Monday, August 29, 2016

Oppressed!

I have no idea what it's like to be a black man in America.

I also have no idea how difficult it is to make a hundred million dollars for throwing a ball, or sitting on the bench of a professional football team.

So perhaps that makes me a bit of a nitwit when it comes to talking about Colin Kapernick, the mediocre QB for the San Francisco 49ers.

But we ARE in America...so I can say what I feel!!

Kapernick can make a stand by not standing for the National Anthem.

He's free to do that just as Curt Schilling was free to bash Muslims.

But Schilling got shit-canned and Kapernick has now become public enemy number one.

Free to do it!

And that's where Kapernick's message loses a whole lot of its steam.

What trials and tribulations has he been through?

My youngest Sam, was mystified.

"Was he a slave?" He asked.

"I think he has been free to amass a fortune for tossing a ball," I said.

And of course Kapernick is looking at things in a much more broad sense.

Has there been a widespread conspiracy against the black man here in the United States?

An argument certainly can be made in that direction.

I have a tendency to believe that things have definitely improved over the past 50 years.

The civilized among us understand that there were certainly wrongs that we've tried to right.

The collective "WE".

The ignorant among us still suck.

(Again...I'm not a black man. I feel for anyone who feels left out or forgotten here. I really do).

But I don't believe, unless he follows it up with some sort of intelligent statement on it, that not standing for our National Anthem will help.

And now I think that Kapernick owes us a response.

Help to be the change you want to see.

Arguing about being disrespected is difficult when you're being disrespectful.

I'm sure he knows that he made a whole lot of people hate him.

Will that help?

Maybe it will.

Perhaps there will be an open, honest discussion that will change the mind of the ignorant.

I have my suspicions.

Those of us who have evolved have recognized the need to make continued improvements.

Sadly, some never will.

Kapernick's move may have added fuel to a fire that should've been stamped out a long time ago.

The man is certainly free to say it.

But he brought himself into a fight that he can't win on his own.

And there's one more thing he should have thoroughly considered:

He's done okay here in America.

He truly has.

One final thought to ponder on it though, and I know that most everyone is pissed at Kapernick, but...

...the day we are all forced to stand for the anthem...

...is the day when our freedoms are gone.

That's no good either.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

The Kids Are All Right

Every single day since August 14 one of my kids has reminded me that the Lions were beat at the Jeff Fazzolari Memorial Softball Tourney.

We were beat 6-3 by the team that my boys threw together.

(Chris Miller - Pumba - was the clean-up hitter on that team - but other than that they were all under 25).

Now to be fair - most of the original Lions didn't even play in that game - but whatever:

"Remember when we beat you," is their rallying cry.

And this year was the very first time when I actually considered that we were cooked.

At the trade deadline this year the 27-Time World Champion Greatest Franchise in the History of Organized Sports was cooked too.

The Yankees traded Beltran, Miller (no relation to Pumba), Chapman and begged A-Rod to get the hell out while also announcing that Tex was hanging them up.

Youth Movement!

And a funny thing happened on the way to obscurity!

Cessa and Green started pitching in the rotation.

Torreyes, Judge, Austin and Gary Freaking Sanchez started hitting!

And the Yankees were fun to watch.

Running after and getting balls that are hit in the gap...

...throwing to the infield without the ball hopping in.

Castro and Didi - both about 25 were suddenly the veterans.

"You still watching them?" A bunch of longtime Yankees fans started asking me out on the sites.

"They're still in it!" I answered.

Now that's not to say that I'm not sad, but when I was a kid I once asked my Dad to picture Mantle in his mind:

"Big, strong, runs like a deer." Dad said.

At that time Mantle was a broken-down middle-aged man who was suffering from years and years of hammering the bottle.

But Dad still pictured him as young.

I do the same with Jeter, Bernie and Paul O'Neill.

But...

...our replacements are here.

We have kids to serve as our replacements.

"Remember when you lost?" Jake asked as he passed me in the hall the other day.

Yeah.

I remember when we won too.


Saturday, August 27, 2016

Trouble In Paradise

Larry King is 82 years old. His wife of nearly 20 years, Shawn, is 56.

Word on the street (the Enquirer) is that she (and how many women do you know named, Shawn) has been having a year-long affair and that the marriage has been effectively over since 2010 as they have been in separate bedrooms since that time.

Uh-oh.

Poor bastard.

First off, every single time I think of Larry King I think of the interview that he did with a woman who had been raped.

She said "We stopped for food, and when we got back in the car he just attacked me. He raped me in the car, and I knew there was no way of getting away."

Larry asked his follow-up question:

"What happened to the food?"

That right there is enough for Larry to be cheated on every single day for the rest of his life. Yet I laugh every time I think of it.

But imagine what he's going through now. He's been married, what, 9 times, and now, at the ripe old age of 82 he's being absolutely publicly humiliated.

(And for the record...separate bedrooms is the perfect set-up).

Of course, the lovely media is lining up to ask him just HOW humiliated he is and despite some pretty damning evidence he is saying that his wife in NOT having an affair.

Why would she?

It just struck me as pathetically sad. The poor guy has to live his life out in the public and at an age when he probably only wishes that he were napping, he's faced with all this.

Isn't that brutal?

But hey, Larry has been counted out before. If the whole thing goes up in flames perhaps he will find love again.

He's worth nearly a billion dollars.

There has to be another love out there for him, right?

I'm thinking he could land an even younger girl next time around.

Someone might hook up with him for a chance at that much cash.

"What happened to the food?"

You know what the poor rape victim being interviewed answered?

Yep.

"I don't know."

Good luck, old dog.

Hopefully it all works out.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Absolutely Pathetic

I'm out!

Can't take anymore.

Today in election coverage:

Trump called Clinton a bigot and she said he was a racist.

Then he said that she was a liar and she said he was lying when he said that.

He said she doesn't want to talk policy and that black people love him, believe me.

She said black people hate him more than brown people do.

What an absolute shit show.

This is what passes as political discourse?

I mean, I don't know about you, but I am disgusted with all of it.

Who knows what their policies are good for...

...he thinks she's a crook.

....she thinks he steals more than she does.

What the hell happened?

We have never had a political contest like this, have we?

And there are about 75 days to go!

What's next?

Wedgies on the stage?

There needs to be a truce called.

Next idiot to call the other idiot a name is named King idiot of the doofus world.

Garbage.

I'm out!

This is now a political free zone.

Argue your faces off elsewhere.

Clinton or Trump.

(Gotta' go...feeling nauseous).

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Three Hours and Fifty Two Minutes

The greatest entertainer of all-time is back in the United States.

Bruce played for nearly four hours Tuesday night in the swamps of Jersey.

His encore was 8 songs long and included two marathon songs, Jungleland and Rosalita.

That encore had to last for at least an hour. We saw Mellencamp play for 75 minutes one night. Bruce is just getting started 75 minutes in.

And for the uninitiated, Bruce never leaves the stage. His breaks consist of him dunking his head in a tub of water during a sax solo.

What's amazing is that he's 66 years old!

I distinctly recall how I felt the first time I saw Bruce...way back in 1983. I couldn't imagine another performer putting on such a show.

But he beat that effort nearly every single time I saw him after that. Back about 6 years ago I actually had the chance to see Bruce and the band in New Jersey. My brothers Jim and John went to the show with me, and believe it or not, there was one empty seat in the entire arena that night...

...the seat where Jeff was supposed to be.

That night Bruce kept going.

We were tired.

Bruce did a long encore...

...then he asked if we wanted another song.

You know the answer.

Bruce said, "Why not? I live right down the street."

I checked Tuesday nights set list.

He started with New York City Serenade.

That's the song where he sings "Walk Tall, or baby, don't walk at all."

Later in the set he played Santa Claus is Coming to Town."

Sounds like a great show.

And my old friend Cynde' was there.

She sent a review:

"Greatest Show Ever!"

Congrats to all who had the chance to see the greatest entertainer in Rock & Roll.

It's gonna' be awhile before you come down from that high.

Hey, ho, rock and roll, deliver me from nowhere.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Nearly September

They say that the older you get the more time flies.

The Olympics are over. The State Fair is done (missed it again). The softball tourney and pepper party are memories. The Yankees only have 40 games left.

Summer is about cooked.

Went fast!

And it's weird because I did some stuff...I forced myself to golf...and had some good outings and a few where I really suffered.

I tried to get to as many parties as I could, but missed a few...travel took a toll. A lot of jobs going made the days short.

Yet there was a moment when it dawned on me that the cold might be coming soon. It's still a ways off, but it does make me sad.

I don't like the winter.

I told the campers that the time was running short at Camp Clifford.

"I'm all paid up until the first day of school," Sam said.

And they certainly had a blast.

But relax!!!

It's not over yet!

We still have about 60 days before it all poops the bed!

Come on, back, hips, legs....

...hold on a little longer...

...there's still time!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

It's Not Funny to Everyone

When we were kids there weren't any jokes that were off-limits.

I wish I had a dime for every time I heard the joke about Italians that ends with "Dago wop,wop,wop."

I never once laughed at that joke although the non-Italian guys around me were howling.

Of course, growing up I told all the Polish jokes, black jokes and Mexican, German...

...Geez, every kind of joke!

And I knew guys of all those heritages and they listened to my stupidity. Some of them laughed with me, but deep down they must have felt the same way I felt when I heard the Italian joke.

That's not funny.

And now there's a movement out there that says, "We're too politically correct!"

As if not telling racist jokes is a bad move.

Yet I feel that comedians have some freedoms to some extent...not to be mean-spirited, but to tell jokes in the context of a well-written act.

Michael Richards famously showed everyone how NOT to do it.

Yet where it isn't funny at all is in the workplace. Most regular folk don't have the chops to be able to tell such jokes without thoroughly offending others.

I bring this up because there is a lot of tension between all races and nationalities and it's usually because someone thinks they're being funny.

I also read a beautifully written piece by a young black man who spoke of what it ACTUALLY feels like to be a black kid growing up in a mostly white area.

The jokes are told non-stop and the funny man telling the joke always says "Come on, man, you know I'm not a racist!"

The very funny comedian, the late Patrice O'Neal once said "no one has ever admitted to being racist."

And that's mostly definitely true...

...but if you say racist things over and over...

...you might be racist.

Through the years I've always enjoyed looking for the 'funny' in all situations.

I said some dumb things to people who pretended not to acknowledge that there was more stupidity than racism involved.

Politically correct?

I'm not sure where the line should be drawn...

...it's just that reading it from the black kid...

It made me think.

And thinking might just stop me from being stupid the next time I hear something "funny."

I also must say that I cut myself a little bit of a break because each generation seems to have figured it all out just a little bit more.

We have a long ways to go...

...but at least we are starting to figure out that some of it just isn't funny.