27 February 2012

Monday Musings...
Welcome to the last (partial) week for February, and that means that Spring is coming like a jail-on-wheels.
So, if you're planning on pruning your roses, best get started, because late winter IS the best time to do so.
In the meantime, let's see what falls from the tree when we shake it, shall we?
*** Daytona 500 postponed on account of rain.
After 54 years, the famed race never got to the green flag yesterday, and you have to admit that in all those years, the law of averages was BOUND to catch up to them (I never even studied law and know that much).
The race is scheduled to run TODAY at high-noon.
((make that TONIGHT under the lights...sheesh!))
I have to admit that as with many other things, NASCAR has lost a lot of it's "allure" for me. The "last gasp" of really decent racing kinda went out the window when Earnhardt lost his life.
Drivers have always been at risk in racing...been that way since the sport was invented.
And over the decades of NASCAR, changes were made to prevent such things from happening.
Yet, like most things in life, no matter how much you TRY and prevent something, it will still occur.
You look at the old cars they USED to race and then look at the new "cars"...BIG difference - now, it's basically the exact SAME frame underneath, with pretty much the exact SAME "body" over it with DIFFERENT DECALS to represent the various makes...(all three of them...lol).
Today's races are geared for the multicar teams with megabucks to blow, while in times past, it was pretty much 30 different teams with ONE car and ONE driver to get the same job done.
And naturally, it's ALL about being "entertained" and the MONEY that follows...to the exclusion of most everything else.
They (Daytona) are even doing away with smoking (except for designated areas), and to me, that makes no sense.
The exhaust fumes abound at such places (if you've ever been there and sniffed the air), so WHY the big flap over smoking?
Used to be called the WINSTON CUP, and THAT sponsor was responsible for NASCAR becoming the iconic juggernaut it is today.
Just all that "change for change sake" with rules and such that turned me off...and that's a shame, because I do like RACING.
*** Now, if you think postponing a 54 year-old race was a "first", try this one.
At the OSCARS last night, the winner for BEST PICTURE was a SILENT MOVIE...first time in 83 YEARS (the first Oscar award show)
Curiously enough, most ALL of the movies that were nominated for the prestigious award were some of the LOWEST GROSSING movies of last year.
That says something about the "state" of Hollywood (and the motion picture industry in general).
Used to be a time when movies didn't have all the special F/X we see today, and relied solely upon the performances of the actors and actresses to make it profitable.
In essence...they told some DAMN good stories.
I call that the "give-a-damn" factor; when you give a damn about the characters in the film and it draws you into the movie.
When you see Bogart in CASABLANCA, you just have to wonder about the character. Same for John Wayne in THE QUIET MAN, or Cagney in WHITE HEAT. The list of great actors then was seemingly endless.
Rare is the film today where a character can trump effects and permit you to care about them, or wonder about them, or even see a bit of yourself in them. That (to me) is the hallmark of great cinema.
And now, it's time for an abrupt segue (buckle up)
*** We are hearing so much these days about CLASS-warfare, and how insidious in nature it truly is, but there is another facet to this whole thing, and that is the undercurrent of BIAS (or even it's relative, racism).
Now, we all know that the lame-stream-media portrays racism or bias as purely a "white-on-black" venue, and such could not be farther from the truth.
It occurs on ALL "fronts" (all races against all other races), and it's often overshadowed by distractions meant to dissuade us from seeing the REAL issue...much like affirmative action.
What is often not mentioned is reverse-racism...black-on-white, for example.
This goes unreported and frequently ignored, because it's not as "sensational" as traditional bias (or racism).
The FACT is that this scenario plays out daily across the nation, and with increasing frequency.
When you take the CLASS lines and homogenize them to the point where you don't have AS MANY CLASSES (the shrinking middle-class for example), your only recourse is to turn that HUGE class against ITSELF, and bias fits the bill nicely here.
It happens every day in our lives, and many times, we're not aware of it to the extent we should be.
It could be that black woman that cuts in line in front of you at some store, and then tosses YOU a look like YOU did something wrong, or that Latino that wants to share HIS music with YOU and shake YOUR house whenever he thumps on by.
Hell, it could even be another white person who's about as bright as a low-watt appliance bulb that carelessly tosses his beer bottles along YOUR property line, because YOUR house is the one place where he always seems to finish that 12 oz.
In my particular case today, it's the morning paper.
We used to have a really GREAT carrier,...name of Homer Rasler.
You could set your watch by him...always there (weather didn't even stop him) ON TIME, and got the paper to your door, without trying to toss it THROUGH the damn door.
Well, Homer decided to move on with other pursuits, and in his wake, we were saddled with a plethora of carriers that must think that delivering newspapers means booze money, or a way to lie to the government and say you have a "job".
I say that because since Homer's departure, every single carrier has been problematic.
The paper would wind up on the lawn, in the flower bed, in the gutter...everywhere BUT where it was supposed to wind up, namely ON THE DAMN STEP. And I don't plan to play "Seek N Find" every frigging morning, either.
When the paper WOULD make it to the step, it was because it was tossed (from the vehicle) SO damn hard, it bounced off the damn storm door (Maybe the TinCaps are wanting a good "fast-baller", but that's not what I demand from my newspaper carrier).
Today, the carrier (I think we're up to FIVE or SIX different ones since Homer left) pulls up, open the door to his SUV, and all I hear is RAP LYRICS....and quite LOUD for that time of day (0520 hrs).
Wifey gets up early enough, without having any assistance to get her up EARLIER than intended.
(Ever deal with a wife that doesn't get her proper amount of beauty sleep? You married guys know what I mean here...LOL)
That will ensure she gets up on the WRONG side of the bed, no matter WHAT side she does get up from.
Now, I've neglected to mention that EVERY SINGLE carrier since Homer has been BLACK.
(One even rode his moped on the sidewalks, AND had a bad and distinctly LOUD muffler)
And I notice quite a DIFFERENCE in demeanor between Homer and these others.
Homer had a much better work ethic...the others have not displayed any, as the late papers, candy-arm tosses, and loud music will attest to.
THIS is a form of reverse racism, or BIAS...and it's so subtle.
What they (the ethnics) would like to do is see US move away, turn the house over to them to do with as they please (as most every other house has already succumbed to) so they can take more control of the area (as they've been allowed to do over the last several decades).
No good has come from ANY of the people that have moved here since WE did back in 1998.
And all WE have done is keep to ourselves, remain friendly, and bother no one...helluva reward for being a good neighbor, hmm?
Well, if we HAD other good neighbors (aside from ONE sweet woman the next street over, whose cat I watch every year), they would back us up on that one. We USED to have good neighbors, and they would tell you the same (if some of them were still living).
The type of people we have to put up with daily have NO desire to become "neighbors" in the typical sense of the word.
It's all about THEM...and not about "us" (as a community).
Now, while I believe that NO MAN IS AN ISLAND (as did John Donne), all I see out MY window are hundreds of "islands", tasked with being as much a bother to anyone that acts in a normal manner...shades of reverse racism, folks?
Thing is...these "people" act the way they do because they have never known ANY better...
I was brought up to RESPECT others and their property, never to take what is not rightfully mine, and to make sure I knew the differences between right and wrong. (and my parents would not "spare the rod" to spoil this child...no, sir)
I learned by making mistakes, paying for them, and then learning from the experience to NOT do that again.
It was this upbringing that made me a pariah (of sorts) when I was in high school, choosing to eat lunch with my friends of color, because they were FIRST...my friends. Helluva thing to be called a "(N-word) lover" because you have BLACK friends.
But THOSE whites were just stupid, and hopefully got their (richly-deserved) paybacks later in life.
I also am getting my "payback" for befriending other raced people, by having ethnics move all around us that have NO IDEA what it is to live as a normal person, and substituting aberrant behavior for the "new normal".
That doesn't play well with me, and it's not due to any standards *I* have set.
I follow the precepts of what I was taught, what I have read, and what I believe, and if that implies what my God wants for me and my fellow man, so be it. I have no qualms about the Golden Rule, the Ten Commandments, or anything else that allows me to become a better person by believing in them.
So, it SHOULD be for others. Sadly, it is not.
The next time you find yourself in a situation where another person (or any race or creed) takes unfair advantage of you, perhaps you'll think back to what I mentioned here today...and quietly nod to yourself in agreement.
Remember, there is NEVER the word WELCOME stenciled across your forehead, and certainly no need for any of us to be made to feel guilt-ridden for something someone ELSE has done or is doing.
You are not anyone's door-mat, laid down so others can wipe their feet on you.
In that, I think we can all find common ground...and common sense.
Have yourselves a great week.
Be well, make a difference to someone, and...
Stay SAFE out there, America.


CWMartin said...

Hopefully the race tonight (knock on wood)will be as good as the Nationwide on Saturday or the shootout last week.

Bob G. said...

Yeah, I'm gonna tune in to check out what shakes and shimmies down the blacktop (while I'm watching ALCATRAZ, unless they preempt it...lol).

Spent a week in Daytona once (not during race week, unfortunately), and it's a REALLY nice place.
The track takes about TWO MINUTES to drive past...at 45 MPH...and when on the beach, you always have to be careful to NOT GET RUN THE HELL OVER...!
Yep, they allow 2-way "traffic" along the sands...

Ormond's not bad either (right down the road a piece from Daytona).
But MAN, is that sun HOT, and will toast you sooner than you will know.
(couldn't wear socks and shoes for almost 3 days)

Hey, thanks for stopping on by today and commenting.
You stay safe up there.

CWMartin said...

I remember Ormond. We were in a crappy motel, and I remember a moth the size of a fighter plane coming at me when I pulled the curtain at the beachside showers. Best time I ever had- I was maybe 12.

John D. said...

I couldn't believe it when I heard about the Oscar winners this morning. I think Meryl Streep and Christopher Plummer were the only ones I had heard of. I guess the members of The Academy have different tastes than us members of the hoi polloi.

Bob G. said...

I think the MOTH is the STATE BIRD of FL...or it used to be...lol.

Stay safe.

Bob G. said...

John D.:
Yeah, Streep & PLummer were about it for me, too.

I couldn't believe that an IRANIAN FILM won some Oscar for foreign film...I thought the ONLY films they made there were of prisoners held by the Taliban.
(wait, that's VIDEO)

Not to mention, that film was up against an ISRAELI film...and they lost...someone pulling some strings somewhere, eh?
It was a good yawnfest...

Hey, thanks for stopping by today.

You stay safe out there.