Vin Scully… As American sports broadcasters go, we’ve had many fantastic ones, but no one has been as near-perfect as Mr. Vin Scully. His play-by-play, his knowledge, and his story-telling are wonders to behold.
Through his love of baseball, his communities, and life itself, Vin Scully has proven for 67 years that no matter what our differences are, we can absolutely come together when we want to for something that connects us emotionally.
Whether you love baseball or not almost doesn’t matter. Here is a man who has spent decades doing exactly what he loves and doing it as well as anyone ever has. Scully is, literally, The Best. The Dodgers organization would not be half of what it is without him.
And our nation and the sport of baseball has been all the better for the years he gave us…
The Value in Still Going to the Movies
No matter when you find yourself reading this – be it today or years from now – it remains a moral imperative that you (yes, YOU) continue to get up, get out and GO TO THE MOVIES. Sure, there now exist home-entertainment systems that are beyond fantastic and televisions the size of billboards in Times Square, but what those may provide within the confines of your own little domicile, they still cannot offer what movie theatres have for more than a century: a communal experience with friends and strangers alike.
Similar to concerts, live theatre, and sporting events, going to the movies is still an important part of what makes us a semi-functional society. Do not let the occasional, disrespectful goofball with the cell phone, or the ill-mannered yammering dolt keep you away from the movie house – that’s why God created ushers and tasers! If we give up our 6th Amendment* right to enjoy films publicly, then truly the “Courtesy-Terrorists” have won, and then I think everyone can agree, we all lose. Especially the children.
Even as I get older, going to the movies and sitting next to folks I don’t know can still be a fantastic experience. Soaking up and partaking in the audience’s reaction to a scary moment is priceless; it lets you know that we share similar emotions and feelings about the character in jeopardy. Hearing the sniffles and muddled sobs of fellow movie lovers when a scene is sad or devastating allows you to become even less guarded while sitting in this public venue. And to cheer along with those around you when a nasty villain finally gets his or her comeuppance will surely put a smile on your face. Unless you’re dead inside. Or a Michael Bay fan.
A movie theatre remains one of the few places within society where you can share all types of emotions and experiences without being too self-conscious. The theatre is dark and the sound is just loud enough so that your reaction – though audible – doesn’t place a figurative spotlight on you. Much like the womb, a movie theatre is The Place for comfort, food, and safety (though, unlike the womb, it is large enough for hundreds of people and comes with cup holders). The theatre allows you to forget your own personal dilemmas or issues for a couple of hours. And if the movie you just saw was terrible, chances are you can happily commiserate with those around you as you all exit the theatre; yet another way for strangers to find similar ground in an otherwise often-too-divided world.
I’m not suggesting that everything is always perfect when you head out and go to the movies, but when you do, you’re still making a conscious, well-meaning choice to be a part of something. You’re telling yourselves, the people who run the movie theatre, and those who made the film, that you think it’s worth it to give this particular experience a chance. You’re not allowing traffic, high prices, or the occasional rude dude to beat you down or keep you from that wonderful, unique experience of sitting in the dark and watching a hopefully well-told story unfold before you.
Our movie theatres are meant to be sacred cathedrals for both the big-budget movie and the smaller, more intimate film. It lies with us to keep these theatres open for us to gather and experience these cinematic journeys. People have been participating in movie-watching together since the late Nineteenth century and, with our effort, they will continue to do so far into the future.
*Author’s Note: While the 6th Amendment does not actually cover our right to enjoy a movie-viewing publicly, it does guarantee that within all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed. And popcorn. Lots of buttered popcorn.
Dear Justin Bieber,
We just recently learned that you were offered a “very large, very generous” sum of 5 million dollars to perform for Donald Trump supporters at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.
We also recently learned that you respectfully declined.
You’re learning, kid.
Unpaid and pissed,
New York Floral Shop Owners, Philadelphia-based Cabinetry Company, Atlantic City Contractors, New York City Contractors, South Florida Painters, A.K.A., a Whole-lotta Hard-Working Americans…
Dear Fox “News” Co-Creator / Nixon-Advisor Roger Ailes,
Wow – talk about the end of an error, right, Roger? From getting Richard “Tricky Dick” Nixon elected in 1968 to co-creating the juggernaut that has become Fox *News over the past 20 years, you have truly been an incredible success at what you do.
Of course, your greed-based success has been to the great (and by “great” we mean horrific) detriment of the entire U.S. of A. You and your partner-in-slime Rupert Murdoch have done more to divide this country over the past fifty years than any racial / economical / or war-inspired tension could have ever done. You’ve literally lied through your teeth more times than any math genius (you know, those intellectual snob-types you profess to loathe) could count.
Let’s look at a few of the “Fair-and-Balanced” Personalities you helped make into Fuck-Ethical-Journalism-If-We-Tell-A-Lie-Big-Enough-And-Keep-Repeating-It-People-Will-Eventually-Come-To-Believe-It TV Stars. (Click on their links for added fun)
Bill O’Reilly – that bastion of barely-contained and usually piss-drunk rage.
Ann Coulter – a false-patriot who’d be the first to happily speak Mandarin if we were invaded by China tomorrow.
Sean Hannity – a fraudulent human being in every way conceivable.
Honestly, Roger, your time in the Television-as-Political-Theatre Pantheon has helped elect Giant Fails like Richard Nixon and George W. Bush and helped make the case for the Iraq war, which has since taken the lives of more than 4,500 Americans and which has cost the U.S. far more than 1.7 trillion (that’s trillion with a big-fucking T) dollars!
You even made the word Benghazi something 66% of male Fox viewers admit they get aroused by when Megyn Kelly or Charles Krauthammer say it on TV (proven science*).
And despite all the damage you’ve done to this nation, and despite all the lives you’ve harmed, what is it that has brought you down from your elitist kingdom on the Fox-financed mountain?
Your uncontrollable need to sexually harass women. Yep, even as your Mouthpiece Minions yammered on and on about “conservative family values” you were behaving like a Bloated Version of John C. Holmes – if John C. Holmes had a much, much smaller penis…
So thanks for everything, Roger. You’ve truly stooped to conquer. We owe you so much. Someday, hopefully, you’ll get paid back in full (and then some).
With the deepest sincerity,
Actual Truth, Real Justice, and the [non-skewered for ignorant Whites Only] American Way
Dear Pop Princess Meghan Trainor,
Just read your interview in Billboard – very enlightening. Saw that you have never voted and, quote, “I don’t have any desire to.”
Sure, for you it’s all about that bass, but don’t you think at this point – as an adult American woman – that it should be all about that vote?
A hundred years ago women around this nation were spat-upon, heckled, and belittled for wanting the basic right to vote. They were also beaten, raped, and murdered, so You could freely and safely exercise that sacred right.
It was an integral part of our country’s history known as The Suffragette Movement. Maybe pen a few less crappy songs and spend a few more minutes on Wikipedia.
Or at the very least listen to Bowie’s Suffragette City.
Dear Finding Dory Fanatics,
Since the blockbuster movie Finding Dory has already made more money than the annual budget for the entire department of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), we figured we should probably address the elephant – or elephant seal – in the room.
We know you loved Finding Dory, and we know your super-precocious 8-year-old really loved Finding Dory, but for the glory of King Neptune, can you please NOT BUY your kid a real-life Dory from your local aquarium shop or pet store? Please? Seriously, it’s a terrible idea for all involved, kind of like eating fish tacos from McDonald’s or voting for Trump.
See, kids, real-life Dory fish are known in the natural world as Blue Tang (not to be confused with Zoe Saldana in Avatar), and they don’t belong in a fishbowl, or a fresh-water tank at home, or even a salt-water tank at home. Blue Tang/Dory fish belong in the ocean, just like coral, whales, and the human waste dumped by Princess Cruises.
So please, enjoy the movie Finding Dory as much as you want, but refrain from the selfish temptation to “re-enact” the movie at home. Honestly, if you’re that dead set on mingling with Dory, then learn how to Scuba dive or get a dang job at SeaWorld before they’re permanently shut down.
With deepsea sincerity,
The Ghosts of a Million Clownfish/Nemo fish
Dear Muhammad Ali (a.k.a. Cassius Clay, a.k.a. The Louisville Lip, a.k.a. the Greatest Of All Time),
THANK YOU for showing us mere mortals what greatness – and near perfection – actually looks like. For allowing us to witness a fellow human being at the literal top of his game.
THANK YOU for being unique, outrageous, humble, bombastic, brilliant, verbose, fanciful, quick-witted, entertaining, and a real, genuine leader.
THANK YOU for never bowing to political pressure, societal pressure, or misguided external pressures – no matter how intense.
THANK YOU, Muhammad Ali, for always Being You…
Much love and respect,
Floating Butterflies & Stinging Bees
Dear The Walking Dead,
See that? That’s how you deal with a cliffhanger…
[audible of a mic hitting a wooden floor]
Game of Thrones
I figured since nearly everybody else has jumped into this pool of controversy (or pond, given the setting), and you cannot swing a dead duck without hitting a Facebook diatribe, angry tweet, or know-it-all talking head babbling over reality-TV star Phil Robertson’s recent controversial interview in GQ magazine, I may as well wade in a bit, too.
I am a proud American and a proud liberal, and I firmly believe in our Constitution and all that comes within it. So, while I personally disagree with the recent racially-charged and homophobic comments made by “Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson, I equally agree with the notion that as an American citizen Robertson has a fundamental right to make those comments out loud – however controversial, judgmental, and myopic they may be.
We all, as Americans, retain the right to our freedom of speech, and that obviously includes Phil Robertson. But despite the claims of so many people on The Right, the decision by A & E executives to briefly remove Robertson from “Duck Dynasty” was not about taking away his right to free speech, nor was it about unfairly silencing him. All the proof you need is the fact that Phil Robertson made his comments to the GQ reporter in the first place, and has since been able to speak out about those comments and defend them. Robertson’s opinions about the sin of homosexuality and, how back in the pre-Civil-Rights-era South, African-Americans appeared to be very happy under old Jim Crow laws have not landed him in jail, nor has he been fined heavily for them. He was allowed to make his statements, as is his right.
A & E’s decision to suspend Phil Robertson from “Duck Dynasty” was little more than a reflection of our Capitalist system. A & E does not want to lose advertisers, as that would cost the network money. When any company has an employee who publicly says things which may embarrass that company – or hurt their bottom line – they have a right to reprimand that employee in an appropriate manner. It’s funny to me that Republicans – the very same ones who claim anyone against the Free-Market is a Marxist or socialist – are decrying A & E’s decision as anti-American and a blatant violation of Robertson’s right to free speech. That is simply laughable. Robertson said some pretty ugly, hurtful things about various Americans, and his bosses – in this case the suits who run A & E – decided to distance themselves from his controversial comments; not unlike MSNBC did after their “employee” Martin Bashir made incendiary comments about former Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin. MSNBC placed Bashir on leave, and he later resigned. But you know what did not happen during that ugly incident? Throngs of conservatives did not defend Bashir’s right to free speech. Rather, they called for his firing.
“Those with that platform, with a microphone, a camera in their face, they have to have some more responsibility taken.” This is what Sarah Palin said about the Martin Bashir incident, yet when it comes to reality-star Phil Robertson (a religious conservative) saying vile things about African-Americans and the LGBT community, both she and her eldest daughter, Bristol, came out publicly and claimed Robertson’s own rights were being threatened – instead of holding him up to a higher responsibility.
But this is how it goes with those on the conservative side. Back in the early and mid-2000s, conservatives labeled Americans who spoke out against the Iraq war as un-American, un-patriotic, and claimed those who were exercising their 1st Amendment rights were, in fact, “giving aid and comfort to the enemy.” This last little fun quote was courtesy of Michael Burgess, a Republican Representative from Texas. Interesting how some of our democratically-elected leaders – whose primary job is to protect and uphold the laws of our land – will suddenly react more like a dictator whenever they hear something they don’t agree with.
Any time a liberal actor or left-leaning public figure speaks his or her mind about any subject that isn’t directly connected to their profession; those on the right will condemn or dismiss the individual, as though they’ve lost their rights as an American. If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard a conservative mouth-piece criticize George Clooney or Oprah Winfrey for their vocalized opinions on a myriad of subjects ranging from African aid to typhoon Haiyan, I’d be able to start my own television network. Yet, in the past two weeks we’ve seen the right galvanize support around Phil Robertson, as though freedom itself were at stake here. Guess what, kids? It’s not.
Again, Phil Robertson said what he said, and whether you agree with him or not, he must be allowed to say such things without fear of being penalized by the government. But that does not extend to our private employers, nor to everyone else who ends up hearing what was said in the first place. I have as much right to vocally denounce what Phil Robertson said. If we are to be for the freedom of expression, then it must be totally acceptable to our ears, regardless of who says what. Otherwise, we’re not honoring our rights, but rather only our tastes and what we each find to be personally acceptable.
There has to be a meeting in the middle, and that is something that those on the right seem unwilling to admit, at least out loud for the rest of us to hear.
Hope all my fellow snarksters are all well.
I want to let you in on a new site / show called Broadly Speaking. Created by two women who are very near and dear to me, Broadly Speaking is a brand new show that will be using comedy to shine bright lights on numerous issues that focus on women around the world. We all can make a difference through our words, efforts, money, and time, and I wanted to share fantastic project right when it’s taking off.
Go to Facebook and look up Broadly Speaking.
Or go straight to their indiegogo campaign to help get things up and running.
Either way is cool. Thanks very much in advance.
With snark-free gratitude,