It's the end of another week, and what a week it has been! Actually, what a couple of weeks it has been.
Let's see...Tiger Woods made an awkward public apology for, oh, what was it again...getting caught, I believe. A killer whale killed someone much to everyone's astonishment, American Idol got in full swing with a crop of stunningly underachieving and unoriginal contestants, the winter Olympics forged ahead with breathtaking performances, raucous celebrations, and all in all some great drama and real emotion. Then there was the long awaited health care summit, a blizzard, an earthquake, and a school teacher who tackled a gunman, preventing what could have been another massacre like Columbine.
For all of you who are questioning that the world is ending, let me just say this...really? How much proof do you need? Oh, and to top it all off, I agreed with Bill O'Reilly about the health care summit when he was talking about it on GMA. I agreed with Bill O'Reilly. Seriously, there's your proof right there.
I'll start with Tiger Woods and the Olympics. First off, let the Canadian women's hockey team drink and smoke whatever they want. They just won the gold medal! Let's not pretend that this "un-Olympic-like behavior" is something out of the ordinary. They weren't smoking dope or anything, were they? Oh wait, Michael Phelps did that last time around, didn't he? Hmm, anyway a little champagne and a cigar never hurt anyone.
And are we all really pretending that the snowboarders are squeaky clean? I mean, I love me my Shaun White, but I don't delude myself into thinking you can do what they do without a little herbal assistance...which brings me to Tiger Woods and everyone's obsession with this ridiculous rationale that being a role model for kids is why we're interested in the dirty details of his escapades. I was a kid once too, and I never bought a box of Wheaties because I thought that eating it would make me Bruce Jenner, nor did I know or care who Bruce was sleeping with. I ate Cap'n Crunch too. Never once thought I'd be fighting pirates. Cereal tastes good because it's packed with sugar and that's why we buy it. So enough with the "role model" nonsense.
American Idol. They have so gone beyond jumping the shark...but it does remind me a lot of Congress, and here's why. A bunch of people decide who the qualified players in the game are going to be and they choose them based on criteria like "looks good on TV," "we need one black guy and one black girl," and oh yeah, "a Hispanic guy and girl, and a little white boy to appeal to the little white girls, and a quirky girl and a rocker guy"...and then they're shocked and disappointed when they can't actually sing. Well, they didn't pick the best singers. They picked the ones who fit the stereotype. You know who didn't fit a stereotype? Adam Lambert. Now, don't get me wrong, I don't think there was an Adam Lambert in the crowd this year. However, there were many way better singers than the ones they chose, and we won't get to hear them because the now disgruntled judges went with appearances and not vocals.
So how does that compare to Congress? Well, let's see. We voted for the knuckleheads who sit there. And what exactly did we base our votes on? Looks good on TV? Great ad campaign? Was the only name that was familiar to me? Does anyone actually look into these people's backgrounds and voting records? Or better yet, do we take the time to go shake hands and ask them a question or two when they're campaigning?
You can tell a lot about a person by the way he or she interacts with you. Are they slick? Are they direct? Do they look you in the eye? Do they come across like they actually give a damn about you? Even gut instinct would be a better yardstick to go by if we actually met them face to face.
But we elect them. And now we're unhappy because as it turns out, "looks good on TV" isn't a particularly compelling argument when we can't pay our bills or afford health care. And for God's sake, John Boehner (which I like to pronounce "Boner") stop with the tan. I don't know if it's real or fake, but you look like a clown. And that image is not helped when you open your mouth. I don't even need to be in the same room with you to know that you could care less about the American people.
And John McCain, you would also be better served to speak less. And to my own senator, Lamar Alexander, you do not represent my interests. You know how I know? I tried to meet you, I tried to call you, I wrote to you, I emailed you, and what I got, other than the pretty receptionist telling me you were "unavailable" was a form letter that basically said, "Screw you. I'm doing what I want. Sorry you don't agree." Oh, not in those exact words, of course. Come to think of it, I think I saved the letter. Perhaps I should print it up here in the ol' blog so we can all share in your great concern for my interests.
So as for the summit, I could only stomach bits and pieces. But I think we can all say the President tried his best to be bi-partisan. Now he can lay that particular dream to rest. Now it's time he gives my Senator the kind of response and compassion he gave me. Pass health care anyway. And while you're at it, Mr. President, pass some other stuff too. No need to dawdle. You're wasting precious time.
Lastly, let's talk about the killer whale and heroic school teacher. I say, "Good for you, Shamu. Go get 'em. Be all that you can be." We just thinned the herd. And parents, if you don't want your children seeing the killer whale live up to its name, stop patronizing places that capture and confine wildlife. It's not fair to imprison animals for people's entertainment, even if you want to call it "educational." Making animals do tricks is not educational. It's cruel.
As for the teacher, can anyone please tell me why it is we aren't putting him on a Wheaties box? Talk about role models. That's your hero right there, not some guy who can hit a ball into a hole. Humanity wasn't ever saved by that. But tackling the gunman? Saving children's lives? Being an example of humanity at its best? That is a hero.
So as so much of the world is hurting now, let's try to rise to the call of our better angels, shall we? Let's be proud of the people who do what few of us can, whether it's an Olympic athlete who skated after losing her mother, or the teacher who taught heroism by example, or those who can summon the courage to do what's best for our country despite potential political fall out. Let's be true to our own authentic nature.
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