Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Need for ...GREED!

Yet another season of auto racing has begun, and, like the last one, it's not about competition, but about the money. Oddly enough, we have also seen the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 this year. What is great about this is that the first winner of the race, Ray Haroun is well documented in text and photographs. The quintessential photo of him in his car, the Marmon Wasp, shows a man with an extra ordinary smile. It's part smile, part smirk. Why? Because he won the race, and enjoyed doing so.

Today's sports figures are in it for the money. No thrill of competition, no glory of being the best, it's all about the Benjamins. It's sad to see a competitive sport on any level become just a means of making money. The thrill of victory gives way to the thrill of a six-figure salary. Is this what our forefathers envisioned? What ever happened to competition, just for the sake of competing? Nearly all professional sports have become huge cash-intensive endeavors. The price of tickets to these events has climbed so high that the average fan can't afford to attend.

NASCAR is the poster boy for this trend. For several years now, race attendance has dwindled. Is it perhaps that the ticket prices are too high, or is it the constant barrage of merchandise (all NASCAR branded) that assaults attendees? It seems that the only thing that's important is making money.
For example, the just completed All-Star race was not marketed as a race itself, but as a "Who's going to win the million dollars?" event. Is the cash that important?

Think back to when we were young, and played games for the fun of it. Baseball, football, basketball were not compensated in any way other than the good time you had, and bragging rights You had no lawyer to protest the fact that you weren't chosen to play first base. You just went out there and did it for the fun of it.

That spirit still exists in the thousands of Softball leagues, beer leagues, and other such endeavors. People playing for the fun of it, no huge cash payouts, just fun. Perhaps if professional sports would follow that philosophy, the fans would start to return. Or, have the fans had enough?

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The End??

The right wing Christian nutjobs have somehow figured out that Saturday, May 21st is the day the world as we know it, ends. Why a Saturday, and not a Sunday is beyond me. However, they believe that Christ is going to show up on that day, and take only "the good people" off the Earth and into Heaven. Why not on a weekday?

I envision this event like some sort of a dark drama. The background music is the Doors song "The End" J.C. would be dressed in jeans and a white T-shirt, with a pack of Camels rolled up in the sleeve, and one lit cigarette dangling from his lip. He would perhaps be wearing leather chaps, and motorcycle boots to further flesh out this fantasy. His hair styled in a duck tail, beard shaved clean. He walks with a swagger, one hand clutching the motorcycle jacket tossed over his shoulder. Much like Santa Claus, he must go to every home. Also like Santa, he knows if you're naughty or nice! Of course you want to leave something out for his arrival, but I don't think that milk and cookies are going to fill the bill. Perhaps a 6-pack of Becks, and a carton of Camels would be the choice for the devout, while a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon, and a half eaten bag of generic potato chips, would suffice for those that haven't been so good. After all, if the guy's gonna send you to hell, you sure don't want to waste your good beer on him!

The real dilemma here is that people in other countries don't see this as a valid event. Only American crackpots believe this will happen. Does this mean that if you leave the country on Friday, and come back on Sunday, you skate? How cool would that be?

And how do you determine who's going? Looking back at the "10 Suggestions", nearly all the "devout Christians" are kicked off the bus, for failure to obey them. Republicans, as a rule are such dicks that they wouldn't be invited either. That leaves just a handful of "good" people holding tickets! This hardly seems like J. C.'s trip would be worth the bother. Would the people in other countries laugh at our plight? Would they send foreign aid to us poor slobs? Would the "Big Guy" shaft us like that?

You have to wonder where this idea came from, but then again you have to laugh at all the so-called "Devout" that think they are better than the rest of us. We're all in this world together, and depend on each other to make our way. If anything, the common people who admittedly aren't perfect would be the chosen ones. All you "Holier Than Thou" folks had better stock up on Marshmallows for the afterlife!