Posts tagged ‘Roger Clemens’

February 20, 2008

Turn off your TV, turn on your mind…

Schopenhauer on thinking for Oneself: “The safest way of having no thoughts of one’s own is to turn on the TV set every moment one has nothing else to do. It is this practice which explains why watching TV makes most people more stupid and silly than they are by nature.”

“What good fortune for those in power that people do not think.” -Adolf Hitler in Mein Kampf.

“It is easy to overlook a deceptively simple fact: one is always watching television when one is watching television rather than having any other experience. Whether the program being watched is Sesame Street or Spiderman, Nova or Fantasy Island, there is a similarity of experience about all television watching.”

Are you sitting down? Good because I am about to dive into a controversial topic. Bernard McGrane, a renowned Sociologist once pointed out that TV is designed to dominate your life. Think about it. You see it best in a dark room by its own light. It has its own sounds and images. It is dominant by nature. Turn it off and you might even forget it is there. Turn it on and you have to stare at it. It is getting bigger and bigger, the images are getting clearer and clearer and now, it even includes surround sound. The new tvs demand that you put them up on a pedestal above every other thing. Can you think of any other electrical appliance that demands such majesty, such visibility? No. You can’t.

And it is through tv that we have lost our sense of reality. I’ll give you an example. Think of the Katrina tragedy in New Orleans. Remember the countless hours of coverage that it got? Have the problems all been fixed? Not at all. Then how come it isn’t getting much talk around the water cooler? How come more people aren’t demanding answers, or volunteering or even thinking about it? Because the cameras are gone. TV and the media have moved on to other things like Britney Spears and Roger Clemens and steroids. We were told something as ridiculous as the New Orleans Saints were playing for the victims of Katrina. That sports were a way to heal the wounds left over from the disaster and that was bull. Throwing a ball doesn’t fix things or make them better. It only causes people to ignore just how bad things are. Sure sports might bring people together. But the tragedy which most people miss is that we even need sports to bring us together. What has New Orleans gained from the Saints making the playoffs that year? Moments of joy and happiness, yes but it didn’t feed anyone or clothe anyone or rebuild their torn down homes or give them back what they lost. The fact that these people even gain joy from that is a big example of how skewed our reality has gotten.

The allure of TV and indeed the media on the whole is that we believe that it is a good thing for the city that the Saints were playing well. Look closely though and you’ll realize that it was all a marketing ruse. The Saints got more publicity, sold more tickets, television ratings went up and they sold more jerseys. In the end what has the city gotten? Ten to twenty minute segments at halftime of games while the games go on. Imagine that all the people who watched the superbowl (including me) saved the money they used to buy tickets, even buy big screen Tvs, alcohol and other refreshments and sent them to New Orleans. Wouldn’t the problem be taken care of?

There are countless other examples but I will leave you with that one as the point has been made. We need to spend more time thinking about others and setting examples and learning and loving other people instead of being glued to the tube. Gotta go. I have to go watch the Lakers play the Suns.

February 19, 2008

Andy Pettitte comes off smelling like Roses

First I would like to apologize to the readers that I have for my apparent neglect of my duty to this blog. I certainly was going through a rough patch and didn’t have all the time to dedicate to keeping up my work here. I also would like to thank all for their participation on the second round table subject of education. I got some very good responses and some also equally good questions raised which I will be getting to later.

Now for the matter at hand. I gained a lot of respect for Andy Pettite when I watched a portion of his hour long press conference today. For a quick summary of what he said check this article out .

I could see why the committee excused him from testifying during Roger Clemens and Brian Mcnamee’s hearings. Andy Pettitte just is a nice guy. It is easy to see that he is sincere when he says he is sorry for what he has done. It is easy to forgive him. More importantly, he admitted his transgressions. He wasn’t acting like he was wronged or it was a big misunderstanding. He owned it and for that I will stand behind him and I know many other people will.

What impressed me the most was the way he answered the questions. He listened attentively and never once bristled and came out swinging. He said his faith was what led him to be honest and to let it all hang out. “The truth” has set him free. We all make mistakes and when one of us comes out and genuinely repents of them, then by all means we ought to forgive them. Andy Pettitte you are forgiven. “Go and sin no more.”

January 9, 2008

Consciousness

“We gotta make a change…It’s time for us as a people to start makin’ some changes. Let’s change the way we eat, let’s change the way we live and let’s change the way we treat each other.You see the old way wasn’t working so it’s on us to do what we gotta do, to survive.” (Tupac Shakur).

Science has come a long way from what it used to be. I would argue that it has come full circle. Once an institution that had no time for the soul, mind, spirituality or any such notions it is now turning over a new leaf. Science started this whole concept of “if I cannot see, collect or measure it then it doesn’t exist”. This school of thought argued that the concept of the soul or consciousness was myth. We are basically higher thinking computers or robots controlled by our brains.

The issue at hand was that science wanted to be able to have man fit into its concept of the natural world. One that could be calculated and explained by mathematical equations, to translate loosely. Thus, science abandoned the concept of the soul or consciousness because it just didn’t fit. The greatest irony in all of this is that to be human one had to have choices and decisions, fall in love or even hate. In other words to study the human, science tried to destroy the very thing that made us human.

Thankfully, this ridiculous notion is being abandoned and the result is that scores of scientists are meeting with religious leaders around the world to try and come up with other concepts of trying to study and understand human beings. Good luck with all of that.

The point I am trying to make is that human beings have always historically tried to be in control. All the ugliness of past wars, racism, sexism, slavery, and even in sports, the prevalent concept has remained control. Adolf Hitler wanted to control the world, Osama bin Laden wants to control Israel and the United States, the Enron executives wanted to control more money, even Roger Clemens wanted to regain control of his fastball at 40 (okay maybe I went too far but you see where I am going with this).

This is why most people refuse the concept of a God or a maker. We would rather have that God show himself to us on our own terms or else He doesn’t exist. This control is what science craved so badly that they wrote goodness and love out of the script.

Some things just don’t need explaining. When you close your eyes and you get that certain feeling inside you, maybe you should just take it for what it is. We don’t need to know why we feel very protective of little children or why we prefer certain kinds of music over others or why flowers are so pretty. Or maybe we already know and we just don’t want to accept it.

January 8, 2008

He said, He said…..

The drama continues. A while ago, I wrote this blog in response to another one (linked in my blog) which asserted that black athletes tended to get a harsher judgement when it came to wrong doing. Some people didn’t agree with me and insisted that I was stretching. Then the Mitchell Report happened and sure enough my point came to life.

Roger Clemens is arguably the most famous name outed by the Mitchell Report. The Rocket as he is fondly referred to was regarded as one of the finest pitchers of all time. No one saw this coming. Correction: no one wanted to see this. All of a sudden, people in the media were advising people against a rush to judgement

Too bad Barry Bonds was never afforded the same support. There is more evidence against Clemens than there was against Bonds, yet people out there insisted that they knew Barry was guilty (but I digress).

Back to Clemens. Clemens’ old trainer, Brian Mcnamee was the man who fingered Clemens among other people. One of the names was Andy Pettite. Pettite has since admitted that Mcnamee was right about him but Clemens still calls Mcnamee a liar. Clemens has since done quite a few interviews sticking to his guns and has agreed to testify before congress. He has even gone as far as offering to take a lie detector test.

As for Mcnamee, he absolutely refuses to go back on his word .

The plot thickens……