Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Random Thoughts in my Head

I often have random thoughts, observations and questions that pop into my head, and I thought maybe some of you out there had noticed some of these same things, as well. If not, maybe you can get some entertainment from reading these things. Either way, it’s my blog, so I figured I’d share the things that have been running around my mind.

If Snickers Ice Cream continues to add more and more “chunks of Snickers” at its current rate, how soon before it becomes just a whole Snickers Bar?

I find it infuriatingly ironic when reality-TV stars reveal personal or secret information while being videotaped, and seem oblivious to the fact that the very things they are saying will be openly broadcast to the public in a few weeks time. Even worse is when those same reality stars then complain about their lack of privacy and invasion of personal space…while speaking into the video-camera that follows all the happenings of their life. Have they really not figured it out?

If people get their area code tattooed on their body, and then move to somewhere with a different area code, wouldn’t they pretty much be guaranteed the “low man on the totem poll” status in that community for as long as they remain there?

Ringo Starr has to be the luckiest and most famous “coat-tail rider to fame” of all time. The only other person that can be argued in this situation would be Robin, and he and Batman aren’t even real, which really hurts his case.

I bet it was really tough for Richard Gere during the filming of his new romantic comedy with Diane Lane, titled “Nights in Rodanthe.” The last time Gere and Lane starred together in a film (Unfaithful), Lane played Gere’s adulterous wife, cheating on him with a much younger Spanish dude. I’m sure when Gere gets into character, it’s very hard for him to forget about his past movie with Lane and act all “luvy-duvvy” for this new one. I mean, you know he has to be hurting on the inside after the way she acted. I believe in forgiveness and second chances, but the man is only human. Would you be able to forget something like that? I didn’t think so.

Speaking of, if Richard Gere married Little Richard (and took his surname), his married name would be Richard Richard.

I recently saw the movie “Teen Wolf” on TV, and in turn found one of my all-time favorite quotes:

"I have three rules which I live by: Never get less than 12 hours sleep, never play cards with a guy who has the same first name as a city, and never go near a lady with a tattoo of a dagger on her hand. Now you stick with that, and everything else is cream cheese." -Basketball coach from “Teen Wolf

It’s hard to find advice any better than that.


Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Why Tom Brady Should Have Seen It Coming

If you are even a casual sports fan, then you are most certainly aware of the devastating injury suffered by New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. The reigning NFL MVP went down in Week 1 after a low blow to his leg left him with a shredded left knee. His torn ACL and MCL forced season-ending surgery upon him, a loss that has had a deep impact on both the Patriots and the NFL in general (not to mention all the Tom Brady fantasy-owners). After the N.Y. Giants pulled off their impossible Super Bowl upset last season, the Pats were left with an 18-1 record and future years of psychiatric counseling. Now, before the first quarter of their new season even ended, they are left with even more uncertainty and disappointment. Once Brady’s knee, and subsequently, the Patriots season were shot to hell, the chances of New England avenging their Super Bowl failure became very bleak, very fast. However, Brady and NFL fans alike should have seen it coming.

Brady is one of the most recognizable stars in the NFL, for a couple of reasons. He is arguably the league’s best quarterback. He has led the Pats to three Super Bowl victories in less than a decade, and set a single-season NFL record last year with 50 touchdown passes. But off the field, he’s a star too. Why? Well despite being a great quarterback, he is very popular among the ladies. Ask any female age 16-50 why they know who Tom Brady is, and they might stop drooling just long enough to tell you. Brady is considered a heart-throb, a pretty boy jocks that every other guy in the world hates. He has a chin dimple and one of those “oops I forgot to shave and now I look like a male model” beards. Instead of shooting commercials for Nike or Gatorade, he has photo shoots for GQ and Diesel for Men. And to top it all off, he is dating the world’s richest super model. He’s good looking and extremely talented - which is exactly why he got hurt.

Now I would never wish an injury on anyone, especially one like Tom Brady suffered. But the world has a way of evening itself out, and Brady’s situation only adds evidence to this notion. The Pats quarterback had it all: fame, fortune, success, and popularity. He should have realized that no one can be that lucky and have it last. You can’t have your cake and eat it too. If you are good looking, talented, and rich, you are destined to have the world smack you square in the face. Brady is a product of karma, and the inevitable process of the universe creating a level playing-field. One person can’t have it all. The injury is a terrible setback, but it also allows Brady to see that there are other powers at work, and that you cannot always control your own destiny. Mother Nature is fair and just.

There are plenty of people that do not fall into the Tom Brady trap, meaning they do not have the best of both worlds. Look at Jack Black, for example. He is a very funny guy and an extremely talented actor, but not particularly easy on the eyes. Hayden Christiansen fits the mold, as well. The young Hollywood stud is a great looking young kid, but has been a complete bomb as a lead actor. His most recent movies (Awake, Jumper) were box office duds, and his role as Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars: Episodes II and III was widely criticized. The same is seen in sports. Andy Roddick may be considered a “hottie” by the female population, but he can’t win a big tennis match to save his life. If a major championship match was on the line, I would put money on my grandmother to sweep Roddick, 6-0, 6-0, 6-0.

Do you remember Jesse Palmer? The former “Bachelor star” and backup-QB may have had his choice of ladies, but completing passes and throwing touchdowns was a mountain he could not seem to climb. Peyton Manning can attest to the law of nature as well. He’s an MVP, Super Bowl winner, future Hall of Famer, and QB extraordinaire. He has endorsements with Gatorade, Sony, Oreo Cookie, Sprint, Master Card, and many more. However, you probably will not see him as an Abercrombie & Fitch model any time soon. All of these guys are safe, because they weren’t handed everything they could want on a silver platter. It doesn’t always pay to have it all. (Note: this law of nature only applies to men, not women. I don’t make the rules, I just explain them.)

Tom Brady’s unfortunate injury should also be a “heads-up” to any other celebs out there that seem to have the universe at their disposal. Their wake-up call could be just around the corner. John Mayer is one of them. He has won multiple Grammy Awards, has numerous multi-platinum albums, and has dated the likes of Jennifer Love Hewitt, Jessica Simpson, Minka Kelly, and Jennifer Anniston. My advice to John is to be very, very careful of what may be coming. Reggie Bush should be on watch, as well. The former Heisman Trophy winner and USC stand-out is a rising star in the NFL. His contracts with Adidas and Subway and relationship with reality star Kim Kardashian only set him up for a strong reality check.

Finally, I would be remiss to leave the crowned king of this category off the list: Brad Pitt. The movie star has been idolized by women across the world for years. He dumped Jennifer Anniston, and got Angelina Jolie in return. He makes more money than he knows what to do with, and is one of the most sought after actors in all of Hollywood. If anyone should watch their back, it’s Brad Pitt.

(Another note: If you’re wondering why David Beckham isn’t on the list, it’s because he has to play professional soccer in the U.S., and that’s punishment enough.)

While Tom Brady’s injury was a terrible event for him, his team, his fans, and the NFL, it was simply proof that there are other authorities at work out their in the universe, setting the world straight and keeping everyone as humble as possible. Next year, Tom Brady will come back just as strong, just as talented, and just as bombarded by screaming women as he has been for years. But you can rest assured that when the going gets good, Brady will be looking over his shoulder and acting on his best behavior. He now knows what the universe can do.


Thanks for reading.

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Influence of Rolling Stone

If you have yet to hear, the 2008 Presidential Election is kind of a big deal. Obama v. McCain has become a modern day “Ali v. Frazier” – the Thrilla in D.C., if you will. The nation has been gearing up for one of the most groundbreaking elections of all time, as well as one of the most tightly contested. And of the many (many) issues surrounding this election, getting young people involved and interested is one of the front-runners. The ever popular 18 to 24 year old demographic has been the main target of both campaigns, as celebrities and professional athletes across the country have been encouraging voter registration among the youth of America. Many corporations and organizations have been working hard to draw light on the candidates from both sides and inform those voting on every issue possible. One of these many organizations is Rolling Stone Magazine.

Rolling Stone is arguably the most notable entertainment magazine in the United States, focusing mainly on music and film. However, the printed issues of late have been taking on a political frame, investing a lot of pages to the upcoming election in November. The magazine has always had stories regarding politics or current events, but the 2008 race for the presidency has been the feature story numerous times in the past year, with one man at the center of it all: Barack Obama. If you have gotten your eyes on a Rolling Stone in recent months, then you have clearly seen the mag’s stance concerning the election. Obama has been featured on the cover twice this past summer, with an “anti-Bush” caricature recently gracing the front as well. While Rolling Stone has always been anything but shy concerning their liberal standpoint, one has to wonder if the overwhelming bias is actually a wise choice.

I personally think it is a good thing that Rolling Stone has devoted so much of their effort toward promoting voter registration and educating its readers on the election. I like that they are pushing for young people and the alternative crowd to get involved and exercise their right to vote, but I am not necessarily a fan of the way they have gone about it. The organization has every right to take whatever stance or viewpoint they choose and be as biased as they want when covering the political race. But is this the best way to inform their population of readers?

Having such a biased viewpoint gives the reader only half of the story; they see only the positives of Obama and the negatives of everyone else. Now, there is nothing stopping the reader from putting down Rolling Stone or reading reports from both sides, but nothing is forcing them to either. The magazine has taken it on as its responsibility to inform the readers on the election and the candidates, but there appears no desire to be impartial in doing so.

Rolling Stone is not, however, the only association that can be accused of taking a bias political position. Fox News is constantly criticized for their more conservative stance, and the New York Times is often blamed for being “too liberal”. Even the media as a whole is habitually charged as being more on the liberal side. All of this leads to the question of whether this bias is right or wrong. If an organization makes it a priority to cover the ’08 Election, should they also have to give a more fair and balanced political position? Is the information truly helpful if it only shows one side? Is it fair for the audience to listen to or read bias information, and not be able to directly oppose or question the source on their point of view?

When viewing the situation as a whole, I feel it is much better to be informative in an objective manner as opposed to a subjective one. I feel it is the responsibility of journalists to give a neutral influx of info to the population, and then allow them to make a decision purely on their own, without pressure or partiality for either side. I believe giving each potential voter complete independence and self-determination in their decision makes for a more well-informed and conscientious vote. Bob Dylan once said, “You don’t need a weather man to know which way the wind blows.” People are capable of making their decision all on their own. For what it’s worth (probably not much), I tend to agree with that.

America has been given the ability and liberty to vote in a democratic society, but it has also given the press the freedom to present their information in whatever way they see fit. If they choose to be biased in that approach, then so be it. Time will only tell what affect it may have.



Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

College

Remember the movie Home Alone? A family accidently forgets their son when they go off on vacation, leaving the young kid to wake up that morning and find himself all alone. Now, while it is unlikely that this scenario would happen in real life, it does make for an entertaining movie. And after starting my first week of college at THE Ohio University, I realized something else about the film: it is a perfect mirror of college life.

If you have seen the movie, you are most likely wondering how a young kid setting clever booby-traps to save himself and his home from a couple of burglars mirrors college, but that's not the part I am talking about. I'm talking about the first half hour or so of the movie, right after the family leaves, when Kevin McCallister (played by Macauly Culkin) realizes that he is completely by himself, completely free to do whatever he wants. He has no parents or annoying siblings around to control him or tell him what to do. He plays loud music. He runs around his house and screams at the top of his lungs. He eats junk food, jumps on the bed, and stays up as late as he wants. He has no adult supervision to spoil his good time. Do you remember the part where he opens his front door, and then rides a sled down his steps, out the door, and into the front yard? He knew it was a dangerous and dumb idea, but he did it anyway. He did it because he could. There was no one there to tell him not to.

Any of that sound familiar? If you are a new college student, like me, on your own for the first time in your life, then it most likely sounds very familiar. No parental control...eating junk food...staying up as late as you want...riding a sled down a flight of stairs; if that isn't an ideal description of college, then I don't know what is.

However, Kevin's good time did not last forever. He quickly discoverd that he had to do his own laundry and clean up after himself. He realized that he had to buy his own groceries if he ever wanted to eat again. All the nagging chores that Kevin never had to do suddenly became his responsibility. He even began to miss his family, and saw how lonley it can be at times when you're on your own.


This is the ugly side of college life: doing laundry, buying food, taking responsibility for yourself. It really makes you wonder how your mom could do it for all those years. Kevin gained a new respect for his family and his loved ones by being on his own. He saw how difficult it could be in the real world. He realized that riding a sled down the stairs is not the smartest thing to do; in other words, he learned something. He gained an understanding of what it takes to grow up and be on your own. Isn't that the point of college?

College has the rair ability to be both terrifying and exhilarting at the exact same time. It's just like chasing tornadoes; the sight and spectical of the whole thing is unbelievably thrilling, but there is still that possibility you will get picked up and tossed flat on your face somewhere a few miles away...or something like that. And while you may not have to defend yourself against crazed burglars and criminals, you do have to pass chemistry, statistics, and philosophy 101 (which at times can be just as scary).

In the end, Kevin's family came home to find the house in one piece, the laundry done, and the refridgerator stocked. In that short time, he had grown up. He discovered why he couldn't stay up all night or binge on ice cream and pizza. He had seen the dark side of the whole "sled down the stairs" thing. In the end, he was better prepared to make it on his own.

Sounds like college to me.

Thanks for reading.