Fahrenheit 451


So many errands to run today… I may need to re-evaluate my priorities. I no longer live my life by schedules, except for two things – Ben has to be at school at 0900 and be picked up at 1520. But if I am going to let my mood for the whole day be decided by whether or not I am done writing the blog at 0845, I need to seriously think about things.

Today is the celebration of so many things. First it’s NAVY DAY. First celebrated in 1922 to honor former President Theodore Roosevelt (who was big on the Navy, including “The Great White Fleet,” something no President would even consider today) on the anniversary of his birthday. After WWII, it sort of faded with the mothballing of the Navy. When Admiral Zumwalt came to the CNO’s office in the 70’s he tried to reignite it with mixed success. Now that the DDG-1000 has been commissioned Navy Day today recalls the great days of yore, and the leadership and innovations of Admiral Zumwalt.

January 1982

January 1982

Seven years ago today, I was in Los Angeles, at Cedar-Sinai Hospital, fully expecting my baby sister, Deanna, to die. She pulled through thanks to the great care there and today we celebrate her 43rd birthday. Once upon a time we were told that she wouldn’t survive that first week. The day she was born I threw the best block of my football career and sprang Tucker for a touchdown that beat our rivals. A few hours later we learned Deanna had been born, and on the day which marked the very first time I ever saw my father cry, we heard that we might lose her. Forty-three years later, we celebrate an amazing life filled with joy and pain.

Today, by the by, is Christmas! It is the birthday of my good friend, Jesus. Un muy feliz cumpleaños, amigo!

As far as the World Series goes, I am naturally inclined, as a National League guy, to pull for the Cubs. On the other hand, the Indians are almost an equally attractive team, and I do love the way they are using the pitching staff. But here’s the thing, when teams have had a long drought of championships and then the finally win one, they tend to become…. well… jerks.

The Red Sox finally got off the snide in 2004, and became one of the most hated teams ever. With their cheating and Boston snobbery, it was easy to hate them more each year. The White Sox finally won in 2005, and instantly became baseball bitches. Their manager got such a big head that even the White Sox couldn’t stand him anymore and he went on to fail spectacularly in Miami. The Angles won in 2002, and pretty much the entirety of Orange County has hated Mike Scioscia ever since (he is my all time favorite player by the by). The Giants and their even year three-peat were already disliked by pretty much everybody outside the Bay Area (sorry, Giant fan, but it’s true. Travel a bit and see what I mean). And when they beat Kansas City in seven, it didn’t help their reputation any. Even Kansas City finally winning turned them into petulant losers again.

So from that point of view, do I want the Indians or the Cubs to become jerks? Frankly, Indians manager Terry Francona, has more experience in being a jerk as he was the manager of the Red Sox for their wins. And last night he suffered his first ever World Series Game loss. But dang if he didn’t handle it with class and dignity. 

So I am still pulling for the Cubs (slightly), but understand this, I am prepared to hate them if they let it go to their heads.

debate-snl_1475430264488_2122470_ver1-0Donald Trump has “slammed the media” again, proclaiming them to be the “largest pile on in history.” More than anything else, it’s the Donald’s misunderstanding of the 1st Amendment and his faux indignity at his treatment by the media that causes me to not fill in the little circle next to his name on my ballot. He wants to be the President of the United States, and he demands that SNL be shutdown and cancelled after the dared poke fun at him.

Before you send me an eMail or text or voice mail (209-565-DAVE) telling me how “unfair” the media is and how he’s right, I want you to consider two things:

Most people think that Fahrenheit 451 is about censorship. It’s not. It’s about how watching TV (and by extension the media) makes you numb and unable to make judgments for yourself. Oh, you don’t think so, because that’s not what you learned in college? Sorry, but you might want to ask the guy who actually wrote the book, Ray Bradbury. The lesson is that if you are getting your value judgments and cultural understanding from the TV, it’s not the medias fault, it’s yours;

rQdi6qhL8tdqrDqEvRL7G59RSecondly, once upon a time the press went after the President in ways that would shock us today. The whining of candidates and office holders today about how the press treats them is laughable. If these weenies today think that the press is against them, why do they think that they should be any better or different than George Washington himself? And if Washington could handle them with quiet dignity and not let his emotions and anger get the better of him, why can’t these pathetic excuses for “leaders” we have do so today?

There is a story of one of our early Presidents, Thomas Jefferson, who was being visited in his office by a foreign dignitary. The Minister was appalled at the pile of newspapers in the office, almost all of which had headlines critical of the President. When asked why he allowed such libel and slander to be printed, the President replied to the effect of this is what freedom and liberty look like. And if American freedoms of the press are ever questioned in your travels, remember where you found them.

If Donald Trump cannot give a ringing endorsement like that of the 1st Amendment, I cannot vote for him. Or any other candidate who thinks that they are are above the 1st Amendment. 

And if you are going to let the media – even media you like – decide how to think or what to think, then you are the real problem. Stop griping about the media and star becoming an engaged and virtuous citizen.

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Posted on October 27, 2016, in 1st Amendment, 2016 Presidential, American, Baseball, Bradbury, Chicago Cubs, Christmas, Constitution, Donald Trump, Elections, History, Ray and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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