would upset gun lovers ever gets created. So why aren’t gun lovers happy? They should be grinning ear to ear whistling zippity fucking doo dah every calendar day. They aren’t happy because they need something to rail against. They need something to complain about. They need to be slighted, offended, outraged and moved to anger, but they aren’t alone.

We complain about traffic, traffic lights, quality of road construction, other drivers, the price of gas, the long wait for an oil change and even the sun in our eyes on early morning commutes. We ridicule weather forecasters, newscasters, commercials, the speed of our internet connection, the short battery life on our smartphones. We bitch about the other team, the guys calling play by play, how long it takes between seasons of Game of Thrones. Even those who’ve been promised Paradise for all eternity aren’t happy. They complain that more people don’t want to go to Paradise too.

There’s plenty of misery to go around with disease, war, famine, natural disaster, accidental death, and the coming population bottleneck and climactic apocalypse, so perhaps its perfectly understandable that we’re all just freaking cranky, bitching, sarcastic, belligerent curmudgeons.