May 11th, 2013 by Michael Tabor
The Cleveland Indians have won 9 out of their last 10 games, they have an incredibly talented, exciting (I’m speaking in terms of relativity, for nothing visually is exciting about baseball; mentally – yes, but that’s not what we’re talking about here) and yet they can’t draw a crowd. Why? Why NOT ?
Let me begin by saying that I love[d] baseball and I still maintain that there is nothing better than seeing a child field his first ground ball, catch that seemingly scary skyscraper – high fly ball, and ultimately put wood into fair play; Little League Baseball is ideal for kids. But, let’s face it, baseball for adults on a professional level is DEAD !! The last time I went to a major league baseball game I had to drown myself in beer (when I drank – lol) just to get through the tedious spitting and ball (testicle) – scratching 9 innings.
Baseball was never an action – packed sport, in fact I think it’s only 20% of the time that the players are actually playing the sport, the remaining time like I said is spent scratching and spitting. A decade ago I would have been appalled at such commentary and probably would have said something akin to “You don’t understand the chess match !!!” The problem is, I’m not going to drive to a ballpark, pay exorbitant parking fees, and even with free tickets (yes the Cleveland Indians are doling out free tickets) watch over – paid, spoiled athletes play a game that no longer means anything anymore. Baseball used to be all about tradition and records (the steroid generation sadly ruined it for us baseball geeks) and we wouldn’t mind waiting for the hitter taking his time to step into the batter’s box, after all we were trying to figure out what Mickey Rivers’ batting average would be if he sliced a single into left field.
Baseball is a boring sport and not unlike golf, I’d rather watch it on TV; but if the stadiums need to be filled in order for the sport to survive, then screw it, let the sport die. The days of Howard Cosell and Monday Night Baseball, baseball cards, never – to – be broken records are over.
So WhaDaYaThink ? What do you think ? I think the three hot sports today are Football, College basketball, and finally the greatest sport of all – MMA – Mixed Martial Arts.
May 8th, 2013 by Michael Tabor
The hoopla about Ms. Flynn’s latest novel (not even deemed popular fiction but rather “literature” by some super – heavyweight reputable sources such as the New Yorker ) prompted me to finally get around to reading it. It started out slow, not very interesting, even ponderous and I thought – wow, what an over – rated piece of rubbish but once the real Amy (female protagonist) came out, the novel took off, and it was impossible to put down; I polished off the 419 pages in two days.
There are no spoilers here, so it’s safe to read this, but do read the book, it’s a lot of fun and saying that there are prodigiously clever moments in ‘Gone Girl’ is an understatement. What I merely want to point out in this blog is some of the problems I had with the work– namely that I don’t think Gillian Flynn has a real understanding of who men are and what their interests are; granted Nick, the male protagonist was intended to epitomize the worst of the worst in the male species and the lowest common denominator but having said that, a writer wants the reader to empathize and sympathize with even the most despicable man at some level at some point in the novel but that didn’t work for me. So it isn’t perfect but it’s close. A couple of notes:
How can I be delicate about this ? Okay, non vaginal intercourse. I find the act to be vile, nauseating, and revolting and I know I’m not alone here. All of my friends, acquaintances, and males I know in general concur. Mike Tyson on the Howard Stern show said that anal sex was utterly disgusting – yes Mike Tyson & Howard Stern. Yes, Nick is a twisted slime ball but Amy is Satan – incarnate and one would think that you would want to kinda of root for Nick a little bit but how can you ? Sure, I think the lesson is that they’re both trash and they deserve each other but….
Threesomes ??? No guy wants that – yes making love to a beautiful woman other than your wife, one @ a time is understandable for men who cheat on their wife but @ the same time – nonsense.
Well as you know, the novel is Triple XXX with a capital T. The author, Gillian Flynn is an intelligent, beautiful, educated woman (like Amy, the protagonist – lol) and I earnestly believe she lowered herself by using certain language and describing ad nauseam the aberrant sexual behavior of her protagonists. (What does her real – life husband say about this, not to mention Ms. Flynn’s toddler child who will obviously eventually read her book.
So Whadayathink ? What do you think ? Aside from too much pornography, the book is absolutely brilliant. Two of my favorite authors, John Updike and Paul Auster appealed to voyeuristic appetites of some of their fans without compromising the overall integrity of their masterpieces.
April 29th, 2013 by Michael Tabor
Can anyone think of a better way to exit this life than to have a great meal, lie down, go to sleep and pass away without pain or any sense of awareness? I have known the most wonderful, law – abiding human beings agonizingly suffer for years with cancer and yet knowing this our society or some people still find the putting to death of sociopathic murdering fiends to be inhumane. A disclaimer, let me be clear here, yes I am pro death penalty but we must be absolutely 100% certain that we have the right guy. If there is even a scintilla of doubt, we should commute the sentence until we know for sure.
Quite frankly, I think for a monster like Dzhokhar Tsarnaev , one of the the 2 Boston Marathon killers, lethal injection is not punishment enough. This sicko’s malicious and cowardly act killed 3 people and injured 264. I would not object at all if we meted out punishment that bordered on cruel and unusual i.e let him stew in an 8’ by 10’ or rather 6’ by 8’ cage and then electrocute him rather than the usual lethal injection because I think the former is painful & more befitting to the heinous crime he committed.
People know me as a liberal which I proudly acknowledge but my motto is that All Life is precious and each and every one of us is uniquely special, so if some twisted fiend elects to terminate a special, precious, and unique human being, then he, she or rather it must be put down !!!
So Whadayathink ? What do you think ? Some of my very good liberal friends disagree with me on this issue and are somewhat surprised that I hold this view but I am always pro – victim; you take a life then we as a society have a right to protect ourselves. Another objection I hear is that capital punishment is not a deterrent, which I concur, but these anti – death penalty folks are missing the point.
April 18th, 2013 by Michael Tabor
Time Magazine is getting heat from some people who think they’ve gone too far by displaying a picture of a terrified 3 year old boy with dirt on his face and blood on his head that will be on the cover of a special edition of the Boston Marathon tragedy. The critics are saying: “This is what the terrorists want” or “this is blood money and exploitation.” Certainly there is some truth to these assertions and I acknowledge this, but I am for one all for showing what “really” happens in war, terror attacks, and some national tragedies “if” the publication is NOT exploitative (I guess this maybe at the crux of what’s going on at Time).
Portray reality – don’t overplay or underplay the savage brutality of terror and war. Yes, the adage ‘If it bleeds it leads’ is a fact and news publications are in the business of making money, but a free press is perhaps the most important staple of an open and transparent democracy. I actually don’t think we show enough of the unimaginable horrors of war – especially concerning those who survive but are maimed, crippled and damaged. Phil Donahue and Bill Moyers produced a feature documentary depicting the daily struggles of a young man who served his country and was sadly victim of an explosive in which shrapnel tore through his young body leaving him paralyzed and left to spend the rest of his life in a wheel chair. What is it like having to go to the bathroom in a colostomy bag? Or consider the ordeal of simply bathing when you can’t move and need others to help you do what every other healthy individual takes for granted. The mundane existence of what happens to damaged soldiers, physically and psychologically, is simply not shown ENOUGH ! Before we shuffle off our sons and daughters or before a young person decides to join the military on his or her own, they and we ought to know what they are getting themselves into. Not everyone makes it back in one piece and one has to think long and hard about whether or not you wish to sacrifice life and limb for this country.
I also think we have an obligation to show the public what happens when twisted – evil – monsters blow up innocent people; what is the point of sugar – coating an event when our country is attacked ? Now certainly exploitation and exhibiting carnage for the sake of bloodlust is another matter e.g. thankfully the media had the good sense not to show the bloodied bodies of the children at Newtown.
So WhaDaYaThink ? What do you think ? Is the Time Magazine picture exploitation or not?
April 16th, 2013 by Michael Tabor
What an absolutely senseless tragedy this Boston Marathon bombing is – and such a bizarre target! How can we possibly protect ourselves from such evil acts? The sad truth is, we can’t. Israel has been living with this reality and now we have to carry on with the knowledge that there are people who are full of hate and want to harm innocent people; there is no place on the planet where one is absolutely 100% safe from terrorism.
This has been the first terrorist attack since 9/11 (again we still don’t know who did this and why) and though I’ve always contended that the W. Bush presidency was one of the worst administrations in history, it however gets an A+ in terms of protecting us against terrorism. Who knows how many potential terrorist attacks Homeland Security thwarted – just remarkable. However, the thought of attempting to protect the entire nation against some lunatic[s] machinations and a target happens to be the finish line at the Boston Marathon, it almost seems like an exercise in futility.
Magdalena and I attended a Bluegrass concert on Long Island on Sunday in which there were approximately 75 – 100 people present and the truth of the matter is if someone wanted to blow the place up, there would have been no way of stopping it. Some sort of explosion wasn’t on my mind and I’m assuming nobody was thinking about terror here. The only time I think about a possible attack is when I’m on the subway, railroad, perhaps driving over the George Washington Bridge, etc. If we worried about bombs when going to a picnic or a gathering or event of any sort, what kind of a life would one have?
So WhaDaYaThink ? What do you think? I also must applaud all the incredibly heroic folks who assisted the wounded by providing clothing for tourniquets, given blood and more. Some of these heroes were the runners themselves – can you imagine going out of his or her way to help other people after having run 26 miles. As always, when some national tragedy occurs we see the absolute worst and best in mankind. Prayers and thoughts for the deceased, wounded and their families.
April 5th, 2013 by Michael Tabor
Roger Ebert was a powerhouse within the universe of film; he was the first film critic to win a Pulitzer Prize and was even given his very own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The New York Times called him the critic for the common man because he made film criticism accessible to everyone with his thumbs up – or – down TV approach with Gene Siskel and then later with Richard Roeper.
What I really loved most about Roger was the fact that not only was he a great writer who had a unique style of personalizing every film he reviewed but furthermore he always seemed to bring that special “magic” to the movies – his passion for moving pictures was second to none whether one agreed with him or not. I faithfully purchased his yearbooks (which were basically a collection of his reviews he had written in his syndicated column for that particular year) and because his writing was so good and interesting, I usually read the reference book straight through like a novel. Not only did he review all of the expected mainstream films but he would also dip into some of the off the charts bizarre indies such as ‘Sick: The Life& Death of Bob Flanagan, Supermasochist’ 1997. Mr. Ebert wrote with his signature personal flair,
“This is one of the most agonizing films I have ever seen. It tells the story of a man who was born with cystic fibrosis, a disease that fills the lungs with thick, sticky mucus, so that breathing is hard and painful, and an early death is the prognosis. He was in pain all his life, and in a gesture of defiance he fought pain with more pain. With Sheree Rose as his partner, he became a performance artist, using his own body as a canvas for museum shows, gallery exhibits, lectures, and performances. He was the literal embodiment of the joke about the man who liked to hit himself with a hammer because it felt so good when he stopped.” Weird, compelling, and impossible to stop reading – that was Roger Ebert.
Ebert lived his life through the movies; he was a cast character in all of the movies he saw. Sadly, as we all know Roger suffered terribly with thyroid , salivary glands and chin cancer; he even lost the ability to speak and even eat and drink (he was fed through a tube, can you imagine ?) However, Roger never lost his passion for the medium he was made for. Anthony Hopkins’s ‘Slipstream’ was considered a complete disaster and panned by everyone except for Roger Ebert; having been ill himself, of course Ebert could identify completely with Anthony Hopkins’s sick character. In fact I personally hated the film the first time I saw it and after reading Ebert’s review and watching ‘Slipstream’ again, I got it – I saw what Ebert saw.
I didn’t like all the movies Roger enjoyed but thanks to his unique writing style I always understood why Roger Ebert loved a movie. I also want to note that not unlike Ebert, I, too think there are very few movies that are absolutely flawless in every regard from beginning to end; however this doesn’t suggest that you shouldn’t see a film if this is in fact the case. There may be something about a particular film which makes it worth seeing, or perhaps that have moments (for me what immediately comes to mind is ‘Full Metal Jacket’ in which the first half was absolutely classic Stanley Kubrick and yet the second half of the movie was almost unwatchable) So here’s a thumbs up to ‘Citizen Kane’ and ‘Casablanca’ – Roger Ebert’s 2 favorite movies of all time. So, WhaDaYaThink ? What Do You Think ?
March 20th, 2013 by Michael Tabor
Tomas Young, a patriot and courageous man, at the tender age of 21, joined the army 2 days after 9/11 because he felt it was his duty to go after the terrorists who murdered some 3,000 + of his fellow citizens. Instead of being deployed to Afghanistan to fight Al Qaida, he was sent to Iraq which incidentally, as we all know now,had nothing at all to do with 9/11 (not to mention no WMD).
Tragically, Tomas was hit with shrapnel that shattered his spine and left him paralyzed from the chest down; a young man’s life snuffed out just like that. War is hell & sadly necessary but the real issue at hand here is that Mr. Young was sent to the wrong country and was fighting people who had nothing to do with the very reason he enlisted in the army to begin with. Here is what Tomas had to say in an open letter to Bush and Cheney:
I joined the Army two days after the 9/11 attacks. I joined the Army because our country had been attacked. I wanted to strike back at those who had killed some 3,000 of my fellow citizens. I did not join the Army to go to Iraq, a country that had no part in the September 2001 attacks and did not pose a threat to its neighbors, much less to the United States. I did not join the Army to “liberate” Iraqis or to shut down mythical weapons-of-mass-destruction facilities or to implant what you cynically called “democracy” in Baghdad and the Middle East. I did not join the Army to rebuild Iraq, which at the time you told us could be paid for by Iraq’s oil revenues.
I write this letter, my last letter, to you, Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney. I write not because I think you grasp the terrible human and moral consequences of your lies, manipulation, and thirst for wealth and power. I write this letter because, before my own death, I want to make it clear that I, and hundreds of thousands of my fellow veterans, along with millions of my fellow citizens, along with hundreds of millions more in Iraq and the Middle East, know fully who you are and what you have done. You may evade justice but in our eyes you are each guilty of egregious war crimes, of plunder and, finally, of murder, including the murder of thousands of young Americans—my fellow veterans—whose future you stole.”
Tomas Young is just another victim of a prodigiously long list of innocent victims. So WhaDaYaThink ? What do you think? I know it’s ludicrous to even think that Bush and Cheney would be put on trial for war crimes. However, the facts are the facts – and the W. administration flat out lied to the American public and thousands of brave men and women have paid the price with their lives.