05.03.11 – a tuesday

word

dandle [dan-dl] v. 1. to move (a baby, child, etc.) lightly up and down, as on one’s knee or in one’s arms 2. to pet; pamper

birthday

Bing Crosby (1903), Pete Seeger (1919), James Brown (1933), Frankie Valli (1934), Greg Gumbel (1946), Christopher Cross (1951)

standpoint

I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, I can feel relief, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. ‘Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.’

That was last night’s Facebook status du jour in response to killing of Osama bin Laden. People were crediting Martin Luther King, Jr. with the quote but I couldn’t find any evidence to back that up.

In any case, someone came up with it and, while it’s poetic and well-intentioned, it’s a bunch of bullshit. (Although I do really like the “a night already devoid of stars” line. Very dramatic.)

Sorry, but sometimes an act of hate needs to feel the force of an equally hateful act. If someone out there has an idea how a response involving “love” was the right way to handle one of the most evil men that ever existed, then I’m all ears. What were we going to do? Stage an intervention? Put him in therapy? Tell his mother what he’s been up to and just let her deal with it?

No. Sorry. Usually I’m the guy who hates killing. I abhor violence as an end result to almost anything. Except this. For me, it wasn’t an eye-for-an-eye scenario. It wasn’t about revenge. It was about making things right. It was about correcting an error. Osama bin Laden had done enough. He needed to go away.

And, yes, I know, I know. You detractors out there will say we’re really going to need to watch out because his followers will be pissed and looking to take action. But, guess what? They’ve been pissed and have been scheming for years. Only now they’ll have to do it without the asshole who was pulling the strings. And if that saves the life of even one innocent person, then I’m unquestionably on board. And if you’re not in agreement then you should be asking yourself why not. I’d love to hear your reasoning.

quotation

Stay busy, get plenty of exercise and don’t drink too much. Then again, don’t drink too little. ↔ Herman “Jackrabbit” Smith-Johannsen

tune

Some people don’t really dig on They Might Be Giants. Those people are complete morons. Here’s “Hey, Mr. DJ, I Thought You Said We Had a Deal.” Whether you think so or not, it’s good stuff.

gallimaufry

I can only imagine that when it opens up in June, I’ll have no choice but to like Grantland.com. Bill Simmons? Chuck Klosterman? Dave Eggers? Malcolm Gladwell? How could that website suck?

→ Christ, could Michael Moore be more irrelevant?

→ I’m not going to list all of the acts appearing at the 20th anniversary of Lollapalooza in Chicago this August but you should definitely click here to take a look. We should plan a trip and check this out. Who’s driving?

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02.25.10 – A Thursday

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word

proffer [prof-er] v. 1. to put before a person for acceptance; offer n. 2. the act of proffering 3. an offer or proposal

birthday

Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841), John Foster Dulles (1888), Zeppo Marx (1901), King Clancy (1903), Bobby Riggs (1918), Ralph Stanley (1927), Larry Gelbart (1928), Tommy Newsom (1929), Sally Jesse Raphaël (1935), George Harrison (1943), Ric Flair (1949), James Brown (1951), John Doe (1954), Lee Evans (1964), Veronica Webb (1965), Carrot Top (1965), Téa Leoni (1966), Samantha Phillips (1966), Sean Astin (1971), Daniel Powter (1971), Julio Iglesias, Jr. (1973), Chelsea Handler (1975)

standpoint

Lately, I’ve been noticing items in the news about serial cat killers. By now, we’ve all heard the results of studies linking individuals who originally kill household pets like cats and dogs, eventually moving on to killing human beings. It’s indisputable that that’s often the case.

And there are those out there who point to the fact our society kills lots of animals like cows, pigs and chickens. But, unless you’re some kind of dimwit, you know there’s a distinct difference between the systematic slaughter of animals for food, and the needless slaughter of animals meant for companionship. In addition, some critics say the dissection of animals like cats in high school biology classes contributes to certain individuals not understanding the difference between that activity and, say, murdering and gutting the next door neighbors’ dog. I’m not convinced by that point of view.

But I am convinced of this: there’s something seriously awry when a person who (allegedly) kills 19 cats, showing little to no remorse for his actions, is found mentally competent and of no harm to anyone, that’s a big, huge problem.

Obviously, I’m an animal lover and, yes, I have cats. But that doesn’t mean I dislike dogs, or any animal. To me, and for lots of people I’d wager, the greatest aspect of animals is that they’re not trying to hurt anyone, even when they are. When you hear about someone getting attacked by a bear, no reasonable person would classify the bear as some kind of psycho. Mostly, animals just want to eat and do the rest of their business without delay. Unless provoked by behavior they might feel threatening, or they’re conditioned to attack people, animals don’t really have a malicious bone in their body.

And, unless you’re one of these mental screwjobs whose in possession of a clear conscience after killing an entire neighborhood worth of cats, or you’re Michael Vick, you understand animals, especially the ones we take into our homes as pets, are only as good or bad as we make them.

They don’t deserve some horrifically painful death simply because some freak has the ability and complete lack of decency to do so.

Bottom line, the laws should be revised. Here in Pennsylvania the price one pays for killing, maiming, disfiguring or torturing any cat or dog is a fine of no less than $1000 and up to 2 years in prison. If, at the very least, even the FBI has acknowledged that the act of torturing animals will most likely eventually progress into the same kind of actions against humans, then why are these laws still so limp? The cruelty toward the animals alone should be enough to lock people up for longer but, hey, I’ll settle for whatever reason gets it done.

To help with this problem try the following links:

HelpingAnimals.com

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)

The Animal Rights FAQ

quotation

There are these two young fish swimming along and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says “Morning, boys. How’s the water?” And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes “What the hell is water?”David Foster Wallace

tune

I’ve been listening to a lot of old Morrissey lately. Actually, for the first time in probably a decade. I’m finding I like his stuff more now than I did years ago. I’m especially digging on “Do Your Best and Don’t Worry.”

gallimaufry

→ To all my fellow writers out there, here’s a good article for you to peruse. I especially agree with the part on exclamation points. Here’s Part 2 of the article.

→ My hat is off to Jonas Hiller. Team Swiss’ goaltender, who plays for the NHL Anaheim Mighty Ducks, made 42 saves in a 2-0 loss to Team USA yesterday. Hiller’s teammates just couldn’t get any goal support for the poor guy. Meanwhile, Team USA, a squad many thought didn’t have much of a chance at the onset of the Winter Olympics, moved on to become one of final four teams in the tournament.

→ A friend of mine posted this on Facebook last night and I just had to share it. Provides a whole new dimension to sibling rivalry. Kids can be downright mean to each other.