Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Regarding Michael Vick

Dr Phil said today, (paraphrase) that children pick their heroes by who we put in front of them.

His show was about the football player, Michael Vick, who is back in the public eye after serving his sentence and is now... hired? I think, to play professional football again.

I know very little of this situation and don't really care if HE gets his job back or not. He's got to prove to the people who pay his salary that he's able and capable (and in his case publicly acceptable) to do that job. Public outcry will likely make it so he can't do that easily and that's between him and his bosses, sadly. Sadly, because it's about dogs and we have people who do shit to kids and other humans every day who will never be as hated or vilified for their actions and who will affect the lives of others to horrible and terrifying points and no one will ever give a shit, because they aren't animals being mistreated. Go PETA *shitheads*


In general... heroes are not who we put in front of our children. They are the people who exemplify the values, moral conscience and personal choices that we have taught our children are valuable. We don't just control who they look at, but how they look at them. Or, at least, as parents, we should be doing that.

Heroes are not just people who get it right spot on, first shot out of the gate. Heroes are also people who face adversity, who make changes in their lives and how they live them. People who bear their scars and refuse to hide them or in truth, apologize for them. They just get on with becoming better or more than they were.

I have far more respect for someone who has trod on the wrong side, realized it and made it over to the right side than I do for someone who has never screwed up. Being good when that's all you know is easy. Being good when you've experienced the thrill and enticement of being bad... choosing to BE Good when you know what being bad is about, that's hard. That's a hero.

People who go up the stairs when the building is burning, are heroes. Anyone who puts their own personal comfort or safety at risk to help another is a hero. We make much of people who do that and so we should but they aren't the only kind of hero out there.

People who walk past the drugdealer on the corner that they used to stop at every day ...they are heroes. They win in their own life and by example show others that that type of victory is possible.

This isn't a racial issue. yet we're going to have people claim that were he white, we wouldn't be having this argument. On this I call bullshit. It's about the dogs, not the color of his skin. And please, I'm all about animals. I enjoy them and have pets and treat them as part of the family but when all is said and done, they are animals not humans.

It's about his ability to play foot ball. He's a human being. We as society make sports figures, celebrities into 'heroes' but they aren't really. There was a basketball player that suggested to the press some time ago that he was just that, a basketball player and not responsible for how children chose to view him. And you know what? He's not. HE is not responsible for what my child thinks or values. I AM.

I'd like to keep it that way.

Vick's ability to 'fix' himself is sadly, being debated in the public eye. I doubt he'll ever be able to walk out onto a field without someone booing him. But.... why is that person there? To watch football? Or to comment on this guy's personal life? From what I hear this guy was a pretty spectacular football player. Worth a 130 million dollar contract (again from what I hear) ... that's a ridiculous amount of money but you know what, if someone is willing to pay him that much money then why shouldn't he take it?

Do his bad personal choices make him a bad football player? I don't recall ever seeing a dog involved in a real NFL game, do you? We have a hockey player on our NHL team who did something royally rotten.. Yet.. we hired him. Because of the current players out there, he fit the coach's and the team owner's requirements for a player on their team.

Will he ever be accepted by the fans? Who knows? The team owners et al, must think it's possible because when all is said and done they are running a business to make money not give sad saps a second chance.

See, there you go, it's about business and money. It's not about values, but we can hoot and holler and cry out in anguish about the plight and look like heroes ourselves. Go figure.

Vick has his own journey. I don't know anything about him but the little bits here and there. Am I outraged that he fought dogs for money? Sure I am. Would it stop me seeing him play football ... well since I don't much care for NFL (GO CFL) I rather doubt it would matter one way or the other.

Maybe some of these people who are upset by the suggestion that he can return to his job and make money doing what he was doing before ought to examine their own value systems. Aren't they putting something a little bit ahead of their own outrage? Righteous though it may well be.

See, I never understood why they stripped OJ of his football awards. Especially considering that despite his being convicted in the court of public opinion (and rest assured I'm not defending him for one second, just point this out) he wasn't found guilty in a criminal court, and found 'responsible' in a civil action (you know. the one about money... how do you value a human life in terms of dollars anyway?)

His football career and ever other action in the public eye (IE his roles in bad movies etc) have nothing to do with those deaths. Is he a cretinous person, well based on the press I've seen of him, I'd answer yes, like most would. In terms of whether that matters to his ability to play football, I don't think so.

Nor do I think that Michael Vick's stupid and illegal acts preclude him from the ability to play at a level worth 130 million (excepting the idea that since he's been off the field for this amount of time). IF people want to pay him, and other people want to pay to watch him, then chances are he's going to play.

I don't believe there's a law that has any control over someone's working at a job in society once they have met the conditions of their punishment and subsequent parole. The time for this debate would have better been when he was being sentenced. Then the people who think he shouldn't be allowed to play now would have had a valid say (though since football doesn't include dogs... I still doubt that this type of restriction would have been allowed legally).

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Not everything is a cause, people.


This happens too often for my liking.

I must have some innate genius for picking blogs to follow at a certain point in their evolution. I'll find a blog, usually by a quick scanning of someone's blogroll and sample it for a time or two or twenty before adding it to my list of regulars. There's a difference between my regular reads and the blogs listed on my blogroll and I also don't use RSS feed although I have done in the past. I like going to each blog's page and seeing the post 'in the wild' as it were.

Now and again I find a blog that strikes my funny bone or sets me thinking and I'll start poking through their archives. When I find myself starting at the beginning then I know I'm hooked. I can't give a better recommendation to a blog than "Start at the beginning and READ" when I suggest them to friends. Those are the ones that make it to my blogroll. I've read as many posts I could find of those bloggers and while I may not have enjoyed or raved about every single one the highest regard I can give them is to add them to my blogroll.

So typically, some evening when all my mail lists are read and there's nothing I want to put the laptop down and watch on TV, I'll start click-surfing through my old favourites and taking a walk through their blogroll. Most of the time it's the title of the blog that hits me and more than a few times I've forgotten I've gone there before and done a characteristic "Feh" when I find that I don't care for the blog anymore this time, than I did the first time that seductive title has called me on over.

Personal blogs are a little vignette into a person's mind or thoughts for me and feeds into my life long love of (auto)biographies. A lot of people say they'd write a blog, but what would they write about, their boring life? Just that, folks. I'm not the only person who lives (a little or a lot) vicariously through the blogs of others. I really don't even care if they are real happenings in the person's lives or those they wish had happened, or worry that they will, I just want to read the mundanity. If you are blessed with the reasoning power and vocabulary to take a rather awkward or horrid situation, lay it out with all the attending emotions and make me laugh out loud, smile or perhaps even wipe away a tear at the end of it.... then I'm there, daily for my voyeuristic peek into your life.

And many of these blogs go on for years, doing just that. The author gets their feelings/thoughts/opinions out on a semi regular basis and their readers get to try on emotions, situations and results vicariously... a symbiotic relationship if ever I tried to describe one.

Sometimes the opinions get heated responses and the comment section gets all interesting (though often it fades to a general noise with each new one taking a shot at a previous one rather than continuing what could well have been an insightful discussion and a general agreement to disagree while still being able to express one's views) (yeah I wish too much for lots of things, I know... annie optimist)

Opinions are great, being involved in something is wonderful and being enthusiastic and encouraging others to join up on your bandwagon is perfectly acceptable. Especially on your own bandwidth.

That's not what I'm grousing about here.

Just wanted to get that out there. Lots of the blogs I read have a donate here button for either the author's tip jar, or to donate through to whatever worthwhile cause they've chosen and I respect that in a huge way. It's their little corner of the internet and they can promote whatever they like. I've got the option of going there and either donating, not donating, ignoring their causes etc. I'm not there for that anyways... I'm there to read those scintillating vignettes that hooked me in the first place.

I'm the first person to admit that I'm shitty at keeping up my blog. I should write a lot more and stop badgering my friends trying to drag them into discussions where I can indulge in my favourite position of 'devil's advocate'. I also realize that life changes and things that were taking up huge portions of someone's reasoning power, to the point where they felt they must write it out or they'd explode become less imperative as those things change; that's not the problem I'm talking about.

It's the feeling that someone has hoodwinked me that I'm objecting too. Although, rationally (see title) I'm sure that people aren't actively doing this in a conscious or calculating manner; I have to wonder a little at times.

Do they really write all those great posts to get me so hooked on reading them that they can slip in their cause du jour without me noticing?

I'm reading along, happily chuckling to myself or wiping away that tear I mentioned and blam!

The topic has suddenly changed. I don't mean veered off into an opinionated rant I mean we are now soapboxing for a particular cause. Now and again that cause is the author themselves.

Now see earlier, where I mentioned that causes were great and the business of the person whose blog it was? And how I could ignore said cause or back it, or even take up an opposing viewpoint as my own cause? I'm still good with that. Just want to be clear on that.

When a blog has been chugging along sharing stories about daily commuting and the topic shifts to traffic laws, that's pretty natural and expected. Particularly if the blogger was involved in an accident or witnessed one or one that will result in a change of law has happened and opinions get shared about the ramifications of said new law. When someone leading the single life become a partner in a relationship, the topics are going to shift. Cool, got that. It's tough to write about the night on the town with the girls when really you made a casserole, curled up bare-naked on the couch with the new squeeze and coo'd like a pair of pigeons all night.

The writing style shouldn't change though.

It shouldn't become forced as though someone is feeling obligated to do a public service announcement. That is what makes me stop reading a blog.

That "Miss America Syndrome" where everyone thinks they can only be considered worthwhile, contributing members of society if they want 'world peace' or 'to end world hunger' or 'save the world by inflicting your views, ways and mores on a country no where near you'. I've got my fifteen minutes of fame and I don't want to waste it on me. Uh.. that's why I was coming to your blog in the first place. Because YOU are interesting. Not your ability to raise x dollars a week to feed the homeless. YOU.

For all the self centered people I encounter on a regular basis, many of whom have no idea of what goes on beyond their own little 'whirl around in a circle with your arms outstretched' worlds I can't figure how I always find bloggers who instead of keeping on doing what made them successful readable bloggers in the first place have to shift over to 'cause seekers'.


Another one bit the dust today.

I don't walk away after someone expresses an opinion I don't like. Nor even after someone peppers their blog with linkies here and linkies there to this or that agency to support their opinion or cause.

I do though after repeated postings that make it clear that they aren't going back to writing what I want to read about.

So.... read any good blogs lately?