If Only Life Had Alternate Endings…

June 13, 2010

To put it bluntly alternate endings on DVDs are usually tragically bad. They offer an absurd take on what could have been had a character made a different decision during the course of the story, and most of the time they’re illogical and trite.

But what if alternate endings weren’t limited to DVDs. What if you were given the option to re-live a key moment in your life that would drastically re-shape it? When you think about it life is essentially nothing more than a series of never ending decisions. Do I stay on the couch and watch TV or do I exercise? Do I go out tonight or do I stay in with my family?

The most simple and minute detail of your day that you might overlook could forever change your world as you know it. The simple choice of what dorm I wanted to live in my freshman year of college forever altered my life. I met some of my best friends til this day in that dorm, and they really helped me get through some difficult times during my freshman year. Not to mention the fact that some of the best times in my life happened with my friends in that dorm.

But I didn’t put any thought into what dorm I selected I just picked one. Had I chosen any other dorm than the one I lived in my life would probably be totally different. I can’t say if it would be better or worse, but it would no doubt be different.

And it’s with that realization that I came to the place of pondering upon alternate endings in our reality. Just the idea that I could go back in my history and view what my life would be like had I made one different decision is both awe inspiring and haunting.

Because it’s at that point that you realize that everything you do on a given day has the ability to impact your world in ways you never imagined. If I decide to get up and go for a run I could be mauled by a dog or if I stay in bed in sleep maybe my house might burn down. Life is fleeting and unfortunately there are no alternate endings. So do yourself a favor and make decisions that result in your happiness.


The Sad Story of Lawrence Taylor

May 6, 2010

I never care about celebrity scandals. It’s just not something that I get involved in. But for some reason I’ve always been intrigued by the life of former NFL great Lawrence Taylor. Whenever I see a book or a TV show about his life I always have to check it out.

So this past Monday when I saw a show on A&E about his life I naturally had to watch it. The show went in to great detail about Taylor’s past drug addiction, and how he was able to turn his life around. Maybe that’s why I’m so intrigued by LT’s story, I desperately want to see him break his past addictions.

After watching the show I felt proud of LT. Not the pride that you feel for somebody that you see on TV and don’t really know, but pride that I would feel for a good friend. It seemed like he had finally turned the corner and gotten his life straightened out.

So you could imagine my utter disappoint when less than 3 days after watching the show on A&E I turned on the TV, and saw that LT had been arrested on a rape charge. Words couldn’t describe the sick feeling I had in my stomach as I watched the news story.

I just couldn’t believe that after years of being clean and living a relatively normal life LT had put himself into such a horrible situation. Life doesn’t always have a happy ending, but I hoped against all hopes that LT’s story would. But now it looks like it won’t.

Money, Fame, and Excess

May 6, 2010

I’ve always viewed the world of sports as being a window into American society. Who a person cheers for and why they cheer for them can you tell you as much about a person as having a long intimate conversation with them.

That’s why watching HBO’s 24/7, a show that follows two boxers before they fight is so interesting. On one hand you have Shane Mosely who’s mature and humble and on the other you have Floyd Mayweather Jr. who’s cocky and arrogant. Mayweather isn’t only brash with words, he’s brash with actions. He flaunts stacks of money in front of the camera and constantly parades his home around for the adoring eyes of America to see.

Mosely on the other hand only looks to talk about the fight, and when he does talk about his personal life it’s about his son and the people around him. With the portrait that the show paints of these two men you would think that Mosely would be the favored fighter, but that guess would be wrong.

For some reason people love Mayweather. For all of his cocky boasts of being the highest paid fighter in boxing and being the greatest of all time people still cling to him.

And the only explanation I can come up with is that we’re a a nation of people that loves arrogance. As much as we may say that we like humility and graciousness the fact that people cheer for Mayweather over Mosley tells an entirely different story. One where fame, excess, and money are king, and meekness is only a pipe dream.

Blood, Blood, and More Blood

May 6, 2010

I’m not a big MMA fan, but I watch it occasionally. It’s an intriguing sport, and an interesting way to pass some time. For those that aren’t familiar with MMA it’s pretty much the cage fighting that you see on TV, and it’s becoming one of the most popular sports in America among males 18-35. The target demographic of most advertisers.

So to get back to my story I was over a friends house and we were just trying to pass some time until the NBA Playoff game between the Spurs and the Suns started. So as we were flipping the through the channels we landed on a broadcast of a UFC fight, the major leagues of MMA.

The fight was fairly entertaining, but what stuck with me was the overwhelming gushing of blood that came from one of the fighters. This wasn’t a small trickle or a tiny cut. This was a river of blood running down the poor fighter’s face.

By the time the fight was over the fighter’s face had been so bludgeoned that you couldn’t make out any of his facial characteristics, because the flow of blood was so thick. Both him and his opponent’s entire bodies were both covered in the sticky warm substance that flowed from his lacerations.

I wish I could say I was disgusted and repulsed by the the sight of the badly beaten fighter, but truthfully I was enthralled by the sight. Even as the fighter was on the ground, and being pounded repeatedly I cheered. I don’t know why, but I did.

Along with the thousands of people in attendance at the fight and my friend who was seated beside me. As I write this now I can’t help but to think back to the days of the Romans and the Coliseum.  Much like them we wanted to see two modern day warriors physically pummel each other and assert their dominance over the other.Although nobody was cheering for death or even permanent injury I can’t  help but to think how long will it be before blood loss and a brutal beating isn’t enough to satisfy the screaming mob.

Racial Profiling In Arizona

May 5, 2010

In a perfect world people wouldn’t be judged and treated based on the way they look, but this isn’t a perfect world. And unfortunately in this imperfect world there are people who not only judge people by appearance, but want to make it legal to do so. Specifically in the state of Arizona.

The state of Arizona has a tenuous history when it comes to issues dealing with race. But nothing is as disturbing as their recent legislation that would make it legal to profile Hispanic people.

Although the law is meant to profile all people who may be in the country illegally anybody with a shred of common sense knows this legislation is targeted at Mexicans.

I highly doubt this legislation would be used to crack down on Canadians, Brits, or anybody else with skin that isn’t brown that may be in this country illegally.

Not only is this morally wrong it’s a violation of rights. How humiliating would it be for an American citizen, that happens to look  like an illegal alien to be detained and questioned by authorities?

I would like to think that in 2010 this type of racial profiling would be a thing of the past, but apparently we still have a long way to go.

Don’t Text & Drive

May 4, 2010

I rarely listen to what Oprah has to say. It’s not that I don’t care it’s just that….Well actually it is because I don’t care. But her recent campaign to prevent cell phone usage while driving definitely caught my attention.

I can’t count the number of times that I’ve been ran off of the road by somebody that wasn’t paying attention, because they were preoccupied with their ongoing conversation. And I know I’m not alone when it comes to this.

In a perfect world people would have enough sense to know that texting and driving is a bad call (no pun intended), but this isn’t a perfect world. And sometimes people have to have what’s best for them dictated to them. Which is why I fully support any law that would prohibit cell phone use while driving.

We don’t let people drive with an open bottle of Jack Daniels in their hand. So why should we let them hold something as equally distracting?

Social Networking In Schools

May 4, 2010

As a college student it’s almost impossible to imagine life without social networking. It’s how I stay in touch with old high school friends and communicate with people that I can’t see everyday. So it’s hard to imagine having somebody take that out of my life.

But that’s exactly what a middle school principal in New Jersey is urging that parents do to their kids. As a college kid that uses his fair share of social networking sites at first glance this seemed like a harsh over reaction, but the more I thought about it the more I agreed with the principal.

Without responsible usage social networking sites like Facebook can bring about grim consequences. Intelligent adults have problems when it comes to Facebook etiquette, so I can only imagine how bad the problem could be for a middle schooler.

This call for a social networking restriction is over bearing and intruding, but it also may be necessary. With cyber bullying being the latest craze for kids it seems like a logical step would be to stop it at its source.

What Joe Sanchez Can Teach Us About Our Prison System

March 22, 2010

As anybody who knows me can attest to I’m an avid watcher of Locked Up on MSNBC. Since the show is based on interviewing prisoners you can always count on seeing colorful characters. But usually during every episode they’re are one or two guys who really grab your attention. This week it was Joe Sanchez.

For all intents and purposes Joe was a pretty rough guy. He was 45 years-old and had been in and out of prison for almost 20 years. But luckily for Joe he was coming up on his parole.

Throughout the episode I got to know Joe and I really wanted to see him succeed once he got released. You could tell that he wanted nothing more in the world than to have his freedom and to change his life, but my years of watching Locked Up made me cynical toward his latter desire.  Normally when the guys from the show get released they  go back to prison within the year. At one point I actually looked at my friend and told him jokingly that Joe would be back in prison within 48 hours.

I was wrong however…it was only 24. 24 hours that’s all it took for somebody that desperately wanted their freedom to end up back in prison. Joe violated his parole by leaving his halfway house and not going back. They eventually found him at a gas station.

This situation really displays the horrible job that out our prison system does in rehabilitating prisoners. There’s no reason that a person should be able to leave prison and go back in a day. We really need to look at what we’re doing to our inmates and if it’s helping them anyway. Because Joe Sanchez isn’t an anomaly. People are going into prison as criminals and they’re coming out as criminals, and that’s not how it should be.

Whaling vs Activists

March 15, 2010

It seems like every year activists with nothing better to do latch on to the hot cause of the day. And it appears that fighting to end whaling is the trendy thing to do now. Never mind the fact that people make a living because of their jobs in the whaling industry.

If these activists have their way than they’ll be thousands of people with no jobs and no income. But as long as the whales are okay I guess that’s all that matters in the minds of the activists.

Nobody wants to see a species hunted for food and other goods, but I have a stronger desire to see people that make their living through whaling be able to pay their bills and keep a roof over their heads.

That’s what the activist don’t see. The people who are at the bottom of the rung doing the grunt work just to make a living. These aren’t bad people. They’re just people who are doing the one thing they know how to do in order to provide for their families.

Activists want to make them out to be monsters who take pleasure in hurting animals, but anybody who willingly takes away somebody’s livelihood is a monster in my book.

Glenn Beck Makes Himself Look Like An Idiot….Again

March 12, 2010

Disgraced Rep. Eric Massa’s appearance on Glenn Beck’s TV program had all the makings of being one of Fox New’s finest hours. You had a disgraced Democrat with an ax to grind against his party, allegations of political wrong doing amongst Democrats, and a lunatic host who’d stop at nothing to destroy the Democratic Party.

However what resulted was much different than what Beck or his Fox News cronies could have ever imagined. Instead of throwing his Democratic cohorts under the bus in order to save himself Massa took the blame for his own actions. Massa admitted that he had indeed groped several of his male staff members and behaved in a manner unbecoming of a Congressman.

Once Beck recovered from the shock of hearing somebody actually own up to their shortcomings instead of blaming somebody else for them he went on the attack. He questioned Massa about wrongdoing in the White House, and specifically about Rahm Emmanuel. But once again Massa turned the tables on Beck. Instead of dishing dirt on the president’s chief of staff Massa discussed an actual problem in American politics, campaign finance reform.

Needless to say that by this point Beck was beyond annoyed. But things would only get worse for him, because Massa then blasted Beck for his usage of the words “Communist” and “socialist” to describe liberals.

By this point Beck’s face was priceless. He had not only had he had his show taken over by a Democrat, but it was nobody’s fault but his own. After months and months of seeing his crazy schemes and rhetoric pay off it had finally blown up in his face. At the end of the program all Beck could do was apologize to his viewers.

It was easily one of the best hours of TV in the history of the Fox News Channel. Unfortunately Beck is a recovering alcoholic and I think that interview may lead him back to drinking.