world cup wonder

June 28, 2010

A few years back, I got to visit Europe . . . during the world cup.

The things I saw can’t be adequately described in words, but I’ll give it a shot. There was definite excitement and fervor, but add to that a pinch of insanity and a handful of pandemonium. Delirious street riots, screeching fog horns, screaming, celebrations. What I would imagine Mardi Gras to be like. It was quite the scene.

And yet, this event, much like the Olympics, in which the whole world comes together to watch–although all hoping for different outcomes, is one that America remains mostly separate from.

Soccer has never truly grabbed hold of our nation. We’re more of a pigskin playing, basketball dribbling kinda people. Actually, we’ve pretty much embraced every sport but soccer. Why is that?

Soccer’s got the violence that so many people crave. It’s got worldwide popularity. It’s got hot guys in shorts. Shall I just say, David Beckham?

With all of these thoughts in mind, I sat down to watch the U.S. play Ghana the other day. For the entire 20 minutes that I made myself resist from flipping the channel, the score remained 1-0.

Much like hockey, another sport I can’t get in to, soccer is made up of constant back and forth ball handling with little scoring. And yet, it’s one of the most popular sports on our planet.

What’s the deal?

Could someone please enlighten me on the appeal of this sport?

Because I really don’t want to be forced to watch another 20 minutes.


relative entitlement

June 23, 2010

The woman said she didn’t “want to throw around numbers” before confiding in us that her car cost more than $90,000.

And all I could think about was how much it costs her to get her oil changed.

Now, if you’re willing to spend the same amount of money on your vehicle as you would on a small house, you can probably afford routine maintenance on your car. At least, let’s hope you can, because those bills could otherwise leave you with quite a tummy ache.

It’s not for me to say how much an individual should spend on anything. We all make money and can spend it how we please.

But could the flaunting, rich people please keep their upturned noses and heavily-perfumed, entitled bodies turned in the opposite direction of me?

Entitlement doesn’t have to be bad. We all have things that we feel we deserve. We all have things that we may grow up having. But there’s a very fine and definite line between having and deserving that the rich do not always comprehend. Need we discuss the countless monarchies, past and present, who would rather watch their people go hungry than give up their frivolous luxuries in order to feed them? Or the many Wall Street executives who continue to bank outrageous bonuses while their clients lose everything they have.

That’s not to say that the less-fortunate people don’t feel entitled as well. Using the system, loop-holing the Man, pumping out child after sad, unfortunate child just to have their fellow Americans support them.

Pride in a day’s work is long gone. It went out the window with trust, decency, humanity, compassion, to name a few.

I read an inspiring quote the other day that said to “look for the humanity in every person you meet.”

Well, I’m trying, but I gotta tell ya, I think I need a new assignment.

Humanity seems to have disappeared with the advent of the Internet. And what replaced it is violence, pornography, self-obsession and deceit. The key elements to a truly successful society. A glance at the world scene surely reveals how far our society has advanced and how much closer we are to world peace and harmony than ever before. At least, that’s what our warring nations would have us believe.

cat rules

June 3, 2010

Cats have a way of making a person feel either very special or entirely nonexistent.

Over the centuries, they have fought the beast of friendliness and won with the aid of withering stares, fear-inciting hisses, hermit-like isolation. Felines have cemented their solitary place in history and the present day. They have lived their lives through listless observation, content to view from the sidelines atop their lofty throne, be it a bed or coffee table—seemingly immune to adoration or more tasty rewards.

It is of note, however, that some cats have chosen to divert from their heritage. These so-called rebels have adopted somewhat canine characteristics. Rubbing against legs, pleading for a caress or scratch from a kind stranger. Throwing themselves to the floor, tummy to the ceiling, flashing those magnificent eyes.

Many feline owners have found that once they penetrate their pet’s disinterested exterior, they are quite surprised as to what lay beneath the surface. It all becomes a game of chance. Has my cat already bared his soul? Or will a secretive need for companionship suddenly arise? Are the dog-like tendencies feared by all cat-lovers about to appear once my cat discovers that I am hopelessly wrapped around his tiny, fluffy paw?

One can only wait. And discover.