Saturday, October 29, 2011

Do you believe in miracles?

The above question was asked famously by a sports commentator just before he answered himself with a resounding "YES!" He asked and answered a question that had to be on a LOT of minds in the moment the U.S. Olympic Hockey Team won the critical final game against their arch-nemesis, the Soviet Hockey Team, and later earned the gold medal in 1980.

By all rights, that immortal, incredible moment in sports history shouldn't have happened. The road the U.S. team took to redefine themselves, rewrite their own playbook and finally beat the Russians at their own game was one helluva longshot from the start, when the late, great coach Herb Brooks believed he could do it. For any team anywhere in the world -- even the Canadians -- to beat the Russians at hockey was as unlikely as the U.S. Team getting into a Winnebago and DRIVING to the Moon. Actually, driving to the Moon was slightly more possible in comparison...the odometer would have had to be checked, naturally.

You could have called it a miracle, what happened at the Olympics in 1980. Or, you could have called it a triumph of will and spirit. A testament to grit, teamwork, and heart and soul invested into a remote chance of success...and that chance paid off. Most, though, still call it a flat-out miracle, and it's hard to argue with them.

People are fortunate to see that kind of event once in their lifetime.

Well, guess what? Something just as miraculous happened yesterday: the St. Louis Cardinals won the World Series against their opponents, the Texas Rangers, after seven long, dramatic games.

To put this in the proper perspective, the Cardinals would have had better chances winning the Lottery. Two months earlier, the Cards weren't even in the running. Their odds of even getting the Wild Card slot were long. But with a combination of the right circumstances and the heart and spirit of a team that wouldn't say die, destiny was rewritten...the improbable became possible...and the unlikliest team became the World Champions. you believe in miracles? :)

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Yes, the Bogeyman CAN die...

"I've learned that people who want power, a LOT of power, always end up dead!"

Kyle from South Park

My birthday was yesterday. (42 years old...uh, woot?) The day before that, though, I along with the rest of the world got a nice early present that could in fact have come along a few decades earlier. For me, it had some extra resonance growing up in the 80's.

In that decade Americans really got to know about Muammar Gaddafi, ruler of Libya and all-around scumbag. In anti-West in general and anti-America in particular, he became an international villain for his vocal support and financial backing of terror operations across the world, and even established training camps for terrorists in his country. And as bad as he was to the rest of the civilized world, he was even worse to his fellow Libyans. No wonder that at one point in 1986, we BOMBED Libya.

Finally, after all these years of having to put up with a dictator who looked more like a traffic cop with his mirrored sunglasses, the rest of Libya had enough. On October the 20th, 2011, a group of rebels captured Gaddafi as he hid in a sewer drain...a fit place for a rat to try and hide. Not long after that, he was shot and killed without ceremony.


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Dumb-Assedness Knows No Bounds

"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals, and you know it."

Tommy Lee Jones as Agent Kay, from Men in Black

I'll admit, I haven't been the smartest person in the world my entire life. I've made my fair share of mistakes, either intentionally or accidentally, and suffered the consequences accordingly. I've been dumb sometimes, and who hasn't?

More times than not, though, I've noticed something very disturbing about what we call the human race...a trend which reflects that we are on the whole dumber than one can possibly hope to quantify, even if a genius had the help of a supercomputer the size of Texas. Don't get me wrong, I'm not here to condemn everyone else from some lofty perch. Like I said, I've been dumb, too. But I've been trying to be better.

And like that quote from Tommy Lee Jones above, it isn't like intelligent, thoughtful folk with common sense are few and far-between. But I *DO* know that stupid people run in packs. And they like to follow stupid, foolish, a-facepalm-ain't-enough trends.

Here's a trend for you I just heard about today. In Wikipedia, it's called the 'Fainting Game'. When I heard about it in my area on a local news radio station, they called it 'the Choking Game'.
Just when you think you heard everything, huh?

It's something more and more kids (mostly pre-teens) are doing to get a new kind of high. How? If this is the first time you've heard of this, please rest assured I'M NOT MAKING THE FOLLOWING UP, may I get hit by lightning. It's called the 'Fainting/Choking Game' exactly because kids are deliberately choking themselves or forcing themselves to hyperventilate to go dizzy and experience the rush that comes with it.

What the hell?

I can't add anything to that (I'm sure you're thinking of a lot of things for yourself after reading that) but this. Doctors are warning parents that besides risking death (no shit?), a kid can also go brain-damaged as a result of the 'Choking Game'. I'm sorry, I thought anybody who'd do that was ALREADY brain-damaged...and maybe if they want to get choked so bad, someone else can do the job for them and *all the way to getting dead* to spare the more intelligent of us their dumb-assedness...