I was a bit astounded, even in this age of alternate facts and pseudo-science, to hear Kyrie Irving express his belief that the earth is flat. My first reaction was what my Dad used to say when someone said or did something that was ridiculous …. What and idiot! But of course, I know Irving isn’t an idiot or is he dumb. He attended Duke University, for Pete’s sake, even if it was to play basketball. I wondered if he was joking or trying to make a subtle point about fake news, but given a chance to retreat, he stood by his assertion. Several other players, including LeBron James, defended his right to believe that the earth is flat. It is certainly his right but why would he … or his friends … want him to look incredibly uninformed in front of the world, especially when there are so many simple ways to see that the earth is indeed round?
Posted tagged ‘opinions’
I love the internet. I make use of it extensively in my vocation, engineering, and my avocation, writing. I have several blogs, a Facebook account with a page for my blog, Oldereyes, and a Twitter account (OK, I do absolutely nothing with that but it sounds good). I play games on the internet, communicate with faraway friends via email, and use it as my primary source of news. But I don’t love everything about the internet. I don’t like the way young people seem to substitute online experience for real life. I don’t like the way the click-driven culture causes material to be posted just to create controversy. The amount of inaccurate information on the internet … and the number of people who believe anything they read there … make me crazy. But what bothers me most is the emergence of Trolls, people who stalk the message boards and comment pages posting vitriolic, bigoted and crude commentary on just about anything. Much of it is political, over the top liberal-conservative name calling but some of it goes beyond the bounds of a civilized society. It didn’t worry me, though, because I tended to think of it as harmless … I regarded Trolls as pathetic recluses hiding in the anonymity of the internet. Now I’m worried. Why? Things like this:
I love the old days, you know? You know what I hate? There’s a guy totally disruptive, throwing punches, we’re not allowed punch back anymore. … I’d like to punch him in the face, I’ll tell ya.
You have probably heard by now that Southern California is in the midst of a severe drought. How severe? It depends who you listen to and the degree of hysteria they choose for their particular brand of reporting. It has been going on for at least three years, while some sources see it as part of a 15 year mega-drought and others say it has been proceeding for decades. California governor, Jerry “Moonbeam” Brown, never one to shy away from hyperbole for politics’s sake, has called it epochal. This is for certain … reservoirs are historically low, some virtually empty. The state has mandated a 20% reduction in water use, with individual counties and cities determining how to enforce the reduction. In most places, hosing down driveways and patios or using a hose to wash a car can result in $500 fine. Most cities have also instituted a twice a week watering rule that also limits how long you can water on each sprinkler station. Here in Anaheim Hills, even numbered homes water on Thursday and Sunday and odd ones water on Wednesday and Saturday for a maximum of 8 minutes each station. I have read that in Socal’s warm summer climate, lawns can not survive that level of watering. (more…)
I am a football fan. I am often a reluctant football fan for a variety of reasons. As much as I enjoy the games, I dislike the degree of importance we give them and the way we idolize athletes because they can throw or catch a ball … or knock another man to the ground. While I don’t idolize the players, I do enjoy watching the sometimes amazing athletic feats the games bring into our family room. But I have to say I’d enjoy them a lot more if I didn’t have to listen to the constant chatter of announcers explaining every play as if it were rocket science. That’s probably because I don’t have something they call football intelligence. Then there’s sports-talk, twenty-four hours a day, the place I go for information on the teams I follow and the games I’ve missed. Unfortunately, the media, aiming for a younger demographic than Older Eyes favors smack-talking announcers and ex-jocks who’d rather create artificial sports controversies and offer sophomoric social commentary than actual report on sports. (more…)
It would be easy for me not to vote here in the California elections. I live in an enclave of conservatism in a state that is resoundingly Democratic. Our electorate continues to send an assortment of clowns to Sacramento, our state capital, where they continue to drive this once prosperous state toward bankruptcy. My vote is like straw in the wind. It is absolutely certain where our electoral votes will go in any presidential election regardless of how I vote, and congressional elections are pretty much predetermined, too. The barrage of soundbite political ads on TV, one-liner political mail and phone calls at the dinner hour do nothing to increase the likelihood that I’ll vote. The initiative system, which supposedly gives anyone an opportunity to put an issue on the ballot in recent years has been about bond issues (which always seem to pass, regardless of how much and how ridiculous the cause given the state of the State) and initiatives hiding under organizational names like Citizens Against Medical Abuse. If I just dig a bit and see who’s paying for the process of getting the initiative on the ballot, I can figure out which special interest group has co-opted the initiative process.
I am a sports fan and I probably will be until the day I die but there are times I wonder why. Sometimes, I wonder why I care about whether spoiled soon-to-be-millionaire college athletes win or lose just because they wear the name of the university where I got my graduate degree on their shirts. I watch unsportsmanlike behavior on the field and unseemly behavior off the field by young men who have been treated like stars since junior high. I see boorish behavior in the stands by fans and over-the-top taunting of opponents on internet message boards and sports websites. I listen to sports talk bozos who sound like overgrown adolescents with opinions to match. I wonder, Do I really want to be associated with these people? I get to see men who are making millions for playing a freaking game sound and act like hoodlums on and off the field and wonder, Why do we deify these people? (more…)