Wednesday, June 22, 2016

FACEBOOK 911, WHAT IS YOUR EMERGENCY?

Facebook 911, what is your emergency?

"Yeah, I was in Best Buy on Black Friday trying to save $5 on a big screen TV and
I got elbowed in the nose during the mayhem. Busted it up pretty good. I'm posting
a picture for everyone to see."


Facebook 911, what is your emergency?

"I was going 70 mph on a two-lane highway and had to take a selfie to show
everyone my new hairstyle. I rolled my SUV and smashed my face against the
windshield. This is me in the ambulance. OMG! I can't feel my face."


Let's face, it, Facebook is the world's biggest show-n-tell platform. Mark Zuckerberg's
genius knew the egos of people in our society are huge and gave us the opportunity to
feed it over and over by allowing everyone to post everything about their lives in
five minute increments or less.

If it happens in life, it usually makes its way to the Facebook news feed with a picture,
with hopes of getting a record number of the almighty 'like'.

Good, lord. What people are doing these days to get 'likes',  sympathy, and attention is
remarkable. It's become an addiction for the  Facebook world.

But why, may I ask, do people have to post their selfies of everything from their little
boo-boos to busted faces? Oh, that's right. Because of their need for sympathy, attention,
and all those 'likes.' Why else would these people post pictures of their bumps, bites,
and bruises?


No, I don't need to see the massive blisters on your feet! I can practically smell the
stink coming through the computer.


The picture of your kid with his face swollen with a bunch of bee stings? I'd rather not
have to see him staring back at me on the news feed. Why would you do that to Opie
anyway?


What's even sadder, the people posting all these gruesome are 'adults.' Yeah,
you know, the over-40 crowd. Good, grief.  Even worse are the people who post pictures
of their loved ones or family members all busted up in a hospital bed with all kinds of
tubes coming out of nearly every orifice of the human body.

Is nothing sacred anymore?

It used to be we guarded our privacy and that of our family members. Not anymore.
Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have eroded the senses. We just HAVE to show and
tell everybody about the pain, discomfort, and hardships. Yeah, all to get a little attention
and sympathy.

Facebook also added the "feelings" feature to its network. Zuckerberg sure knew all about
the psyche of our society without majoring in all that pertains to the brain and behavior.

People can now tell everybody they are feeling depressed, angry, sick, sorry, and whatever
else they want sympathy for. They can spruce things up with a little emoji for effect.


What the hell is going on here?

Is this just more of the 'wussification' of America? There was a time when we never wanted
to let people know how we were feeling, thinking, and acting. But with social-media,
people want everyone else to know exactly what they're doing, how they're acting and
feeling.

When people post about their mental and physical condition, I often want to write, "suck
it up. Rub a little dirt on it and move on." 

But I guess that wouldn't be politically correct, and in this world, everybody is offended
by something which can be another reason for them to have a Facebook 911 emergency.


Wednesday, June 15, 2016

RADICAL ISLAMIC TERRORISM AND OBAMA


49 people were slaughtered in Orlando and people are upset President Obama won't
use the phrase, "Radical Islamic terrorism" when describing it. For real? Man, our society
is more screwed up than I thought.

Forget about the unfinished investigation of the gunmen, Omar Mateen, or the yet-to-be-
unearthed facts or falsehoods, many politicians and members of the media just know
the massacre will forever be associated with "Radical Islamic terrorism."

Yes, I know Omar Mateen, who was born in New York, pledged his allegiance to
almighty ISIS before he went on his rampage, but I'd much prefer to wait until all the
facts surrounding the case are in until I pass judgement or call it "Radical Islamic terrorism."

And does it really matter if it's called that? There is a comment section at the end of this
blog, if you have an the answer, please use it.

If our president says "Radical Islamic terrorism" in his next press conference, what
exactly is that going to do?

Is it going to bring back the dead?

Will it end the threat of terrorism?

Is ISIS going to drop their guns and bow to Obama and apologize for the destruction
and devastation they have caused?

Will it extinguish all the hate around the world? Or just make Donald Trump happy?

No, no, no, no, and probably.

This seems nothing more than garbage to fuel social-media's super highway, food for
every big-ego politician to get fat off of, and sensational content for 24-hour news channels
to pontificate over.

If President Obama writes "Radical Islamic terrorism" on a chalkboard what exactly
is it going to prove? Will we be able to sleep better at night? Will it keep us from being
distracted at our kids' baseball game? Of course not, because 99.9 perccent of us could give
a rats ass what it's called or if Obama says it.

Perhaps, if President Obama says "Radical Islamic terrorism",  it will stop us from
binge eating to help ease our anxiety over this issue. We have to blame somebody or
something for our 25 pound weight gain, don't we?

Seriously. Without the help of Google, 99 percent of the people in this country couldn't
tell you where the national deficit currently stands or what the unemployment rate is.
They can't tell you how many wars this country is currently fighting in and how we got
into them in the first place.

Do you think they know exactly what Radical Islamic terrorism  even is? Do you think
they even care? Are they standing around the watercooler at work lamenting
"Radical Islamic terrorism?"

I highly doubt it. And I don't think many people  are going to feel remarkably better even if
Obama says "Radical Islamic terrorism" out loud.

Good, grief.

If President Obama says, "Radical Islamic terrorism" what is going to change? Will
ISIS make peace with homosexuals and immediately cease throwing them off buildings?
Will it stop them from burning people alive or using them to test out their rocket-propelled
grenades?

I think not.

Please don't give me all the garbage about the left, the right, and our president being
weak because he won't say, "Radical Islamic terrorism."

The issue is about doing something to stop terrorism whether it be foreign, domestic,
or "Radical Islamic terrorism." The point is to stop the senseless tragedies from occurring
over and over and over again. What can we do to eliminate the problem?

I don't think the answer is spewing out the three words: Radical. Islamic. Terrorism.

Words do not matter.

Action does.


Tuesday, June 14, 2016

GUNS AND MASS SHOOTINGS: NOTHING CHANGES



Orlando. 49 deaths. The deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. That was until Las Vegas
happened. 59 people were slaughtered while watching a country music concert Sunday night.

And nothing will change.

Shootings. Death. Tears. A psycho.  Make-shift memorials. Vigils. Funerals.
Gun control debates. Grandstanding. Tough talk.

What gets done? Absolutely nothing.

And then what happens? It happens all over again...and again....and again.

Sadly, all these mass shootings have become like the movie, "Groundhog Day", where
the same things keep happening over and over again. Give Bill Murray's character in
the movie for at least trying to do something to end the madness.

Nobody in this country has tried to do anything to stop the senseless tragedies.

We all thought the slaughtering of 20 children at the Sandy Hook Elementary school
was the tipping point, didn't we? 20 beautiful, innocent kids gunned down by a
psycho hell bent on terrorizing the world. In reality, that's what Adam Lanza did
because those children could have been our children.

Our leaders surely were going to eradicate at least one the reasons for all these
mass murders, we thought. We believed Newtown was going to be the impetus to
finally get something done about acquiring guns. Nothing got done. Nothing.

Nothing got done, many of our politicians said, because of the second Amendment
which gives Americans the right to bear arms---pretty much no matter what. Yep,
you can be a psycho and get and AK-47, a high-powered assault rifle designed to do
one thing: kill as many people as possible in the shortest amount of time.

Our leaders were going to make sure those with mental illness would never be allowed
to obtain guns, especially ones like an AK-47. What happened? Absolutely nothing.

According to one news source,  there have been 998 mass shootings in the 912 days
since Sandy Hook. A mass shooting is defined as one where four or more people are
killed. It's sad experts actually have to define what constitutes a mass shooting.

998 mass shootings. And nothing gets done. Absolutely nothing.

When Alison Parker and her photographer were gunned down on live television
in Roanoke, Virginia last year, I remember her father going on all the 24-hour news
channel saying he was going to fight for gun control until something got done. I
remember saying to myself, "Sir, I feel terrible for your loss, but the parents of
the kids killed in Newtown said the same thing. And absolutely nothing got done,
nothing changed."

And the mass shootings kept happening over and over and over again.

The non-stop television coverage happens over and over again. People put down
flowers at make-shift memorials, heartbroken parents are interviewed, a world
is outraged, Facebook lights up with templates and tributes, and our politicians
tell us things must and will change.

But they never do. They never ever, do. And that's sad.

After the media exhausts their coverage of Las Vegas, they will move on to something
else that captures our attention. It could be another frat house hazing death or scandal
in college sports.

But you can count on Matt Lauer and the throng of media members to be back giving
blanket coverage to another mass murder. It's going to happen again soon, because
after all, nothing changes. Nothing ever changes.

Ever.


Friday, June 10, 2016

GORDIE HOWE: MR. HOCKEY AND GREATEST OF ALL-TIME


On a day when the world honored and said good-bye to Muhammad Ali, arguably the
greatest athlete of all-time, another legend, who like Ali, transcended his sport and
seemed much bigger than life, passed away.

Gordie Howe, known throughout the sport as "Mr. Hockey", died at the age of 88. Howe
played a quarter-century for the Detroit Red Wings, putting his name on four Stanley Cups,
six Hart trophies and six Art Ross trophies. He was an NHL All-Star 23 times.

Wayne Gretzky came along and broke all of his records and earned the nickname,
"The Great One," but it's Howe who is still considered by many to be the greatest hockey
player ever.

Howe was more than a scorer, netting 801 goals in his career. He was quite possibly the
toughest man in NHL history. Nobody messed with Gordie Howe. He didn't need an
enforcer like Gretzky had in Marty McSorely in Edmonton and Los Angeles.

Howe was "old-school" long before the phrase became fashionable. If you have an
old dictionary and needed to learn the definition of it, chances are Gordie Howe's
picture would be under it.

Howe took  matters into his own hands, racking up more than 1,400 penalty minutes
which weren't accumulated with the help of tripping and elbowing infractions. Howe
fought and he fought often.

Over the last decade of his life, Howe fought just as hard as he did on the ice. He overcame
two debilitating strokes, ones that would've ended the lives of a normal person.



Howe wasn't normal. He was freakishly strong and had an iron will. Few were surprised
that Howe battled back from the strokes, after all, the guy played almost 30 years of
professional hockey before retiring at the age of 52.

Like Ali,, Howe touched and effected the lives of so many people. He may have been
a tough SOB on the ice, but once he took off the skates, Howe was the nicest and most
humble of human beings. He was a true gentleman.


I didn't see Howe play much with the Detroit Red Wings but I had his hockey cards
and knew of his greatness. I'll never forget him playing with his sons, Mark and Marty,
for the Houston Aeroes of the WHA.

I'll never forget what a Gordie Howe hat trick is: a goal, an assist, and a fight.

I'll never forget Gordie Howie and what he meant to hockey and those around him.

Like Ali, Gordie Howe is the greatest and will never be forgotten.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

KIMBO SLICE AND THE DEATH OF AN INTERNET SENSATION


As far as brilliant names go for seemingly bad-ass fighters, Kimbo Slice ranks right up
there with  Clubber Lang and Apollo Creed. The name just rolls off your tongue and is so
hard to forget even if you have no idea what the hell Kimbo Slice ever did.

There are thousands of faceless boxers, MMA fighters, and professional wrestlers who
put together fabulous careers, but in this social-media  driven world we live in, very few
of them catch our attention or imagination.

Kimbo Slice most certainly did.

Very few people outside his family had ever heard of Kevin Ferguson 20 years ago, but
when he started beating up all comers in Miami street fights as Kimbo Slice, a legend was
hatched. When videos of those fights found their way to the Internet, Kimbo Slice became
a sensation of early Kardashian proportions.


Oh, we didn't know if Kimbo Slice was beating up tomato cans for our viewing pleasure
or if Kimbo Slice had any discernible talent. Whatever the case, the nickname was cool
and he just looked like the baddest man on the planet.

Kimbo Slice had little choice. He was homeless for a while after a hurricane wiped him
out of his residence. Slice was also a bouncer and worked as a bodyguard, but fighting
was his ticket to fame and some pretty darn good cash.

Kimbo Slice got into mixed-martial arts and UFC. He really wasn't that great of a fighter,
but he had that spectacular name. People didn't know Kimbo Slice's record, but they knew
the name,  the beard, and that chisled pyshique


During his career, Kimbo Slice was busted for steroids, which is hardly surprising. Slice,
as they say in the business, was shredded steel. There wasn't an ounce of fat on his 225-lb
frame. People just don't get like that without majoring in a little chemistry.

Kimbo Slice died Monday of heart failure at the age of 42. I'm not exactly going out of
a limb, but there's a good chance all those chemicals  he pumped into his body had
somethingto do with his death.

The anchors on ESPN were wondering about the "legacy" of Kimbo Slice, a street-fighter
who had less than 15 bouts that actually counted in his career.  I'm not a big fan of the
legacy debate because as Lou Holtz famously said, "Who cares about legacy? People
forget about you five minutes after you're dead, anyway."


However, Kimbo Slice is proof that you don't have that much talent to become famous
in this Facebook-Twitter-YouTube world. All you need is a great name, compelling video,
and the Internet to help you go viral.

Kimbo Slice, we hardly knew you. But thanks to the Internet,  your "legacy" will live
on forever.