When you let your big stick do the talkin’
That “Parade of Porn”, with Paparazzi stalkin’
Snarly rough, traps-a-plenty; deep cut bunkers and nowhere to hide
When deciding to “lay up” was the riskier choice
If but for only that large amount of green and those swooshed titanium balls
would the World’s Greatest Scrambler survive a wretched 18 ho’s
Trading an extremely high handicap for a life of buried lies
Hardly checking which way the wind was blowing, knowing there are no mulligans
An egregious slice that wouldn’t fade, a train-wreck hacked so far out of bounds
You must have quit counting the lost strokes and calculating unplayable lies
Your balls dropped beyond the line of sight, but seemed ever further from home
Where money bets had long since been counted as lost in that first (wet) box
The truth is inside the ropes there’s plenty of trouble if you really want to hang yourself
Undulating backsides, luscious perky sloped tees, low cut cups waitin’ for loft and backspin
Manicured lovely, playin’ tight and long, and gorgeous to behold
Beautiful layouts you easily managed with your deft touch and artistic feel
Driving long and deep in middle of short Bentgrass, Bermuda soft, lush, and accessibly close
But, when instead of backing up, they began checking up, you started running fast and away
Ambien fueled Ambien fooled, once seeing a break, banging a sweet stroke… then nailing bottom of the ho’
The Ooohhs and aaahhs, moaning adoration, soon became belligerent bellows of, “Who’s Your Daddy!”
Stiill… YOU; lost deep in those woods but refused to take the normal penalty
Forsaking those easy birdies and model wife, with grim head held high you steadied your stance
Defiantly asking us to imagine that you were simply one more, ‘Par for the Course’
And so… pretty soon your Iconic magic grip you held over us loosened… until it vanished
As if you were raining bad behavior, your short game was turning into a slippery sloped Karmic wreck
Now cynical crowds yelling “Pussy Cat, knock it stiff”, or chanting “here cums Tiger’s Woody!”
Perhaps an omen to us all… but for you Tiger… it signaled the Boogeyman had finally come… to stay.
Daddy-hood sort of caught me by the nape of my neck. In the summer 2004 I was surprised to learn that… like it or not I was going to become a Father. Whoa!… after 50 years I had long decided against and avoided that (to me) unfortunate scenario. But, fate had chosen another route for […]
I’ve been a Louisvillefan since growing up in the South End there in the late 1960’s. In those days Wes Unseld held down the post while Junior Bridgeman (oops wrong year… it was Butch Beard) drilled bombs that would now-a-days be NBA threes. I was also a Kentuckyfan back then, as my limited scope at 11 only suggested that both teams were from my home State; and for me… that was good enough. I cried after the 1966 Finals when Kentuckylost to Texas Western. It was the first televised game I had ever seen (if you call a 13 inch B/W TV using rabbit ears at Rough River with fuzzy reception actually “watching”). I remember Louie Dampier and Pat Riley playing well, but Texas Western was loaded with quick athletic jumpers who cleaned nearly all of the glass. No matter how hard we played T-W was relentless and refused to reliquish an early lead. They shot 38 free throws and made 24, while were 11 for 13, because we could not stop (Calipari’s Don Haskins Dribble-Drive).
I could not then, nor do I now understand the hatred that exists between the fans of these two highly vaunted programs at (UKand UL).
Since those formative years I’ve remained a spectator and college basketball fan, eventually forsaking football, baseball, and other sports to concentrate on basketball, and found new love… in playing soccer. After college graduation one generally finds that career and other diversions tend to implore us not to spend so much discretionary time on sports. Somewhere along the way we should also gain a certain “adult” perspective that allows wins and losses to affect us only in “momentary” situations, without changing our personalities or affecting our priorities. I can remember once thinking (as a Cleveland Browns fan), “what if they win the Super Bowl this year?”
My internal answer came back solemnly… “well… you’ll have a hangover at work the next day. And then, it will all be over as quickly as it unfolded.” Of course, I never got to test my theory on Cleveland.
But, I’ve always known that the special UL/UK hate was limited to the fans, but not the players. The players, for the most part all respect one another and truly wish them well when not in direct opposition with one another. This last week, I was incensed after reading a Louisville fan blog, where a number of (so-called) humanoids berated Russ Smith’s game against their hated rival Kentucky. It is the epitome of classless, spineless, little man complex to even suggest that Russ Smith ISN’T the epitomeof college basketball. I mean, holy sh&t, without Russ Smith, Louisville wouldn’t be on the map this year?
If I could have traveled through cyberspace I might have strangled someone. I wonder how much sweat these slugs must have lost watching Russmake a mistake or two? The nerve! And I hate to report that this kind of attitude is more commonplace than one could reasonably imagine. I witnessed Kentucky fans dropping wholesale after every disappointment this year, creating more Calipari is crazy conspiracies than David Icke does aliens are living next door. Now they’ve had to order a new fleet of “bandwagons” to accommodate the repentant.
Of course, as we advance both in age and financially we become further removed from the “good ole days”, as our lives settle down we find time for watching sports again; if only to harass our friends over drinks, use travel games as party excuses, and/or make idiotic blog posts about our two-time First team All-American’s deficiencies. Albeit, we do all this with the same passion and nasty vigor of our youth,unless by then we’ve learned anything about real life. But then, sports chatter using facts and figures can also be fun, even when all you want to do is watch from the couch with family and friends and berate the commentator (I mean homer/hater Doug Gottfried).
The last few years though, I have experienced a gnawing ache, which seems to grow as I follow my favorite teams on the internet on TV and in the news and through internet blogs. Admittedly, (and duly embarrassed) a couple of years ago I began to engage my acute sense of wit (my description of course), knowledge of the game and its history, and uniquely blatant in-your-face writing style to have some fun tormenting those brain-farts whom I felt were less informed about the game I love, or were just plain trolling ignoramus’ who apparently make a life out of denigrating other teams and their fans.
I can honestly (no self-efficacy here, huh?) say that when it came to words-a-cuffing, I was/am/can be the Mohammed Ali of heavyweight lightning factoid-icule. For awhile I got a kick out of out belittling (some unknown to me poster) with a twisted sarcasm that only I seemed to be able to produce in imaginative volume. For awhile, I admit it was fun…
Yet, it was internally hollow, and I soon tired of out-lambasting some teenager or sock-puppet who could barely spout, “my team is better than yours”, or wax philosophical about some ridiculous straw man argument, whom I quickly leveled with a few light jabs and then an overhand hay-word-insult-maker, landing him on his back not even attempting to answer the keyboard beep.
I particularly loved sparring with more intelligent fans (unarmed with my modestly? over-the-top imaginative hater vocabulary); unfortunately they too sometimes lacked the Ali-dance-cleverword-shuffle or even the hack-a-fact, and I found myself mocking them before finally throwing a swift combination Ali would have marveled at. Canvas. 1-10. Boom. K.O. Next…
It was easy especially if you’d ever read Darrell Huff’s book, “How to Lie With Statistics”, the most widely read book on quantitative analysis ever written. And if you’ve happened to have read his sequel, “How to Tell if Someone is Cheating With Statistics”. then…BOOM! Tysonian.
Thankfully, those days are done-skeey and I lament remembering some of the verbal beatings I gave. Almost…
Occasionally I can and do get drawn into a minor word wrestle with a formidable foe (likely because they have said egregious ignorant things with uncommon pride and arrogance instead of understated objectivity) whom I sense cannot go the whole fifteen rounds… even though I recognize my latent memory is beginning to escape me .
I’ll set ’em up with some obscure factoid, wait for the bell of my chosen round… then simply wind-up-round-house them before they can type, “Google”. Trust me, I had to learn a plethora of one punch put-down lines in Louisville’s South End growing up and I remember most of them.
But, I swear it’s ONLY because I hate the hater…
…and so I dose ’em with a dash of high-test-hate-o-line (then an throw uppercut to the super-ego with a lit match thrown in for good measure). BA-BOOM!
True is dat. But this a confession, even if it sounds arrogant, because I’m sorry… especially after what Louisville’s Russ Smith has recently taught me.
The following statement by arguably the best player in the nation over the last two years exemplifies the notion of
better than I or anyone could ever express with any brand of kindness or venom.
THIS IS WHAT EVERY COLLEGE FAN SHOULD LEARN TO RECITE.
Russ-not-so-diculous is, as of now my ALL-TIME favorite college basketball player:
Those who play the game (just like MOST OF US likely remember when playing sports), respect one another; it’s the fans who are LAME. Stop it you friggin’ idiots! It is a game. You have to work tomorrow either way, so STFU… (I know, I know… sure… its the refs fault).
Because in the end sports are about sportsmanship(learning how to win, and how to lose), not winning… and especially not whining like your 7-year old. It’s about enjoying true athletic skill which the common man can only appreciate with a certain awe. It’s about competitive fight, 100% effort, and all without cheating; and learning to LOSE well as well as WIN well. Well?
That trait alone makes one Russ Smith a true hero, and a real man. Those who play the game respect one another; it’s us fans whose ignorance is more than made up for by our lack of intelligence.
I mean, it’s a shame that stupidity isn’t painful…
Stop the hate, fans of whom-ever-in-the-rat-fk.
It is ONLY a game that you ONLY participate in vicariously. Your kids will still have to go to the Dentist tomorrow, so please STFU with the crybaby stuff.
And… unfortunately it is the fans of my beloved State of Kentucky (equally offensive ULand UKfans) who are among the worst offenders. Some of these Neanderthals have professional jobs and careers. I mean, I love Kentuckythough I’ve lived inNorth Carolina just as long, and now Floridanearly as long.
I’m still a UK and ULfan to the bone… because…
There’s nothing like basketball in KENTUCKY. I just hope it stays that way without us making fools of ourselves any more than we have already… well, all of us but those young inexperienced players on our teams… Bye Russ! I’ll miss your style, your smile, and your helter-skelter…
It’s been three years now since Greensboro Attorney Vance Kinlaw, a friend and ardent supporter of his alma-mater, UNC-Law told me that he had sold his season tickets which had held forever, disavowed his relationship with the sports programs, alumni association and the university, and does not follow UNC sports anymore. PERIOD. Vance explained that his growing difficulty with supporting the Tarheels because of the blurring lines of amateur sports finally reached its zenith at a home game when he noticed that the press row tables had suddenly become advertising space during games. He was disappointed to find little support among the UNC Board of Governors, who were adamant that the signs were not infringing on the idea of amateur athletics and were necessary to insure financial success of the program.Vance Kinlaw, having his undergrad as a Phi-Beta-Kappa Dartmouth, is a man of principal who sees college athletics from a pure and ethical moral perspective. He threw in the towel, disavowed his association and financial contributions to the school altogether. Hmmm? Are there others? Will enough follow?
EDITORIAL opinion / MONEYBALL
Someday, when the doin’s done someone may look back at the 2014 NCAA basketball tournament and identify it as the time when the big ship’s hull was breached and the rushing water could no longer be kept from flooding the “unsinkable” NCAA organization. For now, the band is still playing but there have been some reports of icebergs, and the captain hasn’t fully disclosed these troubling issues to the passengers. It’s full speed ahead.
If one needs some blatant signal to consider if the NCAA has stooped to cashing in on every angle this year one has to look no further than ticket prices. This year over last, prices are up 33%. Did anyone announce a basketball shortage? The NCAA has finally caved to the idea that it’s all about MONEY and is only barely trying to hide it.
They are acting like a deposed dictator who is scooping up as much as he can carry to make a last second smash-and-grab before the inevitable flight to asylum.
Of course, everyone knows that there are serious cracks which Ed O’Bannon’s class action suit has exposed, and the lengthy legal proceedings have limits to the amount of time they can be forestalled. O’Bannon’s legal team is nothing else if not persistent, matching the NCAA’s legal stable motion for motion answer for answer for several years. Some expect that a hearing looms low on the horizon. Several legal experts also feel O’Bannon has the upper hand. If so, many think it could be the organization’s fatal blow.
Could this year’s tourney be a sign that there’s blood in that rushing water too?
If not, then the NCAA has blatantly announced that they are in TOTAL control of the situation by offending the fans, their constituents, the media, and even many of those who earn their over-the-top salaries under their sponsorship with the obvious unfair manipulation of the tournament brackets, seedings, and (both immediate and possible) matchups.
This year, they have run out of excuses that could mitigate the vitriol spewing forth from the public. Of course, hurting one team always helps someone else so they have their supporters too. But, this year they have defied ALL LOGIC despite what happens in the tourney (we all remember VCU in 2011 reaching the Final Four from the play-in game, although many argued that they hadn’t done enough in season to qualify). And though while that may have been true, Shaka Smart may have unwittingly given the NCAA a future license to steal.
The “selection committee” meets for hours behind closed doors in strict confidence, allowing no one to witness the “incredibly tough” job they are thanked for doing each year. And, I know that it must be a tough job even if they’ve already pretty much got the framework together by Selection Sunday. I mean, Athletic Directors are supposed to be paying attention all season long, right? This isn’t exactly Talent Search, where there is no historical reference point for each contestant. No, they ALREADY know and have alluded to as much by suggesting the Sunday games really can’t change anything except perhaps a swap of seeds with two teams in the same conference.
Last year, as always, NCAA scapegoats justified unfortunate seedings to disgruntled fans and experts by pointing out the obvious cases where their mistakes made them look good (as is inevitable as the Sun rising no matter who does the seeding), adding for the still skeptical that beginning 2014 they would finally de-emphasize (the old RPI algorithm) in favor of more advanced metrics used by many teams both professional and college; The likes of Ken Pomeroy, John Gasaway, and Dean Oliver to make these “important” decisions. Why not eliminate the RPI altogether since comparatively it was written on papyrus? Of course, because this simply gives the unfortunate bearer of bad news (the committee head) another potential excuse to use when all others fail, though time and time again the RPI has been shown to be an unreliable predictive measurement tool.
Instead, they ignored all of these expert’s statistical tools, even dissing the ESPN BPI metric (a highly sophisticated product which takes into account many subtle metrics that have been used by professional gamblers for years to gain a slight “edge”.
If you’re a betting man, pay close attention; Can you say, opportunity?
This year committee chair Ron Wellman (Wake Forest) confidently answered detractors by using double talk and blatantly lying to the public stating that “of course we used the eye test when considering Louisville’s 4 seed”. But….(cue excuse metric). What had Ron failed to disclose? That he was blind? No, and not ignorant… but stupid seems to fit fairly well.
First, that the committee doesn’t really review much basketball in their 4-6 hour closed meeting finalizing the pairings. They do work hard though, sifting through piles of financial data, seating charts, driving distances, expected fan base participation in ticket sales, community resource income opportunities, popcorn sales, etc. I could go on, but I think you get the picture. But the biggest job is uncovering the “storylines” and potential storylines if certain matchups occur. While one may not consider this as important or useful, remember that the NCAA is paid an astronomical amount in dollars (see above chart) by the media organizations, who all expect to make profits by sponsoring the extravaganza on TV, radio, internet, print and cable. The media makes money on viewer and readership, by converting numbers to advertisng dollars. The NCAA gets a percentage bonus against a fixed income.
Every dollar counts as reader/viewers/ attendees/ hits, even if it is insignificant enough to pit the defending champ against a team coached by an ex-ball boy for Louisville coach Rick Pitino, ex-player, and ex-assistant coach against his mentor. What a story if Steve Maseillo who coaches Manhattan with a 13 seed can defeat his mentor the defending Champ? Since Maseillo learned everything he knows about the game from Louisville and Pitino and carbon copies EVERYTHING they do, who stands a better chance of an upset? Not many teams in the entire field. Big stories mean big money.
Sorry ‘bout that Rick.
Wellman didn’t fully explain why he inserted NC State in the tourney over SMU, a move no one expected but subtlety understood after Coach Krzyzewski of Duke went public to whine about his conference deserving more teams. Viola, Wake Forest man delivers, keeping the ACC family safe and K on his good side. Of course, there’s no way K would have had to play his ex-players like Harvard and ex-Dookie stars Tommy Amaker’s team, or Johnny Dawkins team from Stanford. Like the legendary Dean Smith before him, Special K and the ACC is Golden with the NCAA (see infractions committed but not sanctioned), and K is King and gets his way at the NCAA. Doesn’t hurt when the Head man is a Duke grad himself, huh?
Most people outside of SMU yawned, notably Larry Brown who knows EXACTLY how it works with the NCAA. It is better to stay silent lest you end up an 8-seed, or 4-seed while qualifying as a 4 or a 1. But Larry and others miss the point. As in any political arena the losers attitudes ARE always more than offset by the winners perspectives when they conform to the accepted media narrative, insuring that “right or wrong” is not just an uncertainty, it’s practically irrelevant (well… by Monday). Then somehow an upset or two will make the media gush over the committee genius, without mention that there are STILL some walking around feeling as if a long stiff object has been lodged in the wrong place… Onward, we march into madness… Truth is, the DISS usually backfires into a determined rage by the most offended.
Ron Wellman, Wake Forest Athletic and Director (of the ACC) explains how the
seedings were “the most accurate in his five years on the committee.”
What is it about the four teams listed on the eraser board?
Call me crazy but it appears that eventual Mid-West Region 8-seed/Kentucky is listed with an eventual 4-seed, Louisville… and then eventual 5-seed St. Louis.
Above these teams is listed an eventual 1-seed Virginia, who was apparently later “replaced with 1-seed Wichita State. Why?
Question: Why would these teams (1,4,8,5) be listed BEFORE THE SEEDING PROCESS without any other participants?
And, whatever happened to the idea that a 5-seed doesn’t get to play a “home” game?
Here’s my take on a fictional conversation (which could… but would never happen, since it is silently understood by both) between Wellman and Rick Pitino, who was upset about being paired with 16-seed Manhattan whose Coach Steve Masiello was his old ball boy, player, and assistant coach. Maseillo “carbon copies” Pitino’s system at Manhattan.
“Nothing personal Rick but the first round lacks stories and CBS can spin this into a million website hits on a bad day this time of year. If nothing else it makes a nice headline, and with hypertext it might turn lead into gold. New York to Orlando flights are on-sale so we expect to fill the allotments there. Of course, you get first dibbs after they return the unsolds. Plus Rick, we like the potential Calipari-Pitino angle… but you know we’d rather not have it in the final four. With both of your passionate fans bases there’s still only 12 million viewers which is small potatoes since they are practically all from the State of Kentucky. But we know they would fill up that cavernous Dome in Indy, and no other two fan bases could come close.
We need big market dramas/story-lines for the FF. Thanks for being a team player. You’re a solid pro and we all like you here and at CBS. They will ask you to do color in some games if you go out early, a nice consolation prize. I know, it’s not winning but it’s compensation (for playing ball, you know… with us). CBS promises you’ll be happy with the coverage they’ve allotted you for special interest stories about the great job you’re doing. Remember, they have faithfully not mentioned your little scandal in three years Rick, out of respect for you and the great job you do. How about some love? You know Rick, if it weren’t for this tourney, your 5 million a year would likely be like 1.5.
Thanks for your understanding and not letting too much of this cat out of the bag. Don’t make us an enemy, instead consider us partners. Steve’s a great kid and we know how you feel about him, that’s such a great story to tell. Even in losing, the publicity is a win for him and I know you love seeing him succeed.
And, of course Kentucky may not get that shot at you, so we like the potential undefeated vs. the defending champ angle if W-S wins that one. And BTW, Kentucky-Wichita State ain’t so bad either but hey, you’ll have the “revenge” factor and “chip-on-shoulder” factor going for you.
Sliding Kentucky into an eight hole can be explained, even if strong rational discourse would annihilate any attempt at justification. There’s a lot of hate for Kentucky right now, so we could have left them out completely and no one would care but BBN. But BBN is where the money’s at, as you already know Rick.
Surely you agree that Calipari needs to be knocked down a notch or two by foiling our last three attempts at bringing him to his knees, and then mocking us on national TV? We’re still seething about 2011 when they lucked through our gauntlet of number 1 Ohio State and then #2 UNC-Chapel Hill. Roy is still peeved. If anybody, you’re the man with the team to do it. It would make your season Rick. Problems are opportunities. Look at the positives. And, of course, if per chance they advance past Louisville?
No worry, we have Michigan and Duke waiting to take care of them, and we both know you beat both last year and have as good a chance of doing it again.
Besides, Kentucky and Louisville have the two best traveling fandom. We need to insure one of you two play in that Dome if we’re to get close to a sell it out. One more thing before you shut the door behind you Rick. Kentucky won 2012, Louisville in 2013. If one of you two wins this year, we’re seriously worried the game itself might suffer. This isn’t John Wooden’s America. Hope to see you doing some TV by the end of the tourney. If not we’d love a Donovan-Pitino story again. That one was BIG last time. Hey, you’re already in the Hall and I’ll bet that extra money and TV time could come in handy. Louisville fans worship the ground you walk on as it should be. Good luck Rick.”
And, my imaginary instructions from Wellman to Committee before/during the seeding on Wichita State:
“But… what about the undefeated returning Final Four team, uh… Wichita State? Great story. Huh? Everyone will tune in. Make ‘em run the table, and the story expands exponentially after every win. But please folks… be sure they don’t waltz into another FF with what a terrible TV market that dreadful town will be. With Michigan and Duke added for seasoning we have guaranteed high-dollar value storylines from day one in the Midwest. And we all know that media/fan bucks are always the highest in the Midwest, IF we get some good markets in play there. But IF W-S makes the finals it will be huge after beating ALL those teams and still being undefeated. Bob Knight will shit bricks! He’s such an ass, I’d love to see his face on national TV if W-S goes undefeated, but I’d still rather ESPN keep him out of the CBS studio.
I won’t bore you with the other regions but they have their built-in stories too, albeit not quite as many. Maybe someone suggests Cincy-Harvard is dubbed “Neanderthal vs. Humanoid”? on their bulletin board and in their storyline notes? Jus’ Kidding… but you see what i’m saying. I personally wouldn’t be surprised if this year the Big Brother-Little Brother theme wins the day again with so many more of those possibilities… and folks love David vs. Goliath, especially in their local markets. There are several more possibilities you should…”
Though the above conversations are fiction, do you believe in the plethora of random chance storylines? Uh, right. With the intertextuality and over-the-top typology inserted into this years tourney, there’s enough “story” to rival the Septuagint-New Testament typology (I mean prophesies).
Of course, Wellman attempted to confidently explain the issues that MOST EVERYONE immediately denounced with double-talk, contradiction, false statements, and inconsistency. It is if he studied the famous book on quantitative statistics by Darrell Huff, “How to Lie With Statistics”, but forgot to read his sequel, “How to spot Cheaters using Statistics.”
The secret revealed? This secular “church”, who is protector and supporter of the student-athlete and proponent/supporter of “One-and-Done” being all about the Benjamin? No. Why? In any large organization today it’s grow or die, and so MONEY becomes its God. The NCAA sanctions the bracket manipulation and the publicly vilified O-&-D because they both mean more money. Publicly though they decry both so as not to alienate too many fans (I mean readers/viewers/hits/etc). What are fans anyway if not a means to an end?
Hypocrisy at it’s finest and highest level thrives at our most hallowed institutions.
A cursory look at UCLA’s Alumni position on hiring Steve Alford over moral/ethical conflicts reveals the fact that ethics DO matter to many… win or lose. Many important supporters of UCLA could care less if UCLA wins another Natty, that is if it is done under new Coach Steve Alford. Yes, greed is rampant, but perhaps not totally pervasive at a school with the tradition of pride and excellence John Wooden instilled among their faithful followers during his career span. UCLA supporters don’t count NCAA banners unless they are achieved with a Coach who can emulate the character of Wooden the man, not the Coach.
For Vance Kinlaw and his issue with alma mater UNC, I say… go UCLA fans! And, I venomously hate losing to both those teams.
The NCAA is a proud organization who isn’t accustomed to answering to its detractors and smugly refuses to grant concessions, even when there is little support of their stance from the outside. They are defiant, and the notion of their being greed driven is scoffed at and discounted as “heresy” by their better-than well-paid executives.
Reminds me of the Catholic Church, venerable yes… powerful still… but, beginning to struggle with new paradigms that insist on Priests, Bishops, and Cardinals practicing what they preach, and punishing those who don’t or attempt to hide the truth. For too long these problems have been swept under the rug in a veil of silence. Large organizations can and do fail when they resist the notion of transparency, integrity, and fairness or react too slowly to overwhelming disillusionment among their faithful (read: the fans who buy tickets, or the Alumni who donate to Universities).
If I were running the NCAA today, I’d be worried instead of defiant, and honest instead of elusive. Instead of gouging fans of college sports at every opportunity without the extreme expense of paying players like their Professional counterparts must, or manipulating bracketing and seeding with lame-ass excuses to pacify the media outlets who agreed to the ridiculous contract dollars they demand… I’d take the humble road (never) travelled. I’d have public discussion with college presidents and athletic directors instead of the many back room deals worked out between power players in exclusion. Just ask Rick Pitino about he and Rollie Massimino back in the early days of the Big East. This is high stakes poker.
But their smug, nattily dressed Captain, like his Titanic counterpart is staying the course at full speed ahead. And we all know how that worked out… I can already feel the drip of water…and hear the muffled sound of rivets popping loose… and too… there’s not enough lifeboats.
This may no longer be John Wooden’s America, but it should be.
An email sent to a friend (Vance Kinlaw) who is a very smart man… a graduate of UNC-Law School and Dartmouth University. Our relationship through the years had centered around both our passions for college basketball where we argued the merits of our respective favorite teams. He recently told me that he had withdrawn his support for UNC and sold his season tickets due to an ethical conflict of interest regarding the University and their selling out to the god of money. I was shocked that this long time ardent supporter had taken such a drastic stance, and at the time a bit flummoxed. Now… I too get it.
Once again I must admit that I am squarely behind both the eight ball and the Kinlaw in my pursuit of truth.
I once almost (emphasis on almost) derided your decision to quit the “college game” because of your ethical stance regarding UNC’s Board of Governors and their apparent thirst for squeezing every dollar out of the sports programs without regard to the alumni and their ethics and ideals.
I mean, “it’s just a few advertisements” I remember thinking when you described the billboards along the Dean Dome’s press row, the straw that finally sent you packing and giving up your cherished season tix. I really just didn’t get it fully, although I knew/know MONEY is god everywhere in our culture.
I just didn’t go far enough down that rabbit hole…
Now, after the NCAA Tournament brackets for 2014 have been made public, the rabbit has bitten me on the ass and drawn blood. What a scam! Every seed, every game or chance game has been manipulated by the committee this year for ONE PURPOSE only: Revenue. Period. Ticket prices have gone up 33% since last year!
Of course, it’s probably due to the Attorney fees in the Ed O’Bannon case (lol).
At any rate, I stand corrected, and as always… in a certain awe of your scope…
held my breath too long it seems finest place was just a dream rose to the top jus’ like the cream
but virtuous… a lonely theme the lies are told through smiles they beam as curtains hide the actors scheme gag the truth or it will scream.
you are just one and they are a team wrinkled shirts will get the steam so money’s god, but god ain’t green while power wins, fine ass is reamed.
play or lose you finally gleam know the truth but go mainstream but every crack will find a seam times gettin’ bad when good’s extreme.
FACEBOOK IT.(A recent comment to friend’s Facebook post about America.)
America? Where is it anyway?
I had a dream that I grew up there, but when I woke up… oh shit!?! I lived in a foreign land that existed only in the minds of an ignorantly deluded multitude, but in the “pockets” of a few greedy intellectual snake charmers with some bizarre ideas; who manipulated us (through their control of the monetary supply-system which they did privately own yet had surreptitiously presented as one being Federally regulated/owned), by using their powerful political, deadly, and financial force to corrupt and control this so-called “AMERICA”‘s political morally bankrupt leaders years many before my birth.
After a cup of Java or two had really opened my eyes and re-started my brain I learned that they had used lies and manipulation to hypnotize the masses into believing that we were living in and freely participating in the affairs of an ethically righteous political Republic; and one whom God had somehow annointed as “policeman to the world” due to our extreme technologically advanced capability of forcing will on nearly every aspect of the world’s populations through intimidation, blackmail, and destruction.
Sad that I had only dreamt about America’s greatness instead of actually having existed in an honourable country espousing freedom for all who wished to FAIRLY and HONESTLY excel through individual effort, determination, and innovation like I had been indoctrinated to believe…
I retreated, to the only real and local environment that I truly felt I could trust and love… my family and a few close personal friends.
To all myguy friends(NO, to all men… and women with a good sense of humor….well, themselves)… important that you read about this invasive Malware. Wish I had written the kernel to the code, because it is NOT open source and VERYdangerous to your future decisions.Read More »
Great work you do for the game and helping folks put in perspective what matters statistically and otherwise in a game played on hardwood, but much better understood on paper. I’ve read you and other number-crunchers for a long time and (mostly) agree on your take. For a betting man, it’s the only way to fly.
As a Catbird (my word for a Kentucky and Louisville fan), and a fan of the college game I grow more and more disgusted with the ignorance, hate, venom, hypocrisy, and irresponsible chest-thumping spewing forth from folks who ought to know better as it relates to issues like “one-and-done”, or whether or not certain coaches are ruining the game (guess who?) by recruiting the nations top talent.
I mean, I was once a “student-athlete” and graduated from a fine University, later became employed, worked my way up from the bottom over the years, and eventually earned the experience and respect to become one of the top individuals in my industry. Somehow all that was factored into my choice of going to college versus working in the sheet metal factory which had held many of my summer vacations captive.
I loved college and everything it was about, especially sports, pot/beer and pussy. But, my ultimate goal from the git-go was that piece of paper (my degree)which admiringly adorns my closet today. I was convinced it was a ticket out of the blue collar world of which I had grown accustomed, and that it would someday pay its promised dividends in cold hard cash. I guess you could say I was about the dash, the grass, the crash, and the gash… but mainly the cash.
And although I won’t go into how I really feel about the “state of the union” and it’s proclivity of injustice for all, I do remember what I thought I knew about a country that espoused freedom, capitalism, equality, and the ability for each individual to choose their own destiny, and then try to make it happen.
Now, how is it that so many seemingly intelligent so-called Americans who grew up on the same diet of (propaganda) as myself feel comfortable assessing the decisions of one-and-done college players as somehow being “their” problem? I mean, if for example Eric Bledsoe doesn’t read as well as you or I, is it his problem or ours? If he tests free agency at year’s end and signs for $12 million a year, was it his opportunity, hard work, and talent that earned it, or ours? Is it his problem, or the Phoenix front office, or the fans who screamed to no avail to get him on contract before the deadline? Of course it’s his, and with his lunch pail in hand he goes to work ALONE every night, and likely has just earned a huge raise for an outstanding job. Now who’s got the problem Phoenix?
You know Eric, how true that problems can be seen as opportunities, huh?
So, if a kid and his coach agree that his (and likely his family’s) best financial interest would be better served by leaving the team and going professional, even if after only one year of (that almighty holy grail) of higher education… who am I, or you, or anyone else to feel the need to weigh in NEGATIVELY on his own personal decision that he made based on the information available at the time?
In review, remember that I went to college to ultimately earn more money with my job being the caretaker of that goal. Don’t we all? How many of us degreed princes make $12 million a year? Not many, and damn sure not me.
And what about that scoundrel of a coach who let him get only one year of schooling before shooing him off to future riches and fame? But then, why wouldn’t that scoundrel want to keep him around for another year or two? If I’m a scoundrel, I damn sure would.
I realize that fans can be viciously jealous and many times jump on ANY opportunity to spin a situation to their liking. But folks like you (but not you) and the plethora of other so-called “experts” who blindly bandwagon without logic, reason, or considering another perspective are simply irresponsible mouth pieces who feed the delusional masses their daily dose of “what they want to hear”. They sicken me with all their Doug Gottfried arrogance, who all of the sudden knows everything, but can’t seem to ever pick a winner? Oh yeah… good for TV, right.
It isn’t the one-and-done ruination of CBB… it’s the dumbass bloggers, announcers, and writers who are spinning this game into the stupidity garbage dump of hate. And, all because they’re too ignorant or chicken shit to speak the truth. It is the height of hypocrisy and the bane of our existence that we are spoon fed our beliefs without more careful analysis (much like what you, Ken, and Dean have championed over the last 5-10 years). I salute you in the name of OBJECTIVITY, Howard Roark.
Sure, there are ratings and networks and back room deals that suggest that a narrative of disagreement is good for the level of fan interest, thus network stock prices, and thus the NCAA bank vault.
Can no one with an audience and a pair of balls ever stand up and tell it like it really is? Are we to listen to endless moronic red-faced Bobby Knight diatribes about situations of which he has no knowledge or experience with just because ESPN thinks he’s good television? I can almost hear the ESPN back room snickers from my couch when he starts into his the-way-it-is-ramble-mania.
This talk of “ruining the game” is so ridiculously far-fetched that I have fits of lalochezia just hearing the CBS theme song, but then I mostly revert to a couch burning “tacenda”. Smoldering…
John, I realize numbers are your game and this comment defies strapping it to a chart, and mapping it for visual appeal and understanding. Big data it ain’t. But please, weigh in on this subject with all your objective intelligence so that the common fan can “get a grip” on this thing we commonly agree on as reality.
If you or anyone else happens to disagree with my position, so be it. I am happy to publicly debate the matter anywhere, anytime. But, be fore warned… I’ll come loaded for bear.
The REAL DEAL is fair…feeling not better or worse than anyone, but rather sees the world as a somewhat level playing field where balance rules a life of give and take.
The REAL DEAL is one who understands that everything must stem from and lead to equality; that his own perspective is but one of an infinite number of possible perspectives, all clouded by their own personal histories yet just as valid and important as his own. Being real is neither superior or inferior.
The REAL DEAL gains knowledge from others but earns wisdom from within. He does not expect to be given anything for free except the respect that he freely gives to everyone.
The REAL DEAL is one who understands that he is solely responsible for his own self-predicament in life, but also understands the complex and fickle nature of luck, timing, and pro-active behavior, which can all lead to his ultimate success or failure. In the end he accepts himself and takes any blame for his mistakes in life.
A man who doesn’t use material things as barometers for success and happiness, and instead sees them as unreliable measures which are at best self-indulgent ego-symbols; The REAL DEAL values close family and interpersonal relationships as a more meaningful predictor of feeling and finding true self-worth.
But The REAL DEAL understands how images are real and important and must be paid some attention. The REAL DEAL is more giver than taker, but feels equality is best served by a near equal exchange. He doesn’t keep the score, but instead senses it and honors others on his mental scorecard. In the end he never owes, but instead is always felt to be owed by many.
The REAL DEAL stands up to be counted in plain view, who does not coward from any situation or person, even those who may see him as an adversary. He does not cringe before any person, despite their size, title, or social status.
The REAL DEAL does not ever honor violence, but sees how nature supports it as one of her own children whom she still loves despite its sometimes abhorrent behavior. He would not intentionally hurt anyone, unless defending himself or those he loves, or meting out some deserved injustice.
The REAL DEAL is passionate about many things, who appreciates the natural beauty in all things. He is a part of and is made of parts as all things are. His is a “holonic” existence.
The REAL DEAL rarely apologizes as he understands how every action stems from a conscious motivation of fairness and goodness that he refuses to stray from.
The REAL DEAL looks everyone in the eye, never seeing through them or seeing his own reflection, but sees everyone as an amalgamation of a person who has experienced the good, the bad, the beautiful and the ugly.
The REAL DEAL has an acute sense of awareness and feeling using a keen developed sense most humans have not developed, mainly due to their harried daily existence. This sense stems from a mental ,ability to do great mathematical calculations, without realizing he has done so.
The REAL DEAL does not deny nor accept the existence of God as fact, simply knowing that semantically speaking God can be many things to many people. He also understands how philosophy, art, and the sciences can provide a positive working framework for his existence, without the need for a God.
The REAL DEAL can forgive and forget, yet he never forgets those who are unrepentant. He might sometimes punish those whom he sincerely feels are purveyors of evil and destruction. This arises from his keen sense of equanimity, not hate.
I listened hard and watched the best. Secretly I’d one day be their litmus test. Late hours and freezing rain could not depress, the drive inside my lifelong quest. It wasn’t easy but I never faltered, the success I worshiped, on effort’s sacrificial altar.
On the day of reckoning, my mind prepared from daydreams of winning. Imagined moments never shared, except a mindless grinning. The fear of failure came nowhere near, compete and win my simple mission clear.
Nervously I toed the line, emotional tension outside-in sublime. I lurched ahead right from the go, then pushed the pace they wanted slow. Some seemed worried and took the bait, others doubted lay back in wait; on my demise they had sealed their fate.
Feeling strong and so relaxed, I stretched my lead never feeling taxed. While I saw turtles they saw a hare, as I blistered laps through the cool night air; on a record pace I had laid my dare.
Seemingly on a gun lap cruise, in retrospect I must have somehow hit the snooze. But glancing back at second place, he was so far back and wore an anguished face.
The crowd all stood with deafened screams, half o’ lap to enjoy my living dreams. That I glanced left is in retrospect my error, sprinting past my right was a nightmare terror.
Written a few years ago for a friend whose boyfriend was suddenly killed in a bike week motorcycle accident. I too was struggling through a recent sudden loss, making the moment even that more poignant… I thought I had lost the poem, but found (some of) it in a file drawer the other day. Here’s the edited version.
Vida después de su muerte mi amigo
Sitting here by Kimberly’s grave
thoughts turn to you and Tony
their lives too short for both of them
isn’t our grief the testimony?
Who lives or not whose choice it be
or just the dice who say?
does God play poker, is he the Joker
is it black and white, or grey?
And who are we that thinks of them
does our mirror speak the truth?
are we all just names etched in granite?
isn’t up hill down hill too?
Or are we just narrow vibrations on a playing field,
proving that we “exist for real”, or just “sense” we do?
manifesting our love not by, “they’re dead and gone”
but “they live in our hearts, and will see us through?”
Do we create our unique version of real
realizing ourselves… by all our think, our say, and do?
If we’re just the sum of who we think we are
I think there’s part of Kimberly alive in me…
When folks ask me what I’ve been up to lately, my answer usually lies somewhere between everything and nothing, specifics being a bit hazy as they can be these days to a late 50’s POP (permanently overripe personality). (Read: unemployed old fart without prospects). And this from the man who was once the chalk (outside Kentucky that’s a sure thing) to be the eventual ruler of the free world (thanks, mom).
I like to say “free is where to find me, but Fun is where I’m from”.
But then as a rookie Father to 6 and 8 year-old boys, these days my official title ranges from, “Dad, can I…” to “hey, I think I’m gonna…”, instead of the more respectfully appropriate but more formal titled, “Duke of The House on Worthington”, or “Most Benevolent Domain Master”, or even… “Dude-meister of the Microcosmic Universe daddy that we call our home-dad.” One size fits all three.
My duties on this Starship are both boundless and boring, and as easily doable as they are unthinkable in doing, and all ranging from the absolutely necessary to the supremely sublime. Others call them “just normal stuff”.
I do seem to fumble some of life’s simplest hand-offs, and show a unnatural propensity to throw interceptions to some of life’s most wide-open receivers. I may call too many audibles and use too many trick plays, but I still hate football anyway. Go figure… a boy from Louisville, Kentucky. Who’d a thunk it?
So, ‘round here I’m paid to analyze, decide, motivate, invoke, critique, and hand out passing grades to everyone despite in-game homework performance or practice attitude, sideline behavior, or team spirit or team play. I learned that there are no losers anymore because we’re not allowed to keep score. DAMN, winning I knew.
So I’m more like a College Assistant Basketball Coach without the benefit of shoe deals and one-and-done. There are countless fanboys and other players depending on choices I make in an endless chain of unsure situations that hinge quickly on drawing up out-of-bounds plays, with a less than generous shot clock. All this for $4 hour while Schmoovy Weasal, the Head Coach gets $8MM. Go here. Pick. Pass, dribble, screen, shoot… air ball. Get back on Defense!! Maybe I need another shot or two?
Doing a Google search is no help either as it seems to always pull me into an abyss, more distracting than a smoke-wafting Pink Floyd concert. But hey, there’s always “The Wall”… one that I no longer can climb but still seem to hit.
So, sometimes I write blog posts to clear my cob-webs in the guise of either art or imparting some pretentious holier-than-thou “wisdom” for Everyman. The audaciousness of some people. I think I write in lieu of buying an assault rifle (I mean dude… hey, now its fuggin’unlimited rounds!). You know, cause I just love going to shooting ranges with my machine gun, and I would “kill” to go Sports hunting with Senator Paul Ryan and his rat-a-tat-tat Gattling gun. (uh, hey Paul, what do you shoot at since… you know, all the Dinosaurs are gone?). I’m afraid I’d start making lists, so I’ll pass.
Oh no, no, I just like protecting my Second Amendment right-to bear-arms. Yeah… right(s)? If that were actually true (I mean owning guns to protect our Constitutional Rights), then all I have to say is, “WHERE in THE FUCK have ya’ll been the past fifty years?” You’re way late, you lazy gun toters. Get busy.
OK. That issue of ignoraneous(my word, not Websters) proportion (gun laws) is for another rant-blog-post, and I can assure you it will be a frontal assault. So Johnny, might better git yer gun.
No hey, I’m really just a BIG PICTURE guy who doesn’t feel like going around saying “God is in the Details, God is in the Details”. That’s for car mechanics or computer guys and Anal Retentive assholes so organized that they can always find their tools and wallets and keys and other minor essentials. Not me, uh uhn. That ain’t me. NO siree. No.
The thrill of the hunt is what I’m all about, and the multitude of ramifications of the before-during-and-after that such adventures tend to shower upon me all the while. Wisdom. Wise. Potato Chips. Lays. zzzzzzz….
Seriously, I recently read a clinical study on what the World’s wisest and smartest people think about the most important things regarding life and living. Smart people’s opinions on subjects of substance, circumstance, and degree. The results were, uh… somewhat startling, and if you’re like me… I guess happily so.
It seems that the wiser one becomes the less opinionated they tend to be. I mean, they really can’t decide. They see too many angles, perspectives, situations, viewpoints, and points to be subjective. Hmmm… they’re more objective. Sounds about right to me. Though I agree in concept, I tend to spout my own opinion to anyone who cares to listen. I’m, careful not to pre-judge anyone or anything, but once I get eyes and ears on ’em, I got opinions, yes I do.
But at least I know I’m wrong. Huh?
Truth is fleeting at best, and non-existent at its worst. While Black and White appear as extremes to us (optically), that really only covers a small portion of the entire vibrational spectrum. Where our world/universe leans to us, it meanders, and everything appears to eventually exist towards the middle, considering our limited senses. I mean extreme is well… extreme. Way out there. All things in moderation? Wise.
Great may be more good than not, or not-so-much as Best. We use opposites to give a mental picture to relate to the vast in-between. Or something. I just can’t say. Its complicated. Not too sure anyway.
The ONLY THING one can really know is that they know nothing. NADA. Zilch.
It’s friggin’ science, by God. Or not. Not sure.
To think that one “KNOW’s SOMETHING” is to deceive oneself about the untouchable, the unknowable: THE REAL TRUTH.
Quantum Physics (see Schrodinger and find his cat) explains that one can never be certain of the existence of anything until it has been “observed”. Once observed it is then in a state of existence that is knowable and predictable. But, before the observation? It did and did not exist simultaneously. In each moment of observation (which implies existence in space/time), reality continuously begins for each of us. But, keep in mind its just for us individually each separate moment, and just in that moment in time. This does not infer Real TRUTH, merely relative truth. Not REAL TRUTH.
We all can say that we know space/time changes from past to present to future, but does it exist? Relatively speaking, yes it does. Absolutely? NOT.
Everything we think we know is merely relative. Relatively speaking. In relation to something else. An observer. Cousins and daughters and uncles and aunts and dads and moms. Relatives. But not REAL TRUTH.
How long do you suppose, an instant lasts? Therein lies the difference between the TRUTH and the immensity of uncertainty. A single moment of time. Is there such a thing? No. Its less than a flash, and a little more than never. Immeasurable yes it is and they are, but we when we add them together we can knit the history of our universe. Still, that simultaneous instantaneous moment of TRUTH never seems to exist, and yet it does exist at the same time. A royal mind-fuck of academic epic proportions? Yes. Si. Nay. No. Don’t know nut-in’.
Right somewhere, between the Yes and NO, THE REAL TRUTH hides in the Space Between, the vast immensity of uncertainty. Like going from analog (the real) to digital (the facimile).
It is only to be measured when there are two or more moments (needing the observer making it relative), but it is at the same time scientifically, historically, philosophically, empirically, UNKNOWABLE when alone. It is only a possibility then. Anything is possible? That seems to be near the REAL TRUTH.
And still the mystery persists.
All this my good reader is why I tend to cause mid-day traffic jams, caustic hold-ups, maybe-this way, no maybe-that, in an indiscernible gridlock of possibility for a House of (four) Cards on the verge of collapse. I don’t know, the Captain of the ship is stupid and he knows it, mutiny threatens on the high seas. Jib up, main out hold on don’t shout. Insubordinate chaos reigns and the Captain is the first to realize his own troubling sense of not knowing any damn thing.
What’s for dinner? I dunno. What bills to pay? Dunno. What time is it? Huh? What the Fuck? OK. Oh…
But then, our world, our society, our culture, in all their wisdom know not a goddamn thing either, and least of all where we are heading. So without knowing, I will hold the right to “imagine” possibility, or do the math and “speculate” on cause-effect. I usually get an EXTREME headache when I do that. I mean…whoa.
Religion? Extremists. Money? Extremism. Music, Politics, Sports? Exfuckingtremely. OK. I listen to old music and it ain’t all that extreme.
But I feel polarization everywhere but at our magnetic poles. So, what do we do?
I think more, I speculate… GTFOY.
Yeah, Get the fuck over yourself. Everyone. Now. Get over yourself. Find the gray area and live right there. I did and it ain’t all bad. A bit chaotic, OK.
You, me, we… jus’ babes in the cradle. We’re nothing more, we’re nothing less. To that I confess. And, NO this ain’t a guess. Pure specualtion.
Dinner tonight? Yes. Later? Maybe. When? Soonish. And then? Oh yeah… Gettin’ over myself… Next stop…R-E-L-I-G-
…Or, my Quest For The Holy Grail, which I eventually did find by spending a life of studious observation, sometimes deep serendipitous thought, gawdy mis-informed and unabashedly arrogant fun, a dash of inordinate happenstance, and then… by the most fortunately-unfortunate of Accidents…
It’s no secret to those who know me well that I’ve learned life’s greatest lessons with a kind of “ridiculous oppositional defiance”; with that line of thinking having been one of my life’s greatest teachers. Though I now bow to it as my master of destiny, I cannot recommend this course of study to the faint of heart, weak of mind, or anyone who CANNOT become completely convicted of it’s arrogant, self-righteous path of expectorating the most resistance between any two points in the continuum.
In other words, if you have to be brought to your knees and dragged kicking and screaming before some of life’s simplest concepts, then… you may be considered a candidate for my school of thought. Admittedly, there ought to be a better means to attaining wisdom. But as has been for me; NOT.
Self indulgent… yes. Self centered… definitely. Self defeating… mostly. Self aware… acutely. Self serving… without question. Selfish… morally bound by it, yet in a positive sense. Self-hatred… never and not even for an instant. Self-Actualized… I like to think so. Self motivated… once upon a time…
“WTF? Whoa… what happened Diggeratti? Why? I mean… your Dudeness, you kinda sound to me like you need to see a shrink. You don’t sound like the guy I once thought I knew.”
“You know what? You’re absolutely right. I mean, about that last part, but if there’s one thing I DO KNOW FOR CERTAIN, IT’S THAT I DO NOT NEED A SHRINK. Got it?”
For all of my known life I’ve searched for “the secret” to it… (that being, the secret oflife).
I have never divulged this story to anyone in it’s entirety, though perhaps I’ve shared small morsels to some close friends along the way; but only here and there and never enough for anyone to frame a complete picture of my personal Questforthat Holiestof Grails.
I can remember my fourth grade teacher calling my parents to request a parent-teacher conference because I was “the most argumentative boy she had ever had the displeasure of teaching.” She reasoned that I thought I knew more than she did, and that would just be the height of stupidity. Of course, she was right on all accounts.
But hey, did I let that stop me? “Uh-uhn. No sir, Not today Miss Smarty Pants. Not me. Nada. You can’t embarrass my little ole’ butt and expect to get by with it.”
Fourth grade was a rough year for me.
Looking back, it was the year I framed the questions, and then demanded answers. Yet, no answers were forthcoming. But still I weathered on…
Having grown up on… let’s just say… not the bright side of the road (a lower middle class blue collar too many kids neighborhood), and being a tad small for my age group, I HAD to learn how to defend myself amongst the sea of bullies and general fuck-wads of Louisville’s South End, while keeping the blood flowing inside my nose.
I mastered the art of “holier than thou” with double-edged insult and crafty innuendo, tough guy talk (but not too tough as to result in fisticuffs), and then finally making friends with the biggest and toughest guys so as to keep the multitude of snapping sharks at bay. Still, I was not immune to an ill-advised attempt at busting some ass myself, which generally resulted in my own busted ass. Yet, I drunk it all in and I learned something new every day.
But not the reason for my existence.
Somehow god smiled on me around high school and I became a high school sports star (distance running), bringing glory and fame to my hood and school and earning exalted status amongst the good guys and neer-do-wells alike. Life, all of the sudden got a tad simpler for me.
I run. I win. They love. All good.
Now, I wasn’t an “A” student at any point in my young life, preferring to glide instead of propel. Though from my earliest days I can remember, too many times some school person informed my parents that it was a bit unusual that I did not make straight A’s given my way-above-the fray IQ. On standardized tests I invariably scored in the 98-99 percentile while dragging home C’s and B’s on my report cards.
My parents, who were more than all-too ready to indulge me in whatever it was I might happen to desire at any moment, were extremely smart uneducated folks. They used logic and reason (and pots and pans) to argue their many disagreements over the pettiest of issues. They were never bitten by the bug of glutinous consumerism, and were just happy enough to love their children immensely, while still not setting the bar too high for them; I assume to somehow insure our future dog-eat-dog worldly success. It worked.
The moral of that story has to do with familial LOVE in it’s most raw, unconditional sense.
So… anyway, I had devised my own little secret quest by around 7th grade. That not-so-small idea was: that I was going to find out for certain what our/my purpose was on this here little-ole spinning ball of dirt sitting way-too-far away from billions of way bigger balls as to be arrogantly considered of any significance by even the most unreasonable of minds in all of mice and men.
Having spent 10 years attending Catholic School I was absolutely certain that they (Roman Catholicism) were so full of shit that even a little fourth grader couldn’t buy into their baloney ass stories. I mean, by fourth grade I had already surmised that getting into heaven simply meant winning the genetic lottery. No god of any denomination could be that stupid, I figured.
My questions became arguments with seemingly (at the time) much smarter people early on, but I wasn’t about to shut up until they told me the truth. They never did. Nor did I ever STFU… and I realized far too soon to be considered healthy for any young mind that “they” (conventional wisdom) hadn’t the slightest fucking clue. To be sure, I wanted some REAL answers!
But, that little hate-show of mine disappeared once I became a high school sports star. I was too busy buying into the BIG LIE because it was fun, exciting, sexually conducive to my screaming testosterone, and material worldly attractive as a MO-FO to a guy who grew up thinking that a new pair of white high top Chuck Taylors was the ultimate gift in all of heaven-kind. Possibilities were becoming boundless and I was soaking in the poison and drinking it up like a lap dog with a new doggie bone.
Then came College. The Life. The Audacity! I had more fun than fourteen barrels of monkeys and forty-two barrels of single barrel malt Bourbon Whiskey, any Kentucky boy’s drink of choice and one-upmanship. And, it was the mid-seventies so pot was collegiately legal as well. It seemed that the world was here to become my personal oyster, and I had the munchies.
Or was it?
Post College. The BIG BUY-IN to THE BIG LIE. Now here’s where there are men, and there are boys on our puny little thin crust of oxygenated Garden of Once-Upon-A-Time Eden, soon-to-be Sodom and Gomorrah. (Why I do love me some Biblical quotation and/or reference!). Which one did I want to be? Take a guess. Go on, git’ you one. Oh, I’m all man… babeeey!
For sure, at this point in life’s roulette wheel of fortune one can either JOIN or NOT JOIN. Not Joining will surely NOT get you the keys to the best and finest of anything. Better to JOIN if you’re in the least enthralled with power, pussy, money, fame, highly limited material items, world travel, bad golf on the finest green lawned courses, or all other humanly delusions of grandeur. Boy, I liked ’em all. If there had been a Facebook Page for them I could prove it to you right now, and they just might wish to then, “like” me back.
But then, I digress…
Some folks who caught my flash thought/think they knew/know who I was/am. I played my part like a virtuoso for them all to see and marvel about. And, I might just add in a bit of total narcissistic self-immersion, I marveled at my damn-self a bit too. Deep down in me I felt a growl. Buried under my own self-image of worldly greatness there still lay that little unfinished business of a secret quest. But, it by then had had gathered much dust.
Truth be known, when I first learned of it, I denied its existence completely, blocked it from my intellect, refused its admittance into my panopoly of raging-life-parties. Yet, I somehow felt it was always standing just outside my door, peering in my windows day and night. But, it dared never knock at my door! Denial.
After all, I was by then a star of my own astronomical proportions. Call me space man. But, please call me so we can figure out what it is you can do for me, OK? And guess what? Me being all that I could possibly be, there was likely a shit load that I could do for you too. Mutual astronomical greatness we were! The vaunted “Win-Win” in the solar system cliché ridden parlance of the day.
Now, it can also be said that in most “core value” ways I have never changed one single iota, nor would I have ever considered it as worthy of my almighty damn-self to do so. After all I had eclipsed Mt. Olympus and now was considered by a small group of people (me, myself, and I) to be of the very essence of the gods.
Tru-dat. But alas, it was NOT to be.
I rumpled feathers every step of the way up the ladder of ascension to material worldliness and ironical self-absorption. If it reeked “the best” or “most expensive” I was all in. If they said “no”, I demanded “yes”. Good was no longer acceptable. For I was all about GREATNESS.
During those heady times the elusive answer which I did faithfully seek since childhood remained elusive, yet it began to slide uneasily to the forefront of my mind and studies, as I read hundreds of books containing both new and ancient wisdom from every perspective on every subject. (Crazy enough, I did all this while driving many long hours almost every day in my profession for over 20 years).
I eventually came to the ultimate truth in an odd way; since not one book that I had read contained the answer (unless one considers “Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors” by Carl Sagan). That book stunned me to my core, and tied together various newer ideas in physics and philosophy. So then armed with Carl’s brainy wisdom, I eventually figured it all out for myself. But, still I wasn’t at all certain. It was just too simple.
Though it would be remiss of me not to mention that there had been a goddess driving my chariot during a near 20-year span of semi-marital bliss, it would also be imprudent and essentially wrong of me not to say that herein the first cracks began to show in my own majestic glorified godliness.
So… just when the gettin’ was gettin’ absolutely fabulous, the bottom sorta fell out. Plunge.
I had sunk to committing the most egregious crime most men seek out with an unworldly zestful appetite… adultery. Ungodly for sure. Un-Saintly, yes. Most un-Diggity, for certain.
On the surface infidelity may sound a bit trite to the accomplished reptile.
But here we had a man-god who had built his god-self-reputation out of all things pure unadulterated integrity. His own self-image was now rendered a literal a sham of the highest immoral degree. Having long since vanquished the various world religiosities as total and absolute frauds, I now had only to rely upon simple humanistic ethics.
Almost too sleazily human, I proffered.
Now un-deification of oneself requires a re-start of sorts, not to be confused with a do-over or a mulligan. Starting over from scratch. Ground fucking zero.
To further muddy my suddenly stormy world, I apparently was caught in the eye of a nasty hurri-karmic cyclical deluge of sorts. In fairly quick succession I weathered the deaths of my sweet (nonnie) grandmother, then my loving mother, and finally my always you-da-man dad. A personal tsunami of epic proportions. Fuck an el-Nino… this shit was bad. All wet and no place to hide.
And like a fine motor yacht that has been cut loose from its moors, I drifted out into a raging, foamy sea.
That world, the money-as-god-everything world from which I had laid the foundation for my existence, and then had built gold brick upon gold brick with my own golden sweat was nothing but a thinly veiled house of cards. It was THE BIG LIE.
The good news was that within these unfortunate events lay the definitive answer to my long sought after secret to my existence, which I immediately NOW understood all-too-well but all-too-late. I won’t say that I was elated, but I was way smarter and wiser than the fool I had left behind me.
That’s the secret. In the end your family is the most important reason for your living and being. Mine were now all dead, save my two “the real deal” better-than-me, wiser-older, childless sisters.
It seemed that almost every fool on the planet but me had known the simple secret, and all without knowing they knew it. It was just ALL TOO SIMPLE and all-too-humanistic.
But seriously, if one does consider science to be a revealing and enlightening subject, a cursory review of evolutionary history will belie my point over and over and over and over again. Read it and weep. Forget Deuteronomy. Learn the history of life.
Family. It’s what we live for, it’s what we die for, it’s what we strive for.Was I too little too late?
Suddenly, like some drunken riverboat gambler aimlessly pulling slots who haphazardly strikes THE BIG JACKPOT, I stumbled into an epiphanic episode of REAL TRUTH, that one which I had previously been loathe to avoid.
In fact, I was rather brought kicking and screaming into this ultimate reality bite (see above)… at almost fifty years of age; I was becoming a first time dad whether I liked it or not. At the time, I had rather not.
But then the very moment my newborn son was placed in my arms and our eyes connected I was forever lost then found by life’s highest order of it’s highest order of it’s highest order of all things sacred and TRUE and GOOD. Pure previously unfathomable, but now undeniable unconditional LOVE. I swooned. All of life’s past, present, and future shook me, rocked me to my very essence… oh my!
My purpose. My reason of reasons. Bang! Bow! Biff! Yeah! Oh yeah! YES. A primordial orgasm that gave its fiery commandments to me with my giddy consent… and like Moses I looked around for my tablet. And lo’ Brother and Sister, I sayeth unto you; god-life hath honoredeth me with the highest joy ever beknownst unto all of mankind. The heavens were exalted!
If anyone has noticed other than me, I haven’t posted much lately (save for one or two Eureka moments when I knew if I was gonna’ say something, I’d better say it then or consider it lost to into the immensity).
My“Ode To Kansas” was particularly inspired though it seemed I was the only one who thought it so. Someday, when my posthumous memoirs are published, I’m sure it will win quite a following in Kentucky and I will be vindicated.
What I’ve been up to lately I think says more about who I am than almost anything else I can place my hands on (which in my poverty is becoming less and less). Though my (as in most of us) childhood dreams always had me as the Hero and some other entity playing the villain, my adult life has seemed to revolve more around that theme than did those formative years. I (call me crazy) tend to take on projects that involve “taking down a big man/woman”, whom I view as a blight on our society and our culture since he/she gained their lofty position through not playing by the same rules as us mere mortals.
As you might expect, those in my viewfinder can be extremely adept at smoke and mirrors, dodge-ball, CYA, and a host of other scent manipulating tricks making my job as HERO an extremely frustrating, time-consuming proposition. Yet, time is on my side, or so it now is beginning to feel. Three years ago I wouldn’t have bet even money I’d be around to write this missive.
But even so, the last three-four weeks have been excruciatingly painful to me and those near to me. No less than 3-4 times have I stayed up all night and day putting together my latest take-down, one that if I succeed in will be one of the most satisfying victories in my 57 year timetable as boy/man/hero.
Actually, I’ve had two of these take-downs in progress simultaneously. The other is also finished (for now) and by all indications seems just as formidable as does the first. Needless to say, I am now in a state of quiet satisfaction. But in both cases, the Fat Lady Has Yet To Sing.
Many “jailhouse lawyers” have found themselves being similarly inspired by their own selves after finding their backs against the wall with no one else to “look out for them”. This keen, “I’m in a corner and there’s a thong of thugs ready to work out on me” (fight without the flight option) does well to inspire many an animal that wishes to continue breathing free air. Most of us wake-up, realizing a bad dream.
But I was not dreaming and I knew it. And though the last 3-4 weeks were brutal mentally, physically, and equally tough on my family, I had to do what I had to do. Albeit, there was no financial gain for us to be realized. Thank god (that’s another post) for all their love and support. Love is such a beautiful thing.
At about age 21 I learned to love reading likely because I moved to a town with no other acquaintances (after college graduation). I parlayed that with a speed reading course and taught myself to read while I was driving (kids: don’t try this at home) since I was on the road from sun up to sun down. Needless to say it became an unhealthy/healthy addiction of which I survived 27 years. I can’t count the missed exits! In those days I could not drive to the Quick-Mart without a book in my hands. Now, Nooks make it less dangerous (kidding!).
Those many thousands of books (of which I can remember few of their Titles) have served me well as I gracefully grey into cultural oblivion. (I know a hell of a lot about something, but what it is I can’t really say). My scope is wide, the big picture quite clear, yet some details are lacking.
But when I see it and feel it, I DO know it.
I saw it. I felt it. I knew it, and I couldn’t stop until he was, and then she was out of business. Since the outcome is uncertain, I do hope the past 3-4 weeks weren’t all in vein. I’ll know in a few weeks. I mean, I got the goods!
If it has been for naught, then our world is much sicker than even I suspected. And, to this would be self-styled hero out to save the world from its tyrants and thieves if only in this limited space, it is quite sick. I see it. I feel it. And…
Editors note: it is mid-2019, the above piece was written a few years earlier. As for now, both of these frauds are out of business. But the victory was hollow. Both “takedowns” failed to ignite, leaving the spectators wanting for more. Perhaps there is some solace in the possibility that I these frauds were identified early enough that there were “eyes on” and they were later taken down as a result of my vigilance. But, more likely… frauds will be frauds, and some later more publicly infuriating spectacle, or their own stupidity did them in. This writer though, was not wrong. He absolutely nailed it in the last paragraph where he states: “… then our world is much sicker than even I suspected”. Chew on that awhile…
“Oh, when it all goes down… look around and it’s happening… look around and see what i have found… and it’s more, more than a song to sing, it’s more… more than a song… to sing… and it goes out… yeah, and it comes back, yeah it is a feelin’… it’s a feelin’… ohhh… And […]
I’ve recently become aware of certain Corporations or Corporation that Advise folks to “Pause before you Post”. Sober advice it would seem on the face of it, since some recent Facebook and other Social networking sites have come under fire due to posts of harassment, vindictiveness, and violent undertones being made by posters to others on their sites.
But I’m led to wonder if there isn’t a more clandestine message being communicated here, and not necessarily to kids on Social networking sites. Is it, could it be a veiled threat to their own employees and contractors? I say this not a far-fetched idea from some critical over-thinking; and I’m not some disgruntled ex-employee simply trying to find an angle to embarrass some Corporate machine.
I say it from my own observation of real life situations, my own gut feeling, and real life experiences.
It seems that despite the over modulated mantra of “embracing change”, many highly profitable companies, while out-of-date with times and technology, are embracing subtle but effective strategies in attempts to stay relevant without going through the necessary pain of re-tooling, re-inventing, and re-making themselves. The gravy train has gone on for so long they resist the inevitable by using cute slogans as band aids, lying not only to themselves, but to their employees and loyal but disillusioned customers.
When those on the front lines (particularly their Salesforce and customers) communicate upward what’s going on in the “real” world, Ivory towers are feeling added pressure to come up with ideas that (don’t) answer or provide solutions to the “real” issues. They tire of hearing the “real” truth, which improving on is either too expensive or too radical for a quick fix. They already know the real truth… that the Titanic has struck an iceberg and is taking on water fast.
Their job has become to keep the band playing as long as they can.
“Pause before Posting” might just be another way to say, “Don’t bitch to us anymore. We don’t want to hear it. There’s nothing we can do about it.”
And those unlucky but honest souls who do not heed this warning are reminded to STFU, else they and their familes may be on unemployment sooner, than if hoping to get on a lifeboat in those dark icy waters of an uncertain future.
This strategy is not new. It keeps many lost souls in line much longer, much like the Roman Catholic Church once did after the disintegration of the Roman Empire. Remember those days? Some call them the Dark Ages.
So, what should one do? It’s been my experience as a self-actualized individual (but not necessarily good fortune) to “Think before I Pause before I Post”.
This means being honest and forthright, straightforward, with an acute sense of propriety which needs no pause, which flows forth in a post that sometimes offends those who most need offending.
Unfortunately, those same people are sometimes the fat slobs who have back stabbed and back patted their way to the top, and get riled when their lazy unconcern for the rest of the people who work hard at their business question their decisions. Fat slobs can be powerful foes.
It’s a double edged sword, no doubt. But, for me… I’d rather like who I see in the mirror despite the negative notch that will inevitably be scratched before my name; when I post before I pause. I feel good being blatantly honest when I’m sure about my convictions, and when they proceed from honest analysis.
Perhaps I’m self-actualized enough not to care about the possibilities financial devastation of getting fired can bring. Maybe Im just being irresponsible to my family, whom I know will suffer my consequences.
But, I know who I am and always will be. I’ve always had a sneaky feeling that some people know that I know who they are too, and it scares them. Some of them are fat slobs.
I’m not afraid.
I say to you: Post what you actually believe is true and will benefit the Corporation or others by recognizing that truth is sacred. Remember, everyone has their own agenda and try to recognize such. If they don’t like what you have to say, allow them post you back saying as much and perhaps providing additional insight. Don’t pause… post.
Timing may be of the essence. Never be intimidated by a simple slogan that subtley hints that your complaints aren’t acceptable. You are likely to be more right than wrong when you Post with conviction, not pause.
“Pause before you Post”? A Trojan horse or wise admonition wearing a pretty dress? Make your own call… but my money is on the former, and I don’t just think it, I feel it in my bones. I’m pretty sure I know how it works.
If you define truth as reality, then Mr. Einstein showed us that Truth is always a matter of perspective at a specific point in time.
In other words what is true is not the same thing from every perspective or at every moment. I think that we many times confuse truth with being the opposite of false but the opposite of truth is ‘not true’ (there are subtle but meaningful differences).
To say that something is red is simplifying the fact that most of us see colors in very similar ways, so for convenience sake it makes sense to agree on things like this. But truth is sacred. As such it cannot be trivialized. Yet we must all understand that truth is fleeting at best.
One cannot change truth, because it’s happening at the now and later its, well, too late. We can visualize it, but we should always remember that it is only a recollection (a cheap knock off) of the truth, not the exact truth. And that is simply our recollection of the truth at a specific point in time from a specific perch.
It cannot be re-enacted truthfully due to time moving on. If we effort to understand how truth can be (is) different for everyone and all things, we are on our way to finding peace… enlightenment and wisdom.