Sunday, September 25, 2016

Sunday morning rambles

I wanted to do a cleaner, leaner, more focused post but I expended a lot of time and energy on Favorite Album Friday, and I thought I'd have the house to myself all day today but the in-laws are going to a football game and cannot watch my four year old while my six year old attends yet another birthday party. So I'll just do a genuine "stream of consciousness" and then make the Blogger rounds tonight once the fam returns from the bday party.

There is a lot to be stressed out about these days, in my home life and in the world. But I do have a few decent things going on that serve as temporary distractions.

My Red Sox have won 10 games in a row, and are red-hot heading into the playoffs. An AL East crown is all but certain, and I'm starting to believe that this team can win this year's World Series  -- if the Sox can find a reliable third starter behind 22-game winner Rick Porcello and $217 million ace David Price (who is 0-8 lifetime in postseason starts), and if the baseball gods do their part and keep the Chicago Cubs out of the World Series because that team scares the hell out of me.

Oh, who am I kidding? I would love to see a Cubs-Red Sox series. And I would be absolutely 100% okay with losing to Kris Bryant, Jon Lester, and the rest of Theo Epstein's squad. Next year.

My Favorite Girl hasn't posted anything on any social media platform in quite a while. Last week I was worried, and I sent her that anonymous message just to see if she'd respond. But I think now it's time to let her go for good. It is what it is... which is nothing. I hope she's okay, but I can't keep checking her pages to find out. Whatever I was supposed to learn from her never stuck with me anyway. Time to move on.

Taryn, you're My Favorite Girl now.

I've been watching a lot of TV lately, which is weird because I didn't think I'd have anything to watch once Castle ended. But I've got three new shows to watch - Designated Survivor, Pitch, and The Good Place - which airs right after Superstore. The in-laws have HBO so whenever I go there I bingewatch Ballers, and Any Given Wendesday because I'm a big Bill Simmons fan. That's six frickin' shows - and that doesn't include Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (which I watch online.)

I was reading an article about South Park on Bill Simmons' sports/pop culture/news website The Ringer and I had to share this with you guys because this is exactly how I feel about life and staff writer Mark Titus articulated it a thousand times better than I ever could have. (I don't have time to sign up for a Genius account and annotate this, so I'll just copy some key sections (full article here)

I'll preface this by saying that I don't watch much South Park anymore (though I probably should) but the fact that it is now in its 20th season makes me feel really old. I was in high school when it debuted, and my friends and I quoted and discussed the first season episodes every day in the cafeteria, in the classroom, and in the hallways. It's refreshing to know that kids today are doing the same thing we did back in the day, sort of like seeing a 14 year old wearing a Nirvana shirt.

I'm picturing Taryn wearin' this.

But the article - and the paragraphs that jumped out at me - were about much more than just an adult cartoon:
It feels like America is growing more divided with each passing day, and maybe that’s a result of us generally hearing from two sides when an issue arises. Something happens, Side A yells about how wrong it is, and Side B counters by yelling about how right it is. Then Side A and Side B shout at each other in hopes that calling the opposition idiots loud and often enough will eventually get people to change their minds. But there’s a third side in most cases, and that side is made up of people like me, who wish everyone would calm down and shut the hell up already.

It’s on this third side — Side C, we’ll call it — where South Park thrives. Side C typically remains silent about important issues. We watch from afar, content to stay out of things because we know that sharing our opinion, 140 characters at a time, on the complexities facing modern society is a fool’s errand. As debates rage on, Side A and Side B become more entrenched in their beliefs, while it’s easy for those of us on Side C to contemplate our place in the world.

We notice that most people we interact with seem to have strong opinions about everything, and start to wonder if maybe we’re the ones who are wrong for not calling strangers “pieces of shit” on the internet. Am I the only one who has too many personal problems to start having problems with other people, too? Am I the only one who just wants everyone on Side A and Side B to take FIVE FUCKING SECONDS to put themselves in the other side’s shoes? Just when I start to think I’m the lone impartial observer, South Park comes along and says, “No. No, you aren’t.”

Trevor Noah brought up a similar point on The Daily Show while lamenting how the news (especially on social media sites like Facebook) has become so filtered to fit our already-entrenched views  that we don't even encounter opposing viewpoints. And to illustrate this point, he spent an entire show discussing Tomi Lahren.

She's pretty racist

You're right, Trevor. I have no idea who this person is. Let's hear what she has to say...

Awww hell naw! You tear that bitch apart, Trevor. DO IT NOW!!!

What?!?! No! No no NO! Stop fangirling over Racist Barbie!! The hell is wrong with you? Stewart!!!!!!

Oh, right...Jon Stewart's retired. Well, if you want to hear a decent smackdown of this future Fox News employee you can watch this video.'t. Cause that's just going to make you angry - either at the "Libtards" who dare criticize Tomi's take, or at Tomi herself.

I admit I fell into the "Side A/Side B" trap over this particular Daily Show episode. And then I read this comment re:Trevor's soft take...

Because this would actually drive someone like Tomi crackers (more crackers, that is.) She expects everyone that opposes her to attack with vitriol, and that just feeds her runaway ego. But just treating her like the breezy nothing joke she actually is? She won't know how to handle it.

Is that why Trevor Noah played it light and sweet? I didn't get that impression. But then again I may be too hardened by divisive political rhetoric to recognize it.

Maybe I need to watch more South Park.

Be nice to each other, m'kay?



  1. Just watched Designated Survivor and it's a real winner. I think you'll like it.

  2. I loved your remark - "140 characters at a time, on the complexities facing modern society is a fool’s errand." I have had nothing to do with Twitter and Twitter followers but instinctively I am appalled by the notion that any observations on life can be filtered down to just 140 characters. Sometimes you need 140 words, 140 chapters or 140 libraries and you still don't get there.