Posted tagged ‘opinions’

Not About the Game

September 18, 2014

not FBI 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…)

Both Sides Now

July 3, 2014

I’ve looked at love from both sides now, from win and lose and still somehow … it’s loves illusions I recall.  I really don’t know love at all – Joni Mitchell, Both Sides Now

both sidesThis post isn’t about music … or about amazing songwriters (a category in which Joni Mitchell is, in my opinion, near the top).  It is about having an informed opinion in this sound-bite, get-your-information-on-Facebook and sound-off-on-Twitter world in which we find ourselves.  But Both Sides Now is a perfect title for this post … and if I’m going to borrow from Joni, I thought it was only fair to pay homage to one of her loveliest lyrics.  But it also gives me an opportunity to make a point on opinions.  No matter how much I opine on Joni’s prowess as a singer-songwriter, if you don’t like her sometimes warbley singing style or quirky phrasing, you’re not going to like her as a performer.   I get that and you get that.  We just say, We like different things. (more…)

The Facts, Ma’am

May 2, 2013

britannicaWhen I was a kid … eons ago … if I had to do research for a paper, I had two choices.  Fortunately, my parents had provided us with an Encyclopedia Britannica (with annual yearbooks) which was Option One.  But if the subject was really esoteric or required more depth than Britannica provided, Option Two was a trip to the East Haven Library.  As I got older, a trip to the main library in New Haven might have been warranted.  These days, research is at my finger tips on my smartphone or my tablet or even my laptop if I’m near public wi-fi.  What I can learn about a subject in half an hour would have consumed days back in the 1960s.   And yet, with all this information at our disposal, our online experience isjust the facts populated with opinion posing as reporting, advertising for products with ludicrous claims, and hoaxes propagated as if they are real news.   Posters on Facebook and message boards are willing to take any scrap of misinformation that they find and run with it if it supports their opinion.  With all the information we have our disposal, we seem to have lost the ability … or the desire … to, as Jack Webb used to say on Dragnet, find just The Facts, Ma’am. (more…)

Shades of Gray

March 20, 2011

I volunteer once a week at the business office of a local volunteer organization, helping with clerical tasks, taking phone calls from those in need of help and serving as the IT computer guy.   I started doing this when I was on the organization’s board and responsible for liaison with the paid office staff consisting of one full time employee, we’ll call her S.   S runs the office very efficiently and the organization would be lost without her, although not everyone knows it.   At any rate, S is very direct and honest with people, which sometimes comes across as brusque.   I, on the other hand, find it refreshing.   A year after I started volunteering there, I became Chair of the board and her de facto boss, something that took us both a while to adapt to.   Last week, we were talking about the surprising characteristics we’ve seen emerge in board members when they became Chair.   I swallowed hard and asked what she’d seen  in me.   You have a hard time making a decision, Bud, she said.   You have a tendency to waffle back and forth. (more…)